Four years ago, while Niki and I were honeymooning in Los Angeles, California, we had the chance to see a lot of different TV and movie locations, but nothing was so out-of-this-world as the day we drove 45 minutes north to Agua Dulce to visit Vasquez Rocks County Park. Used as a shoot location for dozens of movies, television shows and music videos, Vasquez Rock is easily one of the most recognizable backdrops in Hollywood history.
When we parked the car, it was clear to us that something was going on. There were quite a few cars around and we could hear construction taking place just a little way off from the parking area, but no one barred our way, so we headed down the path to the distinctive looking rock formation.
As we came around the side of the rock, we got a great view of the underside and I immediately recalled the scene from Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as the titular characters negotiate their escape from the "Arena Diner," named after the famous Star Trek episode "Arena" where Captain Kirk fights for his survival against the reptilian Gorn captain.
A spectacular shot of the entire rock formation informally known as "Kirk's Rock."
Naturally, I couldn't resist the chance to recreate the iconic image of William Shatner as Captain Kirk running up the side of the rock.
From the bottom of the rock we could see several people about halfway up, but they left a few minutes later.
Once they'd cleared out, I decided to climb up to get a better look while Niki stayed on solid ground and marked my progress with the camera.
The view from even halfway up was breathtaking. The surrounding area is littered with smaller formations similar to the large one I was standing on and off to the side was the construction we had heard from the parking area. We discovered from a truck that drove by while we were leaving that it was Paramount Pictures that was shooting scenes. It was obvious then that we had accidentally crashed the set for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek movie!
It ended up being nearly two years before we were able to see exactly what scene it was we had crashed, but once I saw the shot there was no mistaking it!
It seems we had dropped in just as Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) was beaming down from the U.S.S. Enterprise to the surface of his home planet to rescue the Vulcan high council. The construction was the film set for the scenes where the planet Vulcan is completely destroyed!
We walked around for a little while longer, but after seeing a sign posted with a warning that mountain lions were known to be in the area we were quickly convinced that we'd better get going and besides, we had plenty more of L.A. to explore . . .
Live Long and Prosper!
- ▼ November (6)