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!”
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.”
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”.
The Woz himself came out to quite an entrance, led in by the 501st Legion Stormtroopers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Follow @TrekMovie on twitter for live tweeting of the event all day tomorrow!