All images courtesy of Creation Entertainment

A couple decades before Benneton entered the cultural conversation, with its “United Colors” campaign, and four years before Toni Cade Bambara used the term “politically correct,” in her anthology, The Black Woman;* the crew of the Starship Enterprise (as imagined, created, and written by Gene Roddenberry) didn’t just ‘boldly go where no man had gone before’ – it did so with a Japanese third officer/helmsman, a black female chief communications officer, a mop-topped Russian yeoman/navigator, and a half-Vulcan executive officer/science officer – and, in so doing, depicted a culturally-blended, multi-ethnic vision of a future to which we could, did, (and most of us still do) aspire; while inspiring generations of writers, artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and scientists the world over. 

It’s nearly impossible to demonstrate just how much the Star Trek franchise (from what is now referred to as Star Trek: The Original Series (or TOS), to the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All-Access; and everything that came in between) has seeped into our lives.  Putting aside the scientific applications derived from the show – ranging from the PDA and the flip-phone, to Steve Wozniak’s co-founding of Apple – did you know that in 2010, in its decision re Robinson v Crown Cork & Seal, the Texas Supreme Court actually cited Spock’s utilitarianist creed, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” 

Is it any wonder then, that so many people around the world would want to go someplace where they could soak-up all things Star Trek, with other like-minded folks, as if submerged in a big bowl of Palmolive?  Of course, it isn’t.  Which is why this year marks the 16th annual Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas (aka STLV).  And returning to Rio Las Vegas, the Creation Entertainment-produced event is packing a whole lot of Trek-goodness into the first five days of August. 

  • Hot on the heels of a very successful debut of the Season 2 trailer of CBS All-AccessStar Trek: Discovery, at San Diego Comic-Con, the largest assemblage to date, of the series’ cast and crew, will be appearing, along with a special exhibit featuring costumes and props. Be prepared for some surprise announcements! 
  • Cast members and special panels will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, including a special screening of and panel about the episode “Far Beyond Our Stars” as well as a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with codirectors Dave Zappone and Ira Steven Behr
  • Special effects make-up maestro, Michael Westmore – who’s won nine Primetime Emmy Awards (many for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager), as well as an Academy Award (for 1985’s Mask), and a trio of Academy Award nominations (for 1984’s 2010, 1987’s Clan of the Cave Bear, and 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact) – will bring actor Casey Biggs onto the stage, and transform him into Damar, the Cardassian character Biggs portrayed on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • The Nevada Pops Orchestra will present Star Trek: Concert Live, featuring Richard McGee leading the 45-piece orchestra. McGee will be joined by special guest conductors Michael Giacchino (with a suite of his scores from Star Trek: Into Darkness and Star Trek: Beyond), Jeff Russo (premiering his score for Star Trek: Discovery), and Dennis McCarthy (with the “Deep Space Nine Suite”).
  • With more than 2,500 attendees expected to don costumes, you just know that Cosplay Day is gonna be a hit: And thanks to Garak’s Tailor & Repair, free costume-repair will be provided throughout the weekend.
  • Among the myriad Instagram-worthy photo-ops available to attendees are the Ten Forward Bar (Star Trek: The Next Generation), the Borg Regeneration Chambers (Star Trek: Voyager), and the Agonizer Booth from Star Trek: Discovery; as well as a stunning recreation of the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek: The Original Series (built using the original blueprints!!).

So grab your friends, grab your costume(s), set your phasers to “Stun,” and get ready to beam-aboard, for the themed party of your life.

The Official STAR TREK Convention
Rio Las Vegas
Click HERE for info and tickets

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: In Safire’s Political Dictionary, noted columnist and lexicographer William Safire credited Bambara’s 1970 anthology, The Black Woman, as being the first recorded employment of the phrase “politically correct,” utilizing its modern connotation.]

Related Articles: