Roddenberry Jr. Talks Trek Values, Plans

By Michelle
August 1, 2005 - 9:25 PM

"These days, I think I prefer Rod," admitted Eugene Roddenberry Jr. of his preferred nomenclature, though he added that for merchandising purposes, he uses the name closer to that of his father, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Now working on a documentary about Star Trek's legacy and how it influenced his own life as well as those of others, Roddenberry labeled himself a late bloomer in terms of appreciating his father's legacy.

"I'm a Trekkie, and Iím not ashamed to say it, he said, rejecting the idea that Trekker is a more dignified label in an interview with OC Weekly. "Growing up, I was into The Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky and Hutch, and frankly, I didnít give a rat's ass about Trek. It wasnít until my dadís memorial service, when I heard these stories about how Trek had changed so many lives, that I really started to understand and be proud of what heíd achieved."

Ultimately that pride led to Trek Nation, in which he talks to celebrity fans as well as casual viewers about the monumentally successful franchise. "We didnít get the Dalai Lama, but [Steven] Spielberg hasnít said no yet. The people at his office keep saying heís interested, but we havenít been able to set up a time. We did get a lot of really big names, though: George Lucas, Dennis Rodman, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, Tammy Faye Messner...we wanted to get past that stereotype and show that Trek transcends all those high school stereotypes: that yeah, nerds are into Trek, but so are jocks, so are the hot chicks."

"I believe in [the Vulcan motto] Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, that we should celebrate our differences," Roddenberry added when asked whether Trek's perceived left-wing philosophy might have hurt its appeal during the Bush administration. "With Bush being as religious as he is, and the people weíre at war with being as religious as they are...see, Iím a humanist. I believe we should embrace different ideas, including Christianity, including Islam, and even including people who hate those religions." He said that he favored the cancellation of low-rated Enterprise and believes that the franchise will return in another incarnation.

As for the future of Trek Nation, "We're submitting the film to Sundance, and we wonít hear back on that until mid- to late December." Information about the documentary's progress may be found at the film's web site.

The original interview with Roddenberry may be found at OC Weekly.

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