(if you ever think you might go to this event, you might not want to read the rest of this)
My wife and I flew into Las Vegas around suppertime, and didnt get to our hotel until after 7:30 that night.
It was late, and we were hungry so instead of going to the Star Trek Experience right away, we cleaned up and checked out some of the local food establishments.
After a wonderful meal, and a little walk around the gaming rooms to check out all the action, we headed to the end of the Hilton that the signs pointed to as the location of the Star Trek the Experience.
But turns out that it was getting late and the sign at the door informed us that the whole Star Trek complex would be soon closing down....."Darn",
Okay, now I decided that even if it was after 9:00 that night, I still wanted to see the full Star Trek Experience, so I shelled out around $50.00 for the tickets.
(They do allow you to come back the next day for free if you go after 9:00, so I think this ended up okay. They stamp your hand and you are then free to explore the Experience complex at leisure.)
The first thing you see is a display case containing a moon rock and a small model of the Lunar Lander.
I felt this was a nice touch, We start off an exhibit about the future, with a reminder of our present starting point.
As I continued walking up a ramp there is all along the inner wall a lighted display that shows the time line for all of the Star Trek events in chronological order.
This turned out to be a fascinating display, for I found myself reading each entry and seeing if I could recall the Star Trek episodes where the events described appeared.
All of the Star Trek historical items are displayed behind glass display cases, its very much reminiscent of going to a historical museum, There are items from each of the different Star Trek Television Shows, as well as things that appeared in films.
This is my favorite Star trek uniform of them all.
The garment truly does look like its from the future.
The wrap-around feature of this uniform was not copied in any other designs, and thats too bad I feel. Along side Captain Kirks uniform is the mini-skirt that Liutenant Uhura used to wear.
There are several Vulcan robes on display at the S.T. Experience;
this one appears to be the one the Spock wore as he retrained his mind following his return form the dead.
It actually looked the most cared for of anything I saw at the S.T.E., and appeared to be in near mint condition.
This photo shows us many things.
There is Capt. Janeways uniform, the skin grafted arm of Data, several hand-held computer PADS, along with a few VOYAGER baby shower gifts.
There is in the background the yellow staff that I believe was given to Kim during his marriage to 3 different wives.
Also a few of the space ship models are here.
I liked the idea of the display cases.
They give the viewer a good opportunity to get up and close to each of the Historical items, without the danger of breaking them.
The one disappointment with the display cases was the inability of my cheap disposable camera to light them correctly.
Notice here in the foreground the champagne that was used to christen the new ENTERPRISE.
The Guns of Star Trek!
What can I say, but this was my favorite display case! It was fun to study the weapons and I noticed that they appear to be extremely professionally made.
The Quality of the workmanship is truly amazing, and each weapon looks like it could really fire. I wish I would have taken more photos of this display case to let you all see how well the rifles were made, but at the time I didnt think even this one shot would turn out due to the camera flash reflection
This is the Photon Torpedo that was turned into the coffin for Spock.
I believe it could also be the same torpedo that both Spock and Dr McCoy operated on to install a gas sniffer that eventually helped it destroy a cloaked Klingon Bird of Pray.
As you continue to walk along the Experience pathways, you will come to a small cove where there is a person who will offer to take your photo so that later you can have a memento of your visit.
Next I came to a display case containing many Vulcan items.
There was the Vulcan Ambassadors robes, the nice clothes that Spocks mother had worn, and Spocks lyre.
There were also many smaller items such as rings a game called Kalto, and some type of what appeared to be Romulan dice.
This next display case I came to, was very interesting indeed.
This is the Ferengi Grand Proxy uniform. In his hands is the royal staff/scepter.
Next to this we see some Gold Pressed latinum.
The dark hourglass shape is a 'Orb of the Prophets' along with the case it is kept in.
Im not sure if you can make it out, but at the lower center is the Ferengi 'Rules of Acquisition' book, it serves as a guide for all the Ferengi dealings.
Ahhh,,,at last we come to the Klingons!
There are two huge display cases set aside to show the items of the Klingon Empire.
The first thing that I noticed was the wedding attire for the Klingon wedding held on DS-9.
There are many items that are included on each of the wedding outfits, and they look very real. The complete costumes are included, and they also have displayed the wedding goblet that was used to toast the wedding.
From the trial of Kirk and McCoy...
We have the Klingon gavel that was used to sentence them. It seems to be made of heavy guage steel, its a beautiful piece of work, and I would like to know who the artist was.
The way it seems to be used is that the judge would place his hand right into the arm part of the gavel.
It looks very heavy, I would love to own a copy of this item, and it would sure come in handy cracking walnuts at Christmas.
The Klingon Batleth
Well. here we are, an official Klingon Batleth with all the trimmings.
I was amazed how closely it appears to copy my own designs...(just kidding)
It seems to be about the same length as mine, but the handle holes appear to be a bit smaller than the Bat'leths I design. Also there were several different types and color leather used to wrap the handle.
The steel is highly polished, and thats way, WAY, different than the type of Batleth I make. (but I still like mine better..LOL)
I noticed that the inside curve between the outside and inside points is greater than I imagined
One interesting thing to note, the Batleth is displayed on the wall with the points pointing up, whereas I always point the points down. (I tried to mount the batleths I make pointed up, but they always looked like they were smiling,)
Just below the Batleth, is the wine cup that was on the Klingon ship in The Undiscovered Country, and was seen to float away from the table during the attack.
The Kahless Sword
Okay, now we get to a controversial part of our tour.
The Kahless sword just does not seem to be correct at all...
I think I started to notice things that were wrong with it the moment I laid eyes on it!
The first thing I noticed was it was the wrong size. I was lead to believe that the Kahless sword was about the same length as the Batleth (tip to tip).
But the Kahless sword displayed here is HUGE!
When you compare it to the Klingon uniform standing next to it, I would guess that if you held this Sword up and down with a point resting on the floor, the upper end tip would hit a person in the nose,,,,,thats way over 5 feet tip to tip!
The 2nd thing that I noticed that seemed incorrect was that this sword has a cutout where the Klingon tri-foil design appears. On the TV show that dealt with this sword, there was no such cutout. The sword also appeared on a Star Trek Voyager episode, and, again, that sword had no such cutout.
The last thing I felt was wrong with this sword was the thickness of the metal.it seems to be made out of a thin sheet metal, and would likely bend in half if you just leaned on it,,,,
All in all, I believe that the guys that run the Star trek the Experience should contact me about making them a better, more real looking Sword Of Kahless, because I know mine could cut this tin thing in half with one blow
Next to the throne chair of the High Klingon Council, is an Original Klingon uniform.
Here we see a modern Klingon uniform, and next to that we have displayed along one wall all the different knives that have been used to serve as Klingon blades.
Just about every blade that Gil Hibben has made thats all! (I have got to get Gil Hibben's job!)
I noted how nice and shiny clean the knives were.
How the all had the distinctive curves that have come to be associated with the Klingon blade.
I wish I could learn how to make such fine looking blades....perhaps one day....
Notice the sash on the Klingon uniform, its very real looking, and shows the proper trimmings and stuff. All being way different than that 'thing' selling down stairs for $12,000.00
The Star Trek Experience Adventure into Space
Okay, at the end of the winding path on the 2nd floor, we end up at a rope line near the Borg display. From here we waited for about 15 minutes for the next part of our journey to begin.
After a while, one of the attendants got on a microphone and made some remarks about how we were going to proceed, my hand stamp was checked with a special light, and we were hustled into a small room where a TV monitor was showing a video about some sort of Star trek things. When this video was completed, some side doors were automatically opened on cue,, and we were invited into an adjacent darkly lit room.
In this room we were told by the attendant to line up in rows in front of what appeared to be several small doors. Each door appeared to be about the size of a telephone booth door, and the attendant cautioned us not to crowd the doors, for they would open automatically.
Next we were directed to a couple of overhead TV monitors where we watched a short video about safety before boarding the shuttle simulator.
Now everything up to this point was aimed at helping us believe that we had just a normal simulator ride in store, no big deal
I remember looking around the little room we were standing in; the ceiling was low, the walls were close, just out of reach from where I was lined up. And the floor appeared to be of a brushed sheet metal material.
The video was going on and on about some other concerns before we boarded the simulator, when out of the blue trouble!
The video tape first appears to break, then the TV monitors seem to switch off, the attendant starts to speak loudly into his headset, informing the control room that were are having technical trouble.
Suddenly the room goes pitch-black black as a cave, there is an odd sparkling effect near the ceiling then we are blasted with a huge blast of cold air from some place.
There is a subwoofer kicking out a heck of a lot of noise now the room is still black there is the yelling of the attendant to stay calm, when, suddenly, I hear the distinctive sound of the Enterprises transporter cut thought the din,
Within seconds the sound on the transporter has replaced all the other noise and confusion, and just as suddenly the room is lit and we find ourselves IN A DIFFERENT ROOM!
And not just any room, we are now standing in the transporter room of the Enterprise.
There was no sign of the room we were previously in. Gone were the old walls and ceiling, replaced with the well-known transporter room devices overhead. The wall that had been within arms reach of me was now changed, and was about ten feet from me, Now here is the hard part to figure out, for somehow the very floor has also been changed, what had been clearly brushed sheet metal, was now replaced with glowing plastic floor panels of the transporter pads.
How did they do that? I remember thinking
There ahead of us is a transporter chief who seems busy at the transporter controls, they the transported chief taps the COM badge and reports to the Bridge that transport has been successful,
There is heard the voice of Commander Riker acknowledging.
The transporter person comes near to us and explains that we have just been beamed onto the Star Ship Enterprise, millions of miles from earth, and hundreds of years into the future! Suddenly the transporter room door splits open and in walks a officer of the ship, who informs us that we shall follow him to the bridge
We were lead down a long hallway, which appeared to be an exact replica of the passageways seen on the Next generation.
At the end on this passageway, the doors split open, (just like on TV), and I heard the distinctive sound of... The Bridge!
You are not going to believe this, but I walked onto a real bridge of the Enterprise! It was a full size reproduction of the TV Enterprise bridge; everything was in the exact correct placement, right down to the designs on the touch screens on the duty stations. While on the bridge we are informed over the huge bridge forward view screen by Commander Riker that we have been rescued from the Klingons, and that we need to get to the shuttle bay so that we can be returned to out proper time.
The bridge was amazing, all my life I have always wanted to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, thoughts of walking its hallowed decks has filled many of my dreams. and now, here I was, on the bridge, in the flesh,
I was moved.
But all too soon we are hustled off the bridge and into the turbo lift, and of course there is a problem with the power once we are all in, and we almost all die in a free fall, (the effects are very cool, even here they do a excellent job of convincing and acting, its a darn good show.
Once safely out of the turbo lift, we are escorted out into a hallway, and then into yet another room where we again watch a video about safely boarding a shuttle craft, The video is narrated by Geordi laForge, and then the launch bay door slides up, and we walk a few steps and take our seats in the shuttle
Once we have all gotten the seat belts secure, the huge side door on the shuttle closes, and we hear over the intercom about the pre-flight checkouts by our pilot.
Now the lights of the shuttle bay come up, and I can see the closed doors at the far end of the bay, LaForge informs us that we will need to blast our way out of the shuttle bay, so, suddenly the doors explode and all sorts of debris gets sucked out into the vacuums of space, along with our shuttle craft,
The ride is very startling, the effects of being sucked out into space is very real, the sensations of being free of the enterprises gravity are there as well. its fun!
Next thing that happens is you end up flying around the huge body of the enterprise in a dogfight with several Klingon birds of pray.
There is one moment when our shuttle drops down and flies under the saucer section, and you start to get a real idea just how enormous the Enterprise is, we continue to fly past the monsterously long engine pods, and then go to warp.
Once out of warp, we are treated to some truly stunning visuals, and get to see all kinds of things that I dont have the vocabulary to describe.
Once again we get into a huge dogfight with the Klingons, and once again we are sent hurtling into sub-space.
We pop out over Las Vegas, near the hotel where Star Trek the Experience is located, but guess what? the Klingons have followed us here!,,,once again we end up in a dog fight,,,this time it takes place right down amongst the casino billboards,,,,,its a very funny thing to see,
The Enterprise saved the day and we are returned to the basement of the Hilton by crashing though the walls.
The ride over, the door of the shuttle opens and a Hilton janitor guides us out the door and we come out on the lower level Promenade, all ready to go again!
Over the span of 3 days, I went to S.T.E. Twelve times!