Archive for the ‘Star Trek’ Category

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.

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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…

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.

“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.

SDCC Panels I’ll Regret Missing — Thursday

July 11, 2008

I’ve been to the San Diego International Comic-Con every July for maybe the last dozen years or so. It’s my regular pilgrimage — both as a fanboy like most everybody else and now as a “professional”. One thing I don’t attend at the con as much as I should are the panels. In fact, I think I may have been on as many panels as a speaker than I have sat in the audience as an observer.

And, this year probably won’t be much different than others. The Thursday Schedule has been released (Sunday has as well, but I’ll cover that later) and after perusing the first official day of the programing schedule I’ve concluded that I will probably regret missing the following panels…

11:30-12:30 Hasbro: GI JoeAs Hasbro ramps up for the summer 2009 blockbuster movie release of GI Joe, Aaron Archer (Hasbro Design), Michael Ritchie (Hasbro Marketing), and Michelino Paolino (Hasbro Design) discuss this year’s product line, entertainment, and other initiatives. Panelists will include special guests that you won’t want to miss, plus Q&A! Room 7AB

It’s going to be a big year for GI Joe — IDW is launching a new comic book series, and there’s a new live-action movie due out next summer. Having been involved with The Transformers in the past I’ve got an interest in what’s in store for the “Greatest American Hero”. And, I’ve worked with Aaron Archer and Michael Ritchie in the past so maybe I can throw an awkward question their way.

2:00-3:00 Red Sonja: One-on-One—Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), Rose McGowan (Grindhouse), Doug Aarniokoski (2nd unit director, Resident Evil 3) and David White (Undisputed 2) are teaming up to bring back the red-headed warrior woman known as Red Sonja. Join Robert, Rose, Doug, and David for this one-on-one interview and Q&A session! Room 6CDEF

Spy Kids movies aside, I dig a lot of Robert Rodriguez‘ flicks — El Mariachi, From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City, Planet Terror. And then there’s Rose McGowan — yeah, fanboy crush. I was intrigued when I heard that the two were lined up to remake Barbarella. Now it looks like it’s the on-again, off-again, on-again Red Sonja. This may potentially be the most kick-ass and hottest looking sword wielding movie ever.

4:00-5:00 Star Trek Without a Blueprint: How Books and Comics Keep Expanding the Boundaries of the Star Trek Universe—Andy Mangels (moderator and Star Trek author), Margaret Clark (executive editor, Pocket Books), Andy Schmidt (senior editor, IDW) and Star Trek authors Kevin Dilmore, Dave Mack, Scott Tipton, Wil Wheaton, and Dayton Ward discuss the future of Star Trek publishing. Room 32AB authors

This is pretty much the same panel that I was on last year when I was serving as editor for IDW’s Star Trek line. I’m interested to hear what Andy has to say as the new Star Trek editor. It’ll also be nice to say “hey” to Margaret and Scott.

Now, if they only held panels at the Hyatt bar I’d probably attend more of them.

Angry Fanboy – 8

March 26, 2008
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Angry Fanboy – 4

February 15, 2008
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