Seattle Star Trek exhibit takes fans out of this world

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds exhibit opens to the public May 21

SEATTLE, Wash. (KOIN) — A new exhibit at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle is taking visitors out of this world.

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds pays homage to the franchise’s 50-year history. Curator Brooks Peck tells KOIN 6 News Star Trek is a story of the 20th century.

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds pays homage to the franchise's 50-year history. (KOIN)
Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds pays homage to the franchise’s 50-year history. (KOIN)

“It starts at a time, mid-60s, a time when there was a lot of social upheaval in the U.S.,” Peck said. “[It] has been with us through an immense amount of technological and social change in our society.”

Peck spent the last 2 years collecting Star Trek memorabilia for the exhibit, which features over 100 props and artifacts from the TV series and films.

“Here you can see Captain Kirk’s gold tunic,” Peck said during a tour of the exhibit. “And the commander chair that he sat in and also the control panel that Chekov and Sulu would sit at, fly the ship and fire the tasers.”

He also showed off a miniature model of the spaceship Enterprise that was used during the filming of Star Trek: Next Generation. The Enterprise belongs to Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, but from 1987-1994 it was home base to Captain Picard and his crew.

The exhibit features a miniature model of the spaceship Enterprise. (KOIN)
The exhibit features a miniature model of the spaceship Enterprise. (KOIN)

“The camera would move through the ship and then on film it will give the illusion that the ship was soaring through space,” Peck said. “They would have to take a number of takes to add in different effects, add on the inner light… the window light… the stars.”

But not every episode was set in space.

“This is one of my favorites: the Gorn,” Peck said. “The Gorn was this alien that Captain Kirk fought on the planet… In the end, even though Kirk wins, he refused to kill the Gorn. He says, ‘No, we are better than this. I’m not going to do that.'”

The iconic scene showcased Captain Kirk’s humanity.

It’s a quality about the franchise that’s attracted fans of all ages.

“It’s a fun vision of what we could be,” Peck said. “And fun is important, right? Because there’s spaceships and there’s aliens… crazy stuff which makes it really entertaining!”

The new exhibit opens May 21. Star Trek: Beyond hits theaters in July and a new Star Trek series will air on KOIN 6 next January.

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