Leonard Nimoy Hosts A 1983 Return Of The Jedi Documentary

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Return of the Jedi celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, and considering that the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is a direct sequel to the 1983 film, it’s a perfect time to look back at where it left off as the franchise moves into the future. So settle in for a seven-minute documentary from 1983, hosted by Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.

The making-of documentary above was part of Nickelodeon’s Standby: Lights! Camera! Action!, a show that gave young viewers some insight into how movies are made. It’s strange to see Leonard Nimoy jumping universes to talk about Star Wars, but I guess he needed something to do in between The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. So why not host a behind-the-scenes featurette for Return of the Jedi?


Leonard Nimoy Diagnosed With Chronic Lung Disease

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NimoyIn Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Leonard Nimoy gave us one of science fiction filmdom’s best, most iconic moments as Spock sacrificed himself to save the crew of the Enterprise from Khan’s detonating Genesis device. Spock approached it with simple logic: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Leonard Nimoy may not have a stoic Vulcan upbringing to bring to bear, but he’s facing bad news in his own life with admirable strength of purpose, using his recent diagnosis with a chronic lung disease as a chance to implore fans young and old to learn from his example and give up smoking.

Nimoy made the announcement on Twitter:


Simpsons Did It: The Best Science/Sci-Fi Guest Stars To Appear On Fox’s Long-Running ‘Toon

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Last night The Simpsons’ long line of notable guest stars checked author Harlan Ellison off its Bucket List, alongside a return appearance from Stan “The Man” Lee. Now, don’t assume that just because I’m using a Bucket List metaphor, I think Simpsons is on its death bed. No, I’m suggesting Simpsons should have been mercifully put down ages ago. But while the show’s writing has spiraled down a well of diminishing returns, it continues to draw all manner of notable persons into the jaundiced world of Springfield. Over the years that’s included quite a few famous faces from the worlds of science and science fiction. Here’s the cream of that crop from The Simpsons’ two and a half decades (so far) of life.

TakeiGeorge Takei
Appearances: “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” (1991), “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” (1999), “A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love” (2001)

Star Trek actor/Facebook staple George Takei has popped up in Simpsons several times over the years, but unlike a lot of the names on this list, he’s never appeared playing himself. He first popped up in “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” lending his distinctive voice to Akira, a waiter at a sushi restaurant who serves Homer a fugu blowfish, an extremely venomous dish that must be prepared by a master sushi chef or risk killing its eater. (Akira has appeared other times in the show, but was voiced by Hank Azaria on those occasions.) Takei later voiced Wink, the host of a Japanese game show called Super Happy Smile Time Family Wish Show and and an unnamed waiter in a 2001 episode.

Homer: There’s got to be something I haven’t tried. Huh? Hey, hey, what’s this? Fugu!

Akira: (Gasps.) It is a blowfish, sir. But I should warn you that one–

Homer: Come on, pal. Fugu me!

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Leonard Nimoy’s 1968 Letter To A Troubled Biracial Teen

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With the Internet and Twitter, we take it for granted these days that it’s easy to interact with the writers, directors, actors, etc. behind our favorite movies and shows and books and games. You’re a lot more likely to get a response, too, since responding doesn’t require that much of an investment, especially if it’s just a few short sentences via Twitter. But it wasn’t all that long ago when contacting your creative idols meant sitting down and writing an actual letter, and who knew whether you’d ever hear back. In 1968, a teenage biracial girl wrote a letter to Spock, a heartbreaking letter about how she didn’t fit in and was afraid she’d never have any friends. Her letter appeared in the magazine FaVE, and eventually Spock — or rather actor Leonard Nimoy — wrote her back.

The girl, who identified herself only as “F.C.” felt a connection to Spock. After all, Spock was half-Vulcan and half-Human, and often felt separated from both of his “halves,” not fully welcomed by either. So surely he would understand the fears of a scared girl whose mother was black and father white, in a time when that was far from accepted by society at large.

Nimoy responded, in part:

[Spock] said to himself: ‘Not everyone will like me. But there will be those who will accept me just for what I am. I will develop myself to such a point of excellence, intelligence and brilliance that I can see through any problem and deal with any crisis. I will become such a master of my own abilities and career that there will be a place for me. People of all races will need me and not be able to do without me.’ And that’s just what he did. And when I see him standing there on the bridge of the Enterprise, facing danger and life-and-death problems so cooly and with so much intelligence, I’m sure he made the right decision.


Hang Out With Geordi And Mr. Sulu On Twitter

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spinerWe’re big fans of Twitter here at GFR, and if you’re not already using it then I reccommend trying it out with a quick click over to our Twitter page. Though you may have heard Twitter described as a bunch of boring, useless, one sentence updates from people letting you know they’re doing laundry, at its best it’s so much better than that. In fact, it’s a place where you can hang out with the cast of Star Trek.

Many of the stars of both the original and Next Generation Trek series’ are regular Twitter users. Will Wheaton for instance (follow him at @wilw) is one of the most followed users on the entire network. But he’s not the only one. The guys over at TrekMovie have put together a complete guide to all the former Star Trek cast members who are tweeting and interacting with their fans on Twitter. Check out the full list of Twittering Trek greats below, and while you’re at it don’t forget to follow us.

Wil Wheaton @wilw
Levar Burton @levarbutton
Brent Spiner @brentspiner
George Takei @georgetakei
Leonard Nimoy @leonardnimoy
Director JJ Abrams @jj_abrams
William Shatner @williamshatner


George Takei Is Still Not In Star Trek

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takei022708.jpgThis morning frequently wrong rumor site ran a story claiming that George Takei would show up in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek prequel. Of course this flies in the face of everything anyone associated with the production has had to say on the matter. The people actually making Star Trek have been pretty clear on this: None of the original cast will be in the film except Leonard Nimoy.

Still, AICN insists it’s true. Except of course their story is based on nothing but vapor. All they have is an interview with George Takei where he basically says “no comment”. That’s hardly a confirmation that he’s in it. AICN has invented a story out of nothing.

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