Fans of the original “Star Trek” are now falling over themselves twice over with excitement: DragonCon has added William Shatner to its lineup.
He joins fellow “Trek” castmate Leonard Nimoy is already set to appear. And this on top of first-timersPatrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew.
It’s easily DragonCon’s biggest Star Trek draw ever. Shatner will only be there on Friday, Sept. 4, though. The pair are set to be together at a 10 a.m. session at Marriott Marquis. Nimoy will also do panel appearances at 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday morning. Both men will sign autographs at the Walk of Fame.
“It does my 48-year-old little Trekkies’ heart good,” said Eric Watts, who has been overseeing Star Trek events at DragonCon for 17 years as a volunteer. (Only two people are paid: the office manager and assistant office manager.)
This is the first appearance at this convention for either actor, Watts noted.
Nimoy, he said, has avoided scifi conventions for years to focus on his photography career but since he made that appearance in the latest “Star Trek” movie, he’s had a change of heart.
Trekkies, he said, are happy that the film has re-energized the fan base but wonders if it will last.
Watts’ only worry is about 2010: “How do we top this?”
Most other Trek alums have shown up before at Dragoncon, the most reliable being George Takei, who has been there at least three times.
Dragoncon chairman Pat Henry said he has seen a spike in sales since the Shatner announcement. The 10 a.m. joint appearance, he said, will be first come first serve. He anticipates weekend attendance to be comparable to last year, at 35,000 to 40,000, recession notwithstanding.
For folks who can’t make it in, DragonCon will videotape the session and air it all weekend in the four local hotel rooms. He said he has offered invites to Nimoy, Patrick and Shatner for many years and the stars aligned this year. “I’m excited,” he said.