06/26/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gene Roddenberry's Son Talks Star Trek


Rod Roddenberry

Nobody can deny that the new Star Trek film has silenced most of the critics. Fanboys (and girls) and newcomers alike have fallen in love with the re-imagining of Gene Roddenberry's beloved characters who "boldly go where no one has gone before". The logical, yet lovable Spock (Zachery Quinto), the bravado-filled Kirk (Chris Pine), the brilliantly cast Scotty (Simon Pegg)... there was even an original cast member. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it yet, (and if you haven't, what are you waiting for?) though he's been doing the talk show circuit, bringing the crew on The View almost to tears by saying his famous line. The franchise has been successfully relaunched, which Roddenberry's son Rod is hoping will bring a whole new generation of fans to the series. "They did a great job in my opinion," he said, "of keeping all the fans, all the admirers of Star Trek, they kept it real for you, but they also did a great job of bringing a new audience in."

May 9th on Catalina Island off the coast of California, at the historic Casino Theatre, Rod Roddenberry welcomed original cast members George Takei (Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) and scores of fans (me included) to screen the film. I'm sure you've read dozens of reviews by now, mostly positive, so I'll restrain myself and say only this: The film is fantastic. I'm seeing it again and looking forward to sequels from director J.J. Abrams and the almost inevitable new television series. (Fingers crossed for that.) For me, just as interesting as the film, was hearing the reaction of the fans to little details. And when the late and much beloved Majel Barrett's voice issued from the computer, the fans went wild. People stayed for the credits and applauded wildly when her name appeared. Before the film, Rod told a story about his mom from the beginning of the series. It's been told before but it bears repeating. "The Cage... the pilot that was never released until much later. My father, obviously, fell in love with my mother and put her as, actually, Number One... on the show. She was second in command and it was done in, I think '65, where the idea of a woman a second in command was, oh my God! How can they possibly do that? Women can't think that far... obviously my father was ahead of his time." `

Roddenberry also showed a preview of the documentary he's been working on for eight years, Trek Nation. "My father passed away when I was seventeen. I had no idea what Star Trek was...I really had no clue what the core was. When my father passed away, a few people got onstage and talked about how Star Trek had inspired them...I had no idea...I was watching Knight Rider and Dukes of eyes and ears were opened. I learned that Star Trek had touched people in a lot of ways...I was shocked to hell that a TV show could do I went on a journey to discover who Gene Roddenberry was because I just knew him as 'Dad'." The six minutes we saw was fascinating and Roddenberry says that if the rough cut they just got looked good, we would hear some news in a few months.

Star Trek is in theaters now. Check out the official website here.