The 2014 Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas ended on Sunday, day four and the party is now over. The celebration of all things Gene Roddenberry went smoothly, for the most part, although one past star Duncan Regehr – who played Shakaar in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – had issues with the post office, or something else losing his photographs. However, in terms of everything being where it should be and having the ever-present volunteers there directing the public to the various rooms for autographs, personal “meet-and-greet” areas, photo ops, et al, the show went on rather well.
On a sidenote: This reporter has nothing for praise for the volunteer staff and the security folks. All of whom were cheerful and more than eager to exchange information with a smile or a laugh. These lovely guys and gals were all too ready to pass on tips, tell little antidotes or just to have a giggle with talkative and inquisitive guests. These folks are the unsung heroes of the convention and deserve much more praise than they usually receive.
The last day of the convention was a combination of weary participants, all of whom seemed to be more than capable of keeping a very cheerful “stiff upper lip,” and last day exuberance. There were still lots of things going on. Walter Koenig sat with Harlan Ellison and chatted about the old days and despite Mr. Koenig’s frail appearance yesterday evening, this 77 year-old actor sounds a good 20 years younger when he speaks and shows those sparkling eyes.
Mr. Ellison, who is not only an award-winning author but a prolific one as well, is a crowd pleaser and popular with fans. The writer was at the event each and every day and when he showed up in the vendor’s room to sign autographs for fans, the queue, aka line, stretched around the room. This 80 year-old creative genius has a reputation for being vitriolic and not suffering fools gladly, both of which almost guarantee a place in most fan’s hearts.
There was also another opportunity to do a Q&A with William Shatner, who is an accomplished showman who knows what his fans like and expect. He may be 83 years-old, but he is still busier than ever, very funny up on that stage, and an absolute delight to listen to.
Day four of the 2014 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention may have had that “the party’s over” feeling to it, but the celebrity guests and the attendees were still carrying on regardless. This was a last chance to meet those people who were part of film and television history and not just that of the science fiction realm either.
Felix Silla, a longtime Vegas denizen, had a table with pictures from his performances from Bonanza – Dan Blocker was a funny man who loved fast cars – to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and of course Star Wars and Star Trek. This charming and cheerful performer has lots of stories to tell and at 77 years of age still has a lot of energy. After a career that has spanned over 50 years, Mr. Silla will be in the film Death to Cupid, as The Leprechaun, in 2015.
Another star from the Trek verse, Anthony Montgomery (Enterprise), was there signing autographs and talking to fans as well as touting his graphic novel Miles Away. This reporter stopped by his table several times to see how the book sales were going – and to cheekily ask for another picture when the first one got mangled, don’t ask – and by day four all sans one were gone. That one, however, could have been sold before the day’s end.
Another author, local writer Matthew Kadish was also at the convention touting his book, Earthman Jack vs The Ghost Planet. This first in a series is a great read and one of those page turning novels that is hard to put down. Keep an eye on this writer.
Kipleigh Brown (Star Trek: Enterprise, Yesterday Was a Lie, Star Trek Continues) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek:Deep Space Nine, Yesterday Was a Lie, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men) were both at the event, along with Henriette Ivanans (Liberty Street, Smother, Star Trek Voyager) and all three ladies were gracious, charming, not to mention beautiful, and lovely to talk to and posed happily for pictures. Kipleigh, also cheerfully handed over a copy of her 2008 “neo noir” film Yesterday Was a Lie after this reporter admitted to having never seen it.
The last day of the show, not only offered a last chance to interact with heroes from the science fiction world, after all, where else can one find themselves behind Richard Hatch, aka Captain Apollo of Battlestar Galactica in the Starbucks’ queue? Speaking of Mr. Hatch, two things must be noted; firstly, he is a thumb war champion – this was revealed by Conlandia in their interview with Richard, if you have a moment stop by their site www.igg.me/at/conlandia and see just what these two chaps are up to and secondly, apart from being a great friend to the award winning authors the Winner Twins, he is one heck of a nice fellow.
Hatch had a great preview for his upcoming feature, at a midnight showing at a local AMC theatre on Saturday. The kickstarter funded film Star Trek Axanar will also star Tony Todd. From the sound of things, the funding is going extremely well on Kickstarter and the film looks nothing like a standard independant production. Check it out on StarTrekAxanar.com.
As mentioned in the day three coverage of the convention, Tony Todd was another guest member who honored this reporter with the most enjoyable interview ever. This will be up tomorrow, with sound, along with a transcript – it is really loud in a convention.
One lesson learned from this wonderful experience was that stars get older. Some do so more gracefully than others. Look, for instance, at James Darren who looks brilliant for 78. Regardless of how well they all appear, some more than others, it is still shocking to see childhood idols and heroes looking so old. However much we may be resigned to seeing that old man or woman in our mirror, it is much harder to face our “heartthrobs” and crushes growing older. On the bright side, they appear to be pretty pleased to see their fan’s adoration and that in itself is quite special.
It is also literally impossible to see every star who shows up. Karl Urban proved to be hard to spot and annoyingly, a lot of the Star Trek personalities could be seen roaming the halls amongst the mere mortals. It was only annoying because one would catch, say…Rene Auberjonois, out of the corner of their eye and by the time it registered, Rene had “left the building” or at least the hallway.
Another great thing about these Star Trek conventions and apparently not just the 2014 Las Vegas one either, is getting to bump into favorite celebs from other shows that are not Roddenberry related. Despite the feeling that this party was well and truly over, it was exciting to see Chloe Dykstra from SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay. This lovely lady graciously posed for a picture and before leaving revealed that the network has yet to say whether or not the show will be back for a second season. Add to this delightful SyFy surprise the bonus of meeting, talking to and getting a picture of the legendary “Jaws” himself, Richard Kiel, which will never be forgotten by this reporter. There will be at least two more articles about the Star Trek experience, one of which will be the Tony Todd interview and the other will be a recap of this noob’s “lesson’s learned.”
By Michael Smith