Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 Star Trek Convention Sunday: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy Panel

The William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy panels were an event many people were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, yours truly missed the major part of the Bill Shatner panel, as I was recovering from my earlier meeting with the lovely Zachary Quinto. Again I digress.

When I walked in on Shatner’s panel, the theatre was packed. Bill was already telling tall tales about filming with a horse on the set of the Star Trek: Generations movie. He was recalling the time when the horse fell on him and that he had gone up saying he required no hospital, fallen down again and then required to be sent to the hospital. Plus, while there, as he was getting ready to give a ''sample'' by peeing into a bottle, a nurse poked her head in, telling him she was his biggest fan. Hilarious. Bill was telling the story with tremendous energy and the crowd was visibly pleased and amused.
The actor also talked about the death of Captain Kirk in that movie. He also discussed his ad-libbed last line: ''Oh my!'' Shatner said he envisioned that what was coming his way was wonderful and awesome and it was death.

I arrived in time, however, to witness the arrival of Leonard Nimoy on stage when he joined his friend William Shatner. The uproar and applauds rising from the audience was deafening. It was really touching to see them both embracing.

The banter between the Original Kirk and Spock was amazing. These two old friends were really going at it, making everyone in the audience laugh.

Nimoy mentioned he did not understand why Kirk had to die in Generations, to which Shatner replied that it was the producer (namely Rick Berman) who wanted Kirk dead. At one point, Leonard Nimoy asked Bill Shatner what he thought of the new movie and this one flat out admitted he had not seen it. Nimoy retorted he had seen Generations though he had not liked it, to which Shatner replied that this was why he hadn't seen the new movie as well: he did not want to say the same thing to him. Uh, Oh. Nimoy diffused the situation by talking about SNL and making the audience laugh and Bill gasp when he said people who didn't like the new movie were ''dickheads.'' Another priceless moment. Shatner had to make Nimoy repeat himself, did you just say dickheads?

Another funny part of this joint panel was when William Shatner kept on calling Leonard Nimoy ''whore'' several times - while he was running around the stage in imitation - because, Shatner said, Nimoy ran to JJ Abrams when this one called for Fringe. Then he added a ''prostitute'' for good measure. Though it may seem rude, it was in fact very, very funny. And Nimoy was heartily laughing at his friend’s mocked affront. This whole shenanigan was making the audience laugh hysterically. Both men, especially Shatner, were in great form, though I have to admit that Nimoy came across as a little frail.

Nimoy later made Shatner promise that the two would sit together and watch the movie. Shatner agreed on one condition: That Leonard Nimoy brings popcorn and that he holds his hand (very funny). Nimoy also added that Shatner will be proud about the way Kirk was portrayed in the new movie, and that Chris Pine honored him.

When it was Bill Shatner’s turn to leave, Nimoy told him that ''you are my dearest friend'' and Shatner replied ''I love you Leonard.'' It was a very sweet moment.
Nimoy then began his solo panel which quickly went to Q&A.
He said that he and Zachary Quinto had spent more than 15 hours discussing the character of Spock, and that he did an excellent job by creating a slightly different character because he's at a different time in his life. He also mentioned that he was jealous regarding the new Spock/Uhura romance.
After a fan asked him if he had a bucket list, Nimoy answered no, because he was already happy and fulfilled in his life. When asked who was his idol, the actor also mentioned that he once met Cary Grant, and that he had been star struck: He simply just couldn't talk in front of him.

At the end of the panel, Zachary Quinto and Jacob Kogan both walked on stage for a 3 Spocks reunion to the complete surprise and delight of the audience. After talking a bit and waving to the crowd, and giving the ''live long and prosper'' salute, the 3 actors then left the stage together.
What a wonderful moment for the last panel I was attending. I will remember that.

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