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Originally published Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Get your Trek on

Just because the "Star Trek" universe has been strip-mined to a painful degree, that doesn't mean fans won't still throw on some Klingon...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Just because the "Star Trek" universe has been strip-mined to a painful degree, that doesn't mean fans won't still throw on some Klingon garb and party it up.

With more than 700 hours of television since the first glorious salt-vampire episode in 1966, 10 feature films (so far), so many novels, comic books and pieces of memorabilia that you'd have to generate a series of evil duplicates with a faulty transporter to take it all in ... even some devoted fans were thinking a little time-out wouldn't hurt when "Enterprise" folded in May 2005.

In the immortal words of James Tiberius Kirk, "No blah, blah, blah!" Trekkies will gather to celebrate the franchise's massive influence and its beloved (sometimes a little too beloved) stars at the Star Trek 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration & Conference. Pointy ears are optional.

The three-day geek-o-rama starting Friday looks to be a notable one — even allowing for the surfeit of Trekkie conventions — for its confluence of stars and overall scope. Not to mention its location in Paul Allen's playground, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, officially The Best Venue in the World for such an event.

Mingle with actors and writers, get their autographs (they cost, by the way), ask about phasers in panel discussions and wander the dealer's room filled with items for you to spend your wages on and impress your parents' guests with.

For a full schedule and list of guests, beam over to www.planetxpo.com. Meanwhile, consume these Tribble-sized items from the celebration, and other bits of "Star Trek" flotsam/jetsam that it is imperative for you to know:

So Paul Allen owns Kirk's chair. Now you can have authentic "Trek" props of your own, if you've got the quatloos — uh, cash.

On display at the Science Fiction Museum during the celebration will be items from the upcoming Christie's "Star Trek" auction Oct. 5-7. A few of the items and their estimated prices:

• Klingon captain's chair from "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." $6,000-$8,000. For that kind of money, there should be a drink holder.

• Tribbles. A pair of 'em from the "Deep Space Nine" episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations." $1,000-$1,500. Can double as toupees.

• Mustard-colored minidress from the original series. $4,000-$6,000. Which won't fit anyone from the original series now.

• "Enterprise — A" model from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," approximately 100 inches long. $15,000-$25,000. If you've got that kind of dough to blow, you've already got a deflector-shield against wisecracks.

Among the numerous "Trek" actors in attendance:

Not William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy.

George Takei — "Sulu." Has enjoyed newfound exposure by coming out of the closet and being grilled in explicit detail as part of Howard Stern's radio crew.

Walter Koenig — "Chekov." In the absence of new shows, hardcore Trekkies have been making their own episodes and putting them online; and some of them are even getting a few original stars on board. Koenig stars in the "Star Trek: New Voyages" episode "To Serve All My Days," which premieres 7 p.m. Friday at the convention.

Nichelle Nichols — "Uhura." In the recent Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, she noted that they shared television's first interracial kiss — and then invited Shatner to "kiss my black ass." (Participants in that roast said they were asked not to make fun of Shatner's hair.)

Star Trek: The Celebration


The 40th-anniversary bash for Star Trek is Friday through Sunday in the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle (inside the Experience Music Project in Seattle Center). For tickets and info about the range of prices for the celebration and related events, visit www.planetxpo.com or 239-498-7821.

Dr. Mae Jemison: Inspired by Nichelle Nichols, she became the first black female in space, on the shuttle Endeavor in 1992; also appeared in the 1993 "Next Generation" episode, "Second Chances." She'll be the keynote speaker at the reception/banquet, 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Some other luminaries scheduled: Majel Barrett Roddenberry (aka Nurse Chapel and creator Gene Roddenberry's wife), Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Rand), Jonathan Frakes (Riker. Try to confront him about directing the wretched "Thunderbirds" flick), Marina Sirtis (Troi), former Seattle resident John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox) and Gary Lockwood (Gary Mitchell and "2001: A Space Odyssey's" Frank Poole).

Panel discussions

"The Soul of Star Trek: The Prime Directive and Beyond."

"The Age of Space Tourism."

"From the Cell Phone to the Holodeck: An Engineering Perspective."

"Finding the Aliens: When Will It Happen and Will They Be Like Klingons?"

"Roofie of the Future: Tranya or Saurian brandy?"

All right, we made that last one up.

"Star Trek XI" hoopla

"Lost" and "Alias" honcho J.J. Abrams is inked to resurrect the dormant "Trek" film series as director and producer of "Star Trek XI," due in 2008 — and with new actors cast as Kirk and Spock. Expect plenty of fantasy-casting debates about who should play whom. Our choices: Bill O'Reilly as Kirk and Keith Olbermann as Spock. All that sexual tension.

Where's Scotty?

The cremated remains of Redmond resident James Doohan, aka Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, will be launched into space in October.

Animated series on DVD

Think you've got every episode on DVD? The original series, "Next Generation," "Voyager," "Deep Space Nine" and "Enterprise" are all out. But don't forget "Star Trek — The Animated Series" (1973), prehistorically drawn but with stories worthy of the canon, finally hitting DVD Nov. 21 from Paramount.

Holy George Lucas!

Starting Sept. 16, CBS Paramount Domestic Television will begin airing the 79 original "Star Trek" episodes in syndication — remastered in high-definition and with new CGI special effects that update space-ship exteriors, space battles, galaxy shots seen through the Enterprise view screen, and the endearingly cheap-looking alien planet backdrops. They're even re-recording the theme song with a new vocalist. So does Greedo shoot at Solo first? Oh, wait ...

Anyhow, the upgraded episodes will air 5 p.m. Saturdays on KSTW.

Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259 or mrahner@seattletimes.com

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