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Star Trek at Comic-Con: William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Scott Bakula to mark 50th anniversary

star trek, comic-con, comic-con 2016

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JB Lacroix/WireImage, Tommaso Boddi/WireImage, Michael Boardman/Getty Images

Star Trek is boldly going where it’s gone before: to Comic-Con.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the space-exploration cult sensation, the franchise will host a half-dozen panels and unveil an art exhibit at San Diego’s massive pop culture fanfest later this month.

The feature presentation, “Star Trek: Celebrating 50 Years” (July 23, 2 p.m.-3 p.m, Hall H), will feature Trek alums from the franchise’s arsenal of TV shows, including Star Trek‘s William Shatner, Enterprise‘s Scott Bakula, The Next Generation‘s Brent Spiner, Deep Space Nine‘s Michael Dorn, and Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan. Bryan Fuller — who is serving as executive producer of the new Trek series that will debut on CBS in January before moving to CBS All Access — will moderate the panel.

Trek-themed art exhibit, “50 Artists. 50 Years,” will make its debut at Comic-Con, showcasing work across various mediums from artists all over the world. The free exhibit, which can be seen from July 21 through July 24, features the last piece made by late artist and Trek star Leonard Nimoy.

Here are the official descriptions for the other five panels. 


(July 22, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m., Room 8)

A celebration of all the 4-color Star Trek worlds, featuring a look at all past iterations and a chat with many who’ve chronicled theEnterprise crews’ comic-book adventures, including Len Wein, Scott Tipton, Mike Johnson, John Van Citters and JK Woodward. Moderated by Star Trek editor/supreme commander Sarah Gaydos.


(July 22, 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., Room 5AB)

From the cutting-edge labs of the Smithsonian Institution to the front-lines of the digital economy, the promises made in Star Trekare coming true.  This panel gives a glimpse at real Trek technology: the tricorder that may change medicine; laser weapon technology; and an actual tractor beam.  And fans will get a preview of the original Starship Enterprise, fully restored after 50 years and the centerpiece of the National Air & Space Museum.  This panel will be supplemented by exclusive preview clips from Smithsonian Channel’s two-hour special “Building Star Trek,” which will air later this year. Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, moderates a discussion with Dr. Sonny Kohli, Team Leader of Cloud DX, a finalist for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, David Grier, Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University, who is developing a real-life Tractor Beam; Dr. Rob Afzal, Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow Laser Sensor and Systems Harnessing the Power of Lasers; and Elizabeth Trojian, Executive Producer of Smithsonian Channel’s “Building Star Trek.”


(July 23, 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m., Room 5AB)

On September 8, 1966, a new television series premiered with a basic mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Little did anyone expect Star Trek would become one of the most adored and influential entertainment icons of the last half century. Star Trek documentarian Roger Lay, Jr.; Rod Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry; CBS’s Phil Bishop; and Star Trek alumni Mike and Denise Okuda will reveal never-before-seen clips and photos from some of Star Trek’s most beloved episodes.


(July 23, 3 p.m.–4 p.m., Room 28 D/E)

Star Trek concept designer Rick Sternbach and Visual Effects Producer Dan Curry discuss exactly what it takes to take a Starship from the page to the screen and how the process has changed since Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in 1987 with the introduction of CG. The panel will be moderated by Eaglemoss’s Ben Robinson and everyone who attends will receive a free model Starship from Eaglemoss’s collection.


(July 23, 6 p.m.–7 p.m., Room 5AB)

Star Trek has influenced many of us to fall in love with the infinite possibilities of space exploration. The various television series and films have also made an indelible impact to NASA. NASA scientists, engineers and astronauts often cite Star Trek as inspiring them to pursue careers in their fields.  (Nichelle Nichols even helped NASA recruit astronauts in the 1980s.) How does NASA’s vision of the future mimic the world of Star Trek and where does it differ?  What technologies in the Star Trek world have paved the way for real technologies being developed by NASA?   Robert Picardo, who portrayed The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, will moderate a panel which includes Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, NASA Johnson Space Center; Amber Staughn, Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Bobak Ferdowsi, Flight Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Jay Falker, Early Stage Portfolio Executive, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters.