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Moto

Moto

Moto was a Starfleet security officer who was stationed in the brig of the USS Enterprise in 2259. Moto had dark brown, mottled skin, a large, bulbous head, a hump on the back and webbed hands.

When Khan Noonien Singh beamed Captain James T. Kirk, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott and Weapons Officer Carol Marcus into one of the cells of the Enterprise's brig from aboard the USS Vengeance, Moto turned round to view the new arrivals and was told by a frustrated Scott to immediately let them out of the cell. The trapped officers were later released. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Background information Edit

Moto was played by Heather Langenkamp, a makeup artist on Star Trek Into Darkness who had acted in the Elm Street film franchise and whose husband, David LeRoy Anderson, was involved in helping design the make-up for Moto. "I wanted to be in Star Trek really desperately because, after having experienced all the Elm Street fan love, having been a part of the conventions and having been a part of such an iconic franchise, I knew it was something similar with Star Trek [....] So, when my husband got the job, when our studio got the job to do the makeups, I begged my husband, like, 'Please, can we make one that I can wear?' I tried to be cool about it, but I probably wasn't very cool. But I was persuasive enough and he caved." [1]

The design of Moto was originally conceived by influential make-up effects sculptor Moto Hata. "There was no movie that it was for, originally," explained Heather Langenkamp. "A sculptor had come up with these designs. It was kind of a spec project and it ended up sitting on the shelf for many years. The sculptor actually passed away from a tragic bout with cancer. So we were even more determined to get this makeup on screen and we said, 'If it ever gets on screen we’ll call the character Moto,' because that was the name of the sculptor." [2] Heather Langenkamp, in particular, was very eager to persuade Director J.J. Abrams into including the character in the film as an homage to Hata. (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 94) She described the makeup as "a very special design that we’d developed in our studio." [3] Langenkamp also recalled, "We begged J.J. to let us put it in the movie and he was gracious enough to let us." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 94) The director, in fact, was highly interested in using the makeup in the film. "J.J. was really open-minded when David told him the scenario and the story, and he loved the design. So we found a place in the film where this character could fit, where it could logically be, which is in the brig." [4] Interested in discovering what it was like to wear such an extreme makeup design for a Star Trek film, Langenkamp was chosen to play the role of Moto. "I wanted to see what it felt like to wear that kind of make-up and act [....] Even though I'm a background character, I wanted to take it seriously."

The makeup Heather Langenkamp wore to portray Moto in Star Trek Into Darkness was a six-part, time-consuming arrangement of prosthetics. "That was a five-hour application," noted Langenkamp. "We arrived at 3 a.m." After her hair was tied back (so it wouldn't become accidentally glued into the makeup) and skin protectant was applied to her (so the glue wouldn't harm her skin), the makeup application process began. Langenkamp's father-in-law, Lance Anderson, was one of the persons who applied the makeup. "We [...] put on a cowl, which is basically a headpiece," stated Langenkamp. The main weight of all the prosthetics was in the headpiece, which was glued onto the shoulders. Also included in the makeup were a chin-piece and face-piece. "There was a lip and throat-piece that went over that [face-piece]. Then there was another lip they put on at the end. The next piece had an internal bladder that could puff up real big." The bladder, an inflatable bag that would be obscured from being shown on-screen but was designed to emulate breathing, could not only blow up but also light up.

Following a short break in the application process, Heather Langenkamp donned the portion of the costume used to represent the hump on Moto's back. Still to be applied was the texture of the alien's skin. "The painting begins and the painting was designed in advance, so we have the bust of the design in front of the artists. Most of the pieces have already been pre-painted to save time. You had layers and layers of spots and streaks, to make it look like real skin. I glossed it up with some kind of shiny substance, so it looks like the sheen of a frog's skin. Then I put on the rest of the costume [....] [Costume Designer] Michael Kaplan and his crew were so patient because they had to make a special shirt for this character and the hump." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 94)

Heather Langenkamp played Moto over a period of three or four days. "The first day was in the brig, when the Enterprise characters are imprisoning Khan," Langenkamp reflected. "The second day was also in the brig, when Alice Eve and Simon Pegg get transported back to the Enterprise after their adventure." She found things to occupy her attention during this time. "I imagined that Moto is a climate-control officer, keeping the humidity at a proper level. I sat at a desk and had all these dials to play with." Moto was also filmed as part of a memorial scene near the end of the movie, though the character's involvement in the scene was ultimately deleted.

Although Heather Langenkamp is fairly well known from the Elm Street franchise, the prosthetics for Moto were so extensive that many people are unaware she was in Star Trek Into Darkness. "I actually have to tell them I'm in the movie because nobody in the world is going to know that on their own, unless they like to read the credits." In summation of her experience playing Moto, she said, "It was exciting. I hope I didn't jump the shark, but I'm really happy that I got to do it." [5] Owing especially to the family connections in designing and applying the Moto makeup, Langenkamp noted, "It was a fun make-up for me to do, and to wear." She referred to putting on the character's Starfleet uniform as "probably the most exciting part of the whole thing for me." (Star Trek Magazine issue 172, p. 94)

A behind the scenes picture of Moto was used for card #17, Security Officer Moto, of the virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals in 2013.

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