Vic

Artificial Intelligence
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Everything posted by Vic

  1. Plants are seen all over Star Trek, especially in the crew quarters on The Next Generation. Headboards anyone? What remains to be seen is whether the Terran Empire would find value in plants besides some Borgia to perhaps poison an unsuspecting-enemy. Nevertheless, the throne of the Terran Empire is an ideal plant stand for decorating your own I.S.S. Charon. This craft doubles as an action-figure stand for those who don’t have a Boothby-level green thumb. *Red Alert! This project is ranked a Lieutenant Level mission because sharp tools are required, so please use senior officer supervision, young cadets. Supplies: Jar lid in desired size to fit plant base 3 cork discs Black acrylic paint White acrylic paint Gold metallic paint marker X-Acto knife E6000 Adhesive 14 Bamboo Treat Sticks (found in baking section at Michael’s) Sheet of sandpaper Cutting mat Small foam paint brush Small paint brush Step One: Measure and cut the cork discs to fit inside the jar lid using the X-acto knife on the cutting mat. Depending on the depth of your jar lid, you may only need two cork discs to fill it. Step Two: Protect your work surface with newspaper and paint the top cork disc black using the foam brush. Let dry for 1/2 an hour. Set aside. Paint the outer edge of your jar lid gold using the paint marker. Let dry and set aside for 1/2 an hour as well. Step Three: Using your sandpaper, sand down the flat heads of the bamboo treat sticks to stagger the height of the posts. Use even pressure and your own judgement on the length you prefer. Leave at least 2-4 sticks the height they came as. Step Four: Paint all 14 bamboo treat sticks using the gold paint marker. Let dry for 1/2 an hour standing upright in styrofoam to avoid smudging. When dry, paint the flat heads of the sticks using your small paint brush and some white paint. This will appear to be the light source of the throne. Step Five: Glue your cork discs together inside of the jar lid using your adhesive in a circular pattern. Step Six: Push the bamboo sticks into the cork in a semi-circular pattern around the edge of the jar lid. Leave some space between the edge of the lid and the start of the cork, so the sticks will stand up straight and taut. In between each stick leave approximately 1 cm of distance depending on what size stand you're making. For larger stands, you can leave 1 inch in between the sticks. Note: Your tallest sticks should be in the back and the shortest sticks should be in the front to give the horseshoe effect. Step Seven: Once the sticks are in place you can place a small amount of adhesive in the base of the holes to ensure the sticks stay in place. Step Eight: Using a small amount of white paint, place a dotted pattern around the base to represent the lights in the floor. Lastly, put your favorite plant or action figure in the center and place in a prominent position in your quarters for all to worship. Mary Czerwinski is a Los Angeles-based crafter and host of an online DIY-series, Glue Guns & Phasers. She hosts crafting workshops at Star Trek conventions and local businesses. Czerwinski was featured in the Star Trek Craft Book. View the full article
  2. It is a challenge to qualify and quantify the variety of contributions Michael Minor made to Star Trek. Minor's sheer creative output, from the last season of Star Trek: The Original Series through the 1980s, is inspiring and impressive. Even though we lost Minor in May of 1987 at the terribly young age of 46, his work continues to inspire Star Trek artists and designers today. This article, we share a few of our favorite contributions that Minor made, which added much to the world of Trek. In his late 20s, Minor, an artist and a fan of Trek, had a meeting with art director/production designer Walter “Matt” Jefferies and Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Both were impressed by Minor himself and his art portfolio, and several of his items were purchased for use in the show. Among Minor's work were the planetary landscape paintings seen behind the Enterprise crew as they dine with Dr. Miranda Jones and Larry Marvick in the episode “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” and reused in Captain Kirk’s quarters for “The Tholian Web.” Minor’s contributions to TOS did not stop with his paintings. He also helped design and make both the Melkot alien in “Spectre of the Gun,” the aggression-feeding Beta XII-A creature from “Day of the Dove” and the Tholian Web itself. The redesigned environmental suit helmets used in “The Tholian Web” were made by Minor. As result of his work on TOS, Minor was also asked to work on the eventually scuttled Phase II 1970s Trek TV revival and then on Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His work on TMP and then Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, reunited Minor with his mentor, Joseph Jennings. The duo would, individually and together, make another round of important contributions to the movies of Trek. For example, Minor’s beautiful designs for Phase II would eventually shape not only TMP, but also inspire many iconic elements of The Next Generation. This is especially seen with his design of the Phase II Enterprise engine room, which directly influenced the Enterprise D’s set. In addition to helping with the refit Enterprise, Minor and Jennings also designed the U.S.S. Reliant. Their challenge was to create a ship that looked as if it belonged to the same fleet as the Enterprise, yet would be easy for audiences to distinguish from Kirk’s ship during the battle sequences of TWOK. Interestingly, when approving the design, producer Harve Bennett was looking at Minor’s blueprints upside down. Since the blueprints were approved upside down, the flipped design was kept for the film. Minor’s contributions to The Wrath of Khan were not limited to his work as art director. An early version of the script titled "The Omega Syndrome," by Jack B. Sowards, involved the theft of a Federation super-weapon called the “Omega System.” It became a concern that the Federation would never create a super-weapon, and it was Minor – drawing upon his own fan experiences – who recommended that the Omega System should instead be a terraforming device. Thus, the Genesis Device was born. Bennett reportedly turned to Minor and told him that he saved Star Trek! Included below are special, rare images from our research of the Papers of Nicholas Meyer Collection at the University of Iowa. The images show the collaborative working relationship shared by Minor and Jennings. One of our favorite images shows Minor and Jennings on the Ceti Alpha V set before the sand was added, surrounded by the wood mounds built by the production team. It speaks to the behind the scenes genius of artists like Minor and Jennings, whose creativity and talents crafted one of science fiction’s most-iconic films -- despite limitations of time and technology. Mike Minor has been gone now for more than 30 years, but he left behind a legacy of artistry that endures. Special thanks to Nicholas Meyer and the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. Maria Jose and John Tenuto are both sociology professors at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, specializing in popular culture and subculture studies. The Tenutos have conducted extensive research on Star Trek’s history, and have presented at venues such as Creation Conventions and the St. Louis Science Center. They’ve written for the official Star Trek Magazine and their extensive collection of Trek items has been featured in SFX Magazine. Their theory about the “20-Year Nostalgia Cycle” and research on Trek fans has been featured on WGN News, BBC Radio, and in the documentary The Force Among Us. Contact the Tenutos at jtenuto@clcillinois.edu or mjtenuto@clcillinois.edu. View the full article
  3. The sun was setting, lengthening the shadows and giving Starfleet Academy a beautiful, orange glow. This was Captain Anton Schaefer’s favorite time of day. Normally, it would be time to pack up, go home, maybe visit his favorite little Italian restaurant in North Beach, and see what kind of trouble he could get himself into. As a Starfleet Captain and an instructor at the Academy, it usually wasn’t much. Most nights, he would be about to order when a gaggle of his students would wander in, eyes wide that their teacher was a human being who had a social life, too. But tonight would be different. He loved that magic hour light, but it was getting too dim to see the mountain of paperwork he still had to go through before he could turn in for the night. “Computer, lights,” he said. There was a small buzz, and his office lit up with harsh, white light. He blinked and shook his head, closing his eyes until everything adjusted. He liked to keep things comfortable, relaxed even in his office. Hell, in his younger days he might’ve even unbuttoned the top of his uniform on a night like this. But there was tension in the air, and it weighed on every part of this hallowed institution. To be casual now would be to seem like he didn’t care. Three days ago, the U.S.S. Shenzhou had encountered a Klingon ship in a binary star system on the outer edge of Federation space. A combination of failed diplomacy and, of all things, an on-board mutiny had led to the first major conflict with the Klingons in over a decade. The Battle at the Binary Stars, they were calling it. Four days ago, his classes had been looking forward to a future of exploration amongst the stars. Now, Starfleet was at war. Schaefer knew what was needed – he’d gotten into plenty of scraps out there in the black, before he settled down here to teach. These kids were bright, and enthusiastic. One redhead cadet in particular seemed to see the whole world with an infectious optimism. He hated to see them beaten down by the terrors of war. Schaefer stood up, and walked to his window, looking out onto the lights of San Francisco, twinkling in the distance. All right, then, if the universe was going to beat these kids down, he could show them how to spit in its eye. Humanity had a place up there, in the whole wide universe, and he’d be damned if the universe was going to crush his cadets. Let ‘em shine bright. Star Trek Online, the online RPG that continues the story of Star Trek’s Prime Timeline, is taking its first steps into the world of Star Trek: Discovery. In the weeks after the Battle at the Binary Stars, a lot has changed for the Federation, and for your class of 2256. The galaxy is still in turmoil over the beginning of war with the Klingons, but today is a day for celebration. You and your friends, including underclassman Sylvia Tilly, will be taking your first steps into the Final Frontier. It’s a training cruise, just to get your feet wet. With the launch of Age of Discovery later this fall, you’ll be able to create a Discovery-era Starfleet character. Choose from a few Discovery-era races, head out into space on a Malachowski-class Starship, and experience a reimagined starting experience that will begin a new journey in Star Trek Online. We can’t wait for you to boldly go where no one has gone before. Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that allows players to explore the Star Trek universe from within. Players can forge their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy as a Klingon Warrior, rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird or carry out daring missions on behalf of the Dominion as a Jem’Hadar soldier. Captains can also explore iconic locations from the Star Trek universe, make contact with new alien species and battle alongside other players in customizable starships. Star Trek Online is currently available on PC, PlayStation4 and Xbox One. To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit www.playstartrekonline.com. View the full article
  4. Mark the date: Thursday, October 4. That’s when CBS All Access will begin to roll out Star Trek: Short Treks, the four standalone stories building toward the early 2019 return of Star Trek: Discovery. As previously reported, each short will run approximately 10-15 minutes and will be an opportunity for fans to dive deeper into key themes and characters – including Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Saru (Doug Jones), Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson, who directs his segment as well) and a new character, Craft (Aldis Hodge) -- that fit into Discovery and the expanding Star Trek universe. The Star Trek: Short Treks will roll out in the following order: “Runaway” – Thursday, Oct. 4 Onboard the U.S.S. Discovery, Ensign Tilly (Mary Wiseman) encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help. However, this unlikely pair may have more in common than meets the eye. Written by Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman. Directed by Maja Vrvilo. “Calypso” – Thursday, Nov. 8 After waking up in an unfamiliar sickbay, Craft (Aldis Hodge) finds himself on board a deserted ship, and his only companion and hope for survival is an A.I. computer interface. Teleplay by Michael Chabon. Story by Sean Cochran and Michael Chabon. Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. “The Brightest Star” – Thursday, Dec. 6 Before he was the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, Saru (Doug Jones) lived a simple life on his home planet of Kaminar with his father and sister. Young Saru, full of ingenuity and a level of curiosity uncommon among his people, yearns to find out what lies beyond his village, leading him on an unexpected path. Written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt. Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski. “The Escape Artist” – Thursday, Jan. 3 Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship – just in time to try out his latest con. Written by Michael McMahan. Directed by Rainn Wilson. View the full article
  5. "This is the best and coolest piece of news I’ve read in a while," Anson Mount -- Star Trek: Discovery's Captain Pike -- posted the other day on his Facebook page. "Planet Vulcan is real, people!" Here's the scoop. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, along with Sallie Baliunas, Robert Donahue and George Nassiopoulos, a trio of astronomers with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, chose to link Vulcan with an actual exoplanet, which orbits a star named 40 Eridani A. That occurred back in July, 1991, in a letter published in Sky & Telescope, just a few months before Roddenberry's death. References were made to 40 Eridani A in several Trek-related books, as well as on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It became canonical on Star Trek: Enterprise, while "Eridani D" was mentioned in the first-season Star Trek: Discovery episode, "Lethe." Fast forward to the present. The Dharma Planet Survey, via a new study spearheaded by University of Florida astronomer Jian Ge and a team that features Tennessee State University astronomers Matthew Muterspaugh and Gregory Henry, has located what could be Trek’s iconic planet Vulcan. “The new planet is a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting the star HD 26965, which is only 16 light years from Earth, making it the closest super-Earth orbiting another Sun-like star,” Ge said in a statement. "The planet is roughly twice the size of Earth and orbits its star with a 42-day period just inside the star’s optimal habitable zone.” According to an article on the Science & Wellness page on the University of Florida site, the discovery was made using the Dharma Endowment Foundation Telescope (DEFT), a 50-inch telescope located atop Mt. Lemmon in southern Arizona. The planet is the first “super-Earth” detected by the Dharma Survey. “The orange-tinted HD 26965 is only slightly cooler and slightly less massive than our Sun, is approximately the same age as our Sun, and has a 10.1-year magnetic cycle nearly identical to the Sun’s 11.6-year sunspot cycle,” noted Muterspaugh, who helped to commission the Dharma spectrograph on the TSU 2-meter automatic spectroscopic telescope. “Therefore, HD 26965 may be an ideal host star for an advanced civilization.” And, Henry added, Trek fans might recognize the star HD 26965 by its other moniker... 40 Eridani A. Henry, whom the UF article reports collected precise brightness measurements of the star at TSU’s automated observatory needed to confirm the presence of the planet, stated, “Vulcan was connected to 40 Eridani A in the publications Star Trek 2 by James Blish (Bantam, 1968) and Star Trek Maps by Jeff Maynard (Bantam, 1980)." The aforementioned letter from Roddenberry, Baliunas and Nassiopoulos confirmed the identification of 40 Eridani A as Vulcan’s host star. Per the UF story, the 40 Eridani star system is composed of three stars. Vulcan orbits the primary star, and the two companion stars would, quoting the letter, "gleam brilliantly in the Vulcan sky." “This star can be seen with the naked eye, unlike the host stars of most of the known planets discovered to date," noted Bo Ma, a UF postdoc on the team and the first author of the paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "Now anyone can see 40 Eridani on a clear night and be proud to point out Spock’s home." Sounds perfectly logical to us. View the full article
  6. Rainn Wilson wanted to get in on Star Trek: Discovery. He let it be known and, lo and behold, along came the opportunity for him to play the role of the dangerous, rascally Harry Mudd. Wilson, stepping into the part originated by the late, great Roger C. Carmel, portrayed Mudd in the first-season episodes “Choose Your Pain” and “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” It’s been confirmed that the former The Office star will play Mudd and direct a Mudd-centric installment of Star Trek: Short Treks. StarTrek.com chatted with Wilson about all of the above and more moments after he completed his day of panels, photo ops and autographs at the recent Star Trek Las Vegas event. Here’s what he had to say… You’re about to race to the airport to fly back home to Los Angeles, but how did you enjoy your time at STLV? How Galaxy Quest-ish was it? I've done Comic-Cons before, so I've been around sci-fi fans. We even had a big Office convention when The Office wrapped, and a parade, and stuff like that, which was pretty amazing. Yeah, it's great. I will say that this experience is basically like Galaxy Quest. It's like Galaxy Quest come to life, and it's fantastic. But the thing that I didn't really realize is how amazing these Trek fans are. They're really like... Of course, they're nerdy. I'm nerdy. We're all nerdy. But they're sweet and kind and thoughtful, and really passionate about Star Trek and science fiction. It's like they're a family, like they've made a family, and even the actors from the various shows, the way they interact. They're these big families as well. And so, it becomes this great community, really. It's a terrific community, and it's just got a lot of heart. And it's been a real pleasure interacting with the fans. How much of a sci-fi fan were you, and where did Star Trek fit into that? I'm about the biggest sci-fi fan that you could imagine, because my dad was a science-fiction writer. Robert G. Wilson… So, I grew up with it. We read science-fiction all the time. I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when, I think I was maybe four years old, and that blew my mind. Gary Lockwood is here at STLV, actually… Oh, man, I didn't know that. Oh, fantastic. I would come home from school and I would watch Star Trek reruns. They would be on weekends all the time in the '70s. I'm talking starting in like '70, maybe as early as '71, '72, '73, definitely. So, it had just gone off the air. And it's an odd thing, because… I was just thinking about this, like, now, because of the Internet, and because of conventions like this, you can find your tribe. I remember there was a while I was really into the band R.E.M. I just love R.E.M. and I have all their albums, and I memorized their lyrics, and I just thought they were amazing. Then, I was in a record shop once, and I found an R.E.M. fanzine. I picked it up, and it said something like “This is for R.E.M. fans.” It was hand-printed, mimeographed, or something like that, by some fans in Georgia. I paid $3.50 for it, or something. And it was incredible, because it was like, "Oh, there's other people that feel the way that I do. There's people dissecting the lyrics, and people talking about what their favorite albums are, and drawing artwork inspired by R.E.M.” It was so touching to me. All pre-Internet… You couldn't find a message board. You couldn't find that community. So now, there's this community, but even back then I went to Norwescon, which is a science-fiction convention, several times. My dad had written a book that was published, I think, in 1975 or 1976, called Tentacles of Dawn. And I would go play Dungeons & Dragons there, and I would go to the panels. They had a 24-hour movie room, movie marathons playing constant sc- fi movies, and horror and stuff like that. I still have my science-fiction book collection from the '70s, which numbers about 3,400 science-fiction books. So, I was – I am -- a huge, huge fan. Let’s talk Mudd. How much did your great costume help you get into the character? Gersha Phillips, she's brilliant. She's phenomenal. These costumes are next level Star Trek stuff, and I'm not just saying that. I really think they're exquisite and her designs are immaculate. Yeah, the costumes always help you find your character. Dwight Schrute has a polyester suit, has got a calculator wristwatch. He wears a beeper, even though beepers are defunct, because he didn't want to give up his beeper. He's wearing one as late as 2015, or 2014, whenever the show ended. Harry Mudd, he's almost part pirate. It's a little operatic. Leather boots, a lot of buckles and straps and rings. It feels very ornate. He's kind of conman, smuggler, raconteur, roustabout, and it is really informed by his wardrobe. What elements of “Choose Your Pain” worked best for you? A lot. I love the way that it's set up at the end, Mudd's betrayal by Lorca. Obviously, Mudd was the big betrayer there and the spy for the Klingons, trying to weasel his way out. But to really get just left there, especially by a starship captain, who has a responsibility to the Federation and to the citizens of the Federation… We got a glimpse of the dark side of Lorca with that. I thought that was really cool. So, I thought the way it set the stage for the next one was really great, and the setup the Stella backstory was great. How much of a nod did you want to give to Roger C. Carmel with your performance? Everything that I’d done is really a testament to his performance. He cracked this character. He has the comedy, charm, loquaciousness, kind of the dark edge. He's willing to sell people out. That mercenary streak that you... Because so much of the Federation, let's face it, it's goodie-goodie two-shoes. Like, "Oh, the Federation, we can't do this, and we're so law-abiding." It's refreshing sometimes seeing someone playing with the rules. Carmel nailed all those elements. So, I wanted to make him my own and take it to the next level and modernize what he did. How big a kick did you get out of “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” with the time loop and killing people, especially Lorca, again and again? It was a blast. Don't get me wrong, it was a tough episode. It's really, really hard to write a time-travel episode with a time loop. If you've ever thought about writing a time-travel screenplay, or anything like that, it makes your head start to hurt. It's really, really difficult. They struggled with how to make him come back. What are the rules of the time travel? But, ultimately, at the end of the day, they figured it out brilliantly. And David Barrett, the director, did a fantastic job. He's a very visual director, and that helped it a ton. The flashback replay of shooting Lorca over and over again, killing Lorca in all these different ways, was fun. The cast was game, fun, collaborative. They let me improvise a bunch of lines and have creative input. It was a dream job. And you got to fire a phaser. I got to fire a phaser. My inner Trekkie went crazy. I got to fire phasers. I got to be beamed up, beamed down. I got to sit in the captain's chair. I got to be captain for a while. He controlled the ship. When you have the poster of all the Star Trek captains, I want Harry Mudd on that. You’ll be acting in and directing one of the Short Treks installments… There's going to be that 10, 15% of fans that go, "Oh, no way. I'm not going to watch a short film about Star Trek. This isn't how it works." But I love that they're breaking molds and breaking new ground, and it's a terrific mini Harry Mudd adventure. It goes to a lot of different places, from different aliens, lot of fun situations, some great twists and turns, and I get to direct it and star in it. It's like a dream come true. It's like, “Write me a dream job.” Is this a stepping stone to directing more? Possibly, yeah. This is a great way to cut my teeth as a director. I directed three episodes of The Office, and I directed some short films and digital shorts, but this is special effects and visual effects. I've got my work cut out for me. Star Trek: Discovery on Blu-ray Star Trek: Discovery: Season One will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on November 13 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. The four-disc Blu-ray and DVD collections, available to U.S. and Canadian fans, will feature all 15 first-season episodes of the CBS All Access series, as well as featurettes and other special features that will include cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and deleted and extended scenes. Fans in the U.S. and Canada can pre-order on Amazon.com now. Star Trek: Discovery's first season is available on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. It's available on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  7. Even with all power to the forward engines, season two of Star Trek Discovery is still months away. We've gotten to know and love these new characters, but our craving for more is like an M-133 Creature on a low-sodium diet. New episodes (and mini-films) are on their way, but there are other routes to the 23rd century. For the first time in Star Trek history, the tie-in novels are being published in direct consultation with the producers of a show. Never again will we read an awesome Trek novel, then have any of its nuts and bolts retconned away. (Big ups to Kirsten Beyer, current Lit Czar of the Alpha Quadrant, for keeping an eye on the telemetry.) There are currently three Discovery titles in stores (and on your Kindles, Nooks and whatever else they call a PADD these days.) And each is terrific. All are set before the Battle of the Binary Stars, but digging in with these characters brings additional shading to the first season, and one big honkin' Easter Egg is sure to have repercussions once the show is back on the air. The books can be read in any order, but my nerdish devotion to The History of the Future suggests going according to the timeline. That means first up is Dayton Ward's Drastic Measures, set 10 years before the Battle of the Binary Stars and 19 years before the events of “Where No One Has Gone Before.” That's the when, but what's more exciting is the where: Tarsus IV. That's right, scan your record tapes. That's the planet where Kodos the Executioner sentenced 4,000 Earth colonists to death. We know about this from the TOS episode “The Conscience of the King,” because young James T. Kirk was there. What we didn't previously know was that Gabriel Lorca (a Lt. Commander at the time) was stationed there at the Federation's advisory post. (Tarsus IV was stalwartly independent of the UFP, but still on good terms.) When the food blight that caused havoc to the outpost hits, the U.S.S. Narbonne is the closest ship, so its Commander, Phillipa Georgiou, is dispatched to offer assistance. Hardcore fans will drool during the scenes that fill in the blanks of the Tarsus crisis, and may perhaps drop the novel from their hands in delight during the few scenes with a teenage Jim Kirk. Even though we know how the story will end, there are surprises. More importantly, we get in some quality time with Georgiou and Lorca. Lorca, as is no surprise considering his opposite, is a righteous and noble man, and one whose heart has been broken. Georgiou, as has been evident through glimpses of Michelle Yeoh's performance, is a forthright woman who likes to take chances, and has a bit of a warped sense of humor. This last bit is something that extends through all three of the books; Georgiou loves a good zing (especially one that takes a moment to land), especially if it is one aimed at one of her senior officers. This leads us to Fear Itself by James Swallow, set six years later. (That's four years before the Battle of the Binary Stars if your math isn't too good.) Georgiou is now captain of the Shenzhou and she's got, among other things, two officers who rarely see eye-to-eye: Michael Burnham and Saru. Fear Itself is definitely a Saru story, and we get a great deal of insight into his quite-peculiar existence. Just how, exactly, does a creature who is always afraid function in Starfleet? Not easily, is the short answer. The longer answer is a rich inquiry into his character, much of it in the heat of conflict. When aiding a ship from Peliar Zel (remember them from TNG's “The Host”?), Saru discovers a cargo hold packed with members of a telepathically sensitive race called the Gorlans. Why they are there is a mystery, as is also the question of who the real villain is when Saru and other members of the Shenzhou are taken captive. Then there's more trouble when the Tholians show up. (And those Tholians are nasty.) This is the shortest of the three books, but it doesn't lack for impact. The scenes between Saru and Burnham are particularly great, and I can't wait for Discovery's second season now that I understand our Kelpien friend a little better. Next up, the first book published, is David Mack's Desperate Hours. Set just one year before the Battle of the Binary Stars, this is a terrific yarn in which we get to really understand the dynamic between Georgiou, Burnham and Saru. There's also some great stuff in here about Burnham's early years on Vulcan and, for those of you excited about seeing her interact with a certain Mr. Spock for the first time in Discovery's season two, well, hate to break it to you, he's all over this book. A colony is under assault from an advanced underwater spaceship that's been at rest for centuries. The Shenzhou comes to save the day, but so does the Enterprise. Georgiou and Pike nearly blast each other out of the sky while citing regulations, but Burnham and Spock cool everyone down after contacting one another on back channels. There's a race against the clock and, as away missions divert, Saru pairs up with the Enterprise's Number One … and he kinda has a crush on her? Who wouldn't!? Desperate Hours is the most TOS-ish of the bunch, and a rousing, juicy read. I definitely recommend saving it until last, and savoring it. If you time it right, you'll put it down just when it's time to join the crew of Discovery for season two. Oh, and that Easter Egg I mentioned? Yeah, I'm not going to tell you where it is. (Okay, it's in Drastic Measures.) You'll know it when you see it, trust me. And if I read it right, I look forward to seeing an old friend in an upcoming episode. Jordan Hoffman is the former host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast. He is also a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. View the full article
  8. Are the holidays here already? Apparently, they are over at IDW Publishing, as they’ve just unveiled their Star Trek comic books for December. So, StarTrek.com is getting in the spirit and sharing details about those titles and also First Looks at their covers. The epic mashup Star Trek vs. Transformers #4 brings together writers John Barber and Mike Johnson, along with artist Philip Murphy, who’s also rendered the cover. The synopsis is as follows: With the Enterprise disabled by the Klingon-Decepticon alliance, things look dire for Spock, Optimus Prime and the landing team. But with the Autobots’ help, can Captain Kirk come up with a solution to save the day from a massive Cybertronian threat? Star Trek vs. Transformers #4 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99. Fans should be on the lookout for variant covers by Priscilla Tramontano and George Caltsoudas. Also on the sleigh, er, on the way for December is Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #6. Written by the tandem of Scott Tipton & David Tipton, with art by Angel Hernandez and a Tony Shasteen cover, the latest installment of The Next Generation Mirror Universe saga – set during Star Trek: The Next Generation’s fourth season -- comes to a twisted conclusion as Mirror Barclay unleashes his fiendish plan on Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #6 will run 32 pages and cost $3.99. Elizabeth Beals and J.K. Woodward are creating variant covers, and IDW will also offer a photo cover. And lastly, there’s Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 8, the final volume of writer and photo-manipulator John Byrne’s Star Trek teleplay series. Presenting all-new tales set in the Star Trek: The Original Series universe and done in a unique photomontage style, using images from the classic TV series, Byrne’s New Visions books are as close as fans will ever come to getting new episodes featuring the original cast. Vol. 8 – which will span 128 pages and cost $17.99 – will feature the stories “The Enemy of My Enemy,” “An Unexpected Yesterday,” and a reinterpretation and adaptation of the TV episode “The Cage.” For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. And keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional details about the IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  9. We took first daughter, Kat, to Boston to visit third daughter, Jenn, and her husband, Chris. We had also made arrangements to visit the Star Trek The Original Series Set Tour. Long-time Trek friends Brian and Kathy Mix joined us in Boston to drive into the wilderness to find Ticonderoga. Being from Southern California, we’d never seen “the colors” in person. Calendars and photos do not do justice to a New England autumn. Along the way, we stopped at interesting restaurants, particularly for homemade pie. We got up early the next morning to follow local suggestions to a ranch-house restaurant where other fans showed up, which always happens no matter where we end up. We soon filled our end of the restaurant. The alert waitress kept the coffee coming, so we were finally awake enough to go find the set tour. We were well introduced ahead of time by James Cawley’s announcement that “Trimbles Set to Appear at Original Series Set Tour.” Unlike the theme attractions in California, the outside of the tour building is very unassuming. We were told the building had once been a grocery store. Inside the lobby, we met Cawley and several of the staff. The lobby had a small ticket sales counter, items for sale, and wonderful things on display: costumes, studio lights, and prosthetics. The sets are not evident from the lobby. What you see is the back of a stage, as would’ve seen it at Gower or Paramount Studios. We passed through the doorway onto a passageway that led to the transporter. This was our first evidence of the detail that went into this set. The fans we met were amazing; many of them saw their work on the set as a labor of love. We were happy to see pleased grins when we praised their craftsmanship. The transporter was another cause of slowdown on the tour, while we explained how the transporter effect was done (it involved dropping glitter). Son-in-law Chris Eplett and Brian Mix brought their fancy cameras and promptly started taking photos. Among friends from the Boston area were Michelle Ligouri and Chris M (to distinguish him from Chris Eplett). They arrived in TOS uniforms, providing ambiance. We investigated Dr. McCoy’s sickbay - complete with beds that tipped, and medical lab, with a large Tribble in a jar. The lighting was very good; it was difficult not to stand there with mouths open. Kat enjoyed this set because Dr. McCoy is her favorite character. Kirk’s and Spock’s quarters were careful duplicates of the rooms we saw so many times on TV. Tour assistants pointed out some of the things they’d worked on, generously including fellow workers. The “meeting room” was the set’s catch-all space. It was variously redressed as the lounge, reception room, chapel, mess hall, and military court, among other venues. Along with the 3-D chess set, there were many other props, including a handsome Vulcan lyre made by John (whose last name we don’t have – apologies). He demonstrated that the instrument could be played and asked us to autograph it on the back that already had several famous names. One feature in a passageway was a big hit with everyone: the Jefferies Tube. Fans were not allowed to climb into it, but they could take photos at both ends. As with most sets, the engineering tube is not as long as it looks. Matt Jefferies designed this feature to make it possible for a story to move along. It turned up some amazing things at the old Desilu set. But that’s another blog. While we were admiring the loving details of everything on display, others arrived to visit the set. Some were fans who’d worked the magic, and others had traveled to see it, just like us. John and I soon found ourselves sharing TOS stories (as usual) with anyone who wanted to listen. Kat’s heard all our stories, so she wandered around, a staff volunteer always with her. Chris and Brian brandished their cameras at every inch of the sets. John’s favorite room (not counting the bridge set, of course) was the engine room. It was lit exactly as the original, and brought a tear of nostalgia to John’s eye. A very proud crew of hard workers were pleased to show off everything to an appreciative audience, and explained how they’d recreated the screen in front of the dilithium warp generators. With big smiles, they displayed all the winkie-blinkies. John didn’t miss his chance to get melodramatic in the engine room. We eventually ended up on the bridge set, which was very realistic. Of course, everyone in our party had to sit in the Captain’s chair. Because why visit a TOS set and not sit in the Captain’s chair? Chris, our son-in-law, took a serious pose that needed a TOS uniform, not shorts and a Hawai’ian shirt. It turns out that not everyone on a tour gets to sit anywhere on the bridge set. John and I answered questions from tour visitors and reminisced about the original set and how many “true” Captain’s chairs exist in the world. Both of us were surprised to be asked to autograph the fan edition of the Star Trek Concordance. James had found a copy somewhere, along with a fanzine with some of Bjo’s cartoons. Both publications are now some 50+ years old. We went back through the whole set again, just to take it all in. The staff tried to keep people moving, but we weren’t much help. Practically everything we saw reminded us of a story or two, and we’d stop to tell it. So, the whole tour would stop. We’d start walking again, until we’d see something else, and stop. Everyone else would stop. We suspect the staff felt like they were herding butterflies. Kat has made several visits both TV and movie sets at Desilu and at Paramount. She was thrilled to see this well-done replica and enjoyed looking at everything. She knows not to touch anything on a set. She was also pleased that the fans treated her as just another Trek fan, instead of a mentally handicapped person. At the end of our tour, we presented James with a little plastic button from the original bridge set. We explained that when the Enterprise bridge set was donated to UCLA Theater Arts, it had been left outdoors. Hot weather popped many of the resin buttons off the set. Fans tried to save as much as they could, but weren’t particularly successful. We were given a small orange button that was found in the weeds and decided to present the button to James. He was delighted, and started figuring out where on the bridge set it should go. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the day. Chris and Brian took over 1000 photos each, some of which illustrate this blog. We agreed that it’d be fun to visit the set again, perhaps for next year’s August Trekonderoga. We want to return to the set and the wonderful fans who built it. Bjo and John Trimble are iconic figures in Star Trek history, as not only did they become known as “the fans who saved Star Trek,” but she wrote the seminal reference book, Star Trek Concordance, as well as a memoir, On the Good Ship Enterprise. They’ve written articles for many magazines and websites, including StarTrek.com. View the full article
  10. Star Trek’s 52 years as a thought-provoking, game-changing franchise were celebrated during last night’s telecast of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, as Trek received the prestigious Governors Award. Bill Nye led the proceedings, calling Gene Roddenberry’s creation “a social commentary on the state of humanity brilliantly disguised as science-fiction… Star Trek may have started out as an entertainment series, but it changed the world. And I feel it changed the world for the better.” Nye went on to introduce a three-minute video that paid tribute to all six live-action Treks… Nye next welcomed more than 100 creatives from the shows to the stage. They were then joined by representatives of each series: Walter Koenig from Star Trek: The Original Series, LeVar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Terry Farrell from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Jeri Ryan from Star Trek: Voyager, Linda Park from Star Trek: Enterprise and Alex Kurtzman from Star Trek: Discovery, as well as a Kelpien and a Klingon. Sonequa Martin-Green and William Shatner then took the stage, with Shatner accepting the Governors Award on behalf “of all the artists who have worked to make Star Trek a success... those people who are with us and those that have passed away, and CBS. I accept this award with honor.” View the full article
  11. Destination Star Trek Birmingham will host the world premiere of the documentary, What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The premiere will take place on Saturday, October 20, during Destination Star Trek Birmingham, which will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England, from October 19-21. Among those who'll be in attendance at the premiere are Ira Steven Behr and David Zappone, the documentary's director and producer, respectively, as well as many of the Deep Space Nine cast who participated in the documentary and will be at DSTB as celebrity guests. Among them are Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Rene Auberjonois, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, Michael Dorn, Cirroc Lofton, Vaughn Armstrong, Chase Masterson, Casey Biggs, Jeffrey Combs, Andrew Robinson, Max Grodenchik, Aron Eisenberg Robert O'Reilly and Nicole de Boer. Further, Destination Star Trek Birmingham announced additional programming for the weekend, including two parties. Friday night, October 19, fans can get their Kirk on during the Being William Shatner Party, while Saturday evening, the 20th, DSTB welcomes everyone to head to the dark side at the Mirror Mirror Party, featuring the Enterprise Blues Band. Tickets for Destination Star Trek Birmingham are available at www.DestinationStarTrek.com. Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional news about Destination Star Trek guests and programming. View the full article
  12. Fans made the logical choice. StarTrek.com, for our latest weekly poll, asked fans, Which species would you want to belong to? They chose from the following: Andorian, Bajoran, Borg, Cardassian, Ferengi, Klingon, Orion, Romulan, Vulcan and Xindi. Thousands of fans voted, and here are the results: Vulcan (43%) Bajoran (14%) Klingon (13%) Romulan (8% - 576 Votes) Andorian (8% - 566 Votes) Borg (5%) Orion (3% - 210 Votes) Cardassian (2%, 186 votes) Xindi (1%) And how did YOUR species of choice fare? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  13. In the Star Trek: Discovery episode “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum,” Michael Burnham is part of an away team who have beamed down to the planet Pahvo, which sensors indicate is uninhabited. Pahvo contains a naturally occurring crystalline transmitter Burnham intends to use to detect cloaked Klingon ships. The team’s mission is blocked when they encounter mysterious shimmering lifeforms that vibrate at the same frequency as the planet. “Now our duty is to follow first contact protocol,” Burnham tells the team. “And we can't borrow or alter their property without them understanding our objective and agreeing to it.” First contact procedures form one of the guiding principles of Star Trek. Laid down in Starfleet General Orders, they describe a philosophy of respecting the sovereignty, property, beliefs and right to self-determination of alien cultures. General Order One, also known as the Prime Directive, states, “the right of each sentient being to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred.” All first contact procedures are governed by this founding principal, and Burnham cannot violate them… even to save lives on her ship. A lot has changed since 1492 when Christopher Columbus first made landfall in the Americas and, according to his own diary, “did take possession of the said island for the king and for the queen.” First contacts historically favor the more technically advanced culture, and Starfleet has procedures in place specifically to prevent this. As Captain Picard explains to Dr. Crusher in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Symbiosis,” “History has proved again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less-developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.” Assimilation, the process of individuals or groups of differing ethnicity blending into the dominant culture of a society, has been traditionally considered a positive outcome. As late as 1996, Canada was removing Native Canadian children from their families and placing them in boarding schools, depriving them of their ancestral languages and disenfranchising them from their culture. According to a 2008 Canadian report condemning the process as inhumane, “the belief [was] that the colonizers were bringing civilization to savage people who could never civilize themselves. The 'civilizing mission' rested on a belief of racial and cultural superiority.” By the 24th century, such beliefs are firmly in the past. The United Federation of Planets has formed on the principles of universal rights, liberty and equality. Believing that all cultures have equal value, the Federation is dedicated to a policy of non-interference. In “Symbiosis,’ Picard is faced with two cultures whose planets orbit the same sun in the Delos system, the Onarans and Brekkians. The Brekkians have been exploiting the Onarans for centuries by supplying them with addictive drugs in exchange for their servitude. Picard not only must refuse to intervene, but also cannot reveal to the Onarans they are being virtually enslaved by the Brekkians with narcotics. When Doctor Crusher insists Picard end the unhealthy and unbalanced relationship between the two cultures, he responds, “Why? Because it offends against our sensibilities? It is not our mission to impose Federation or Earth values on any others in the galaxy.” Non-interference is a double-edged sword, and one Star Trek crews must continually grapple with. In “Galaxy's Child,” the Enterprise experiences a first encounter with an entity as large and majestic as a starship that lives in space. When the crew react to the entity’s defensive release of radiation with a low-level phaser burst, they inadvertently kill it. Picard is visibly upset: he had miscalculated how vulnerable the entity was to phaser fire. Minutes later when Commander Data reports the presence of an unborn offspring in the entity’s corpse, Picard calls a conference of senior officers in his ready room. He’s about to break the Prime Directive and the Federation policy of non-interference to help the baby entity break free from its mother’s corpse. Using their phasers as a scalpel, the crew cut a hole in the carcass, allowing the baby entity to emerge into the universe. It is impossible not to feel joy at the birth. Do we support Picard’s decision so wholeheartedly because it reflects our own highest value of preserving life at all cost? In 1964, a group of aboriginal Australians were hunted down by a patrol in the Western Australian desert. The area was designated as the dump site for Australia’s rocket test program -- the place where fiery rockets would crash land into the earth -- and the patrol’s mission was to clear the area. The 20 women and children they captured were members of the Martu tribe. It was their first contact with Western civilization and the end of a way of life. Yuwali, one of the adolescents held captive by the patrol, is still alive today. “They tied the kids up with rope around their ankles,” Yuwali tells us, “to stop them running away.” Terry Long, a member of the patrol, believed at the time the women and children could not survive any longer on their own in the desert and his actions were saving their lives. He now acknowledges, “We ought to have handled this much, much better.” Star Trek’s procedures for first contacts continue to evolve along with our own. They reflect our changing values and beliefs as humans while also providing a vision of equality, tolerance and humanity for mankind to aspire to. As Picard says in “Galaxy’s Child,” “We're out here to explore, to make contact with other life forms, to establish peaceful relations but not to interfere. And absolutely not to destroy.” J.V.Jones is a USA Today bestselling writer whose acclaimed Sword of Shadows series is published by Tor Books. To learn more about this subject, please visit www.LearningForASmallWorld.com. The course "Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology” provides greater depth on this and many more aspects of the history and impact of Star Trek. View the full article
  14. Forty-four years ago today, on Saturday September 14, 1974, planet Earth was a distinctly different place. The President of the United States was Gerald Ford. “I Shot the Sherriff” by Eric Clapton was the number one song in America. Tatum O’Neal and her father, Ryan, won over cinema audiences in Paper Moon, while Darren McGavin spooked them as Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Arcade kids would have been laying down their hard-earned pocket money playing Elimination, Tank or Qwak!, just as Charles Kowal was announcing the discovery of Leda, the 13th satellite of Jupiter. Very different times indeed. But within the realms of the Star Trek universe, it wasn’t all that different. That long-distant Saturday morning saw the first screening of “Bem,” the second episode of the truncated sophomore season of Star Trek: The Animated Series, and while we may now look back at those episodes with a mixture of charm and nostalgia, the messages and themes of the episode are every bit as relevant in 2018 Star Trek as they were in ’74. Let’s first read Captain Kirk’s log entry as the mission begins. "Captain's log, Stardate 7403.6. The Enterprise is on a series of exploratory and contact missions. Traveling with us as an independent observer is a member of a recently contacted alien species. Honorary Commander Ari bn Bem is from the planet Pandro in the Garo VII system. We have taken up orbit around Delta Theta III, a newly discovered Class M planet. A previous scouting mission has reported possible aboriginal lifeforms here and the Enterprise is to investigate and report." Written by “The Trouble With Tribbles” scribe David Gerrold, “Bem” (taken from the old-school sci-fi term meaning “bug-eyed monster”) tells the story of the U.S.S. Enterprise mission to the world of Delta Theta III. Discovering “several groupings of aborigines” on the surface, Kirk orders a landing party to beam down, accompanied by the observer Bem, who elects to join them on his own first Enterprise mission. However, unbeknownst to the crew, Bem swaps out their phasers and communicators with fakes and alters the transporter co-ordinates, so Kirk and Spock down beam down to the wrong location. Uhura’s discovery of a potentially intelligent lifeform leads the crew into a forest, where suddenly Bem breaks into a sprint, leaping into the trees and separating into different body parts to get through the dense foliage. With Bem being held by the natives and a force field surrounding the village, Kirk and Spock use the cover of night to find and liberate the captured Pandronian. However, Bem does not wish to be rescued, and as Kirk notes his irritation at Bem’s unorthodox methods, the alien explains his dislike for phasers and communicators, vocalizing his wish to see if Kirk can manage a mission without his weapons and the casual violence they bring. Bem once again splits into smaller parts and returns their equipment to them, revealing himself to be what Spock describes as a colony creature. They leave, but are captured in a force field by an alien entity who chastises them for trying to harm her “children.” Kirk explains their mission of exploration and is relieved when the entity orders them to leave immediately. Bem accuses Kirk of failure and runs away again, captured a second time by the planet’s natives. Angry at the crew not leaving, the alien entity returns, and Kirk explains that just as the entity is responsible for her “children,” so he is responsible for his crew. Placated, she allows them to once again leave. Bem is crestfallen, deciding that for his failure he must disassemble into his smaller parts, or, in other words, die. It’s the alien entity who explains that the only way to develop is to learn from our mistakes. Originally written as an episode of the third season of The Original Series, “Bem” found its home in animated form. Already mostly written and paid for, the episode was picked up by Filmation for the shortened second season after the exit of associate producer and story editor Dorothy "D.C." Fontana. Gerrold further worked up the story with The Great Bird of the Galaxy himself, Gene Roddenberry, who suggested adding a number of elements, including the concept of finding God on the planet. Fifteen years later this would resurface in 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, as well as be a key element in the development of Phase II and pre-The Motion Picture era stories. “Bem” is also notable for a number of other reasons. While James Doohan and his magnificent radio voice were often called upon to provide the vocals for guest characters, this episode employed the skills of Nichelle Nichols, who voiced the alien entity. It was also the first time we heard Captain Kirk’s middle name – Tiberius. Taken from a book that Gerrold had read about torture, the previously undiscovered “T” became - with Rodenberry’s blessing – Tiberius. The name later saw print in Alan Dean Foster’s 1979 novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and on-screen in the original crew’s final big-screen hurrah Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, released during the 25th anniversary year of 1991. While the story is reminiscent of March 1967’s TOS season-one episode “Errand of Mercy,” “Bem” displayed many Trek elements that live long and prosper to this day. Starfleet’s mission of exploration and first contact is a Trek staple, as are working with officers from other organizations and factions. Here it’s Bem as visiting officer, but stepping ahead 15 years in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season-two episode “A Matter of Honor,” we see Riker assigned to the Klingon vessel the I.K.S. Pagh, while the Benzite ensign, Mendon, comes aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. The hunger to learn more about the galaxy and our fellow species is a continuing thread through all series. Powerful alien entities are another staple, as seen in numerous episodes across Trek, from Armus, the malevolent being who infamously murdered Tasha Yar on an away mission to Vagra II in TNG season-one’s “Skin of Evil” to the Pah-Wraiths of Deep Space Nine. And let’s not forget Q, the Sha Ka Ree god of Star Trek V, the Douwd, all alien entities with God-like powers, and ones that our respective crews must face down and communicate with. Forty-four orbits of the sun after its premiere, let’s raise a glass of prune juice and celebrate “Bem.” Mark Newbold has been an avid Trek fan since the 1970's, when TOS was shown on UK TV, but it was the original cast movie series and TNG era that sealed the deal. Mark is a writer for Star Trek The Official Magazine, is editor-in-Chief of Star Trek: The Neutral Zone and was a stage host at Destination Star Trek Germany in 2018. At heart, he's a Niner. Follow him on Twitter. View the full article
  15. Star Trek Online, the free to play online roleplaying game that continues the story of the Prime Timeline, is releasing two brand-new starships on PC this week. Both of these ships are updates to classic designs from Star Trek history, including a ship that was almost lost to time. First up is the Narendra, a new Federation starship named after the Klingon Colony on Narendra III, where the Enterprise-C was lost. It’s a fitting tribute, because this update to the venerable Ambassador class is based on the original design for the Enterprise-C by Andrew Probert. While this design didn’t end up being used in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a model of it briefly hung in the Enterprise D’s Observation Lounge. Both of these ships were modeled by superstar 3D artist Tobias Richter, who was responsible for the Enteprise-D model used in the TNG HD releases. The Var’ral is an update to one of our most-popular and classic Klingon ships, the Vor’cha class. The Vor'cha was originally introduced in 2367 as a response to the increasing tensions of the Borg, Dominion and Cardassian threats that marked this stressful time in history. Over the next few years, this versatile and sturdy warship proved its worth time and again, captained by many different able-bodied Klingon warriors. This updated version of such an honorable lineage has taken the same qualities that made it a staple of the Empire's fleet, and improved them for this new age of conflict, with the intention that the Vor'ral-class will be the answer to the instability of this age. Both of these ships are now available in game, as a bundle or separate purchases. Star Trek Online is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that allows players to explore the Star Trek universe from within. Players can forge their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship, champion the Empire through the far reaches of the galaxy as a Klingon Warrior, rebuild the Romulan legacy as the commander of a Romulan Republic Warbird or carry out daring missions on behalf of the Dominion as a Jem’Hadar soldier. Captains can also explore iconic locations from the Star Trek universe, make contact with new alien species and battle alongside other players in customizable starships. Star Trek Online is currently available on PC, PlayStation4 and Xbox One. To download and play Star Trek Online today for free, visit www.PlayStarTrekOnline.com. View the full article
  16. The pinnacle of Romulan starship evolution in the late 24th Century, the Romulan Warbird Valdore was a sleek, powerful and intimidating hunter that would keep their already-mighty fleet a force to be reckoned with. Ironically, who would figure that two of these ships would help save the Romulan Star Empire, as well as one of their most hated enemies, the Federation? The Valdore Namesake The Valdore can trace its history all the way back to the 2150’s. In a plot to engulf the quadrant in war, Admiral Valdore was the mastermind behind another Romulan warship. Converting two contemporary warbirds into drone ships, he used multispectral holographic emitters and triphasic disruptors to give the ships the ability to disguise themselves as other vessels. With the flip of a switch, the tiny drone was suddenly a Tellarite cruiser, an Andorian Kumari class, or even the Starfleet’s Enterprise NX-01. The Romulans used this deception to cause chaos amongst the other powers by provoking old rivalries and attempting to start new ones. Admiral Valdore used an Aenar, a blind Andorian with extraordinary mental powers, to control the drone ships from the safety of a facility on Romulus. (ENT: “Babel One,” “United,” and “The Aenar.”) The drones had extraordinary maneuverability and firepower for ships of their size. Despite this, they were eventually defeated by a combined alliance led by the Enterprise NX-01. Ironically, the chaos and war the Romulans hoped to start helped pave the way for the Federation. Admiral Valdore failed in his gambit. Nevertheless, he was still remembered in the Romulan Empire with the namesake of this 24th-century warbird. 24th-Century Romulan Innovation At 603 meters in length, the Valdore was not a small vessel. Its sleek design carried familiar characteristics that were a staple of Romulan design. The feather-like patterns that adorned the hull could trace their lineage back to the 22nd-century Romulan Bird of Prey, as well as the 23rd. The previous warbird, the D’deridex Class, featured a similar outstretched neck with large wings containing warp nacelles at their edge. The D’deridex however, featured a bottom wing span with a large open space in between the two halves. The Valdore streamlined that design into a much leaner and sharper swooping bird. The ship sported disruptor cannons and torpedoes for weapons with implacements all over the hull. It also featured a cloaking device, which had been a key piece of technology for the Romulans for more than 100 years. Unfortunately, the Treaty of Algeron prevented the Federation from using or even researching cloaking technology. This would leave them at a significant disadvantage for many years. But, of course, there are always those who ignore the rules. The Valdore was a dark green color, typical of Romulan vessels. However, a brown version also exists. Whether that is a base materials difference, another type/mission-specific ship, or is simply an aesthetic choice by the shipyard or designer is unknown at this time. Nevertheless, it is worth noting. In a glass, darkly... The Valdore, along with another ship of its type, took part in a battle that could have led to the end of both the Romulan Empire and the Federation. Shinzon of Remus instigated a takeover of the Senate by eliminating those who opposed him with the use of a thalaron radiation device. Thalaron radiation destroys all organic matter within seconds, and he would choose to make this technology the basis for his flagship, the Reman warbird Scimitar. Shinzon was a human, a clone of Federation Captain Jean-Luc Picard, that the Romulans created in the hopes of replacing the real Picard with their agent clone. Ultimately, the plan was cancelled and he was sent to the slave mines on Remus. The Remans took him in as one of their own, identifying with him as another being cast away by the Romulan Star Empire, forced against his will to mine for the Romulans. Shinzon somehow managed to gain considerable power, despite his rough youth. The Scimitar was constructed at a secret base without the knowledge of the Romulans. He plotted his revenge carefully, also setting his sights on Captain Picard, wanting to make his own mark on the face of the galaxy. He lured the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E to Romulus under the guise of peace talks, only to spring his trap shortly thereafter. The Enterprise narrowly escaped and attempted to rendezvous with a fleet that could stop Shinzon and the Scimitar from laying waste to the Federation. The Enterprise would never reach them. The enemy of my enemy… Fortunately for the Romulans and Federation, one of Shinzon’s co-conspirators had second thoughts. Commander Donatra, who had originally supported Shinzon’s coup, turned when she learned of the thalaron weapon and the devastation it could cause. Shinzon followed the Enterprise and found the perfect spot for an ambush inside a nebula. This cut off all contact with the waiting Federation fleet and the Enterprise was nearly crippled. Commander Donatra, commanding the Valdore, caught up. They were joined with another Valdore-type ship and the odds seemed more in the Enterprise’s favor. Another key component of the Scimitar was its ability to fire with its perfect cloak. The only way for the Enterprise or Valdore to find the Scimitar was to fire blindly and hope the weapons fire would make contact. The group managed to get a few hits on the Scimitar before it nearly obliterated the other Valdore-type ship, blasting off one of its wings. The fierce battle continued and it looked like the Enterprise and Valdore had damaged the Scimitar. Unfortunately for them, Shinzon feigned a cloak failure in order to lure in the Valdore and hit them in their vulnerable ventral section. The Valdore was out for the count, but Commander Donatra and some of her crew survived. The Enterprise continued the fight to an old-fashioned showdown. Picard gambled that Shinzon would predict how he would react and Shinzon failed to consider ramming speed.” Shinzon panicked, but it was too late. The Enterprise collided with the Scimitar, locking the two ships together. In the end, only with the heroic self-sacrifice of humanoid android Lt. Commander Data, was Shinzon and his twisted plot for revenge finally stopped. Commander Donatra and the crew of the Valdore rendered aid and assistance via shuttlecraft to the very crippled Enterprise, giving hope to real peace one day. (Star Trek Nemesis) The Great Bird of the Empire The Valdore only appeared on screen one time, in Star Trek Nemesis. Its outstanding design and look are the work of Trek veteran John Eaves. Hopefully, sometime in the future, the Valdore will return as friend or foe to fight for the Romulan Star Empire once again. Ian Kisluk is an avid Star Trek fan and collector. Trek model and prop building as well as stage acting are his most prolific passions. Follow him @Starchwreck on Twitter and check out Starchwreck Props and Models on Facebook. View the full article
  17. It'll be Christmas with the Captains as William Shatner and Anson Mount are set to beam down to Star Trek The Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York, on December 7 and 8. According to James Cawley, creator of the set tour, Shatner will be available for autographs, photo ops and, by popular demand, will host several Captain on The Bridge intimate Q&A chats, while Mount, set to portray Captain Christopher Pike on Star Trek: Discovery during its upcoming second season, will also be available for autographs and photo ops, and will be doing a Pike on The Bridge event. Tickets are on sale now. Go to www.StarTrekTour.com for additional details and to purchase tickets. View the full article
  18. Sonequa Martin-Green plopped down into a chair in a quiet green room at Star Trek Las Vegas, and she smiled. “Whoooo!” she exclaimed. “This has been great, but I’m exhausted. Let’s talk. What would you like to know?” Now, let’s put this in some perspective. Martin-Green had spent a full two days at STLV in August, wowing attendees with her energy and passion for Star Trek, its fans, Star Trek: Discovery and Michael Burnham. During her panels, she laughed and cried – she cries a lot; she’ll be the first to admit that. And Martin-Green gave every single fan his or her moment of personal attention during photo ops and autograph sessions, making those moments special for all involved. Now, the end of her time in Vegas was nigh. In fact, she’d just done a VIP meet and greet and was about to beam out of the Rio in order to trek back to Toronto and return to work on Discovery’s upcoming second season. But she’d agreed to a quick interview with StarTrek.com. Trouper that she is, even as a team waited to spirit her into a car and head off to the airport, Martin-Green honored her promise and squeezed in a few minutes of talk time with us. Here’s what she had to say in this, the first in a series of StarTrek.com interviews building toward the November 13 of Star Trek: Discovery: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD... How full a meal was season one of Discovery for you? Oh, goodness. It was Thanksgiving dinner, basically. It was the appetizer, the entrée, the dessert. It was all of that. What was the biggest surprise for you in terms of making the show, and playing Michael? The biggest surprise... I would say I think what was surprising to me was just how much it continued to unfold, I think. And how deep it went, and how inclusive this entire experience and community was going to be. And also just how closely we as a company, with Discovery, became a family. That was also very surprising. And character-wise? Character-wise, I think I wouldn't say that anything was surprising in the sense that it shocked me or I disagreed with it, or I thought, "Ooh, why is this happening this way?" Everything definitely made sense and tracked, and I think it was an organic progression. But it was definitely thrilling to go through the ups and downs and twists and turns. If we met her at point A in the pilot, where did season one end? Where in her journey is she right now? I would say that if Z is the goal, that I'm around M. Really? Already? Yeah, I would guess, because I think that the fall from grace was absolutely necessary in my journey, in my development as a human being and definitely as a Starfleet officer. And I will say again, as a human being, not someone who is trying to be something that they essentially are not, and finding a way to integrate my training and my upbringing with my true self, I think that the fall from grace forced me into that place of contemplation and that place of exploration. You arrived at Discovery from The Walking Dead, which is another massive show with a huge fan base. How would you compare/contrast the fans? Are they the same types of people? Are they different? Is there overlap? Well, I think that we are all connected by these grand fantastic stories, right? These stories that are in these alternate realities that allow us to suspend our disbelief in a very real and exciting way. And I think sci-fi does that, and so, in a sense, sci-fi is very unifying and does draw the same intellectual crowd. There are certainly differences, because each person is different, but I find that it is the sci-fi genre that is the common denominator. It’s way too soon to talk in any detail about season two of Discovery, but give us some sort of sense of what fans can expect in terms of the show’s direction, Michael’s path… Well, I think people expect the fallout from everything that happened last year. There's so many things that happened. So many decisions were made. So many changes happened. There was evolution in season one, but we weren't able to dig into it because we were at war. So, you will see all of that. You will see people dealing with what's left. Dealing with the residual, dealing with, "OK, what do I have now? What have I done? What does that mean? Who am I? Who are we?" You'll see people asking those questions and seeking to answer them in season two. And there is a lot more…. there's a little more joy just because we aren't at war. We're able to smile a little bit more. There's a sense of levity that's there simply because we're not fighting for our lives. And Michael will be part of that? Be a bit lighter? Oh yeah, for sure. There's certainly a heaviness that is present with me as Burnham, just because of everything that is driving me and because there are deep-seated problems there. So, those are still at play, for sure. But yes, you see the smile, and you see the chuckles that we allow ourselves to have, including Burnham, because we're not fighting. How will the presence of Captain Pike affect Michael? In that big way that a captain affects a ship and a crew. A crew is almost defined by the essence of the captain. We went through the ringer with Lorca, and so there's a little bit of PTSD there. There's a little bit of distrust there because of what we've gone through and because we had someone who manipulated us and sought to kill us for his own gain. And so, Pike being the deeply rooted good guy he is, he is going to have an effect on us. He's soothing in that way. He's comforting in that way. And hopefully you will see us sort of galvanize because of that. How are you enjoying working with Anson Mount? Oh, I love him. Fans here at STLV could even see the chemistry between the two of you on stage during your panel… I just think he's awesome, and he's such an amazing actor. I feel like we really lose ourselves in the story together, which is amazing. And chemistry is something that… it's hard to know as an actor when you're in the middle of it. It's hard to say, "Do we have chemistry?" I can feel what I feel, but other people are the ones to tell you if there's chemistry there. And so, we were very delighted to hear that people see chemistry between us, and I think that it's a great relationship because he's a great guy and we love having him. Did you work at all during your off season, or was it family time? Yeah, it was family time. It was family time for a long while. It was the holidays. We hosted Christmas for the first time, so there was a lot of preparation with that. We bought our home, so there was a lot going on with that. January and February were pretty full with that and family, and then it was time to gear up to go back. Last question: How did you enjoy this experience at STLV? It was amazing, meeting the fans, being out there. I've done conventions for years (because of The Walking Dead). I've done San Diego Comic-Con for four years. This is different. This is different. It's just a different experience. It is so beautiful and pure, and respectful and uplifting, and I can hardly wait for next year. God willing. Star Trek: Discovery on Blu-ray Star Trek: Discovery: Season One will arrive on Blu-ray and DVD on November 13 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. The four-disc Blu-ray and DVD collections, available to U.S. and Canadian fans, will feature all 15 first-season episodes of the CBS All Access series, as well as featurettes and other special features that will include cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and deleted and extended scenes. Fans in the U.S. and Canada can pre-order on Amazon.com now. Star Trek: Discovery's first season is available on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. It's available on Netflix in the rest of the world. View the full article
  19. Your starship is getting some serious upgrades. Version 6.0 of Star Trek Timelines is live -- and with it comes new ship abilities, a brand-new Starbase room, more ways to earn rewards, and other improvements to the player experience. Across your fleet, you’ll notice many of your ships will have one of four new abilities. When timed correctly, these new technologies could make or break a close battle. Interrupt Shield Modulation temporarily drops your enemy’s shields to 0. Overcharge reduces all of your ship’s cooldowns. New Electroplating temporarily reduces hull damage. When activated, the Damage Reflection ability will deal a portion of damage to an opponent based on damage taken from an opponent (this does not include boarding damage. These abilities will change the way battles take place across the single-player story, PvP Battle Arena and the competitive Skirmish events. To that end, we’ve added in new tutorials for the Battle Arena and Skirmish events to walk you through the basics of space battles. After hearing feedback from our industrious fleets, we’ve added a brand-new room to Starbases: the Reclamator. This new room allows fleet members to spend their excess starbase components to receive valuable replicator rations and unlock daily donation rewards. If you search the galaxy, you may also find a mysterious new planet. Who knows what discoveries await you there? For now, there are more crew to find on your Voyages including Ensign Picard and Dr. Leonard McCoy. There are also new ways to earn additional rewards across the game, from the Dabo Wheel to the farthest Away Missions. When playing on Android/iOS devices, look for special ad buttons on your journeys to claim extra loot. Available now on the App Store, Google Play, Steam, Facebook Games and Facebook Gameroom, Star Trek Timelines merges the characters, stories and settings from Star Trek: The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery and their related films. Gather your favorite heroes -- or villains -- to build your dream crew, explore the galaxy and lead Starfleet through a crisis threatening the very fabric of time and space. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or join our Bridge Crew email list for the latest updates. View the full article
  20. Star Trek received the Governors Award on Saturday night at the Creative Arts Emmys, and members of the Star Trek family past and present were on hand to celebrate the occasion. William Shatner, the franchise's legendary Captain Kirk, took to the stage with Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green. Shatner and Martin-Green were far from alone, as they were joined by representatives from each of the live-action series from across Trek's illustrious 52-year-long history: Walter Koenig, LeVar Burton, Terry Farrell, Jeri Ryan, Linda Park and Alex Kurtzman, as well as a Klingon and a Kelpien. Shatner accepted the award on behalf of CBS Television Studios, noting to the audience that Star Trek “represents an idea that is greater than all of its parts. I accept this award for all the artists who have worked to make this show a success.” Each year, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Science, at the Annual Emmy Awards Presentation, grants a Governors Award to an individual, company, organization or project for outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television which is either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature as to go beyond the scope of the Emmy Awards presented in the categories and areas of the competition. View the full article
  21. "The Xindi" episode of Star Trek: Enterprise first aired on September 10, 2003... or 15 years ago today. While you wrap your mind around that fact, StarTrek.com will mark the occasion by sharing 6 Things to Know About "The Xindi." One of Three "The Xindi" was the first episode of Enterprise's third season. Allan Kroeker, a veteran Trek helmer, directed the installment, which was witten by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. We Can Hardly Breathe Our favorite line here is a simple one. Down on the mining planet, Captain Archer advises Malcolm Reed... "Try not to breathe." Scott Bakula delivered it perfectly. Smart Recycling Do those Xindi-Reptilian uniforms seem familiar to you? If so, that's because the Enterprise costume department tweaked some old Reman costumes from Star Trek Nemesis by introducing some metal coils to the shoulders. T'Pol, New & Different Jolene Blalock's Vulcan character got a bit of an update when season three kicked off. Her eyebrows now arc upward. And she's suddenly wearing civvies. T'Pol leaving the Vulcan High Command explains the costume change, but we're still not sure about those eyebrows. Getting Expansive The J.M. Dillard novel The Expanse was released on October 7, 2003. It was actually a novelization of the season-two finale, "The Expanse," and "The Xindi." Meet the MACOs Enterprise fans made the acquaintance of several Military Assault Command Operations soldiers, or MACOs -- and the recurring actors who portrayed them. And several of those actors had played or went on to play assorted characters in other Trek projects. Daniel Dae Kim, who portrayed Corporal D. Chang, was Gotana-Retz in the Voyager hour, "Blink of an Eye." Marco Sanchez was Corporal M. Romero in "The Xindi" and a torpedo security officer in Star Trek Into Darkness. Then there's Nathan Anderson, who made the leap from guest starring as Namon in the Voyager entry, "Nemesis" to recurring as MACO Sergeant N. Kemper. And, lastly, Steven Culp had his scenes from Star Trek Nemesis cut, but he made the grade as Major Hayes in "The Xindi" and four other Enterprise episodes. And what do YOU remember most about "The Xindi"? View the full article
  22. The unexpected twist ending of IDW Publishing’s Through the Mirror comic-book miniseries continues to affect the Trek universe in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #3, one of two new Trek titles out on Wednesday, September 12. Written by Scott Tipton & David Tipton, with Angel Hernandez creating the art and Tony Shasteen on cover duty, Terra Incognita #3 tells the untold tales of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. In it, with a high-ranking Federation official’s life hanging in the balance, Doctor Selar faces a difficult decision when she must choose between her responsibility as a physician and her adherence to Vulcan philosophy. Terra Incognita #3 runs 32 pages and costs $3.99. Fans should be on the lookout for the variant photo covers, plus covers by J.K. Woodward and Elizabeth Beals. And, speaking of Through the Mirror, IDW’s other title arriving on Wednesday is the 128-page trade paperback edition of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through the Mirror, which gathers together the entire Through the Mirror series and features the talents of writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, and artists Chris Johnson, Marcus To, Josh Hood, Carlos Nieto and Debora Carita. The cover boasts the handiwork of J.K. Woodward. In Through the Mirror, The Mirror Universe Next Generation crew is looking for new worlds to conquer, and they're crossing over to the Prime Star Trek Universe to find them. When the Enterprise-D discovers a burned-out, pillaged Andorian vessel, the search for the culprits behind it leads to some startlingly familiar faces. But, how did the Mirror Universe crew find their way to ours, and what does Emperor Spock have to do with it? Plus, it's interstellar espionage aboard the Enterprise-D when the Mirror Universe crew infiltrates Captain Picard's ship. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through the Mirror costs $17.99. For additional details, contact your local comic book retailer or visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you. And keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional details about the IDW's upcoming Star Trek adventures, as well as exclusive First Looks at covers and preview pages. View the full article
  23. What Starfleet crew position would be most interesting? That's the question StarTrek.com asked for our latest weekly poll. Fans who participated could select from Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Security Officer, Communications Officer, First Officer or Science Officer. Several thousand of you got in on the fun, and here are the results: First Officer (34%) Science Officer (33%) Chief Engineer (15%) Chief Security Officer (7%) Chief Medical Officer (6% - 458 Votes) Communications Officer (5% - 438 Votes) And how did YOUR position of choice fare? Be sure to vote in this week's poll... View the full article
  24. William Shatner, the man, the myth… the machine. At 87 years old, Star Trek’s first and forever Kirk remains a guy in perpetual motion. He’s riding horses, raising money for charity, starring in films, recording albums, spending time with his family, and traversing the world for convention appearances and his one-man show. He’s also been making the publicity rounds for his latest project, Live Long And… What I Learned Along the Way, his latest book. Written with David Fisher and available now from Thomas Dunne Books, Live Long And… is part memoir and part primer on how to live your best life. StarTrek.com caught up with the ever-energetic Shatner earlier this week, covering a wide variety of topics during our chat. Here’s what he had to say: What made now the time for another memoir? Oh, I'm running out of time to write memoirs. I know you’re joking, but that's part of the theme of the book, you keeping yourself too booked with commitments to die, like George Burns. How acutely are you feeling the sand sifting through the hourglass? Well, given the age I am, I'm seeing more fervency of people asking for autographs, as though they're anticipating my immediate death. I, on the other hand, have no concept of time, and I feel perfectly healthy. In fact, next week, I'm in competition, riding these extreme horses. So, I don't intend to die very soon, but certainly the odds keep getting better… or worse, depending on your point of view. Of all the wisdom you offer in Live Long And…, what's the one pearl that you wish you would've told yourself 40 or 50 years ago? That there's not much you can do about the flow of history, so just go with the flow. You exhort people with the question, "Why not?" So, what have you still not done yet? I haven't spoken to you in a while. By speaking to you, we’re sharing an experience over my writing a new book, a new book with some thought behind it. Everything is a fresh “Why not?” And so, my anticipation is that I'll write another book and ride another horse and I'll do another acting job. Is there anything that James Kirk did that you simply could not or would not have done? Kirk? He kissed an awful lot of ladies. I'm not sure, in the #MeToo generation, that would be allowed. That's a very good point, actually. And it's true. You write, "The absence of love has been the major force of my life." Did you go to a therapist for many years to figure that out, or was that something you discovered on your own? And what's it like to share something so deeply personal with so many people? No, I've never been to a therapist. You know, writing these books has a certain therapeutic value. By sharing personal information… We all share personal information, advertently or inadvertently. By the slightest nod of the head, the tick of an eye, or a verbal vomiting, we give ourselves away all the time. There's a universality about all of us. Lack of love is universal, and the search for love is everybody's mission. So, I really have joined you and the rest of humanity in that. Taking what you just said into account, what's it been like for you, for so long, to play and be associated with a character like Kirk, who doesn't seem to want or need love? The Enterprise is his greatest love... That is love. It’s a kind of love. I'm speaking on my feet, I guess, but love isn’t always something that need be romantic or physical, or a partner that's human. So many people find love in various ways… the love of their job, the love of what they're doing, the love of a pet, the love of an animal, the love of nature. How about celibate priests who love their God with fervor? So, love takes many forms, and part of the book refers to the fact that we're all different vessels. We interpret things completely differently, and if I say the word love to you, it can have, and probably does have, an entirely different meaning to you than it does to me. So, we need to define what we're talking about over a period of a conversation like this one. You, in your book, Leonard, detailed the situation that occurred with Leonard Nimoy, with him not speaking to you at the end of his life. Now, in Live Long And…, you touch on it, note that you didn’t feel welcome at his funeral and you say that as long as you live, you will never understand what you did wrong that led his silence toward you. If there is a heaven, when you get there and you see Nimoy, will your first questions be, "What the hell happened? What did I do?" -- or do you think it'll be something else? Well, those sound like good questions. Maybe I should say, "Oh, you're here too." Funny. But will you ever get that answer? I'll never get the answer. That must be a very strange position, after all those years of friendship, right? Isn't it, though? I've heard from a lot of people who've said that same thing has happened to them. (Friends) disappear. You don’t go into a ton of detail about Star Trek V in Live Long And…, but you make a point of saying that you regret making compromises on the film. If you had it to do again, what would you have done differently? Would you have not made the film? Would you have fought harder for your initial idea? That's a really good question. It's something I hadn't thought of. Now that I realize I compromised, and then I write a great deal about the art of compromise, I don't know. I think that, given my nature, I would have compromised, but at least I would have known that I had done it consciously and maybe been able to rescue elements of the story that I lost, as a result of the original compromise. There’s at least one positive from Star Trek V that I’d like to point out. If you ask fans for their favorite lines from the Trek features, people will, high up on the list, reply, “What does God need with a starship?” Right, which is the beginnings of the element of doubt. I'll incorporate that into my comments, into things to answer about Star Trek V. How's your Christmas album coming along? The Christmas album is really wonderful. People who've heard it, love it, and so is the country music album I’m working on, Why Not Me? The book is doing well and getting great reviews. I'm on tour with the film, Wrath of Khan, so please tell people to go to my website, WilliamShatner.com. They'll find out the dates of when I'm near them for a fun evening of the film, and then me coming out afterwards and expounding on whatever. I’m fascinated by the Christmas album. What songs did you get a kick out of doing? I did many of the regular songs, but with a little bit of a bent in them. I’ve anchored the whole album on two major pieces, one being a poem by a (war) veteran who's traumatized. He's a wonderful guy who can't write anything else but about battle, and the hardship. I got him to write a Christmas song, which has the same elements in it, and then I did "The Christmas Story" to music, and that's great fun. So, there are two large pieces in the album, and then they’re surrounded with the flowers of these standard Christmas songs, done with a little bent, as I say. I'm being asked to do a blues album, and I'm doing research on that. Where's the Hanukkah album from the nice Jewish boy from Canada? That's very funny. I was intending to put "Dreidel, Dreidel" in the Christmas album. Maybe my next album. When we saw you in Germany a few months ago, you joked on stage about using VR to return to Star Trek. Elsewhere, you’ve said you’re open to playing Kirk again if someone could develop a good story. And we just saw an article where you wished Patrick Stewart well on his imminent return, but noted that you are done. So, let me put it to you directly: If somebody came along with a good role for you as Kirk, how open or not would you be to doing it? Right. If you ask me my favorite line, one that I invented, it’s, as I said to Leonard about his appearance in one of those films, "You know you're old when you go back in time and you're still old." So, his appearance was not central to the story. If I were to be asked to be back on Star Trek, the key of whether I would be on it or not is whether or not it’d be central to the story. So, to clarify, you wouldn't rule it out, but you're not chasing it, is what it boils down to? Exactly. What's happening with Senior Moment, the movie you shot with Christopher Lloyd? It's in editing. I'm told it's really good and they're getting ready to release it. You mentioned upcoming albums. Any other shows or documentaries on the way? I'm in the process of selling many, many shows, things that I've invented or that this team of people that I've assembled, called Shatner's Universe, that we're in the process of selling documentaries and animated shows and live shows. There are many, many things on the horizon. The anticipation of my dying soon is misrepresented. One of the single best sentences in Live Long And… is this: "I've seen the toys of Star Trek become the tools of life.” What's that been like for you, to have starred in this decades-spanning science-fiction franchise that's spawned science fact? The mystery of what's out there is so profound that anything you say in science fiction might very well be true, and we're not going disprove anything you say. We're certainly not going disprove it in the near future. What’s it been like for me? I don't know, but there is awe and wonder mixed with everything. Live Long And… What I Learned Along the Way is out now. Go to www.amazon.com to purchase it as a hardcover, Kindle or Audio CD. View the full article
  25. And so, it began. Star Trek: The Original Series officially premiered on September 8, 1966, as NBC aired the episode, “The Man Trap.” Star Trek has, since then, lived long and prospered. StarTrek.com, knowing the franchise’s 52nd anniversary loomed on the horizon, has spent the past several months asking everyone we’ve spoken to – from series regulars and guest stars to directors and makeup gurus – to do the following: Finish this sentence without using the word "prosper." Live long and _______. And how would YOU answer the question? View the full article