50th Anniversary Of ‘Star Trek’ Brings Fans To NYC For Celebratory Convention
Stars and fans alike crossed paths at the Javits Center in New York City this weekend for a convention celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the beloved franchise.
STAR TREK 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CONVENTION HELD IN NYC
Star Trek: The Original Series premiered 50 years ago on Sept. 8, 1966. That show ran for just 3 seasons, and yet sparked a fan favorite that spawned five follow-up television shows, plus one more arriving in 2017.
“It’s the 50th anniversary of the original series, but we’re celebrating all of Star Trek—six different [TV] series, 13 movies—it’s all-encompassing,” Liz Kalodner, the executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products said.
Kalodner and her team worked with ReedPOP to create the three-day event, and ReedPOP’s director Brian Stephenson anticipated anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 Star Trek fans to take part in the convention. Various stars from the franchise, including William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov), and Kate Mulgrew (Captain Kathryn Janeway) made an appearance.
Fans could partake in a variety of Star Trek activities, from purchasing a new line of USPS stamps commemorating the anniversary, to playing new video and board games inspired by the series, to taking a tour of original set pieces from the original series.
New York was chosen as the venue for the convention as it was where the first-ever Star Trek convention was held in 1972. There also exists an annual Star Trek convention held out in Las Vegas, which occurred last month; however, ReedPOP and CBS decided they wanted to offer fans “something a little different, a little unique” compared with the Vegas conventions.
Also at the Javits Center was a panel of actual NASA scientists discussing the science behind Star Trek and the real-life technology that could one day enable space travel. Of course, fans could also purchase various fun merchandise, from their own Starfleet uniforms, to autographed collectibles, to stuffed Tribbles.
The 50 year anniversary spans more than just this and the Vegas conventions. The celebration has already featured a 100-city concert tour with songs from the shows, as well as a touring art exhibit, the Starfleet Academy Experience aboard the Intrepid Museum, and a recreation of the original shooting model of the USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian Institution.
In addition to celebrating the past 50 years of Star Trek, the convention is also looking forward to the next generations of the show. While Star Trek Beyond is still in theaters, CBS is currently working on the next iteration of the show, Star Trek: Discovery, which is due out in 2017.
“One of the things that is remarkable about Star Trek is that it is multi-generational,” Kalodner said. “Families have passed on their love of Star Trek to children and grandchildren, and the new entertainment has brought in those new fans. So, if you come in to one of these conventions, you’ll have programming regardless of the franchise or movie that you love, regardless of your age.”
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