Sternbach, Okuda, Roddenberry Attend Space Conference

By Michelle
May 11, 2006 - 3:13 PM

Several Star Trek-connected people were in attendance at the 25th International Space Development Conference, where Eugene Roddenberry Jr. made award presentations to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and where Star Trek technicians and designers talked about the evolution of the franchise. covered the event, where senior illustrator Rick Sternbach spoke on space art and scenic artist Michael Okuda discussed the series' graphic design. The conference was co-hosted by the National Space Society and The Planetary Society, so there were also astronauts and aerospace professionals discussing theoretical subjects like warp travel and how to regenerate interest in the space program.

Sternbach presented a slide show on the evolution of space art, explaining how real life observation with improved telescopes had led to more realistic renderings of other worlds. He and Okuda joked that scientists should not "attempt to combine matter and antimatter in your garage to try to get us out there any quicker, okay?"

Along with Okuda, Sternbach explained the logic behind the designs for various spaceships and shuttles in The Next Generation and after, including their engines, escape hatches and continuity with original series. "We ate a lot of noodles, we had a lot of pizza, and we sat there and said, 'Hey, what if it worked this way?'" he explained of the process of development.

Okuda said that when he began to work on The Next Generation, "We very, very much wanted to respect what had come before, but it did need to be totally different." The crew deliberately paid homage to Kirk's Enterprise, and did so again in designing Archer's retro bridge on the NX-01.

Both Okuda and Sternbach said that they hoped to be called to work on Star Trek XI.

The original article is here.

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