Day three of the 2014 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention proved that the weekend brings Trekkers or Trekkies, and it seems that both factions have indeed been filling the halls of the event, out in droves. Saturday brought out all those fans who could not be there from the beginning who managed to make in at the weekend. The halls at the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino were heaving with red-shirted Trek fans, along with other color uniforms, all there to see their favorite actors either in person, as part of a panel or both.
While yesterday’s highlight of a Star Trek wedding kept the whole area pretty packed, from party members to those folks wanting to take photographs of the participants in their various costumes, the halls were pretty crowded. At one point, anyone attempting to move past the throng, had to join a stream like so many salmon.
However crowded it was, both yesterday and today, the participants were jovial, excited and, as mentioned several times before, very happy to be there. While the area was crowded on Friday, it was nothing compared to the actual bodies-per-square-inch on Saturday. There were also twice as many fans dressed up in their favorite Star Trek gear.
This increase in cosplay outfits could have had to do with the competition held in the evening just after Simon Pegg’s chat with fans in the main hall. There was a short “music video presentation” and then afterward the competition, which was judged by Michael Westmore, currently appearing on SyFy’s Face Off, Doug Drexler (who was on last week’s episode of Face Off) and Robert Blackman. All three men are well known for their contributions to shows from the Star Trek franchise.
Day three of the 2014 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, run by Creation Entertainment, featured an increased pace of fan activity. More pictures taken, more cosplay and more big names being there to be seen, get an autograph from – or a photo with. There were also a lot of “fan groups,” folks who came to the event together. Mostly dressed up and presenting a certain theme or “Trek” show/film.
Anyone arriving in the afternoon would have seen a huge queue, aka line, of fans waiting excitedly to get Scott Bakula’s autograph. Mr Bakula was a definite favorite and while watching this personable man, smile, chat and sign various items, it was apparent that he seems to cherish the chance to interact with his fans.
Bakula, who shot to household fame and got his first shot of adoration from the masses, in Quantum Leap is a science fiction favorite. A brilliant actor who exudes a sort of “everyman charisma” who makes the viewers all feel like he really is that “guy” in real life. He almost does seem to be an amalgamation of Dr. Sam Beckett and Captain Archer. The only time he did not have a pleasant look on his face was when blinded by a photographer’s flash. Sidenote: The flash was from the camera and not the other kind.
Another big name was Peter Weller. This man is very intimidating, and why not? Weller was Robocop twice and any number of alpha male type characters since. This was also the man who was the naughty Marcus in Star Trek: Into the Darkness. This star is direct, to-the-point and damned nice. This reporter’s interaction with Mr. Weller was, like the whole experience of the convention, surreal and memorable.
Another name which will ring bells with any horror fan, is that of Tony Todd. This actor was in Platoon, a number of television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation when he burst into the movie going public’s psyche as The Candyman in Candyman. He returned to this role two more times, he also returned to the Star Trek verse a couple more times as well.
This busy actor, who also appeared in one guise or another in all of the Final Destination films, has over 179 credits under his belt as an actor. Tony Todd is an icon in the horror genre and as such almost has an aura of otherworldliness attached to his name. In real life, Tony is friendly, funny, generous with his time and the best interview this reporter has ever had the privilege participating in.
The interview with Mr. Tony Todd will be up on the Guardian Liberty Voice shortly where he talks to Michael Smith about many things. His one-man show, his character in the Final Destination films and his most recent cinematic work and he thoughts on fame among many other subjects.
After the interview, it was time to watch Simon Pegg chat to the fan-filled main theatre. Seeing Pegg on English television on Spaced, which he did prior to Shaun of the Dead and watching quite a number of interviews featuring the actor/writer/comedian, it is safe to say that he gives great Star Trek fan interaction.
The British actor and writer is witty, articulate and a crowd pleaser. Despite the event schedule helpfully explaining that he plays Engineer Scott in the Star Trek movies, it was apparent that the fans knew who he was with no prompting. Day three of the 2014 convention was packed with fans. It was also just as exciting as the beginning of the event and still educational for the noob covering it. Before reminding everyone that the last day of the con starts at 8:35 a.m. Sunday morning, a quick word about the last “Trek” star seen on Saturday. Walter Koenig was seen by a few eagle eyed fans leaving the venue as he was coming in. He was walking slowly toward the main area of the event, presumably checking it out before his panel with Harlan Ellison tomorrow. Mr. Koenig took time to let the occasional fan, who recognised him under that flat cap, to say hello and shake his hand.
by Michael Smith