Rod Roddenberry Talks Star Trek All Access, the 50th Anniversary, and That Legal Case That Just Won’t Go Away

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Rod Roddenberry sat down with the TrekZone podcast today to talk about Star Trek in 2016 (and beyond) and said that he has “tremendous hopes” for the upcoming Star Trek television series.

Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, was recently announced as an Executive Producer of CBS’s upcoming Star Trek series, which we are calling Star Trek All Access until the studio gives us an official title. He talked to Matt Miller, host of the TrekZone podcast, on a range of topics – from the ongoing lawsuit with fan film Axanar to what this year’s 50th anniversary of Star Trek means to his hopes for All Access.

“My ability to fully Grok the 50th anniversary [of Star Trek] is not complete. I’m 42 years old, so I haven’t been around for the full 50 years. However, having the last name that I have and being as embedded in it as I am, I have tremendous pride for my family name and for my father. Star Trek – I’m preaching to the choir here – has always been more than just entertainment. If it were just an entertainment show, I think I’d have pride, and I’d give some acknowledgements, but I wouldn’t be so, I guess, overcome with the amazing fact that it’s lasted this long.”

Star Trek has always been forward looking and hopeful that the future of humanity would be a more progressive, loving, and accepting one. In 50 years, we’ve certainly come a long way. But, Roddenberry says there is still more we can do.

“My real interest right now is: what has changed in the last 50 years and what has not changed? What will change in the next 50 years? What social issues today seem so absurd to us that in 50 years or maybe 10 years will be the complete norm?” Asks Roddenberry. Miller pointed out that one of the things that makes The Original Series of Star Trek so great, is that there are still lessons that can be learned today from this 50 year old television show.

“Sadly, there are a lot of things that I look at today and think, god we haven’t solved that in 50 years, huh? That’s a shame. That’s a shame. We should be solving a lot of those issues instantaneously.” replied Roddenberry.

When asked about the Axanar lawsuit, Roddenberry declined to comment except to say that he is a huge supporter of fan films in general, so long as those filmmakers follow the rules and “do it right”.

“CBS has been very gracious to, and I don’t know this from speaking to any of them, but it would seem that they have allowed certain fain groups to do these things as long as they do them correctly. I don’t know all the rules, but, they have all been contacted and told, ‘this is what you can’t do’. When someone steps outside those lines, there’s gonna be prices and penalties to pay. Ultimately, I’m a fan of the fans keeping Star trek alive. The group that I’m really interested in right now it Star Trek Continues: their writing, their costumes, their sets, their lighting. Everything is spectacular. I’d say that a lot of those episodes are as good and in some cases better than a lot of the original episodes.”

Finally, Miller asked whether Roddenberry was happy with the direction that CBS is taking for their 2017 television series. “I know very little,” Roddenberry remarked. “I’ve had two meetings with Bryan Fuller. He’s brought the writers together, and they’re still developing the concept.” Rod went on to discuss what he has taken away after meeting the other EPs on the show.

“What I’m excited about is the team that’s been put together by CBS. They’ve brought of course Alex Kurtzman, Bryan fuller, and Heather Kadin together. And, I’ve had the opportunity to meet them. Bryan is of course a huge Star Trek fan. So, right there alone, I have confidence that he will do it justice from that point of view. Alex Kurtzman has the history with the movies and, despite what anyone has to say, I thought the movies were incredibly well done and paid a wonderful tribute to the whole Star Trek background. Heather I just met for the first time. She I believe works with Alex, and she’s got a long list of credits, and so I believe the entire team is incredibly capable.”

On the show itself, Roddenberry said that he has “tremendous hopes” for what the series will become.

“They understand the importance of Star Trek. They understand it’s the 50th anniversary. They’re not out to rewrite history, they’re not out to change anything, and they understand they need to do their best to keep people happy but also probably make it a little different. So, that’s really all I can say on this. The truth is I don’t know much more. I swear I don’t. I have tremendous hopes, and I’m really encouraged by the two meetings we’ve had.”

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