Of all the conventions I’ve attended, none of them have been strictly focused on Star Trek, despite having been a diehard fan my entire life. I know, right? I was surprised, too! But this year, I got to attend Nashville’s Creation Star Trek Convention, and it really surpassed my expectations. I generally attend fan run shows, and had never been to one put on by Creation. Because parties and costumes are so important to me when I go to a con, I didn’t expect to really enjoy the weekend. Boy, was I surprised!!
Even among geeks, Star Trek is a pretty nerdy thing, and it was really cool and
refreshing to meet so many people as unashamed of their love for the show as I am! I met a lot of people older than me (I’m 24), who were surprised to find out that Star Trek has a following among twenty-somethings and younger folks as well. I was glad to reassure them that the material translates well to younger generations, and the franchise has little chance of dying out anytime soon. A friend and I were dressed as Nurse Chapel and Yeoman Rand from Star Trek: The Original Series, and it was really great to get so much appreciation for costumes that might not be well recognized at a multifandom convention. I was
surprised by the number and quality of cosplayers present as well. We saw everything from Q to Captain Kirk to Andorians, and even a nearly complete cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
The quality of the convention’s panels definitely made up for only one panel being held at a time. My favorites included question and answer sessions by George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and LeVar Burton, but there was no shortage of guests. Because 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: TNG, the convention also hosted Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, John DeLancie, and Richard Arnold, a long time assistant to Gene Roddenberry. Mr. Arnold shared many stories about working on The Next Generation, and showed some rare behind the scenes photographs of the making of this sci-fi favorite. Avery Brooks of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine graciously headlined the weekend. Each actor kindly signed autographs for and took pictures with fans throughout the weekend.
The Opryland Hotel and Convention Center provided a great location for the event. There was plenty of space for the panel and dealer rooms, as well as some common area to mingle. Besides that, the Convention Center is attached to the enormous Hotel, so there were plenty of places to wander for food, shopping, and picture taking. On the other side of that, it was easy for hotel guests and attendees of other conventions to wander in and out of the Trekified area. That doesn’t bother me; mostly it was funny to see their bewildered expressions.
I’ve heard this year’s Star Trek Creation Convention was a near sell-out, and Creation has already announced that they’ll be back in 2013! Next year’s event will be June 29-30, and I truly hope I get to attend again. If you’ve never been to a convention dedicated to Star Trek, you absolutely should. Star Trek fans are some of the greatest and most dedicated in the universe, and they’ll take you where no geek has gone before!