Walter Koenig will at long last receive his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, and the countdown to the big day kicked off on Saturday with The Walter Koenig Star Celebration -- A Gala Tribute and Convention, produced by Planet Xpo. StarTrek.com is on the scene in Los Angeles and will report on all the events, including the Star ceremony. Saturday morning kicked off with Koenig greeting fans from all over the world and joining in on a trek along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Trek historian Larry Nemecek leading the way. The group stopped at the Stars of Gene Roddenberry, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and others, with Koenig posing for photos with fans. He did a happy jig when he reached 6679 Hollywood Boulevard and the covered space that will become his Star on Monday. Koenig seemed quite pleased to see StarTrek.com on hand. "Thank you for your support," he told us. "And please thank the fans for me.
The group then headed over to the beautiful Egyptian Theatre for an afternoon of screenings -- including the TOS episode "Spectre of the Gun" and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Koenig's respective favorite Trek episode and feature -- and for conversations with Koenig. First, Nemecek welcomed Wende Doohan, widow of James Doohan. She then showed footage of the recently deceased Neil Armstrong from when he appeared at Doohan's Star party in 2004. Armstrong spoke one engineer to another. "I'm hoping, for my next command," he revealed, "to be given a Federation starship."
Up next was a short film entitled, "The Tortures of Chekov." It compiled clips of Chekov screaming again and again... and again. Craftily edited for maximum effect, it elicited the desired chuckles from the crowd.
Nemecek then introduced Trek consultant Richard Arnold, who in turn introduced Koenig. Fans greeted Koenig with a warm standing ovation. "Thanks," he said. "Somehow I recovered from all those painful experiences... except Star Trek V... Just kidding!" Speaking of his Star, he deemed it "very meaningful," adding, "I'm very touched."
He then talked about "Spectre of the Gun," pointing out that it had a slow pace. "It reflects the time," he explained. "It reflects the art form at the time."
Koenig picked up the microphone again to introduce Wrath of Khan. He called guest star Ricardo Montalban "a delightful man" and added, "That was his chest," drawing laughs. Koenig also shared a memorable anecdote about a pre-shoot cocktail party. He and Montalban made small talk, and Montalban declared that they'd get on well. Montalban then asked Koenig who'd be playing Terrell. Koenig let his inner imp get the better of him. "Fernando Lamas," he replied. Lamas, of course, was a Montalban contemporary and frequent competitor for roles. Despite his joke, Koenig and Montalban apparently did get on well during production.
Once the credits rolled on Wrath of Khan, most everyone who'd come from out of town ventured over to the Beverly Garland Hotel, which is serving as home base to the event. The evening continued with a Star Trek 46th anniversary party that featured a performance by the Gary Graham Band.
On tap tomorrow: appearances by Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Lawrence Montaigne, Gary Graham, Marina Sirtis and more, as well as screenings, autograph and photo opportunities and a banquet/roast. Visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow for photos and a recap. And, if you'll be in L.A., go to www.planetxpo.com for tickets.
Photos By: Malik Emami
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