For all you Trekkies . . . oops, sorry . . . Trekkers out there, where no man (or "one," for you "Next Generation" Trekkers) has gone before, there's good news and bad news.

The good news is, "Star Trek VI: It's Really the Final Frontier This Time, Honest!" is finally going into production.OK, that's not the real title, but the sixth film in the series really is in pre-production, with a shooting date scheduled for sometime in April. And, according to those involved, it really is going to be the last "Star Trek" movie to feature Kirk, Spock, Bones and friends.

The further good news is that Nicholas Meyer, who directed what many consider the best of the "Treks," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," is back on board the Enterprise for this one. (Word has it that Spock falls in love - or at least his human half does. What he falls in love with is another question.)

The bad news, however, is that it may be another rush job from Paramount Pictures - a la "The Godfather, Part III" - if it's going to get to us by Christmas. But that's the goal, to release the film before the end of 1991 so it will still qualify as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of "Star Trek."

Here's hoping it all comes together and gives the series a worthy cinematic farewell. In the meantime, may Paramount live long and prosper - at least until this film gets off the ground.

Or until a Japanese takeover, whichever happens first.

- FROM THE FILE marked, "I'm Feeling Ill . . . " comes this little item:

At Sotheby's, where the elite meet to beat each other at bidding outrageous prices for various and sundry items, Disney cartoon cels are selling for thousands of dollars.

Cels are those plastic-covered, sharp-colored pictures from cartoons - suitable for framing, of course. When enough cels are flipped one after another in front of a camera, you have the illusion of a cartoon character moving.

Cels from "The Little Mermaid" recently went on the block for $3,000 to $4,000. But the stunner is a cel of Jessica Rabbit's first appearance in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," which recently sold for a bid of . . . are you sitting down? . . . $13,200!

So, why does this make me feel ill?

Because I remember vividly an image from my youth in Southern California: In a store at Disneyland they used to sell Disney cartoon cels; they were piled in boxes lined up in rows on tables and were going for a nickel apiece!

Where's that time machine when you need it?


Mrs. E. Widdison of West Valley City had a complaint about my flippant best-and-worst categories on Dec. 30, noting that I labeled "The Rescuers Down Under" the "Best new Disney animated film," then later lumped it into the category of "Most unnecessary sequels," which was a 19-way tie.

"I really don't get a clear message concerning those," she writes. "Is it good, bad or indifferent?"

What I meant to convey was that sequels in general are unnecessary, so I listed every sequel that was released during the year, including "The Rescuers Down Under," "Back to the Future, Part III," "Die Hard 2" and "The Godfather, Part III," all of which received favorable reviews from me during the year.

They were all enjoyable films but none seemed necessary to further the first film's story.

Another reader recently wrote about her disappointment in "Havana":

Dear Mr. Hicks,

We recently attended the long-awaited film "Havana," that was produced and directed by my favorite director and (starred) one of my favorite actors, and felt strongly enough about it that I wanted to comment. I was not disappointed in the production or the actors in general, but found the writing, script and editing to be poor. Perhaps (knowing) very little about the Cuban revolution made it seem even more confusing, but overall the film seemed tedious and one I couldn't relate to.

Even more disappointing was the way the writer portrayed Redford's character. Redford is just going to have to admit his persona will never allow him to be cast as a sleazy, amoral character. If he had written the character as being sly and cunning, perhaps it might have worked. It seems as if the writer knew this and therefore tried to toughen his character up by using foul language and having kinky sex, but it just didn't work. (Did Bogart need it?)

For years now I have hoped Pollack and Redford would (make) a film depicting the American West - something both would do an outstanding job of, knowing their love for the West. It looks like Kevin Costner has accomplished this with his "Dances With Wolves," without a doubt the finest Western I have seen since "The Searchers."

As for "Havana," I am sad to say that for me (and others I was with), all Pollack and Redford's talents created (was) a major disappointment. "Havana" was just another R-rated movie with violence, profanity and kinky sex.


Deanie Stott