21 April 2010

Star Trek Triology: NIMOY Retires, SHATNER Aspires, and CHRIS PINE Inspires A New 'Jack Ryan'

Unlike his longtime friend and fellow Final Frontier explorer William Shatner, a man who craves and indeed thrives on the bridge of popular attention***, Leonard Nimoy's long-preferred a less direct light. Where Star Trek's Mister Spock was concerned, the spotlight became a brilliance Nimoy once chose to avoid completely.  Even before publishing his 1975 autobiography I Am Not Spock, Nimoy had well-separated himself from the role that made him famous.  

You can read about Nimoy's reconciliation with his Vulcan alter-ego in his 1995 follow-up autobiography, I Am Spock, but despite the amelioration, the actor's preference for the fringe has remained intact since.  In that light, it's poetic irony that Nimoy, who just finished taping his final appearance as William Bell, the chairman of Massive Dynamic on J..J Abrams' Fox television series Fringe, has announced that he is officially retiring from his acting career - for good. 

Fox will be renewing Fringe for a third season, and the second film of Abrams' reimagined Star Trek franchise is currently in the works and set for a summer 2012 release. For the fans who've been wondering if Nimoy, who appeared as Spock in the new Trek last year, would do the same in the sequel, the speculation is over. Nimoy prefers to fully pass his Star Trek heritage on to the 'Science Officer' of the next generation (actor Zachary Quinto) and instead turn his attention to final convention visits and then his hobby, photography.  "I’ve been doing this professionally for 60 years," Nimoy told the Toronto Sun  on Sunday. "I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I’ve had a great, great time."
Much like the man who created the role that's now become his, Chris Pine is today's Captain of the Enterprise and a charismatic actor who adores the bright lights every bit as much as William Shatner.  Last year, Pine took Shatner's iconic Kirk and made it his own when Paramount Pictures rebooted Star Trek; this year, now that Paramount's confirmed plans to reboot another of its franchises, Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Pine has been signed to do so again. 

Clancy's character, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan, made his first fictional - and later, cinematic - appearance in The Hunt for Red October, published in 1984. The movie adaptation came six years later, with Alec Baldwin playing Ryan.  Harrison Ford took over for the next two films, succeeded by Ben Affleck in the 2002 movie, The Sum of All Fears.  Four actors and eight years later, Pine is set to assume control in Moscow, the first film in the franchise not directly based on any previous Clancy novel.

Moscow explores the untold chapter of Ryan's life following Red October to before he became an analyst for the CIA. According to Clancy's back story for the character, Ryan was a stockbroker working for Merill Lynch.  Moscow will find Pine's Ryan embroiled in a global financial meltdown.
Since we've been following a very subtle Star Trek theme with today's comicsblog, we figured there couldn't be any better time than the present to give y'all an anatomy lesson. Nope, we're not posting naked pics of Channing Tatum - we'd get ourselves into all kinds of trouble. The only kind of trouble we don't have a problem with is of the Tribble kind.

Tribbles, of course, made their first television appearance on 'The Trouble with Tribbles' episode of the original Star Trek, back in 1968.  Unquestionably real yet barely seen, these little balls of joy are more than simply balls of fur.  Aside from being able to annoy Klingons with their high-pitched twitters, Tribbles have other internal organs that human scientists are just beginning to chart, study, and understand. 

Buzzfeed just made public the first scientifically valid and anatomically correct chart of a Tribble -- at least, it's the first we've ever seen. Crude, but explaining so much, it's good to see modern medicine and today's technology catch up to Star Trek yet again.  First the iPad and now this...2010 is turning out to be quite a year.

*** Shatner's love of the limelight was recently validated in an unofficial poll  conducted by the Canadian news site TheMarkNews.com. The site, building on momentum generated by a 10,000 strong Facebook  fan page that has identified Shatner as their candidate in Canada's  Governor General election this year, ran the former 'Captain' against the current twelve hopefuls for the office. In the final results announced earlier today, Shatner received 43% of the vote, while Rick Hansen, the country's leading political candidate, came in a distant second with just 11%.

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