Monday, May 31, 2010

Star Trek -- The Exhibition

Red shirts beware: Star Trek -- The Exhibition is in town.

For those who don't know, "red shirt" is the loving term given to unfortunate Starfleet members of the famed "Star Trek" television show who are unlucky enough to beam down to planets with Spock and Kirk, and who are usually killed very, very quickly.

The exhibit, a traveling show designed to preserve antique props and sets from the show and its movies, including the 2009 J.J. Abrams film, has come to the McClellan Business Park's Aerospace Museum. It opened Friday and will run through Jan. 5.

The museum, which houses aeronautic paraphernalia, is now full of "Star Trek" sets, costumes, props and many other facets of the successful show's more than 40-year career.

“You feel like you’re in a 'Star Trek,' ” says Roxanne Yonn, executive director of the museum. “You go in there and you’re in a different world.”

It sure looks different. Members of various clubs dedicated to preserving and personifying "Star Trek’s" various cultures are on hand, including some from local Klingon Assault Group (KAG) IKV nom HegH, Klingon for "swift death." KAG members will volunteer throughout the exhibit's seven-month run.

Many people at the exhibit were impressed with the sheer size of the collection, and said seeing it in person was far better than seeing it on a screen.

“I never realized the extent of all the different uniforms and the weapons,” says museum volunteer Larry Mowrey, 68. “When you’re watching it, it’s different. You’re just watching a movie or the show, but when you see this stuff live, it's really, truly amazing. I just love it.”

The intricacy of the individual models also turned heads, including original tricorders and ‘borg’ weapons from the show.

"I didn't expect them to have such serious props," said Ken Hartley, 38, a self-described Trekkie. "Even if it's a replica, it's very accurate."

Fans enter an impressive area about three-quarters of the way through the exhibit, a corridor that details the chronology of the shows' and movies’ universe.

“It told the story, and it showed it, too,” said Matt Lidham, 15. “It wasn’t just a timeline. It was, ‘Here’s a timeline. watch it.’ ”

The exhibit also features multiple placards that depict physicist Albert Einstein discussing the show’s many uses of science and theory in application. The show’s mystique is seen in the story of the inventor of the cell phone getting the idea from "Star Trek’s" communication devices.

“It was all fantasy, but there were some young engineers or students who saw that and said, ‘We need to make that,’ ” said Yonn. “So the students that come through here, what will they be inspired to do?”

The Aerospace Museum of Sacramento is at 3200 Freedom Park Drive in the McClellan Business Park. For more information, visit

1. Model of the U.S.S. Enterprise, courtesy of Maxwell McKee

2. Model of the Borg Sphere, courtesy of Maxwell McKee

3. Mannequins with Kirk and Spock costumes, courtesy of Maxwell McKee

4. Girl playing with bridge controls, courtesy of Maxwell McKee

5. Jean-Luc Picard's Room, courtesy of Kati Garner

6. Hall of the history of Star Trek, courtesy of Kati Garner