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Star Trek in the News - February 11, 2011

Star Trek in the News - February 11, 2011

There’s always something going on in the Star Trek universe, whether it’s favorite actors landing new roles or Star Trek extending its pop culture reach into our everyday lives. Here, we take a look at some Star Trek in the news.

Anton Yelchin is riding high. The talented young actor, Star Trek’s new Chekov, just saw his film Like Crazy win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and earn a distribution deal. He’s also got The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster, and the Fright Night remake on the way. Now he’s just signed on for Odd Thomas, to be directed by Stephen Sommers based on the Dean Koontz novel of the same name. Yelchin will play the title character, a short-order cook who talks to ghosts.

You may not have heard about this one. Recently, Canada’s Defense Minister, Peter MacKay, and Marc Garneau, a Liberal critic who also happens to be Canada’s first astronaut and a former military officer, got into a war of words. What they were arguing about was this: whether or not to modify stealth fighter jets that already cost $16 billion. Garneau questioned MacKay, prompting MacKay to say, “I had hoped, given his background, that he would boldly go where no Liberal has gone before – that he would support the men and women in uniform. But alas, he has fallen back on that old Liberal position of playing politics on the backs of the men and women in uniform.” Garneau set his verbal phasers on stun and fired back with the following:   “The Minister of National Defense is quick to question my patriotism. I will go up against him any day on patriotism. I do not just dress up like a soldier. I actually serve my country. The minister also likes his little Star Trek analogies so let me take him where no Conservative has gone before, to fiscal competence and balanced budgets. Let me ask him why he will not hold an open competition, get the best aircraft for our needs, guarantee industrial benefits and save Canadians billions of dollars?” And so it went. Anyone interested in reading more can click here.

William Shatner is back with his BIO channel talk show Raw Nerve. His Captains documentary is on the way. But, as usual, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He’s recording a new album, Seeking Major Tom, and there’s footage all over the Internet of him in a studio working with guitarist Zakk Wylde on a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” Additional details to come on that album. Meanwhile, Shatner and Amanda Tapping of Stargate fame have teamed up to provide voices for The Zenoids, an animated web series to air on the social site The genre stars will plays a married couple, Kozmo and Zara, who dream of intergalactic music stardom.

Production is underway on Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, Syfy’s two-hour Galactica prequel pilot. The pilot will be co-executive produced and written by Trek veteran Michael Taylor, who penned multiple episodes of DS9 and Voyager, and was also a Voyager story editor. Also contributing to the Blood & Chrome story are Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, who comprise a writing tandem that previously collaborated on DS9.

And here’s a nice story, best told in the accompany pictures, about Scott Turner, a patient – and, clearly, a Star Trek fan – at the M.M. Ewing Continue Care Center in Canandaigua, New York. Turner always wanted to fire a phaser with which to battle Klingons, and he got his wish. Check out the story and pics here.

Patrick Stewart is back in England and back on the big screen today, in fact, as a voice in Gnomeo & Juliet. TNG’sCaptain Picard has also just signed on to play Shylock in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Merchant of Venice that will open in May at the refurbished Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and run through September. And Stewart will be heard, along with Uma Thurman and Shia LeBeouf, as one of the voices in the English-language DVD/Blu-ray release of legendary Japanese animator Hiyao Miyasaki’s breakthrough film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Studio Ghibli will release Nausicaa on March 8.

And this isn’t exactly new, but it still takes the, er, cake.