(This is a recount of events from STLV 2018, as I wasn’t able to attend in 2019.)
Alex Kurtzman informed us that he was bringing a special guest out onto the stage. Every soul in the entire pavilion held their breath. The doors opened, and PATRICK STEWART walked out. Oh captain, my captain! The whole entire room was on their feet in an instant. Shouts of joy echoed around me, and I couldn’t stop jumping up and down. I lost my voice from yelling so loud. It was pure, raw exhilaration. I had never experienced anything like it before, in my 23 years of life. I was beaming—I felt so alive. Patrick Stewart made his announcement that he was returning to Star Trek, and I had the chance to see it happen right before my eyes.
Star Trek Las Vegas was something I only ever dreamed about attending. Each year, I would see all the amazing events recounted over social media—wishing that I was there. I’d listen to podcast coverage, watch video footage and interviews, and I’d see attendees (rightfully) show off their autographs and photo ops. I would always tell myself that I would save up and go the following year, but it never seemed to work out.
UNTIL 2018. My husband had been listening to me talk incessantly about my desire to go, and he decided that I shouldn’t watch from afar anymore. For our first anniversary, he purchased me a Captain’s Chair tier ticket for STLV 2018. He definitely won the husband of the year award. It was finally happening. I was going to Las Vegas for the very first time, and I’d be celebrating Star Trek for five days with some of the coolest people on the planet.
I wanted to squeeze every drop of experiences out of STLV, so I got to planning. I was going to cosplay the Star Trek characters that inspire me, and I would take advantage of every opportunity to speak with vendors, podcasters, producers, actors, and those that I had interacted with on social media throughout the years.
Instead of giving a play by play of the convention itself, I think it is much more valuable to articulate the impact of the experience itself. The schedule from the convention can be found online, and there are various Star Trek news sources covered the events in detail. But what did Star Trek Las Vegas offer me, a 23-year-old Trekkie from San Diego, CA?
Star Trek Las Vegas brings a community together. Star Trek fans from all around the world come together to celebrate Gene Roddenberry’s future vision of humanity. From the moment you enter the convention hall, you are surrounded by so many others that share the same deep passion. It’s like an unspoken link that connects all Star Trek fans. You can get to know those sitting next to you in the panel discussions, and you can talk with cosplayers about how they made their art. You can wander anywhere in the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino after the day’s events, and you’re sure to strike up some stimulating conversation with a fellow Trekkie. You can wear your Starfleet uniform proudly, without any fear of judgement. I was greeted and welcomed into the Star Trek family with open arms, and STLV confirmed that I was an important and valued part of that family.
Star Trek Las Vegas bridges the gap between the stars and the fans. STLV is a uniquely intimate experience. It is meant solely for Star Trek fans. The Trek fandom has always been a driving force that propels the show forward. The convention has something for everyone! It may be a panel with some of your favorite actors, or it a conversation you had with a vendor about their product. Even some of the smallest interactions can become lasting experiences.
For example, on the Tuesday night before the 2018 convention began, I was roaming the vendor hall during the preview night. I wanted to get my bearings so that I would be better prepared for my first ever Star Trek Las Vegas. Some of the vendors were still setting up, and there was a large section in the center of the room where stars would be signing autographs throughout the weekend. I saw that Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather in Star Trek: Enterprise) was setting up his table and there were a few fans talking to him. I headed in that direction and approached his table, and Anthony greeted me with a big smile on his face! I couldn’t believe it, but he and I had a conversation about his current endeavors, and what he was looking forward to during the convention. It is something that I will never forget!
Star Trek Las Vegas is the perfect event to stay up to date on everything Star Trek. In previous years, I always looked forward to the social media updates from those that were attending STLV. It allowed me to be a part of all the fun, and to also enjoy the news as it was happening. I think many of us would agree that the Patrick Stewart appearance and the announcement of Star Trek: Picard was the most popular piece of news from STLV 2018, but there were also interviews, Star Trek product releases, VR experiences, exhibits, and more! A Star Trek fan’s paradise!
Star Trek Las Vegas has a wide range of both sponsored and outside events. After a long day of panel discussions, shopping, and photos, there is still so much more to take advantage of! My schedule was packed to the brim with fandom landing parties, symphony performances, a Star Trek Night of Diversity, trivia contests, dance parties, Klingon Karaoke, and so much more. I wish that I could have made it to every single event! I can’t tell you how much that I wanted to clone myself to make ends meet.
Star Trek comes alive in Las Vegas. Even after following coverage on Star Trek Las Vegas for some time, I don’t think that it’s possible to have a complete insight of the event without attending. I never really understood how impactful it would be until I was walking down the hallways with countless trekkies all around me. Maybe it was when I was sitting in the main hall listening to the Nevada Pops Orchestra play Star Trek arrangements? Perhaps it was when Chase Masterson (Leeta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) complimented my Leeta cosplay? I would say it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but we are fortunate enough to make new Star Trek memories at STLV every single year!
With the event housing so many unique opportunities that bring the Star Trek fandom to life, the important question is…
Who will I be seeing at Star Trek Las Vegas in 2020?