Gene Roddenberry

July 09, 2013 | 2:27 p.m.

George Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ stood on the shoulders of ‘Star Trek’

The documentary “Trek Nation” chronicles Rod Roddenberry’s personal journey to explore the importance of the legendary sci-fi franchise dreamed up by his father Gene. The film comes to DVD on Tuesday, and among the bonus materials included in the release is an interview with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas talking about the important role “Star Trek” played in paving the way for his own space opera. “‘Star Trek’ softened up the entertainment arena so that ‘Star Wars’ could come along and stand on its shoulders,” Lucas said in an interview — Hero Complex readers can check out a clip from the conversation above. A number of other genre luminaries, Stan Lee and J.J. Abrams among them, speak on camera about the legacy of “Star Trek” on the double disc DVD, which also includes home movies from the Roddenberry estate and […]
July 21, 2012 | 8:56 a.m.

‘Star Trek’ celebration boldy goes to theaters

The crew of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (AP file photo)
Two classic episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” are about to reach an unexpected frontier — the big screen in 44 states. On Monday night at 7 p.m., theaters across the country will screen new, digitally spruced-up versions of “Where No One Has Gone Before” (October 1987) and “Datalore” (January 1988) as well as behind-the-scenes programming as part of  the silver anniversary celebration for the sci-fi series. Tickets for the screenings went on sale early last month but the event will arrive in a changed country. The “Trek” program from CBS TV and Fathom is the first nationwide event for a “fan tribe” in the wake of the Colorado movie theater massacre that left 12 dead and 50 wounded at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” It was 25 years ago this October that “Star Trek: The Next Generation” arrived with a promise of […]
June 16, 2011 | 3:34 p.m.

‘Star Trek’ director Nicholas Meyer: My treatment of dying Gene Roddenberry was ‘not my finest hour’

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The 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival is in the books and what a weekend it was. Robert Downey Jr. shocked the crowd for a surprise “Iron Man” reunion; Jon Favreau made jaws drop with 10 minutes of footage from “Cowboys & Aliens” ; Warren Beatty stretched a Q&A to nearly two hours and declared his need to “vomit” a “Dick Tracy” remake/sequel; “Superman” director Richard Donner wowed the crowd with sparkling stories about the classic film and the late, great Christopher Reeve;  Marvel won the crowd over with the world premiere of a new “Captain America: The First Avenger” trailer and the coolest give-away of the year;  ”Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” director Nicholas Meyer confessed a painful regret about the late Gene Roddenberry,  while the new “Trek” creative team looked to the Federation’s future on the big screen; comics superstars Geoff Johns and […]
June 10, 2011 | 11:33 p.m.

‘Star Trek’: Nicholas Meyer explains his Roddenberry regret

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If Nicholas Meyer could do it all over again, he would be kinder to a dying Gene Roddenberry, he told the audience after Friday night’s screening of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” at the Hero Complex Film Festival. “There are moments in one’s life where you look back and you say, ‘Well, I wish I had done this differently,” Meyer told a full room at the Chinese Six theater in Hollywood. Meyer, who directed “Khan” as well as “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” described one such moment. Before Meyer started shooting “VI,” Roddenberry was unhappy with the script. “If I’m interpreting him correctly and if I’m believing what he said, Mr. Roddenberry really believed in the perfectability of man, of humans, and I have yet to see the evidence for this,” Meyer said. “So ‘VI’ is a […]
Jan. 20, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.

‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’: Watch a ‘lost’ making-of-the-movie video

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Jay West drops by the Hero Complex with a guest essay on the legacy of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture“ With a new “Star Trek” film ramping up it’s a good time to reflect on the history of a film franchise that dates back to the Carter administration but has a complicated legacy. Below, you’ll find a rarely seen, 10-minute featurette on the making of the first movie, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which beamed down into theaters on Dec. 7, 1979. The featurette has never been released in any home-video format, amazingly, but it provides a unique and engaging behind-the-scenes look at the making of this inaugural “Star Trek” movie — showcasing some of the movie’s models (with especially interesting footage regarding the classic dry dock sequence) and sets. There are also glimpses of the main cast preparing for scenes, alien crew members donning their […]
May 01, 2010 | 7:20 p.m.

‘Trek Nation’ explores Gene Roddenberry’s legacy as creator and father

It’s staggering to contemplate the true reach of “Star Trek.” On television it yielded five television franchises (six, if you count the Saturday morning cartoon series). There have been 11 feature films — and one ingenious and thinly disguised parody in “Galaxy Quest.” There are hundreds of books and short stories, a massive mountain of toys and collectibles, comic books, clothing, fan fiction, artwork, academic papers and dissertations, spoofs, and the list just goes and on and on. It’s interesting, then, to consider the man behind the original concept, the late Gene Roddenberry, and a new documentary that I’m hearing good things about, “Trek Nation.” There is no shortage of biographical material about the El Paso native who was called the “Great Bird of the Galaxy” by some of his more ardent admirers, but this project has an intriguing family component that might add different dimensions to a […]
Aug. 19, 2009 | 11:07 p.m.

Rod Roddenberry signs ‘Days Missing’ at Golden Apple

Last-minute notice, but … Rod Roddenberry, son of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, will be signing the first issue of a new comic book series, “Days Missing,” along with the book’s creator Trevor Roth, tonight at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood (7018 Melrose Ave.). Attendees will get a free “vintage ‘Star Trek’ poster.” Does that mean Ricardo Montalban as Khan or William Shatner with Tribbles in hand? Not sure. The book itself is described as telling “the stories of a mysterious being known only as The Steward. His ability to literally fold days of time has allowed him to secretly remove critical days from our shared history that have forever changed the course of mankind.” Oooh, sounds like it could have the same title as Oliver Stone‘s new historical series “Secret History of America.” Not another branch in the “Trek” universe, so to speak, but […]
Jan. 29, 2009 | 6:54 p.m.

‘Star Trek’ director J.J. Abrams on tribbles and the ‘Galaxy Quest’ problem

EXCLUSIVE: This is the first part of an interview with J.J. Abrams about his cinematic voyages aboard the Starship Enterprise. Read part two here. Gene Roddenberry had this notion in the early 1960s about a television show that felt like “Wagon Train” in space, a frontier tale with groovy sci-fi imagery and a proud parable spirit. And just look what he started. In May, the pop culture phenomena of “Star Trek” proudly returns where it has gone before — the movie theater — with the 11th film in the franchise. This time the director is J.J. Abrams, a creative force in television with “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe” as well as the director of “Mission Impossible III.” He talked to Hero Complex about navigating his movie through the neutral zone that lies between hard-core “Trek” fans and summer moviegoers. This is […]
Dec. 05, 2008 | 12:32 a.m.

Hollywood and science fiction, back to the future

This Sunday (Dec. 7) the Los Angeles Times Calendar section features a special package of science fiction stories that include a piece on Keanu Reeves and his alienated role in “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” an article on Sci Fi (the cable channel) facing a crossroads with the end of “Battlestar Galactica” and even a fun look at the fashion of sci-fi cinema through the decades. That’s just the start — there’s plenty more in the section. I wrote a cover centerpiece for the package, which is a look at three venerable franchises — “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica” — looking for new life and new audiences. Here’s an advance excerpt of that story. I will put a link here to the entire story this weekend. It’s a great section on Sunday, get a copy if you […]
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