FedCon, Europe’s biggest sci-fi and Trek con, is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and they’ve brought in some big guest stars like Scott Bakula, Richard Dean Anderson, Wil Wheaton, Garrett Wang, Robbie Duncan McNeill, and more! TrekMovie is in Dusseldorf, Germany to bring you all the highlights. See below for report and pictures from Day One at FedConXX.
FedCon Day 1 (Thursday)
Panels, panels, panels… FedCon opened Thursday with three Star Trek guests: Arlene Martel (T’Pring, TOS), Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim, VOY), and first time FedConer Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher TNG). Highlights below.
Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher (TNG)
The Trek highlight of the day came late with Wil Wheaton’s first appearance in FedCon, and in fact his first time in Germany. He noted that he is also the last member of The Next Generation cast to visit FedCon after seeing a slideshow of previous conventions where pictures of all of his friends were displayed. Wheaton talked a lot about being an all around geek, and the fact that he is proud of sci-fi. “It brings people together,” he said. A picture of Wil in the infamous clown sweater popped up on the screen behind him, leading to a bout of laughter from the audience. “Oh. The clown sweater. That sweater smelled like it had been dragged through the human centipede. And everything that that implies.”
The infamous clown sweater
Wil took several great questions from the audience this evening, including questions about writing fan fiction, gaming, and the new JJ Abrams Star Trek. When asked about his honest opinion of fan fiction, Wheaton replied, “I think it’s absolutely a genuine creative effort. I think fan fiction is fantastic. Just once, though, I would like to be the guy who’s getting laid instead of the guy who’s being gang raped. Just once.”
Wheaton jokes about fan fiction
An audience member also brought up the new JJ Abrams Star Trek in which Wil has an uncredited part doing voice work for a Romulan. Wheaton said that he appreciates how JJ has taken Star Trek and made it relatable to the younger generation. “[JJ] spoke to my kids in their language,” he said.
Two thumbs up on JJ Abrams Star Trek from Wil Wheaton
Arlene Martel, T’Pring (TOS)
The first person to take the stage Thursday morning was Arlene Martel, known for her iconic role as T’Pring from the original Star Trek series. T’Pring, as you should remember, was in one episode: the famous Amok Time, where Spock must fight his captain to the death and forcibly marry the vulcan woman T’Pring. Martel spoke about how the character of T’Pring changed her outlook on life. “She was in control and operated on intellect,” said Martel. “She was methodical, analytical, and logical, and she had a great dignity about her and self respect. [She] made me aware of acting emotionally.” Martel said that T’Pring’s Vulcan ideals made her realize when she needed a bit more Vulcan in her own life. “I was always impulsive. Very opposite of T’Pring. She brought that element [of logic] to me.”
One thing everyone noticed was how good Martel looks on stage! “Every woman in the audience wants to know,” asked one con-goer, “how do you look so young?” Martel laughed and thanked the guest for his compliment, then added, “I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and I meditate a lot. I think it’s your spirit and your response to life that keeps you young.” This year was Martel’s first time at FedCon, and she is already planning to return.
T’Pring takes the stage
Martel takes questions about playing a Vulcan
Martel strikes a pose in the fog machine
Garrett Wang, Harry Kim (VOY)
Garrett Wang took the stage, not for the first time that morning, to speak about his experiences playing Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager. This year, Wang is the new Master of Ceremonies for FedCon, and was busy all morning introducing his fellow actors. Wang spoke about his transitions from acting into writing and working with conventions. In addition to MCing FedCon, Wang is the MC at Trek Expo and runs the Star Trek track at DragonCon. He spoke a lot about language, noting that he speaks English, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian, and that he is now learning German, too. He made a point to ask every question-asker what country they were from and celebrated what an international place FedCon is.
Garret Wang talks about cons, language, and culture
Of course, Wang took several questions about life on Voyager, specifically concerning Harry Kim’s love life. When asked who Wang would pick as a love interest for Harry, he said, “I think Harry Kim should have a relationship with ALL the women of Voyager!”
Garret strikes a pose
One of the best aspects of any sci-fi convention is the merchandise: companies rolling out their latest futuristic gadgets and games, production companies promoting their newest films and TV shows, and resellers offering up sci-fi props, artwork, and more. The merchandise is spread out all over the Hotel Martim here in Dusseldorf, and part of the fun is winding your way through the conference rooms to see what new goodies are out on display. We got a look at some of the awesome new things available, and you’ll get a more detailed look into each one of them when we post our FedCon wrap-up article, so stay tuned!
Star Trek: Infinite Space is the new browser-based, free to play online multiplayer Star Trek game coming out from Game Forge. We got a chance to play around with the game, which is set to be released this summer, and we talked to the producers about what awesome features you can expect. Look for a video update on this product at the end of the weekend!
Gigaset is a company using Star Trek to advertise the new hands-free home phone device, which was inspired by TNG’s comm badges. “Home telephony: The Next Generation” reads one sign. They even have adverts in Klingon!
“Discover new galaxies, Call Mom” boasts Gigaset
We also talked to several of the resellers (and will be meeting and greeting more throughout the weekend). The most unique product I’ve seen for sale (probably ever at any convention) is custom made sci-fi themed bags, hoodies, shoes, and jewelry. Artist/geek girl Sandira Reddy of Canvas Warriors started painting shoes for fun, and it turned into a business. Check out her website at CanvasWarriors.co.uk and look for an exclusive video interview with Sandira in the wrap-up article.
Certainly a spectacle at any sci-fi event is the pure creativity and artistry put into various sci-fi and Star Trek costumes. Check out some of the awesome folks we ran into at today’s event!
Starfleet: brothers in arms
Homage to Scotty
New movie dress
Star Wars girls
SG-1 and Atlantis romance
More FedCon to come
TrekMovie is in Germany all weekend at FedCon. We will have more reports, interviews, photos and video so stay tuned.