Looking Back at 2010
Calendar year 2010 didn’t bring us a new Star Trek feature – though one is in the works – but there was plenty of Trek news. There were stories that generated excitement, made people smile and, sadly, broke hearts. Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at things to come, Trek-wise, in 2011, but here are just some of the stories that made headlines – on StarTrek.com, in the mainstream media and elsewhere – in 2010.
Star Trek Online Goes Live – It’s the dawn of the 25th century and you are there – virtually – in the Star Trek universe. Star Trek Online went live in February, staking its claim as the first Star Trek-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. As a war unfolds around you, you assume the role of a Federation captain (or a Klingon) and command your own ship. Among the alien species players can encounter are: the Borg, Gorn, Vulcans, Ferengi, humans, Trill and Bajoran. And familiar voice talent includes Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto.
Star Trek (2009) Won an Oscar – We, of course, think Star Trek should have been nominated for and won Best Picture, but the J.J. Abrams-directed adventure wound up with four nominations (for Sound Editing, Make-Up, Visual Effects and Sound Mixing) and ultimately snagged the first-ever Oscar in Star Trek’s history, in the Makeup category. Receiving their statuettes on Oscar night, March 7, 2010, were Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow.
Everyone’s Searching for Star Trek – Star Trek was top of mind in 2010, especially among people searching the Internet. According to Google statistics, the most-searched gadget of the year was the iPad – and we all know that the iPad is essentially Star Trek’s PADD realized a few centuries earlier than expected. Meanwhile, people specifically searching for Star Trek on the Web most often entered the words Star Trek Online and clicked away. Star Trek Online was followed by Star Trek Movie and Star Trek Episodes. And among TV shows, Star Trek finished as the eighth the most-searched series - ahead of the red-hot series Glee.
ThinkGeek Introduced the USS Enterprise Pizza Cutter – Too many Star Trek products to count arrived on the scene in 2010, but ThinkGeek’s Enterprise Pizza Cutter – with the ship’s deck as the cutter and the nacelles as the grips was just such a brilliant no-brainer that we’re still shaking our heads that no one had thought of it before. Everyone who sees the product totally geeks out, and when StarTrek.com brought it with us to Creation Entertainment’s official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this past summer, it had to be kept under lock and key to keep it hidden and safe. Is it the product of the year?
Leonard Nimoy Went “Home” to Vulcan – On Friday, April 23, the county of Vulcan in Alberta, Canada, a/k/a the Official Star Trek Capital of Canada, welcomed home its favorite son, none other than Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy, who’d just announced that he was retiring from acting, joined the festivities at the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station, which included a parade, the unveiling of a Spock bust and Nimoy pressing his classic Vulcan hand symbol into concrete to preserve it for posterity. “I have been a Vulcan for 44 years,” Nimoy told the crowd on hand. “I figured it was time I came home.”
Call Him Sir Patrick Stewart – Former TNG star Patrick Stewart received the promotion of a lifetime on June 2. That’s the day that Queen Elizabeth II knighted Stewart in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Stewart, who remains busy with a variety of stage, TV and film projects, addressed his continued good fortune in a recent StarTrek.com interview, noting “I sometimes feel as though all this has happened to somebody else or that it might have happened to somebody I dreamed about. It is so far beyond my modest ambitions when I left drama school and became a professional actor that it does make me a little giddy sometimes with the reality of it.”
IDW’s Star Trek Movie Adaptation Filled in the Blanks – Star Trek was alive and well in print in 2010, with several memorable fiction novels, non-fiction books and comic books, including the Typhon Pact series, Star Trek: Nero, and the Starfleet Academy young adult series, which was set in the Star Trek (2009) alternate universe and kicked off with The Delta Anomaly by Rick Barba. But we were particularly fond of the Star Trek Movie Adaption comic books from IDW. The six-part series, by Mike Johnson and Tim Jones, was released between February and September, and it answered questions left dangling by the feature (providing information, for example, about the red matter) and included scenes not in the movie. If you loved the J.J. Abrams movie and crave more, check it out.
Andrew Koenig Passed Away – The years catch up with everyone, but Star Trek fans around the world were taken aback by the passing of Andrew Koenig, son of TOS star Walter Koenig, who was just 41 when he took his own life in February. Andrew had made his own mark as an actor, co-starring as Richard “Boner” Stabone on the long-running sitcom Growing Pains, and Star Trek fans will recall that he guest starred on Deep Space Nine, appearing as Tumak in the episode “Sanctuary.”
Star Trek: The Exhibition Went Global – Star Trek: The Exhibition is a traveling road show of Star Trek artifacts that’s best summed up by its tagline, which refers to the museum-style exhibit as The History of the Future. After touching down in cities across the U.S., the Exhibition made its international debut in Valencia, Spain, and in May, 2011, it’ll head to Germany. Among the artifacts: ship models, costumes, set pieces, scripts and more, culled from all five Trek series and each of the 11 feature films.
William Shatner Returned to TV – While his old friend and co-Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy hung up his acting hat, William Shatner maintained a pace that would tire men half his age. In addition to his array of convention appearances, talk show bits, horse-riding events and reality show hosting gigs, Shatner beamed back onto network television with $H*! My Dad Says. The sitcom, based on the Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, debuted on CBS in September and cast Shatner as a brash, cranky, decidedly non-PC man whose son tweets his father’s outlandish comments.
Star Trek: Live Premiered – The science of Star Trek has fascinated millions of people over the years and, for the first time, a touring show – Star Trek: Live, as imagined by Mad Science – couples a Star Trek-themed story with real science, Star Trek’s realistic fantasy fiction, state-of-the-art special effects and audience participation elements for a live experience that’s entertaining and educating families across the country. Star Trek: Live debuted in June at the Kennedy Space Center (and continues into 2011) in Florida and the touring edition premiered in San Diego, also in June, and is currently crisscrossing the country and Canada as well. See Upcoming Events for tour dates and locations.
And Speaking of Star Trek Science… – There’s no denying that Star Trek has inspired numerous fans across the globe to pursue careers in science, but an equally exciting and increasingly current trend is the continuing intersection of Star Trek science fiction and real-life science. Over the course of 2010 alone, scientists came close to making the Trek transporter a possibility, created a holodeck-like learning space and introduced needle-less immunizations. And, earlier this month, NASA scientists discovered an Earth microbe that thrives on arsenic. At a press conference, NASA scientist Mary Voytek stated that finding a microbe that can dispense with phosphorus was akin to coming face to face a Horta, the famous creature from the Star Trek episode “Devil in the Dark.” To quote Voytek: “This is a phenomenal finding… In our mind this is the equivalent, and some of us remember seeing the original Star Trek episodes, but of ("The Devil in the Dark") and the Horta. This in our mind is the equivalent of finding that Horta, which is a silicon-based life, substituting carbon, which is what we think all life forms are made of, with silica.”
StarTrek.com Was Rebooted – StarTrek.com blinked back to life this summer after two-plus years of dormancy. The site’s ongoing mission is to explore every facet of Star Trek past, present and future, with interviews, looks back, breaking news, features about fans, previews of new products and upcoming events, and much more. We’re at StarTrek.com, Facebook and Twitter, and growing every day. We’re happy to be back and thank you for joining us.
The Starfleet Academy Campus Store Opened for Business – Once StarTrek.com graduated from beta, it was really time to head back to school. And the site did so in style, debuting the Starfleet Academy Campus Store and making available to fans a galaxy of Starfleet Academy-themed merchandise spanning from sweatshirts, pennants and key chains to mouse pads, pencils and cufflinks, with everything split into Command, Science, Engineering and Medical divisions.
What other Trek stories did YOU think were important in 2010?