Do you Trek? We don’t mean the kind of trekking that has you scaling peaks in Nepal. We’re talking Star Trek, the science fiction television series that spawned a handful of spinoffs as well as films, toys, games, novels, themed attractions, and conventions.
The conventions have sparked new generations of fans who study Klingon and memorize trivia from the series, the first of which ran for only three seasons, from 1966 through 1969. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first major Star Trek convention, which took place at New York City’s Statler Hilton Hotel. The organizers, who went by the mysterious name The Committee, expected 500 people to attend, but the final numbers were over 3,000.
Trekkies come to conventions for different reasons, from speeches and special appearances to the unveiling of new merchandise. But leave it to eBay to feature an actual recreation of the Star Trek Bridge.
As any self-respecting Trekkie knows, the bridge is the nerve center of the Starship Enterprise (and other starships in the fleet) and the focal point of many a scene from the series. According to Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki, “The bridge was the starship equivalent of an operations center or command center. On Starfleet ships, it was generally located near the top and front of a vessel. From here, the commanding officers supervised all ship’s operations, ranging from vessel course control to tactical systems.”
The item on auction is more than a model or basic stage set. According to the seller, startrekdon, “This is the ultimate buy for the ultimate Trekkie! A full sized, fully operational Star Trek bridge themed party room! The room comes with a working main screen, computer consoles, automatic sliding doors, and a hidden fridge. This one-of-a-kind buy even features wireless surround sound speakers and a “depressurization” chamber!”
It also comes with a $200,000 price tag, but startrekdon explains, “The set was originally constructed for a well know celebrity for 1.5 million dollars but can now be yours for only a fraction of that…”
Others have tried to recreate the look and experience of the Star Trek bridge, from the video games Star Trek: Bridge Commander and Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulation to the Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Action Playset. Most notably, the Las Vegas Hilton hosted Star Trek: The Experience, a massive themed attraction which included props, video display devices, simulation rides, and films. According to Wikipedia, the pavilion opened in 1998 and closed in 2008. It was set to reopen the next year at the Neonopolis Mall in conjunction with the Star Trek film premiere, but delays and licensing issues have kept the doors closed.
You can virtually relive the experience of The Experience here. But if the website version leaves you feeling a bit hollow, take heart that you’re only a winning bid away from the place where Captain Kirk sat in his command chair and where Spock and Lieutenant Jose Tyler spoke the first lines in the program’s history:
“Check the circuit!”
“All operating, sir.”
“Can’t be the screen, then!”