People of Earth! Turn your attention toward the desert, in the strange state of Nevada where everything – even listening to Celine Dion – is legal.
It is time once again for the Creation Entertainment Official Star Trek Convention – the annual gathering of nerds and dweebs feeling each other's warm embrace for an extended weekend as they argue over nacelles, deflector dishes and whether Ferenginar's Rules of Acquisition deserve our respect (as per the code of IDIC) or if their backward ways deserve a little push into modernity as per the Kirk Doctrine circa “A Taste of Armageddon.”
These are, naturally, my favorite days of the year.
I shall return to the Rio Convention Center at 335 ItsSoHotButItsADryHeat Drive for the full festivities, hosting four One Trek Mind Live panels. Maybe I'll wear my #TeamKeenser shirt again, because, as they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, not Instagram.
For those not in the know, the One Trek Mind Live panels try to recreate the top-ten lists that often appear in this space – but in a group setting. In the past we've determined Star Trek's best fight scenes, best supporting characters and, somewhat controversially, we ranked the feature films. We've got some exciting categories this year, so if you are planning on attending you can start thinking up your nominees (and your arguments) now.
First up, we'll be choosing the Ten Best Star Trek Catchphrases. Will it be Dr. McCoy's “Dammit, Jim!” or Captain Picard's “Make it so!”? Or will it be a phrase that stems only from one key episode, like “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” or, even better, “Shut up, Wesley!” I have a hunch Picard will feature prominently on this list – not because he always got the best lines, but because EVERYTHING always sounds better coming out of Patrick Stewart's mouth.
Next, we're heading to Qo'onoS, to declare who are the Ten Greatest Klingons. It'll be tough to beat the Son of Mogh, but surely if anyone wishes to challenge him, he will fight them in glorious battle. But Kor, Kang, Koloth, even Kahless himself (cloned or otherwise) are all contenders for the top spot. Personally, I plan to make a pitch for Jadzia Dax as an honorary Klingon, but let's see how the crowd responds to that idea.
The third panel will get everyone's raktijino flowing. We're going to determine who are Star Trek's Ten Biggest Jerks. A jerk is different from a villain. Trelane is a jerk. Q is a jerk. Berlinghoff Rasmussen, Harcourt Fenton Mudd and Cyrano Jones are jerks. Get the picture? Maybe you think Quark is a jerk? (I don't; I think he is a noble individual with a different value system than ours.) Maybe you think Gul Dukat is a jerk? (I don't either; I say he is a cruel and heartless villain!) But this session will afford you an opportunity to plead your case. I predict that this one is going to get bloody.
But we save the most contentious for last. Clearly, being in Star Trek is the high point in any actor's career. Christopher Plummer is General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country first and foremost, right? Anyway, we're going to look at the main characters from each of the shows and then rank the 10 best post-Trek roles in their career. So, is it Shatner's Denny Crane from Boston Legal? Is it Kate Mulgrew's Red from Orange is the New Black? Is it Brent Spiner getting killed by the alien in Independence Day? It's probably not that last one, but if you want to argue that it is, go right ahead.
The One Trek Mind Live panels will happen once a day in the DeForest Kelley Theater. Thursday (July 31) it'll be at 11 am, Friday (Aug 1) it's at 1 pm, Saturday (Aug 2) at 9 am (early!) and Sunday (Aug 3) is at 8:30 am (whaaaat!!?). So be sure to set your alarms and take your sonic showers the night before.
If you can't make it to Vegas this year you should a) reassess your devotion to Sparkle Motion and b) leave some suggestions for nominees for the four listed categories in the comments section below.
Click HERE for additional information about the One Trek Mind Live panels and for details about other StarTrek.com-sponsored panels to be held during Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, which will take place from July 31 to August 3.