Walter Koenig is a Star Trek icon. He, of course, played Pavel Chekov on Star Trek: The Original Series for three years and a long string of Star Trek movies in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. He recently headed up north for the 20th annual Vulcan Spock Days in the Vulcan Country in Alberta, Canada.
Vulcan Spock Days is an annual summer gathering of Star Trek fans in the rural county of Vulcan. The people of Vulcan, for the past 20 years, have converted their county into a safe haven for all things Star Trek. Their Vulcan Spock Days is one of the biggest tourist events for this small Canadian county.
In an interview with the Vulcan Advocate, Walter Koening spoke about the importance of fan conventions to Star Trek’s legacy.
“What I do, it’s generally for the public or involves the public. If they’re not interested or enthusiastic about my contributions, then I’m not going to get much work! The fans have always been there — they’ve been an extraordinary avenue of reinforcement and affection.
Koening also took the opportunity to talk about the new Star Trek series of movies by director J.J. Abrams. Most notably, he discussed his opinion on actor Anton Yelchin, who plays Pavel Chekov, the role made famous by Walter Koening.
But I found myself just sitting back and becoming a Star Trek fan… I was just watching another actor playing a character… I just thoroughly enjoyed what he did. I think it was fun that he did a little of the (Chekov) accent. That was sort of like a little homage, which I appreciated,” he said, adding that he enjoyed the film.
Lastly, Walter Koening spoke on the differences in the earlier Star Trek movies to the new versions. He mostly talked about the differences in special effects and the overall emotional tie he has to the early films.
The (new Star Trek) film is evocative of this time, in terms of technology that is available. The different way of making films — a lot more CGI, a lot more eye candy, a lot more dependence on technology than we had… I think possibly we were compelled to make the story a little bit more personal and a little bit more human and a little bit more character-driven because we did not have the technology to fall back on.
It was not a visual, sensory experience,” he said of the climax of The Wrath of Khan. “It was a very emotional ending — the death of Spock, Kirk’s reaction, all of that. It was devastating and left you with something more than you’ve got when leaving the new Star Trek movie.