Coming on 24th October: Star Trek Day
In honour of the creator of Star Trek and other shows join in the national celebrations to remember the life of the man and the lives of his creations.
Gene Roddenberry was born on 19th August 1921 in El Paso Texas, and died on 24th October 1991. Although he served his country with honour by flying eighty-nine missions in World War Two as part of the United States Army Air Forces and having been awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal, he is most famously and lovingly remembered the world over as the creator of Star Trek.
Gene Roddenberry first created the Star Trek universe in 1964, and it premiered on US television on NBC on September 8, 1966. Since that time, his vision has spawned six television series (including an animated series) which comprised 715 episodes and eleven films; with a twelfth film currently in development and scheduled for a 2012/13 release.
The first film (simply called The Motion Picture) premiered in North America on December 7, 1979. Although only receiving lukewarm reviews from the critics and fans alike, it remains the highest grossing film in the Star Trek franchise (allowing for inflation). The film was produced for a cost of US$46 million, but by taking US$139 million worldwide it was sufficient for Paramount to commission a second film.
The sixth film in the series (called The Undiscovered Country) premiered in North America on December 6, 1991 – this was the last film to feature the crew from the original series, and it saw the decommissioning of the USS Enterprise. It was dedicated to the memory of Gene Roddenberry, who had sadly passed away six weeks prior to the premier. In terms of actual money taken, it grossed the most for the opening weekend of any of the Star Trek films and then went on take US$97 million worldwide.
Gene Roddenberry’s second wife Majel Barrett (February 23, 1932 – December 18, 2008) was with Star Trek from its inception through to her death. She was in every series of Star Trek in one role or another. She played an unnamed first officer in the original pilot, Nurse Christine Chappel (later Doctor Christine Chappel) in the original series and the first movie, the outrageous Lwaxxana Troi in both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and was the voice of the main computer in all of the incarnations.
In 1992, a portion of Roddenberry's ashes flew into space and returned to earth on the Space Shuttle Columbia. On April 21, 1997, a Celestis spacecraft carrying some of his cremated remains was launched into Earth orbit. On May 20, 2002, the spacecraft's orbit deteriorated and it disintegrated in the atmosphere. Another flight to launch more of his ashes into deep space along with those of Majel Roddenberry is planned for launch in 2012.
Join in the celebrations of the lives of Gene and Majel Roddenberry (the so called “First Lady of Star Trek”) at one of the national parties. There’s something for everyone:
- Learn a new language (Klingon, Romulan, Bajoran and others)
- Ceremonies throughout the day (including the Klingon Tea Ceremony and the Bajoran Gratitude Festival)
- Try the dishes – everything from Klingon gagh and blood pie to Cardassian taspar eggs
- Learn Klingon martial arts
- Quizzes and competitions throughout the day
- Learn to play games - everything from 3-dimension chess to Pareses Squares
- Episodes from the series will be shown throughout the day
- Turn up dressed as your favourite character or species
The country is in dire need of another holiday that everyone can celebrate, and the government has given you the task of picking it. What event will you add to the holiday calendar, when is it, and why? What will people do on this holiday to celebrate?
Thank You for Reading!
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