The Creation Star Trek Con started off on Thursday with TOS stars George Takei and Walter Koenig, both of whom talked about the latest Trek film and more. TNG’s John deLancie talked about the nature of Q, Janeway v Picard, and a possible Q appearance in the Star Trek sequel. There were also appearances by a number of TOS guest stars. We have a full report with details and photos of all the panels below.
Koenig and Takei talk Trek longevity, current projects & Star Trek 2009
The Star Trek con started off with original Star Trek star Walter Koenig, who began by reflecting on how he was the first guest for a Creation Star Trek Convention back in the 70’s, noting how "times have changed" including how he used to be paid just $300 to appear. The original Chekov went on to reflect on his "great life and great career involving Star Trek." Koenig talked about his appearance in the New Voyages fan film episode "To Serve All My Days" written by Dorothy Fontana, noting that he understood that some fans were upset to see Chekov die, but he felt it was a "what if?" story "canon-wise". Koenig said he was pleased with how it turned out, but not with the "compromise" that made it appear as a dream sequence.
A fan asked if Koenig had any possible guest spots on TV series coming up, noting she thought Koenig would make a good vampire in True Blood. Walter said there were no plans, but did say that he just happened to be working on a graphic novel about vampires, which he hopes will become a feature film, noting "it is a take that no one has done before." Walter was asked about the Star Trek 2009 movie and Anton Yelchin’s performance and he again spoke highly of the film and of Anton saying he thought his performance in the film was "excellent" and he had no complaints, noting "it was a different time and a different experience."
Star Trek’s George Takei came out on stage with his usual enthusiasm and beaming smile, noting how Star Trek has endured for decades, saying "we have lived long and prospered." Takei gave an update on recent projects such as the Tom Hanks film Larry Crowne. He revealed that he has just shot a pilot for a show called Supah Ninjahs, for Nickelodeon where he plays a ninja grand master, and he hoped that pilot gets picked up for a series. Takei also spoke about the upcoming musical Allegiance about his family’s the Japanese internment camps in World War II, saying that it will open on the West Coast in 2011 and that is important that people don’t forget this "dark part of American history."
The subject of the 2009 Star Trek movie came up and Takei was very enthusiastic about the film, saying he thought JJ Abrams was "a terrific filmmaker" who made a "rip snorting space opera." He also spoke very highly of the cast saying Chris Pine was "absolutely brilliant" and going on to praise, John Cho, Zachary Quinto and especially Karl Urban.
Takei’s talk fell on the day after a federal judge deemed that Proposition 8 (outlawing same sex marriage in California) was overturned. Takei, who himself married his long-time partner Brad before Prop 8, was obviously very enthusiastic about the ruling and the crowd cheered the news. Takei noted that "Trekkies understand equality."
deLancie on Picard v Janeway & Q in future Star Trek movie
John deLancie, TNG’s enigmatic Q, started off his time on stage with updates on his latest work, including composing for the Cleveland Orchestra, and shooting for a sci-fi film called Recreator. He also revealed that he had recently been invited to reprise his role on the soap Days of Our Lives, but he turned it down because of other projects and how he felt he could not really go back to how soaps were done when he was on the show.
Moving on to Q&A, the actor was asked about the differences between the relationships between Q and Captains Picard and Janeway. de Lancie said that even though he was good friends with Kate Mulgrew he felt the relationship with Picard was "much more fully realized." de Lancie revealed that Paramount execs were concerned about any hint of romance between Janeway and Q, even though he liked that idea. On the nature of Q as a character, de Lancie stated a number of times that he did not see Q as a bad guy or "evil". His favorite part of being Q was the idea of having "infinite power, and not responsibilities." A fan brought up the TrekMovie.com Poll and debate of having Q in a future Star Trek movie. The actor said he was open to it, but felt that "the easiest way to do it, would be a voiceover." He suggested "the ship is going somewhere and then you hear ‘you don’t have the force’".
TOS guest stars
Thursday also saw a number actors from guest star appearances from the original Star Trek. A fun one was a reunion of child actors from the TOS episode "And The Children Shall Lead", Pamelyn Ferdin, Mark Robert Brown, Brian Tochi, and Craig Huxley (now Craig Hundley). The group talked about how as child actors it was fun working on Star Trek, and Ferdin even revealed that she had a huge crush on Bill Shatner and that Shatner was very sweet and even "pretend proposed" to her.
To make sure you recognized them, Hundley appeared in an adult sized version of his original costume Tommy Starnes. And he also brought along his daughter who had a matching outfit. Hundley also talked about his experiences as a composer of electronic music working on a number of the early Star Trek movies, and recalled a time on Star Trek V when he and Shatner were in a meeting with Paramount execs where Bill pitched "wild ideas" for the music to be "all voices" and at one point Shatner sat down at a mixing console and demonstrated singing "doobie doobie doo". Hundley the exclaims "and he was serious, and the Paramount guys were like ‘okay, I think we are going to have to rethink this whole movie’".
Another TOS reunion was for the "Where No Man Has Gone Before" pair of Sally Kellerman and Gary Lockwood. The pair talked about how they have often worked together, in addition to Star Trek, and Sally wondered why Gary never hit on her. Gary joked that he used to be an "arrogant jerk" and if they had she would be one of his many ex-wives and they wouldn’t talk. There time actually didn’t cover anything about Star Trek. Kellerman talked about MASH and other films, including working with Rodney Dangerfield on Back To School, who was both a hard worker spending late nights doing "brilliant" work on the script, but he also "imbibed" such as showing up in the morning saying "all right, I’m stoned!". Lockwood (in between ribald jokes) talked about 2001 and his other works. Lockwood said that 2001 director Stanley Kubrick was the "the best director I ever knew, and possibly the best director of all time."
Also appearing was a collection of TOS guests: John Winston (Lt. Kyle), Hagan Beggs (Lt. Hansen), Bruce Hyde (Lt. Kevin Riley) and Barbara Babcock (Mea 3, Philana). The group spoke about their experiences working on the show, with Winston noting that his time as the transporter tech was not challenging as an actor and he really didn’t enjoy the experience much (and even returning in Star Trek II wasn’t much better). Barbara Babcock noted that it was hard to keep her "Plato’s Stepchildren" costume on.
Bruce Hyde noted that he was originally only going to appear in one episode "The Naked Time", but since he was on contract for a pilot at Desilu they changed a character on "The Conscience of the King" into Kevin Riley to bring him back. Hyde also delighted the audience with a bit of his famous singing of "I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen."
The final panel of the day was with TOS guests
Naomi Pollack (Rahda), Stewart Moss (Lt. Joe Tormolen/Hanar), Paul Comi (Lt. Stiles), and Barbara Baldavin (Angela in all three seasons of classic Trek).
MORE TO COME
TrekMovie has more reports coming from Creation’s Star Trek Con 2010, including a report on all the DS9 stars from Friday, and all the big appearances on Saturday including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jonathan Frakes, Brannon Braga and more.
Special thanks to Erica Anderson who contributed to this report