Monday, September 26, 2016

A Visit to the EMP's Star Trek Exhibit

(Image from the EMP Museum website)
A couple of weeks ago, I waxed poetic about Star Trek's Golden Anniversary.

Even though I still haven't seen Star Trek Beyond yet, I did manage to go to the Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds exhibit at Seattle's EMP Museum (Experience Music Project).

I was hoping to venture up to the Emerald City on Star Trek's exact anniversary day, but my wife and I were too busy.  However, we both had last weekend off while her sister and brother-in-law were visiting us.  This turned out to be the perfect outing for all of us since we grew grew up watching the show.

The museum allowed visitors to take photographs, but did not allow the use of camera flashes.  I don't like using the flash anyway, so this didn't bother me initially.

However, the exhibit hall was very dark.  As a result, I had to max out nearly every editing function on my computer to make the subjects of each picture discernible.  This process took over a dozen hours of sifting through 149 photos.  Even with 89 usable pictures, it was difficult to obtain a good image without some video reflection, or lens-flare from an overhead light.

What follows is a sample montage of our adventure.

Entering the strange new world...

(...and taking many small steps for "Fankind")
The Starships

(The USS Enterprise)
(USS Voyager and Galaxy Class Enterprise)
(USS Voyager)
(Deep Space Nine)
The "History" of Star Trek

(Where the various shows fit in to our "future history")
(There's quite a gap between the Original Series (TOS) and the Next Generation)
The Museum's Artifacts

(The exhibit's main floor)
The Original Series:

(The Enterprise's bridge with Kirk and McCoy's uniforms)
(Starfleet women's uniform, worn by Lt. Nyota_Uhura)
(Helm and navigation control)
(A blurry picture of a control panel)
The Next Generation:

(Geordi La Forge's uniform)
(Captain Jean-Luc Picard's uniform)
(Counselor Deanna Troi's uniform)
(Lt. Commander Data's uniform and display)

Deep Space Nine:

(Captain Benjamin Sisko's uniform and DS-9 display)

(Seven of Nine's and Captain Kathryn Janeway's uniforms)

(T'Pol's and Captain Jonathan Archer's uniforms and display)

Adversaries in Star Trek

The Federation's opponents ranged from worth Cold War Era stand-ins...

(The Klingon Display)
(Klingon weapons and battlecruiser model) a terrifying "Horde of Alien Locusts"...

(An occupied Borg Alcove)

...along with the misunderstood...

(The Gorn costume) the darn-right cute & cuddly.

(The Tribble display)
Sometimes our enemies are our darker selves.

(Kirk's Mirror Universe uniform)
But the best Star Trek nemesis by far is...

(The Khan Noonien Singh Display)
(Ricardo_Montalban's costume in The Wrath of Khan)
...well, at least the original.
(Benedict Cumberbatch's Khan-reboot costume)

Star Trek Props

What I found most remarkable about the props used in Star Trek was--how unremarkable they are.

(Some familiar items used in the Original Series)

After half-a-century, they even look shoddy compared to more updated props.

However, this is what makes them so amazing.  That a pop culture phenomena was launched on such an small budget, making due with whatever the prop manager could cobble together.

Oddly enough, the exhibit I, my family and even a coworker liked the most was this diorama showing how the Enterprise Set was arranged.

(The real Starship Enterprise)

Star Trek Creator and Patron

(Gene Roddenberry's bio)
Here's another reason to "love Lucy:"

(Lucille Ball is attributed to saving Star Trek before it began)

Star Trek's Impact on Today's Culture

(Star Trek themed merchandise)
(More 'Trek merchandise)
(Even our president was a fan:  Obama and Nichelle Nichols renders the Vulcan Salute)

Interactive Displays

(The famous crawl spaces named after designer Matt Jefferies)
(Yours Truly in a Jefferies Tube)
In addition to scampering through a futuristic crawlspace one can even star in their own "movie," which consists of virtually beaming down to some hostile environment and resolve a critical situation that only main characters can accomplish.

("Away Team Instructions")
 In this story, I drew the short straw heroically volunteered to beam aboard a damaged freighter about to crash into an inhabited planet.  My assignment was to destroy the ship's Phlebotinum Core--with a hand phaser--before it reached the planet's atmosphere.

 (A one-man Away Team preparing to beam aboard a stricken vessel)
My mission was a success, probably because I wasn't wearing a Red Shirt for this operation. (I tried uploading the video my wife took, but I couldn't get it to play here on Blogger).

Speaking of attire, I didn't see any cosplayers at the exhibit, but back in May there was an opening day costume party.

The Star Trek:  Exploring New Worlds exhibit will continue at the EMP through 17 February 2017.

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