What Makes a 'Star Trek' Fan? Costumed Trekkies Share Stories (Slideshow)

Mom Made Me

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The "Star Trek": Mission New York convention, held Sept. 2-4 at New York City's Javits Center, brought Trekkies together to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary. Here are some "Star Trek" fans who came dressed up as various characters for the special occasion.

Chelsea Marquette, 31; Brooklyn Marquette, 11; and Vada Byer, 7, were dressed as Seven of Nine and Starfleet cadets. 

Brooklyn and Vada like watching "Star Trek" because their mom, Chelsea, "makes them watch it with her" and because "the outfits are cool." 

"I binge-watched all of 'Star Trek' in the span of a year, and it was the best year of my life," Chelsea Marquette said. "I really love 'Star Trek' because they explore all these different worlds and different cultures that don't actually exist, but theoretically could." 

Captain's Uniform

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Jason Barnes, 31, was dressed in a red captain's uniform. He and Allison Shea, 29, love "Star Trek" because it focuses on social advancements.

Tribute to Spock

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Sarah Medcalf, 34, was dressed as a lieutenant science officer as a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original series. 

"I grew up with a love of astrophysics and all kinds of crazy nerdy things, and 'Star Trek' came along and told me that was OK," Medcalf said.

"My favorite character is probably Spock, but I'm also a big fan of Quark from [the 'Star Trek' series] 'Deep Space Nine.'"

Family of Starfleet Cadets

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Karen Wall, 31; Grant Wall, 31; and Annaleis Wall, 1, were wearing shirts representing different divisions of Starfleet: engineering (red) and command (gold). Grant and Karen love the series after having grown up watching it, and Annaleis is sure to grow up with a similar experience, her parents said.

Karen's favorite character is Lt. Cmdr. Data, while Grant's favorite character is Quark from "Deep Space Nine."

Head in the Clouds

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Nadia Tyler, 32, loves "Star Trek" because she grew up watching the series with her mom.

"I grew up with my head always in the clouds," she said. 

Tyler's favorite characters are Spock from the original series and Jean-Luc Picard from "The Next Generation." 

Science Officer, Seven of Nine, and Data

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Danielle Ackley-McPhail, 46, was dressed in a blue dress representing the science division of "Star Trek." Her favorite character is Jadzia Dax, who is a Trill symbiont — a life-form that lives inside humanoid hosts. 

"I love 'Star Trek' because of that sense of adventure and discovery and rightness — whenever they [the 'Star Trek' crew] went out, there was a code that they followed. And sometimes, they violated it, but it was always for a good cause," Ackley-McPhail said. 

Leigh Targaryen, 36, dressed as Seven of Nine. 

"I really like how each episode has a problem that [the crew] has to solve — they have to figure out a way to get around this difficult situation, and they always prevailed," Targaryen said, adding that she also really enjoyed the show's holodeck episodes, which featured technology similar to the virtual-reality technologies being developed today. 

In addition to Seven of Nine, Targaryen's favorite character is Kes, a medical assistant in "Star Trek: Voyager."

Jay Buechler, 30, was dressed as Data, who is one of his favorite characters of the series in addition to The Doctor from "Voyager." One of the things Buechler loves most about "Star Trek" is how technical it is and the schematics behind how all of the technology works. 


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Ray Deforest, 58, was dressed in full Spock attire, including Vulcan ears and a black wig with bangs. 

"It's awesome!" Deforest said when asked why he loves "Star Trek." 

"It's been around a long time, and it [offers] a brighter future — it's not all dark and bad, and people seem a little better, which I think is something we need right now," he added. 

Spock is one of Deforest's favorite characters, but he also planned to dress up as Nurse Christine Chapel for one of the other days of "Star Trek": Mission New York. 

Original Series Klingons

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Allen Shaw, 46, and Christine Shaw, 46, dressed as a couple of Klingons from the original series. A Klingon is a member of a war-like humanoid alien species that appears in "Star Trek" and its sequels. 

Like many "Star Trek" fans, the Shaws grew up watching the television series and fell in love with it. 

"My mother went to the very first [convention] at the Statler Hilton [held Jan. 21-23, 1972], and when I was a little bit older and there were no babysitters available, my mother dragged us to the conventions — and I have been hooked ever since," Christine Shaw said. 

Allen Shaw's favorite character from the Federation is Scotty, because "throughout the movies and the TV show, he really stayed the most the same," he said. 

Spock's Half Brother

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Dustin Hausner, 27, was dressed as Spock&'s half brother Sybok from "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." Hausner's favorite character is Spock.

"I love 'Star Trek' because it shows a brighter future where people can work together and enjoy each other's diversity and accept people no matter what they think or where they are from," he said. 

His Own Character

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Andrew Kaplan, 28, wore what he identified as a montage of different versions of "Star Trek" uniforms with a bit of his own design flair. His favorite character, however, is Data. 

"'Star Trek' shows the best that humanity can be," Kaplan said. "It shows people doing the right things for the right reasons. It has a lot of moral qualities that you don't really see in a lot of shows now, or even a couple years ago. It's a good learning tool to show how people should [act] today in society." 

Spock and Kirk Duo

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Lauren Henriquez, 23, and Brendon Ramos, 21, were dressed as their favorite characters, Spock and Capt. James T. Kirk, respectively. Henriquez was also holding a small, furry Tribble, which is a fictional, invasive alien species that reproduces incredibly fast.  

"I'm actually somewhat of a newer ['Star Trek'] fan," Henriquez said. "I started watching the original series because Brendon got me into it." 

Ramos is a third-generation Trekkie; he comes from a long line of family members who have loved watching "Star Trek." 

"My grandpa watched it while it was airing; my dad was very into it, and is still very into it, and now I'm into it — 'Star Trek' is just a really big thing in my house," Ramos said. 

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Samantha Mathewson
Contributing Writer

Samantha Mathewson joined Space.com as an intern in the summer of 2016. She received a B.A. in Journalism and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut. Previously, her work has been published in Nature World News. When not writing or reading about science, Samantha enjoys traveling to new places and taking photos! You can follow her on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13.