Star Trek: The Journey from Series to Cinema

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“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is a science-fiction film that was released in 1979, directed by Robert Wise and produced by Gene Roddenberry. It is the first feature film based on the original “Star Trek” television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969. It began the journey to the big screen via development for a continuation series, named “Star Trek: Phase II”.

The movie brought back the original cast, including William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, and the rest of the Enterprise crew. The plot centers around an alien entity that is heading towards Earth, and the crew must race to intercept it before it destroys the planet.

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was a major departure from the television series in terms of its scope, special effects, and budget. It was made with a budget of $46 million, which was a significant amount of money for a film at the time, and it used state-of-the-art visual effects to create the alien entity and the various space scenes.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and fans, with some praising its ambitious storytelling and impressive visuals, while others criticized its slow pace and lack of action. However, it was a commercial success, grossing over $139 million worldwide and spawning a series of sequels.

Two of my favorite designs in the Trek universe come from this film. The wonderful greys and earthtones Starfleet uniforms. Also, the refit Enterprise is phenomenal, and I still love the slow fly-around tour of the new exterior. I was searching for an affordable, simple model of this version of the Enterprise today, which inspired this post. No luck in my search, but I’ll keep an eye out.

“Star Trek Phase II” was a proposed television series that was intended to be a continuation of the original “Star Trek” television series. It was planned to be produced in the late 1970s and would have featured the original cast members reprising their roles.

The series was initially developed by Paramount Pictures as a response to the success of “Star Wars” in 1977. The plan was to launch a new “Star Trek” series as part of the new wave of science-fiction programming that was becoming popular at the time.

However, the project was eventually shelved in favor of producing “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which was released in 1979. Many of the ideas and concepts that were developed for “Star Trek Phase II” were later incorporated into the first Star Trek film.

Some of the original scripts that were written for “Star Trek Phase II” were later adapted into episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which premiered in 1987. The first episode of “The Next Generation,” titled “Encounter at Farpoint,” was based on a script that was originally written for “Star Trek Phase II.”

While “Star Trek Phase II” never came to fruition as a television series, its development paved the way for the continued success of the “Star Trek” franchise in the decades that followed, including multiple television series and films.

DataBits: Relentless Blades/ Alignment Event/ Immortality/ AI and Art/ 4G on the Moon

Relentless Blades is a new blog from an old classmate of mine from Sacramento, CA. The blog is a companion to his forthcoming novel of the same name. I’ve had the honor of illustrating three of the characters from his tale and looking forward to doing more in the future. Pop in and drop him a like and follow… you will not be disappointed.

Importing Early Japanese Otaku Culture

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The import of Japanese entertainment to the West during the 1960s through the 1980s had a significant influence on Western popular culture in several ways.

Television shows and movies such as Ultraman, Godzilla, and Johnny Sokko were some of the best things that I still enjoy to this day. The ongoing Ultraman series, over the decades, has been a wonderful source of entertainment for millions of people.

One of the most notable impacts was the spread of Japanese animation, or anime. In the 1960s, anime series such as, Speed Racer, Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion were dubbed and aired on television in the United States, introducing Western audiences to a new style of animation that differed from traditional Western cartoons. Some shows were taken and reworked into something that was very different, plot wise, like Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman to Battle of the Planets. This led to the development of a dedicated fanbase for anime in the West, which continues to this day. MS Gundam didn’t catch on as quickly but when it did, it was a huge hit. Long form storytelling also was introduced into children’s programming with shows such as Star Blazers, and Macross.

Another significant impact of Japanese entertainment imports was the popularity of martial arts films. In the 1970s, films such as Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon opened the door wide for all martial genres. Sonny Chiba and the Shogun Assassin series introduced Western audiences to the world of martial arts and samurai films from Japan. Bing niche subject matter wasn’t really a thing anymore by the mid 1970s. These films inspired a generation of Western filmmakers and influenced the development of the action movie genre. One of the best examples of a wonderful import was the chanbara television jidaigeki series was Kage no Mono, starring the aforementioned Sunny Chiba, about several bands of Shinobi in hiding.

Japanese music also had an impact on Western popular culture during this period. The popularity of Japanese pop music, or J-pop, increased in the 1980s, with artists such as Seiko Matsuda and Yellow Magic Orchestra gaining international recognition. This led to the incorporation of Japanese musical styles into Western music, particularly in the development of synthpop and electronic music. A musical duo known as Pink Lady, had an American television program in the early 1980s, and I was a regular watcher.

Finally, Japanese fashion and style had an impact on Western fashion during this period. The rise of Japanese street fashion in the 1980s, particularly the Harajuku style, introduced Western audiences to a new style of fashion that was characterized by bright colors, bold patterns, and a mix of vintage and modern elements. This style influenced the development of Western fashion trends in the 1980s and beyond.

Japanese toys played a significant role in supporting the spread of Japanese entertainment in the West. Toys based on Japanese entertainment franchises, such as anime and manga, helped to create a demand for Japanese entertainment and merchandise, which ultimately helped to increase the popularity of these franchises in the West.

One of the earliest examples of Japanese toys supporting the spread of Japanese entertainment in the West was with the success of the “Godzilla” franchise. The original “Godzilla” movie was released in Japan in 1954, and it quickly became a hit. This success led to the production of a range of “Godzilla” toys, which were sold in Japan and later exported to other countries. These toys helped to increase the popularity of the franchise in the West, leading to the release of English-dubbed versions of the films and the development of a dedicated fanbase.

Similarly, the popularity of Japanese anime in the West was supported by the sale of toys based on these franchises. Companies such as Bandai and Takara produced a range of toys based on popular anime series such as “Mobile Suit Gundam” and “Dragon Ball Z”. These toys were sold in Japan and later exported to other countries, helping to create a demand for these franchises in the West. This demand ultimately led to the production and distribution of English-dubbed versions of these anime series, as well as the development of a dedicated fanbase.

In addition to toys based on specific franchises, Japanese toy companies also produced a range of general toys that were popular in the West. Examples of these toys include “Tamagotchi” virtual pets, “Power Rangers” action figures (based on the Japanese “Super Sentai” franchise), and “Transformers” robots (which were originally developed by Takara as the “Diaclone” and “Microman” toy lines). These toys helped to familiarize Western audiences with Japanese toy brands and franchises, paving the way for the success of other Japanese entertainment in the West.

Japanese toys played a significant role in supporting the spread of Japanese entertainment in the West. Toys based on Japanese entertainment franchises helped to create a demand for these franchises in the West, while general toys from Japanese toy companies helped to familiarize Western audiences with Japanese brands and products. When combined with Western based entertainment companies, something new and everlasting was born and reintroduced back into Japan where it is embraced alongside the originating concepts.

DataBits: GPT4/ Hyperreal/ Object 2023 DZ2/ Twitter Code/ Da Vinci

Data Bits are news items of interest that you may have missed in your busy day.

It’s no secret that I think the hyper-wealthy do more harm than good. Anything that humbles them a bit doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Billionaires are not our friends, and Twitter is not the land of “free speech” except for him, those of whom he sucks up to, and anybody who will fill his pocketses.

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb

“Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” is a loosely adapted from Bram Stoker’s 1903 novel “The Jewel of Seven Stars“… It tells the story of a young woman named Margaret Trelawney, who discovers she is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian queen named Tera.

The novel begins with Ross and his friend Dr. Winchester visiting Trelawny’s home, where they find the Egyptologist in a comatose state. They soon discover that Trelawny had been obsessed with the ancient Egyptian queen Tera and had been attempting to revive her using the Jewel of Seven Stars, a powerful and cursed artifact.

As Ross delves deeper into Trelawny’s research, he becomes increasingly drawn into the world of ancient Egypt and its dark magic. He also falls in love with Trelawny’s daughter, Margaret, who bears a striking resemblance to the long-dead queen Tera.

As the story unfolds, Ross and Margaret find themselves in grave danger, facing off against the malevolent forces of ancient Egypt and the power of the Jewel of Seven Stars. Along the way, they are aided by Dr. Winchester and a cast of other characters but must ultimately rely on their own wits and courage to survive.

The novel is known for its eerie atmosphere, vivid descriptions of ancient Egyptian mythology, and its exploration of themes such as reincarnation, power, and the dangers of unlocking ancient knowledge. It has been adapted into several films, including a silent movie in 1915, a Hammer Horror production in 1971 and a made-for-TV movie in 2006.

The 1971 film adaptation of “Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” is a British horror movie directed by Seth Holt and produced by Hammer Film Productions. The movie stars Valerie Leon, Andrew Keir, and James Villiers, among others.

The film follows the basic plot of the novel, with Margaret Fuchs (played by Leon) discovering that she is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian queen named Tera. As she begins to explore her powers, she becomes possessed by Tera’s spirit and sets out to exact her revenge on those who wronged her in the past.

The movie is known for its atmospheric visuals, including stunning shots of ancient Egypt and some gruesome scenes involving the mummy of Tera. It also features strong performances from the cast, particularly Valerie Leon in the lead role.

“Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb” is considered to be a classic example of British horror cinema and is well-regarded by fans of the genre. It remains a popular film among horror fans and has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in various editions over the years. There is only one thing that I would change about this film… I would make the Mummy a desiccated corps in the present, instead of just the spitting image of the lead character. I get why they did it the way they did, but I would be more fun if there were a bit of mystery within the film’s fictious world as to the connection between Valerie’s character and the mummy of Tera.

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