If you’re looking for a place to teleport and celebrate 50 years of Star Trek, the Smithsonian has you covered.
A half century ago, on Sept. 8, 1966, the very first episode (but second pilot) of Star TrekTOS (the original series) aired on NBC with principal characters Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and changed the course of sci-fi fandom forever. Now that date will, 50 years later, serve as the kick-off for three days of Star-Trek-inspired revelry, called “Boldly Go 50,” at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
And the museum is kicking things off in near perfect fashion.
At precisely 8PM ET, the museum will offer a free screening of that debut episode, “The Man Trap,” which features some particularly intense work by series star William Shatner.
The museum, which recently completed the restoration of one of the original studio models of the Starship Enterprise (see above), will continue the celebrations on Sept. 9 with photo ops around the restored model (which is safely behind glass). It’ll also screen Building Star Trek, a new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, as well as the award-winning For the Love of Spock, a documentary aboutLeonard Nimoy produced and directed by the actor’s son Adam.
‘I think my dad would have been overjoyed to know that the fans and the broader public will be gathering and honoring this occasion…’
Day three will feature a number of Star Trek-inspired outdoor activities and tributes including botanical arrangements reminiscent of Star Trek TOS’s iconic set designs (yes, some might now call them hokey, but we do not agree). There will also be opportunities to chat with Star Trek experts and gobble up Star Trek treats. No word on whether Plomeek Soup is on the menu.
Best of all, representatives for the museum tell Mashable that it is encouraging Star Trek fans to arrive in costume. (However they should leave full face masks and prop weapons at home; it’s unclear whether or not wearing a red shirt is safe.) And, yes, there will be a costume contest and prizes (details on what you can win won’t arrive until August 29), so beam in your best designs.
“I think my dad would have been overjoyed to know that the fans and the broader public will be gathering and honoring this occasion and revisiting what made the show special and what was so important to him: the celebration of diversity, tolerance, and respect for all life forms,” said Rod Roddenberry in a statement. Roddenberry is the son of show creator Gene Roddenberry and chairman of the Roddenberry Foundation, which is sponsoring the event. Roddenberry is also expected to be on hand during some of the festivities,
The Smithsonian is encouraging attendees to share all their event experiences with the hashtag #BoldlyGo50.
If you can’t get enough of the Star Trek 50 celebration, you can get an early start in New York, where Star Trek: Mission New Yorkkicks off on Sept. 4. Then you can swing by the Intrepid Air and Space Museum for the Starfleet Academy Experience, which runs through Oct. 31.