JJ Abrams urges Paramount to drop its lawsuit over fan Star Trek movie

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Abrams directed the first two Star Trek reboot movies and is producing the third one for Paramount; he says he convinced the studio to drop its controversial lawsuit against Axanar, a crowdfunded fan-film (a suit that included a dubious claim about the copyrightability of the Klingon language) telling them that the lawsuit "wasn’t an appropriate way to deal with the fans." Read the rest

Society of synthetic linguists explain to court, in Klingon, why Klingon shouldn't be copyrightable

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Last month, I wrote about Paramount's lawsuit against Axanar, a crowdfunded Star Trek fan-film. Read the rest

Paramount wants to kill a fan-film by claiming copyright on the Klingon language

Say what now?

The crowdfunded, critically successful fan-film Prelude to Axanar has been in Paramount's cross-hairs since late last year, when the studio filed suit against the film's producers.

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Here's how teleportation could actually work (theoretically)

MinutePhysics responds to CGP Grey's video "The Trouble with Transporters," below.

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Far out Star Trek convention at mall in 1976

In 1976, Star Trek fans converged on Denver, Colorado's Northglenn Mall for one of the first conventions! One Trekker in attendance captured the experience (Nimoy and Doohan in person!) on Super 8 film that's now been digitized and uploaded to YouTube.

(Thanks, UPSO!)

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Star Trek sleep-shirts

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Thinkgeek's all-cotton Star Trek: TOS sleep shirts come in Command Gold, Science Blue, or Expendable Operations Red, and cost $24. Read the rest

Watch the first 5 episodes of the fan-made sequel to the original Star Trek series

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Dan Colman of Open Culture recommends Star Trek Continues, "a critically-acclaimed, fan-produced webseries created by director and actor Vic Mignogna." I second his endorsement. The creators did an amazing job of capturing the fun and thrills of the original series.

If you ask the son of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the original TV series, Star Trek Continues has managed to create a bona fide sequel. “I do have to say … I’m pretty damn sure my dad would consider this canon. The fact that you do stories that mean something, that have depth, that make us all think a little bit… I really think he would applaud you guys.”

The Wall Street Journal adds to this:

[Star Trek Continues] comes frighteningly close to replicating the original series, in the sets, make-up and hairstyles, costumes and music… The art direction precisely captures the Day-Glo visuals of early color TV. Most remarkable is Mr. Mignogna; no actor playing, for instance, James Bond has imitated Sean Connery outright, but Mr. Mignogna comes so scarily close to the dynamic, staccato energy of William Shatner that we keep forgetting we’re looking at another actor.

You can make a donation to support the 6th episode, due in May. Read the rest

1964 photo of the guys who built Star Trek's Enterprise studio model

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In 2015 the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum restored the original USS Enterprise model from the original series. It was built in 1964 by Richard C. Datin, Jr., Mel Keys, Vernon Sion (above), and Volmer Jensen (not pictured). It's 11 feet long and has been restored 4 times. Trekmovie.com covered the most current restoration, which attempted to correct a problem with the third restoration:

That [1992] restoration was actually quite accurate, but the restorer applied the “weathering” overlay too heavily,” Mike told TrekMovie. “That’s actually a very easy mistake to make. It’s really very hard to judge the “proper” amount of weathering, especially for an object that is normally seen in second, third, fourth and worse generation photo images, which is what was done for the original optical effects. Nevertheless, I agree that the weathering was too heavily applied.”

Mike says that the Museum may decide to take a more conservative approach this time around, saying “I don’t think the museum has yet decided on the exact approach they’re going to take. They’re still studying it, trying to figure out a balance between restoration and conservation. They will want guests to see the starship in all its glory, but at the same time, they want to minimize invasive procedures in the interest of preserving the artifact (including its paint) for future study.”

[via] Read the rest

Data recovered from Gene Roddenberry's floppies—but what's on them?

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Several years after Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry died, his heirs found a cache of floppy disks. It's taken until now, some 20 years later, for the data to be recovered. The reason it took so long is awe-inspiring: he made his own computers, only switching to commercial products near the end of his life.

The floppy disks were used with the custom computers, but unfortunately one of those computers had been auctioned off and the other one was no longer operational. Roddenberry’s estate sent the floppies to DriveSavers, which spent three months writing software that could read the disks in the absence of any documentation or manuals for the custom-built OS.

But what did they find? They're not saying, yet!

This, of course, leaves one more question: What, exactly, is on the disks? Mike Cobb, director of engineering at DriveSavers, confirmed that they found “lots” of documents. The company will undoubtedly have a confidentially clause signed with the Roddenberry estate, which likely explains why it won’t be revealing what it found. But in a major anniversary year that will see a new Star Trek movie come to fruition, with a new Star Trek TV series premiering on CBS All Access in 2017, there could be some surprises in store.

The custom computer looks wonderful, and very focused upon its word-processing purpose. I wonder how hard it'd be to make a replica (or perhaps an homage, with a Raspberry Pi, a cap-swappable mechanical keyboard, elbow grease...) Read the rest

Mumia Abu Jamal on science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek and American imperialism

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Jamal is serving a life-sentence for a widely deplored conviction for killing a police officer. Prison Radio recorded this insightful interview with him about the role that Star Wars and Star Trek both played in the American consciousness. (via Kersplebedeb) Read the rest

Watch the new Star Trek Beyond trailer!

Special bonus: Trailer soundtrack by the Beastie Boys.

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What happened to all the Star Trek hair? Shatner didn't take all of it home, did he?

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A 1968 memo from Paramount producer Robert Justman to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry reports on the sad state of the show's hairpieces, which had gone missing in great number. Read the rest

Star Trek is returning to network television (for one episode)

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The first episode of Star Trek aired on Sept. 8, 1966. The fifty-year-old franchise has spawned a number of television series, and the last episode (Star Trek: Enterprise) aired 10 years ago. But the beloved series is returning in 2017 on CBS. It will produced by Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and produced the movies Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Read the rest

Star Trek hand-towels

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Elizabeth Dean's Etsy store has these great, $12 Star Trek: TOS hand-towels in Science Blue, Command Yellow and, of course, Expendable Security Red (also available in TNG). Read the rest

How many ears does Mr. Spock have?

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Three. The left ear, the right ear, and the final frontier.

(Thanks, Cash Ashkinos!) Read the rest

Marching band formation: Star Trek's Enterprise or giant penis?

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On Saturday night, the Kansas State marching band's halftime show formed what they say was meant to be the Starship Enterprise battling the Kansas Jayhawks mascot. Many feathers were ruffled though as some thought the formation looked much more like a giant penis headed toward the bird's beak. Read the rest

Nichelle Nichols: Lieutenant Uhura's Starship Enterprise Star Trek workout

In an amazing set of photos from the Desilu studios set of the original Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (" Lieutenant Uhura") epitomizes grace, athleticism and poise. Read the rest

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