Finally, after years of waiting, the Star Trek franchise will return to where it truly belongs: television. The movies are great, but it's the serialized, small screen adventures that Gene Roddenberry envisioned for this world that get me jazzed the most. Star Trek: Discovery will bring quite a few changes to the franchise, such a new crew and a female lead, but there will be familiar elements. We've just learned that Star Trek: Discovery may even feature the voice of the late, great Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.
According to the above tweet from the official Roddenberry Twitter account, it seems that even death won't stop Majel Barrett-Roddenberry from helping Star Trek: Discovery's crew in boldly going where no one has gone before (at least yet). Through the use of audio recording techniques, her iconic voice can be recreated and used as the voice of the ship - the Library Computer Access/Retrieval System a.k.a LCARS - in the coming CBS All Access series. She's not here anymore, but her voice can be still artificially generated; think of it like an audio version of the Tupac hologram.
The Star Trek: Discovery crew is able to pull this off because Ms. Barrett-Roddenberry recorded a large number of phonetic sounds for a project prior to her death in 2008. As a result of this, essentially any necessary phrase or statement that the LCARS would need to make can be artificially generated for the upcoming sci-fi drama, pretty much giving immortality to an iconic voice. This paves the way for some excellent fan service when Star Trek: Discovery finally airs. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's speech patterns have become legendary as the instantly recognizable voice of the Starship Enterprise. Her voice even appeared in the rebooted Star Trek continuity started by J.J. Abrams in 2009.
Check out a quick sample of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's legendary computer voice below:
Of course, as the folks at CNET have pointed out: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's Star Trek legacy extends far beyond the voice of LCARS. Over the years she appeared as numerous live-action characters across numerous incarnations of the sci-fi series. In particular, it's worth noting that her original Star Trek character,"Number One," serves as the basis for Discovery's lead character, who is also known as Number One. However, it was LCARS that truly made Majel Barrett-Roddenberry a sci-fi icon.
The resurrection of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's voice on television only represents the beginning. The Roddenberry tweet also revealed that we might in fact have the opportunity to download the voice of LCARS as a Siri-esque AI platform on our phones. Microsoft already performed a similar feat by bringing Halo's Cortana to their smart phones; so using LCARS seems like the next logical step. Science fiction doesn't seem quite as fictional anymore, does it?
It's a small detail, but it's also one that will mean a great deal to longtime Trekkies. CinemaBlend will keep you up to date with any and all relevant details related to the upcoming premiere of Star Trek: Discovery as they become available to us. The CBS All Access series will debut in January 2017, but until then, make sure to check out our comprehensive fall TV premiere schedule for more information concerning all of the most highly anticipated fall debuts!