Star Trek - Past, Present and Future
Articles and Quotes

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1991 June 09

The following section follows a report about The Silver Anniversary Convention ( located at and of this arcticle, and a section about William Shatner)

LEONARD NIMOY, Mr. Spock
When most people hear the words Star Trek, they immediately blurt out the name "Mr. Spock," except for those few people who insist on referring to him as the “guy with the pointed ears."

There is no doubt that the character of Mr. Spock is the most recognizable figure associated with the phenomenon of Star Trek. And actor Leonard Nimoy knows this only too well.


altalt“The Star Trek phenomenon continues to amaze me and confound me," he says. "It was incredible and it still is. For a time, it was hysterical — it was so wild that I had to be very careful where I went. If I went to a restaurant, I had to plan my entrances and my exits so I wouldn’t be mobbed and hurt. Same thing in hotels and airports — any public place. It isn’t that hysterical any more, but it is still a potent force.
"Our fans are wonderful people who have very strong feelings about what we do. I remember there were some people who were particularly angry when they discovered that Spock was going to die in Star Trek II."
However, Nimoy also confesses that he had apprehensions about the death of his Star Trek alter ego.
"I had very mixed emotions about the whole thing. I was extremely nervous about what they had in mind for Spock. I felt at the same time, though, that it was a daring and creative idea."
But the fans’ cries of protest soon subsided when Paramount took the next logical step and allowed Nimoy to direct the search for his other self in Star Trek III
"I felt there was a tremendous amount of interest from the fans as to whether or not Spock was coming back," says Nimoy. "By the time Star Trek III opened, I think the feeling really was, ‘okay, he’s probably coming back, but let’s find out how.’ And if it’s done interestingly, then it works."
Nimoy was pleased to see Spock reunited with his Star Trek family in Star Trek IV and the wonderful interaction the characters had together.
"l think the family of characters is terribly important to Star Trek. The audience really enjoys seeing these people work together and deal with each other. I think when we have that operating, then the rest that goes on around it is helpful, but at least the core is there. Star Trek operates on so many levels for so many people. Some people enjoy the mechanics of it, the ships and the battles and so forth; and some people would rather see more of the philosophies expressed. Some people are more interested in the pure science of it, and some are interested in a little bit more fantasy. But I think it touches a lot of bases and therefore has a broad audience."
Directing Star Trek III and Star Trek IV was a dream come true for Nimoy, who had wanted to direct for quite some time.
"It was a fulfillment of something that had been frustrating for me because I had not been getting to do the directing that I had intended to do. For years, I had been sidetracked with the directing and I have finally, finally come to it in a bigger way than l ever dreamed I would!"
With Star Trek celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Nimoy believes the show has really "matured. I think that that is really the major change in Star Trek, "he states. “We are now 25 years older and we’re not denying it. It seems the audience is perfectly happy to go along with the fact that we are actually changing and aging. I think that is part of Star Trek’s appeal. The public sees us getting older and it makes us more believable."
Now, after a successful career of acting, directing and writing, Nimoy’s future continues to look brighter and brighter. But if he had to choose one particular accomplishment from his past that he’s most proud of, what would it be?
"I’ll be honest, I’m very proud of some of the performances I did in various Star Trek episodes," says Nimoy. "I was particularly proud of the fact that I was nominated three times for an Emmy all three seasons. You know, the nominations are done by your fellow actors and that meant a lot to me. Each year that notice arrived in the mail, it brought tears to my eyes. I really felt that the actors understood what the character was all about and what we were trying to do. I was really flattered by that."
In a way, Nimoy has walked in the shadow of Spock for many years. He has witnessed a longevity to Star Trek that few television shows ever achieve. It is not surprising then that he feels pride for the things the show and the character of Spock represent. Many words have been written by the fans regarding their emotional attachment to the show and its Vulcan character. But what if Spock were a real, flesh and blood being observing Earth for the past 25 years? What would he think of Star Trek and the millions of people who make up its phenomenal following?
"I think he would have a one word reaction to this incredible phenomenon we call Star Trek,“ Nimoy concludes. . . ‘fascinating! "

altThe Silver Anniversary Convention
Imagine yourself at the Academy Awards, sitting in a vast theater with a capacity crowd of more than 6,300 people. Imagine the glamour, the movie stars, the writers, the directors, the producers. . . Imagine the excitement, the energy, the anticipation...the feeling of history in the making. Imagine all of this, and you will know what it was like to be seated at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on Sunday, June 9, 1991, for Creation’s salute to the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek.
The logistics of pulling off this once-in-a-lifetime event were enormous. The need for intense security resulted in long lines and longer waits. Remember, this was the first time that Gene Roddenberry and the entire original cast of Star Trek had appeared together, on stage, at a public event. The security measures were a necessity, and despite the delays, nobody can argue that the event which followed wasn’t worth waiting for!
Majel Barrett Roddenberry opened the show to a very enthusiastic audience. In the brief time alotted her on stage, she reflected on the 25-year history of Star Trek and her continuing role in the phenomenon.
Comedian Ron Darian followed. His impressions of Kirk, Spock an McCoy had the audience in stitches. His affectionate and humorous Star Trek anecdotes touched everyone with a sense of shared commonality. Before impersonating everybody’s favorite half-Vulcan, Ron asked the audience, "If Spock was so intelligent, how come he never learned to round-off" — the Shrine was filled with laughter. ·
The next segment of the show featured solo appearances by three actors who represent a triumvirate of heroes. The first of the three was introduced by a special video created by Creation with clips from the original series and five motion pictures, featuring the one person whose character best reflects the lyrics of the popular Robert Palmer hit song, Doctor; Doctor.
DeForest Kelley was greeted on stage by a roar of wild applause. As always, he was delightful and funny. As his wife, Carolyn, looked on from the box seats, DeForest shared his fondness for Star Trek and the fans. Somebody from the audience yelled, "Do you have a poem to read us?" And the one thing you can say about DeForest Kelley is that he never disappoints a crowd. This was no exception. DeForest is known far and wide for his poetic ability to reflect on the history of Star Trek. For this special 25th Anniversary event, he wrote a brand new poem which he read aloud to the audience. During his recital, you could have heard a pin drop. Once again, DeForest Kelley was a hero.
After a warm introduction by the good doctor, William Shatner took command of the stage. Again, the audience went wild. Shatner plays well to a large croud, and he was funny and energetic. He enjoyed telling stories about working on Star Trek VI and affectionately poking fun at DeForest. One such story involved Bill on the set trying to make DeForest think he was losing his mind by stealing De’s muffin out of the toaster whenever he wasn’t looking. Eventually Bill got caught in the act and had nowhere to hide the muffin . . .so he stuffed the entire thing in his mouth and tried to look innocent. About this time, DeForest is backstage at the Shrine thinking that Bill’s storytelling will never end, so he runs out on stage with a big hook . . . Needless to say, the fans loved it! Bill eventually finished his storytelling with enough time left to introduce the next special guest, Leonard Nimoy.
Leonard immediately captivated the audience with his bold presence and dry wit. After twenty-five years, he told the crowd, people still come up and say. "Hey, aren’t you ‘Doctor’ Spock?" "Just last night," he said, "a woman in Beverly Hills approached me and said, ‘I almost didn’t recognize you without your ears!’” The audience thought it was hysterical! Needless to say, Leonard Nimoy will always be known for his stoic portrayal of Mr. Spock, so he spent much of his lime on stage at the Shrine reflecting on the 25 years of being Mr. Spock. His anecdotes included the story of his first public appearance as Spock in a small Oregon town, where he was subsequently mobbed; as well as reading from his 1976 book, I am not Spock. He also shared with the fans how he has personally said "good-bye” to the Spock character many times in his career, and with the advent of Star Trek VI, people are preparing to say “so long" to the original characters. But Leonard has Learned, never say never again!
Next came a Creation video saluting 25 years of Star Trek followed by the individual stage appearances of the other familiar faces from the original series; Grace Lee Whitney, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Jimmy Doohan; each of whom contributed a personal note to the celebration of Star Trek’s silver anniversary.
After an introduction by Jimmy Doohan, motion picture producer Ralph Winter made his way to the podium. He talked about the Star Trek phenomenon and the string of successful feature films inspired by the original series. Then he told the audience that despite all the talk, all the publicity and promotion, he’s hardpressed to believe that Star Trek VI will be the last. "You never know..." he told the crowd, much to their roar of approval. He then introduced a special video presentation direct from the sets of Star Trek VI…
The lights dimmed, the video screen descended from the rafters to fill the stage, and the tape rolled .... There, sitting in the captain’s chair aboard a Klingon vessel, was Nicholas Meyer, writer and director of Star Trek VI, sending a pre-recorded message to the crowd — greetings from the set. Nick spoke briefly on Star Trek, the characters. the mythology; then introduced a series of behind the scenes clips from the movie that thrilled the fans to no end This was immediately followed by a wonderful new trailer for the film that brought a tear to many an eye.
Then the music played, the lights came up, and the curtains rose to reveal the entire original Cast of Star Trek on stage together. The audience was on its feet with a standing ovation. After continuous applause and several bows, the curtains closed again.
After the lights dimmed again, a very special video tribute to Gene Roddenberry was shown. This wonderful video, narrated by Patrick Stewart, highlighted the life and times of Star Trek’s creator. It reminded everyone of Gene’s service as a bomber pilot in World War II, his years as a commercial airline pilot, then as a police officer for the L.A.P.D. It told of his early days as a Hollywood writer and the shows he wrote for, such as Dragnet, Have Gun Will Travel, and his own series, The Lieutenant. And, of course, the story would not be complete without a recap of the phenomenal history and success of the original Star Trek series, the feature film series, and his new series. Star Trek: The Next Generation. The narrator summed it up perfectly at the close of the film when he said, "Thank you, Gene."
After the film, producer Robert Justman took the stage to introduce Gene. Having helped to produce the original Star Trek series, as well as the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and having been a personal friend to Gene for many, many years, Bob was the perfect choice for the introduction. He retold stories of days gone by and shared many fond memories of his former boss.
Then the music came up again, the spotlights danced across the stage, the curtains parted in the middle and ascended to the ceiling, revealing Gene Roddenberry center stage, escorted by his son, Gene Roddenberry, Jr., better known as Rod. Again, the audience was on its feet for the longest standing ovation of the day. This was their moment to thank Gene for 25 years of fun and adventure, 25 years of adventure and hope, 25 years of Star Trek! Somebody yelled from the crowd, “We love you, Gene!" And both Gene and the audience were emotionally moved by the moment. Majel came to the stage to join her husband and son, and Gene spoke briefly to thank the fans, telling them that his voice might crack at any moment, and said to them in return, "l love you."
Once again, out went the lights, the spotlight criss-crossed the stage, and strangely, the imperial theme from Star Wars began to play. The crowd was puzzled — did somebody forget this was a tribute to Star Trek? Apparently not, because the crowd began to “boo” and "hiss" as Darth Vader appeared on stage and crossed to Gene with an envelope in hand. Gene took the envelope and opened it while the music and crowd subsided. After reading it to himself, he handed it to Bob Justman, who had joined them on stage, and asked him to read it to the audience. It was a telegram complimenting Gene on his creative genius and congratulating him on the 25th anniversary of Star Trek. It was signed .... George Lucas. The audience went wild with applause. Next, Adam Malin, one of the co-producers of the Creation event, presented Gene with a huge card signed by the fans. Then they were all joined on stage by the cast for a champagne toast to Gene, and the fans were there to share it.
It was a celebration of 25 years of a grand phenomenon — a television show that has touched the life of millions around the world. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event that those in attendance will not soon forget!

Imagine yourself at the Academy Awards. sitting in a vast theater with a capacity crowd of more than 6,300 people. Imagine the glamour, the movie stars, the writers, the directors, the producers. . . Imagine the excitement. the energy, the anticipation...the feeling of history in the making. Imagine all of this, and you will know what it was like to be seated at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on Sunday, June 9, 1991, for Creation’s salute to the 25th Anniversary of Szar Trek. The logistics of pulling off this once-in-a-lifetime event were enormous. The need for intense security resulted in long lines and longer waits. ` Remember, this was the first time that Gene Roddenberry and the entire original cast of Star Trek had appeared together, on stage. at a public event. The security measures were a necessity, and despite the delays, nobody can argue that the event which followed wasn’t worth waiting for! Majel Barrett Roddenberry opened the show to a very enthusiastic audience. In the brief time { alotted her on stage, she reflected on the 25-year history of Star Trek and her continuing role in the phenomenon. - Comedian Ron Darian followed. His impres- sions of Kirk, Spock an McCoy had the audience l T; in stitches. His affectionate and humorous Star I-if Trek anecdotes touched everyone with a sense of shared commonality. Before impersonating every- body’s favorite half-Vulcan, Ron asked the fi? audience, "If Spock was so intelligent, how come {2 he never leamed to round-cli" — the Shrine was _ ` filled with laughter. · The next segment of the show featured solo I appearances by three actors who represent a triumvirate of heroes. The first of the three was introduced by a special video created by Crea- tion with clips from the original series and five motion pictures, featuring the one person whose character best reflects the lyrics of the popular Robert Palmer hit song, Doctor; Doctor 1 DeForest Kelley was greeted on stage by a roar of wild applause. As always, he was delight- ful and funny. As his wife, Carolyn, looked on from the box seats, DeForest shared his fondness for Szar Trek and the fans. Somebody from the audience yelled, "Do you have a poem to read us?" And the one thing you can say about DeForest Kelley is that he never disappoints a crowd. This was no exception. DeForest S known far and wide for his poetic ability to reflect on the history of Star Trek. For this special 25th Anniversary event, he wrote a brand new poem which he read aloud to the audience. Dur- ing his recital, you could have heard a pin drop. Once again, DeForest Kelley was a hero. After a warm introduction by the good doctor, William Shatner took command of the stage. Again, the audience went wild. Shatner plays well to a large croud, and he was funny and energetic. He enjoyed telling stories about working on Star Trek VT and affectionately poking fun at DeForest. One such story involved Bill on the set trying to make DeForest think he was losing his mind by stealing De’s muffin out of the toaster whenever he wasn’t looking. Eventually Bill got caught in the act and had nowhere to hide the muffin . . .so he stuffed the entire thing in his mouth and tried to look innocent. About this time, DeForest is backstage at the Shrine thinking that Bill’s storytelling will never end, so he runs out on stage with a big hook . . . Needless to say, the fans loved it! Bill eventually finished his storytelling with enough time left to intro- duce the next special guest, Ieonard Nimoy. Leonard immediately captivated the audience with his bold presence and dry wit. After twenty-five years, he told the crowd, people still come up and say. "Hey. aren’t you ‘Doctor’ Spock?" "J ust last night," he said, "a woman in Beverly Hills approached me and said, ‘I almost didn’t recognize you without your ears!"` The audience thought it was hysterical! Needless to say, Leonard Nimoy will always be known for his stoic portrayal of Mr. Spock, so he spent much of his lime on stage at the Shrine refleming on the 25 years of being Mr. Spock. His anecdotes included the story of his first public appearance as Spock in a small Oregon town, where he was subsequently mobbed; as well as reading from his 1976 book, I am not Spock. He also shared with the fans how he has personally said "good-bye” to /\ the Spock character many times in his career, and with the advent of Star Trek VL people are preparing to say “so long" to the original characters. But Leonard has leamed. never say never again! Next came a Creation video saluting 25 years of Star Trek followed by the individual stage appearances of the other familiar faces from the original series; Grace Lee Whitney, Walter Koenig, George Takei. Nichelle Nichols and Jimmy Doohan; each of whom contributed a personal note to the celebration of Star Treklv silver anniversary. After an introduction by Jimmy Doohan, motion picture producer Ralph Winter made his way to the podium. He talked about the Star Trek phenomenon and the string of successful feature films inspired by the original series. Then he told the audience that despite all the talk, all the publicity and promotion, he’s hard- pressed to believe that Star Trek VT will be the last. "You never know..." he told the crowd, much to their roar of approval. He then introduced a special video presentation direct from the sets of Star Trek VL., The lights dimmed, the video screen descended from the rafters to fill the stage, and the tape rolled .... There, sitting in the captain’s chair aboard a Klingon vessel, was Nicholas Meyer, writer and director of Star Trek VL sending a pre-recorded message to the crowd — greetings from the set. Nick spoke briefly on Star Trek, the characters. the mythology; then introduced a series of behind the scenes clips from the movie that thrilled the fans to no end This was immediately followed by a wonderful new trailer for the film that brought a tear to many an eye. Then the music played, the lights came up, and the curtains rose to reveal the entire original Cast of Star Trek on stage together. The audience was on its feet with a standing ovation. After continuous applause and several bows, the curtains closed again. After the lights dimmed again, a very special video tribute to Gene Roddenberry was shown. This won- derful video, narrated by Patrick Stewart, highlighted the life and times of Star Treks creator. lt reminded everyone of Gene’s service as a bomber pilot in World War II, his years as a commercial airline pilot, then as a police officer for the L.A.P.D. lt told of his early days as a Hollywood writer and the shows he wrote for, such as Dragnet, Have Gun Will Travel, and his own series, The Lieut- _ enant. And, of course, the story would not be complete without a recap of the phenomenal history and success of the original Star Trek gf.; series, the feature film series, and his new series. it Star Trek: The Next Generation The narrator summed it up perfectly at the close of the film when he said, "Thank you, Gene." ·’·°--‘ After the film, producer Robert J ustman took 7® the stage to introduce Gene. Having helped to produce the original Star Trek series, as well as the first season of Star Trelc The Neat Genera- h tion, and having been a personal friend to Gene for many, many years, Bob was the perfect cho- ice for the introduction. He retold stories of days gone by and shared many fond memories of his former boss. Then the music came up again, the spot- lights danced across the stage, the curtains parted in the middle and ascended to the ceil- ing, revealing Gene Roddenberry center stage, escorted by his son, Gene Roddenberry, Jr., better known as Rod. Again, the audience was on its feet for the longest standing ovation of 1 the day. This was their moment to thank Gene for 25 years of fun and adventure, 25 years of adventure and hope, 25 years of Star Trek! Somebody yelled from the crowd, “We love TM you, Gene!" And both Gene and the audience were emotionally moved by the moment. Majel came to the stage to join her husband and son, and Gene spoke briefly to thank the fans, telling them that his voice might crack at any moment, and said to them in return, "l love you." Once again, out went the lights, the spotlight criss- crossed the stage, and strangely, the imperial theme from Star Wars began to play. The crowd was puzzled — did somebody forget this was a tribute to Star Trek? Apparently not, because the crowd began to and "hiss" as Darth Vader appeared on stage and crossed to Gene with an envelope in hand. Gene took the envelope and opened it while the music and crowd subsided. After reading it to himself, he handed it to Bob Justman, who had joined them on stage, and asked him to read it to the audience. It was a telegram complimenting Gene on his creative genius and con- gratulating him on the 25th anniversary of Star Trek. It was signed .... George Lucas. The audience went wild with applause. Next, Adam Malin, one of the co- producers of the Creation event, presented Gene with a huge card signed by the fans. Then they were all joined on stage by the cast for a champagne toast to Gene, and the fans were there to share it. It was a celebration of 25 years of a grand pheno- menon — a television show that has touched the life of millions around the world. This was truly a once-in-a- lifetime event that those in attendance will not soon forget! I

 

 
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