Silicon Valley Comicon: Preview Night + Day One

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Today marked day one of the first ever Silicon Valley Comic Con after a successful preview night Friday evening. Headlining the event was William Shatner who shared entertaining banter with the con’s host, Steve “Woz” Wozniak. Also gracing us with her presence was the ever lovely Nichelle Nichols, who took the stage with Rod Roddenberry.

The first ever Silicon Valley Comic Con, held all weekend from March 18-20 at the San Jose Convention Center, is a marriage of two of the Bay Area’s most popular styles of geek: tech and pop culture. Hosted by the dynamic duo of Silicon Valley’s Steve Wozniak and Marvel’s Stan Lee, the event has already attracted tens of thousands and actually set the record for the largest event the convention center has ever seen.

An Evening With William Shatner
Bill Shatner stepped onto the main stage in Room 1 to a full house for the first event of SVCC 2016 during Friday’s preview night. After a brief story about riding a motorcycle up the California coast, he insisted that Woz ask the first question.

A little on the spot, Woz didn’t know what to ask, “I’ve known about you and wanted to meet you and wanted to ask you a question for a lot longer than you’ve known I exist.”

To which Shatner countered, “You don’t know that I didn’t know you existed!”

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Bill Shatner himself at SVCC

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Steve Wozniak takes the mic to ask Shatner the first question of the con

Shatner soon started taking questions from the audience, and at one point, an adorable little girl took the mic to ask Bill about his favorite thing that he’s ever done.

“How old are you?” said Shatner. “13? You’re 13; I don’t even want to say how old I am. I’m old. But, you know what? I’m young! I’m as young as you are!”

He also praised Woz for his work teaching STEM to kids. “Mr. Wozniak teaches science to children. And what he and I really believe in is the curiosity, a sense of awe and wonder about the world around us.”

When asked what it was like to work with Leonard Nimoy, he gave a heartfelt speech about friendship (and his new book) and said, simply, “So, what was it like [to work with Leonard Nimoy]? It was the best.”

Opening Ceremony
The official opening of SVCC occurred this morning where Woz and the team that put together the convention appeared together on stage to welcome everyone to what Rick White, Woz’s business partner, called “a 12 step program to make your life more fun”.

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Rick White officially opens the show

The Woz himself came out to quite an entrance, led in by the 501st Legion Stormtroopers.

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Woz on stage in his Jedi costume

A main event of the ceremony was the unveiling of a very special new wax figure from Madame Tussauds: Steve Wozniak! After the red curtain dropped, we were tasked with determining which Woz was the real one.

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Nichelle Nichols with Rod Roddenberry
Rod Roddenberry, son of the Great Bird of the Galaxy and newly appointed Executive Producer for Star Trek All Access, had the pleasure of introducing the always lovely Nichelle Nichols.

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When asked about his involvement with Trek and with the new show, Roddenberry had some positive things to say about the future:

“I’ve never been involved with the traditional kind of entertainment industry. You know, I love what Netflix and Hulu and all these new companies are doing. They’re coming in and they’re bucking the system. They’re doing it their own way. For years, with my limited experience in the industry, everyone was saying ‘it can’t be done that way, you gotta do it this way. There’s a process in place, you’ve gotta follow this protocol’. And, it just never made sense to me.

Why do you do this when you can get in and go straight to the point? That’s what these companies have done. They said ‘we’re not gonna play the games. We’re going to hire great writers, talented people outside the studios generally, and we’re gonna make good shows.’ That’s the industry I want to be involved with.

CBS is doing that with their All Access. They’re doing a lot of things different and new, and that’s what I’m excited most for in terms of CBS and their involvement.”

Pretty soon, Nichelle Nichols was welcomed onto the stage.

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She seemed absolutely delighted to take the stage saying, “Thank you! Thank you very much. I love you one and all!”

“Nichelle is like a Star Trek surrogate mom to me. She was always so respectful of my father, respectful of Star Trek. I don’t have to tell you guys that. She’s one of the ones who really gets it.”

Nichols replied, “He’s my second son.”

Rod mentioned that in all the time he’s known Nichelle, he rarely has talked to her about Star Trek. “Did you always know it would go the full 50 years?” he asked.

“Absolutely,” she said. “Absolutely. It is so important. It’s so well written. It’s so meaningful to so many of us that we will bring our kids up on Star Trek. It just is there for us.”

“Do you think it will ever fade away?” Rod asked.

“Only if we do.”

Rod asked if Nichelle has had anyone approach her about being in any of the upcoming movies or TV shows, to which Nichelle gave an exciting but cryptic answer: “Yes, but I’m not gonna talk about it.”

Nichols talked a lot about her work with NASA and her role as a NASA recruiter for women and minorities.

“I’ve always been a fan of the space program,” she said. “Gene Roddenberry felt the same way. I got a call from the government. They were interested in the first women and minority people to be part of the space program. They never had been [a part of the program], and they came to me and said ‘we have this problem. No women and minority people seem to want to be in the space program. We are trying to reach them, we just don’t know why [they aren’t interested]’. And I said, ‘it’s because you’ve never had one in your space program maybe. You think that could be it? There’s no one that looks like us. That can’t be an accident.”

Some of our favorite cosplay of the day
There was an overwhelming amount of amazing cosplayers roaming around the con. We snapped some photos of a few of our favorites.

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Follow @TrekMovie on twitter for live tweeting of the event all day tomorrow!

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To the guy in the Slave Leia costume…

So that’s what life is like when you are incapable of feeling shame or embarrassment.

@CRM, Oh relax, he’s just turning a sexist stereotype on its head. Make you uncomfortable for some reason?

That’s a load of horse crap. But, it’s nice that you think that of him. Always better to think the best of people.

Women wearing women’s clothing is a “sexual stereotype”? What planet are you from?

Numenosium, I think I could ask the same of you. If you don’t get the gist of my remark it’d take too long for me to explain it.

Numenosium, Slavery, slave chains and slave garb were all male inventions in the real world. Your identifying such as “women’s clothing” is a non sequitur. Also THAT paritcular costume was desinged by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, a male, and its “women’s clothing” aspect was considered so important it was taken out of the hands of the production’s costume department helmed by a woman and given to the male team at ILM’s Model Shop : ” It was Princess Leia’s Organa’s most memorable wardrobe choice — albeit chosen by Jabba the Hutt — the brief brass bikini worn while chained to the bloated gangster in Return of the Jedi. Developed in sketches by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, it was actually the ILM Model Shop that was tasked to construct the real costume worn by actress Carrie Fisher. v “Nilo was doing sketches, and I had seen what he was planning,” recalls Lorne Peterson, veteran ILM modelmaker who has worked on all six Star Wars films. “Incidentally, at the same time, someone I went to college with happened to sit beside me at a cafe who I hadn’t seen in something like 18 years. In striking up an old friendship, I realized that he was a sculptor, and many of his own private sculptures were very much like Princess Leia’s outfit.” That sculptor, Richard Miller, joined ILM for Jedi, and stayed on to work on many other films, including the Star Wars prequel trilogy. “An interesting aside is that one of the moldmakers, when he realized… Read more »

I upvote this.

Marja’s comment, that is.

That’s it. I’m ashamed & embarrassed for him.

“That’s it. I’m ashamed & embarrassed for him.” — Numenosium,

And yet, you don’t find it credible that Carrie Fisher had one iota of similar concerns when she was pressured into wearing it?

He was a part of a group costume – everyone in the group was a Star Wars Ep VI (Return of the Jedi) gender bender costume. You can blame the RotJ movie for that costume.

Interesting from Nichelle Nichols. I wonder if that means that she may be in the new series? Admiral Uhura or some Head of Communications? :)

Good to see Shatner still on good form.

I meant “in” good form.

It’s good to get Nichelle to events while she’s still lucid, after the first stroke it’s usually a fast train to Crap-Yourself-Ville.

Jeepers. What’s with the comments today? It confuses me when Trek fans are petty and closed-minded — what could they possibly see in Trek? Sorry, not trying to target you — just generally frustrated.

Can someone answer me… why do Imperial officials always carry so many tire pressure gauges? I think Han has a few, too. The other stuff looks like a week’s supply of multi-vitamins.

As for Mr. Slave Leia, if you’re sharing a room with lady Boba Fett and lady Han, I salute you, sir!!!

Is that a Swiffer in Lady Loki’s hand?

The Midgard-Asgard Rainbow Bridge ain’t gonna dust itself!

;-D

If anything I’m hoping Nichelle will be in the TV series as Uhura.

Hmm. Set it, say 20-25 years after Undiscovered Country/Generations. The Enterprise-B with a new actress playing Captain Saavik? Sulu (Takei) could be Chief of Starfleet Operations to send the ship on its new mission. Uhura and Chekov could also make cameos. They could drop-in a line about Scotty being missing and Spock becoming the new Vulcan Ambassador.

The Enterprise-B would need a makeover though. The Excelsior was never the best looking ship, and the modifications for Generations made it even uglier.

I kinda like the Excelsior. Both versions.

Tear off the dish and turn it upside down and EXCELSIOR would look almost like a half-decent version of a John Berkey sf paperback cover spaceship.

In other words, a vast improvement (pronounce ‘vast’ like Richard Jordan playing Duncan Idaho in Lynch’s DUNE pronounces ‘vast.)

Kmart, I thought Patrick Stewart played Idaho in Lynch’s “Dune” …. oh wait, he played Gurney Halleck. Neverrr miiind

My guess would be Nichols is talking about Beyond, not the All Access show. Maybe all this “reshoots” business is just a cover to work in cameos, the way DeForest Kelley’s appearance in “Encounter at Farpoint” was covered up as “promotional work for Star Trek IV”.

Interesting if true for Nichelle Nichols. That would be cool if she did appear in something. However she just said she was asked .Could also mean she was asked and it did not work out.
Also wondering if CBS has any plans for a 50th Anniversary TV special. Would be a good time to plug the new series during an Anniversary special. I would say have a reunion of the surviving members of TOS cast. They could do a 10 minute short film like Marvel does. I don’t know if Shatner and Takei can coexist anymore though!! Come on CBS think out of the box.

I’d be more interested in PARAMOUNT producing a 50th anniversary special (read: public apology) explaining in detail why they can’t offer up anything approaching a definitive blu-ray set of feature films during the one guaranteed cash-in period Trek will have in foreseeable future.

C’mon, most fans with ethics and functional reasoning have supported you & CBS against all this flagrant IP violation from the AXA-nards, pay it back a little, you corporate creeps. (and no, this is not laying it on too meanly – I’ve been waiting a quarter-century for Paramount’s homevid to do Trek movies right – first they were slow on widescreening the laserdiscs, then they just bare-bones’d them with no extras. Now that most of the TMP people are dead it is too late to revisit most ‘making of’ aspects on features with any sense of thoroughness or completeness regarding accuracy/history, so they’ve just fouled things up on a continuing basis over a full generation. Paramount: The Next Generation is a true sequel to what has gone before in terms of not delivering on fan expectations, and that includes what they’ve allowed (and not encouraged) on the book front with non-fic stuff, which seemed especially odd given Paramount and Pocket Books were all part of the same family.)

Isn’t blu-ray dying? I’m honestly asking.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Nichelle Nichols is just appearing in a fan film or something. Still, it would be awesome to see her return in canon Trek.

If paramount was going to delay Beyond as many here have speculated, Why is Justin Lin in such a hurry?

Well, I saw both the Beyond and Ghostbusters trailers ahead of 10 Cloverfield this weekend. Both are stunningly underwhelming trailers, but Ghostbusters looks worse (a completely laugh-free trailer.) If Paramount has seen the new Ghostbusters trailer, they might be backing off delaying Beyond now.

I agree – but I can’t imagine the actual movie being so incredibly unfunny. Feig’s movies are funny.

I always wonder what thinking goes onto these trailers and who precisely they’re trying to reel in. Are they hoping to make GB more kid-friendly? Or try to downplay the Feig-ness to placate fanboys.

That article is so ridiculous and tasteless. They use his 85th birthday as a occasion to bash him and US politics. The author seemingly didn’t even bother to find out, that William Shatner is Canadian and wasn’t only born there.

Either way I wish William Shatner all the best. I think he is a great actor and he definitely wasn’t always playing himself like the article says.

Happy 85th Birthday William Shatner!

Perhaps some use of archival footage of TOS actors for a 50th Anniversary montage in beyond? They wouldn’t need her physically but surely they’d inform her, if not actually requiring her permission.

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