All posts by Sam

Sam is one of the original founders of Trekkie Girls. Loves a Tranya, would permanently reside on Risa and wants to be Lwaxana Troi when she grows up.

STLV – Writers Panel – Brannon Braga and Andrew Bormanis

Brannon Braga (who is responsible for writing and producing most Star Trek TNG, VOY and ENT episodes we all love, plus Generations and First Contact) appeared with Andre Bormanis (science consultant and writer) for a very open and transparent discussion on writing for Star Trek. I’ll admit that I’m big fans of them personally. I love how Braga has a typical writers personality; self-depreciative and introverted despite being able to engage a large audience and clearly a very talented man.

Andre Bormanis is someone I friended on Facebook in that way you friend people on Facebook you have never met and the only interaction is the occasional ‘liking’ of posts. But from this vague connection I’ve gained an affinity towards him.

Here’s what was revealed:

Conclusion: What was refreshing about this panel was the sheer honesty. It’s the difference between an ongoing series which has a marketing campaign driving it and an analysis by people who haven’t worked on the show for eleven years. Such as the admission that the last Enterprise episode was a ‘slap in the face’ but how it had felt right at the time. It’s just writers, explaining their thought process with the benefit of reflection.

Highlight: Listening to their enthusiasm about the prospect of watching Star Trek Discovery as fans and not knowing what is going to happen.

Also, the audience loved it whenever they mentioned The Orville!

Weird bit: An audience member asked why do they come to conventions and do panels when they received so much harsh criticism. Braga sounded exactly like Shinzon when he replied “I’m lonely!”

Star Trek Las Vegas – The Inner Light Panel

Saturday at Star Trek Las Vegas featured two of my personal favourite panels of the week. The Writers panel with Brannon Braga and Andre Bormanis and the Inner Light panel with Sir Patrick Stewart, Margot Rose (Eline) and Morgan Gendel (writer).

The Inner Light Panel

Most panels at conventions are actors coming on stage, cracking a few jokes and taking a bunch of Q&As from the audience. This panel was someone different. It was well moderated by Adam from Creation Entertainment and was an analysis/review of an episode hailed as one of the best Star Trek episodes of all time. In fact in a poll of favourite Star Trek episodes, Inner Light came second of ALL EPISODES EVER. (Poll by StarTrek.com)

In case you have Bendii syndrome and have forgotten, The Inner Light is the episode where Picard is given the memories of an alien from a civilisation whose planet is dying. He lives a lifetime as a man called Kamin. The story is about his journey, transformation and coming to terms with his circumstances.

Source: Trekcore.com

Focusing on one episode with key actors and the writer allowed for a much deeper and richer experience from a convention panel. The global questions (e.g. “what’s your favourite episode”) have been asked so often that regular convention goers know the stories by memory. It’s also kinda frowned upon when someone asks a very detailed question about a specific point in an episode. Often the actors don’t recall filming the episode, let alone have watched it. Those questions are usually better directed at the writer.

Therefore having the chance to delve into the specifics of this wonderful episode allowed for new questions from the audience and unheard content from the panelists.

Discssing how they used visual elements to help move the story along, Morgan Gendel explained the use of the Probe and the Flute.

Originally Kamin was going to see some text on his wife Eline’s pendant which he’d remember as being written on the Probe. The art department changed the pendant to the shape of the Probe so the audience would better recognise it. This would trigger the transformation back to Picard.

The flute was a way of showing the transition of Picard to Kamin – but also showed the audience in a powerful way that Picard retained all the memories of Kamin when they saw him playing in the final scene.

To demonstrate the passage of time, they made the jumps inbetween the acts. So after each commercial break you have another transition. Admittedly I hadn’t considered how seamless the jumps were, I suppose you only notice when something doesn’t work well.

Conclusion:

This panel went well beyond my expectations. What made this particularly special was the parallel process that occurred with the panelists and the story of the characters.

In the episode, Picard wakes up as Kamin and is cold and distant to his wife Eline. Eventually he grows to love her and becomes her husband. He has transitioned as a person but still retains that element of Picard.
Both Patrick Steward and Margot Rose spoke about the chemistry on set. It was as if a similar process had occurred on set.

As I sat watching the panel I felt I was watching this transformation occur again. Half way through the panel Patrick Stewart put his arm around Margot Rose. It was as if tapping into the memory triggered the experience and emotion again.

At the end of the panel an audience member asked about Patrick Stewart’s experience of domestic abuse from his childhood. At first Stewart and the moderator were reluctant to take the question as it wasn’t the subject matter of the panel. But in the end he did and the more he spoke the more he transitioned back to Patrick Stewart. It was as if the question was like seeing the probe.

The Inner Light Panel STLV

Highlight:

 This was well after the panel, but connected. In a random encounter in Quarks, I met writer Morgan Gendel. We chatted about the panel and I shared my thoughts as above how I thought it went. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time talking about everything from The Inner Light to Star Trek Conventions and life in general. I also had the pleasure of introducing Morgan to Star Trek Discovery writer Ted Sullivan who ever-so slightly fanboyed in his presence!

Weird bit:

Presenting the probe necklace to Patrick Stewart! Margot Rose took it and said “He got to keep the flute!” Well done Margot!!

See next post for Brannon Braga and Andre Bormanis

Saturday at Star Trek Las Vegas – William Shatner, Brent Spiner +LeVar Burton Panels

Saturday at Star Trek Las Vegas was as packed with Star Trek goodness as a type 15 shuttlepod on a supply mission.

William Shatner

Scott Mantz (our favourite moderator) spoke to William Shatner and their friendship and camaraderie shone through.

Shatner is a man who shows no sign of slowing down. He has an ability to hold the audience with his dry wit and his well….Shatnerisms!

He alluded to a new project to be announced this week involving Virtual Reality and something that ‘had never been done before’?

It will also be of no surprise to learn that he has a new book coming out! No really!

There were a few awkward question from audience saying that a scene was written for Captain Kirk in Star Trek 09. Shatner vehemently disputed it.

Conclusion: Beneath his put-down sense of humour William Shatner obviously functions on a deep level. I’ve often said that he sounds like a therapist in the language he uses.

Highlight: Finding out that The Wrath of Khan will show in 600 cinema’s across the US on the 10th and 13th September. William Shatner also received one of the few standing ovations of the week.

Weird Bit: An audience member became notorious for introducing himself (actually his mother would introduce him!) and would share his trekked up name (it had it all, even the Tiberius!). Shatner didn’t hold back on his opinion!!

Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton

Originally meant to be Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, LeVar stepped up and we are grateful he did. Because of all the TNG combo’s we have seen on stage, we’ve never seen this natural paring together. They were absolute gold pressed latinum.

Here’s out top tweets:

Conclusion: It’s clear that LeVar and Brent are as close as Data and Geordi, the dynamic is quite different though. They’re a great combo on stage, LeVar is able to appeal the emotional and intellectual needs of Star Trek fans, whilst Brent is refreshing shallow and all ego. But in a funny Shatner way, not a new-age president way.

Highlight: Finding out that Brent Spiner was approached by Bryan Fuller early on to play Data in the new series  (now Star Trek Discovery). “He knew people who could make me digitally look like I did in the 80s. I asked can you do that for me in real life!?”

Weird bit: Probably the question to LeVar asking why he hasn’t been asked to direct on Star Trek Discovery yet. Those tears were real!

STLV The Next Generation 30th Anniversary Panel – New revelations!

STLV TNG 30

The highly anticipated TNG 30th anniversary panel on Friday night was undoubtedly the jewel in the Sacred Chalice of Rixx for Star Trek Las Vegas. It boasted a full lineup of The Next Generation crew which ALMOST happened, except Jonathan Frakes’ flight got cancelled due to weather. It would have been Frakes.

Nonetheless, John de Lancie and Denise Crosby stepped up to step in, and honestly I think that’s the last we heard of them all night!

 

They start by sharing their stories of conversations with Gene Roddenberry. For example LeVar Burton once asked him why Geordi was blind, surely by the 24th Century they would have cured blindness and they’d be no need for a VISOR?

Gene’s response was “How do you know your sight isn’t considered better?”

The same was true with Data’s skin colour and Picard’s baldness. We were getting hung up on 20th Century standards of perfection which simply do not exist in the future.

What shone through was the humour. Each time a cast member answered a question seriously, another one was there to tear them down. As all the best friendships do!

The cast discussed the progression of their characters and how the actor and character merged over the years until they didn’t know where one ended and the other began. Except for Marina of course who quipped that the only similarity she had with Troi was in the drunk bar scene in First Contact.

Things got interesting when they got onto bashing Paramount Pictures. Apparently they had 17 uniforms each and Paramount wouldn’t let them keep one!

Marina nearly got replaced with Jeri Ryan

Marina dropped a juicy but disturbing revelation when she talked about the sexism that existed and still exists in Hollywood. When negotiating her contract for Star Trek Nemesis, the studio threatened to drop her and replace her with Jeri Ryan!

Her response was first class “Jeri won’t work for that either!”

Things got a little tense when Marina asserted that woman are notoriously bad at not helping each other in show business. That those who are successful in spite of the discrimination towards women, tend to not to focus their efforts on delivering change and maintain the status quo in order save their own careers.

Gates McFadden offered evidence that this was not the case and she witness multiple times woman supporting each other in the business.

Obviously both scenarios are accurate but it felt like you were in their living room watching too friends have a late night sparring match.

On Star Trek Discovery

It was only a matter of time before an audience question asked what they thought about Star Trek Discovery, if they were guest starring etc. Their immediate response was “next question please!”

Conclusion: Patrick Stewart summed up the evening perfectly. He needlessly apologised to the audience if we felt they didn’t answer the questions in the detail we’d hoped for. He offered this explanation:

Every now and then I have a moment at a convention where I step back and feel grateful for what people contributed to make Star Trek happen. This was one of those moments. Grateful to the people on the Stage, to the people behind the scenes and for everyone in the audience who shares the same enthusiasm. Happy 30th Anniversary Star Trek The Next Generation.

Highlight: I happened to be sitting in the behind the Star Trek Discovery people including Mary Chieffo and writer Ted Sullivan (‘m honestly not stalking them!). Watching their reaction was priceless. Especially to the question “what advice would you give to new actors on Discovery?” The reply was “appreciate every minute of it” and “save your money!”

I suspect by their reactions that they probably already have thirty years worth of convention stories to share with us and the show hasn’t even aired yet!

Weird bit: Not having a moderator. I understand why these convention veterans declined one. It’s hilarious to watch this crew go off on a tangent and bicker amongst each other but a good moderator knows when to let them get on with it and when it’s time to interject.

 

 

 

STLV Friday Panels

Friday at STLV was an intensive panel day for me. I didn’t intend it to be, but I found it hard to resist.

Women In Star Trek

Today began (for me anyway) with the Women in Star Trek Panel with Jarrah Hodge (from Woman at Warp podcast), Dr Kayla Iacovino (Vulcanologist and editor TrekMovie.com), Lucia Lorenzo (literary scholar and cultural critic), Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher) and Aliza Pearl (actress, writer).


The panel starts by introducing the panelists and discussing who was their Star Trek inspiration. Unsuprisingly, Beverly Crusher was top. Particularly for Kayla who is a scientist herself.

The woman-after-my-own-heart was Lucia who cited Lwaxana Troi as her inspiration for all the same reasons Lwaxana is my favourite.That she is a flamboyant, outspoken, fabulous woman who is fearless and defiant. Yep, I want to be Lwaxana Troi when I grow up.

The key message was Star Trek The Next Generation was a big leap forward in its portrayal of women but it doesn’t quite hold up to todays standard of scrutiny. This is something we discussed in our own interview with Gates McFadden.

Something we had never considered until Gates mentioned it was how there was no intellectual relationship between Dr Crusher and Wesley. Given they are both very smart, Wesley would always go to a man to resolve a technical problem, but his mother for emotional needs.

On unfinished business, Gates expressed her wish to have the Picard/Crusher relationship resolved. She didn’t mind which way it concluded, just that it would.

Conclusion: a very thoughtful panel listening to woman practicing what they preach by encouring and complimenting others. Also going boldly, tackiling these sensitive subjects with courage and conviction.

Highlight: an audience question asking why the moderators at these conventions are almost always predominantly male and a acknowledgment from Creation Entertainment to address this.

Weird bit: Gates exclaiming that Star Trek has the brightest fans as I get my hair tangled in my insignia.

Terry Farrell Panel

If you heard Terry speak last year at Destination Star Trek Birmingham you’ll know she’s no longer holding back. I suppose after a certain amount of time and distant from an event it becomes easier. This was certainly the case at STLV where she opened up again about her experiences, both positive and negative on Deep Space Nine.

Adam Nimoy asked how Terry came to leave DS9, for which Terry provided a frank response. When her contract came up for renewal for season 7 there was no room for negotiation. An ultimatum was given, ‘accept it or be written out’. Terry states she did not want to leave however didn’t want to continue to work under conditions where there could be no discussion or flexibility. So she left.

Conclusion: Terry speaks with a great deal of emotion speaking about her time as Dax and is something she has spent a long time processing.

Highlight: Having Adam Nimoy as a surprise moderator. I don’t think it’s any secret that Nimoy and Farrell are a Star Trek powerhouse couple. They look at each other with deep admiration and you can cut the chemistry with a laser scalpel.

Weird Bit: I think Terry Farrell looks like my mum! When Dax is cross I feel like I need to go to my room.

Stephanie Beacham, Paul McGillion and Catherine Hicks

STLV panel scott mantz

This was an interesting mix of actors, Stephanie Beacham played the Countess Regina Barthalomew from the TNG episode ‘Ship in a Bottle.’ She speaks in that same beautiful accent we’re familiar with. Her accent is so posh it makes my accent sound like I should be mining dilithium on a grubby moon somewhere.

Paul McGillion – I had to confess to running him through memory alpha as he took the stage. He played the barracks leader in Star Trek 09 but was very nearly cast as Scotty.

Catherine Hicks spoke about how she had researched environmental issues as well as watched documentaries on famous whale enthusiasts to prepare for the role.

Marina Spirits + Michael Dorn + NEW STUFF WE LEARNT!

This is another duo that we’ve seen before but it never gets old watching them banter.

Marina revealed that she felt she would have been fired from the show if Denise Crosby hadn’t left and that Majel Roddenberry had confirmed that years after the show had ended. She noticed she wasn’t appearing in as many episodes, her dialogue was shorter and most noticeably, producers stopped talking to her.

When Denise left, Troi’s character picked up more story lines.

The funniest story was about filming the final episode All Good Things. Apparently Michael Dorn sobbed so hard his prosthetic nose fell off!

Conclusion: Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis should have their own TV show. These two will be in a retirement home together one day bitching about each other whilst sharing a deep bond, their friendship is a true life Bashir/O’Brien or Data/La Forge match.

Highlight: The banter. Marina is very quick and has a great put down sense of humour so it’s good to see Dorn give as good as he got:

Weird bit: Well Dorn DID keep touching Marina’s leg!

Patrick Stewart

We’ve not seen Sir Patrick for a little while, he is a busy man. He spent the first five minutes assuring us that he was delighted to be back in Las Vegas and with Creation Entertainment. He also wanted to explain why his voice sounded so coarse, he has been suffering with Vertigo and travelling around which generally isn’t good for you! I’m sure he wasn’t staying in the Rio though so that can’t be blamed!

He commented on what a great shame it was that Jonathan Frakes could not attend due to a cancelled flight (in case you didn’t hear, Jonathan Frakes didn’t attend!)

Here’s our top tweets to summarise the panel:

Conclusion: Patrick Stewart gave a very thoughtful and considered panel as always. He has the right balance of thought-provoking, emotion and humour. It is always an honour to be in the same hall as him.

Highlight: Demonstrating the Picard Manoeuvre, the muscle memory was well intact.

Weird Bit: A question from the audience saying that in Nemesis, Patrick Stewart was to play Shinzon originally. Stewart had absolutely no idea. Neither did anyone else.

Starfleet Academy Spelling Bee

I meandered over to the ‘CBS All Access’ stage (do you see what they did there? PS, please sign up with our banner above!)

Jordan Hoffman (host of the OFFICIAL Star Trek Podcast ENGAGE!) was hosting the first ever Starfleet Academy Spelling Bee whereby contestants would each attempt to spell a word unique to the Star Trek universe.

It was a fun participatory panel that worked very well in that space. I managed to flunk out much too early with an incorrect spelling of the planet Kataan. This correct spelling will now burn in my memory like Tom Paris when he had those memories implanted in his head.

Overall, putting your Star Trek knowledge to the test for the glory of geek points amongst your fellow trekkies, was undoubtedly one of my better Friday nights in Las Vegas.

Star Trek Las Vegas 2017 On the convention floor!

Exploring the venue at STLV is fairly straight forward. BUT HUGE! The main theatre is HUGE. The vendors room is HUGE. Even the small stage is rather big.

Sets

New this year was the 10 Forward set.

10 Forward Star Trek Las Vegas

After the morning I had getting to STLV I was ready to slump myself over that bar and down a Samarian Sunset or six.

What Creation Entertainment do very well is frame their prop sets. 10 Forward was in a room dedicated to showcasing items for the TNG 30 year anniversary exhibit. (see more photos in gallery below).

The rooms that holds the TOS bridge has an ambience fitting of a sacred place…which it is. They have music and shmoozy lighting which shows of the colours of the set.

TOS Bridge STLV

FanSets

There are a huge number of vendors as always at STLV. The most popular table this year has to be FanSets who are doing an incredible job selling pins of all things! If the product doesn’t pull you in, the people will. I spoke to Lew from FanSets who told me all about what makes these pins so collectable and why they are such a big hit with fans.

The pins are depictions of all our favourite characters and although FanSets produce pins for a wide range of fandoms, Star Trek is their first and main love. This shows through their dedication to deliver the best and biggest range of Star Trek characters.

They test out their designs on existing fans to make sure they ‘get’ who it’s meant to be. They have limited numbers on some but what makes these pins most appealing is their reasonable price (about $6 for a character and $10 for a ship) but most importantly they are easy to store. Lew informed me that space is an ever going consideration for collector. I’ve seen Carole’s geek room, I can attest!

FanSets are also well ahead of the game when it comes to development. They already have Star Trek Discovery characters planned for release. Characters such as Michael Burnham are ready to launch. They even have characters we don’t know about! And before you try, they can’t be bribed, integrity was well intact when I spoke to them!

Cosplay

Undoubtedly one of the coolest thing about STLV is the Cosplay. I was itching to see my first Discovery costume and wasn’t disappointed.

It’s also the first time in a long time that I haven’t cosplayed myself. As I’ve been travelling for the last six months I haven’t been able to haul my costumes around. It feels weird wearing normal clothes, I don’t like it!

 

I’ve seen these two every year either in person or online. They’re cosplay is always first class!
Although the BEST cosplay has to be this guy for nailing the Larry Nemecek look. Honestly, I spat out my Raktijino laughing!

 

Star Trek Discovery Panels. Pt 2

 

Having already sat through two hours of Star Trek Discovery Panels, I was eager to hear more!

Star Trek discovery desperate hours

Star Trek Discovery – Creature Designers

Next up was Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page to talk about designing and creating the aliens we can expect to see in Discovery. What we received was an in-depth exploration of the development of characters, delivered in a concise and consciencous manner.

(please note incorrect twitter handle was used in this tweet. Should be @glenn_hetrick)

Glenn and Neville showed us images from their design software which showed us the level of detail that goes into perfecting how the prosthetics will behave.

As for the Klingons, they designed them from the inside out! They took the Klingon skull as the starting point and considered what features a predatory animal has. They often include holes in the bone to allow sensor receptors access to the skin. This was the logic behind the bald look as they felt hair would impede a predators senses.

Our favourite design feature was the inclusion of the Klingon logo into the design:

A question from the audience asked Neville and Glenn if they had any discussions with Michael Westmore (Make Up Designer  for TNG through to Enterprise). They had met him in the TV show special FX’s show FaceOff and said they were both inspired by him.

Conclusion: Any worries that they are making Klingons look different for the sake of it was alleviated. They are working creatively to enrich a species which could so easily go stale from over exposure.

Highlight: At the end of the talk they said that having attended STLV and meeting the fans directly it has created a stronger connection between the creatives and the fans, this will lead them to go back and work harder for Star Trek Discovery. Although given the high standard they have already contributed, this hardly seems possible!

Weird Bit: Audience member saying they were concerned about the look of Klingons. Fair enough if that’s your opinion but open criticism without constructive feedback makes me wince.

Comics and Novels

The final Star Trek Discovery panel of the day was about comics and novels. Featuring Kirsten Beyer (Novelist and TV Writer), Sarah Gaydos (IDW comic editor), Mike Johnson (comic writer), David Mack (novelist) and Ed Schlesinger (Editor Pocket Books).

What is unique about this series is that there will be Novels and Comics wrote alongside each other, with authors having access to Discovery storylines to write around them.

You won’t need to read the comics or books to understand the show but they add to the story.

The panel gave us some sneak peaks of what we can expect including:

And the first Discovery novel by David Mack:

It’s set before Discovery airs and involves Burnham having to face a man she has been avoiding for some time! (why do I suspect this is a pointy eared man and not something lame like the dentist?)

It also features a familiar starship. Again, probably not the Botany Bay.

Discovery Desperate Hours will be available 26th September 2017 and you can pre-order it on Amazon now.

Asked whether books and novels would be considered canon, Sarah Gaydos gave a considered answer saying all comics and books work within the guidelines of canon but it’s so much more complicated than that. There wasn’t a straight yes or no, but it certainly leaned towards ‘not canon’.

Conclusion: This is how we are going to survive the weekly waits for each episode! I’ve not been one to read comics however in recent years I have read the Kelvin Universe comics and am now reading the TNG Mirror Universe ones. They are right, they greatly enrich the story telling and allow you to see and hear the characters in your imagination with new content to explore.

Highlight: Surprise guest Dayton Ward entered the stage to reveal the second Discovery book which will be available early 2018. Plus getting to see the covers for the first time.

Weird bit: Probably the connection to canon, I can understand that it would be limiting to the creative process of the TV show if they had to consider books and comics in the long lineage of Star Trek lore but with the colloborative process of this series makes me ponder if there could be an exception. If anything to stop those squabbles at the bar with fellow Trekkies when they pull out a beta fact.

Star Trek Discovery Panels at Star Trek Las Vegas. Pt1

On the opening day there are four…yes there are FOUR panels dedicated to Star Trek Discovery this Wednesday at Creation Entertainments Star Trek Las Vegas… the first was the highly anticipated Star Trek Writers Room panel with Ted Sullivan, Kirsten Beyer and Akiva Goldsman.

If you don’t follow Ted on twitter already, you must. Not only Ted is a writer and supervising producer on Discovery he is a massive super fan of Star Trek. I was lucky enough to meet him and his companion #JasonGorn and exchanged a brief chat about Star Trek and it’s like talking to any other fan at a convention that you’ve never met before but you share a common love of a show called Star Trek.

Inside the Star Trek Discovery Writers Room

Here are our tweets summarising the panel.

Conclusion: These are people who understand the very essence of Star Trek,they ARE the essence of Star Trek. I came away knowing the franchise is in the best hands possible.

Highlight: Witnessing the transitioning of fans of Star Trek into creatives and caretakers of Star Trek.

Weird Bit: Went to ask a question and my knee started bleeding!

Introducing Star Trek Discovery Cast

Immediately after (I mean immediately, no bathroom breaks here!)  our favourite person Scott Mantz took to the stage to host the second panel feature some of the cast (not seen at San Diego Comic Con) including Mary Cheiffo (L’Rell), Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Connor) and surprise guest Wilson Cruz (Dr Hugh Culber) who won the hearts and minds of the entire audience.

Firstly I must share how blown away I was to the dedication these actors have to their craft. they have gone all out!

Mary Cheiffo brings depth on both an intellectual and emotional level.  She told us that she was introduced to Star Trek at the new movies and considered herself a fan from then on.

She is VERY invested in her character. To the extent that she wishes to speak Klingon fluently! This has long been a desire of my own so I instantly fangirled when she mentioned it.

Together with Kenneth Mitchell they have been practicing Klingon together and found it easier to remember lines when they worked collaboratively. In case you hadn’t heard, Klingons will speak Klingon with subtitles.

Mary and Kenneth even treated the audience to some lines direct from the show. Their accent and delivery are spot on. They’re the experts on Klingons now, I don’t know many fans (if any) who could compete with them.

They have a Klingon Grammarian working on set, Robyn Stewart, who helps with understanding the language and dialect coaches to assist with pronunciation. This is probably why they speak brilliant Klingon and why my Michael Dorn ‘conversational Klingon’ cassette tape has taught me how to spit up phlegm .

They explained the look of Klingons being different and Kenneth told us that we had only seen images from one house.  A picture was revealed of Kol who looks a bit more like the 24th Century Klingons we’re familiar with. He then dropped the bombshell that he was from the house of KOR!!

Sam Vartholomeos shared how he was convinced when he auditioned that his character would be a relation of Chekov. His impression was spot on! He also confirmed that the bridge of the USS Shenzhou is underneath the saucer section which fans had speculated.

The most heartwarming and tear-jerking part was listening to Wilson Cruz speak. This guy is going to be a BIG HIT at Star Trek Conventions in the future and the franchise will be much richer for his involvement.

Conclusion: In all the series of Star Trek I’ve never witnessed such an invested cast. Many actors on other series haven’t watched their own show let alone watched other incarnations of their franchise.

Highlight: Wilson talking about how proud he is to be part of this historic role in Star Trek

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of this story. This is a big deal, a kid will turn on the TV in September who is questioning their sexuality and they’re going to see two men love each other. And we’re not going to explain it. It will be what is it” – Wilson Cruz

Weird Bit: That realisation that soon these people will be beamed into all our TV’s/Tablets etc and will be as much part of our Star Trek narrative as Captain Kirk, Seven of Nine and Photon Torpedoes.

 

Star Trek Las Vegas 2017 – you don’t want to miss….

Taking place August 2nd – 6th at the Rio All Suites Hotel Las Vegas. Check out our last article detailing the main highlights of the event.

 

The main talks most attendees will want to hear are the Wednesdays Star Trek Discovery panels and the TNG 30 anniversary reunion on Friday night (separate tickets needed for general admission). But there is so much more to STLV than panels.  Having seen many of the big name guests I’m thinking about going more ‘lower decks’ this year. Here’s some highlights from the jam packed schedule plus some things that aren’t on the panel.

Tuesday 1st

The action begins before the convention starts with the annual ‘Landing Party’ hosted by Larry Nemecek and Portal 47. Held in the Masquerade Bar from 21.00 it’s a great chance to mingle, catch up with friends as well as participate in trivia and games.
UPDATE: Masquerade Bar is closed. It will be nearby. Keep eye out for announcement.

Weds 2nd

DISCO DAY! Sit in the main hall and soak up everything Star Trek Discovery. Check out the exhibit and get your photo on the USS Discovery’s Captains chair.

Most looking forward to: hearing from Ted Sullivan (writer and supervising producer) and Mary Chieffo. Both have been very good at engaging with fans on twitter and are genuinely passionate about Star Trek on an emotional and intellectual level which I’m certain will transfer well onto the audience.

Chieffo’s L’Rell appears to be one of the most intreguing characters on Discovery. All we know is she is a house leader but some tweets regarding her have made us curious.

This from Executive Producer Aaron Harberts

Two references to ‘life’. Coincidence or hidden meaning? Hoping we’ll find out soon.

Also don’t miss: Q&A with Dr Mae Jemison and Nichelle Nicholls. A real life astronaut and one time guest star with the actress who helped recruit her to NASA. (10am Pavillion)

Remembering Leonard – Special STLV Convention Premiere! Leonard Nimoy, a prolific actor/director, best known for playing Spock, is remembered in this new documentary called, “Remembering Leonard Nimoy” – produced and directed by his daughter Julie and son-in- law, David Knight. “Remembering Leonard Nimoy” is an intimate journey into Leonard Nimoy’s personal life. The documentary also includes never-seen-before videos and photos in this very memorable film. (11.30 Pavillion).

Evening – Chase Masterson will be hosting happy hour at Quarks Bar so so we’ll be there as quickly as you can shout DABO!

Thursday

Normally we’d recommend hitting the traders area at the very beginning and very end of the convention. This is so you can grab all those items that you know will sell out as soon as the crowds arrive, and the clean up the bargains once everyone has left. But Wednesday is looking jam-packed so shopping may have to wait until Thursday.

Deep Space Nine Confessional – Join the “What We Left Behind: DS9 Documentary” team for interactive fan sessions. Panelists: Ira Steven Behr, Adam Nimoy & David Zappone (14.30 Brasilia 7)

Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating – we’ve seen them so many times but the are always hilarious and mildly intoxicated. (2.45 Pavillion)

Inside Trek – ANOVOS. We want to know when we can buy the ‘Blue Steel’ Star Trek Discovery uniforms… and when we can expect our Star Trek Beyond dresses to arrive which we bought at last years STLV! (Brasilia 7)

Evening – Klingon Karaoke hosted by JG Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly. Free for everyone, it’s one of the the most popular events and usually sees guests joining in. Keep your camera ready and charged! (21.00 Brasilia 4-6).

Friday

Women in Star Trek: The Next Generation: A special panel event! In honor of The Next Generation’s 30th anniversary, Gates McFadden will join four women who grew up watching TNG for a conversation about women’s roles in the series. The panel will discuss their early impressions of the characters that inspired them, including Doctor Crusher, Troi, Yar and Guinan; the way we see these characters thirty years later; and the roles women occupied behind the scenes on the show. In addition to Gates McFadden, the panel will feature Jarrah Hodge (Women at Warp: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast), Dr. Kayla
Iacovino (TrekMovie.com and Shuttle Pod podcast), Lucia Lorenzi (literary scholar and cultural critic), and Aliza Pearl (The Listener: Spectral Awakening). (10.45 Pavillion)

Experience Star Trek The Cruise – no other reason to attend this other to torture myself that I’m not going! Also to look for clues how to stowaway! (11.00 Brasilia 4 – 6).

Starfleet Academy Spelling Bee – hosted by the Official Engage Star Trek Podcast host Jordan Hoffman this fun trivia quiz will determine if you know your Trek spelling or if you’re more like Picard spelling ‘knife with an N’. (16.45 Brasilia 7)

Evening: TNG 30th Anniversary Celebration including ALL cast hosted by Terry Farrell (18.00 Pavillion)

Followed by GAAAYS IN SPAAACE – a celebration of the inclusion of an openly gay character in Star Trek! Held at FLAIR nightclub, doors open at 7 and include a number of Trek guests.

Also just heard about the FanSets launch party at Caesars. Agghh choices!

Saturday

Michael Westmore presentation makeup demonstration. I’d love to see this. If I’m honest with myself, I’ll still be in bed. (09.30 Pavillion)

Inside the Writers’ Room panel with Andre Bormanis, Brannon Braga & Ron D. Moore – most questions asked to actors often would be better directed at the writer. Andre and Brandon are also writing on The Orville making this extra insightful. They will also be signing on a complimentary basis immediately following their talk. (15.30 Pavillion).

Inner Light Panel with Sir Patrick Stewart, Margot Rose & Morgan Gendel – Take a very special look at the classic episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is going to be a great, one-time only panel! Tissues on standby! (16.30 Pavillion).

Evening – if you’ve never done the evening Gala, then go. Otherwise see you in the bar. Quick note on about the bars. The main one everyone talks about is The Masquerade Bar. It’s where most people hang and it’s worth stopping through and saying hi. Whilst it’s undoubtedly friendly, I personally am not too keen on it. Mostly because patrons are permitted to smoke. This sends me into a McCoy style rant about how primitive humans are. It also makes me sick to my stomach. I prefer the iBar which has seats, no smoking and better drinks. I say better, the drinks in the Rio are not great!

Sunday

What We Left Behind Panel & Exclusive Sneak Preview – Included in this panel will be Ira Steven Behr (DS9 showrunner and creative genius), documentary producer David Zappone who has done so many great Star Trek documentaries to date, editors/producers Joseph Kornbrodt and Luke Snailham, producer and Indiegogo campaign manager Kai de Mello and director Adam Nimoy. (12.15 Pavillion)

Gary Berman and Scott Mantz – Creation’s Co-CEO, Gary Berman interviews Access Hollywood’s Movie Critic Scott Mantz, former Creation employee, on his thoughts on all things Star Trek and especially special footage involving the stars of JJ Abrams’ movies, including things never seen before. Going to this because I enjoy behind the scenes stuff and these guys know plenty! (13.30 Brasilia 7)

Rapid Fire Trek – Larry Nemecek fire out questions and prizes at warp speed in this quiz! (16.16 Brasilia 4-6)

Evening

The rat pack is great entertainment and free to everyone. There songs pay tribute and parody the convention.

Monday

Organised by the Unofficial Star Trek Las Vegas Facebook group, the pool party sounds a great way to unwind. We’ve never made it before because Vegas and Star Trek have taken all our money and we’re usually on the first plane back to London sobbing!

Enjoy the convention. If you can’t go I’ll be reporting live throughout!

Star Trek Discovery Exhibit SDCC

As we previously reported Star Trek Discovery went all out in promoting it’s new series which is set to debut this September on CBS All Access and Netflix.

I spent the weekend moonlighting for TrekCore but unfortunately due to a throttled internet connection I was only able to squeeze out the occasional tweet and photo.

Something I was hoping to share live was the Star Trek Discovery Exhibit which was held in the Michael J Wolf Gallery. This featured an array of costumes, props and art.

What stood out was the detail that went into each prop. Every stitch on the costumes has been well thoughout and each item is true to its genre whether that be Federation, Klingon or Vulcan.

The exhibit was also handing out free posters which somehow I have to keep safe for 7 weeks until I’m back in the UK and then another year when I have a home to hang it in!