There’s an internet meme doing the circuits that beautifully demonstrates the impact that 2016 has had on the many of us. 2016 has been one for the history books in both regards to current affairs and Star Trek.
Let us focus on Trek. The TL;DR is a mixed bag, mostly epic. The year began with the best announcement ever. A new Star Trek series announced, Star Trek Beyond was released, the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin and a global celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary.
For us, our love of Star Trek has taken us to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Birmingham, met more friends, old and new and sparked that feeling of ‘newness’ regarding Star Trek that is reminiscent of the 1990’s.
But Star Trek is all about looking forward.
Here’s what we think will make Star Trek and it’s fandom feel different from it’s previous incarnations;
Star Trek Enterprise ended before Facebook and Twitter went mainstream. Sci-fi fans are all about live streaming, interacting with fans and filling the void between episodes. In recent years the SM team at Star Trek have upp’ed their game, nonetheless we look forward to banter and memes galore!
The crew and cast have an important role to play in this too. For other incarnations we have relied on books and post-production interviews to learn about the goings-on, the gossip and internal insights. Eager fans hang on to every tweet Rick Burman posts to get a further glimpse of what life was like on the set of TNG.
We’ll have this live. Already a twitter storm has blown up with the changes effecting Bryan Fuller’s stewardship. Whilst well managed internally, it’s the friends-in-the-know, associated to the inner circle who often provide the really juicy stuff. A bit like how William Shatner always announces himself as headlining a convention before the official announcement. He doesn’t have to tow the corporate line so much!
Star Trek has a good grip on its merchandising and licensing but looking back over the past few years an area they have locked their targets on is Conventions/Events. This was once the realm of the fans and it was geek privilege to organise them. I can’t find the source but some time ago I read a news article that young actors today are hoping to get a genre role just to get in on the convention circuit. Many actors can make more money in one weekend than they can filming for a week. And large scale convention organisers don’t have it bad either.
Rightly so Star Trek have been charging organisers a license fee to host these events to protect the brand (and the latinum!) It has made sense to contract out the organisation of events to companies with the expertise to do so, but given how immensely popular comic con style events are becoming, we wonder whether networks will begin to look to run these ‘in house’ and cut out the middle man? They already have the PR machine, the studios and most importantly, access to the talent.
Fans finding their niche
There are record high numbers of Star Trek fan blogs and podcasts and this is surely set to boom once Discovery hits our screens. Not everyone is going to listen to 30 different episode reviews each week.
It won’t be long until each outlet finds it’s speciality, whether it be twitter presence, interviews, book reviews, insights, rumour etc.
Which bring us on to the Trekkie Girls!…!!
We have an interesting year ahead and there will be some changes. I (Sam) and my family have decided to go travelling for a year! My husband had enough of corporate life so quit his job and we are taking our 2 year old Jean-Luc on an epic away mission! (We aren’t like 7 of 9’s parents – honest!)
I’ll still be blogging from wherever we are and I’ll be video linking with Carole and Sarah for our vBlogs.
I’ve even got some ‘must go’ locations for Trekkies on my list! So we believe it’s an improved service from us from a more international arena!
Star Trek Discovery’s latest casting – three Klingons – gives us the impression that there is a helluva story arc in development.
We welcome all the new additions to our Trekkie collective! The new cast must all be looking at there twitter notifications and it looks like this….
In addition to Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp and Michelle Yeoh who were announced recently, yesterday Chris Obi, Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffo were also added to the lineup. For character info and bio’s see the Startrek.com article.
The bit that intrigues us is the Klingon wording on the image.
We took straight to deciphering it but it’s been more tricky than anticipated. Some bits are straight forward however the font looks new so there’s an element of interpretation.
Over the five hours we spent picking it apart (and searching the house/garage/loft for the Klingon dictionary) we have changed our minds on it a bit.
The first word is giving us the most difficulty. Is the first letter in the first word ‘r’ or ‘gh’ ? At first we thought it was ‘r’
This makes the word either ghetwI’ meaning pretender although this could mean ‘role play’ – not necessarily meaning deception.
Or it could be retwI’ which from a bing translate shows as ‘time period ago’. But we can’t find anything more official to back that up. What do you think?
Thank you to @boleon74 for sending us this alphabet in different fonts for reference!
The second word appears to be luwIvlu’ta’
This is where I confess that I have attempted to learn Klingon many times!! (unsuccessfully, obviously). But words this long with apostrophes need to be broken down. I learnt that from trying to translate a Klingon drinking song!
lu is a pre-verb (is that the right term!?) so refers to who is doing the action, he/she/they
wIvlu’ is the verb in the middle of the word, this means to choose.
ta’ means done
Therefore I believe luwIvlu’ta’ can be translated as ‘they have chosen’
The next word qul is easier to translate as there are less symbols and it a well used word in the Klingon language ‘fire‘.
The last word we thought we had translated as ‘play’ but when we looked at other letters we think we got h and y mixed up. We think this says yIchu’ which can translate as engage. That’s a much more fitting word for the Trek universe!
Now it may be that this phrase was translated a day ago and is well reported already but we have been purposely ignoring because we’re having lots of fun trying to work it out for ourselves!
That said, we work better as a collective so we’d love to hear your feedback. Are our translators working correctly? What do you think they are trying to tell us?
Our hunch is that it’s something like ‘some time ago, they chose to fire. Engage’ or ‘they chose to engage in fire’ or maybe even ‘the pretender chose to engage in fire.’? Depending on how we feel about that first letter?
It isn’t exactly leading us on a wild chase to Qo’noS and back but it could be a tag line to the show or a hint about the Klingons involvement. Either way, we want to know!!
PS. If you don’t follow Star Trek Discovery on Instagram, you should! They have been releasing announcements before their twitter and Facebook accounts. Not by much, but hey, we’ll take it! @startrekcbs
At the Television Critics Press Association Press tour (we don’t know what that is either!) Bryan Fuller spilled some goodies about the new Star Trek series Discovery.
If you haven’t read all about it, check out this article from Variety who were reporting live from the event. Then come back whilst I speculate with my thoughts!
Here’s a cheat sheet of the news thanks to Screen Junkies.
Just as a caveat to the above, I can’t find any direct source that states the series will be set in the Klingon Wars. It’s probably a good guess as a lot of events have been ruled out such as the Romulan war (Battle of Axanar) and The Kobayashi Maru. Bryan Fuller did mention Amanda Grayson too but it didn’t read as definite that her character is included.
Whilst in Vegas, Carole and I spent a lot of time speculating with others when we thought Discovery would be based. I believed it would be based in the 29th Century, that it was a timeship and each season it would cover a different point in Star Trek history, filling in all those loose ends or raising new questions…. by the way, if you like that idea CBS… call me! I have more ideas!
‘Klingon Karaoke’ on Thursday night we enjoyed listening to fans with incredible voices (and signing credentials to back them up) wow those of us mingling on the dance floor.
When Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating and Chris Doohan took to the stage, the audience were in hysterics.
Then there’s the regulars who’s antics fill us casual attendees feed each August. Seeing the famous ‘Eric Allan Hall’ sing was a real treat. Eric is such a good Data cosplayer we can’t say for sure that he isn’t a Soong Android.
The day started by buying more MAC for Star Trek (we know, we don’t need to even insert the Picard face palming meme because you’re already imagining it!)
Star Trek.com presented the ‘Missing footage panel’ with Roger Lay Jr (Producer), and the production team Michael and Denise Okuda, Phil Bishop, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth. This was a panel we were very much looking forward too. Like many of you we had heard the news that the Roddenberry Estate had in their possession a vast amount of footage from The Original Series.
Most of it was odds and ends from the beginning or end of a scene that were swept from the cutting room floor. But there are some gems amongst them. Our new favourite person Scott Mantz (who is always happy and chirpy – think Data scanning for lifeforms) was fortunate to see some of these cut scenes and was happy to spill the beans for us.
One of the clips was an extended and alternate scene from Guardian on the Edge of Forever; after the kiss between Kirk and Edith Keeler. Some additional dialogue is included where Keeler uses the word ‘forever’ connecting it to the title of the episode.
Another wow scene is from “Who Mourns for Adonais?”. An ending has been found where Spock and McCoy mention that Lieutenant Palamas is pregnant with Apollo’s baby!
Can you imagine watching these for the first time?! We think we know Star Trek like the back of our hand and now suddenly there’s something new after 50 years! We’ll get to see it at the end of this year!
Chase Masterson certainly had the best entrance to her panel. Cheerfleet (a troup of Starfleet Cheerleaders that we instantly regret not joining) marched onto the stage and did what cheerleaders do to welcome her onto the stage. They then presented her with her very own Cheerfleet uniform making her an honourary member!
Chase performed for the audience, belting out ‘Fever’. She spoke about her amazing work mentoring, standing up against bullying, working with the UN (seriously, if she was British she’d be knighted by now!).
Chase put in 110% effort into this convention. She sang every night at the Roddenberry lounge, her signers table was always full and she takes time to speak to everyone who visits her. When we caught up with her at the end of the convention she was exhausted (but still fabulous!) yet she still went on to sing to crowds later that evening.
Ohhh Myyy, its time for George Takei! The Leonard Nimoy Hall was PACKED! Takei (who is king of the internet) is a must see at conventions. He is inspirational not just for those of who are considered a minority in terms of their appearance or sexuality but for all us who aspire for a world of liberty and equality. Like the rest of the TOS cast he is a great role model for older people, something that all of us, if we are very lucky, will become.
He spoke about his upbringing, his parents, his internment and the fear of history repeating itself in light of the current political climate.
Now we don’t gamble but we had to place bets on how many audience questions it would be until someone asked ‘THAT’ question followed by ‘THAT other question’…. You know the ones. Gay Sulu and William Shatner.
They were second and third if you’re interested. His response to Gay Sulu was the same as is publically known. He felt it was a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry’s creation of the character Sulu and that it could be construed that Sulu was closeted. We have to agree with Simon Peggs logic on this and although we are surprised at George’s response we respect that even though he would have seen that most fans disagree with with, he has not backtracked on his opinion and hasn’t shied away from the speaking about it.
Then it was THAT other question, we can’t remember the exact question but it was something like “blah blah blah You and William Shatner?”
The audience groaned. George’s response was with good humour stating that it’s something Shatner made up a feud between them each time he needs to sell a new book!”.
The Voyager and TNG panels are a spectator sport. Watching the banter between the cast feels like you are a fly on the wall. We can imagine this is just what it was like on set.
We know they are all actors but my god (the one from Star Trek 5) they are all good at impressions! Michael Dorn did a very good Troi and the space jelly scene from Encounter at Farpoint that we hadn’t heard before.
As we go to more conventions we are aware we are unlikely to hear anything new from the actors however it is always a pleasure to watch, listen and most importantly laugh.
However we did learn something new and that was why ‘Data’ is pronounced ‘Day-tah’ and not ‘Dat-ta’ (unless you’re rude like Pulaski). Apparently there was an on-set rule that the first person to say a noun would make that pronunciation canon. Patrick Stewart first said ‘Day-tah’ in his best Queens English, thus setting the standard. Brent Spiner made an observation that this has affected the American-English language causing a cultural shift in how the word is pronounced.
We love this notion that the first person to pronounce a word made it canon. The beastie boys need to re-release “sabotaaaaage” #STLV50
We attended the Roddenberry Entertainment panel as Rod and Trevor Roth are Executive Producers on Star Trek Discovery and we want to listen very intently to anything they have to say. The panel opened with a video of Nichelle Nichols singing Happy Birthday to Star Trek. We haven’t heard her sing in years and although a recording, it was still a pleasure.
On the most part the panel was a repeat of the missing footage however then the audience asked questions and there was only one thing on our minds… DISCO!
Rod Roddenberry (do we even need to mention that he is Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son?) spoke about how he was reluctant at first to take the position as Executive Producer as he felt Star Trek was very much his fathers but it was Bryan Fullers involvement that changed his mind.
“Bryan Fuller is amazing. He is like us and he gets Star Trek.” – Rod Roddenberry
Someone asked the question “Would their be a transgendered character or person with internal conflict in Star Trek Discovery?”
Trevor and Rod responded that they can’t give any specifics or details (because of the suits!) but Bryan Fuller was keen to explore the human condition.
Just as we thought they had diplomatically navigated the question Rod exclaims “You won’t be disappointed!” (we actually heard phaser rifles load and take aim!)
We schmooze around the signers room, big hello to Melanie Smith (Ziyal and honourary Trekkie Girl), our favourite person Larry Nemecek (fact: he always had the longest queue at his table).
We run to the Roddenberry lounge for a Champagne toast to Star Trek (This is soooo us!) An amazing cake comes out, we all toast and sing happy birthday to Star Trek and we run to our next appointment with the fantastic Jordan Hoffman at the Official Engage Podcast. They had locked him in a little room to keep him out of trouble but nonetheless it was great fun talking to him, even though our brains go blank as soon as a microphone gets near us!
That evening we were lucky enough to attend the Captains party at the Voodoo Lounge at the top of the Rio which is an amazing event and incentive to purchase one of the packages. We got there just in time to hear Ethan ‘Johnny’ Phillips starting his side splitting comedy routine. These jokes were dark and wrong…. our sort of humour!
Then the band ‘Sons of Kirk’ played their set whilst we admired an epic fireworks display. Although they were celebrating 50 years of Caesars Palace, we like to think it was for Star Trek.
We met up with some old friends and new, Neil, who Sam had met on the flight out, The guys from 5 Year mission – the house band who worked their drumsticks off all week, the guys from Sons of Kirk; Mike, Gary and <name> and of course Jim Moorhouse aka @EnterpriseExtra aka #TheFanWhoFiredThePhasers … and probably the shields too?!
Jim had given his own panel about his experience as an Extra on Enterprise…. Where he fired the phasers! He is a blast, a true gent and we love listening to his stories. Maybe he might fire the phasers on the Discovery one day?? Make It So!
Evenings like this are the best reasons to go to conventions, how often do you have the chance to meet people you hardly know, but feel connected and safe discussing your dream crew, when you hope the new series will be set, your vision for Star Trek’s future?
We must briefly mention Barfleet (briefly because that’s all we recall!). Barfleet is a group of fans who hire a suite at conventions and turn it into a BAR!!! That’s right! What a great idea. There are strict rules about no photography and they ID everyone coming in but it’s a fantastic idea that we should bring to the UK. What an incredible bunch of people who give their time and money so others can have fun after hours at conventions. You are true philanthropists carrying forward Star Trek’s philosophy…. By giving us alcohol!
We did not feel so good about this idea the next day though.
In case you missed it, Bryan Fuller (Star Trek’s new showrunner and our new cult leader) revealed the title of the New Star Trek Series; Star Trek Discovery (or STD as it will never be referred too).
The teaser showed us a brief reveal of the USS Discovery. The reaction has been as divisive as Brexit and much like our recent political drama there has already been some backtracking with execs stating that ‘its not a final design’.
We have been asked by many for our opinion so here is what we think. Overall, we like it! Its design resembles a Starfleet insignia from underneath, but it is also somewhat reminiscent of a TOS era Romulan Bird of Prey. A clue to its era perhaps?
Ok, so it doesn’t have the sleek, sexiness of an Enterprise. But that is fine with us. Maybe it’s not supposed too. It’s a bit like that dog in your neighbourhood, you know the one, it’s a bit funny looking. It’s not going to win crufts but it’s the most goddamn loving, soppiest dog ever. That’s the sense we get from the USS Discovery.
We honestly can’t place it in the timeline though. A lot of people are calling it a prequel and citing the early design concepts from The Motion Picture as its inspiration. Whilst we know for sure it is the Prime timeline (YESSS!) we really can’t tell from looking.
We have read fan comments about the registry, whether it offers any clues. Some claim that the registry indicates lineage, others counter argue that it’s irrelevant as they are different class ships.
But that’s just semantics, we’re interested in the substance of the show. From the announcement and Fuller’s description of the show, we are filled with optimism. The name is perfect and describes what Star Trek is all about. We LOVE that William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan and Michael Dorn were present for the reveal of the new series thus embedding it in Star Trek history.
It seems almost opposite from the launch of Enterprise where they distanced themselves from the brand (and even dropping the name ‘Star Trek’ from the title, for shame!).
Well done to all involved for fully embracing the fan spirit in the launch of this new series.
We are also in full favour of shortening the the name to the USS Disco! Thanks to Mark Watney, disco music is now THE genre of space travel. May we recommend this Kylie song as a theme tune (she also has a Jaylah thing going on in this vid!)
Make sure you’re following all of the @StarTrekCBS handles for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest news on Star Trek Discovery.