TULSA — As J.J. Abrams’ new "Star Trek” boldly goes where no "Star Trek” film has gone before (it’s nearing $250 million in domestic box office earnings), one of the film’s stars, Leonard Nimoy, will make a return journey to Trek Expo this weekend. The three-day Tulsa sci-fi and fantasy convention is celebrating its 20th year. Nimoy is scheduled to speak on stage at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Nimoy, 78, is best known for his iconic "Star Trek” role as the highly logical, pointy-eared Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock. Nimoy also directed two "Star Trek” movies: "The Search for Spock” and "The Voyage Home.” The focus of his recent career had been photography until Abrams ("Lost,” "Alias,” "Fringe”) approached him about appearing in a big-screen reboot of "Star Trek.” Nimoy also made a recent guest appearance on Abrams’ television show "Fringe” and is scheduled for more appearances next season. Because Nimoy was vacationing in Europe, he agreed to answer some questions by e-mail. Q. In the new movie, mature Spock counsels young Spock as to the path he should take. If you as Leonard Nimoy had the same opportunity, to counsel a young Leonard Nimoy, what would you tell him? A. I was blessed with a calling for a career in the arts at a very early age. If you have a calling, any calling, be persistent. Q. In the new film, when you appear on screen, especially when we see your face for the first time, a noise goes up from the audience. Have you sat with an audience to watch the movie; if so, how gratifying was that experience and how do you interpret it? A. Extremely gratifying. It’s an accumulation of emotion from a 44-year relationship with the audience. Especially pleasing since Spock was marginalized by the makers of the movies and series that followed the first six. Q. Have you and "Star Trek” reached a new generation of fans? Or is it a case of old fans returning to the fold? A. Many new fans. We are now spanning several generations. At first I heard, "My kids are crazy about you.” Then it became, "My parents are crazy about you.” We’re back to the young people now, so we have three generations of followers. Q. Has anything surprised you about the reception of the new movie, and have you attended any "Star Trek” conventions since the release of the film? A. I’ve just appeared at a convention in London. I’m not surprised. I was confident when I read the script and totally impressed with Mr. Abrams’ work as a director. Q. In the new film, Spock, not Kirk, gets the girl ... and it’s Uhura. What did you think about that plotline? A. Wonderful, daring idea. I’m jealous. Q. Before the 2003 Trek Expo, you said photography was your focus and you doubted anything could draw you back into acting and directing. What changed? A. This was so enticing. Mr. Abrams and his team had an authentic appreciation for "Star Trek” and the Spock character. Q. What photography projects are you working on? A. I will have a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art next year. Images can be seen on my Web site, leonardnimoyphotography. com. Click on "The Identity Project.” Q. Do you have a favorite memento from "Star Trek” the series? A. I still have the final pair of ears I wore during the series. Will pass them on to my children. Q. What are your favorite "Star Trek” movies? A. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and the new film. Q. What is your favorite movie of all time? A. "Casablanca.”
Trek Expo 2009
→What: 20th year of science fiction, fantasy and media convention featuring guest speakers and celebrities, autograph signing, vendors and charity auctions. →When: 5:30 to 10 tonight, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. →Where: John Q. Hammons Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S Mingo Road, Tulsa. →Guests: Leonard Nimoy, Avery Brooks, Marina Sirtis, John de Lancie, Cirroc Lofton, Garrett Wang, Anthony Montgomery, Corin Nemec, Mira Furlan, Bobby Clark, Luciana Carro, Phil Morris, Chase Masterson, Tony Todd, Orli Shoshan, Denise Crosby, Keith Birdsong and other celebrities and industry insiders. →Related events: "Of Gods and Men” screening, 9:30 tonight, included in admission; Supper With the Stars (charity benefit for Tulsa Boys Home), 7 p.m. Saturday, $25; Trek Expo Cabaret featuring Brooks, Wang, de Lancie, Montgomery, Masterson and Nemec, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, $30; Boys Scouts of America charity breakfast (see below). →Tickets: General admission at the door, $20 today and $25 Saturday and Sunday. →Information: trekexpo. net, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (918) 369-0650. →Note: For a complete schedule and additional ticketing information, go online to trekexpo.net. Some celebrities will attend all three days and will sell signed photos in the exhibitor area. Most charge to autograph items you bring. Some autographs require special tickets.