I'm still in a state of “I'll believe it when I see it.”
Just imagine – me, a lifelong Star Trek fanatic, heading to Las Vegas for the big annual Creation Entertainment Official Star Trek Convention. I've been to cons before, as a fan and as working press, but this is the first time I'll be part of the show and I am ecstatic.
Once a day for four days I'll be breaking my regular “One Trek Mind” column out of the limits of cyberspace and into the third dimension. What's that? You don't know what “One Trek Mind” is? What's the matter with you? For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee! I'll chase you round the Moons of Nibia and round the Antares Maelstron and round Perdition's flames before I give you up!
Oh, sorry, excuse me. I've been trying to keep my wrath in check lately, but sometimes it bursts out.
“One Trek Mind” is my weekly deep dive on some ultra-nerdy topic for Star Trek fans. Sometimes it's a remembrance, sometimes it's a rant, but more often than not it's that most excellent exercise in obsessive compulsive behavior: a list.
What we'll be holding out in Vegas (in the DeForest Kelley Theater, no less) are breakout sessions where we’ll create a top ten list LIVE. I'll be there to lead the discussion and some Trek luminaries will be at my side. AND WE'RE GOING TO NEED YOUR HELP.
It's nothing for me to sit there and make proclamations – I want to hear from you. I'm looking for input, both live in Las Vegas, but also here and now in the comments below. These are the four topics we'll be covering:
On Thursday, bright and early at 9:40 am, we're going to determine what are the TEN BEST FIGHTS IN STAR TREK. Is it Kirk vs Spock in “Amok Time?” Or Kirk vs The Gorn in “Arena?” Is it Worf vs Gowron, or is it Worf beating down an entire prison's worth of Jem'Hadar? Or maybe you're nuts and think it's Kirk vs the Andorian when he jumped off the wall that time. Make your voices heard below and I'll be sure to float it when we make the decision live.
On Friday evening (7:15, to be precise) we'll reconvene for what I'm sure will be a contentious debate. We will determine, once and for all, what are the TOP TEN EPISODES OF THE NEXT GENERATION.Is it the parallel-universe bending “Yesterday's Enterprise?” or the epic battle found in “Best of Both Worlds?” Is it the emotional resonance of seeing Data meet Spock in “Unification?” or witnessing the emotional side of Captain Picard in “Family” or “The Inner Light?” But what about Vash episodes? Or Q episodes? Or maybe you think a holodeck episode belongs in there? Or something artful and expressive like “Masks.” (That one isn't going to fly on my watch, but if you have an argument to make, I'll hear it.) This is definitely going to be a heated session - in fact, I can only think of one topic that might get people in a bigger frenzy.
That's right, on Saturday morning (9:40 am again) we're gonna' roll up our sleeves and choose the TOP TEN ORIGINAL SERIES EPISODES. Bearded Spock in “Mirror, Mirror?” Kirk's broken heart in “The City on the Edge of Forever?” Or perhaps the great tactical battle in “Balance of Terror?” Maybe you think the high concept war-without-destruction in “A Taste of Armageddon” is grossly underrated. Or maybe you think “Spock's Brain” is misunderstood genius. (I'm with ya – it isn't the worst TOS episode, but it is far from the best.) Does a truly great episode need to incorporate the whole cast, or can it just focus on that week's guest? Bring your arguments Saturday morning, or if you can't make it out to Vegas, make your case down below.
Finally, after three heavy-duty panels, it might be time to let off some steam with a topic that's less likely to rile people up. While Star Trek has introduced us to some great imaginary cultures over the years like Klingons and Vulcans, there are some that are just absurd. This will be our opportunity to count down the TEN MOST USELESS SPECIES. The clueless Pakleds? That quasi-Ferengi who spoke backward to McCoy in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock? What about the Breen? What's really going on under that helmet? Some of you may argue the Gorn, but I will fight every one of you who says so. Fight you very, very, very slowly.
So these are the four fun sessions we've got planned. I'll also be around the Con the whole time if you just want to shoot the breeze or play a game of backgammon. (I'll bring my travel board. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Star Trek, but I'd rather play that than lose money gambling in the casino.) Tweet at me at @JHoffman6 and I hope to see you there!