Star Trek Fans, Space Pros Fete Show's Birthday

By Michelle
September 20, 2006 - 11:35 PM

Fans at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle at the Star Trek 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration were treated to panels with scientists and authors on space science as well as the expected celebrity convention guests. reported on the event, including everything from panels on Celestis' commercial spaceflights to airings of fan films to music by a Klingon band. Lawrence Krauss discussed the physics of Star Trek, also the subject of one of his books, demonstrating how a wormhole works and discussing whether time travel might be possible; he gave Star Trek a B+ for effort but explained that he was an easy grader.

Senior astronomer of the SETI Institute Seth Shostak attended several panels, including a discussion of how Star Trek changed the world. Among the panel members were science fiction writer Greg Bear and Martin Cooper who said, "When I was young, the concept of being a dreamer was a very negative one. If you were a dreamer, you were useless. You didn't contribute anything to society. But Star Trek made dreaming legitimate."

George Takei (Sulu) was on hand to recall the original series and what he believed were its most valuable contributions. "The strength of a starship lay in its diversity and not just the physical diversity of ethnicity/race that you saw but diversity of backgrounds, diversity of cultures, diversity of ideas and opinions," he explained. He also discussed his political views, his childhood and practical jokes by his castmates.

Walter Koenig (Chekov) introduced a new episode of Star Trek: New Voyages, "To Serve All My Days", in which he played Chekov once more. Tim Russ (Tuvok) was present as well in his capacity as director of Of Gods and Men, as were cast and crewmembers.

For more on the event, including a party on top of the Space Needle, the full report is here.

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