Creation Entertainment got their Star Trek Summer convention season going with their East Coast Star Trek convention in Parsippany, NJ over this past weekend. On hand were many big Trek celebs, including Jeffrey Combs, Kate Mulgrew, Conner Trinneer, John Billingsley and the headliner, Leonard Nimoy. TrekMovie has a full report (with photos and video) for all three days of the con below
TREKKIN IN JERSEY
Kicking off a with a good crowd on Friday, then con eventually sold out on Saturday and Sunday, even amidst massive thunderstorms (which caused a couple of brief blackouts). This report breaks down the con, day by day.
FRIDAY – JULY 31st
Report submitted by Jean Marciniak
The convention kicked off with the ultimate Cardassian baddie, Marc Alaimo who woke up the early afternoon crowd with vibrancy and laughter. The actor went right into questions, which ended up revealing that he and Jeff Combs (who was to appear later) were neighbors and apparently they still keep in regular touch, just like old times with Weyoun and Dukat. But Marc wasn’t above poking some fun at his friend, replying to a question about what he would have wanted to do with Combs on the set, and saying "I wanted to bi#$ slap him". Getting serious, Alaimo told another fan that his favorite actor to work with was the Sisko himself, Avery Brooks. After cracking up the audience over and over, Alaimo got a standing ovation as he departed.
Alaimo got things going on Friday as the crowd built up
A natural on stage, and altogether funny, Plakson spent much of her time time on stage going into depth into her character K’ehleyr and what future she believed was right for the young Klingon. According to the actress the network was originally thrilled with Worf’s love interest, but then some writer came up with the idea “how About we kill her?” and it was all over. Suzie said she was upset with that and how K’ehleyr died and believed it would have been more "glorious" if K’ehleyr went out fighting like a warrior. Plakson talked about bloopers, revealing how she could not restrain her laughter during the scene of K’ehleyr’s death. She found it ironic that as the director shouted action and her only job at that point was to play dead. “What more could I do” she stated.
Plakson revealed insights into the death of K’ehleyr
Day one of the con came to a conclusion as Star Trek’s multi-character gust star Jeffrey Combs took the stage as a clear fan favorite as the audience gave a long and resounding applause as he took the stage. A regular with any crowd, Combs proceeded to keep them chuckling with his impressive imitations of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. The actor also shed some light on the working of Deep Space Nine and how close he (as Weyoun) was to throwing Gul Dukat out the nearest air lock. He also described how Shran’s Andorian antennas worked, explaining how there was a mechanical mechanism attached to the back of his head that was remotely controlled. Lastly Mr. Combs answered the most desired question of the show. Who did he love playing the best? The answer is no other than our Blue Comrade… Shran!
Combs prefers Shran
SATURDAY – AUGUST 1st
Report submitted by Jean Marciniak
A very energetic woman, Robin quickly took the stage and projected a warm and upbeat welcome. Currently living in Upstate NY the former actress who played Saavik in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock now spends her days as a realtor. Robin spent the majority of her time on stage reading letters from her mother’s journal, which brought laughter to the audience as they heard everything from intimate sexual encounters to advice for the future. Curtis then quickly finished off her time with Q&A, which included a funny moment when a audience member came to the microphone and mentioned “How you doin darling?” and Robin responded hilariously with “Im just fabulous Sweetcakes”.
Curtis cracks up the crowd
Up next was Gene Roddenberry’s former assistant, and perennial convention maven, Richard Arnold, who kept the audience’s attention with all the juicy details about The Roddenberry’s. One of the more interesting tidbits was how Gene Roddenberry always kept his phone number listed because he was hoping one day an old World War II buddy would look him up. And that buddy’s name was: Noonien Soong, sound familiar? Unfortunately his buddy never looked him up, but he did inspire the name for Khaaaaaaan!
Arnold spoke again on day 2, and this time he went into detail about V’Ger, saying that according to Gene Roddenberry it comes from a planet controlled by The Borg. However, Arnold says that Gene was not OK with the speculation that Trelane from the TOS episode "The Squire of Gothos" was a member of the Q Continuum. Arnold also talked at length about the departure of Jennifer Lien from Star Trek Voyager, telling the crowd that UPN felt Voyager wasn’t getting the ratings they wanted so they fired Lien to bring in Jeri Ryan, who they believed would bring in more people. According to Arnold, the reports of Lien’s dismisal due to drug use were fabricated.
Arnold dishes the inside info
Connor Trinneer & John Billingsley
The Star Trek Enterprise duo entered the stage with applause and took up their seats for a long session of Q&A. Connor and John both delighted the crowd with comedy, quips, and stories of their time on the NX-01. Their chemistry seemed to be due to not only their time on the show, but the fact that they are real life neighbors, with only a fence dividing their properties. John continued throughout the session to shout at Connor “TEAR DOWN THE WALL!”, which the audience greatly enjoyed. At one point a fan approached the stage wearing a Starfleet uniform and a Jedi robe with light saber, and Trinneer asked him “are you a mix?” The young man responded “I’m a Star Trek Jedi” and Billingsley shouted “That’s Season 5 Right There!” The crowd went into laughter. Another question was asked how the dogs of Star Trek Enterprise were treated on set, to which Trinneer quickly responded “I hate those dogs… they peed on my tires" to which Billingsley quipped added “Well I pee on your tires too.” The session ended with John Billingsley asking Connor Trinneer for $1 repeatedly as he started paying fans $1 who asked him questions.
Billingsley and Trinneer – clowned for the con
The highlight of Day 2’s events came when Kate Mulgrew took the stage. As Star Trek Voyager’s Captain Janeway hit the stage, dozens of fans rushed the stage to to get pictures. After the incredible welcome the audience had given her Kate went on to talk about her time on Star Trek and her current work, saying she had just finished a documentary about Guantanamo Bay and was about to visit the military base, when she laughingly mentioned she couldn’t because of jury duty. She went into depth about her current work with Alzheimer’s, which her mother had died of, and which she refers to as “An Absolute Vortex of S–t”. She then went on to answer questions from the audience which 100 people had nearly lined up for. When asked about her career as a whole, the actress said she is most proud of her work on Voyager. She also stated her favorite episode was “Deathwish” and her favorite villain was “Species 8472”. As for which episode she was most uncomfortable with, Mulgrew replied "Threshold", noting that she didn’t like the idea of mating with Tom Paris as a lizard, who could blamer her? Kate ended her session by answering that her favorite captain, besides her was Captain James Kirk.
Mulgrew: most proud of Voyager
SUNDAY – AUGUST 2nd
Report submitted by Denise deArman & Andrew Romeo (AJ)
After a music video tribute, all were seated for Mr. Nimoy, who seems to look younger every year. The actor revealed that he has already filmed his new bits as William Bell for Fringe. As for the Star Trek: Something Something, sequel, Spock Prime said he had not been contacted by the Abrams team, but went on to say that he didn’t think he needed believes the torch has been passed to the new cast. His praise for the latest film is unwavering, and his answer to “What is your favorite episode” was always “Have you seen the new film?”
Questions were typical, and Nimoy has a way of making even the silliest of them valid, and providing great answers. One high-point was a young man dressed in a Trek uniform surrounded by a cape, and carrying a lightsaber. As a “Starfleet Jedi,” he believed in the compatibility of Vulcan and Jedi philosophies, and did Mr. Nimoy agree. Nimoy answered: “Why would a Vulcan want to be a Jedi?” to thunderous applause. You had to be there. He also (again) answered a question about his infamous ‘Bilbo Baggins music video.
Nimoy talks Baggins (vid via gerver7)
Another great story was the time he was in Tokyo around the time of STIV on his way to a bookstore to promote the Trek books, big in Japan at the time. In the car with him was the translator for all the books who told him Shatner was “getting too fat” to play the Captain amongst other things wrong with series. Nimoy then praised his old friend, and how he has transformed his career in recent years. Nimoy also mentioned that he is planning to exhibit new photographs from his “Identity Project” next July in North Adams, MA, and after a question, discussed his ‘other career’ as a photographer in some detail for the audience. And when asked what he would do if Star Trek never happened, Nimoy said he would want to be a therapist (see video below).
Dr. Nimoy? (vid via gerver7)
J.G. Hertzler & Robert O’Reilly (as Martok and Gowron)
In the last guest-star event on the main stage were our favorite 24th century Klingons in full garb. Walking out slowly with wooden canes and bent backs, and sounding like old men, Hertzler and O’Reilly quickly changed into their energized Klingon characters Martok and Gowron, and proceeded to do a mostly ad-libbed comedy and music routine.
O’Reilly and Hertzler as Gowron and Martok
Not to spoil it for those who will see them in Vegas, one New Jersey highlight was Suzie Plakson walking in from the dealer floor, green tea in hand, to watch. The guys quickly spotted her, and dragged her up to the stage for some impromptu songs, and a “Klingon Sandwich” which had the crowd roaring.
Plakson gets ready for her ‘Klingon Sandwich’
VENDOR ROOM & COSTUME COMPETITION
Report submitted by Jean Marciniak
Creation’s Star Trek Costume Competition
A large number of attendees came dressed in costume, with Klingons, Cardassians and Vulcans all over the place. On Saturday night they all took the stage in hopes to win a grand prize of a $250 gift certificate. There were many impressive costumes, including some that were hand-made and incredibly detailed. The Grand finalists came out to be – A Klingon, a female Cardassian, and Cyrano Jones, with the Klingon winning top prize.
Tour of Vendor Area
You can get a first person view of what the convention was like through our video tour of The Vendor area.
Everyone at the convention recognized the actor who played Admiral Ross in 12 episodes of Deep Space Nine, who spent most of the convention in the vendor room doing autographs and photos. He was very friendly with all attendees, as he discussed Admiral Ross and the new Star Trek movie. When questioned about a possible role on the next Star Trek movie he said he was not involved, but did reveal that a Deep Space Nine movie was discussed at length, but ultimately turned down.
Barry Jenner signing in the vendor room
NEXT STOP: VEGAS
The Star Trek Con in NY is over, but this week is the mega Star Trek con in Las Vegas, starting on Thursday. TrekMovie will be at the event for wall-to-wall coverage, kicking off with our meet-up on Wednesday. (more info here)
TrekMovie thanks Denise deArman, Andrew Romeo and Jean Marciniak for sumbitting their reports for the New Jersey convention. You can visit Jean’s Star Trek gaming site at startrek-gaming.com.
Mulgrew photo via LotusFleet, more photos at lotusfleet.com