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Trek4Kids: My Star Trek Las Vegas Convention Experience September 4, 2008

by James Trowbridge , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions,Trek for Kids , trackback

In August my dad took me to the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas for my birthday once again this year, so I thought I would write a review of my second big convention. Overall, the convention was entertaining. This year was special to me because it is the last time I would ever see Star Trek: The Experience at the same time as the convention.

I have such fond memories of going on The Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4D and dining at Quark’s. I am disappointed that the Las Vegas Hilton did not keep The Experience for at least one more year because of the new movie. If the Star Trek (2009) is successful and there is a new fan base, then the Hilton will have wanted to keep The Experience. If I go to next year’s convention, it will not be the same without The Experience.

There were numerous panels with the actors, producers, writers and composers of Star Trek. Some of my favorite panels were the ones with Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Scott Bakula, Jeffrey Combs and J.G. Hertzler, and of course Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto. A big highlight for me was when Avery Brooks invited me up on the stage to ask my question. Another was when Leonard Nimoy personally introduced me to Zachary Quinto onstage. I am still very grateful for the kind invitation that Mr. Nimoy extended last year to my family and me to attend the premiere of the new movie. I also appreciate that he took some time out of his busy schedule during the convention to talk with my dad and me.


Me with Mr. Brooks, Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Quinto

There were other kids at the convention, and since there aren’t a lot of kids at my school who are into Trek, it was great to meet a few people my age who like Star Trek as much as I do! Some of us participated in the costume contest, which is cool that they had special category for kids. I went as Spock, but didn’t win. The participation prize was a large photo of the program cover. I preferred last year’s prize which was a unique photo of all of the convention guests from Star Trek: The Next Generation.


I am 4th from left, kid on far right won

One of my favorite parts was seeing the Star Trek Online panel. Star Trek Online looks like it will be an excellent Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). I am excited by the idea of an MMORPG because it will make it easier for me to talk with people about Star Trek as if I were in the Star Trek universe. I think it is good that the game takes place in a time that has not been shown in the Star Trek series. I feel like they would limit their possibilities if they chose any of the time periods in which the various series are set. When the presenter of the panel talked about the ancient enemies, the first thing that came to mind was enemies like the Gorn and the Tholians, but I am curious to know what these “ancient enemies” really are. I like the idea that you have to build your character and design your own ship, starbase, or shipyard. It is also cool that you start off as a lower rank in a less powerful ship and work your way up. I also like the idea of being able to team up into fleets to work together to accomplish the mission. I can’t wait till Star Trek Online comes out!

In addition to panels, there was a large vendors’ room. I spent a lot of time at the Mattel booth. They were developing a DVD trivia game, called Star Trek Scene It?. For this game there was a board with game pieces representing different ships and the objective is to get to the end first by answering Star Trek trivia questions that are linked to scenes on a DVD. They are also developing a game called Star Trek 20Q. The game is in the shape of the Enterprise, which is cool because it represents Star Trek. The idea is to think of any item that has appeared in Star Trek, and the computer asks 20 questions about it in order to guess the answer. They are building the database so they need people to train the system by playing the game, which I did at the convention. I was able to stump the computer twice with the Cardassian warship and the Borg Queen! You can play online at: http://www.20q.net/startrek/. They are also developing a set of Star Trek R/C Flyers. These are replicas of the original Enterprise in various sizes that fly by radio control. I think the flyers will be a good product to get kids interested in Star Trek. I can’t wait to see what other products Mattel will release for the new movie–the future of Star Trek is in your hands! Another cool thing was the captain’s chair at the Roddenberry booth, and they let you sit in it, which I did.


Captain James T.

Hopefully, this convention will keep the Star Trek spirit alive for a long time. LONG LIVE STAR TREK!

Live Long and Prosper,

James T.

 

More from James: check out James T.’s past ‘Trek for kids’ blogs.

 

Comments

1. Jon - September 4, 2008

It’s pretty awesome to see The Original Series still reaches out to such a young generation.

First.

2. Energize - September 4, 2008

Woah. Avery Brooks’ pants are crazy.

3. Eric Cheung - September 4, 2008

Excellent article. I clicked back to see the other blogs and you seem to be growing as a writer.

Very cool.

Nice analysis of Star Trek Online, and nice ruminations on Star Trek: The Experience.

4. Izbot - September 4, 2008

This kid is now my hero. I can say with confidence and accuracy that he is way cooler than I am.

5. MORN SPEAKS - September 4, 2008

Reminds me of myself a little more than a decade ago, you rock James!

6. Ensign Ro- (short for Roland) - September 4, 2008

What a nice article. Great to see a young fan’s perspective. And kudos to him for stumping the 20Q game. lol

Hopefully, young Trek fans like himeself will continue to emrge, especially upon the relase of Trek 2009.

Nice job, James T.

7. Fleet Captain Kor'Tar - September 4, 2008

Very nice entry on your convention fun this year James !

#2 Energize: I might add that Avery Brook’s pants are by no means crazy! Some people enjoy feeling a waistband just below their pectoral muscles , for example , Steve Urkel .

“IT’S REEEEEEEEEEEEALLL!!!!! HEHEHEHEHEHE *SNORT,SNORT, SNORT!!!* “

8. That One Guy - September 4, 2008

It’s good to hear that Trek doesn’t die with my generation (My age: 18). It’s always good to hear that there are still youngsters out there who will pursue Trek.

Maybe they can all get together for “Captain Picard Day.”

For some reason, my internet browser thinks “Picard” isn’t a word. Apparently “Spock” is also not a word. Someone needs to contact Apple about these things. Trek vocabulary should be integrated into all dictionaries and lexicons.

9. Bones, Thugs and McCoy - September 4, 2008

You rock, James T!

10. CashCrowe - September 4, 2008

Good for you, man! Although I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the 13 year old in me is filled with envy.

11. weeharry - September 4, 2008

nice report james

what was the kid who won the fancy dress dressed as?

looks like a suliban?

12. Tony Whitehead - September 4, 2008

Anthony,
This is one of the articles I have been waiting a long time for. I was wondering how James was getting along. He’s getting to live the dream that a lot of us as kids would’ve given anything for. I am glad you had him back as a contributor.

James,
You carry off the “chair pose” better than even William Shatner did. Way to go!

13. Denise de Arman - September 4, 2008

weeharry#11- She was dressed as Janeway in the ep where Q wanted to have a baby with her. He took her to an American Civil War perception of the Q continuum war, and she was dressed as a Confederate woman.

14. Denise de Arman - September 4, 2008

James- It was really cool sitting in that chair, and you carry it off well.

15. Newman - September 4, 2008

Avery Brooks stole my ‘jammies.

16. Brett Campbell - September 4, 2008

Way to go James T.! You’re going to have some great childhood memories! How awesome to sit in that chair. Much cooler than the pretend Kirk chair we used to use at a friend’s house with Lego blocks for command buttons! :)

17. Daniel Broadway - September 4, 2008

Nice article. Thanks James T.

18. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - September 4, 2008

BEWARE the mighty dungaries of Avery Brooks for they are fierce!!!!!!!!!!!!

19. Brett Campbell - September 4, 2008

#18 – Absolutely beware! I hear they’ve been cast as the big-screen Doomsday Machine for the sequel: trousers from another dimension that show no mercy …

20. Energize - September 4, 2008

The pants are like that one TOS episode where if you don’t look at them with special glasses you go crazy.

21. Brett Campbell - September 4, 2008

#20 – Ha! Yeah. “Are they too ugly to wear or too beautiful to wear?” ;)

22. max - September 4, 2008

Great article, James T.

That Avery Brooks pic is deserving of a caption contest.

23. AJ - September 4, 2008

James T: Spread the word. We’re getting too old for this sort of thing ;-)

24. Marcus Johnson - September 4, 2008

That boy was so lucky.

25. THX-1138 The Fandom Menace - September 4, 2008

Yes indeed, Avery’s pants are wild. And a bit high waisted.

Good on ya’, James T. I’m certain you made sure to steer clear of the Borg sphere.

26. steve623 - September 4, 2008

What a sweet kid. His dad is a lucky guy.

27. Jeff - September 4, 2008

Dear God,

Please bring back DS9.

Love,
Everyone

28. Xplodin' Nacelle - September 4, 2008

James, you totally sell that captain’s chair! You look like a mini-Kirk.

I enjoy your blogs. You also have an excellent vocabulary for your age.

Keep on Trekkin’.

29. john doe - September 4, 2008

is it just me or are the buttons on the chair to big

30. Buzz Cagney - September 4, 2008

A good read. Nice job young fella.

31. The Angry Klingon - September 4, 2008

Marvelous! Thank you for reminding me of simpler times and better days.

32. Andy Patterson - September 4, 2008

Cool deal. Good for you, buddy. Good write up.

33. Thomas - September 4, 2008

James T.’s writing as a fan is utterly refreshing in its’ lack of cynicism and generally positive attitude. Great work.

Now, iy we can be as encouraging to one amother as we are to James T., we might actually make this site a (somewhat) friendlier place to visit.

34. Thomas - September 4, 2008

33. “iy” and “one amother.” Those should be “if” and “one another”.
I need to start checking my spelling more closely.

35. Ryan - September 5, 2008

Lucky kid.. very fortunate to have been invited up? Were they aware that you were writing something for TrekMovie.com? Or were you randomly invited up.

36. CCBeck - September 5, 2008

Wow…it looks like at any moment Avery Brooks is going to say ..”..Spence-ahhh..” wow..I am old…and so are you if you got that….

37. Brett Campbell - September 5, 2008

#36 – Edmund Spenser, Herbert Spencer or Spencer Tracy? Hmm … must be gettin’ a little long in the teeth myself …

You’re a good writer, James T.

38. Natalie - September 5, 2008

Very cool indeed! Great article too. Nice job James T. :)

39. Timelord - September 5, 2008

I’m actually amazed that someone of his age would even like TOS. Even at my age approaching mid-30’s, most of the people who would watch Trek (not love it, those people “get” TOS and love it as much as me), casually watch Trek would not opt for TOS but at least TNG.

Seems like any true fan loves them all, knows that DS9 was by far the best Trek ever and knows that the TNG movies were, for the most part, crap. Casual fans call Voyager their favorite, First Contact is their favorite ST movie and things TOs is dated”. Anyone else seen this to be the case?

40. Brett Campbell - September 5, 2008

#39 – I did have a very interesting experience in a discussion with two young men who were freshmen or sophomores at a high school I was working at back around ’93. We were discussing the merits of both TOS and TNG. And while TNG undoubtedly benefited in the special effects department from a quarter-century of evolutionary development, these two young men — twin brothers in fact — surprisingly told me they believed that they believed that TOS was the better written and acted show, with the more intriguing stories.

I believe they used the term “groundbreaking” several times in discussing TOS. They both enjoyed TNG immensely too, but they both seemed to understand and appreciate the classic status of original “Trek,” despite “dated” effects, sets, costumes, etc. I think more kids appreciate the history and development of the entire “Trek” universe from its ’60s, low-budget origins than we give credit to or for.

I’m glad that there are yong folks like James T. who appreciate this also and are keeping the legacy of TOS alive, even as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

41. Brett Campbell - September 5, 2008

Oh, my post #40 should have had only one “they believed,” although I believe they believed what they believed. Believe you, me.

42. Brett Campbell - September 5, 2008

Also, they were young folks, not “yong” ones. Sometimes I’m such a ying-yang.

43. Imrahil - September 5, 2008

Classic Kirk pose in that last shot! :)

44. starfleetmom - September 5, 2008

My five year old is also a Trekkie. She came to the convention with me and had a great time. The actors were all very accomodating and gracious….each one giving a little extra time to chat with her. It was an awesome experience for me, too…getting to see it all through her eyes. I remember James. He is a very, very bright young man and an incredible writer for his age! Kudos!

45. Will - September 5, 2008

James, you are an amazing person. I remember you from the 2007 convention, as well as, this most recent one. What I have been struck most by you is your questions. You really ask intelligent and fascinating questions of the stars. Thank you, and I hope I keep seeing you Las Vegas for many more years. Oh, and I agree, they should of kept the Experience around. It will be sad not to have it there anymore.

46. The Underpants Monster - September 5, 2008

Man, I love this kid. He’s a better writer than half the adult journalists and bloggers out there.

And how adorable is that lineup of costumed kids?!?

47. star trackie - September 5, 2008

#39 “I’m actually amazed that someone of his age would even like TOS.”

I’m not really surprised. TOS fires up the imagination like none of the others can. IF you can get a kid to watch it befor they become jaded and cynical (those wonderful teenage years) The show is so colorful and fun with stories so wildly imaginative and different that kids really get into it. Younger kids like it because of the fact that they battle lizard men, greek gods and doomsday machines. They love the adventure of the fist to fist, roll in the dirt, tear your shirt action that is in much of TOS, yet practically non-existent in the spin-offs. The beauty of TOS is that you can latch on to those “child-like” interests as a child, but as you grow up, you will continue to be rewarded by the various layers of storytelling and film-making that will make you appreciate the show on completely different levels.

TOS is truly the gift that keeps on giving. The real trick in this day and age of satellite TVs, internet and the xbox, is exposure and getting kids to give it a chance. I think JJ’s Trek, just by association, will serve as a bridge for many a new fan to cross and discover the greatness of classic Star Trek.

48. Brett Campbell - September 5, 2008

#47- Some truly excellent points.

49. classictrek - September 5, 2008

its so great to see a youngster like this appreciating TOS. its just wonderful to see him up there in full original series uniform.

on the other hand how satisfying must it be for mt nimoy to see young kids like james t in a mr spock uniform. after all these years his iconic character still appeals to new generations.

well done son. you”ll treasure those pictures believe me. i enjoyed seeing and reading this.
greg UK

50. Magic_Al - September 5, 2008

Congratulations on a great experience and thank you for sharing!

51. commander diaz - September 5, 2008

hey Kid, God bless you man!

i was feeling like trash for never being able to go to the experience til i read your review

52. Victor Hugo Carballo - September 6, 2008

I must say i´m touched, young lad. :) Good job and keep on writing!

Nice to see Quinto attending conventions, and glad to see that he´s a good sport about it, unlike some snobs that aren´t worth mentioning.

About Avery Brooks…gosh, he has Sisko written all over him, guess he wasn´t acting as Sisko, he was just being himself. What a great character he is!

53. Will Parker - September 6, 2008

James T. its great to see more of us young fans prominent in the Trek community. (I’m 15) Your report made me wish more that I had gone to that convention.

54. Dana Freemason - September 8, 2008

Seriously, what is Avery Brooks wearing?

55. thomas llovrity - February 6, 2009

my days waching star trek allways ben a part of me i will get all the star trek box sets so i can injoy it all so all of you star trek fans get all of your star trek box sets now and injoy sining off

56. Bob Eisenberg - May 5, 2009

Now, can James make some of the fantastic machines in Startrek actually work? It would take quite a scientist to do that.

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