Over the weekend Walter Koenig was the guest for the screening of Star Trek V in 70MM at the Royal Theater in West LA. The actor and I had a fun discussion with many humorous moments, talking about the Star Trek movies, the TV series and more. See below for highlights from the event plus full video.
Koenig on Star Trek movies and more
- Knew Star Trek IV would be a hit once read the script, noting "it was a fast moving story, all characters are highlighted, and went back to our roots of making social comment, there was great humor and great action"
- On problems Star Trek V "it suffered from a couple of things, and it was not the director…it did have to do with the script and it did have to do with the budget" "they didn’t know how to resolve the story with the budget they had"
- Got him to say "Nuclear Wessels" (part 1 4:45) when talking about the "serendipitous" scene in Star Trek IV
- Star Trek IV was his favorite noting "Chekov had his own music!" and he felt he was making a "substantial contribution"
- Was happy the films had Chekov always getting injured saying "those were my big moments…that meant he was doing something important to the story"
- Says the reason for all his on-screen injuries was his famous scream, noting it was OK on the original Star Trek for a young officer scream
- Got the job of checking the Star Trek II script to make sure it fit with Trek after he gave the note to producer Harve Bennett that Spock can’t be killed in the second act (as it was originally)
- However he admitted "there was no way" he was going to point out that Chekov was not a character on the show for the episode "Space Seed", making Khan’s line in Star Trek II about seeing Chekov before inconsistent with canon (although Koenig offered his funny story that explains this apparent inconsistently)
- Takes "a little umbrage" with the notion that Chekov’s accent was "over done", but he does acknowledge that his inversion of V’s and W’s was more him, and that he didn’t do the Russian "melody" of speaking
- Says Anton Yelchin is "a terrific young guy" and was honored that Yelchin chose to emulate his Russian accent
- Feels that Yelchin is talented and hopes he is given a chance to "expand the role"
- Regarding Star Trek 2009, he was Ok with changes made, including with Chekov, noting "nothing is sacrosanct…except maybe Spock’s ears"
- "Really liked" the new movie and the pacing, but noted "there were some dimensions of character that was a little light" and feels it didn’t have "quite the dramatic substance" of the best original Films (II, and IV)
- Says he only just last year met Davy Jones whose hair style he emulated on the original series and said Jones was "flattered" by Chekov. Koenig also joked "he still has a full head of hair" [Walter then took off his hat to reveal he no longer has the mop top – part 3, 3:50]
- Wasn’t aware of any animosity between himself and George Takei and can’t remember any arguments and he "never felt competitive"
- Contrasting directing styles of Nimoy and Shatner saying "Leonard directed by omission, so if he didn’t say anything to you, you were doing fine", but on Shatner: "Bill was just the opposite" [Koenig then emulates Shatner’s style of saying "that was so good"]
- Says he anticipated problems going into Star Trek V and was ready to walk off the set if there were problems with Shatner, but it turned out that there were no problems and Shatner was "extremely reinforcing"
- As for what he is up to next: his novel "Buck Alice and the Actor-robot" is being re-issued, and being adapted into a radio drama to be broadcast on Sirius and later released on CD/Download
(again thanks to my friend Jennifer aka bdbdb)
Star Trek VI in 70MM Trek this weekend – with George Takei
The summer series of 70 mm Trek films at the Laemmle Royal Theater (in conjunction with Ledjer Film & Theater services and TrekMovie.com) wraps up the original series films this weekend with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. George Takei will be on hand to talk about becoming Captain Sulu in the original crew’s final film.
Arrangements are currently being worked out to continue this summer movie series with the Next Generation films and the new Star Trek movie. More details soon.
What: Simply 70 Star Trek movie series
When: Saturdays at midnight in June and July [Final TOS movie – Star Trek VI, July 24]
Where: Laemmle’s Royal Theatre is located at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, (310) 478-3836
Tickets: $10 for general admission. You can buy tickets at the box office or online at www.laemmle.com.