It’s once again the beginning of a new month, and that means one exciting thing here at GFR headquarters: a new batch of artist Juan Ortiz’s brilliant retro Star Trek episodic posters. If you missed the bandwagon in previous months, Ortiz is spending the year creating retro-style posters for each episode of the original Star Trek run. You can admire his talents below, or you can buy copies to adorn your office or man/woman cave or what-have-you. As with all the previous batches, we’re including Ortiz’s commentary on each poster below.
Episode 44: The Trouble With Tribbles
The four prints for October are “The Trouble with Tribbles,” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” “Catspaw” and “The Alternative Factor.” Let’s go with “Tribbles” first. Take us through the inspiration for this print.
Ortiz: Despite (the fact) that dozens of Tribbles are poisoned, this is an off-beat, light-hearted, maybe even comedic episode. So I thought about some of the movie comedies that I like from the 60s, like It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, where everyone is just having a ball.
A lot of people will be surprised to see so much color in the print, since the Tribbles were pretty muted in color. What led you to go that route?
Ortiz: Despite what it looks like, the Enterprise is not beaming hundreds of Tribbles into space. The Enterprise is metaphorically bleeding Tribbles. I wanted the poster to be fun and colorful, and (to) hopefully make people smile.
Episode 36: Catspaw
“Catspaw” is stark, Gothic and playful at the same time. Give us a feeling for what inspired this one.
Ortiz: I knew that I wanted this one to be bold and simple and that it had to include a giant cat. The Enterprise in the cat’s mouth just fell into place. I think that’s the playful part, sort of a “look what the cat dragged in” moment. Staring out the window and seeing empty eyes reflecting back at you creates that eerie feeling. I think some fans will be reminded of Batman, another classic show from the 60s.
It’s got a Halloween-y feel to it, down to the colors. Did you have October in mind, or did someone at CBS smartly think to make it available as an October option?
Ortiz: It wasn’t my doing. Someone at CBS is a genius and deserves a promotion with nothing less than a corner office. That person knew that “Catspaw” aired, just in time for Halloween, on October 27, 1967.
Episode 27: The Alternative Factor
“The Alternative Factor” is a lot of fun. Are we correct in seeing a Yellow Submarine meets The Who/Tommy connection in this?
Ortiz: I have to admit, I know Tommy the album very well, but I’ve only seen the movie once. Lazarus’ time ship reminded me of the Beatles’ yellow sub, so I went with that in mind and with the sea of holes representing the doorways through time.
What else were you shooting for with this poster?
Ortiz: I had been reading up on my study of time and how the past, present and future exist at the same time, from the big bang to the dark, empty and cold end of our universe.
Episode 70: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
What were you aiming for with “Battlefield”?
Ortiz: Before I upset any fans, I intentionally flopped the colors so that the white and the black could face each other. Although the two antagonists are from the planet Cheron, I wanted to depict any race on any planet where there is race hatred.
How did you go about creating the shapes of the faces?
Ortiz: I used the exact same face for both faces, which I hope demonstrates the absurdity of racism. I kept the faces as simple shapes so that the rage between the two, defined by the touches of red, would translate better.
We’ll let you know next month when the next batch is released. In the mean time, you can find out more about the prints and how to order them at StarTrek.com.
Personally, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Ortiz might give this same treatment to the other Trek series, or even to other shows such as Babylon 5 or Farscape. That would be a significantly larger commitment of time and effort, but it’s nice to hope…