The big seven from Star Trek: The Next Generation will reunite this weekend at Wizard World Austin Comic Con, in Texas, for their first joint 25th anniversary appearance in the United States. Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and LeVar Burton will participate in an interactive Q&A with fans, sign autographs and pose for photos. Also available will be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with all seven TNG stars, along with Wil Wheaton. Wizard World Austin Comic Con will be a multi-media event, with other guests set to include Eliza Dushku, Lou Ferrigno and Ray Park, not to mention dozens of comic book artists and writers. Wizard World Austin Comic Con will run from October 26-28 at the Austin Convention Center.
In order to preview the event, StarTrek.com spoke to John Macaluso, CEO and chairman of Wizard World, Inc., who offered some additional details about the upcoming gathering. Here’s what he had to say:
How big a fan of TNG are you?
Macaluso: I am not what you would call a “Trekkie.” However, I am a big fan of the actors involved and the arts. Patrick Stewart is not just Captain Picard, he’s a cultural icon. He is Professor X and Captain Picard. Wil Wheaton is a tremendous actor, from Stand by Me to Big Bang Theory to Eureka. He is much, much more! We love our fans and we love what our fans love. Our goal is to put a smile on the faces of our fans, and that’s our main objective.
For you, personally, what does it mean to pull this event off? And how excited do you imagine Trek fans in Austin will be to have this event in their city?
Macaluso: This type of gathering requires an incredible amount of resilience, as we are dealing with schedules, personal lives and any other variable that can occur. To pull this off for the first time in the U.S. is special. And the fans recognize this and are coming out to celebrate with us. I think fans are off the charts excited, and the tickets reflect this. It’s the type of event that, if you don’t get to see it now, you’re not sure if you’ll ever get a 2nd chance. The scheduling is the trickiest part, and we had to move heaven and earth to get all these wonderful actors under one roof at the same time.
Give us an overview of the weekend. What can fans expect to see and hear at the show, first in terms of Star Trek --the nighttime event, plus signings, photo opportunies, etc. -- and then in terms of everything else?
Macaluso: The nighttime event is a truly magical event. When you have 7 actors who worked together for so many years reunited 25 years later, it’s sort of like your high school reunion. You never know what sparks will fly. Time has passed, so the actors have had time to reflect on the journey. The 7-actor Star Trek lithograph is a unique memento and will be treasured by anyone who secures one.
And we also have plenty of guests for the rest of the family. Whether you are a WWE fan (we have the current Champion CM Punk, who’s celebrating his birthday this weekend), or The Walking Dead, which had over 10 million viewers in its premiere as the #1 cable show, or Star Wars (we have Ray Park – Darth Maul), there is something for everyone. We even have the Hulk and Superman (Lou Ferrigno and Dean Cain). We have Eliza Dushku from Buffy and Mike “The Situation” from the Jersey Shore. We have something for everyone. And, of course, who can forget the Boondock Saints?
Also, tell us about the TNG cast photo op. That sounds awesome. And... Wil Wheaton will be in that as well, right?
Macaluso: Wil will be in the photo op. Wil is a talented and gifted actor who has appeared in everything. He’s voiced the DC Online game, appeared in The Guild, Ben 10, Teen Titans, Star Trek and more. The photo op is a once-in-a-lifetime event. If you love Star Trek: TNG, this is a MUST event for you.
Click HERE to buy tickets.
Follow us for more news at StarTrek.com
and via our social media sites.