SciFi Friday: Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica News, The New Captain America

There’s news about the upcoming Star Trek movie, primarily involving casting. John Cho will play Sulu and Simon Pegg will play Scotty. Chris Pine has been offered the role of James Kirk. Eric Bana will play a villain named Nero. MovieHole reports that the movie has a budget of in the neighborhood of $150-160 million.

The Trek Movie Report has additional information in an interview with Star Trek co-writer and executive producer Roberto Orci which doesn’t reveal much about the plot but gives some indication as to how the movie will fit into Star Trek canon.There have been conflicting stories as to whether William Shatner will appear as an older Kirk. Part of this depends upon whether they can get around the problem that his character was killed. As of the time of this interview it appears that this remains up in the air. Speaking of captains I have one more casting question which is burning in the minds of many Trekkies…what about Shatner?

Roberto Orci: What J.J. said at Comic-Con [story] is still true. We are actively perusing looking for a way to make a part that is worthy of him and that is not pandering to either his role in Star Trek or to the fans. You guys have resisting labels for this film such as remake, reboot, etc….even prequel. Prequel has a pretty basic definition so what is wrong with calling it that?

Roberto Orci: But yet it is not entirely accurate. In some senses it is a prequel, but the word I would use, which is how Damon [Lindelof] describes it, is a re-invigoration or re-vitalization. So your point is since Nimoy’s Spock would at least start well after the TOS period, then it isn’t exactly a prequel.

Roberto Orci: Exactly, Nimoy’s Spock is very much in line with canon. You guys have said this will respect canon and ‘fill a gap’ but you are also trying to make a new movie for a new audience. Why aren’t you doing what they did with Batman Begins and just start over and avoid opening yourself up to the critiques on breaking with canon?

Roberto Orci: The reason we aren’t starting over is because the people involved, both fans and behind the scenes, have worked so hard to specify what is canon – then to simply ignore it would be unnecessary. There is so much about The Original Series that is worth continuing. It is not like Batman where you can ignore everything. That being said there are some things that have never been specified fully in canon that we take liberties with. I imagine that it is all a matter of degrees. Some fans are pretty flexible and others can be ’strict constructionists’…just like different constitutional viewpoints.

Roberto Orci: It is funny you should say it that way. We very much treat these decisions like the Supreme Court and previous Supreme Court decisions are not turned over lightly. If they are overturned it is with the spirit of Star Trek as the guiding principle. Part of the reason we are purposely not saying if it is a reboot or not is that the solution we have for maintaining canon while liberating us is inherently part of what the story is and something we are reluctant to give away.

Maybe I should have ordered DirectTV when I found that my local cable channel isn’t carrying the Big Ten Network. DirectTV is adding several new HD channels, including the SciFi Channel. The main thing holding be back is that there isn’t anything worth watching on SciFi Channel until Battlestar Glactica returns in the winter. I doubt Flash Gordon would be any better in high definition than it is now. There’s also the upcoming made for television movie, Razor, which leads into the next season of Battlestar Galactica. EclipseMagazine has a review which contains major spoilers.

We learn more about the first Cylon war and “they bring back the original Cylons! The big silver and gold “toasters” with the single roving eye, they even show us the original Cylon Base Ships, the original fighters, the original 3 seated Cylons (in the fighters) and we even get the original roving eye sound effect.” This leads to the first spoiler which I’ll leave invisible unless you move your cursor over it:The film briefly centers around a faction of Cylons whose purpose is to protect “The Guardian,” it’s why we have the original Toasters back. The Cylon story really serves as a backdrop to everything else that goes on and doesn’t rear its head until the last 20 minutes. But pay careful attention to it, because in the upcoming season this is going to become a major subplot as the Cylons will face an internal war between the old guard and the new ones.

Another spoiler, which I’ll also leave invisible, offers some clues to the upcoming season:

At the end of the movie the Cylon “God Guy” says “That the crew must not follow Kara Thrace, she is the harbinger of the Apocalypse for the Human Race.” He also keeps repeating “All this has happened before and will happen again, again, again….” BOOM!

Earlier in the year the death of Captain American was big news, but in comics popular characters often return in new forms. SciFi Wire has an advance look at the new Captain America:

Townhall Falsely Claims Liberals Out to Attack Ann Coulter with Bagels

While reading at the conservative site Townhall I noticed a link on the site with the claim Liberal blogs place BOUNTY on Ann Coulter. Following the link I came across a post which did not back up the claim about liberal blogs in the title:

Saying that $1000 is the prize if someone will pelt her with bagels this next week and get it on tape – this moron’s stupidity – has hit some of the pop culture blogs and is being spread far and wide.

Following the link I find that this appears to be yet another example of the right misrepresenting liberals. The site promoting this the attack is Bragster, not a liberal blog. The dare, which at the time of my posting has only been viewed by 95 people despite the link from Townhall, reads:

So, once again Ann Coulter has opened her giant, hate spouting mouth on national television. You can find the info here:…

In short she has said that all Jewish people should be “perfected” to Christianity. Not ok.

We’ll give you $1000 if you send us a video of you pelting Ann Coulter with bagels. You’ve got 1 week. Get moving people. Obviously, be gentle and do not hurt her. This is simply a little bit of fun…not malicious.

Sign up here ( and click disagree in order to join the bet. To win the prize you need to be over 18 and have to post your video in the comment section below.

And we’re not paying you to do it, we’re paying for the video. It’s not our responsibility if you get arrested, sued, stalked by right-wing fanatics or if Coulter lights you on fire.

While I don’t approve of any such attacks, at least they do advise those who take the dare to “be gentle and do not hurt her.” Should anyone take them up on this, I hope Coulter also sees this as “a little bit of fun.” Otherwise the legal expenses might be significantly higher than the $1000 prize.

An actual response to Coulter’s comments came from the Anti-Defamation League and did not involve throwing anything at Coulter.

Anti-Defamation League Condemns Ann Coulter’s Anti-Semitic Comments

The Anti-Defamation League has issued the following statement in response to Ann Coulter’s comments on Donny Deutsch’s show:

The Anti-Defamation League strongly condemns Ann Coulter for her anti-Semitic comment that Christians “want Jews to be perfected” in an interview with Donny Deutsch on CNBC’s The Big Idea. During her October 8 appearance, Coulter suggested that Jews should convert, adding that, “we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.  … That’s what Christianity is.”

Ann Coulter may be a political pundit but she clearly knows very little about religious theology and interfaith issues.  Coulter’s remarks are outrageous, offensive and a throwback to the centuries old teaching of contempt for Jews and Judaism.  The notion that Jews are religiously inferior or imperfect because they do not accept Christian beliefs was the basis for 2,000 years of church-based anti-Semitism.  While she is entitled to her beliefs, using mainstream media to espouse the idea that Judaism needs to be replaced with Christianity and that each individual Jew is somehow deficient and needs to be “perfected,” is rank Christian supersessionism and has been rejected by the Catholic Church and the vast majority of mainstream Christian denominations.

Clearly, Ann Coulter needs a wake-up call about the power of words to injure others and fuel hatred.  She needs an education, too, about the roots of anti-Semitism and the shared values of Judaism and Christianity.  Christians and Jews have worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to overcome the past and to promote a more tolerant and pluralistic vision for the future and especially for America.

Donny Deutsch is to be commended for his immediate and forceful denunciation of Coulter’s statements, for calling her remarks personally offensive, and for rightly characterizing her suggestion that Jews are inferior to Christians as anti-Semitism.

Al Gore and IPCC Win Nobel Peace Prize

As widely predicted, Al Gore has added the Nobel Peace Prize to his Oscar and Emmy Awards.

Former vice president Al Gore and a United Nations panel that monitors climate change were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their work educating the world about global warming and pressing for political action to control it.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee characterized Gore as “the single individual who has done most” to convince world governments and leaders that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and poses a grave threat. Gore has focused on the issue through books, promotional events and his Academy Award-winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Gore joins other Americans who have won the prize, both as political leaders and for advocacy work:

Gore joins a short list of other senior U.S. political figures to be honored with the peace prize, including former president Jimmy Carter in 2002; then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973; secretary of state Cordell Hull in 1945; then-U.S. President and League of Nations founder Woodrow Wilson in 1919; and then-President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.

Gore’s award, however, is based largely on his advocacy work. In that regard, he joins the company of Americans such as anti-landmine campaigner Jody Williams (1997), Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Elie Wiesel (1986) and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (1964).

The award resulted in the anticipated attacks from global warming deniers, as well as praise from those who recognized his achievement, and the impact on issues of war and peace:

Jan Egeland, a former U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and now a peace mediator and director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, said the world’s initial “climate wars” were already being fought in parts of Africa where a lack of water has brought farmers, nomads and animal herders into conflict.

The Nobel Committee also noted that global warming “may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth’s resources.”

The award also fueled speculation as to whether Gore will run for president in 2008. Gore continues to deny that he is running but keeps the door open with answers such as that he has “no plans” to run. Many of those close to Gore who have been interviewed are playing down the chances. Some have speculated that Gore was waiting for the prize to announce plans to run, but others feel that now that he has won he has a global platform to speak out about global warming and has less need for political office. They note that Gore is also young enough to wait until 2012 but that could be difficult if he has to run against an incumbent, especially from his own party.