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Comic-Con 2012: A Look Back, Trek-Style

Comic-Con 2012: A Look Back, Trek-Style

Star Trek fans got to see and do it all during the just-concluded Comic-Con International 2012 in San Diego. And, for those of you who either couldn’t make it to San Diego or missed any of our daily recaps, is here with an overview of the many Trek-oriented highlights, from panels to new product launches to autograph signings.

Comic-Con was the site of several exciting product launches and First Looks, with Star Trek licensees displaying brand-new or upcoming products for the very first time. Among the highlights:

Hasbro showed off its upcoming Star Trek KRE-O products, displaying U.S.S. Enterprise alongside a life-size Kirk Kreon, as well as KREON Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Also, for the first time ever, the U.S.S Enterprise was shown fully revealed; Comic-Con attendees were able to glimpse the inside of the ship. Hasbro also ran the buzz-worthy trailer for the just-announced stop-motion Star Trek Kreon short film being produced by Bad Robot. The coolest Enterprise feature? The hull opens to reveal a bridge playset.

Hallmark gave avid consumers a look at their 2013 Star Trek Keepsake Ornaments. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, "Arena," and the U.S.S. Kelvin made their debut at SDCC's preview night, and also display were the company's 2012 Star Trek Keepsake Ornaments, which went on sale this past weekend.

QMX introduced its U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, currently at the prototype build stage and expected to be released in September in a limited edition of 50 pieces. We watched Trek fans literally stop in their tracks when they saw it; it's that exquisite. QMX also debuted a TNG keychain and a Starfleet Academy Class of 2258 ring, neither of which is on sale just yet.

The 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation was celebrated in style on Thursday with a jam-packed panel called Before and After: A Behind the Scenes Look at Star Trek: The Next Generation's Journey Into High Definition. Sitting on the panel were Robert Meyer Burnett (moderator), Roger Lay, Jr. (Producer/Director, Blu-Ray), Mike and Denise Okuda (Project Consultants), David S. Grant (Vice President, Multimedia, CBS Television Distribution), Ryan Adams (Director, Multimedia, CBS Television Distribution), Craig Weiss (Creative Director, CBS Digital), Eric Bruno (Lead Compositor) and Wade Felker (Film Transfer Technician). Every 15 minutes during the panel, a new, never-before-seen image was transmitted via Star Trek's twitter (@StarTrek). Tribbles creator David Gerrold grabbed a seat in the front row. The event kicked off with Michael and Denise Okuda admitting that they never thought the high-def transfer would happen because of the costs involved. The TOS HD upgrade was a much easier process; they had six reels, all cut on negative, but TNG wasn't cut on negative and had 10 layers of film. To bring the TNG episodes to high-def, they were finished in 1080i.

Burnett, as video footage compared and contrasted the broadcast and Blu-ray versions of images and scenes, noted that TNG never had black, or never seemed to, but that now, with the Blu-ray, black existed and you can really notice the detail and the color. He pointed out that, "For the first time, you can actually see the color of the uniforms." Burnett added that, “Everyone has been cosplaying wrong for the last 25 years.”

Everyone in attendance had a good laugh at footage of LeVar Burton’s first VISOR test. Mike Okuda noted that one of the key aspects in bringing TNG to Blu-ray was making certain that none of the intent of the original filmmakers was lost. Even if they didn't agree with the original intent, he explained, they chose to make sure it was as accurate and true to the original as possible. "It was very important to recreate what they did,” he said. The Blu-ray shows a lot of existing elements, actually. They just stabilized and re-layered everything to be faithful to the original element and to make it more beautiful. Nothing was changed; it's all the original photography. Mike Okuda stressed that TNG was cutting-edge at the time, especially when it came to the use of planets and phasers in filming.

The assembled panelists went on to reveal that Star Trek: The Next Generation -- Season Two will arrive on Blu-ray in the fourth quarter of 2012 and promised a TNG cast reunion on that season-two Blu-ray. The reunion will mark the first time the whole cast has been seen on film since Nemesis. Burnett cracked that the Blu-ray “is better than Nemesis.” Roger Lay Jr. noted that there will be hours and hours of extras and special features, some of which will be teased during the TNG in-theater event set for July 23. When it was further revealed that a sneak peek of the TNG cast reunion will be part of the July 23 event, fans cheered loudly.

IDW Publishing, on Friday, welcomed artist J.K. Woodward and writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, who signed copies of the popular Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who crossover comic book series. Fans, and there were plenty of them, were able to meet and greet Woodward and the Tiptons and share their favorite moments of the comic series. On Saturday, IDW was even busier, as they offered a day of autograph signings and a cosplay event. Fans lined up for their chance to meet their favorite Star Trek artists and writers, including the Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who team of Scott Tipton, David Tipton and J.K. Woodward, the Star Trek: The Next Generation tandem of Brannon Braga and Joe Corroney, and Star Trek's Joe Corroney.

Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles displayed its Star Trek Select Spock figure and Spock and the Horta figure, which went over incredibly well with fans and will be available in 2013. Also on display were a Klingon Bird of Prey (in stores October 2012) and a Nemesis Enterprise (the NCC-1701-E, available October 2012).

Titan Merchandise served up a first look at their upcoming Montgomery "Scotty" Scott Masterpiece Collection Bust, Lt. Worf Masterpiece Collection Bust and also the Lieutenant Uhura Masterpiece Collection Bust. All three busts earned positive reviews from fans, though we gave the biggest thumbs-up to the Worf bust, as his scowl and bat’leth gave him a particularly badass look.

Across the span of Comic-Con, Lightspeed Fine Art attracted countless fans to its booth not just with its wide array of eye-catching Star Trek art, but also with a galaxy of TNG stars who greeted fans and signed autographs – lots and lots of autographs. Stars on hand included Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton.

Comic-Con is nothing without the appearance of fans of all kinds sporting costumes in the fashion of their favorite shows, books, movies and games. met tons of costumed fans, including our Trek Fans of the Day: Garth Bauman dressed as Data, the father-son tandem of David Nicholas (in red) and Cooper Nicholas (in yellow), and Jere Sumabon.