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Scotty Beams Up

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For those of you who grew up grooving on the original "Star Trek" series (it's okay, let your geek flag fly), Scotty, that irascible, whiskey swilling Scotsman who ruled the engine room of the starship Enterprise with a firm hand and a quick wit was a welcome counterpoint to the soft-focus close-ups and foppish shenanigans of William Shatner's heavily rouged Kirk.

Sure, Scotty never got to kiss the hot green alien women, but his knowing winks and leers left no doubt that he was a sailor who had a bawdy young lass in every port. If you found yourself in a shore leave brawl with Klingons, he was the tough old salt who had your back. None of Kirk's namby-pamby double-fisted overhand Death Thrust for Scotty. Oh no & mdash; he came right at ya, his calloused engineer's hands clenched into fists that could wipe the smile off the face of even the toughest Romulon this side of the Neutral Zone.

Alas, even tough old engineers have to hang up the Dilithium Crystals sooner or later, and that time has come for James Doohan, who has breathed life into Scotty since the 1966 premiere of the original "Trek." As Alzheimer's carries him away into the Final Frontier, fans and castmates will gather this weekend in Hollywood to pay tribute to the man, who will appear in public for the final time to receive his star on the Walk of Fame.

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Good luck, sir, and Godspeed.