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Looking Back At 2011

Looking Back At 2011

2011 was a most memorable and important year in the Star Trek universe, notable for endings, beginnings, anniversaries and birthdays. Check out some of what made Star Trek news this past year and let us know what else of importance -- importance to you -- happened in the world of Trek.

Leonard Nimoy retired, at least for now, and at least from the Star Trek convention circuit. The Star Trek legend announced that he planned to leave acting behind, but then promptly appeared again on Fringe (sort of; the episode was mostly animated), provided the voice of Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, popped up in a skit that opened the Emmy Awards telecast and, quite amusingly, played a misanthropic version of himself in the official alternate music video for the Bruno Mars hit “The Lazy Song.” Nimoy also beamed down to Las Vegas one last time, in August, for Creation Entertainment’s annual Official Star Trek Convention in Sin City. His voice cracking, and on the verge of tears, he bid adieu to more than 5,000 fans that day. A few weeks later, he made what he promised would be his final convention appearance, appearing at the Creation Entertainment convention in Rosemont, Illinois. His parting words to the crowd were a slight variation on his alter ego’s famous saying: “May each and every one of you,” Nimoy intoned, “live long and prosper.”

J.J. Abrams made it official: he will direct and co-produce the sequel to Star Trek (2009). The main cast will return. It will be filmed in 2D, upconverted to 3D in post-production, and may be shot in IMAX. The film also got an official release date: May 17, 2013. As for confirmed new actors and actresses, they include Peter Weller and Alice Eve. Where will YOU be on May 17, 2013? And do you think Khan will end up being the villain?

Sci-fi icons William Shatner and Carrie Fisher – Captain Kirk of Star Trek and Princess Leia of Star Wars – took to the Internet to debate which was better, Star Trek or Star Wars. Shatner kicked off the conflict, stating, “Star Trek has relationships, and conflict among the relationships, and stories with philosophical questions which dramatize it. Star Wars was special effects, was ILM at its best… First of all, Star Wars was derivative of Star Trek, by what 10, 15, 20 years, whatever it was... Derivative!" Fisher volleyed back on YouTube, insisting that “They’re not in the same league. I mean, they have the word ‘star’ in the title. And there’s space travel. Where do they go to? I don’t really know. Klingon? It just sounds like a laundry detergent.” She added, “I have the metal bikini. By the way, Bill has borrowed it. I wanna see him in his clingy outfit. We should have a costume-off.” And her final insult: “And my space buns… they’re so much better than Nimoy’s ears.” Shatner fired off another round soon after, and we’re pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of Fisher, though we may need to wait until 2012 for more of their entertaining tiff. In the meantime, though, the ever-wily George Takei begged Shatner and Fisher to shut their "big wormholes," sought to broker peace between them, and ominously pointed out a common enemy (The Twilight Saga) in a very funny video he posted on YouTube. Check it out by clicking HERE.

Star Trek celebrated four major anniversaries and two major birthdays in 2011. First, it was the 45th anniversary of the original Star Trek series, and to celebrate it, spent a week in September catching up with surviving TOS stars William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig. Click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE to check out their comments. Meanwhile, fans also recognized the 25th anniversary of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the 20th anniversary of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the 10th anniversary of Star Trek: Enterprise. As for the birthdays, William Shatner turned 80 years young on March 22 and his longtime friend and co-star, Leonard Nimoy, hit that same milestone age on March 26. gave fans First Looks at some exciting new Star Trek products, including Mr. Potato Heads, robes, cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, Star Trek: Vault, Klingon Monopoly and the PADD app. Among the site's most popular/widely read stories: news about the TNGBlu-ray launch in January 2012, our Design The Next Enterprise feature, interviews with Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner and the surviving TOS cast, and our Election Day piece pitting Kirk vs. Picard. And, speaking of Kirk, we caught up with William Shatner, who told us all about his documentary, The Captains, which aired in July.

Star Trek fans said goodbye and thank you to several figures associated with the franchise, perhaps most notably William Campbell. The veteran character actor, who passed away at the age of 87 on April 28, played Trelane in the TOS episode “The Squire of Gothos” and the Klingon Koloth in the TOS episode "The Trouble With Tribbles” and the DS9 episode “Blood Oath,” and entertained countless people over the decades during his many memorable Star Trek convention and cruise appearances.

As always, kept readers updated on Star Trek's far-reaching effect on pop culture. The comic-strip character Dilbert experienced Pon farr, for example, and that strip beamed onto a trio of coffee mugs. And, via our Facebook page, we linked you to stories about the Google-Siri competitor-Majel Barrett Roddenberry connection, a $10 million challenge to develop a real tricorder, TNG ambient engine noise and much, much more.

And finally, click HERE to see our favorite bit of Star Trek tribute/parody, which aired on Late Show with David Letterman on October 14.

So, what did YOU think was the most important Trek news in 2011? Let us know. And, check back tomorrow for a preview of Trek things to come in 2012.