DST Day One – Set Up, Press Conference and Opening Ceremony

First day of Destination Star Trek and we managed to get a sneak peak of the event.

Event Set Up

Our first impression was that this had all the hallmarks of being one of the best DST’s ever! The queuing lines had been much improved, the vendors included all the ones fans had been asking for including Starship Collectors, The Silver Screen Bottling Co, Anovos and the Official Star Trek Merchandise. This is a great opportunity for us Europeans to buy  and get a sneak peak of what was to come.

Fan groups had tables along with independent vendors (Including Carole’s ‘dealer’!).

The gaming zone included Star Trek games which was a bonus! This ranged from pinball machines, retro PC games up to the Virtual Reality Bridge Commander which we were desperate to try all weekend but grateful we didn’t because off Sam’s gaming addiction!

The Screening zone was far better than any previous years. It was in it’s own enclave to improve sound quality and had actual chairs!!

Props + Museum

At all previous DST’s there have been probs and exhibition items on display. This year was another big step up with items from Star Trek Discovery on display. The main attraction was the Mirror Universe exhibition where attendees can get a close up examination of the wardrobe and props used on screen.

The Enterprise D and 1701 bridge’s made their return plus the addition of a Klingon Bridge (including pet Targ) and Quarks Bar set.

Press Conference

Press conferences are always weird. The guests are paraded in front of a handful of press who take their photo and have no idea what to ask them. What DST did a little different this time was firstly, used a new PR company who we found very responsive and helpful. But also granted much more press access to fan groups. This allowed for much more pre and in-event hype but also press questions orientated to the theme of Star Trek.

It was incredible to have so many top guests at DST this year. In fact we were told that production on Discovery was halted so guests could be free to attend this weekend. They literally went from the stage to the plane and will return back to production. That’s stamina! We were informed at the beginning of the conference that they wouldn’t be able to answer any questions because of reasons but they’d be free to in their panel on Saturday.

As to be expected, people asked about the Picard Series in the optimistic hope that an actor might drop a bombshell revelation in the absence of CBS lawyers, the PR  department or International press coverage. Also, ever being conscious that we are one of the louder voices in the Star Trek Twitter community, we wanted to be super careful that everything we said was accurate but couldn’t be turned into something it wasn’t.

There were a couple of technical faults particularly at the end of the conference. All the power went out – No big deal! Except Alice Krige was on stage talking about her experience working on Star Trek First Contact. There’s no  audio being amplified so we can just her Krige’s voice….you know…The Borg Queen’s voice!! She is talking about how she got that glow. It’s KY Jelly rubbed all over her! This would be hilarious if it wasn’t pitch black and we felt like a rehabilitated drone who could ‘still hear her thoughts’ in the darkness!

Jonathan Del Arco Panel

We had the privilege of hosting the first panel of the weekend! We introduced Jonathan Del Arco aka the Borg Hugh.

It’s always find hard to write and reflect on our own panels because we simply assume they went terribly! However, chronic self doubt aside, we couldn’t have wished for a better guest to talk to and we got really lucky with a generous audience with good questions.

Jonathan was kind and gracious throughout. We got the sense that he really connected to the character Hugh from the outset. He spoke about how he immersed into the part whilst attending the audition.

Opening Ceremony

A tradition at DST is to have the opening ceremony at the end of the first day and that’s just the way we like it ok.

Little behind the scenes info on how Opening Ceremonies work…. The bigger the con-circuit power, the more likely they are to be first on stage. Because they just want to get dinner and have a drink. That’s why William Shatner and TNG crew are always first.

This years ceremony began with a touching video tribute to all those on and involved in Star Trek who have passed away. Even though the franchise is over 50 years old it still surprised us how many there had been and reminded us that everyone we are about to see are living legends.

Overall the Opening Ceremony was just right. Not too long, but a chance to see all the guests at once and learn about the highlights to come.