Creation Entertainment Co-Founder Reveals Details About Upcoming Star Trek Convention

The Las Vegas convention is soon

Creation Entertainment The 56-Year Mission Las Vegas is less than a week away.

It’s been a long road getting from there to here for Creation Entertainment’s Las Vegas “Star Trek” convention. In 2020, the worldwide pandemic known as COVID-19 debuted, shutting down the planet, including the convention known as “Star Trek Las Vegas,” or STLV. In 2021,  the convention, which was supposed to happen in August, got moved to December for the same reason. At the same time, CBS ended its partnership with Creation Entertainment, and the Las Vegas convention, which had held the honorific “official” for decades, became just another convention.

But not really. Proving that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Creation’s convention, this year dubbed “56-Year Mission Las Vegas,” is still going strong, with a roster of 133 guests, vendors, special events, and more. Creation co-founder Gary Berman, in a recent interview with TrekMovie, let us in on what to expect.

Early Sell-Out

This year’s convention sold out with a rapidity that would make hotcakes jealous. The reason, according to Berman, is two-fold. For one thing, after two years of fearing COVID infection, people are ready to go mingle in the real world again. That’s driving active interest in events like “Star Trek” conventions. While it seems that face-to-face events are beginning to gain traction once more, Berman says things aren’t completely back to pre-pandemic normalcy.

“We still have to test people,” he says. “There are still fans who are hesitant to come, but the guests are bookable now, where last year we had a ton of cancellations because anyone who was working on a production was not allowed to leave because of the pandemic.”

The second reason is a change in venue. We all know that space is the final frontier, and it’s at a premium this year. Because the convention’s usual locale, Vegas’ Rio, is undergoing renovations, they’ve had to move the festivities to the cozier Bally’s, which Berman estimates is about three-fifths the size of the other hotel.

Old Friends and a Few Surprises

Berman did a little name-dropping in the interview. He seemed particularly proud of one particular guest “get”. “Zachary Quinto, he was a tough one. It’s been many, many years since we had him and we try every year, so it’s great now, especially with talk of a new movie…And Rebecca Romijn canceled last year and we’re really happy to have her back. And we really tried to get Ethan Peck and thankfully he signed on at the last minute, as did Anson [Mount]. And obviously having Shatner back is great. I think the guest list is one of the best we have ever had.”

Also among the guests will be Andreea Kindryd, who I spoke to recently. Kindryd was one of the first black people ever to be hired by a major television studio, and she was a close friend and associate of “Star Trek” producer Gene Coon. “We wanted her onstage talking about it because that’s a rare link back to those early times,” Berman said. “It’s one of the last links there is.”

Berman is also excited to see what returning guest Robert Picardo has up his holographic sleeve. “I’m looking forward to what he’s going to do at the Saturday Night Gala with his friend of many, many years [Jordan Bennet] and their two-man show where they try to one-up each other.”

Other special events include Tig Notaro, doing a stand-up comedy set, and a tribute to Ricardo Montalban. There will also be a tribute to Nichelle Nichols, who passed away last month.

Looking Ahead

Next year, Berman says, the convention plans to return to the Rio. He admits there had been some discussion about adding other long-running franchises to the event, such as Seth Macfarlane’s “Trek”-alike series “The Orville,” but decided “that ‘Star Trek’ deserves its own singular show, especially by us. We’ve been involved with the property for so long. If there would be an outside property, ‘The Orville’ would be the one. We have talked to them about doing an ‘Orville’ convention and they were open to the idea.”

Anyone who’s been to any “Trek” conventions will remember what it’s like having to carry around a schedule on paper, juggling it while trying to purchase a tribble. “We’re introducing an app this year,” Berman reveals. “Although we are doing a program booklet because, again, that is something people like as a souvenir with the colored covers.” Also, the app will be updated with any schedule changes that may take place closer to the start of the weekend.

The 56-Year Mission Las Vegas runs from Thursday, August 25 through Sunday, August 28. If you’d like to read the rest of the interview, warp on over to TrekMovie to take a gander.

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