Star Trek Poster #39 Walter Koenig Nichelle Nichols The Voyage Home


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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film in the film series and completes the story arc begun in The Wrath of Khan and continued in The Search for Spock. Intent on returning home to Earth to face trial for their crimes, the former crew of the USS Enterprise finds the planet in grave danger from an alien probe attempting to contact now-extinct humpback whales. The crew travel to Earth’s past to find whales who can answer the probe’s call.

After directing The Search for Spock, cast member Leonard Nimoy was asked to direct the next feature, and given greater freedom regarding the film’s content. Nimoy and producer Harve Bennett conceived a story with an environmental message and no clear-cut villain. Dissatisfied with the first screenplay produced by Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes, Paramount hired The Wrath of Khan writer and director Nicholas Meyer. Meyer and Bennett divided the story between them and wrote different parts of the script, requiring approval from Nimoy, lead actor William Shatner, and Paramount.

Principal photography commenced on February 24, 1986. Unlike previous Star Trek films, The Voyage Home was shot extensively on location; many real settings and buildings were used as stand-ins for scenes set around and in the city of San Francisco. Special effects firm Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) assisted in postproduction and the film’s special effects. Few of the humpback whales in the film were real: ILM devised full-size animatronics and small motorized models to stand in for the real creatures.

The Voyage Home premiered on November 26, 1986, in North America, becoming the top-grossing film in the weekend box office. The film’s humor and unconventional story were well received by critics, fans of the series and the general audience. It was financially successful, earning $133 million worldwide.

The film earned several awards and four Academy Award nominations for its cinematography and audio. It was dedicated to the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which broke up 72 seconds after takeoff on the morning of January 28, 1986. Principal photography for The Voyage Home began four weeks after Challenger and her crew were lost. A sequel titled Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was released on June 9, 1989.

Despite Shatner’s doubts, Nimoy and Bennett selected a time travel story in which the Enterprise crew encounters a problem that could only be fixed by something only available in the present day (the Star Trek characters’ past). They considered ideas about violin makers and oil drillers, or a disease that had its cure destroyed with the rainforests. “But the depiction of thousands of sick and dying people seemed rather gruesome for our light-hearted film, and the thought of our crew taking a 600-year round trip just to bring back a snail darter wasn’t all that thrilling,” explained Nimoy. The director read a book on extinct animals and conceived the storyline that was eventually adopted. Nimoy hit upon the idea of humpback whales after talking with a friend—their song added mystery to the story, and their size added logistical challenges the heroes would have to overcome.

When Kirk and Spock are traveling on a public bus, they encounter a punk rocker blaring his music on a boom box, to the discomfort of everyone around him. Spock takes matters into his own hands and performs a Vulcan nerve pinch. Part of the inspiration for the scene came from Nimoy’s personal experiences with a similar character on the streets of New York; “I was struck by the arrogance of it, the aggressiveness of it, and I thought if I was Spock I’d pinch his brains out!” On learning about the scene, Kirk Thatcher, an associate producer on the film, convinced Nimoy to let him play the role; Thatcher shaved his hair into a mohawk and bought clothes to complete the part. Credited as “punk on bus”, Thatcher (along with sound designer Mark Mangini) also wrote and recorded “I Hate You”, the song in the scene, and it was his idea to have the punk—rendered unconscious by the pinch—hit the stereo and turn it off with his face.

Nyota Uhura served as communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk for nearly thirty years, after which she continued her career lecturing at Starfleet Academy.

In 2266, Uhura began her Starfleet career as communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise with the rank of lieutenant in the command division.

In the following years of that vessel’s historic five-year mission, she was transferred to the operations division where she proved to be a proficient technician and was considered by Captain Kirk to be a capable and reliable bridge officer, manning the helm, navigation and main science station when the need arose.

In the 2270s, Uhura was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander aboard the Enterprise. She served aboard the refit Enterprise under the command of Captain Willard Decker, and later during the V’Ger crisis under the command of Admiral Kirk.

By 2285, Uhura was promoted to commander and assigned to Starfleet Command communications and to Starfleet Academy while the Enterprise was reassigned to cadet training. Part of her duty included giving lectures at the Academy.

The kiss between Kirk and Uhura became famous, as it was the first kiss between an African-American and a Caucasian portraying fictional characters on American “episodic” television. The scene was seen as groundbreaking, even though the kiss was portrayed as having been forced by alien mind control. According to her 1994 autobiography Beyond Uhura, the scene was, at the behest of NBC executives worried that Southern affiliates might refuse to air the episode, filmed with and without the kiss, but Nichols and Shatner consciously sabotaged the non-kiss takes so that there would be no choice but to leave the kiss in the final version.

Uhura was the last main character to be cast for the Original Series, only a few weeks before production began on “The Corbomite Maneuver”, the first regular episode. In the original script of the episode, the communications officer was named “Dave Bailey”. When Nichelle Nichols (allegedly a lover of Gene Roddenberry) was cast as the new comm officer, Bailey (played by Anthony Call) was “transferred” to navigation.

The 1977 Writers’/Directors’ Guide for Star Trek: Phase II – the aborted second series – Uhura was noted as having been born in the “African Confederacy”. The full character description, written by Gene Roddenberry and Jon Povill, is as follows: Rank of Lieutenant Commander, Communications Officer, played by attractive young actress Nichelle Nichols. Uhura was born in the African Confederacy. Quick and intelligent, she is a highly efficient officer. Her understanding of the ship’s computer systems is second only to the Vulcan Science Officer, and expert in all ships systems relating to communications. Uhura is also a warm, highly female female off duty. She is a favorite in the Recreation Room during off duty hours, too, because she sings – old ballads as well as the newer space ballads – and she can do impersonations at the drop of a communicator.

Nichelle Nichols has stated on many occasions during the years, including on the video William Shatner’s Star Trek Memories that during the first year of the series, she was tempted to leave the show as she felt her role lacked significance, but a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series and told her she “could not give up” as she was playing a vital role model for young black children and women across the country. After the first season, Uhura’s role on the series was expanded beyond merely manning her console.

Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has cited Nichols’ role of Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut.

NASA astronauts, Sally Ride, Guion Bluford, Judith Resnik, and Ronald McNair were all recruited as a direct result of Nichelle Nichols’ employ as NASA’s recruiter, specifically for minorities.

Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols’ influence. It was seeing Nichols play a prominent role on network television that allowed her to see that African American women could contribute more than just as domestic servants. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion) She is often fond of recalling that when she saw Uhura on-screen for the first time she ran out of the room telling everyone in her house, “I just saw a black woman on television; and she ain’t no maid!”

Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols on December 28, 1932) is an American actress, singer and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of commander. Her Star Trek character was groundbreaking in U.S society at the time, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. personally praised her work on the show and asked her to remain when she was considering leaving the series. Nichols gained popular recognition by being one of the first black women featured in a major television series not portraying a servant; her prominent supporting role as a bridge officer was unprecedented. During the first year of the series, Nichols was tempted to leave the show, as she wanted to pursue a Broadway career; however, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., changed her mind. She has said that King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series. He said she “could not give up” because she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see Blacks appearing as equals. It is also often reported that Dr. King added that “Once that door is opened by someone, no one else can close it again.” Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has cited Nichols’s role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut and Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols’s influence.

Pavel Andreievich Chekov served as a Starfleet officer during the latter half of the 23rd century. Although he mainly served as the navigator aboard the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A, he played a more variable role than other senior crew members under Captain James T. Kirk.

Chekov’s first assignment, at the age of 22, was on the USS Enterprise under command of Captain James T. Kirk. He joined the crew sometime prior to the spring of 2267.

Chekov served a standard junior officer rotation, eventually earning the post of navigator, although he was also proficient with the science officer station, often serving at the post in Commander Spock’s absence. While acting the role of science adviser, Chekov made every attempt to be as thorough as possible. Chekov also became good friends with the slightly older chief helmsman Lieutenant Sulu who sat next to him on many missions.

While investigating a humanoid that could generate and control energy, who referred to himself as Apollo, in 2267, Chekov began to spout off information on similar creatures. After naming the electric eel and giant dry-worm, he was stopped by Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy, who told him “not the whole encyclopedia, Chekov.” McCoy later quipping on Chekov’s dedicated thoroughness by stating: “Spock’s contaminating this boy, Jim.”

Walter Marvin Koenig (born 14 September 1936; age 78) is the actor and writer best known for playing Pavel Chekov on Star Trek: The Original Series and in the first seven Star Trek movies. He was the only original cast member not to lend his voice to Star Trek: The Animated Series due to budgetary reasons, though he still contributed to the series by writing the episode “The Infinite Vulcan”.

Koenig was cast as Pavel Chekov for the second season on Star Trek: The Original Series in 1967. The producers specifically brought in the youthful Koenig to draw younger viewers to the show. The original plan was to create a young, British character in the vein of The Beatles and the current success of their “American counterparts”, The Monkees. Later, Gene Roddenberry decided the character should be Russian, in response to an alleged article in the leading Soviet newspaper, Pravda.

Koenig was recommended for the role by director Joseph Pevney, who noted that he “had the worst fake Russian accent I ever heard”. The actor, 30 at the time, played the 22-year-old Ensign. To augment the ploy, they made him look like Davy Jones from the The Monkees. Reportedly, the ploy worked. Koenig originally had to wear a Davy Jones-style wig until his own hair grew out.

During later in the season, Koenig often had to fill in for George Takei, who was delayed filming The Green Berets. When Takei finally returned to the show later that season, he was required to share his dressing room and even episode scripts with Koenig, a situation Takei did not like. (William Shatner’s Star Trek Memories) This circumstance was later referenced in the Futurama episode “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” in which Koenig and Takei were forced to share a copy of Melllvar’s fan-written script. Koenig and Takei have since become close friends.

His last canon appearance as Chekov was in the 1994 film Star Trek Generations, but he did play the character in several non-canon productions. He appeared as Chekov in the short film created for the theme park attraction Star Trek Adventure, and he also voiced the character in the video games Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Star Trek: Judgment Rites, Star Trek Generations (based on the film), Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, and Star Trek: Shattered Universe.

Besides his work on Star Trek, Koenig is also well known for his role as villainous Psi Cop Alfred Bester on the acclaimed science fiction series, Babylon 5.

On 21 June 2011 it was announced that Koenig is among the honorees of the 2012 Hollywood Walk of Fame stars.

Near mint condition.