Friday, April 22, 2011

Back to Space-Con

This movie is a documentary about the old days in Star Trek. Not the TV show, but the fan conventions built around the TV show.

As a fan who has been to probably 100 conventions in my lifetime, my first thought upon seeing this film was, Why couldn't I have lived in northern California as I was hitting my twenties? Because on February 22, 1975, the first Star Trek convention was held at Lincoln High School in San Francisco. It was called the "Red Hour Festival," and was a huge success as thousands showed up on their front door. And you have to remember that this was six years after Star Trek was cancelled. These conventions were obviously a testimonial to Star Trek's worldwide appeal.

I thought it was an interesting point the movie made that Paramount wasn't protecting its Star Trek trademark in the early days, because they obviously didn't think there was anything to protect. Star Wars apparently was the end of the sci fi stores, as George Lucas' lawyers insisted that anything made be licensed with licensing fees. But in the mid-seventies, fans were making their own costumes, phasers, starships, etc. And the first Star Trek stores were having their merchandise made in bulk to sell to eager fans.

The film is terribly repetitive; it could've been an hour long and that would have sufficed. Footage and photos were interspersed with interviews from those fans and dealers who were there. It's great to see the original cast as they looked back then, and to hear details about their appearances and what they talked to the fans about.

As Spock would say, "Fascinating."

Thumb's up.


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