LAS VEGAS — Creation’s Official Star Trek ConventioN in Las Vegas continued at the Rio Hotel & Casino on Friday with another star-studded lineup including Jonathan Frakes, Jeffrey Combs, Walter Koenig, Rene Auberjonis, Nana Visitor and more. Full report below.
DS9 Aliens: Jeffrey Combs, Casey Biggs & Vaughn Armstrong
The “Aliens of Deep Space Nine” panel which included Jeffrey Combs, Nicole de Boer, Chase Masterson, Vaughn Armstrong, Casey Biggs, Max Grodenchik and Armin Shimerman kicked off Friday’s events. The former castmates discussed their time together on the show.
Next up was Star Trek‘s original Pavel Chekov, Walter Koenig took the stage. Koenig thanked all of the fans in attendance for demanding that he receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He told the crowd he was “so grateful” for the opportunity to play Chekov. He discussed his time on the show and the movies and told the fans Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was his favorite of the films, because of it’s environmental message. Koenig seemed sincerely appreciative of the Star Trek fans and the celebrity that the franchise has afforded him.
Star Trek: Voyager‘s Tim Russ. Russ who played Tuvok on the show is almost always a fan-favorite during his convention appearances. He discussed his time on Voyager along with the fan-produced film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. Russ went on to discuss the parallels between acting on television and playing live music. He said he currently prefers playing music to acting, but enjoys both artistic outlets.
Russ went on to to say he’s been pitched three different ideas for new Star Trek television series that could incorporate him as Tuvok, which perked the attention of the crowd.
Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonis
Rene Auberjonois and Nana Visitor who played Odo and Kira on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were up next. The former castrates recalled their time on show and the impact the Kira/Odo relationship had on fans. Visitor told the fans that she cried for weeks leading up to the DS9 finale “What We Leave Behind”. Auberjonis said he felt it was strange for Odo to say “goodbye” wearing a tuxedo. He would have preferred he wore his uniform.
Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry
Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, took the stage in the afternoon. Roddenberry talked about his mother and father, saying he wished they could be here today to celebrate the franchise’s 45th anniversary. “Last week would have been my mother and father’s 42nd wedding anniversary” he remarked. Rod went on to discuss some of his current projects, including the Roddenberry Dive Team, his upcoming Science Channel documentary Trek Nation and Gene’s Journals and the Roddenberry Foundation.
Later in the day Visitor and Auberjonois performed their play “Cross Our Hearts”, which includes poems and prose by the former castmates.
Astronomer Inge Heyer presented “A Journey Through The Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope”. During the session, Heyer discussed the 20 year history of the telescope along with other areas of astronomy.
Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Jonathan Frakes closed out Friday’s panels with a hugely entertaining look back on his days as Commander William Riker. Frakes walked through the audience seated in the theater as he answered questions and joked about being upset Brent Spiner was on the convention poster and he wasn’t. He also threw out a few jabs at Sir Patrick Stewart and Michael Dorn. Frakes had an amazing comedic connection with the fans and seemed to be truly enjoying himself. From his performance we can see many of the qualities which made him the first commander we all know and love.