Today was the final day of Star Trek: Mission New York. I made it to the Javits Center by 9:30am and got to wait inside. Once they officially let people in, I immediately went to the show floor to get on line for the Bridge of the Enterprise set tour (a recreation of the original Enterprise bridge along with select set pieces and props produced by the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour, which is based in Ticonderoga, NY). After a long wait, I finally got to sit in the captain’s chair and get my picture taken (I also got to take additional pics of the bridge and props). After that, I went to the Anovos booth to buy a short sleeve retro Starfleet uniform shirt (the command one like Captain Kirk had in Star Trek: The Animated Series). Most of the exhibitors’ iPads weren’t working right, and it took 15 minutes for my credit card to finally go through (they gave me a free U.S.S. Franklin patch from Star Trek Beyond because I had waited so long). This resulted in me not getting in to the ‘One Trek Mind Live’ panel in the Main Stage and being forced to get on line for the Star Trek: Voyager reunion panel (which was thankfully a short line at the time of my arrival; a large crowd showed up after I did). Incredibly, I managed to get a seat in the second row when I finally got to go in.
The Star Trek: Voyager reunion panel kicked off at noon with panelists Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo, Brannon Braga, and Kate Mulgrew. Everyone playfully picked on Braga for a while (he was a writer and producer on the show). Phillips and Picardo were the funniest of the bunch (McNeill asked the audience a few times to stop encoraging Phillips). Everyone shared their favorite episodes (and, for some, least favorite episodes). Mulgrew spoke about the pressure that was on her when she started, especially since the first actress cast as Janeway had quit after the first two days of production (she also touched on the situation with Janeway’s hair style during the first season and how she was able to get control over it from the second season on). At one point, everyone even recited their favorite character lines. After the panel ended, I left the Main Stage for the final time during Star Trek: Mission New York.
I went over to the autographing area to check out the lines. I went over to meet John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox from Star Trek: Enterprise). We chatted for a bit and I got his autograph afterward (completing my mission of getting an autograph from at least one cast member from each of the five live action Star Trek shows at this convention). I then went to get a quick bite to eat before getting on the line for Jonathan Frakes (Commander William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation). After a 35 minute wait, I finally got to meet him and get an autograph (I got him to sign the print Marina Sirtis had signed for me yesterday: a cast photo from the Riker/Troi wedding from Star Trek: Nemesis). After that, I saw an opportunity to get Kate Mulgrew’s autograph and took it (it was lovely to meet the woman who portrayed Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager).
After getting her autograph, I went over to meet Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). I had a nice chat with her (I brought up Becker in addition to Deep Space Nine). After getting her autograph, I was set to leave until I noticed that William Shatner’s line had finally died down. Once I confirmed what time he’d be there ’til, I went to the nearest ATM machine to get some extra cash so I could get his autograph. Once I got on his line, I found out that he went to take a little break. After about 15 minutes, he was back and I was soon able to meet him. There were so many things I wanted to say to him, but when I actually went up to him, I was essentially speechless as he signed the photo I had picked. I was barely able to muster a “Thank you, Mr. Shatner” as he handed me the autographed photo (the original captain of the Enterprise was two feet away from me, and I was in complete awe of someone for the absolute first time in my life).
After I left the autographing hall, I went back to the show floor and walked around for about 10 minutes. I was fully content with the show floor and decided to head over to the Main Stage to try to get into the remainder of the Walter Koenig panel. Once I saw the long standby line for the upcoming William Shatner panel, I decided to attend a different panel. I went over to get on line for the ‘Tribute To Leonard Nimoy’ panel in Room A021 only to discover that it had been canceled (the host panelist had gotten sick). I checked for the next panel in a nearby room, Room A010, and decided to attend that one. For my final Star Trek: Mission New York panel (and first non-Main Stage panel), I attended the Star Trek’s Impact: Science, Culture, Society, and Fandom panel (one of the Trek Talks panel). The panelists spoke about several topics, including the impact of Star Trek on such areas as technology (a medical tricorder is actually being developed), and the evolution of the publication of fan fiction (particularly Star Trek) in fanzines. It was actually a fascinating discussion, and I did not regret attending.
Once the panel was over, so was Star Trek: Mission New York. I had such a great weekend. I saw everything I wanted to see on the show floor (including doing the Enterprise bridge set tour). I got way more autographs than I thought I’d be able to score (they weren’t exactly cheap, particularly the Shatner one) and I attended nearly every panel I originally intended to attend (there were some others I wanted to attend, but the panel times conflicted and I had to choose the ones I wanted most). Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with a three-day Star Trek convention in New York City has really been the happiest time of my life (the only thing that could have made my day even better is if I had hooked up with one of the women cosplaying as Seven of Nine). I hope Star Trek: Mission New York turns into an annual event at the Javits Center, one that I hope to attend every year. Happy 50th anniversary, Star Trek!