Four days of intergalactic fun at Star Trek Las Vegas warped to a conclusion on Sunday, but not before fans gathered one last time to see some of Trek's biggest stars on the stage, to purchase a galaxy of Trek memorabilia and products, to celebrate the life of Grace Lee Whitney and more.
Patrick Stewart was the day's headliner and he didn't disappoint. Looking fit, he introduced clips from his upcoming show Blunt Talk, including a couple that feature his son Daniel once again playing his son. He answered numerous questions from fans, including one about his support of Refuge, a British anti-domestic abuse organization. Stewart made it clear that "There's never any excuse for violence. Ever."
But the emotional highlight of his session came when a witty woman, after some funny dialogue, noted that she'd waited her entire adult life to meet Stewart and probably wouldn't ever see him again due to health issues. Stewart stepped off the stage and embraced her in a hug. Returning to the stage, he said, "There are always unexpected moments at these events. It's why I still love doing them."
George Takei received a huge ovation upon taking the stage. He talked in detail about his upcoming play, Allegiance. On the passing of Leonard Nimoy, he said, "We lost our conscience. He is a real loss in the Star Trek family. He was not just an actor. He was an extraordinarily decent human being."
Deep Space Nine stars Chase Masterson, Casey Biggs, Marc Alaimo, Andy Robinson and Alexander Siddig gathered together to reminisce about their days aboard the space station and to talk about their current projects.
"People are far deeper than they look on the outside," Chase Mastetson said. "That's what the character of Leeta was about." Robinson said, "If would have been nice if Garak had a squeeze, but no one could replace dear Julian." Siddig spoke of Game of Thrones, saying, "I certainly don't know what's going on when I read a script, let alone watch it." And we loved this comment: "I'm just happy to be incredibly sexy," Alaimo cracked.
Former DS9 and Voyager writer Bryan Fuller talked about his days writing for Trek. As a fan, he said, it was a dream come true. "It was like going to college," Fuller said of learning from Brannon Braga.
Several fans wanted to hear about his current show, Hannibal, both the making of it and its possible future, as NBC did not renew the show for another season. He's still hoping to resurrect it, either next season or sometime in the future.
The folks at Disruptor Beam previewed Star Trek Timelines, and fans reacted enthusiastically. And they brought out a special guest... John de Lancie, who will provide the sonorous voice of Q.
As the session ended, de Lancie said, "I want to do work, projects I'm proud of, and I think we are in good hands."
Jeffrey Combs and Vaughn Armstrong shared the stage for their panel. Both men had auditioned for Riker. "The description for the role did not fit me at all," Combs said. "Tall, handsome, a man's man."
A fan asked Combs about being typecast. When he finished his reply, Armstrong added "I'd rather be typecast than not cast at all." Both men thanked Trek fans for their ongoing support. "Star Trek is the gift that keeps on giving," Armstrong said.
Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton had the crowd cracking up. Burton admitted, "In the first season, during a long take, I fell asleep in the VISOR." Spiner noted that Data was a "struggle to play. I had to keep reminding myself to be nice. Lore was so much easier." A young boy called Riker his favorite character, prompting Frakes to tease his cast mates and to both high five the boy and pretend to slip him money. And the fun quotient rose substantially when Patrick Stewart, who'd been signing autographs off to the side of the room, joined Frakes, Spiner and Burton on stage for a few moments.
Jordan Hoffman returned to host one last One Trek Mind Live panel for the weekend. The subject of debate... Star Trek's Best Ships. The winner? An oldie but a goodie... The original USS Enterprise.
Star Trek veterans Hagan Beggs, Richard Herd, William Morgan Sheppard and Saul Rubinek teamed up for an informative panel. Rubinek enjoyed working with Brent Spiner and "loved" reuniting with him on Warehouse 13. Beggs corrected an Internet inaccuracy: his TOS role as Hansen was NOT his first-ever role, far from it.
Sheppard talked about Doctor Who and working with his son -- and Trek guest -- Mark Sheppard on it. And Herd shared an anecdote about working with both Shatner and Nimoy when Nimoy arrived on the set of T.J Hooker to act in one episode and direct another.
And the day - and Star Trek Las Vegas -- concluded in swinging, funny style with a performance by the Star Trek Rat Pack, which features Vaughn Armstrong, Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik, Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs and, providing musical accompaniment, Bill Birchell.