Roger Ebert Home

Comic-Con 2016: Celebrating 50 Years of "Star Trek"

You could tell during this year's San Diego Comic-Con that the 50th anniversary of "Star Trek: The Original Series" was very much in the mind of pop culture and science fiction fans. But if you weren't able to make it to SDCC, there are still ways you can celebrate.

You can always buy commemorative stuff: A 50th anniversary magnetic badge, T-shirts, a Hallmark Enterprise, men's cufflinks, special editions of Trivial Pursuit or RISK, and a 50th anniversary TV and movie Blu-ray collection. 

If you got a friend who's a Star Trek fan and a book lover, I recommend Insight Editions' "Star Trek: Redshirt's Little Book of Doom" as a humorous gift—only "Star Trek: The Original Series" fans will get this guy's predicament. If you're interested in "Star Trek" cosplay, you'll want to get "Star Trek: Costumes, Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier." A pseudo serious humor book for Vulcans and their fans would be the "Hidden Universe Travel Guide: Star Trek Vulcan." 

If you love beer, Shmaltz Brewing Company made a special 50th Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles. As a non-drinker, I was introduced to Darren Benjamin through a friend. Benjamin commented via FB messenger that the ale is "a golden lager, smooth and malty with hints of citrus and almost a white wine aftertaste. A little 'Star Trek' Easter egg: The beer is made with triticale which is a grain, and in the episode 'Trouble with Tribbles,' the tribbles ate Quadrotriticale." 

Benjamin, who now works at McMullan's Irish Pub in Las Vegas, was formerly a bartender at "Star Trek: The Experience." The Golden Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles will be available at the "Star Trek Las Vegas" convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino from August 3 - 7, 2016. In fall 2016, Shmaltz brings its second Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale: Voyage to the Northeast Quadrant to "Mission New York" at the Javits Center from September 2 - 4, 2016.

Something I did try was Mac Cosmetics' special "Star Trek" anniversary collection. The emphasis of this limited edition line, which will be on sale in September, is shimmery glamour. As a lover of all things purple, the Kling-It-On deep purple with fine pink glitter frost was my favorite, although the Where No Man Has Gone Before pink with gold pearl got good reviews from my husband. That superstick liquid eyeliner On the Hunt (true black) will give you that 1960s look, but Mac Cosmetics was already out of all the liquid eyeliners by Saturday. On my purple-themed day I tried the Trip the Light Fantastic powder Highly Illogical (golden plum with fine pearl) but Strange New Worlds for my red and gold day. For eyeshadow, I got To Boldly Go both days (reddish copper with sparkle) but if you're doing science blue they also have Midnight (cobalt blue with pearl). 

If you want to better understand the "Star Trek: The Original Series" universe, I recommend the dense "These Are the Voyages" Volumes 1-3 and binging on the show itself, which is available on Netflix. William Shatner's 2011 documentary, "The Captains" provides an interesting perspective on the "Star Trek" universe. You can also consider watching all 13 "Star Trek" movies. Darren Benjamin and my husband, Ian Ono, kindly provided their top five favorites.  

Darren Benjamin (former bartender for "Star Trek: The Experience")

  1. "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan" (1982)
  2. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979)
  3. "Star Trek" (2009)
  4. "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)
  5. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)

Ian Ono (scientist)

  1. "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan" (1982)
  2. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
  3. "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)
  4. "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)
  5. "Star Trek Generations" (1994)


Locally, you might find some one-day baseball events, such as with the Boston Red Sox in conjunction with Boston Comic-Con on August 12 or the San Francisco Giants on September 16

EMP Museum: "Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds"

Location: Seattle

The EMP Museum in Seattle opened a new exhibition on May 21, entitled "Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds," as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. The fully immersive exhibition features more than 100 rare artifacts, set pieces, and props from the television series, spin-offs, and films; plus, state-of-the art interactives including photo and video ops. [Click here for more information

The Starfleet Academy Experience

Location: The Intrepid – New York City

This interactive touring exhibit which opened July 9 will immerse fans as cadets in a first-of-its-kind "Trek Tech" environment, showcasing the everlasting relevance and impact of innovation and technology on tomorrow’s world. EMS Entertainment, the leader in interactive immersive exhibitions, is producing the experience at the Intrepid in NYC. The exhibition previously launched in May at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) in Ottawa, Canada. [Click here for more information

Star Trek Art Exhibit: 50 Artists. 50 Years.

“50 Artists. 50 Years” features original photography, sculpture, illustration, graphic design, and more created by 50 different artists as an expression of their love for the franchise and the inspiration gained from it. Artists who contributed to the collection include digital artists Tom Whalen, Joshua Budich and Rocco Malatesta, sculptor Calvin Ma, and the late Leonard Nimoy. The exhibit will launched at San Diego Comic-Con and then go on a global tour. [Click here for more information.] 

Official Star Trek 50th Anniversary Convention

Date: August 3 - 7

The Official "Star Trek" 50th Anniversary Convention will take place on August 3 - 7, 2016 at The Rio Suites Hotel in Las Vegas. The non-stop, five-day convention will host more than 100 "Star Trek" celebrities from TV and film and thousands of avid fans. [Click here for more information

Star Trek: Mission New York

Date: September 2 - 4

Star Trek: Mission New York will take place September 2 - 4 at the Javits Center in Manhattan and will serve as the ultimate destination for "Star Trek" fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more. ReedPOP, global experts at producing and curating the world’s best fan experiences including New York Comic Con, will be organizing Star Trek: Mission New York. [Click here for more information

"Building Star Trek"

Date: September 4

The Smithsonian channel will air its two-hour documentary, "Building Star Trek," on September 4 (just four days before the September 8 anniversary), 8:00PM EST on the Smithsonian channel. Afterward, the documentary will be available online. The documentary looks at the Smithsonian's efforts to restore the 11-foot USS Enterprise model from the original TV series as well as the EMP Museum's restoration of the bridge and its museum exhibition. Scientists who are attempting to make "Star Trek" props reality are also included in the documentary to provide perspective of the cultural and scientific influence of "Star Trek." [Click here for more information.] 

Destination Star Trek Europe

Date: October 7 - 9

Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom

Destination Star Trek Europe will be the only official Star Trek fan event in Europe to offer fans the opportunity to meet the cast and crew, explore interactive exhibits, learn about "Star Trek’s" impact on science, space and technology, and enjoy parties fit for a golden anniversary. As part of the event, hosted by William Shatner at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England, fans will be able to take command of the bridge on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 or NCC-1701-D, investigate a Borg hive, take charge of a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, explore a shuttlecraft, and see original props and costumes in the Destination Star Trek Museum. [Click here for more information

Star Trek - The Cruise:

Date: January 9 - January 15, 2017

Location: Launches in Miami

Star Trek: The Cruise will offer six days and six nights of unique experiences including dramatic performances, comedy shows and concerts by "Star Trek" actors; intimate speaking engagements with leading scientists, influencers and experts; themed parties, nightclubs, bars, casinos and private islands; interactive games, screenings, and competitions. The cruise will sail out of Miami and heading to Cozumel, Mexico and the Bahamas. William Shatner will host the cruise and other "Star Trek" talent from across the franchise are expected to be on board. [Click here for more information

Jana Monji

Jana Monji, made in San Diego, California, lost in Japan several times, has written about theater and movies for the LA Weekly, LA Times, and currently, and the Pasadena Weekly. Her short fiction has been published in the Asian American Literary Review.

Latest blog posts

Latest reviews

STAX: Soulsville, USA
Back to Black
The Strangers: Chapter 1


comments powered by Disqus