In a recent interview the new Chekov, Anton Yelchin, talked about Walter Koenig visiting him on the set of JJ Abrams Star Trek. Now in a new interview with the Joplin Globethe original Chekov says that, although it was ‘odd’ to see someone else play Chekov, what he saw on his visit to Paramount was ‘conscientiousness’ and ‘loyal’ to the original Trek.
Koenig on the new Star Trek:
I think it’s great. I’m sure they’ll do a terrific job. I visited the set at J.J.’s invitation and watched the actors work. I thought they were on to something good. Only time will tell, but I can’t believe that with their conscientiousness and loyalty to the original concept that it can’t be anything but a success.
Koenig stated that although it was “odd” to see Yelchin play Chekov, but he didn’t have any proprietary feelings towards the character. He went on to say:
I suppose the only way it would have been upsetting would be if they had cast a 71-year-old, but I told J.J. that we only leased these roles … I’m rooting for them. I feel that if they succeed, it carries ‘Star Trek’ on. Being part of that mythos and legend is very gratifying.
As for the endurance of the Star Trek franchise over all these years, Koenig said when he was cast as Pavel Chekov he thought it was just going to be a job for a few episodes, noting “I had no idea it would totally shape my career and my life.” Koenig attests the endurance not to himself and his fellow actors, but to the show’s writers, noting how they kept the sci-fi show relevant:
First of all, I think that it was well-written. They used science-fiction prose writers to write their teleplays. They had fertile and active imaginations that could bring the adventure and excitement that people were looking for. It also had some intellectual nuances and a social consciousness at a time when we were having to deal with Vietnam and civil rights. It showed the concerns of thinking people. It’s a testament that after four decades that it resonates for people. But those concerns are still in front of us — racial and religious issues, war, economic and family issues. They’re still a part of our lives, and we’re struggling with them.
Koenig appearing this weekend at Planet Comic Con in Kansas
Koenig gave the interview to the Joplin Globe to promote Planet Comicon (in Overland Park, Kan) where he will be appearing this weekend. More info at the official site.
Koenig and/or others from the unofficial Trek film Of Gods and Men will be appearing at a number of other cons and showing the film over the next few months. Check out the official site for a full list.
InAlienable available online
Koenig will also be talking about his recent project, InAlienable. The independent sci-fi film was written by Koenig and was produced by the same team behind Of Gods and Men. The cast includes Richart Hatch, Marina Sirtis, Courtney Peldon, Erick Avari and Koenig himself. The film can be viewed online for $2.99. More info and a trailer at the official site.
poster for InAlienable
I’m glad the old cast is welcome on the new set…makes me feel good about the movie that Walter was ok with what they are doing.
Cool! Very cool! Walter Koenig is my favorite of the supporting cast. Nice to hear that he still cares for the Chekov character.
I like him….
One more original cast member gives his approval to the next movie. Chekov was one of the my personal favorite characters, just for his plain “fun” value…
This movie’s gonna be great!
Walter Koenig — another class act. Way to go, Walter!
Koenig + Approval = Awesome!
Thats yet another one of the originals that we can check off the list!
Is this movie going to rock? Yes!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, its MAY 8th 2009, tomorrow! Its only… 400 days away… :,(
Another thumbs up endorsement for Abrams and the remake or at least thats how it sounds. Abrams seems to be going out of his way of get the surviving members of the origina series on the band wagon, its rather smart actually because it help with the old positive spin on the movie. By the way has anyone ever seen The movie Moon Trap with Walter Koenig and Bruce Campbell? it is gem of a science fiction movie. Its giant killer robots in it and Its a blast to watch.
Decloaking . . .
Like OMG, maybe Koneig will be playing the older Tom Cruise whose playing the 40-something Shat whose playing the older Shat whose playing the 80 year old Shat, or something like that — like Wow!
Sorry I couldn’t resist.
It’s about the humor people!
another reason Anthony and his team are the best!
I love hearing about this movie from Star Trek Veterans. It makes me feel more positive about this movie everytime I see something like this.
Now that’s what I like to see in my Trek elder statesmen.
Thanks, Pavel — uh, Walter.
I’ll be renting Inalienable. Loved Moontrap.
At least we can feel reassured that the Trek franchise is in great hands of J.J. and his crew.
Hey, off topic but I just wanted to say Aintitcool has pics of this weekend’s “The Enterprise Incident”. They look good, but sure to create some controversey.
You know, Koenig is the only one of the Trek actors who can still articulate the serious virtues of the original series without coming off as a self-promoter or a windbag – Nimoy can sometimes, but Koenig always seems a bit more nuanced.
13.. really? I couldn’t find them anywhere on there…
I was fortunate to be able to watch InAlienable for free when I tried to catch the first part of Of Gods and Men.
While the pacing could do with some work, the movie as a whole was an emotional experience that brought out the best in the actors involved. I strongly recommend it to all fans of conflict and drama.
I met Walter Koenig once; he came off as somewhat rude and abrasive. Just set off my “tribble-sense.” I was never fond of his Chekov character; the accent is a joke. I do hope Anton Yelchin (being a native son of Russia) will at least do a somewhat more authentic accent! Either way, it is fitting that the original cast, one by one, gives this new production their blessing. The last thing JJ Abrams needs is the odd-man out former cast member bad-mouthing the production! That was done to the new Battlestar Galactica (and still is, by people who don’t watch the new show, ironically!). Doesn’t need to happen here. Trek desperately needs a fresh infusion of new blood to remain a viable franchise. Just hope Chekov doesn’t say, “wessels” or “Wulcan!” Every Russian I’ve ever known (and I’ve known plenty) have no trouble making the “V” sound!
I would’ve thought he would feel more odd when he first met his clone Andy Bray on New Voyages.
#17 I am so sick of the damned accent issue However I do agree thatTrek does need this reboot to be viable.
#14 dennis b.
i was thinking the same thing. he always seems to refer to the essence of early trek instead of the way-used and pointless contemplations on “why star trek is popular”.
He also says cogent things about what it seems to fulfill in people who watch it. My favorite was his comparison of it to his hobby of collecting “Little Big Books.”
He said that one day he realized that collecting these little icons of his childhood wasn’t recreating *childhood* but recreating his one-time *escape* from childhood. That hits the nail on the head, in my experience, where the effect that “Star Trek” had on me as a kid is concerned.
I’m feeling very good about the Abrams team and its status as the new leadership of Trek. However, I find myself feeling even better about Trek itself. It takes an inherently strong enterprise to persevere through thick and thin the way that Trek has.
When Star Trek: Enterprise went away, many expressed online how they feared the worst. Trek was atrophying on the vine, and soon it would be no more than a shadow of its former self — or at least so went the not-so-silent words of doubt. But — and I have always said this — there is something undying about Trek as an intrinsic part of its very being. Trek is intrinsically about hope, about rebirth, about the need to see in each day the promise of days to come, and the grandest achievement of our fondest desires.
To the extent that the producers, the writers, the fans, and all who support Trek are true to Trekkian ideals, then there will always be a place for Trek in our culture, as long as our culture is as strong as I hope it is. The reaffirmation of Trek’s standing as a continuing mission, as seen in the form of this new movie, is to me proof of this fact, and well and good cause to celebrate accordingly.
So let us raise a glass of Romulan ale to Walter and all who have praised this newest incarnation of Trek. Their words are a glorious description of a most promising future. A enterprise of such beauty — to coin a phrase — is a joy forever.
Walter is awesome. Someone get this guy a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame already!
Walter is always very cool (and while I’m enjoying Of Gods and Men, what I hope most fondly is to see him with a Psi-Corps badge again someday …). Glad to know he had an enjoyable visit to the set. Here’s hopin’ for greatness!
I met Walter once, and tried out my college Russian with him, and he speaks it well as his parents are from Russia. That was a hoot. if ever there was one. No problem with the w’s and v’s either.
“Ya ne sumashedshii…Nu vot!”
#19 The “damned accent issue” would never have existed if the actor in question had done it correctly and knew his craft! One Russian-born friend of mine compared Koenig’s accent to someone doing a exaggeration of an American southern accent for a cheap laugh. Yelchin can ONLY be an improvement! Good luck, kid!
Now THAT is what I’m talking about! Look at the detail on those Klingon…er, Romulan cruisers. It’s amazing to go from last week’s dreadful renderings to such great ones this week.
Well it seems that all the trek purest are realy on board with the new movie and i for one am a purest. I love all the treks and movies and series. But the tos is my faverite. I think jj is going to do a fantastic job on the new movie and im sure he will have wonderfull special effects with this being a big budget film.So with the big budget and great special effects and a great story that all the purest like this will be one hell of a movie and i for one am realy looking forward to it. So lets all do a slingshot around the sun and time warp to next year.
@ Hat Rick: Very well said, sir. Couldn’t have said it better, and I agree 100%.
RE: 14. Dennis Bailey
“You know, Koenig is the only one of the Trek actors who can still articulate the serious virtues of the original series without coming off as a self-promoter or a windbag – Nimoy can sometimes, but Koenig always seems a bit more nuanced.”
Indeed, sir. Which is why I have such a great respect for the man.
29, thank you very much. I appreciate your compliment.
Its reassuring that the TOS actors are giving the film its blessing
However, I am fed up with lines like the Original Chekov etc. Walter Koenig is the ONLY Chekov. Anton will just be playing Chekov but Koenig IS Chekov.
Striking best drama queen pose, eyes heavenwards, sobbing gently:
You’re absolutely right – needless to say the same holds true for…
I know that they can’t possibly do to this reboot what they did to the Pink Panther. At least I hope not.
#32—Koenig seems to have a different take. In fact, he says in the interview that “…we only leased these roles”. I am very happy with the term “original”. It is both respectful, and completely accurate.
No matter how their successors’ parts in the new film are characterized by one person or another, the “original” actors’ work on TOS and the TOS-era films will not be diminshed in value. If anything, the value of the “original” work will increase in the public eye due to the obvious tribute of this production and its enormous budget.
In the past, Koenig has been perhaps the most critical of “new brands” of Star Trek among the original actors. It is nice to know that he is so impressed with this one. I think he gets what an honor it is to have his character recast after 40 years.
Russia is a humongous country with many nations, peoples and their distinct accents. There is no analogue to “Received Pronuncian” as in England and UK. Not only that, there are large Russian colonies throughout the former Iron Curtain states in Lithuania (Koenig’s ancetral homeland), Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, and of course, here in the US (Philadelphia and New York, for two examples).
I know many Russians and eastern Europeans and none of them say “v” as we do in US/UK. At best, it is a Continental sound similar to our “F” as stereotyped in the German accents we love to mock here in US.
But I have heard, with my own ears, something very similar to “wad-ka” but with a subtle “F” like “fwhad-ka”. For a less sophisticated audience to hear that as “wod-ka” is no big stretch. It makes sense that “wod-ka” would be repeated by them as an acceptible anglicized form of the foreign pronunciation.
That’s the trouble with solipsism, you know. It’s a big world and not everyone is the just like us. Or the next guy.
#36 You have a point; there are many Russian dialects out in the world, and I’ve heard a lot of them. Koenig’s Chekov just grates on the ears like scratching a chalkboard. It can easily be improved in the new feature film.
As always, classy, Mr. Koenig.
#37 The movie will hopefully put this whole accent nonsense to rest once and for all.
What a mindful human being. And what an incisive & insightful capsule description of the original show’s virtues. I agree with him 100 percent.
Is Shatner the only TOS sat to noy have been on the set?
Why, the very word is racist.
I met Mr. Koenig during an autograph signing at a Blockbuster about a hundred years ago. There I got a Generations Chekov figure signed by him. (BTW. I still have it. Still in the package). He seemed friendly enough. By his comments I see that he is a class act, not to just parrot what has been said above. He doesn’t strike me as simply looking out for his own interests when he speaks of TOS and Star Trek in general. He seems reverent and respectful, but not “whatsinnitforme?” like some of the others do.
#41. See, this is what makes me think he’s a liar, liar, pants on fire. It may well be that he *has* been to the set, maybe even to film a cameo.
Sure looks like everyone else and the vacuum salesman has already been there!
I don’t mean to start this whole debate again. And anyway, Shatner or not, I’m pumped for this movie.
#43. He does seem very intelligent; it’s just that the time I met him (and I did NOT pester him for an autograph, by the way) he was just…mean! At least I didn’t tell him what I really felt about his acting. But if others had a good experience…great! Maybe I met him on a very bad day. Either way, whether he was nice or not, my opinion of his acting hasn’t changed yet (and I’ve seen both parts of “Of Gods And Men”). Maybe if I saw “Inalienable”, I’d see a different aspect to him. I hear it’s quite good. And it’s star, Richard Hatch is very good to his fans (I’ve met and talked with him a few times). So, I might check it out for the other people involved in the production. Here’s to changed opinions, I hope!
#46 I thought he was great as The Psycop Alfred Bester, he played such wonderful villian and he was good in the scifi Movie Moontrap co staring Bruce Campbell, the man can act.
Having met Mr. Koenig a couple of times at conventions, My impression is that he doesn’t give out praise if he doesn’t mean it.. His endorsement of this film is one more sign that it’s going to be truly special.
from the few interviews that i have seen he doesn’t seem like a bad guy at all.
For the record, I didn’t “pester” him for an autograph. It was to sign autographs that put him at the Blockbuster in the first place…
But, I see what you mean. Perhaps he was just having a bad day. Seriously, some fans do tend to pester the bejesus out of these stars, ao I can understand when they come off as more than al ittle gruff…