Star Trek Las Vegas Review - where Greg has not gone before

Photography By  Greg Autry **

Going where no man has gone before I went to my very first Star Trek Convention, at The Rio Suites Hotel, and had a blast. This was the  `Official Star Trek Convention', put on by Creation Entertainment.



I've been a big fan of the series since the original, which premiered in 1966 on NBC, and a fan as well of all the subsequent series' and feature films. My personal favorite was always Voyager, having fallen "hard" for `Seven-of-Nine'  (played by Actress Jeri Ryan).




Star Trek et al, has become  a cult phenomenon of hard core 'Trekkies' whom can cite verb  and verse of each and every episode, along with details about sets, props, and costumes. The Klingon language in bespoke in reverent tones.  Outside the world of science fiction it's influences are felt every day.  I noted the irony on the Convention floor, of everyone on their cel phones. A silent nod to creator Gene Roddenberry.



For the Trekkies, they clamor to meet the Actors who portrayed their favorite characters, and listen attentively in the Leonard Nimoy Theatre to panels of Actors, Producers and Directors, as they recount their experiences on-set during their particular Star Trek era.  Fans can't get enough of the Science Fiction Fantasy and those who make it real for them,  waiting in endlessly long lines to pay for an autograph and maybe a photo with their heroes and heroines.




I took particular interest in what the fan experience was. I count myself as a fan, but know that my experience is not the same as the ardent fans who come from all over the USA, as well as from other countries to immerse themselves in the Star Trek World.





It was a four-day event. I sought out Fans that I would see from day to day.  Two sisters, from Washington State, one a teacher and one studying Law, told me they come every year.  Each day they wore different costumes, celebrating a character, sometimes from a particular episode. When I asked them what it was that drew them in and kept them coming back they just looked at me, dumbfounded that I could ask such a question, and said "It's Star Trek Man".  Duh, I did feel stupid.



2015 was also a sad occasion, marking the first Convention since the passing of Leonard Nimoy  ( Mr. Spock ) in February this year. I listened as his son, Adam Nimoy, spoke about how much he missed his Dad as a youngster because he was always working. I thought to myself how many young boys felt the same about their dads. I know I did, and my kids as well.



I had expected more of a Costume Party type event. And there were plenty of fans in costume. What I found were ardent fans who had come to be "in their world with their people". When I asked one girl if I could photograph her for my Article, she clutched her purse and somewhat recoiled, saying " No Thank You". I asked her why, noting how great her costume was and how great she looked.  She shyly replied in a whisper that her purse was from 'Next Generation' and her Uniform was from the 'Original', and that "people" would notice.  With a little charm on my part, she did relent. 




Due to my time constraints the only two celebrity panels I went to see were the Legend, William Shatner ( Captain Kirk in the original series), and the 20th anniversary panel of the entire cast from the Voyager series. I couldn't help falling for Jeri Ryan all over again. She is Gorgeous.  And when Shatner came on stage, he stared going-on about coming to Las Vegas, on a motorcycle, how hot it was, and on-and-on he talked. I thought to myself how much I liked him and enjoyed listening to him. Even though I had no idea what he was talking about.  Reminded me of Denny Crane.




I friend whom I had told I was covering the event, decided to come up from LA. When we talked about the Convention a week or so later, she told me her thoughts brought her back to the reasons she so-much liked the different series'. Captain Janeway ( Kate Mulgrew) was her favorite character, because she was the first female Captain. Although born after the original series, she noted how it had delved into the issues of the day, about Race, Poverty, and the Environment, long before any other television program had dared become "political" or " issue" oriented.




Like so many other "favorite" television shows throughout TV history, it seems to me the ones that create their premise based on an "Ideal" of what is right and good, are the shows that are a hit with viewers. Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, certainly has a place alongside the great TV shows such as Mash, West Wing, Hill Street Blues, All in the Family, and so many others.




Gene Roddenberry created a Universe where mankind's problems, as we know them today, had basically been solved. A World, let alone a Universe, of Hope.





"My Friend"  said to me that being at the Convention was a chance to be with "her people". When I asked her the question, `What brings you ... ',  her question in reply was, `What brings you to Mecca'.  And indeed this Convention is Mecca for Star Trek fans.





Next year, perhaps I'll attend some of the After parties, and will be able to get up close and personal with the Stars themselves. Taking photos of course.




All you `Trekkies' out there, can get your tickets now, for the 50th Anniversary Convention, August 3-7, 2016. Where it will again be held at The Rio Suites Hotel. 


Live Long and Prosper Mr. Spock, as will Leonard Nimoy live long in our hearts.





** ©2015Greg Autry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Splash Magazine Articles by Greg Autry

Greg Autry Photography


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