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Trek Stars Talk (and Rock) At Phoenix Comic Con January 26, 2009

by Kayla Iacovino , Filed under: Celebrity,Conventions/Events/Attractions , trackback

The annual Phoenix ComiCon was held last weekend at the Mesa Convention Center in Arizona, and along with other genre, comic and anime luminaries, were four Trek alums — Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and Chase Masterson — holding a number of panels and events. TrekMovie was there to get the scoop on the event and the stars. Check out some pics, video, and con highlights!


Lots of Trek Panels
All of the Trek stars in attendance hosted panels at the con. Wil Wheaton “geeked out”, played Rock Band 2, and performed material from some of his books for the fans. Marina Sirtis hosted a “Meet Marina” panel which was an informal chat with the fans. And, Chase Masterson hosted a showing of her new film, “Yesterday Was A Lie” with a Q&A session afterwards. A special event for Trek fans was a panel in which the three TNG stars shared the stage and related stories based on questions from the audience.


My fellow nerds gather in the lawn outside of the con (Photo credit Nick Mizgala)


Marina strikes a pose (Photo credit LiveLongAndProsper)


Wil hosts a panel (Photo credit John Kit)

The Next Generation Panel
Wil Wheaton, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner all shared the stage Saturday for the first time in years. They entered the room to great applause, and it was clear that they genuinely enjoyed the reunion that this convention allowed them. Brent started by joshing Wil about him stealing a lady love that Wil later married, but it was clearly a joke; it was quite clear that these three actors are great friends who love each other very much from their years working together on TNG. After being asked about practical jokes on the set, the three initially replied that they didn’t do too much of that, especially at first. They poked some fun at Patrick Stewart saying that during the first season he was much too serious. One day, after cutting each other up and driving a director crazy, Rick Berman came down and told them to calm down a bit Denise Crosby mentioned that they were just joking to ease the tension and have fun, whereas Patrick replied “Where, Denise, does it say in our contracts that we are here to have fun?” But they got him to lighten up, and after the first season, it was Patrick Stewart who became the funniest one of the cast!


Wil, Marina, and Brent on stage together

Wil and Marina
Wil Wheaton and Marina Sirtis each had solo panels where they got to interact with the fans. Marinas was more of a traditional Q&A session, while Wil talked about being a geek and did a reading from one of his books. Check out video of both panels below:

Wil On Being A Family Geek
Wil introduces himself and talks about geekiness and his family life in these two clips.

Wil Reads From His Books
Wil reads an excerpt from one of his books.

Wil Wheaton’s Rock Band Blowout!
Wil hosted an event Friday night called “Rock Out With Wil” in which he had a Rock Band 2 set up on a stage and had fans come up and play the game with him. For many, including myself, this was the most fun event of the entire con! Yours truly even got up on stage and busted out some rock. We are working on getting footage of the entire event, but for now enjoy this Bon Jovi song (which Wil said from the beginning he would not play!).

More from Phoenix Comic Con coming up
There is more from my trip to comic con to report. TrekMovie will have a review and report from Chase’s screening of "Yesterday is a Lie," plus video interviews done in conjunction with Phonix Comic Con of all the Trek celebrities.

 


Thanks to Rob9874, nmizgala, twinklergirl for youtube clips, and thanks to Linda and all the folks at Phoenix Comic Con.

Comments

1. Harry Ballz - January 26, 2009

Marina Sirtis! Me likey!!

2. TrekTwenty - January 26, 2009

I love rockband! It would be AMAZING to play with Wil =)

First..?!

3. TrekTwenty - January 26, 2009

drat.

4. I'm Captain Kirk... I'M CAPTAIN KIRK! - January 26, 2009

lol @ Wil Wheaton singing “Livin’ on a Prayer”.

5. Phil - January 26, 2009

It’s amazing that Wil Wheaton went from being the most annoying of any of the characters from TNG to one of the most likeable of the cast members. Plus, the beard makes him look like he’s finally reached puberty. Also, I like his t-shirt. It’s unfortunate we never get any of these events in Ireland. I’d love to be able to mellow out with some of my fellow geeks & trekkies.

6. Devon Richards - January 26, 2009

Man, she still looks spectacular. I thought after her rather aged looking turn on “The Closer” it was nothing but playing grandmas for her.

Very glad to be wrong.

7. Jordan - January 26, 2009

I was there and Will absolutely brought the house down. His writings were brilliant and his review of “The Naked Now” was so hilarious I couldn’t breathe. It was incredibly cool to be in a room full of people who GOT it, I mean, it is an obscure episode from 1987. He was equally hilarious with Brent and Marina too. Bravo! It really made this Trekkie content.

8. SChaos1701 - January 26, 2009

I don’t care if she’s in her 50′s, Marina Sirtis is still stunningly beautiful.

9. S. John Ross - January 26, 2009

#5 Amen to that. The more I learn of Wheaton, the more I celebrate his existence instead of wincing at his character …

10. Blake Powers - January 27, 2009

That looks like so much fun!!! I’ll be the first to a con in Arkansas. (hold your laughter)

11. Rastaman - January 27, 2009

Seriously, Wil Wheaton is one Kool Kat! That Rock Band clip is hilarious. He knows how to please the nerd in all of us.

12. Hix - January 27, 2009

Wil’s hilarious review of The Naked Now and a bunch of other first season TNG episodes are posted over at tvsquad.com. The last one he wrote was posted back in April 2008. Did he say when he was going to write more?

13. JP Saylor - January 27, 2009

Wow, must say Sirtis makes up for that one really bad picture of her here. She’s lookin good. Everyone else looks pretty good too.

14. Enterprise's helmsman - January 27, 2009

Looking forward to more footage. Wil’s got it going on. Good fun.

15. scifib5st - January 27, 2009

I can see it all now… remember, “Sing a-long with Mitch”, now thanks to Rock Band 2 we will see, “Sing a-long with Will & Brent”, start touring with Michale Dorn on base, Marina on tamberime, Frakes on lead! Watch for the DVD of the, “Tour of the Delta Quardrant”
This is the only tour where fans throw copies of TV scripts on stage for autographs!

16. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

That’s one thing I’ve always loved about the TNG cast – the mutual affection and respect among them is really beautiful. From all accounts it was a real family on that set.

17. Horatio - January 27, 2009

How many people were in attendance at this con? just wondering…

18. Captain Otter - January 27, 2009

She is such a cougar. I’m starting to really dig the older woman bit.

19. hitch1969©, producer of "If I Did It, Jr"- a musical for children, starring children. - January 27, 2009

Why did everyone dislike the Wesley Crusher character so much? I never had a problem. Wil’s a bit of an outspoken guy these days, but he’s still pretty kewl.

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

20. PCC09 - January 27, 2009

#17 – We had over 6000 which was an increase from last year.

Anthony and Kayla – Thanks so much for the coverage. We can’t wait to do it again next year and the Wil Wheaton Rock Band Blowout will be bigger and better! We will be in our new venue which has a professional stage so Wil can rock all night long with the fans.

21. Beck - January 27, 2009

I want to hang out with Wil.

22. THX-1138 - January 27, 2009

Have to agree with Harry. Marina is looking fine. Behold the power of the older woman.

I remember just absolutely cringing whenever Wesley Crusher had more thabn a bit part in an episode of TNG. The character seemed out of place on a starship where all the adults had to work hard to get the positions they were in. He puts on a rainbow colored shirt and gets to drive the ship.

Wheaton the person seems like a decent fellow who was cast in a great show in a bad part. If I had the chance I would have taken the part of Wesley too.

23. Sisko - January 27, 2009

Marina is THE MILF. :D

24. Aaron R. - January 27, 2009

I drove there from Vegas! It was very fun. If you want I can share my pics with you guys too???

25. AdamTrek - January 27, 2009

#23

I don’t know if she’s a mother…

=A=

26. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

#22 – It never struck me as odd.

I always imagined that in a situation where the ship was basically its own little world, off in deep space on its own for long periods of time, Picard would have had far more leeway than a 21st-century formal Naval captain does about who does what. I know a lot of people expect Starfleet to be an exact carbon copy of the navies of twentieth or twenty-first-century Earth, but with so many circumstances being different between now and then I was inclined to give the writers creative license on that.

For me, the character seemed to hearken back to the teenage (and younger) midshipmen of the eighteenth century (which doesn’t seem out of place since Kirk is often compared to Horatio Hornblower).

27. garen - January 27, 2009

Yeah. Wil is cool. I admit it.

28. =A= - January 27, 2009

i was there last weekend, it was fun!

29. S. John Ross - January 27, 2009

#19: I think for many fans it boils down to Wes being, essentially, Gene’s very own Mary Sue fanfic character … only the fanfic had a budget and was aired weekly in syndication :)

30. John from Cincinnati - January 27, 2009

Wheaton is suffering from the Riker Effect.

Thinking facial hair growth can overcome the babyface syndrome.

31. Closettrekker - January 27, 2009

#26—”I always imagined that in a situation where the ship was basically its own little world, off in deep space on its own for long periods of time, Picard would have had far more leeway than a 21st-century formal Naval captain does about who does what.”

Therein lies the problem for me. Beyond putting little Wesley Crusher at the helm at any point, it struck me as more than odd that a starship whose primary mission is to explore along the “final frontier” would have children aboard at all. That “final frontier” had, to that point, been depicted as quite dangerous and even lethal to whole starship complements. How many times in TOS had an episode began with the discovery that an entire ship’s crew had been killed or subjected to some other horror? And yet, a century later, ships assigned to the same exploration duties were full of children and other civilians! Was the “final frontier” now less dangerous?

I understand the premise—that Galaxy Class Starships were expected to be in deep space for even decades at a time (and the saucer section could be separated from the rest of the ship in emergencies)—but you must admit, it immediately removed some of the ‘frontier-like’ feeling and general feeling of ‘imminent danger’ at any turn, always associated with (and rather attractive about) the Star Trek we knew before.

Wesley’s very presence (and that of the many other children) aboard that ship was a big part of that often missing element—to say nothing of Picard (who was not comfortable with children, and made that quite clear himself) choosing to place this kid at the helm of Starfleet’s finest vessel at any point. It was not one of the stronger points of TNG, at least in my opinion.

But alas—none of that has anything to do with Wil Wheaton. He is, after all, not Wesley Crusher…He was only paid to pretend so.

32. Drew - January 27, 2009

i love will wheaton’s facial pubes – lol

33. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

#31 – “I understand the premise—that Galaxy Class Starships were expected to be in deep space for even decades at a time (and the saucer section could be separated from the rest of the ship in emergencies)—but you must admit, it immediately removed some of the ‘frontier-like’ feeling and general feeling of ‘imminent danger’ at any turn, always associated with (and rather attractive about) the Star Trek we knew before.”

I can see that point of view, but I admit no such thing. Families have always been a part of frontier exploration, and until the twentieth century, it was commonplace for wives and even children to follow the drum in ground campaigns and be exposed to a certain amount of danger. The only reason they didn’t do the same at sea was lack of space.

34. Partially Bigoted Zealots - January 27, 2009

So, I’m just gonna throw this out there: Marina Sirtis should not be wearing that miniskirt.

35. Closettrekker - January 27, 2009

#33—”I can see that point of view, but I admit no such thing.”

You’re entitled to that, but speaking for myself, it removed that feeling—whereas in TOS, it was always near the surface (if not blatant).

“…until the twentieth century, it was commonplace for wives and even children to follow the drum in ground campaigns and be exposed to a certain amount of danger.”

True, but I’m afraid that is a bit misleading. Such campaigns were undertaken under more gentlemanly and chivalrous rules of engagement. No respectable 17th-19th century battlefield commander, for example, was going to attack an army on the march. Such action would have been near sacriledge in military circles. “Giving battle” meant lining up into formations and facing the enemy. No wives and children were present for such things.

You could argue the example of American frontier wagon trains (exposed to Native american attack), but in that case, there was hardly any alternative for families who wished to relocate out west. Such is not the case in fictional 24th Century Starfleet exploration. At the very least, it seems to be rather irresponsible or not very well thought-out.

In any case, it’s just an opinion. Had I actually enjoyed most everything else about the show, I’m sure I would have overlooked it readily.

36. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

Hehe – it’s not as if we didn’t know they were all going to be OK at the end of the show, anyway! (Redshirts excepted, of course.)

37. Closettrekker - January 27, 2009

#34—Why? I know plenty of women in their 50′s who would love to have legs like that. Why shouldn’t she be proud of them?

Again, like the actress—-despise the character’s presence on TNG.

38. Phil - January 27, 2009

7 – The Naked Now just so happens to be one of my favourite Season 1 episodes of The Next Generation! Though by the sound of what you’re saying, that probably makes me sound like a dolt.

39. Trekkie1450 - January 27, 2009

Holy Crap. Wesley’s a man now.

40. Hat Rick - January 27, 2009

I love Trek people. Exciting, dynamic, cool, and, in the case of Marina Sirtis in the photo set above, damn hot.

41. John from Cincinnati - January 27, 2009

I love Marina Sirtis.

She can do no wrong by me.

42. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

#34 – The style’s a bit on the young side, and if she were an accountant or a nurse I’d say it wasn’t a good choice for work. But she’s an actress, and the tone of the event is casual, so I think it looks fine.

43. Peter - January 27, 2009

Is The Counselor smokin’ or what??

44. John from Cincinnati - January 27, 2009

Marina Sirtis = delicious woman

45. THX-1138 - January 27, 2009

#26-

“For me, the character seemed to hearken back to the teenage (and younger) midshipmen of the eighteenth century (which doesn’t seem out of place since Kirk is often compared to Horatio Hornblower).”

Did they let the teenage mid-shipmen steer the ship? And how did the adult cremwman take to the young boys at sea? I never did like the concept in TNG. And it seemed to some extent, the families in space aspect was played down a lot. Not totally, but a lot.

46. THX-1138 - January 27, 2009

And I say that women can wear whatever they feel flatters their beauty, no matter their age or body type. If they feel good and look good then more power to them.

47. Aaron R. - January 27, 2009

All this talk about Sirtis… Being at the comicon I have to say the only one who was very entertaining was Wil Wheaton. I was in the 3rd row front and center and Marina was not that attractive to me. Now mind you I am only 25 and she could be my mother but still. The best speaker was actually Aaron Douglas from BSG right before the Next Gen panel. He was funnier, cooler, and he seemed more like a real person than the Next Gen actors. He even had a beer on stage. I thought now here is a mans man all around good guy. Plus I had a picture taken with both him and Spiner and Spiner seemed loathed to be there. Aaron Douglas talked it up with me and even gave me his autograph for free when he found out I am a teacher just politely telling me not to worry about it because I “am teaching kids…” Comicon was very rad and the Next Gen actors were cool but nothing could compare with what a funny class act guy Aaron Douglass was. Not to mention both our names are Aaron.

48. Closettrekker - January 27, 2009

#45—”And how did the adult cremwman take to the young boys at sea?”

Lol!

I don’t think we want that explored!

Arrrrrr…..

49. THX-1138 - January 27, 2009

#47

You won’t be 25 forever. Taste is a matter of perspective. But when I was your age I prefered the company of girls my age, too. As you get older you will find that not so many of your female (or male) contemporaries are quite so well preserved, shall we say.

Spiner has always seemed rather disdainful of the convention scene. I may be way off base, but that’s just how it appears.

50. Aaron R. - January 27, 2009

THX… To me as well. He almost seems to make a joke of it at times as well.

51. Matt - January 27, 2009

Wil should be considered for Captain when trek returns to tv

52. T.U.M. - January 27, 2009

#45 – Their duties varied widely, and were at the discretion of the captain, according to their skills and talents. Their popularity among the older officers varied, as well.

“Mr. Midshipman Hornblower” is a cracking good read.

53. Schultz - January 27, 2009

A little relapse, Mr. Wheaton? ;)

Great show!

#51 (Matt): I’d love to see him again on StarTrek, but his character sort of left Starfleet for “higher planes of existence”, didn’t he?

54. chronic_pon_farr - January 27, 2009

Marina Sirtis is one m.i.l.f.

55. Lt. Bailey - January 27, 2009

Marina has always been a class act, after meeting her in Las Vegas last year I would say that she fulfills two of may fantasies…

56. Robert 'Graak' - January 27, 2009

Wil was really great. The PS3 and Rock Band that was used was my friends. We helped set up everything before the event and Wil was very very cool. We got a chance to talk to him ahead of time. It was amazing how cool he was about everything. Some of us that were in there setting up everything signed up to play and he asked that we put our names down further on the list so the fans waiting would get a chance to play first. Now that is something to admire.

57. McCoy's Gall Bladder - January 27, 2009

#5 Phil:

Phil, the IRISH built America! Get yer arse over here!

58. McCoy's Gall Bladder - January 27, 2009

(And now for something completely different)

Warning: Joke in Poor Taste approaching: Turn Back NOW!

#45 & #48:
wesley crusher, cabin boy?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense.

59. CarlG - January 27, 2009

@19: I also think it might have had something to do with the fact that the Wesley character was basically living out our daydreams — seriously, like any trekkie, as a kid, hasn’t fantasized at least once about flying the Enterprise — and we saw this unlikeably-written little snot “live the dream”, as it were. I always thought the Wesley-hate had an element of, “I could do that, and I’d do it better! How dare he?”

Just my 2 cents.

@58: Arrrgh! Need brain bleach now!

Is it my imagination, or is Marina Sirtis getting hotter?

60. Plum - January 27, 2009

Haha!

That photo of Wil Wheaton. Right below Marina. Man, if I didn’t read the caption I’d have just accepted that as a pic of Robert Orci.

Hey, needed to be said. ;p

61. Mawazitus - January 27, 2009

In 1987 I was 12 years old, and seeing Wesley Crusher on-board the Starship Enterprise and even contributing to her mission was quite inspirational.

So, perhaps not all of the characters were aimed at the same audience.

62. Phil - January 28, 2009

What the…. I replied to this earlier and it just disappeared….

Anyway…

57: Thanks for the invite. It’d be cool to attend a convention/general geek fest in the ‘States, but someone has to campaign to stop Ireland being ignored! (Don’t get me wrong – we get looked over for all the good concerts, and even some movie releases too). It’d just be cool to share the experience with a lot of people over here who would be just as into it as I am. Just knowing there are more people in this country with the same love of Trek (and other elements of nerdiness that I hold dear) would be cool. And having some of the Trek luminaries show up would be an added bonus! back when I was 12 years old (or thereabouts) a travelling ‘Trek exhibition (called Star Trek: The Experience, but I’m not sure if it’s related to the current incarnation) visited a place just outside of my home city of Dublin for a short while, where I was photographed in the centre seat of the TOS bridge and working the movie transporter console, etc. It was cool. But I was really too young to appreciate how full of other, fellow ‘Trek fans it was. Let’s face it, conventions are a way for people with similar interests to meet other like minded people as much as they are about meeting the likes of Wil Wheaton, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner.

61: I was all of 3 years old in 1987. And despite being a year or two behind in getting the first-run of TNG on RTÉ, our national broadcaster, I still found Wesley Crusher annoying, at that tender age. I actually wanted to be Riker. The ladies liked him. Either him, or Worf, because he always was, and continues to be, one of the best characters Star Trek has ever produced.

63. Janette - January 31, 2009

They were great!!!!! Would love to see the three of them again at the next con ST:TNG Forever!

64. MAX - April 27, 2009

GRRR!!! if the camera were a little to the right, you would have seen me dressed up as a ninja, standing right next to that little L with the pink backpack and the akatsuki member. Sai was sitting next to me!! i can’t find a single blasted picture of myself ANYWHERE! (i guess that ninja suit really DOES work.) lol.

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