The Fed Con Special "Captains Table" took place last weekend at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany. Guests were Captain Sisko Avery Brooks, Captain Janeway Kate Mulgrew, Captain Picard Patrick Stewart with his son Daniel and Voyager’s Ensign Harry Kim Garrett Wang as master of ceremonies.
Article submitted by Marco Sobek
(I was only able to attend Captains Table on Sunday, so this report will be for Sunday only)
First up was "Dr. Star Trek" Hubert Zitt, who held a lecture about the social impact of Star Trek. He explained how Star Trek (mainly TOS) dealt with issues like racism and equality. Never being overly serious or too light, Zitt pointed out the main themes of Roddenberrys message in Star Trek.
Avery Brooks was next and it got pretty philosophical in his 1 hour panel. With the overall topic of "Independent Thinking", Brooks turned almost every question into a discussion with the questioner. He even took three fans onstage, gave them the microphone to talk while sitting around in the back. In his truly unique and sometimes cryptic style, Brooks explained that children are the most valuable thing on earth and that these younger generations are set to “clean up the mess” their generation let happen.
Greeted with standing ovations was the next panelist, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart. Garrett Wang stayed on stage for the first 5 minutes since he wanted to be the first one to ask questions. They talked about Stewart’s role in X-Men and the new X-Men movie. Stewart praised James McAvoy’s acting (he plays a young Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class) and jokingly added that playing Professor Xavier was probably hard for him because he had pretty big shoes to fill.
The panel continued to be very funny. Stewart joked around with Wang, answered fan questions and told anecdotes like when the TNG cast visited action figure vendors at a convention and saw a sign that said “Buy one Data, get two Rikers for free”. Jonathan Frakes was teased by the TNG cast with this phrase for a long time, Stewart said in tears laughing.
Stewart continued to answer fan questions about his other films like A Christmas Carol and Moby Dick. When his passion and involvement in Shakespeare plays came up, he explained that he likes “to travel back and forth” when he chooses to take on a modernized play or one set in the time it is supposed to be.
After a 4h break where photo- and autograph sessions with the Captains took place, it was time for the last panel of the day. Garrett Wang brought up his Captain, Captain Janeway, Kate Mulgrew. The first thing Mulgrew did was to finally promote Wang to Lieutenant, which was greeted with a huge ovation.
After Wang, Mulgrew expressed her deep gratitude towards the fans. The following Q&A session was fast paced. Mulgrew, tough and very well spoken, answered questions about Voyager, music and politics. People like Bachmann and Palin bringing down the US on their own and need to get back to where they came from, a visibly angry Mulgrew said after a political fan question and asked to be quoted on that.
This wasn’t the only time the overall funny panel got emotional. After a fan asked about her written work, a touched Mulgrew talked about the essays she wrote to deal with her mother’s death.
Besides asking questions, many fans went to the microphone to thank Kate Mulgrew for her work on Voyager since it helped many of them through hard times. Once more Mulgrew expressed how much the fans mean to her.
After the panel was over, all the guests came to the stage and thanked the fans. While screening pictures from the last two days, the Captains Table Convention closed.
All photos courtesy TrekZone.net. Check out more at their Flickr page here.