Two Captains Kirk dazzled audiences at Salt Lake City Comic Con this week in Utah, a place the stars at Mission New York might consider a warp-over state.
Shatner holds court
William Shatner helped kick off the event on Thursday morning, when he and Star Wars’ Mark Hamill appeared back-to-back before a nearly full Vivint Arena. SLCC had to rent the Utah Jazz’s arena for the event because accommodations at the nearby Salt Palace were too small for the galaxy of fans who wanted to see the two stars of their respective franchises.
In his hour-long conversation with fans, Shatner barely stopped moving, evincing a healthy agility that even a lifetime of Saurian Brandy hasn’t slowed down.
He talked about Star Trek, his new show Better Late Than Never, and earned huge applause by catching a random feather out of the air.
The biggest laugh came when one fan thanked him the great deal he found on a hotel in Salt Lake through Priceline.com, at which point Shatner quickly shifted to company spokesman mode and noted all the great deals you can find on the website.
Shatner shared a particularly personal connection to Salt Lake: many years ago he’d acted in a play at the University of Utah’s Pioneer Theater Company. The play got picked up and was on its way to Broadway, but Shatner couldn’t go with because a pilot he’d done had been picked up.
Predictably, yet still wonderfully, he said, “That pilot was Star Trek.”
Star Trek Continues premieres seventh episode
Vic Mignogna, the Captain Kirk of Star Trek Continues, not only appeared before fans this week, but premiered the seventh episode of his fan series, “Embracing the Winds.” He planned for the premiere here even before Mission New York was announced, but probably would have gone with Salt Lake over New York anyway.
“I love Salt Lake Comic Con. The people that run it, the people who volunteer for it, the fans here,” said Mignogna, who is also executive producer for STC. “We had such an overwhelming turnout for episode 5, ‘Divided We Stand,’ last year at this convention. I thought timing’s gonna be about right, let’s do it there again… We love Salt Lake, so we’re not regretting the decision.”
While Star Trek “Continues”, the conclusion is in sight:
“We’ve always had an end goal in mind. We never intended to do these forever until we can’t do these anymore,” Mignoga said. The goal is to fill in the cancellation of the series and The Motion Picture, answering questions like “Why did Bones leave the service?”, “Why would Spock forego his emotional, human half?”, and “Why did Kirk give up his ship to become admiral?”
“You would think you’d have to drag Kirk at 90 years old, kicking and screaming off his ship, but he took a desk job: why? That sounds like a good story.”
The scripts for those stories are already done, the sets are built, and – perhaps most importantly – the fan-supported funding is there.
“We are working feverishly, dare I say it at warp 10, to finish these last few episodes,” Mignogna said. “Star Trek Continues, I hate to say it, will be over sooner rather than later.”
Despite some recent changes to official policy on fan-productions, which Mignogna calls “horrible collateral damage because of what one production did,” those challenges shouldn’t prevent his series from reaching its goal. He noted that CBS was very gracious to fan films for a very long time.
When he plays Captain Kirk, Mignogna “feels like I’m 12 years old again.”
“I’m not doing this for fame or money, I’m only doing this to pay tribute to the show that meant so much to me when I was a little boy.”