Archive for the ‘Science-Fiction’ Category

Today Was Star Wars Day?

May 4, 2009

starwarslogoI woke up today to numerous greetings of “Happy Star Wars Day” — mostly all over Twitter. Did I miss something? Was there a geek meeting, or nerd memo circulated that I was unaware of? Now, I understand the pun of the reference in regards to today’s date and a line of dialog spoken throughout the Star Wars movies. Today was the fourth of May. “May the Force be with you” is uttered numerous times by various Star Wars characters. “May the fourth be with you” and “May the Force be with you”. Clever — kinda.

It has always been my assumption that May 25th was Star Wars Day — signifying the day that the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977.  Admittedly, “May the twenty-fifth be with” doesn’t quite sound very similar to Jedi mantra, but… “May the fourth be with you”? I don’t recall Obi-Wan Kenobi speaking with a lisp. And, I certainly don’t remember Cindy Brady being a member of the Jedi Council. But then again, maybe that’s how she managed to get Joe Namath to pay a visit to her “sick” brother, Bobby.

Coulda Been “Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan”

April 24, 2009

NOTE: If you haven’t already, you might want to check my previous post — Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… Writing Possibilities — before proceeding further with reading the post below.

dtnextgenDuring my tenure as an Editor at IDW Publishing, the opportunity to edit the newly acquired Star Trek license was definitely the highlight — as much as I dug what we accomplished with Transformers while I was there. (Ugh, that last sentence could’ve used an editor.) Star Trek has always been the favorite of my geek-habit “children”. Having the opportunity to contribute to the Star Trek galaxy was — as cliché as it sounds — a dream come true. I felt what we accomplished with Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Space Between, Klingons: Blood Will Tell, Star Trek: Year Four, and Star Trek: Alien Spotlight was something really special. In fact, at one time I was set to contribute as a writer to the Alien Spotlight series, but it didn’t work out. I probably phasered myself in the foot with that one.

After leaving my post as Editor at IDW to pursue the “whimsical” life of a freelance writer I still hoped to keep the dream alive and contribute to the Star Trek galaxy. This included an effort in submitting a few pitches for the second Alien Spotlight series. One of the pitches involved the nasty Nausicaans — which were featured prominently in The Next Generation episode “Tapestry” (Season 6, Episode 15), one of my all-time favorite episodes.

Like most writers know, when you throw pitches and stories up against the wall to see what sticks, a lot of what you’ve entertained ends up falling into a pile on the ground. For whatever reason, for better or worse, the following pitch didn’t stick — but, I wanted to share it nonetheless.

Alien Spotlight: Nausicaan – “A Severed Thread”

Opening scene on two young male Nausicaans, equivalent age to a 10 and 12 year-old—Kier is the younger Nausicaan and Zon is the older of the two. They are in a forest and have come upon a cornered boar-like creature. Zon pushes for his younger brother to take on the creature and slay it with the sword he was just given by their father. Kier balks and Zon calls him a coward—an evaluation that hurts the younger Nausicaan. Two decades later, the two Nausicaan brothers are serving aboard a pirate vessel, and Kier has just received communication that he has a newborn son. Zon teases his younger brother that at least his son will have an uncle to look up to since it is unlikely that Kier will ever amount to his level of superiority. The pirate vessel attacks and boards a merchant transport and the boarding party of outlaws is ruthless as they plunder the cargo and harm the crew. Kier again shows a moment of weakness when he hesitates to finish off one of the transport’s crew—an act that doesn’t go unnoticed by his brother Zon, who belittles his sibling by referring to him as being unworthy of owning their father’s sword. Shortly thereafter, the two Nausicaan brothers, in addition to a third Nausicaan, find themselves at a Bonestell casino where Zon cheats human Starfleet Ensign Corey Zweller. This leads to an eventual fight where Kier, in order to prove to his older brother that he is a worthy Nausicaan, stabs another Starfleet Ensign in the back and through his heart with his sword—Ensign Jean-Luc Picard (ST:TNG “Tapestry”). The Nausicaans are arrested and sent to prison for their crimes. Kier ends up serving fifty years, contemplating the actions which led to his incarceration and the lost opportunity of seeing his own son grow. He is eventually released due in part to an early Nausicaan/Federation treaty brought on by a Nausicaan diplomat—Kier’s own son. Upon his release, the much older Kier travels to Earth and surprises now retired Jean-Luc Picard in his vineyard. Kier apologizes for his actions some fifty years previously, but states that his and his brother’s absence from his son’s life—and the lack their violent influences—may have in fact, led to Kier’s son becoming a diplomat and a new beginning for the Nausicaan and the Federation. Kier then presents his father’s sword to Picard and leaves without saying another word.

Counting Down To Star Trek

April 8, 2009

startrekcountdowntpbIf I was excited about seeing the new Star Trek movie directed by J.J. Abrams — which is warping onto the big screen next month — then my former colleagues (as well as a few newer individuals that have joined the team since my departure) at IDW publishing have only amped the anticipation with the release of Star Trek: Countdown.

I’ve got a month’s wait — May 8th — for the release of the latest Star Trek flick. I have eagerly awaited the release of each and every Star Trek movie since the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture back in 1979 — three decades ago… Wow! And sure, not every Star Trek film has been exactly stellar, but for the most part they have been enjoyable. And, there’s no denying that the anticipation of each release was always exciting for Trekkies and/or Trekkers like myself.

Now, when I first heard that the eleventh Star Trek movie was going to be a sort of a “re-imagined” or “re-tooled” of the original series featuring such iconic characters as Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, et al. there was some uneasy concern that they messin’ with the wrong guy’s favorite science fiction franchise. But, the more I saw by means of photos and trailers, and the more I read via web sites such as TrekMovie.com, the more I began to realize that, “Hey, maybe I won’t be heartbroken after all.”

What IDW Publishing’s Star Trek: Countdown — story by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman,  script by Tim Jones & Mike Johnson, and art by David Messina (who I miss receiving regular deliveries of fresh art in my inbox from) — was able to do was cast aside any concerns that I might have had by neatly and smartly tying Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek movie into the already well-established, and heavily ladened with years of canon, continuity. IDW’s Star Trek: Countdown is really as much of a Star Trek: The Next Generation story as much as it is a prequel to the upcoming movie. Yeah, the new movie will have a different “glossier” look than the original series. Yeah, my beloved Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov will be played by a cast of fresh faces that would seem to be at home in a United Colors of Benetton ad. But, you know what? It’s still Star Trek.

Thirty days to go — and counting down…

Major Matt Mason To Soar Again

March 26, 2009

majormattmasonsoarsBefore there was G.I. Joe (Adventure Team), before there was Big Jim, before there was Action Jackson… There was Major Matt Mason — the very first action figure that I ever owned. I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old, but I remember the day that Major Matt Mason first soared into my life. I had just awoke from a mid-day nap (wish I could still take those) and staggered out into the living room to find just about every Major Matt Mason and the “The Men In Space” action figure and accessory strategically and carefully laid out on the floor. An older kid that lived in the same apartment complex was moving and he was leaving all of his Major Matt Mason toys to me. Score! And thus begun my long time addiction to action figure. (If only I still had every action figure I ever owned. I have to admit that I don’t own many nowadays.)

But, why am I bringing up Major Matt Mason now? On Tuesday, Variety reported that Universal will be developing Major Matt Mason, a live-action motion picture to star Tom Hanks.

If you’re not in the know (or haven’t clicked on the Major Matt Mason link above), Major Matt Mason was one of the first action figure toy lines. Created by Mattel, the line was based on an astronaut and his crew and their adventures on the moon. Who better than Tom Hanks, who starred as astronaut and commander James Lovell in Apollo 13 and served as executive producer, co-writer, and co-director of From the Earth to the Moon?

Now, if there were only a Major Matt Mason comic book…

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Go Animate. Alright I Did…

February 11, 2009

oneredshirttogoSo, I was checking out my “Nerd News” last night and my usual routine of course took me by TrekMovie.com. While there I gravitated toward the article Make Your Own Star Trek Animations At GoAnimate.com – Trek Movie Takes A First Look.  This in turn lead me to GoAnimate.com. I was instantly hooked and spent about an hour and a half playing with this new animation creator featuring nifty looking Star Trek characters.

I jumped right in — not bothering with any tutorials or reading any how-tos. I beamed right into the mix of things and started to create my first Star Trek cartoon. I had no plan on what I was going to produce, but what I did come up with (while rather simple) I feel is worthy enough to share. Please check out One Red Shirt, To Go and let me know what you think.

Now I’ve already got other animated short ideas bouncing around in my head. Hopefully, with any luck and a bit of motivation, I’ll produce a few more.

Wrong Turn On The Way To The Land Of The Lost

February 4, 2009

landofthelost200x200Alright, let’s get this out of the way… I’ve seen the Land of the Lost Super Bowl XLII TV spot. Though, I’m glad that I didn’t actually see it that day. It could’ve — No, it would’ve ruined what was generally a pretty good day spent with friends.

Anybody that knows me knows that I’ve been a fan of the original Land of the Lost since I was the age of six. Way back in the day, when Saturday morning children’s programming really meant something. They’d preview the upcoming Saturday kid fair with a prime time special. And, it was during the the NBC preview that I got my first glimpse of Grumpy — the terrifying tyrannosaurus rex that would relentlessly torment the Marshall family for three seasons. It scared the crap out of me — but I was hooked nonetheless. During my early days of elementary school I’d struggle through the grind of learning my three Rs — reading, writing, and arithmetic — just to get to Saturday and another episode of Land of the Lost. I also dug Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (not so much when Rip Taylor showed up), Super Friends, and Star Trek: The Animated Series.

I’ve kept it no secret that over the last number of years I’ve wanted to adapt (and even update) Land of the Lost as a comic book. When I heard there was going to be a big-budget motion picture based on the Land of the Lost I had high hopes for something glorious. Then I heard it would be starring Will Ferrell — and a piece of my childhood died. Then I heard it would be a “comedy-adventure” and another piece of my childhood chipped off and fluttered away in the wind. Then online I saw the commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. My heart “plunged a thousand feet below…”

If you haven’t seen it yet… Well, here it is…

Sigh. It looks like the only thing they did get right was the raft plunging down a thousand feet below. The original material was so ripe with possibilities and all kinds of probabilities. Instead, we’re apparently getting a hundred thousand dollar budgeted spoof of a true Saturday morning television classic. Sid and Marty Kroft… I hate you.

“Khaaan!” I Get An Action Figure?

January 8, 2009

I need a favor. I need someone to go to Toys ‘R Us and get me the new exclusive “Khaaan!” Admiral Kirk (As Seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) action figure. Back in my action figure collecting days (mainly Star Trek even) I made regular pilgrimages to Toys ‘R Us. I can’t justify spending the eBay prices (plus shipping) with my current budget. But this is a “must have” figure. I might have to roll out at lunch tomorrow and see if I can score one at the Toys ‘R Us that’s located a few miles from work.

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That may be the best Star Trek action figure… ever!

Majel Barrett Roddenberry 1932 – 2008

December 18, 2008

mbr-chapel-mccoyI got home from work today to find that my recently repaired DSL service working for for the second straight day in a row and was thankful to once again decompress while surfing the web. Unfortunately, my surfing brought me news of the passing of Majel Barret Roddenberry. Known to Star Trek fans like myself as Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, Mrs. Roddenberry was also featured as Number One in Star Trek Original Series‘ pilot “The Cage,” as well as Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the voice of most of the onboard  computers of the ships of Starfleet — a voice that was often heard on a number of the various computers I’ve owned upon booting up.

Somewhere, someplace, I’ve got a copy of the picture accompanying this post that Majel Barrett Roddenberry autographed for me when I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Star Trek convention years ago. She was always a great ambassador for Star Trek fandom. It was recently announced that she would be  participating in the upcoming J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie — once again as the voice of the onboard computer, a steady and reassuring aspect that has remained a constant throughout the various incarnations of Star Trek over the past forty plus years.

Unveiling The New Enterprise

November 11, 2008

It seems as if Entertainment Weekly has the inside scoop with all things related to J.J. Abram’s new Star Trek movie due out next May. Over at their Pop Watch Blog they’re offering up an exclusive first look at all new U.S.S. Enterprise. I know the look of the Enterprise is bound to generate a plethora of debates among the Star Trek united — but, I for one, am digging it. I feel that it definitely retains the “classic look” of the original Enterprise, while at the same time upgrading her to today’s standards while remaining a bit retro sixties-kitschy. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen.

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Forty-Two Years Ago — Yesterday

September 9, 2008

I hadn’t realized it yesterday (I wasn’t realizing a lot yesterday, for some reason) but September 08 — yesterday — was the forty second anniversary of the original Star Trek television series. Now, since I’m only forty I obviously wasn’t around when the first episode — The Man Trap — of Star Trek aired. But, I do however remember Star Trek being a part of my life for as far back as I can remember.

But curiously, rather than realizing that the Yankees/Angels game was on I spent the evening watching Star Trek: The Next Generation — the very last episode of that series to be exact, All Good Things… (which aired on May 29, 1994).

And, now I “patiently” await for May 8, 2009 — only a mere 240 days — for the premiere of the new Star Trek movie.