Thursday, August 24, 2006
Last Wednesday 15,000 STAR TREK fans and one lone romance writer beamed down to Las Vegas to celebrate the 40th anniversary of STAR TREK in all of its incarnations.
The Las Vegas Hilton was the perfect host hotel because it also contains Quark's Bar and the $100 million dollar STAR TREK Experience museum and rides.
These two little lovelies are Tasha Yar and Lt. Data. Their owners had matching uniforms. (I say "uniforms" because when I went up and complimented a particularly ferocious looking Klingon on his "costume", he glared at me and barked, "Uniform!" I slunk away, thankful to be alive.)
You can always find a hot date (with a Gorn) at Quark's Bar in the STAR TREK Experience at the Hilton! The STAR TREK museum and Borg 4-D ride there are absolutely amazing. I rode with a young man in full Starfleet uniform. When the Borg descended on us, he pulled out his phaser and started firing right along with the actors. I felt much safer with him there although I'm sure the actors were thinking, "What the $#@!" I screamed like a maniac when the Borg Queen sent her 3-D probe after me at the exact moment something poked the back of my seat. Then the bottom of your seat starts to goose you, making you wonder exactly where you're going to get probed!
I finally found a way to get my husband to smile in a photo! Pose him with the still breathtakingly gorgeous BarBara Luna, who played captain's woman Marlena Moreau in the classic STAR TREK episode "Mirror, Mirror." Barbara was one of the warmest and most gracious stars there. We visited her table every day and she never once made us feel as if we were stalking her. (Although of course, we were.)
Here I am posing with a charming Andorian couple. (I'm the one in the middle.) The hardest adjustment in leaving the hotel and heading for home was that I didn't see a single Klingon or other alien at the airport!
FAVORITE NON-TREK RELATED MOMENT came during Armin Shimerman's Q and A session. (If you don't remember Armin as Quark on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, you may remember him as Principal Snyder on BUFFY.) When he was asked what it was like to guest star on CHARMED recently, he paused for an awkward moment, then said, "Well, let's just say that they hired those three actresses to play witches for a reason." I had the pleasure of meeting Armin outside the hotel after his talk and he was absolutely delightful. (Probably because I told him he did the impossible by making a Ferengi sexy!)
When Grace Lee Whitney who played Captain Kirk's lovely young yeoman Janice Rand told me I looked enough like her to have played Janice Rand. (Yes, being Captain Kirk's yeoman is my lifelong dream!) Kim Darby was also there and had some wonderful anecdotes about working with John Wayne in TRUE GRIT.
The Klingon woman is one of the actors from the STAR TREK Experience but these other two terrific guys are Sisko and Picard replicas. Aren't they gorgeous in costume...um...I mean, in uniform?
Snuggling with hubby while the legendary fountains at the Bellagio erupted to the theme from SOMEWHERE IN TIME, one of "our songs". I've never been to Vegas before and it was NOTHING like I expected. Hotel/Casinos like the Bellagio, the Venetian, the Luxor, Paris, the Excalibur and New York, New York are on such an immense scale that I just walked around with my mouth hanging open most of the time, thinking, "Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more!"
Here I am being assimilated by the Borg. Reistance is indeed futile!
My pride and joy!Finally William Shatner discovers someone he can't upstage in a photo op! (And no, this isn't a wax figure and yes, he was sitting down and I was standing up.)
The coolest thing about this being the 40th anniversary was that there were stars from every STAR TREK show, including a rare appearance by Scott Bakula from ENTERPRISE. Some of the highlights were: Brent Spiner (Data) and Jonathan Frakes (Riker) verbally sparring on stage; the gorgeous Connor Trinnear (Trip from ENTERPRISE) in a really great gray t-shirt trading barbs with Dominic Keating; Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and Ethan Phillips (Neelix) doing a reading of HOUSE CALLS, a one-hour play that takes place after VOYAGER'S return to earth. Garrett Wang and Tim Russ (also from VOYAGER) were simply hilarious together and it was a special thrill for me to see Michael Dorn (Worf). (When I thanked him for being there as I was getting his autograph, he looked up at me and purred, "It's my pleasure" in that incredible deep voice and I nearly swooned!) All of the captains from the shows were there except for THE NEXT GENERATION's Patrick Stewart and any time you can get Shatner and Nimoy on the stage together, it's pure magic.
MY TWO MOST CHOKED UP MOMENTS
When Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Gene Roddenberry's widow and the "first lady of STAR TREK" (she played Nurse Chapel in the original series, Lwaxana Troi in THE NEXT GENERATION and the voice of the computer in all of the series and movies) rolled by in her wheelchair and everyone in the audience spontaneously rose to their feet and began to clap.
Watching a young African-American couple in original series uniforms gazing up at a spectacular new print of all 5 STAR TREK captains. I looked up at that picture with them and I saw Captain Kirk, Picard, Jonathan Archer AND African-American Commander Benjamin Sisko from DEEP SPACE NINE along with STAR TREK's very first female captain, Kathryn Janeway from VOYAGER. I realized in that moment that the message Gene Roddenberry first set out to deliver in 1966 is just as relevant today as it was forty years ago--There is still hope for a bright future and there can be a place for all of us in it.
So if YOU could attend a convention and meet the stars of any TV show or movie, past or present, which one would it be???