Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had an uncommon nickname amongst mates, co-workers, and followers. What was it? And how did he come by such a wierd moniker? Here’s all the things we all know concerning the origins of this identify, and the main instances the nickname was referenced on episodes of the collection.
Gene Roddenberry’s Nickname Was ‘The Great Bird of the Galaxy’
Happy birthday to Gene Roddenberry! Star Trek’s creator, aka the Great Bird of the Galaxy, would have been 96 right now. pic.twitter.com/V3XX47wXB6
— Michael Okuda (@MikeOkuda) August 19, 2017
Roddenberry appears to have had the nickname “The Great Bird of the Galaxy” from the very earliest days on Star Trek. In reality, one 1992 e book on the creation of Star Trek even bore the title Great Birds of the Galaxy: Gene Roddenberry and the Creators of Trek.
The “nice chook” nickname was additionally used amongst Star Trek followers, even showing in fan publications like “letterzines”. While lots of the paper fanzine publications from the Seventies and Eighties have but to be digitally archived, Fanlore has a rundown of the vital data and letters contained in one of the vital distinguished ‘zines, Interstat. In a pre-Internet period, fanzines like Interstat have been essential to serving to followers talk concerning the show.
Issue 88 of Interstat featured a letter from Trek producer Harve Bennett, who was gearing up for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In the letter, dated January 28, 1985, he makes use of the notorious nickname for Roddenberry, writing:
“To all my INTERSTAT mates: 1. Shatner is ready. 2. Nimoy is ready. 3. The Great Bird returns. 4. We are starting the ultimate work on story. 5. We plan to make use of all of the STAR TREK regulars. 6. I’ll be there too.”
If the phrase “Interstat” rings a bell, it might due to a point out on an older Trek show. In an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series referred to as “The Terratin Incident”, the crew discovers a wierd radio transmission. Spock notes that one of many solely phrases they will make out is “Interstat”.
“Interstat? That’s been out of use for 2 centuries!” Uhura exclaims within the episode.
How Gene Roddenberry Got His Nickname
How, precisely, did Gene Roddenberry get such a long-winded and weird nickname? As with many inside jokes and nicknames, the historical past is a little bit murky, however followers have managed to place collectively a number of the items over time.
In The Impossible Has Happened: The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek, creator Lance Parkin data that Roddenberry was given the nickname by Robert “Bob” Justman, who labored on the unique collection as an assistant director, and later turned a producer. Beyond that, the origins are unclear.
While the identify appears to have caught on amongst cast, crew and followers of Star Trek, there was one place the place Roddenberry did not seem to make use of his nickname: at house.
In the documentary Trek Nation, Roddenberry’s son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr. recollects, “Mom and Dad have been ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ to me. It was by no means ‘Gene Roddenberry, the Great Bird of the Galaxy,’ the visionary who created Star Trek.”
References to ‘The Great Bird of the Galaxy’ on ‘Star Trek’
In the very first episode of ‘Star Trek’ to hit the airwaves (“The Man Trap”), Yeoman Rand is seen bringing a tray of meals right down to Sulu within the Botany Section. When she arrives, Sulu thanks her for the tray with the phrases, “May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet.”
More just lately, in Star Trek: Lower Decks episode “Temporal Edict”, we uncover that “Boimler Effect” finally will get Enisgn Boimler his personal statue. In reality, the statue is introduced to a classroom of kids, with their trainer noting that Boimler is “seen right here with one of many nice birds of the galaxy” within the last moments of the episode. In this case, the “chook” is a literal chook on Boimler’s arm, and it was an easter egg followers very a lot loved.
Another “nice chook” easter egg followers could have missed dates again to the TNG period, particularly the primary season episode “The Naked Now”. In a “blink otherwise you’ll miss it second” about quarter-hour into the episode, an “Okudagram” of the Great Bird of the Galaxy is briefly seen on Data’s console. It’s a bit arduous to make out, however that “chook” undoubtedly has Gene Roddenberry’s head.