(Click to see the Kirks and Spocks dance)
Articles by John Tenuto
Since 1991 Hallmark has been selling Star Trek themed Christmas ornaments and we have almost every single one. This year we have 30 of them on display, which is just over half of the total collection. See below for a video tour ‘Star Trek: The Christmas Tree.’
We haven’t heard much from John Cho, but in a great new interview with Star Trek Magazine the new Sulu talks Trek. The actor reveals that he isn’t a hard core fan, but says he has “more than a casual association” with Trek. He has been reviewing DVDs, but feels that he should “let J.J. dictate” how he should approach the role. Although Cho didn’t reveal any plot points, some of his answers gave insights into the character of Sulu in the new Star Trek movie. (see below…minor spoilers)
We have heard a lot from Zachary Quinto since he was cast as the new Spock in Star Trek. We know about his DVD viewing habits (or lack thereof), his ear lobes fitting, his work on Heroes, and even where he went for his Thanksgiving holiday. But in a new interview with the official Star Trek Magazine, he delves into some detail into the how he sees the character of Spock and where we will see Spock in the new film. See below for quotes (minor spoilers):
While you relax and eat your Turkey Day leftovers on Friday you can tune into the Sci-Fi channel and watch Star Trek Enterprise all day long. As you would imagine they have picked the best episodes and arcs like “Twilight” and “In a Mirror, Darkly.” Details below
Beyond the Spocks (Quinto and Nimoy), the only confirmed cast members for the new Star Trek film are Zoe Saldana as Uhura and Anton Yelchin as Chekov. In the latest official Star Trek magazine director J.J. Abrams spoke for the first time (briefly) on his latest stars. Abrams on Saldana Zoe’s strength, intelligence, humor and beauty will help bring Uhura to life in a way that will thrill viewers and honor the estimable talents of Nichelle Nichols
Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams was spotted chatting with Star Wars producer/director George Lucas, and a cross-franchise photo captured the event.
The year was 1974. Richard M. Nixon was President. Stamps were ten cents. $11,197, now the cost of college tuition, was most people’s salary. Star Trek fans were enjoying the show on television re-runs and at toys stores. During the 1970s, Mego was the leader in action figures and toys with movie or television themes, from Planet of the Apes to Marvel Comics. Mego’s Star Trek toys are among the most collectible items from the 23rd Century. Toys included the amazing USS Enterprise playset with working transporter or the Mission to Gamma VI environment. Mego continued to make Trek toys through the 70s including figures for Star Trek The Motion Picture. Mego closed its doors in 1983, but now these classic Trek toys are back and as good as new (because they are new).
Fans of The Next Generation (and Deep Space Nine) will have much to look forward to in terms of Diamond Select collectibles for the rest of 2008. In honor of TNG’s 20th Anniversary there is a new Art Asylum first season Jean Luc Picard figure with Chair coming out in September (joining the already available Kirk and Pike w/ command chair figures). Plus Diamond has just announced a Nemesis Beverly Crusher, as well as TNG Season 7 Miles O’Brien, a limited Nurse Alyssa Ogawa, and (Diamond Previews Exclusive) Ro Laren [see below]. It is good to see DST has been listening to fan requests for more secondary characters. Those will be are joining other TNG figures becoming available over the next month…
There is a great new interview with Majel Barrett Roddenberry in the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, just arriving in the US. The interview is mostly about her time with TNG (for the anniversary), but the magazine also asked what she thought of the new J.J. Abrams film and if she would be open to doing a part. Barrett seemed enthusiastic, saying "They’re going back to the beginning. And I would love to do the computer voice." But she also noted that she is happy in retirement, saying "I’m ready to step back. I have no feelings of, ‘Oh, I must have another part.’ Nothing like that ever goes through my head."
While the the eyes of the Trekkie world are focused on the Las Vegas Creation Convention there was Trek Toy news happening at Wizard World Con in Chicago. September 2007 brings a welcome surprise for fans of Johnny Lightning’s Star Trek ships. After the third wave of ships nearly two years ago, it was rumored that the toys would be discontinued by JL. However, better than expected sales led to a Wave 4 of ships.
It was the best of comics, it was the worst of comics… The conclusion to IDW’s Star Trek The Next Generation "The Space Between" saga is both disappointing and enjoyable. IDW’s TNG comics have always been a mixture of good and problematic. Neither Issue 5 "Space Seeds" or issue 6 deviates from these expectations. IDW comics have a good sense of the characters. Each issues has presented characters that are familiar to their television versions. However, the situations they deal with and the narratives of the issues are problematic.
For the past few summers, the presence of Star Trek items at science fiction and popular culture conventions have been favorites, especially as exclusives. This July’s San Diego Comic Convention continues the tradition with action figures from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is pretty exciting for the action figure collectors because there has not been feature era action figures for about 10 years. However getting the figures is somewhat of a chore
It has been called “funny and philosophical” by NPR’s Meredith Ochs. It has been utilized in the unique documentary William Shatner in Concert. College professors lecture regarding its lyrics and music to teach students about social issues. It was the focus of dance performed by the Milwaukee Ballet. Now, the William Shatner and Ben Folds musical collaboration of Has Been is the starting inspiration for an art exhibit featuring 76 talented illustrators and artists who represent the entire Shatner experience on canvas and other palettes. Has Been is now art in more than the musical variety.
This week issue 3 of Star Trek The Next Generation The Space Between hits the stores with a story set sometime during season 7. After reading issues 3 & 4 the narrative threads that IDW promised are now becoming apparent. One thematic is that each issue focuses on characters, often one character, with a "A" narrative, and there is a "B" narrative with other characters. The photo covers clue you in to this, with issue 3’s featuring Worf and Troi whose romance is set against the story of the Enterprise crew being challenged by a very cool ship that is a hybrid of a Romulan Warbird, a Borg vessel, and a Federation starship. The issue deals with how the crew must defeat this mystery ship while Worf has to figure out how to balance his romance with Troi with his obligations to Starfleet.
Issue 4 of Titan’s Star Trek Magazine is a 100 page discussion primarily of the 10 Star Trek films. Each feature is discussed, including filmmaker interviews and trivia (such as how Harve Bennett hoped Ron Howard would direct Star Trek II). Bennett also discusses his views regarding Star Trek XI. It is well known that in 1989 Harve Bennet (along with writer David Loughery) wrote a script called Star Trek The Academy Years which, like Star Trek XI, featured younger versions of Kirk and Spock. Bennett seems to feel that if Trek XI is truly an ‘academy movie’ he should be getting a call.
IDW Publishing are jumping into the nostalgia for the Kirk era with new comic series from the days when men were men and Klingons were ridgeless. This April sees the start of a five issue comic titled ‘Star Trek: Klingons – Blood Will Tell.’ Each issue will relate to a Klingon-centric episode and show the Klingon point of view. The first issue will be related to the episode "Errand of Mercy", with subsequent issues dealing with "Trouble with Tribbles," "A Private Little War," "Day of The Dove" and even "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." IDW promises that fans will never look at their favorite Klingon episodes the same after the reading the comics. "There is more to the Klingons than meets the eye and that’s what we wanted to get to in these comics," says IDW Editor Dan Taylor.
It may not be a concerted effort, yet it is not entirely wrong to say that 2007 is shaping up to be the year of Kirk and Spock. The American International Toy Fare opened this week with Diamond Select Toys greatly expanding its line of varied Star Trek action figures and models. Star Trek toy fans are being treated with the most exciting year, with multifarious items and modern versions of favorites. Although there are some new items from TNG and DS9, it really appears that DST are trying to get in on the action of the resurgence of interest TOS.
2007 is the 20th Anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation, and IDW is planning to celebrate by setting their first Star Trek comic in Jean Luc Picard’s time. IDW is the latest inheritor of the Star Trek comics license (after being owned by both DC and Marvel over the years). The six issue series titled "The Space Between" spans the TNG era, with the first issue taking place in season 1 and the second during season 5. IDW have assigned an experienced team with writer David Tischman and Casey Maloney doing the artwork. Considering that IDW has experience with comics based on media items (such as Transformers and 24) it is no surprise that fans should be hopeful for the future of Trek comics. TrekMovie.com got a chance to speak to IDW editor Dan Taylor and see the first two issues and we like what we are seeing (and hearing).
JJ Abrams has finally made it, he has now been portrayed on the StarTrek.com comic The Trek Life click to enlarge
The meeting of Autobots and Decepticons in the feature film version of Transformers July 4, 2007 will be preceded by a 4 issue prequel comic published by IDW. Transformers comic writer Simon Furman and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall will pen the issues with art by Don Figueroa telling stories set before the big screen adventure. The first issue will be available this February with a 4 issues adaptation of the feature film being released in June. IDW also happen to be the new licensee for Star Trek comics, with a TNG series coming this January. IDW tell TrekMovie.com that their license covers ‘all of Star Trek’ and they plan on releasing a Klingon series as well as a TOS series. Can we also expect Trek XI prequels and adaptations? For now IDW remain mum on this issue, but prequel comics are all the rage and have been made for the recent Star Wars films as well as Superman Returns . Considering that Transformers is a Paramount feature film written by the same screenwriters as Star Trek XI (Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci) it seems likely we may get a prequel to the upcoming Trek prequel.
The results of the Bethesda Software’s Star Trek: Legacy game are like the recent solstice. Depending on your perspective, it is either darkness or light. The game is one of the first official Trek video games in two years, and certainly the most anticipated. It is also the first Star Trek venue of any kind to feature performances by all five Trek captains (in the form of voice acting by Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). The question is what will Legacy’s legacy be with Star Trek fans and gamers? Is it darkness or light? Perhaps a bit of both.
The popular culture presented at a Detroit’s Motor City Comic Convention is multifarious. Last weekend’s con had The Greatest American Hero’s Robert Culp to I Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show’s Bill Daily to Desperate Housewives’ Dagney Kerr all there to blend the worlds of science fiction, comedy, comic books, and entertainment. For Trekkies there were Star Trek XI posters offered as swag, fans dressed in Trek costumes, Trek items for sale, Lori Petty (Noss from Voyager) signing autographs and last but not least Michael Dorn (TNG: Worf) sharing his thoughts on Trek’s past and future. About 100 people crammed into a small room to hear Dorn discuss his views and experiences of Star Trek.
Sociologist John Tenuto shares some preliminary findings from his study of scifi fandom… The concept of the Star Trek fan is a myth.Those attending Star Trek conventions see a variety of people that questions the simplistic view that all Trekkers are the same. Star Trek fans are multifarious in political views, occupation, demographics, and shape. Yet, the myth persists that all Star Trek fans are similar. Similarly geeky. Similarly minded. Similarly shaped. Similarly bereft of social relationships. This is not true. Never has been. Probably never will be.
Creation Chicago Star Trek 40th Anniversary Convention: Sept 8th: Shatner & NimoyThe hall was filled to capacity to see Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Nimoy took the stage first and reminisced about for about 20 minutes, taking time to discuss the origin of his book ‘I am Not Spock’. Then Shatner came on and in his usual energetic way, shared memories of Star Trek, and going on to volunteer several interesting discussions about Star Trek XI. Shatner mentioned that he had spoken with JJ Abrams just one day earlier. [Editor’s note, TrekMovie.com reported last week that Shatner and Nimoy said they were expecting calls from Star Trek XI producer Abrams] Shatner went on to say that he and Abrams will be meeting some time this week. He talked very positively about Abrams, believing that he will be able to create a great version of Star Trek. He also jokingly discussed how very young Abrams is. Shatner’s enthusiastic comments certainly connoted that Kirk and Spock are characters for the film, and that there is a good possibility of Shatner and Nimoy reprising their roles for the film. Nimoy also seemed to be amenable to the film and Abrams, but said he had not yet spoken to Abrams directly. Here are a couple examples of Shatner’s hints: "On the horizon there are good things for Star Trek and hopefully my involvement" "the magic of Star Trek is in its origins and that is coming back."