I was ecstatic when I first found out that there would be a Star Trek convention in New York City to commemorate Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary. I had always wanted to attend a Star Trek convention, but usually the closest ones were held in New Jersey (which sucked, but then is there any other reason to go to New Jersey?). I bought my 3-day pass for Star Trek: Mission New York as soon as tickets went on sale and eagerly awaited Labor Day weekend at the Jacob Javits Center. I used my experience with NY Comic Con to help prepare myself for the first Star Trek convention to be held in NYC in quite a number of years. I did not anticipate, however, that the convention would end up being smaller in scale when compared to NY Comic Con (which I liked since it meant less crowds for me to navigate through).
I arrived a little early at the Javits Center and got to wait inside on Friday. Once they started letting people in, I headed to the show floor in the North Hall (usually where NY Comic Con’s Artist Alley is). I checked out the different booths. I got my picture taken with two of the exhibitors from the Quidd Inc. booth who were cosplaying as Data and Seven of Nine. I bought a variety of Star Trek 50th anniversary pins from a few different booths. I got some 50th anniversary buttons and magnets from the Heroes In Action booth. The Star Trek anniversary stamps were introduced on Friday, and I bought some from the US Postal Service’s booth when the line finally died down. I also acquired a Star Trek: Mission New York t-shirt, a Star Trek Beyond limited edition souvenir program, a Star Trek: Mission New York poster, and a 50th anniversary commemorative issue of Star Trek Magazine. At the IDW booth, I bought a Star Trek New Visions special graphic novel of the original Star Trek pilot The Cage and got it autographed by John Byrne.
I then headed over to the Main Stage 1-D for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine reunion panel. Cast members Rene Auberjonois, Michael Dorn, Terry Farrell, Cirroc Lofton, Armin Shimerman, and Nana Visitor were on hand to share stories and reflections on their time on the show as well as their interactions with fans over the years. One of the best quotes given came from Shimerman, who remarked in response to a fan’s question that Star Trek was about hope and not starships. He also mentioned that the Ferengi represent different people to different countries (for example, Americans think that the Ferengi represent Jews, Europeans think they represent the Irish, Autralians think they represent the Chinese, etc.) and noted that they overall represent the underdog in society. I stayed for the next panel, COPD: Highly Illogical with Julie Nimoy. I was able to move up much closer to the stage for this one. It was much shorter than expected; there was a nice discussion about COPD and a trailer was even shown for the upcoming documentary. After that panel, I stayed for the very next panel.
Up next was the Star Trek: Enterprise reunion panel. Cast members John Billingsley, Dominic Keating, Anthony Montgomery, and Connor Trinneer were on hand to share stories and recollections from their time on the show. They were incredibly hilarious, trading jokes about embarassing projects and genitalia (Billingsley made a lot of jokes at his own expense, and the sarcastic, extended CBS plug is one of the show’s biggest highlights). One of my favorite stories was about the uncovering of an old Canada Dry ad featuring a young Scott Bakula and how it was played on set one day after he came in (some cast members even re-enacted the ad as they played it). It actually became my favorite panel of the day, and it was quickly followed by the final Main Stage panel.
That panel, of course, was the world premiere 4k digital screening of the director’s cut to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which was preceded by a Q & A with writer/director Nicholas Meyer. Most of what he shared was familiar to Wrath of Khan fans, but there was one surprising piece of info he shared. When he recorded the commentary track for the Star Trek II DVD more than a decade ago, he included the story about how he ended up writing the movie. Since he had written the movie without a writing deal, Paramount’s legal department told him that the Writers Guild would have an issue with his commentary and that the portion about the writing would have to be edited out. Meyer told Paramount he’d rather have the commentary dropped entirely rather than have any portion edited out. Paramount’s legal team then used that to create the disclaimer we’ve all come to see on any DVD/blu-ray release (“Any views or opinions expressed in the commentary/interviews are the opinions of those being interviewed and do not represent the views of…”). The movie screened after the half hour Q&A and it was so much fun to see again on the big screen. Once the movie finished, I headed home as the first day of Star Trek: Mission New York came to a close.