Saturday, June 11, 2011

VulCON and an essay on Star Trek Voyager

Disclaimer: If you have a low tolerance for Star Trek and/or extreme geeking out, you might want to stop reading now and wait for me to post another Dashing Dishes review. :)

After living in Alberta for 12 years, and being a Star Trek fan for all that time, I FINALLY made my Trek to Vulcan today! Many thanks to my sweet husband who puts up with my geekiness. :)

Every year since 1993, the town of Vulcan puts on 'Galaxy Days', and this year's special guest was Garrett Wang, who played Ensign Harry Kim on Star Trek Voyager. Voyager is my favourite of the series for two reasons - it's the one that was currently airing when I started watching Star Trek, and Captain Janeway was one of my major heroes as a teenager. Not only was she a female captain, she was strong and decisive but also remained (for the most part) a nurturing and decidedly female character, and stayed feminine and content with her life despite the fact that she didn't have an ongoing love interest. Oh, and did I mention she carried a big gun and was handy in combat with a big knife, as well? She was SUCH a fabulous character.

I love the rest of the crew as well - with a couple of exceptions! When I met Garrett Wang today, he asked me if I'd had a crush on Tom Paris as a teenager, and of course I had a bit of one (note that I married a blond goofball, so clearly Paris was my type :) but when I stared watching Voyager partway through the third season, Paris was already in love with B'Elannah, so as far as I was concerned he was taken! And of course, B'Elanna is a great character - another woman leader (chief engineer)/first female in that role - and I really enjoyed her.

The Doctor is fabulous - as I found out today from Garrett Wang - largely due to Robert Picardo's input into the development of his character. And a fantastic character is it! Robert Picardo is also SUPER funny in person - he and John de Lanice (Q - best Voyager cameos!) narrated a Star Trek concert I went to last year, and they were worth the price of admission. :) I'm not super fond of Neelix - he was pretty annoying in the first couple of seasons, and I'm afraid I've never gotten over that, even when the character developed. I think he was played for some cheap laughs from which I never recovered. Kess, who was only in the first few seasons, was ok, and there were things I liked about her and things I didn't. Jennifer Lien was a great actress - I just never got attached to the character.

Seven of Nine replaced Kess, and I quite like her. I'm furious about the producer's blatant attempt to add sex appeal to the show, but that aside, Jerri Ryan did a great job with the material, and Seven added a lot to the show. I'm not at all happy with the way they settled her love life - in fact, the only love life that I think the show did right was Tom and B'Elanna, so...

Chakotay, Captain Janeway's first officer, was an awesome character in the first few seasons, but in the last season or two he's been relegated to background roles, so I hope that picks up in the 6th and 7th seasons - some of my favourite moments from the first few seasons are his. Tuvok is a great character - I like him so much better then Spock. Somehow he seems a bit more 'human' or accessible, then Spock did, despite the fact that Spock was of course half-human. Tim Russ did some tremendous acting - there's one episode where Tuvok has participated in a mind-meld gone wrong, and he grins just this EVIL grin that gave me the uber-creeps.

Which of course leaves only Ensign Harry Kim...poor Harry, who remained an Ensign for seven long years, and who never got the girl, or at least not for more then an episode! He had some really great Harry-focused episodes, but for the most part, he was the sidekick to everyone else's hero - even in the holodeck. Today, after I'd confessed to Garrett Wang that yes, I'd had a bit of a crush on Tom Paris, he said that I was supposed to have said that no, I'd had a crush on Harry Kim. lol... and I did laugh. But it made me think...why DIDN'T I? Well, the producers had Harry portrayed as everybody's little brother - cute, dependable, never in trouble, always on alert when duty called - but always the sidekick. His character when through several episodes that would have made any normal person's character grow and develop, but at the end of the seven years, except for being more reliable and a bit more assertive, he was pretty much the same. There's one time-warping episode where he's old and bitter, and it made me so sad! But Garrett said that was one of his favourites because he actually got to 'act'. It's definitely interesting to hear about my beloved Voyager from one of the actor's point of view!

The side of the town pharmacy has a mural of all the Star Trek doctors. These are my two favourites, although I love The Doctor and Doctor Bashir as well - I just didn't feel like the mural did them justice. And Doctor Phlox is ok - but not one of my favourite characters ever.

Garrett Wang, riding in a blue Mustang in the parade. Loooove the Mustang!

In Vulcan Alberta, even the cars have Vulcan ears...

Me and the Vulcan Starship

They served cupcakes at the Q&A with Garrett...chocolate with cream in the center...yum!

Garrett Wang signing my vintage 1997 Star Trek Voyager poster...I have the whole crew I collected from the Star Trek magazine!

Garrett's session was worth the price of admission and the long drive - so funny and entertaining - exactly what I was hoping for. I was pretty disappointed with the vendor booths - there were only a couple and there was nothing exciting, and the event didn't have as many people as I was expecting - but I don't think there was a lot of advertising for it. All the people we encountered were friendly, and the people in the autograph queue were more polite then the people at the church concert we were at last week. :P All in all, the day was a blast, and the rain held off until we were back in Calgary!

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Paul Carreau/Qel Iv said...

I enjoyed reading your comments. From the other side, the dealers are in an unenviable position. I have talked to dealers in Toronto and Calgary and what I have learned is that there is so much competition with sites like e-bay. The common comments are that they have to pay for their expenses, travel, hotels and food, that these costs are passed on in their prices. Galaxy Fest/Spock days just doesn't have the fan base to support their participation.

We are working on changing that.

The priority is to provide as positive and enjoyable experience as possible. Having Garrett Wang this year, I think, made us successful.

Having the Star Trek Walk Of Fame will establish Vulcan as a Trek center of influence.

Michelle said...

Thanks for your comment! I did forget to say kudos to the organizers...I've done quite a bit of event planning myself, and I know how much work it is! The weekend, or at least what I was there for :) was really well organized, and the brochure with the map and schedule was really helpful.

iriske said...

Very interesting. Keep working.