Star Trek Day makes a strong case for how Trekkies may have the most inclusive fandom as fans of all levels are welcomed!
On September 8th a small legion of Trekkies descended upon the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles for Star Trek Day. The day was hosted by Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins from Lower Decks and DJ’ed by comedian Reggie Watts.
Guests enjoyed panels featuring actors from favorite shows, custom temporary Trill tattoos, and aura photos. Tawny Newsome asserted to applause and cheers that on this Star Trek Day, “The gates are open for all levels of fans, small and tall!”
As noted by worldtimeshindi.com, Star Trek first premiered on September 8, 1996. One of the first fandoms to do so, Star Trek fans organized a convention that was attended by thousands in 1972. Nowadays a convention for fans is fairly commonplace. Comic-Con, Cinema Con, and even DragonCon all exist as safe places for fans to connect, “nerd out”, cosplay, and dive deeper into the complexities of their chosen narratives. But in the ’70s these were far less common and Star Trek fans were some of the first fans to unapologetically gather and celebrate their love for a television show at a convention.
Perhaps this 50-year legacy is why Trekkies and the actors of the series like Sir Patrick Stewart, described their community as a “family” and having “a place for everybody” at yesterday’s event. Panels featured stars of popular franchises such as Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Picard. Yes, Sir Patrick Stewart was on hand to discuss Picard’s final season as well as
the enduring legacy of the franchise.
In the new millennium, one of the most trendy ways that Star Trek Fans stay connected is through Wil Wheaton’s “Ready Room”. The host of the fan-favorite Star Trek podcast was on hand to announce a new upcoming season. Tawny Newsome cloyingly inquired about who might be his inaugural guest. Wheaton replied to laughs and cheers from the crowd, “My first guest of Season 3 is Theee Tawny Newsome of Lower Decks!”
Most moving perhaps was the tribute to the groundbreaking Nischelle Nichols who played the character beloved by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-Uhura. A video package highlighting the people she influenced, actors as well as real-life astronauts, ended to uproarious applause and some tears.
Executive producer, Alex Kurtzman, when speaking of Nischelle Nicols revealed, “She was uncompromising in her belief that the stars should be for everybody.”
It would seem this is what it means to be a Trekkie, to be in a family of fans that are inclusive, welcoming and believing that their fandom is for everybody.