LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Alien creatures and Star Fleet officers roamed the halls of the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Thursday.
Thursday marked the first day of the 57-Year Mission Convention, a four-day Star-Trek filled weekend that brought thousands of fans to the Las Vegas valley.
Fans new and old came from around the world to attend the convention. 8 News Now Digital Producer Stephanie Overton spoke with a woman who said this was her first time coming to the Las Vegas convention, but she had been coming to Trek-themed conventions for over 30 years in Australia where she came from.
Christian and Elizabeth, a couple of fans from Nevada’s neighbor California, said that this was their first Star Trek convention ever. They were most excited to meet LaVar Burton, who played Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
The vendors room was brimming with life all day. Throughout the weekend, fans will be able to buy merchandise from all of their favorite Trek series as well as get autographs from actors and celebrities who have booths set up.
Guests may even spot a Tribble claw machine on the vender room floor.
With the SAG-AFTRA strike, guests weren’t able to discuss any struck work, including past and current Trek. While this could be a set-back for some, Trek actors were still able to hold interesting and fun-filled panels.
In a panel with Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi) and Michael Dorn (Lt. Worf), Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data) spoke about the time he met Judy Garland. Dorn spoke about his piloting experiences while Marina talked a lot about women empowerment and her favorite sports teams.
The trio also spoke a lot about their 35-year friendships with each other and the rest of the cast, though not specifically mentioning exactly which show (though everyone knew it was “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
George Takei (Helmsman Sulu in “Star Trek: The Original Series”) spoke extensively about his childhood in American prison camps, Buddhism, and LGBTQ rights.
Actor panels weren’t the only things to watch in the three-Trek themed stages, the Leonard Nimoy Theatre, the DeForest Kelley Theatre, and the Roddenberry Stage. Science based panels will also be happening through-out the weekend.
One such panel was a panel all about eclipses. Rica Sirbaugh French, a Professor of Astronomy at MiraCosta College, taught about the science behind eclipses as well as what to expect for the upcoming annual eclipse on Oct. 14 and the total eclipse on April 8.
To learn more about eclipses and where to get the best view, visit this website.
The convention will continue through-out the weekend. Other big name guests slated to appear at panels include William Shatner (Captain Kirk, “Star Trek: The Original Series”), Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov, “Star Trek: The Original Series”), Anson Mount and Ethan Peck (“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”), and Zachary Quinto (Spock, “Star Trek (2009)”).
Jimmy’s Place Bar & Café will also be hosting Happy Hour festivities Thursday through Saturday. Chase Masterson (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) will make appearances. ID’s will be checked.
Use this link to see the full schedule of events for the convention weekend.