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The anxiously anticipated day started off very exciting. I was with my good friend, Chase Graff, though at that time he went by the name Charlie and we were sitting on a sidewalk patiently waiting on this early June day. It was the fourth of June thirty-three years ago… the year was 1982. We were first in line for the long awaited sequel to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In hindsight, it is hard to believe that it was less than three years that had passed since the original Star Trek movie then. We were there before the theater opened for business that day waiting. When the puzzled manager came to the theater, he was surprised to find us there so early waiting. He asked what we were waiting for and we jokingly said Das Boot, which was the other film playing at this cinema at that time. Long waits didn’t bother us because we were able to talk about everything under the sun. Though on this day, I imagined the topic was mostly on Star Trek perhaps and the rumors surrounding this particular movie. There was this talk that the character Spock would die in this movie. This couldn’t be so, we thought. Spock was our favorite character, after all. What would Star Trek be without Mr. Spock?
It’s no secret that I have been a huge fan of Star Wars since it was released in 1977. It could even be argued that I was fan before it was even released (Sorry, Stephen Colbert, you’re not alone or the first), as I was following the production and its impending release in science fiction genre media. It’s without exaggeration that it had a tremendous impact on this then eleven year-old when it was released and it continued on. This post isn’t focusing on that so I won’t go into all the details only to say even though I was deeply into the mythology and themes of the films, it didn’t prevent me from having a life outside of it.
It was 35 years ago today on a chilly night not unlike tonight (well, perhaps not as cold) when Star Trek: The Motion Picture opened in the theaters in the U.S. I remember vividly going to see it for the first time. After watching Star Trek all my life on television, we were finally seeing it on the big screen. Big it was, as it captured the scale and majesty of the refitted Enterprise and more like television never could at that time.
There's nothing quite like it. It was August 2008, just two weeks before the closing of the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas, NV and there I was standing on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. It's an incredible feeling for a life-long Star Trek fan. Now this was the bridge of the Galaxy Class starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D as featured on Star Trek: The Next Generation, not the original bridge from the original series, but it was no less exciting at the time. 21 years after we first saw Captain Picard command from it, relaunching Star Trek back on television, there I was standing on what seemed to be an exact replica of the television set.
Can the original Star Trek series continue on its five year mission where it left off in 1969? The creators of Star Trek Continues think so.
The original Star Trek series has been recast and is attempting to pick up immediately where the original series left off before it was cancelled. Can they bring back the magic of the original series in this new web-based series? Perhaps if they stay true to the spirit of the original series and the vision of Gene Roddenberry and those that shaped the original production (at least for the first two seasons) they can.
I have pointed it out before in postings here, on Twitter, and on our various shows, we are living with Star Trek technology already today… well, in many areas at least. In some ways, we surpassed what was predicted 45 years ago when the series premiered. For example, fax machines are really a relic of the past (even though some insist on still using them). We saw similar technology in Trek originally. Today we have iPhones, iPads, flat screen HDTVs… it is almost the bridge of the Enterprise right there.
Every month there seems to be a new post somewhere comparing today's technology with that of Star Trek's technology, so I won't repeat that here. Though with that said, I thought I would share the following infographic on it. It is not complete (in addition to fax machines which are now passé today, we saw Uhura wearing what can be compared to today's bluetooth ear pieces. Neither are represented on this graphic, but there's probably too many to include in one graphic anyway).
Today marks 45 years since the very first episode of Star Trek aired. It was September 8, 1966 when NBC aired 'The Man Trap' to an unsuspecting audience. It is not the "birthday" of Star Trek... die-hard fans ('Trekkers') know that the series had two pilot episodes commissioned. The first pilot, 'The Cage' dates back to 1964, and the follow-up pilot, 'Where No Man Has Gone Before,' to 1965. The first episode to air was not meant to go out first, but the suits at NBC wanted an episode with a "monster" in it (they felt it had to compete with Lost in Space at the time), 'The Man Trap' had a monster and therefore it was selected to air first.
This anniversary is bittersweet for me. It comes just a couple weeks after loosing a long time friend who had been a great Star Trek fan. It was an unexpected loss and therefore I have to say even now, I am still in shock and disbelief about it.
Once again I had the pleasure of being a guest on The Chronic Rift ( @chronic_rift ) podcast with John Drew and Keith R.A. DeCandido hosting and with fellow guest, Chris S. Carothers. In this latest roundtable episode (126), we discuss fan clubs. Predominantly Doctor Who and Star Trek clubs were discussed in this episode. Chris shared information about the club, USS Richthofen, a chapter of Starfleet, The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc., while I was there speaking about the Gallifreyan Embassy, the Doctor Who club I founded in 1985 as well as Doctor Who: Podshock.
It was 44 years ago today, on September 8, 1966 that we first went where no one has gone before. Yes, it was the debut of Star Trek on television. Happy anniversary exploring the final frontier for 44 years now. Granted, Star Trek really began years before (even having two different pilots produced), but it was on this date that it premiered on NBC.
Rarely do I have time to devote to watch movies these days. It is because of that I had this blu-ray disc still in the box set since I got it in the first half of 2009. After popping some long-expired stale popcorn, I decided to sit myself down and watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Amazon link).
Earlier this week, on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, Apple announced the long rumored tablet device. Like many Apple announcements, it has generated a flurry of talk in the media and tech circles. Not since the Apple iPhone announcement three years ago have I seen such a reaction to this new device, the Apple iPad.
Comedian Kevin Pollak ( @kevinpollak ) talks about Star Trek's William Shatner ( @WilliamShatner ) (who Kevin has done impressions of over the years) at the Blogworld & New Media Expo 2009 in Las Vegas, NV. This was part of the closing keynote address hosted by Guy Kawasaki ( @GuyKawasaki ).