Trek X

The more I learn about the new Star Trek “reboot” the more excited I get. Look at how Batman Begins and Casino Royale essentially breathed new life into abused franchises; now comes a hint that the original Star Trek continuity and canon itself might be ditched, which is really good news. Via AICN, a panel at the WONDERCON in San Francisco revealed a lot of tidbits:

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Remastered Trek: Doomsday and Constellation

AICN has some stunning before and after shots from the remastered Trek:TOS series, from the episode The Doomsday Machine. The shots are just awesome, there’s no other word. I loved this profile shot of the damaged USS Constellation in particular:

Damaged USS Constellation

and this flyby of the Enterprise with the Doomsday Machine in the distance:

Enterprise flyby of Doomsday machine

Click the images to see the original broadcast versions so you can appreciate the sheer awesomeness. This isn’t “Greedo shoots first”, it’s an expression of love for the source material. There are plenty more to gawk at so take a look.

JJ Abrams and Star Trek

In case you heard from somewhere that ubergeek director JJ Abrams is no longer affiliated with the new Star Trek motion picture about Kirk, Spock and Bones at the Academy, rest easy – AICN has JJ’s personal assurance that he’s still onboard.

The reason it matters is because JJ is a Star Trek geek at heart – he has a genuine love of Trek, and that enthusiasm is going to be visible just as Lord of the Rings lived and breathed because of the passion of the Peter.

It also bears mentioning that the classic Trek is getting a CGI make-over, too.

interview with Greg Bear

this is a pretty wide-ranging interview, worth reading in full. But one thing that leaped out at me was this Q&A, because not many people are aware of Bear’s work in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.

Aberrant Dreams: You are also one of the few writers that come to mind, having written in both the Star Trek and the Star Wars universes. At every science fiction convention, there is always a panel about Star Wars verses Star Trek. If you found yourself on that panel, for which side would you bat?

Greg Bear: Well, there wouldn’t have been a Star Wars without a Star Trek. I’m sure even George Lucas would admit that. If you go back to the lineage of interstellar travel and space opera, you’ll find two sides of the equation.

I think Star Trek adheres to the more seriously extrapolated side, despite some of the sillier episodes. It was more of a universe you could imagine yourself living in with fewer fantasy elements.

Star Wars came along and mixes in so many different elements. There are pulp films, samurai movies, Arthurian legend, and science fiction, and it’s all planted in a thoroughly convincing science fiction designed universe. It was a flavor that no one had quite seen before, and it was also done with tremendous conviction and love. At that time, Star Wars became a kind of crossover bridge for science fiction and fantasy. I think is still is to this day, while Star Trek and science fiction are more closely aligned. Its universe is a little more convincing.

Ultimately, it depends on your feeling of the moment. If you want rip-roaring action and that sort of thing, I still like Star Wars. I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since 1977. I don’t follow all of the novels and all of the off-shoots—it would take a lifetime at this point. I certainly haven’t done that with the Star Trek novels, either, and I’m not even that familiar with the more recent Star Trek series.

He also discusses transhumanism and his forthcoming book about the middle east and the west.

Trek turns 40

40 years ago today, a legend was born.

The final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations.

To boldly go where no man has gone before.

It still sends a shiver down my spine.

Paramount is also releasing a new version of the classic series, with updated special effects. These are being done with taste – no Jar-Jars, and Spock doesn’t shoot first. But if you remember the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations“, you’ll appreciate just how much more beautiful the classic Enterprise was when rendered with realism and love.

Paramount hosted a conference call on Sep. 6th (AICN transcript) where Michael Okuda and others involved in the Special Edition answered questions about the project.

But who cares about a Q&A? See the re-rendered Enterprise in motion for yourself (MOV video file via AICN).

Star Trek XI poster

wow. A single image reveals a lot about what – and when – the next Trek movie is going to be. Look below the fold. I considered the choice of JJ Abrams as director to be brilliant – it’s clear that he gets what made Star Trek so captivating the first time around; the characters, especially the Trek Trinity. The image brings a real mix of emotion and sentiment back with full force .. it is familiar, achingly familiar, and yet also full of promise at the same time. Continue reading “Star Trek XI poster”