SciFi Friday: All Star Trek Edition, With Musical Number

There are a number of rumors this week regarding casting and possible plot for the upcoming Star Trek movie. Zachary Quinto has also given a number of interviews which may contain some clues as to the direction Abrams intends to take with Star Trek. It wasn’t at all surprising to learn that this could be the first of a new series of movies. In response to one question, Quinto said “It is a multiple picture deal, yeah. If there end up being sequels, that remains to be seen. There’s more than one movie attached to this one.” Quinto also had some comments on how he will be portraying Spock:

The interesting thing is that you meet this character before you ever knew him on the television series and the other movies, so sort of what you know about him and then also an exploration of how he got to that point. All of the characters, not just Spock.

Other than for Quinto being cast as Spock, much of the casting has not yet been set. The Trek Movie Report says that Zoë Saldana has been offered the role of Uhura. Saldana appreared in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl but also played a Trekkie in The Terminal

There’s also news of another former Star Trek cast member appearing on television next season. John Billingsley, who played Phlox on Star Trek: Voyager and appeared in The Nine last season, will have a role on 24 next season.

Ain’t It Cool News has rumors on the plot of the upcoming Star Trek movie. Keep in mind that this rumor may or may not be valid, and even if accurate might not apply to the final movie. This idea does allow Abrams to work in both the young and older Spock, as well as get around potential continuity problems. Reportedly Romulans wind up in the past and decide to change the time line by killing a young James T. Kirk. The older Spock goes back in time to prevent this plot, however might wind up creating a different time line. Subsequent movies would take place in this new time line in which many things would be the same but there could be differences.

Unless Abrams has some remarkable ideas for this new time line (assuming there is even any truth to this) I’m not sure this is a good idea. There are plenty of stories which could still be told without violating the continuity of the original stories. Of course fans might have to give Abrams a little leeway and not worry about every trivial point.

Can the science of Star Trek come true? Slice of SciFi has had some recent stories suggesting possible situations in which this can occur. One technology might lead to a device comparable to the holodeck:

A technology dubbed “autostereoscopic light field display” makes the claim it is able to present interactive 3D graphics to multiple simultaneous viewers 360 degrees around the display.

The USC developers of the device — Andrew Jones, Ian McDowall, Hideshi Yamada, Mark Bolas and Paul Debevec — describe it this way in their abstract:

The display consists of a high-speed video projector, a spinning mirror covered by a holographic diffuser, and FPGA circuitry to decode specially rendered DVI video signals. The display uses a standard programmable graphics card to render over 5,000 images per second of interactive 3D graphics, projecting 360-degree views with 1.25 degree separation up to 20 updates per second.

We describe the system’s projection geometry and its calibration process, and we present a multiple-center-of-projection rendering technique for creating perspective-correct images from arbitrary viewpoints around the display. Our projection technique allows correct vertical perspective and parallax to be rendered for any height and distance when these parameters are known, and we demonstrate this effect with interactive raster graphics using a tracking system to measure the viewer’s height and distance. We further apply our projection technique to the display of photographed light fields with accurate horizontal and vertical parallax.

Another story reports on possible energy weapons which could be developed to use against insurgents in Iraq.

As I’m spending the weekend at the Grand Hotel Jazz Festival, I thought I should end this week’s edition of SciFi Friday with a musical number. Members of various casts of Star Trek do the Time Warp:

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