Majel Barret Roddenberry was the thread that bound Star Trek together for 40 years. She was a model, actress, business woman, animal rights activist, wife, and mother.
She was more than all that too. She was the reverend mother, the holder of the sacred chalice, heir to the Holy Rings of the House of the 11 Enterprises; she was the grand mum of Star Trek.
In her role as Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxanna Troi in the Next Generation she really showcased her talent and her joy of acting. This Trek role, more so than nurse Chapel, allowed her to step out from behind the computer speaker which she had appeared in voice in every episode and movie Star Trek made in its 40 year plus history.
The thread that weaved the Star Trek franchise finally wove her last stitch and tied her last knot on December 18th, 2008 at her home in Bel-Air California.
Celestis has announced that they will launch her and the final remains of her husband Gene Roddenberry (who passed in 1991) into space next year. They will be placed in special capsules and digitized comments from fans will be included and sent into outer space.
The Roddenberry needle and thread has now passed on their son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry. Rod will carry on in the family business having already, in less than a decade, re-built the family franchise into a vital growing multi faceted business emanating from Roddenberry.com.
Creation Entertainment built in a huge slot of time for Rod to show what Roddenberry.com has become and to pay tribute to his mother.
Special guest Kevin Sorbo flew in for just this tribute and to spend 20 minutes to speak about his experience with Majel Roddenberry.
Before they brought out Kevin Sorbo, Rod Roddenberry introduced the video piece he had put together for his mothers funeral. The 14 minute piece was a multi media presentation that included clips from the episodes, clips from other projects she had done, including an old Ajax commercial, personal family photos and film, and of course audio clips from her voice over role as the ships computer. It was all set to the theme song from the Titanic. There was not a dry eye in the house.
Sorbo played Dylan Hunt in Andromeda, which was the second captain that Gene Roddenberry had created before his passing and was brought to life by Kevin after being convinced by Majel to take on the role.
Sorbo met Majel at the golf course, “I love golf,” he told about her patented pool shot putting style. They then went to her home, “I was in Eugene’s office and actually sat in his chair, I am a huge Trek fan.”
Sorbo continued, “There was all these scale models and I asked Majel if I could have one,” he said jokingly.
Gene Roddenberry's office is still the same today as he left it in 1991, which Sorbo looked over to Rod Roddenberry and confirmed it still is in 2009.
Sorbo admitted, “I had a boy crush on Majel, she was a beautiful woman.”
Sorbo went to tell about how Majel convinced him to take on the role of Dylan Hunt, which did not take much according him. He spoke on the great honor it was to do the role and to be asked to play a Roddenberry character.
As he finished, a tender moment transpired when he and Rod embraced before an appreciative audience in the Gene and Majel Roddenberry Theater and the Las Vegas Hilton during the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention for 2009.
There was one more guest speaker to pay tribute to Majel and that was Lwaxanna Trois servant Mr. Homm, Carel Sturycken, from the Next Generation series.
A giant of a man with few words he spoke briefly about a few experiences with Majel, “She had me come to a convention and told me to sit at this table. I asked what to do, she said just sit there, and you’ll find out.”
Sturycken when out to speak graciously about being her friend and how he loved being on the series with her.
Majel Barret Roddenberry was born February 23rd, 1932 Majel Leigh Hudec. She married Gene Roddenberry August 6th, 1969 in Japan.
This past week during the convention marked 40 years since they were married, it was also the day the Rod Roddenberry to a dove into Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay to honor his parents wedding anniversary.
The latest incarnation this summer, the new Star Trek movie featured her last work, which was completed on December 4th, 2008 were she played once again, the voice of the computer of the Enterprise. The film is dedicated to Gene and Majel.
This journalist would like to say thank you to Majel Roddenberry, for her charming performances and the kind words from her last year. A thank you to Rod Roddenberry for the gracious access to his dive into Shark Reef and for his acquaintance these past 8 years.
The Star Trek franchise is in great hands has Rod Roddenberry picks up the needle and thread left by his mother and his father, may their next journey in the galaxy be as special as the one they shared with us, here on this little blue marble, on the outer arm of this spiral galaxy, in this universe that has been made all the better by the presence of Majel Barret Roddenberry, have a pleasant journey.