This fabulous account of the Star Trek: Discovery premiere event in Los Angeles comes to us from our friend Robin Casares, TheLadyNightshayde.)
Star Trek fans are both terribly excited and nervous for this week's premiere of the new series, Star Trek: Discovery from CBS. Earlier this week, fans were invited to attend the special "blue carpet" premiere of the series.
I am still on a fangirl high and finding it somewhat difficult to put into words just how incredible the Discovery premiere event was. As a lifelong Star Trek fan, it was an honor to be among a small group of fans chosen not only to attend the premiere of the eagerly anticipated Star Trek television series (the first one in over a decade), but also to be in the "fan pen," an area right at the front of the red (or, in
this case, blue) carpet.
Our enthusiasm level was high as we were given special wristbands and led to the area we would occupy for the next couple of hours as the stars and show creators made their way down the carpet to a flurry of photographers and press.
We were all given exclusive Discovery posters that we waved enthusiastically for the many cameras that were pointed our way. We flashed Vulcan LLAP hand signs frequently. Many of us began receiving text messages soon after we had settled in at our area, alerting us that pictures and video of us were already appearing on TV and social media, including KCAL 9 news and Star Trek's official Instagram account. Before the night was over, there would be many more of these messages as pics and video spread across social media and various news outlets.
The excitement level went up even more once the stars began to arrive. It became a bit of a blur as Discovery cast members and an ample number of Star Trek series alumni made their way down the blue carpet, eventually ending up right in front of us. So who was there? The list is long.
The entire cast of Discovery, including Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, Sam Vartholomeos, Rainn Wilson, Mary Chieffo, Clare McConnell, Wilson Cruz, James Frain, Reika Sharma, Mary Wiseman, and Shazad Latif.
Previous Trek shows were represented by the likes of Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, John Delancey, Chase Masterson, Robert Picardo, Terry Farrell and Adam Nimoy, Connor Trinneer, Linda Park, John Billingsley, Anthony Montgomery, Aron Eisenberg, Nana Visitor, Michele Specht (Star Trek Continues), Michael and Denise Okuda, as well the venerable John and Bjo Trimble (who need no introduction to the Star Trek fan community).
We were also beyond thrilled to see the eternally beautiful Nichelle Nichols making her way down the blue carpet, followed by Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. To say that we were surprised to see Mr. Shatner was an understatement, but what really blew us away was that he stopped and chatted with many of us individually, even signing our posters and posing for a few selfies.
Also in attendance were Bill Nye, Glenn Hetrick, Neville Page, Michael Trucco, and John Barrowman, among others.
One of the most wonderful things about the evening was how incredibly friendly and approachable all of the stars were. Almost without exception, they greeted us with smiles and open arms, many of them telling us how great we all looked in our uniforms and thanking us warmly for our support of the new show and Star Trek in all of its incarnations. They were happy to sign our posters. Gates McFadden apologized profusely to me when she accidentally ripped my poster a little while signing it and said in all seriousness, "Oh, you're going to hate me now!" I had to laugh and tell her I could never hate her, and that she had given me a great story to tell. She seemed genuinely relieved.
They also graciously posed for many selfies and even took a few with their own phones. Bjo Trimble offered us some hair dying tips for achieving her glorious shade of pink; James Frain joked about my friend whipping her ponytail into his face; Chase Masterson thanked us for tucking her label back into her dress before she walked into the theater. There were so many friendly little exchanges, hugs, and smiles that just made the night magical.
Once all of the cast and crew had made their way inside, we were ushered into the theater. After picking up some complimentary popcorn and drinks (and with our phones safely ensconced in small locking bags), we took our seats to watch the very first episode of Discovery. The cast and some of the crew were brought onstage for introductions, and Sonequa made a beautiful and somewhat emotional speech about what being involved in this project has meant to her.
After a humorous video of Sarek (James Frain) politely telling us that anyone caught filming or taking pictures would be escorted out of the theater (by some scary-looking Klingons standing off to the side of the stage), the lights went down and we were immersed in the world of Discovery.
I can't get into specifics of the episode itself under threat of retaliation from those same scary-looking Klingons, but attending this premiere did allow me to reflect on one of the core tenets of Star Trek: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. IDIC is a canonical term from Star Trek: The Original Series and, in Gene Roddenberry's words:
"Until humans learn to tolerate — no, that's not enough; to positively value each other — until we can value the diversity here on Earth, then we don't deserve to go into outer space and encounter the infinite diversity out there."
IDIC was represented beautifully, not only in the cast of Discovery, but also in the group of fans of which I was proud to be a part.
Both on screen and within the fandom, the Star Trek universe has always embraced this core principle of diversity. Coming together on this night to so lovingly celebrate that diversity would've made Gene Roddenberry proud.
Live Long and Prosper, my friends.