Star Trek has been around for almost 50 years. Take a moment to let that fact sink in, 50 years! If it wasn’t for the dedication of cast, crew, and fans of this show we would be talking about it as simply the anniversary of a show that had three seasons and then went into the annals of TV history. Instead, it is still alive and when the studios aren’t working on shows or movies, the fans and cast still are with fan made movies and video games that try to keep the spirit kicking. And then, there are the conventions… Like The Official Star Trek 2015 Convention Las Vegas, which I recently attended!
Some people might just see the conventions as a chance to milk the fans and there are plenty who try to do just that – but not at The Official Star Trek 2015 Convention Las Vegas. Creation Entertainment, the company producing the convention, does a great job at working towards making attendees happy and providing them a ton of quality entertainment. There are people, both involved with the convention or simply attending it, that are there for the comradery, the common geekdom of a show they love and even try to live their lives by the lofty goals of. For these people, the convention is a family reunion of sorts. People know each other by name and hugs a plenty are exchanged while donning various costumes from the Star Trek universe.
The fan meet and greet sessions with everyone from show regulars to guest stars who only appeared once draw in the fans looking for a quick, but meaningful, word and maybe a handshake or hug. The real life blood of the experience, though, is in the panels. That’s when cast members are brought together, sometimes for the first time in years, and fall into step as if no time has passed. There is a certain magic in that that flows out into the audience and reinforces their love for the shows and movies. Having Walter Koenig (Chekov TOS) up on stage telling his experiences over the years was special but seeing the reunion of Voyager on their 20th anniversary where they had not been on a stage together since the show ended and yet it was just like another day chatting for them. It was the same with the cast of Enterprise who you could tell had been a merry band of misfits driving their director nuts and yet grew a bit sad and quiet as they spoke of the unexpected ending of their series. As they put it, they gelled as a family just before the fourth season but by then it was already too late.
Many fans probably came to see William Shatner whose panel in the convention guide was described simply as “The Man” but those who missed the merry mayhem of Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton and Brent Spiner as they took the stage in a flurry of chaos that leaked out to the signing session of Patrick Stewart and drew him in briefly missed one of the best moments of the con. My photographer was not a Trekkie when this weekend began but, by the end, I think that might have changed.
Of course the great Leonard Nimoy was felt through the whole weekend and all of the panels, no ill word spoken for a man who took the power he gained in Hollywood to help his fellow man live long and prosper in any way he could.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s 50th Anniversary Star Trek Las Vegas Convention and excited to see what new great moments are just over the horizon. Will William Shatner and George Takei finally bury the hatchet and appear on stage together? Will schedules be cleared so that Voyager’s FULL cast can finally appear together? Will we be in wonderment of all the full surviving casts of each series appearing on stages together? I don’t suppose it matters because there will still be that magic in the air and fans from all over the world meet up with out of this world casts. Until then, Live Long and Prosper!