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Robert Beltran

STLV ’13: Day 4 Report With DS9 20th Anniversary Reunion, Karl Urban, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran & Jeri Ryan

STLV '13: Day 4 Report With DS9 20th Anniversary Reunion, Karl Urban, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran & Jeri Ryan

Highlighted by a special 20th anniversary of Deep Space Nine panel and on stage appearances by Karl Urban, Jeri Ryan, George Takei, Kate Mulgrew and Robert Beltran — on Sunday, Creation Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas rolled on for a fourth and final day.

Jeri Ryan

Jeri Ryan

Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan kicked off the day’s events bright and early with a discussion on her time as Seven of Nine and talked about joining the show during its third season, saying “it’s like being the new kid in school.”

Jeri went on to say that she wasn’t a big sci-if fan growing up, but recently started watching some with her daughter and turning into a huge geek. On the topic of the Borg makeup, she said “It kinda sucked.”

George Takei

George Takei

TOS star, George Takei was up next. Discussing the origins of Star Trek and its creator Gene Roddenberry, Takei said Roddenberry’s original philosophy and diverse vision of the future is what keeps Star Trek going to this day.

Karl Urban

Karl Urban

Next, Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness star, Karl Urban took the stage. Urban recited his lines from the 2009 film, which received a huge ovation from the attentive fans in Las Vegas. Urban said his genuine love of the original Star Trek made him want to be part of the reboot. Discussing his callback meeting for the role of Bones, Urban said he “knocked it out if the park”.

“We’re at the beginning of the five year mission — let’s go explore space,” Urban said while discussing the next Star Trek film.

Discussing his predecessor, the original “Bones”, DeForest Kelley, Urban said he would have really liked to have had the opportunity to have met him. “His heroism isn’t defined by his physicality” Urban said of the character.

Robert Beltran and Kate Mulgrew

Robert Beltran and Kate Mulgrew

Former Voyager co-stars, Kate Mulgrew and Robert Beltran hit the stage next. “I was supposed to play that role and he was supposed to play Chakotay,” Mulgrew said of her and Beltran’s destiny to play the characters.

Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew

“I would love to do it again.” she said of the Captain Janeway character.

Robert Beltran

Robert Beltran

Beltran recalled auditioning for the part in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, with Leonard Nimoy. Beltran said when he auditioned he had no idea what a Klingon was.

The cast of Deep Space Nine

The cast of Deep Space Nine

The special Deep Space Nine 20th anniversary double panel was set to take place next. The first, consisting of Avery Brooks, Terry farrell, Cirroc Lofton, Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Michael Dorn, James Darren, Rene Auberjonis and Nicole de Boer discussed the show and its impact on their lives.

“That was real,” Cirroc Lofton said of the love he and Avery Brooks had of each other playing father and son on the show. “This journey for Sisko, had everything to do with his son,” Brooks added.

Armin Shimmerman said even as a Ferengi, Quark had the most humanity of any character on the show. He noted that his favorite episode was “Far Beyond the Stars”.

James Darren, who played the holographic lounge singer Vic Fontaine, jokingly said of his character “I was cool!”

James Darren and Avery Brooks performed an impromptu a cappella version of Frank Sinatra’s “The Best is Yet to Come” for the fans in Las Vegas.

Avery Brooks, Terry Farrell, Cirroc Lofton, Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Michael Dorn, James Darren, Rene Auberjonis, and Nicole de Boer

Avery Brooks, Terry Farrell, Cirroc Lofton, Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Michael Dorn, James Darren, Rene Auberjonis, and Nicole de Boer

The first group of DS9 stars were then joined on stage by Chase Masterson, Andrew Robinson, Casey Biggs, Max Grodenchik, Jeffrey Combs, Marc Alaimo, Aron Eisenberg and producer Ira Steven Behr. The entire cast posed while thousands of camera flashes went off as fans attempted to capture the special moment.

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs

Ira Steven Behr addresses the cast of Deep Space Nine

Ira Steven Behr addresses the cast of Deep Space Nine

The Star Trek Rat Pack, Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs, Vaughn Armstrong, Armin Shimerman, and Max Grodenchik joined forces to close out the convention with a live evening performance that combined Star Trek and a 60s-style Las Vegas nightclub show.

More STLV coverage:

STLV ’13: Nichelle Nichols, Alexander Siddig, Connor Trinneer & Anthony Montgomery Kick Off The 2013 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

STLV ’13: Day 2 Report With Alice Eve, Walter Koenig, John de Lancie & A Special Salute To ‘Voyager’

STLV ’13: Terry Farrell & Las Vegas Star Trek Fans Break Guinness World Record

STLV ’13: Day 3 Report With William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew, Jonathan Frakes & Terry Farrell


SURPRISEPARTY

Robert Beltran Talks Voyager: “If People Can’t Take the Truth, That’s Fine with Me”

Robert Beltran Talks Voyager: “If People Can’t Take the Truth, That’s Fine with Me”

Robert Beltran portrayed Chakotay for all seven season of Star Trek: Voyager. While on Voyager, Beltran, spoke out publicly about his displeasure of how his character was used. He is considered by many to be one of the Star Trek‘s most polarizing characters. He aired his complaints so often, many thought he was intentionally trying to get himself kicked off the show.

Beltran, now 58, is set to appear at next month’s Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. Leading up to that rare appearance, StarTrek.com discussed the Chakotay character with him and his thoughts on Voyager, which has now been off the air for over a decade.

Beltran talked about being cast in the role of Chakotay and his initial hopes for the characters evolution.

My agent asked me if I was interested in going in to audition for the role. I read the “Caretaker” script, although I had no idea no idea of Star Trek. I didn’t know Star Trek from anything. But I liked “The Caretaker” script and the role of Chakotay. So I said, “Yes, I will be happy to go in and audition.” I did, and I got the role. When I was telling friends and family what my new gig was going to be, I was amazed by the response that I got. “You’re going to be on Star Trek! You’re the commander! You’re going to be on the bridge! You’re going to run into this! There’s the Borg! You’re going to die and they’re going to bring you back!’ Everyone knew a lot more than I did. I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was that I was going to do this pilot, this two-hour pilot. I had no idea if it was going to go to series. Of course, when you do a pilot you’re obligated to sign up for five years in case it goes to series. And, blah, blah, blah. We did the pilot, we got picked up, and we did seven years. I was pleasantly surprised at what it was all about. Some things, I didn’t like, but there are things I don’t like in every gig that I’ve ever done.

“I’m just kind of a blunt person and, because I have brain, I can see problems and so I’m vocal about them.”

He went on to discuss what he thought worked and what didn’t about the Chakotay character.

I think what worked is any time you see some kind of interpersonal relationship, it was interesting. For example, you had Chakotay and the captain, Chakotay and Seska, and, the relationship that was thrown together quickly at the end with Seven of Nine. Other than those relationships, Chakotay was kind of a solitary character, at least from season four to seven. I think the first three seasons there were a lot of interesting storylines, and then I think a shift happened in the series after Jeri Taylor left. I think any time that a character has an interpersonal relationship that shows growth, and you could say that clearly about Chakotay and the captain. But after Seska left, it was only that relationship with the captain that had depth to it. Chakotay and Tuvok didn’t have much. Chakotay and Paris didn’t have much. Chakotay and the other characters, there wasn’t much of a relationship there. I always regretted that because there was a lot to explore.

Beltran’s honesty and candor speaking out against Voyager‘s writing and how little Chakotay was used on the show is still a hot topic among Star Trek fans today. He went on to talk about the reaction to some of those comments by the show’s writers and producers.

During the Michael Piller-Jeri Taylor years, they listened intently. It was after that… I guess when Brannon Braga took over, when the Seven of Nine character made her entrance, the focus changed. That was fine with me. That was fine with me, but I think writers have an obligation to fill out all the characters if they’re regular characters on a series. I think several of the characters were diminished – Chakotay and Tuvok and Kim and Neelix. I think it was just easier for these new writers that came on to write stories about the captain and about characters that weren’t really human, like Seven of Nine and the Doctor. Those three characters were kind of all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipotent, and I think a lot of the tension and drama that was available was lost because you have to really dig hard to find tension in all-knowing, all-seeing characters. They know everything, right? They have all the answers. Or else you have a redundancy of the same scene written over and over and over again, with slight variations.

Robert Beltran and the cast of Star Trek: Voyager

Robert Beltran and the cast of Star Trek: Voyager

Speaking out against a show that you’re a part of can potentially cause many complications in a workplace. Beltran discussed how his vocal displeasure affected his relationships with the cast and crew.

I don’t know what the effect was. I’m just kind of a blunt person and, because I have brain, I can see problems and so I’m vocal about them. I think a lot of the actors were feeling the same way, but for me it was like, “OK, you can fire me if you want to. Go ahead, and I’ll leave.” That gave me a certain amount of freedom. I was single at the time. I didn’t have to worry about a family like everybody else on the show, except maybe Garrett [Wang]. I felt like I was telling the truth, and if people can’t take the truth, that’s fine with me, but I’m not going to be stifled by the prospect of being fired.

Read the complete two-part interview at StarTrek.com.

Marina Sirtis, Garrett Wang, Robert Picardo, Tim Russ, Robert Beltran + More Appearing at Comikaze Expo in LA on November 5th and 6th

marina-sirtis-garrett-wang-comikaze-expo

The Comikaze Expo debuts at the Los Angeles Convention Center next month with a a guest list which includes celebrities from film, television and comics.

Taking place November 5 and 6th, Comikaze Expo will include such Star Trek guests as Chase Masterson, Robert Beltran, Jennifer Lein, Tim Russ, Tucker Smallwood, Robert Picardo, Garrett Wang, Marina Sirtis, Richard Herd and Celeste Yarnell.

Other non-Trek guests include Stan Lee, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Ernest Borgnine, Richard Hatch, Ernie Hudson and several more.

Single day passes are available for $12 and two-day passes for $20.

Special VIP passes are also available for $60, which includes a two day pass, two cut in line passses, a VIP gift bag, and access to Comikaze VIP party, for those over 21 years old.

For a complete guest list and ticket information, visit the Comikaze Expo website.