On Sunday, April 28th, I was fortunate enough to attend the memorial for composer Leonard Rosenman (who passed away in March). It’s no secret that Rosenman was one of the composers of the Star Trek movies but this event proved to be even more Star Trek-centric than I’d anticipated.
May to September is traditionally "summer convention" time and this year there are many events for Star Trek fans. Convention panels, collectibles, celebrity Q&As, and news help fans bide the experience of waiting for May 2009. See below for Trekmovie.com’s guide this year’s summer conventions.
FedCon, Europe’s biggest Star Trek and Sci Fi convention took place over the last weekend in Bonn, Germany and over 5000 EuroFans came out to see the sci-fi stars. Among the many guests were TNG stars Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis and John de Lancie. Of particular interest were comments from Burton about hopes for another TNG move.
Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) and Nichelle Nichols (the original Uhura) took a trip to StarFest over the weekend to give Colorado fans a Trek treat. Quinto stuck with his code of silence but impressed the crowd with his respect for the role of Spock. And Nichols provided more details on her visit to the new Star Trek set. Nana Visitor also attended and and gave the ‘Niners’ and singing treat.
The ultimate event of the Grand Slam Sci-Fi Summit was the appearances of the two Spocks, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy. The pair each had a solo portion followed by a joint appearance (in the same way they often do it when Shatner and Nimoy appear at cons). Of course the actors were not there to reveal big details about the ultra-secret Trek feature film, but their enthusiasm and chemistry was undeniable. Highlights + pics below.
Brent Spiner, Star Trek The Next Generations’ Data, took the stage Saturday at Creation’s Sci-Fi Grand Slam and entertained the large crowd with jokes and stories from his career in and out of Trek. He talked a lot about his new CD Dreamland, and also covered typecasting and gave his assessment of the TNG era films. See below for pics, quotes and also an exclusive video interview.
Friday at the Creation’s SciFi Grand Slam XVI had three Trek related events (Tim Russ, Nichelle Nichols and a group of guest stars), plus a cabaret. The stars entertained the lightly-packed crowd, but there wasn’t any big news (and your humble editor was spending a lot of time chatting with friends and folks around the con). But here are photos from the day.
Tomorrow TrekMovie.com heads to Burbank to attend the three day Creation Sci-Fi Grand Slam Summit XVI. Many Trek celebs will be in attendence including the two Spocks, Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy. On Sunday TrekMovie.com is hosting a Q&A with Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, maybe you can help
Tomorrow a new Star Trek-themed art show opens at the Caren Golden Fine Art Gallery in New York City. The solo exhibition by artist Devorah Sperber is called "Mirror Universe." The choice of name was not just to allude to the famous episode, but also because the theme of the show is "the concept of a mirror or parallel universe."
TrekMovie.com is headed to beautiful downtown Burbank next month for the Creation Grand Slam Convention. The event is chock full of Trek and sci-fi celebs (including Spocks, Quinto and Nimoy). And today Creation and TrekMovie.com are announcing the addition of a TrekMovie.com Q&A with the writing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. We also have a pair of ‘Gold’ tickets to give away.
Creation Entertainment held their Official Star Trek convention in New Jersey this weekend and many Trek stars were on hand to entertain the fans (primarily from TNG, DS9 and Enterprise). We have some pictures and some first hand reports including an interesting tidbit from Patrick Stewart on a certain magical part he turned down. Plus a hilarious video of Brent Spiner joking with Patrick Stewart…check it all out below.
“Star Trek The Tour” kicked off Thursday with a press conference and gala party…and TrekMovie.com was there.
Star Trek The Tour opens up to the public in Long Beach this Friday, but TrekMovie.com had a chance to check out an early preview. See below for pictures and video
Star Trek The Tour (the 50,000 square foot traveling exhibit of Star Trek sets, costumes, props, motion rides, etc) kicks off next Friday in Long Beach, CA. William Shatner is the official ambassador for the event and has already started his publicity tour. In addition a number of Trek celebs are already lined up for signings. Plus Wil Wheaton reveals that the tour will feature the return of Wesley Crusher.
The Star Trek day at Paramount was packed. Stars and writers from every Trek series and from the feature films were there to show their support for the WGA strike. You can’t find a stronger supporter for writers rights than Harlan Ellison. The never disappointing writer of the Original Series episode “City on the Edge of Forever” was in fine form discussing the strike. While he was at it, he also took a shot at the latest rumors on the web about the new Star Trek movie using elements of “City.” (see below)
Monday’s Star Trek themed day for the WGA writers strike is picking up a number of Trek stars to come out and show their support. The list of actors includes series stars Anthony Montgomery, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Walter Koenig, and Armin Shimerman. Many Trek recurring guest stars will be there as well such as Chase Masterson, Gary Graham and Vaughan Armstrong (with his band). More stars are also expected to show, but can’t be sure until tomorrow.
Star Trek The Tour kicks off in 5 weeks, here are a couple of behind-the-scenes shots of tour preparations::
Trek to the Troops, an organization that uses science fiction as a means to celebrate to the US Armed Forces, will be holding their 3rd Annual Meet-and-Greet on December 11th. Special guests at the event will include Tim Russ (VOY: Tuvok), Chase Masterson (DS9: Leeta), Natalija Nogulich (TNG: Adm. Nechayev) and Chris Doohan (son of James Doohan). Music will be performed by perennial Trek guest star Vaughn Armstrong’s Enterprise Blues Band. Organizers also promise “lovely models.” The event will be held at the Bob Hope Hollywood USO at LAX in Los Angeles, California from 1pm to about 8pm. More information at the Trek to the Troops website.
It was announced long ago, but details have finally been released for ‘Star Trek: The Tour.’ The Tour is a 50,000 square foot traveling interactive exhibit of Star Trek sets, props, models, motion-simulator rides and more from all five Trek series and all ten Trek films. The tour will visit 40 cities around the country, kicking off in Long Beach California on January 18th, 2008.
This weekend TNG stars Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis beamed into the Sacramento Creation Sci-Fi Convention to the delight of Northern California Trek fans. The pair spoke with a great deal of enthusiasm and frankness about their time with the franchise. more detail and pix below
Earlier this month the annual Dragon*Con was held in Atlanta, Georgia with many Trek events from costume contests, Klingon beauty pageants, and Nichelle Nichols screening her new film (Lady Magdelene’s). The cornerstone of the event was the presence of actors Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Gates McFadden, who were on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. During one of their appearances the subjects of the new Star Trek movie came up. According to a report on StarTrek.com, after feigning ignorance of the new feature, Frakes (director of Star Trek First Contact) praised the selection of Zachary Quinto as Spock and went on the praise the new Trek director as well, saying…
Creation Entertainment has announced that Zachary Quinto (Spock in the 2008 Star Trek film) has agreed to appear at the next ‘Grand Slam’ being held April 11th 2008 in Burbank, CA. Quinto will be the headliner for the event and will be available for photo ops and autographs. The film will be in post production by that time and hopefully the actor will have much to say about it. Roxann Dawson will also be attending with more names sure to be added soon. This will be Quinto’s first time at a Creation event and he is the first (new) Star Trek actor to have signed on to any Trek related convention. The honor for the first actor to talk about the film at a convention (after the Comic-Con announcements) goes to Quinto’s co-star and Vulcan tutor Leonard Nimoy at the Vegas Trek in August. Tickets available at the Creation Website.
The fine folks at ShatnerVision have put up five videos from William Shatner’s appearance at the recent Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention (reported here earlier). In the first Shatner jokes around about not being in the new Star Trek movie and in other videos (below) he recounts some funny stories including a recent ‘roadrage’ incident.
As is the custom, when appearing at conventions together Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner each talk to the audience alone (one after the other) and then follow it up with a joint appearance. As Nimoy’s solo portion was winding down William Shatner came onto the stage and they had the following exchange Nimoy: How you been, Billy?Shatner: I’ve been pretty good – not as good as you, of course!Nimoy: Been working a lot?Shatner: (remorsefully) No, no — I’ve been waiting for the call…I’m hanging by the telephone waiting for the callNimoy: I’ll call youShatner: It’s not the same as J.J. …and it got funnier from there….
Brannon Braga was one of the few Trek writer/producers to appear at this year’s Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. Braga started off almost reticent, telling the crowd "it has been many years and so I am a little nervous." The veteran of Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise made it clear that although Trek was an ‘amazing experience’ which occupied most of his adult life, he was not involved with Trek anymore and saw the con as a ‘nostalgic experience.’ After that, the Trek veteran’s appearance took on the nature of an exit interview with Braga inviting the crowd to get it off their chests: I wanted to stop by to say hi to you guys and to ask any last lingering questions you had. This may be the last one I do so this is your chance to get out you final gripes and questions.
[UPDATED] After being introduced as ‘the star of the new Star Trek movie,’ Leonard Nimoy hit the stage in Vegas, took off his jacket, and turned around to reveal his T-Shirt was emblazoned with “#1 Vulcan” on the back (sending the standing room only crowd of thousands into a frenzy). After things settled down he wryly said “I can’t imagine what you want to hear about today.” Spontaneously the crowd started chanting “movie! movie! movie!” Nimoy started off by saying “I’ve been on the Internet the last two days and what is amazing to me how people are spending their time on these blogs and website – TrekMovie.com – hundreds of people are on there expressing their opinions about what should be done with Star Trek next. People who have never directed a Star Trek episode, people who have never directed a film, people who have never directed traffic – are voicing their opinions about what to do with the next Star Trek movie. It is fascinating.” He then pulled our a sheet of paper and I knew what was coming next!
Star Trek Generation stars Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner hit the Vegas stage like rock stars. The pair began by clowning around and that continued for the most of their fifty minute appearance. The stage was set up for a concert later which inspired the pair to go into song, starting off with a rendition of ‘Volare.’ The comedy team also did some impressions including Patrick Stewart, with Spiner’s being especially spot-on, starting off “I am the toast of England right now….” Frakes then noted was the 20th anniversary of NextGen by reflecting on what it was like for him at his first Trek convention in Syracuse New York 20 years ago filled with ‘very very angry reticent Star Trek fans.’ The actor who played Riker on Trek’s return to television in 1987 recalled the crowd’s reaction to Trek’s first spinoff: “who the hell are these impostors…the bald guy from England, the cute one with the beard, and the Jewish android.” They also joked that it seems like there is an anniversary every year now (with TNG’s 20th following last years TOS 40th). Frakes then took a dig by saying “next year is the 20th anniversary of the best career choice ever made: Denise Crosby’s ‘I’d like to quit that show now, before it gets really popular.’”
At the CBS Products’ presentation at the Las Vegas Creation Star Trek Convention CBS Exec Paula Block stated they are just starting development for "really exciting new products" to tie into the new Star Trek movie. CBS still didn’t know themselves what those products will be, but in the Q&A follow-up it was said that ‘there is sure’ to be some kind of PC game tie. Block told TrekMovie.com that (besides Pocket Books) no licensees have been selected for the new film – so it should not be automatically assumed that current license holders (such as Diamond Select for toys or Bethesda for games) will be doing the products. The new film is the biggest merchandising opportunity for the franchise since the launch of TNG and let’s hope that they get this right. Block tells TrekMovie.com that there is a lot of new interest from companies that haven’t worked with Trek before and so hopefully we truly will see ‘exiting new products.’ One new item that was announced was a new ‘overview’ (tentatively titled ‘Star Trek 101’) from Pocket Books covering everything about Trek including a comprehensive episode guide from every series. The book will be released next fall just in time for the new Star Trek feature…more details below
From the Las Vegas Creation Star Trek Convention (Thursday)Tim Russ, the director of the independent fan film Of Gods and Men (and VOY’s Tuvok), told the Vegas crowd that the first part of the anticipated and much delayed mini-series will ‘probably’ be available for download in September. He asked fans to be patient and said that the editors and CGI artists were doing ‘painstaking work’ on the 2nd and 3rd part. However, this is not an official release date. The first part of the mini series is pretty much complete now, but they want to be able to release all three parts over a few weeks…hence the delay. Russ also showed a new version of the full trailer with new CGI effects and it is an improvement over the one on the official site.
From the Las Vegas Creation Star Trek Convention (Thursday)Original Star Trek (and early TNG) supervising producer Robert Justman came to Vegas to show the crowd to show a rare documentary and take some questions from the crowd. Justman said that his work on Trek was the ‘emotional best’ ofhis long career in television, but the workload was ‘debilitating.’ The producer was asked if he thought Gene Roddenberry would have approved of the ‘more militaristic’ Deep Space Nine series (the first Trek series created after the creator of TOS and TNG passed away). Justman said that he didn’t know, but noted that “things change…rapidly at times.” Regarding change Justman said that he was “thrilled” about the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie. He declared the premise or returning to the early years of the TOS crew ‘enticing and exciting.’ He was also very happy to hear that Leonard Nimoy was returning to play Spock.