Issue twenty-three of the official Star Trek magazine celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and original series’ Walter Koenig (Chekov) shared his memories of the film.
Koenig recalled seeing Star Trek: The Motion Picture at a premiere in Washington, D.C. “The preamble to it all was great,” he recalled during a wide ranging interview in a North Hollywood restaurant to acknowledge the upcoming 30th anniversary of the film and his journal of the experience, Chekov’s Enterprise. “The limos and the red carpet were extraordinary. The film started and I thought the first five minutes were terrific. The music was driving. It was almost like the beginning of Jaws.”
Koenig’s experience in making the film was documented in Chekov’s Enterprise, a journal he kept during the making of the movie. Koenig was asked if he already had a deal in place with Pocket Books before writing the journal. “No,” answered Koenig. “I just did it because I thought that coming back the way we did, making this film after being off the air for ten years was unprecedented. I thought it was worth documenting, and that it would be an interesting historical document to look back at.”
One of the things Koenig mentioned in Chekov’s Enterprise was that it would be tough to “go home” again playing Chekov in The Motion Picture. Did Koenig change his mind as the Star Trek films progressed? “Yeah. I guess I did,” said Koenig. “I must have. I mean I did six more films. When we started working on that movie, I did feel like I was exhuming a ghost, and that I was so old that I could not play the character of Chekov properly. But as it turned out, it was also very stimulating to find myself in that place again.”
Would Koenig take a role in the next Star Trek movie? “If it was something as substantial as what Leonard [Nimoy] did in this last movie, I would leap at it,” said Koenig. “If it was just standing there at the end of the movie being Chekov’s grandfather, forget it.”
The official Star Trek magazine is on sale now at newsstands and comic book stores. A different exclusive cover (seen below on the right) will only be sold at comic book stores.