First Full Star Trek: Discovery Trailer

First thoughts (copied from a Facebook post, with minor edits): I’m looking forward to seeing more!

First thoughts (copied from a Facebook post, with minor edits):

Definitely looks good visually. I do like the look of the ship in the few glimpses we get. Expecting some snarky comparisons to both the Abramsverse (lens flare!) and Star Wars (blue-tinged holograms).

Grinned at the triplicate chirp of the communicator. Interesting “grid” effect for the transporter (which also sounds right).

Looks like they’re adopting the clear “window” style front viewscreens from the Abramsverse. The bridge is dark…definitely closer to the submarine-style look of ST:ENT or the traditional battle bridges, but not as cramped. One of the bridge crew looks like a Trek version of Lobot from Star Wars (a character on Bespin with a tech gadget wrapped around the back of his head).

Uniforms look okay, definitely expect to see that cosplay popping up pretty quickly. Everyone has the delta shield insignia on their chest, but I’m seeing at least two different symbols within (the starburst and the spiral), so perhaps they’re going with using those to signify departments, rather than ships/posts (as originally used), since everyone seems to have the same blue jumpsuit uniform. The delta shields also appear to be either in gold or silver…rank?

Not sure what I think about the new look for the Klingons just yet…very spiky outfits (seems they took design cues from Dracula’s armor in the Gary Oldman/Winona Ryder film), and the face/head look also looks much more similar to the Abramsverse take.

In addition to Sarek (and it’s weird thinking of James Frain as Sarek; my primary association with him is from The Tudors), we may get a glimpse of a young Spock (but that doesn’t seem right; as this is only 10 years pre-TOS, Spock wouldn’t be that young)?

The corridors do look right (silly thing, sure, but they do!).

Looks like we may be getting a glimpse of a Klingon funeral, complete with “everyone scream at the sky to usher the deceased to Sto-vo-kor” death ritual.

Some interesting very brief glimpses at aliens (including, um, Daft Punk?).

And it ends with the classic fanfare.

I’m looking forward to seeing more!

George Takei Says You’re A Douchebag

Hello, I’m George Takei. You are…a douchebag. That’s right! A douchebag. You are always going to be a total douchebag. I can only suspect that you have some…shall I say…’issues’ to work out?

Just a bit of silliness here. A little selective editing of premium pieces of this YouTube video gives us this particularly choice piece of audio. Feel free to download and use as your favorite ringtone. ;)

Long Version (201KB .mp3): “Hello, I’m George Takei. You are…a douchebag. That’s right! A douchebag. You are always going to be a total douchebag. I can only suspect that you have some…shall I say…’issues’ to work out?”

Medium Version (106KB .mp3): “You are…a douchebag. That’s right! A douchebag. You are always going to be a total douchebag.”

Short Version (29KB .mp3): “You are…a douchebag.”

I couldn’t resist.

Spockstradamus

So, with a little digging around on Memory Alpha, I present a (likely _very_ incomplete) list of things that Spock Prime _could_ warn the Federation about, as they should still exist to pose future threats to the Federation.

So the Star Trek universe is now in an alternative timeline. Everything that we ‘know’ of Trek’s future history (save, of all things, the Enterprise series) has been wiped out, and our beloved crew (and all the writers tasked with coming up with new and interesting things to do) has a blank slate to work with. However, it’s still a pretty big universe, and there’s a lot of stuff out there that won’t have been affected by the timeline split. While I’d rather see new adventures from here on out, if writers ever need some inspiration, there’s a fair amount of stuff that we already know is going to be a problem down the line.

So, with a little digging around on Memory Alpha, I present a (very incomplete) list of things that Spock Prime could warn the Federation about, as they should still exist to pose future threats to the Federation. Obviously, one could just list every bad guy and alien encounter seen in all the series and films, but I just wanted to grab a few of the ‘biggies’ (that is, major potential death toll events) that came to mind.

Feel free to toss out more that might be interesting, this is just a few minutes of pondering.

  • 2267: Discovery of the S.S. Botany Bay, carrying Khan and his crew of supermen. Probably best to either just torpedo the ship, or aim it at a planet not likely to explode and dump Khan and crew off there as if they’d arrived normally.
  • 2267: The planet killer starts gobbling up Federation worlds.
  • 2268: Yonada is on a collision course with Daran V. Perhaps not a threat to the entire Federation, but the Yonadans have the cure for the disease xenopolycythemia which will kill McCoy in 2269 if not treated.
  • 2268: A giant toxic space amoeba which could multiply and ‘infect’ the galaxy appears.
  • 2273: V’ger returns in search of its creator.
  • 2365: First contact with the Borg. However, as this contact is instigated by Q, there’s no way to positively determine an exact date when the alternative universe Borg will discover the Federation.
  • 2387: A super-supernova destroys Romulus (remember, that was only stopped in the Prime timeline, not the new timeline).

Update: Pop Culture Zoo has taken a much more in-depth look at the ramifications of the new timeline that’s well worth reading. Touches on some of the things I mentioned in the list above, and brings up a few others.

Now that we know how the new Star Trek film handles the continuity issues, what exactly does it all mean and what are the greater implications to not just the original series, but the greater Trek mythos as a whole? I freely admit I may be the only one who really cares, but the more I started thinking about what this new timeline meant, the more it spiralled out of control. So, I decided to take a stroll through established Star Trek history and was surprised at all the events, large and small, that are affected as a result of two actions on Nero’s part. It all starts in the time of Mark Twain.

Thoughts on Star Trek

In the many long months leading up to the release of the film, I’d wanted it to be good, I’d hoped it would be good, and as we got closer, the many outstanding reviews gave me hope — and for once, I wasn’t let down.

As briefly mentioned earlier, Prairie and I went out to see Star Trek on Friday evening, and, long story short: given the unenviable and potentially disastrous goal of reinvigorating a much-beloved but floundering and stagnant franchise that most people had written off as long past its prime, J.J. Abrams and company managed to beat the odds and pull it off with style. In the many long months leading up to the release of the film, I’d wanted it to be good, I’d hoped it would be good, and as we got closer, the many outstanding reviews gave me hope — and for once, I wasn’t let down.

Non-spoilery Rambling

The biggest question, of course — beyond even the redesign of the Enterprise and her big nacelles, or how well the story would mesh with established canon — was whether recasting characters that we’ve known for so many decades would even work. Could they manage to be the characters without either slavishly aping the original actors, or fall into parody? Would Kirk be Kirk without Shatner’s (not quite) inimitable delivery?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. As I’ve been thinking back over the film over the past couple days, the biggest thing that stands out to me is just how incredibly well the cast did at inhabiting the essence of the characters and their personalities without falling into the trap of mimicking the original actors. Pine, Quinto and Urban as the “holy trinity” of Kirk, Spock and McCoy likely had the toughest jobs in making us believe in them as the characters, but all three of them (along with the rest of the primary cast) managed to make me a believer.

Given that much of what was done in this film was necessary to ‘reset’ the franchise so that they could move forward from here without being trapped by canon — really, I don’t quite understand how people can be upset about the device used to reset things, as without that, we’d know the future of the characters and there wouldn’t be much long-term suspense or real sense of danger — I am really looking forward to seeing where we go from here on out.

I want to see this movie in the theater again, I want to have it at home to watch again, and I already can’t wait to see what this team can do with the sequel, when they’re free to move forward.

More thoughts under the cut, as they’re going to be more than a little spoileriffic…

Continue reading “Thoughts on Star Trek”

Birthday Bits

So I turn 36 on Sunday. Pretty sure I can still claim ‘mid-30’s’ at this point, though I’m getting perilously close to the ‘late-30’s.’ Upcoming or recent birthday-related bits follow.

So I turn 36 on Sunday. Pretty sure I can still claim “mid-30’s” at this point, though I’m getting perilously close to the “late-30’s.”

Upcoming or recent birthday-related bits include:

  1. Prairie and I getting bikes. This has been awesome. We’re both very glad that we decided to do this for my birthday, and that we went ahead and did it early, a few weeks ago.

  2. On Sunday, I’ll be losing the ponytail and sending it off to Locks of Love. This will mark six years since I decided that if I ever wanted to have long hair again, I better start growing it out now. I shaved my head one last time on my 30th birthday, then started letting it grow, and outside of a few trims to take care of split ends, have just let my hair grow since then. As the hairline goes and the forehead grows, though, it’s time to dodge the skullet bullet and shave it all back down again.

  3. Also on Sunday, we’ll be going to the zoo to see the brand-new penguin exhibit. H, P, and N will be joining us. Penguins yay!

  4. On Friday the 8th we’re going to the 7pm showing of the new Star Trek movie. Set phasers to ‘awesome’ (I hope…advance word is looking pretty good though).

  5. At some as-yet unspecified Saturday night in mid- to late-May, I’ll be heading down to Vogue Night. It won’t really be a birthday party as much as my monthly “gotta get out and bounce” night, but if someone were to say hello and perhaps spot me a drink, I doubt I’d complain.

  6. On July 3rd we’re going to Jason Webley‘s 11-year Extravaganza concert at Seattle’s Town Hall. This is very exciting for both of us. For a number of years, Jason did two big shows a year, one in fall and one in spring, which would always be very close to either my birthday or Prairie’s (which is Nov. 3rd, exactly six months after mine). It’s been a few years since we’ve been to any of his shows, though, as he’s been playing venues more suited to his younger, more energetic crowd, and as we’d prefer to sit in the back and enjoy the show rather than getting pushed about and stepped on (not intentionally or in a mean way, just the kind of thing that happens in a club show atmosphere) by rambunctious young’uns, we’ve been less inclined to head down to his more recent Seattle-area shows. Town Hall works very well for everyone, though — the kids get to bounce around in front of the stage, and us old fogies get to sit in the back and enjoy the music and show — so we’re looking forward to this.

And that’s everything I can think of.

And, of course, the annual bit of shameless greed*: on the off chance that someone should feel all birthday present-ish, feel free to poke around at my Amazon wishlists (helpfully categorized into photography, audiovisual, literary, gadgets, and other) or just hit the PayPal button on my about page and contribute to my Nikon D700 fund. ;)


  • Disclaimer: this is mostly tongue-in-cheek, the economy sucks, and I expect nothing except perhaps some rolling of eyes and gentle mocking. Hugs and/or kind words are always acceptable birthday presents. Still, you never know what might happen, and it can’t hurt to toss the idea out there, right?

Ranking the Star Trek Films

After having spent much of the past few weeks working my way through the Star Trek film series, this is how I rank them, best to worst. Obviously, this is my personal ranking. Feel free to disagree.

After having spent much of the past few weeks working my way through the Star Trek film series, this is how I rank them, best to worst. Obviously, this is my personal ranking. Feel free to disagree.

  1. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  4. Star Trek: First Contact
  5. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  7. Star Trek: Generations
  8. Star Trek: Nemesis
  9. Star Trek: Insurrection
  10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

The #1 and #2 spots are tough, very nearly a tie — and probably where I’ll get the most disagreement — but for me, that’s how they stack up. As good as TWoK is, the combination of the underlying theme of recognizing and overcoming racism and prejudice, and Christopher Plummer’s gleeful scenery chewing, Shakespeare-quoting, bolted-in-eyepatch General Chang (“Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!”) make TUD work for me. Some of this may be that I saw TUD in theaters, which I was too young to do with TWoK, and I have very fond memories of the theater erupting in cheers watching the Enterprise and Excelsior hammer Chang’s Bird of Prey into oblivion — that scene still gets my blood pumping when I watch it.

(Plus, while I know he’s done something like six million other things, I love that General Chang and Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music are the same actor.)

Continue reading “Ranking the Star Trek Films”

CSI Gets Geeky

I don’t often talk much about my TV watching, but one of the shows that Prairie’s managed to get me into is CSI, and last night’s episode, ‘A Space Oddity,’ was _so_ worth it. Bottom line: great episode, and worth watching if you’re a fan of CSI, Trek, BSG, or any combination of the above.

I don’t often talk much about my TV watching — in some small part because after spending something over a decade as as anti-TV zealot, I’m in some ways still coming to terms with actually finding some TV worth gritting my teeth through the commercials — but one of the shows that Prairie’s managed to get me into is CSI, and last night’s episode, “A Space Oddity,” was so worth it.

I was pretty sure that I’d be getting a few laughs out of the episode from the previews, which made it clear that the murder of the week was going to be at a Star Trek convention. I didn’t expect just how entertained I ended up being, though. The writers obviously knew their stuff (not surprising, as it turns out the episode was written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson, two former writers for Battlestar Galactica, and directed by fellow BSG alumnus Michael Nankin), and the show was crammed with funny and knowing tributes to fandom — specifically, Star Trek and BSG.

Hodges surrounded by Astro Quest fen
Hodges surrounded by Astro Quest fen

The show opens with Hodges running around Whatifitcon, a Star Trek Astro Quest convention, surrounded by various alien-costumed fen. Soon he runs into fellow CSI labrat Wendy, all dressed up in an AQ uniform. They don’t have long to bond over their shared love of “the greatest science-fiction show ever” before there’s a commotion nearby — a murder (imagine that)! Hodges calls in to CSI headquarters to let them know that, yes…”He’s dead, Jim.”

The victim turns out to be Jonathan Danson, a producer who’d been working on a modern “reimagining” of the classic Astro Quest show. The night before, he’d shown off the first glimpses of Astro Quest: Redux, and the response was…well, it was pretty much what happened when Ron Moore first started showing off his “reimagined” version of the classic Battlestar Galactica. In short, the fans were not impressed.

And here was where an already enjoyably silly episode really took off for me. I’d already been grinning from the various Star Trek gags, then even more when it became obvious that they were riffing off the recent BSG reworking. But then, as the camera pans across the shocked and horrified fans…

BSG's Grace Park isn't a fan of the new Astro Quest
BSG's Grace Park isn't a fan of the new Astro Quest

…waitasec, that was Grace Park — Sharon Valerii/Boomer/Athena/and lots of other cylons in BSG! But after just a quick glimpse of her, just long enough for me to register the cameo, another offended fan jumps out of his chair, yelling “You SUCK!” at Danson.

BSG creator Ron Moore _really_ isn't a fan!
BSG creator Ron Moore _really_ isn't a fan!

And, of course, that’s none other than Ron Moore himself, responsible for “reimagining” BSG. And the cameos don’t stop there, as an academic researching the cultural impact of the Astro Quest television show is played by none other than Kate Vernon, BSG’s Ellen Tigh.

The episode goes on from there, with Hodges and Wendy dancing around their newfound connection, complete with fantasy scenarios giving nods to ST:TOS episodes “The Menagerie” and “The Gamesters of Triskelion”, über-geeks a little too involved in the AQ world living with their mother in a room entirely remodeled to match the AQ set, and so on.

The one criticism I might have with the episode would be that it falls victim to the same trap that so many other shows do when involving the geek community, in that they rely so heavily on comedy at the expense of the fringe members of fandom (the geeks in their remodeled room in mom’s house, for example). However, given that they also spent time letting Vernon’s academic and the bartender espouse some of the less cringeworthy sides of science-fiction shows and fandom, and “outed” two regular cast members as fans (and it wasn’t even the less socially adept character who got all dressed up in costume for the convention), I’m willing to cut them some slack.

Bottom line: great episode, and worth watching (you can even see the whole episode online at CBS’s CSI site) if you’re a fan of CSI, Trek, BSG, or any combination of the above.

The Norwescon Outfit I Didn’t Make

This is what I wanted to do for this year’s Norwescon…and, to be honest, I _still_ think it’d be fun to do it at some point in the future. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it, but it’s fun to have it rattling around in my head.

…because I have been short on time, money, initiative, know-how, or various combinations of all of the above.

What I wanted to do: prove that Starfleet’s more advanced mindset extended to sexual discrimination and choices in clothing. Just because all we’ve seen so far is slacks for men and women and (mini)skirts on women, I’m sure that doesn’t mean that that’s all there is.

(Note: actually, in first season TNG, there were a few men in unbifurcated uniforms, as evidenced by this Wikipedia mention and this slightly confused fan. However, these ‘skant‘ uniforms pretty much disappeared by the second season.)

The USS Utilikilt
The USS Utilikilt
The plan: customize a TOS Starfleet tunic and an Original Utilikilt (or even Workman’s or Survival, but those were even further out of my theoretical budget) with the logo you see to the right.

In order to find a way to work in the Utilikilts logo, I figured the uniform would have to be TOS style, when the insignia within the delta shield changed depending on the ship the crewmember was assigned to and before the standardization on the Enterprise’s ‘starburst’ central insignia. I wanted to use this design to create a custom patch in color (with the traditional gold background) for the tunic, plus one in black and white to go on the rear pocket of the Utilikilt.

Unfortunately, a number of things got in the way of completing (or even starting on) this project, from simply not having the money to drop on the tunic, a new Utilikilt, or having the custom patches made (and this was before I got laid off), to the Utilikilts people being swamped with work and unable to work on a custom kilt request at that time.

Still, this is what I wanted to do for this year’s Norwescon…and, to be honest, I still think it’d be fun to do it at some point in the future. I don’t know (and, to be honest, kind of doubt) if I’ll ever get around to it, but it’s fun to have it rattling around in my head.

International Talk Like William Shatner Day

In honor of William Shatner’s 78th birthday today, 3/22/09, I am declaring March 22nd to be ‘International Talk Like William Shatner Day!’ Now, since talking like our hero is a bit more challenging than walking around going, ‘Arrr’, I’ve included the following video tutorial for your edification.

In honor of William Shatner’s 78th birthday tomorrow today, 3/22/09, I am declaring March 22nd to be “International Talk Like William Shatner Day!” Hey, we have “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”, and Shatner inspired a helluva lot more kids to be like Captain James T. Kirk than any who wanted to be some smelly, toothless, “arrr”-spouting frickin’ pirate.

Now, since talking like our hero is a bit more challenging than walking around going, “Arrr”, I’ve included the following video tutorial for your edification, filmed by producer Bill Biggar, on a loooong drive to the airport on L.A.’s fabulous 405 freeway. Enjoy, and remember, it’s pronounced “sabotaaj”, not, “sabotahj”.

Nacelles Monthly

J.J. Abrams: ‘The key is to appreciate that there are purists and fans of ‘Star Trek’ who are going to be very vocal if they see things that aren’t what what they want. But I can’t make this movie for readers of Nacelles Monthly…’

J.J. Abrams:

The key is to appreciate that there are purists and fans of “Star Trek” who are going to be very vocal if they see things that aren’t what what they want. But I can’t make this movie for readers of Nacelles Monthly…

Nacelles Monthly

(via, and created by, TrekMovie.com)