Visions of distant stars and bizarre
planets are his family's business. Eugene Wesley Roddenberry Jr.,
also known as Rod, was born into a family empire that is adored by
legions of devoted fans worldwide. He is the son of legendary science-fiction
creator, Gene Roddenberry, who's television series, "Star Trek" and
"Earth: Final Conflict," changed the face of television. His father
created television series that went beyond just science fiction entertainment,
they were conduits for the transfer of information and playgrounds
for intellectual thought. Gene Roddenberry not only used the television
medium to tell stories of exploration, but also to convey his views
on humanity. Eugene Roddenberry is definitely his father's son --
he shares his father's passionate views on the world and humanity.
He is a down-to-earth person who truly believes that one day everyone
will peacefully co-exist regardless of race, creed, culture or even
Eugene Roddenberry was
born in the television mecca of Los Angeles, California to Gene Roddenberry
and Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Eugene's parents made a conscious effort
to keep their son out of the limelight and he was able to have a relatively
normal yet priveledged childhood without the glare of Hollywood. He
attended John Thomas Dye Elementary School in Los Angeles and then
went to Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, California. During
his formative years, Eugene's interests were more social than academic.
However, he soon understood the importance of education and was able
to increase his marks as he progressed in his schooling. He eventually
enrolled at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His college
career was interrupted towards his final semester because Eugene couldn't
resist the pull of the family business and was offered the opportunity
to work on a new series," Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict,"
to be shot in Toronto, Canada. He jumped at the chance to learn about
the entertainment industry and to develop his creative juices with
some of the most successful producers in the industry.
As the technical advisor
for "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict" Eugene's job is to
provide advise on how to better merge the "Gene Roddenberry philosophy"
into each story. He is also there to provide useful commentary and
suggestions on continuity and story matter on each and every outline,
script and revision that are generated by the creative writing team.
This position also offers him the opportunity to work with his mother,
Majel, who is one of the executive producers on the show and also
plays the role of "Dr. J. Belman."
"Earth: Final Conflict"
is essentially his first serious foray into the entertainment industry
and qualifies as his both worst and most exciting job. In 1987, Eugene
was given his first official job as a production assistant on "Star
Trek: The Next Generation" by no other than his father. He continued
to work as a production assistant over the course of five summers
and a school semester on the set of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
"At age thirteen, I didn't realize the opportunity that I had been
given and was unappreciative," he says. In the future, Eugene hopes
to aid in the struggle for a better humanity through the medium of
film. Eugene has the dreams and visions of a better world his father
had and it is his wish to share his father's philosophy with the world.
"In many ways, I feel humanity has moved ahead one more step in a
positive direction because of my father's vision."
The death of his father
was a definite turning point in Eugene's life. Many years later it
has indirectly coincided with his move into the entertainment industry.
He has used this opportunity to speak to friends and family but also
the fans of Star Trek to learn more about his father and come to terms
with the Roddenberry legacy. It has allowed him to gain a better understanding
of who his father was and why he did the things he did. As Eugene
puts it best, "I would not say that at this point in my life I have
gained a complete understanding of my father, however, I don't think
I'll ever be able to say that."
In the small amount of
spare time that Eugene has for himself, he enjoys being at one with
nature, both on land and in the water. He is an avid mountain biker
and scuba diver. He also has a passion for the martial arts, particularly
Ju-Jitsu, and all its variety of life's teachings. Eugene's best friend
is Orion, who is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, and the two are
Eugene is out to continue
to convey the dream he now shares with his father. He hopes that some
day all differences can be set aside and all the creatures on earth
and even in the universe, can be united as one. "I'd like to know
that when I pass on, humanity is progressing in a more positive direction.
Humanity is at its best when it works together for a single goal."
Rod was certified as an
Aquanaut in 1998 in a Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station mission.