I cannot overstate how amazing the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention is every year, it is something I dream about going to every year and pinch myself every year that I make it. It is hard to even express how it can reach you to your core if you are even a slight Star Trek fan and it is easy to understand how this show put on by Creation Entertainment is a mecha for all things Trek. I was a fan before but now I am a fanatic with the Enterprise and “boldy go” tattooed on my arm. I don’t think the show quite touched my core as deeply as it did after going to this show.
The first thing people generally ask if they haven’t been to the convention is “It’s just about Star Trek The Original Series right?” Nope, that couldn’t really be farther from the truth. It is about everything you can possibly imagine Star Trek wise, just about every guest star who has ever graced any of the incarnations shows up to sign autographs, take pictures and do panels discussing their experiences on and off the set of the Star Trek show they were on. Every anniversary of every one of the shows is celebrated with guest panels, podcast recordings and merchandise. The merchandise goes from hats and shirts celebrating the different Treks to coffee tables and specially built Borg cube computers (oh I would be willing to get assimilated for one of those). Ever wish you had Mal’s hand gun from Firefly or an autographed picture of Cindy from Land Of The Lost? You can get those too. Ever dreamed of meeting the best creature character actor of all time Doug Jones? Stop by Discovery’s row of autographs and you will get to meet Doug Jones and the rest of the cast (though Doug Jones is one of the nicest guy’s in the business and I can’t steer you to meet him enought).
The convention items from the vendor’s room with it’s massive number of autographs and souvenirs is nice but it’s really the panels that make the convention. They are going constantly during the show, in different rooms, all curated to be a great bunch of folks full of high energy. Creation Entertainment does an thoroughly impressive job providing a panel interviewing extras from the first series in one, and interviewing the creators of a game like Star Trek Online in another discussing their Discovery content that will go until about the convvention’s time next year. If neither of those catch your interest you can sit in on a panel about Star Trek’s influence on culture and technology as presented by one of curator’s of The Smithsonian. This year there was even a panel comparing Shakespeare to Star Trek, particularly the roles of Kirk, Spock and Bones.
If you decide you want to take a break from sales and sessions you have the opportunity to go into different museums dedicated to costume and weapon designs from Discovery, the Terran Empire and even the bridge of the Enterprise with all it’s pretty lights flashing. For those who were will to try out brave new worlds there was a Star Trek VR experience setup that allowed people to put on a headset and controllers and take a trip around a federation ship, looking around rooms, taking turbo lifts and even interacting with items (people were having fun figuring out what they could pick up and throw at each other). It still needed a few kinks worked out (walking nausea which is fairly common in the build process) but for lots of folks who had never done it there was a lot of excitement. Every day at the beginning of the day I took my program and went through marking what I wanted to see because it was easy to get distracted by something else and missing some event.
Being a lifetime player of Star Trek Online I got to geek out with the creative team at their booth and talk about a new playable character coming out with the new Age Of Discovery content. They have so many missions and ships it is almost hard to keep up but I am already trying to figure out my gaming plans later this fall to allow for some serious trekkin’.
This year there were three big things in Trek news the first being Discovery and it’s content from a costume museum to video games. CBS is working closely with it’s video, audio and even IDW comic partners to make this new property that the fans have been nicely embracing already. The Discovery cast was amazing and they showed up everywhere they could to promote the new property.
The next big deal was that it was already DS9’s 25th anniversary! Time really does fly when you aren’t traveling at Warp Speed and I was surprised it had already been that long. Lots of the cast members made appearances and talked about the old days on set and off of it and what it was like to be part of such a huge Star Trek universe.
The big deal of the weekend though was Patrick Stewart being snuck into the building and surprising everyone with the announcement that he would be reprising his role as Jean Luc Picard and his continuing life adventures after TNG. There were little to no details other than that but it was enough to ignite the imaginations of everyone who heard that.
Creation Entertainment’s Star Trek Las Vegas is a dream come true for any Trekkie, hardcore or casual, it actually makes a lot of the casual become hardcore. It is the final frontier for anyone who shares Gene Roddenberry’s dream.