Starfest 2008 – 08

When we saw Nichelle Nichols signing autographs on Saturday, Lepidus commented to me on what a classy lady she is. That is certainly true as we were to further learn on Sunday, though schedules don’t mean much to her apparently. ^_^;

She was roughly 30-minutes late for her presentation, and when she arrived, she warned us that she can be quite verbose. That certainly was true, but she managed to hold the audience spellbound with her tales, even for something as mundane as her stylish but uncomfortable shoes. Unfortunately, that lead some female fan to offer Nichelle her crocks to make her feet comfortable. I really, really couldn’t believe someone would honestly expect Nichelle to go, “Ooo! Yes! I do believe I’ll take you up on that offer. After all, what does foot fungus mean to me?” However, Nichelle is all class as stated before and she turned down this offer and even made the whole thing pretty interesting.

Since the “underground” movie called Star Trek: Of Gods and Men is the latest Star Trek project of Nichelle’s (tied in with the fans doing those “TV” web episodes of the classic Star Trek that I blogged about here) she was asked about that as the crowd had just seen the first two parts. She’s not seen it yet as she’s apparently waiting for the finished product. However, when she stepped onto the fan-created bridge-set of the original Enterprise, she was really taken aback at how identical the re-creation was. She stated that it reminded her of the way she felt like the first time that she ever stepped onto the Star Trek bridge set so many years ago. She’s very proud of the work. I only saw a few minutes of this new movie, but I hope its good.

She also recounted the tale of when the first season of the show was over and she’d turned in her resignation that Friday to Gene Roddenberry. Her reason for this was her desire to return to theater, as she considered her stint on TV as just a resume enhancement. Gene asked her if she knew what he was trying to accomplish and told her he wouldn’t accept her resignation until Monday, when he’d accept her decision one way or the other. She had to attend some banquet (she believes it was an NAACP one) and was informed that her biggest fan wanted to say hello. So she turned to see this biggest fan and saw Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She continued looking for the fan, but in fact he was said fan. When he learned of her plans to quit the show, he talked her out of it as the show displayed a future where blacks, whites, men, and women all worked together as equals. She told Gene this and he was thankful someone got what he was trying to do.

The story made her tear up as well as a few others in the audience. Sadly, that was all the time we had for her since she arrived so late and allowing her to do a full hour would have placed the next presenter with almost no time at all. Next time she comes, I hope she makes it on time as she’s worth an hour or more.

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