060716 The Starfleet Academy Experience, Ottawa, ON

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On June 7th, 2016 I returned to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum for another romp through science fiction memorabilia masquerading as a museum exhibit, this one focussed on the Star Trek universe.

A few years previously I had visited the same room with my friend JP to take in a touring exhibit called Star Wars Identities, and we both loved it.  JP was with me again for this one, Trekkie that he is (or is the politically correct term now “Trekker”?).

The Starfleet Academy Experience didn’t even come close to the Star Wars show.  There were tons of costumes and outfits from every franchise reboot but they got old pretty fast; we’re not talking about R2-D2 units or even Stormtrooper masks here, we’re talking one tight-fitting shirt after another.  Ohhh…purple!  Sure they had a few phasers under glass and two (yes, just two) ship miniatures but there was no comparison at all to the embarrassing wealth of artifacts that had been on display at the Star Wars exhibit.

The bulk of the show was dedicated to dioramas going into minute and mind-numbing detail about the history The bulk of the show was dedicated to dioramas going into minute and mind-numbing detail about the history and back story of the different captains, first mates, ship doctors and whomever.  I mean, who cares about anybody from Deep Space 9?  And equal space given over to Voyager?  C’mon now.

Can you tell that my interest in Star Trek is almost non-existent relative to my worship of Star Wars?  (And can you guess whether or not it was a coincidence that I wore my “Property of Jedi Training Camp 1977” t-shirt to the exhibit?)

The most fun was creating a personal oddball computer-generated character featuring my face adorned with superimposed antennae, a Klingon forehead and, I believe, feathers.  Watching myself ‘beam up’ was also slightly cool, if only because the graphics they came up with retained the same early ’60’s cheesy-charm of the original television series (unintentionally, I’m sure).

In the end I almost ran through the gift shop.  Roddenberry already got more of my money than he deserved at the ticket booth.

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