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Fans & Fanatics
Trekkies (or Trekkers) - No, they are not mountain climbing enthusiasts, but the most devoted fans of the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69 and its subsequent sequels.


Trekkies 2

Trekkies and Trekkies 2 - films about the Star Trek craze

When a press release on March 4, 1968 announced intentions to drop STAR TREK, thousands of letters were sent protesting the decision. Eventually, over one million were received. These loyal fans were dubbed "Trekkies" (later called "Trekkers").

In February 1972, the first Star Trek convention held at New York's Statler Hilton Hotel attracted 3,000 fans. Later, the August, 1975 convention drew 15,000 fans and in 1976 the New York convention gathered together 50,000 loyal followers and each year the numbers keep growing.

The 1986 Los Angeles convention featured a couple of fans who were married amidst a gathering of Trekkies. The groom wore a red Federation Star Fleet uniform and the bride wore a set of pointy Vulcan ears.

Fanatics of the series can shop year round at the Manhattan based memorabilia store "The Federation Trading Post." Another group of sci-fi fans in Massachusetts established a central service that can help lonely "Trekkies" track down other addicts in their neighborhood.

A successful letter writing campaign (some 40,000) to President Ford by avid Trekkies influenced NASA to rename the first US space shuttle Constitution to the "Enterprise" after the name of the starship appearing on STAR TREK series.

Still another example of Trekkie enthusiasm occurred when the residents of the city of Riverside, Iowa (Washington County town of 826 residents near Iowa City) have claimed credit to being the future birthplace of Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

Organizers of the annual birthday celebration event, (begun in 1986) designated March 22, 2228 as Kirk's birthdate. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of actors William Shatner (Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock). Both were born the week of March 22.

The inhabitants of Vulcan, Canada (population 1,400) turned their town into the worlds' first Star Trek theme park, complete with parades, window displays and a statue of the USS Enterprise.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry created a 6,000-square-foot, million dollar exhibit called "Star Trek: Federation Science" that housed dozens of artifacts from the series including phasers, communicators, tricorders as well as replicas of the Enterprise bridge, engine room and transporter room. Universal Studios created a tourist attraction where members of the audience participated in a live stage performance of STAR TREK.

The word Trekkies/Trekkers can now be found in the :Oxford Dictionary." A favorite Trekkie expression was "I Grok Spock" ("grok" being a word created by novelist Robert A. Heinlein meaning "total/complete understanding" that appeared in his classic sci-fi book "Stranger in a Strange Land."

Over the years, the Trekkies have created their own strange lingo:

Mundane - a noun used to describe non-hardcore Trekkies
Clamhead Look - a term used to describe Trekkies who wore the ridged haircuts of Klingons
Get-A-Lifer - describes a hard-core Trekkie as in "That Get-A-Lifer" even knows Leonard Nimoy's birthday"
DSPSG - abbreviation for Disgusting, Slobbering, Patrick Stewart Groupie.

The web site "Project Galactic Guide" reports that Star Trek and its followers are an Earth-based religion centered upon a story created by Gene Roddenberry. Collectively the followers are called "Trekkies" or "Trekkers" and they worship such icons as "The Enterprise." This website leaves the warning "Beware! These people are highly volatile. They can go ballistic if you try and get them to believe that it is "just a TV show" and that they are wasting colossal amounts of time on it."

TRIVIA NOTE: For a fun romp down Star Trek memory lane check out the documentary Trekkies (1997) and its sequel Trekkies 2 (2003). The tongue-in-check and yet serious film is narrated/hosted by Denise Crosby (who appeared as Lt. Tasha Yar on "Star Trek: The Next Generation") and examines why individuals become so engrossed with the Star Trek series as well as some "fascinating" interviews from the major stars from the Star Trek phenomenon and their experiences with their fans throughout their careers.

For an additional look at fandom, see the film Fans and Freaks: The Culture of Comics and Conventions (2002) directed by Stephen and Suzie Lackey. It's also a fun romp through the fantastic world of science fiction, anime, fantasy, and horror fandom.

Since 1966, the Star Trek franchise has spawned ten major motion picture spin-offs as well as the TV series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94; STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE/SYN/1993-99; STAR TREK VOYAGER/UPN/1995-2001 and ENTERPRISE/UPN/2001-2005.

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