“Happy Star Trek Day! We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own!” Illustration by Matthew Daley/Torontoist.
Toronto’s first Star Wars Day went down at the Toronto Underground Cinema this past May 4. (Get it? May the fourth? Like “May the fourth be with you”? As in referring to “May the Force be with you”? Like in the Star Wars pictures? Eh?) Organized by an ad hoc collective of local nerds (you can read all about the event’s origin on co-organizer Michael Nus’s blog), Star Wars Day Toronto combined costume contests, trivia, and a lot of sniping about the prequel trilogy to create a perfect storm of geek glee.
“Somebody piped up and said ‘Why isn’t there a Star Trek Day?'” recalls Sally Christensen, self-identified writer, crocheter, and all-around nerd. “And then we said, well, let’s do one. It just went from there.”
Along with local writers, musicians, calendar girls, and Polaris-programmers, Christensen now sits on the organizing committee for Star Trek Day Toronto, coming to the Toronto Underground Cinema on October 2, 2011. (Unlike the intergalactically accepted date for Star Wars Day, these numbers don’t seem to have any special significance. Unless 10.2.11 was the stardate when dilithium was first discovered or something.) The group has assembled, Avengers-style, as Nerd Mafia, a name we can’t imagine the real mafia is too keen on them co-opting. “It was one of those jokes on Twitter that went further than anyone expected,” Christensen says of the name. Star Trek Day Toronto will be the first major event hosted by this cadre of Toronto’s dork elite. And it’s already shaping up to be far more expansive than Star Wars Day. And, though we must reserve judgment until October 2, it’ll undoubtedly be better, because Star Trek is just plain better than Star Wars, which is for kids and little babies.
And while Star Wars Day was held over the course of a Wednesday evening, Star Trek Day gets a whole Sunday. Christensen says that in addition to the usual cosplay and trivia games, Star Trek Day will also include some screenings. The films haven’t been picked, but she assured us that fan favourite and series highpoint Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will almost certainly be one of them. And if that’s not enough to crank you up to Warp Six, the Nerd Mafia’s also plotting for live music and a Star Trek–themed burlesque show. Who said Star Trek can’t be sexy? Certainly not the kids with Gates McFadden and Jeri Ryan posters thumb-tacked beside their beds in middle-school.
Beyond making Trek sexy (which it kind of always has been, if you think back to Kirk’s pelty barrel chest, or those Original Series go-go skirts), Star Trek Day offers an alternative for T.O. Trekkers disillusioned by larger corporate fan events like Wizard World and Fan Expo Canada. It also fills the gap left when the awesome annual mom-and-pop Star Trek festival held at the Tranzac, Trekzac Festicon, folded after the 2008 edition. “This is a lot more intimate. It’s a little more grassroots,” says Christensen. “This isn’t Fan Expo with 20,000 people and throngs of stuff. And, of course, the admission’s going to be a lot cheaper. It’s more entertainment. It’s not just getting people to come in and buy your crap.”
So, there you have it. Toronto is getting a Star Trek Day. One that will rival Star Wars Day. Does this mean the longstanding animosity between Trekkers and Hogtown’s legions of Jedi padawans will come to a head, with Klingon bat’leth’s clashing against plastic lightsabers in the alley behind the Underground? Christensen doesn’t think so. “I think a lot of people like to go for the good time,” she says. “But it’s fun to do that Star Wars versus Star Trek thing. To draw the line.”
Save the date, dorks! Star Trek Day Toronto is October 2, 2011, and it’s being celebrated at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue). Follow Star Trek Day (@StarTrekDayTO) and Nerd Mafia (@tonerdmafia) on Twitter for all the relevant updates, as they happen.
This article originally stated that Michael Nus was one of the event’s co-creators; in fact, he is one of the co-organizers. Star Trek Day Toronto was co-created by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn.