Sunday arrived at Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek Convention in Chicago, with the buzz of energy anticipating the arrival of Leonard Nimoy in what would be his final appearance at a convention event. Convention host and Creation Co-CEO Adam Malin greeted the sold-out audience with reminiscences of Leonard's 25 years of appearances at Creation events and the enigmatic comment that there would be surprises during the day.

Sociologist Professor John Tenuto then offered a wonderful presentation on The Star Trek Fan Club, tracing the roots from Dan Madsen's early fan roots to his glossy professional publication that eventually was sold on the newsstand. Vintage photo images from Dan's collection, following the production of the many Trek series and the films, offered a rare, unique look into the evolution of the Trek franchise and fandom. Some memorable images included Michael Westmore surrounded by a team of Borg drones he had created, production art tracing the evolution of the Ferengi design, and the memorable one-time meeting of Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas (at Creation's 10th Anniversary of Star Wars).

Next up was the highly anticipated on stage appearance of Deep Space Nine favorites Nana Visitor (Kira) and Rene Auberjonois (Odo). Looking relaxed and beautiful/handsome, the duo recounted their wonderful character arc on DS9. Rene groused that the Next Generation characters always seemed to have fun on the show, whereas the DS9 characters were forever involved in turmoil and dispute (the cast had tons of fun, it's their characters who were forever suffering!). Rene revealed that he was about to shoot an episode of Criminal Minds, then move on to Washington for a gala benefit with Patrick Stewart for the Shakespeare Company. Nana recounted her days on the series Wildfire and recalled walking the Paramount lot with her Bajoran nose wrinkle (it made her feel like an outcast and that fed into her character's alienation).

Afterwards, Creation presented Gene Roddenberry's own set of Classic Star Trek Blooper Reels. A surprising number of attendees hadn't yet seen this national treasure, still as funny 45 years later as it was the day it was cut together by legendary producer Bob Justman.

Nana and Rene returned for their dramatic reading, Cross Our Hearts, which featured literary excerpts of a romantic and affectionate nature. The chemistry between these two fine actors was on full display. Rene remarked that the literary sources were varied, but the theme followed love in all its manifestations. They were amazing and the audience responded enthusiastically.

Next up, Malin was back for a final edition of their No Minimum Bid Auction. Prices were shockingly low on rare and valuable Trek and sci-fi collectibles. Of note was a French Star Trek II movie poster (that went for $500), a Franklin Mint Star Trek IV out-of-print collector’s plate, a Star Trek III U.S. movie poster, and a print autographed by all five Star Trek captains.

And then it was the moment people had waited all weekend for: the arrival of Leonard Nimoy. Creation surprised the audience with an amazing video farewell from J.J. Abrams and the cast of the new Star Trek film. After that, attendees were treated to Bruno Mars’ hysterical music video featuring Leonard as an honest-to-god slacker (bedeviled by images of William Shatner on TV!). And then it was the magic moment, and Nimoy emerged on stage to a thunderous standing ovation, a packed sold-out house on hand to pay its respects to Leonard for his years of entertainment and friendship. As is typical for Leonard, he had a fully structured presentation with multiple images from his life on the screen. Attendees were treated to shots of him from early projects like Zombies of the Stratosphere, scenes from his childhood growing up in Boston, and several shots from his highly conceptual photography projects, among them The Full Body Project, Shekhina and Secret Selves. Nimoy was clearly moved and nostalgic as he shared this final presentation with his legions of fans. As he bid "Live Long and Prosper" one last time, the audience held up 1,000 cards all wishing him the same thing, surely a Kodak moment. After he left the stage, Creation staffers emerged with a Hagen Dazs Coffee Ice Cream cake (that being Leonard's favorite ice cream), and the audience all shared a tasty bite to help remember the sweetness of the moment, an experience we would all carry together for a lifetime.  (click here to see photos from Daily Herald)

The weekend proved to be a heartfelt remembrance for Star Trek fans who had travelled from around the globe to be a part of Trek history, and everyone left satisfied, but misty-eyed at the thought that Nimoy would not be returning to the convention community again. That is, unless Creation can rope him back in again!

To read the recaps from days one and two, click here and here.


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