To boldy go where this fan had not gone before…a Star Trek Convention at the Rio! I grew up with reruns of the original TV series. Thanks Dad! I’ve always wanted to check out the convention, but never attended. I guess I was not a true ‘Trekkie.’ Avid Trek fans would agree. I don’t follow any blogs or sites online or was I a part of any newsletter or mailing list. (I am now!) I never even went to the Star Trek Experience when I had family living in Vegas. Well, now that I live in Las Vegas, I had no excuse. After all, it was a ‘short trek.’ It was nostalgic as I was accompanied by my father. We only attended Thursday, August 11th’s events. My Dad was geeked out by lunch-time. Unfortunately, most of the panels weren’t until that afternoon. We had walked around the room full of vendors. Honestly, I thought the room would have been bigger knowing the fan-dome of Trekkie fans. I did hear that the space was bigger then the Hilton which had hosted the event for a number of years. While checking out the vendors, I noticed a small crowd forming around a man brandishing sunglasses and a white shirt and white hat. The man in the white hat was directing a small documentary film crew and interviewing Star Trek fans. This filmmaker used to hold the captain’s chair on-board the U.S.S. Enterprise. That’s right! Captain James T. Kirk AKA William Shatner. What a surprise! I didn’t think I’d get a chance to see him as he was scheduled for the stage on another day and I only bought a regular convention ticket. So, this was a treat! After all these decades and many years to not only see William Shatner, but to hear him speak and give direction to his crew members felt like ‘warp speed.’ Exhilarating!
That afternoon, in one of the theaters at the Rio, the DeForest Kelley Theater as the banner says, I attended a special presentation by Larry Nemecek, a Star Trek historian. The presentation was preceded by a short music video celebrating the work of Leonard Nimoy, also known as ‘Spock.’ Nemecek beamed back to the early days of Star Trek history and how “Star Trek” made a come back in the movies and with the spin-off series; “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager” and “Enterprise.”
Writer David Gerrold lead a discussion about the original Star Trek series which he was a part of. A few years after the original series went off the air, in 1973, an animated series was produced using a handful of the original actors to do the voices. Gerrold wrote this animated episode, “More Tribbles, More Troubles.” I very much enjoyed the animated show. It brought back a lot of memories as I recall seeing some of those episodes. I would have been three-years old at that time, but remember seeing reruns later on. Fun stuff!
After two back-to-back presentations in a row, I decided to stretch my legs and wonder the vendors’ booths once more. Yelp had a booth with a local photography company so I got this picture above taken of me. It’s the only photo I feel comfortable sharing. The Star Trek Convention displays signs saying that all photography of the convention is for personal use only. I had taken some photos of Mr. Shatner, but I won’t be displaying them here. I’ve seen other fans already uploading pics to FaceBook. What are they going to do, take them to see the Federation?
Some of the “Star Trek” celebrities were now signing autographs and posing for photos. Olivia d’Abo was there. She looked gorgeous as always. She had bumped into me at a Coffee Bean in Los Angeles a few years ago. Yeah, it’s hard to forget that.
Being a fan of both series of “Battlestar Galactica,” I was excited to see Richard Hatch. The new series will be with me for a long frackin’ time.
The 6PM panel was all about girl geek power. The discussion centered around how women roles have gotten stronger and the audience has gotten wider. The panel touched a little bit on how social media and blogging has strengthened Star Trek’s audience appeal.
I enjoyed the one day I attended the convention. I would definitely consider attending again next year wherever the convention boldly goes.
Leonard Nimoy attended the event later in the weekend. He’s only attending a few more conventions before retiring.
May Leonard, Spock and you “Live long and prosper.”