Star Trek The Tour recently opened in Long Beach, California and features an unparalleled look inside and behind-the-scenes at the world of Star Trek. If you read this article, you know all about it. What you may not know is that the tour features the return of two Star Trek characters that haven’t been seen in years.
Aside from the many exhibits and displays, Star Trek The Tour showcases a multimedia presentation that puts visitors in the middle of a simulated Starfleet adventure. After entering the circular “4D Encounter Theater,” visitors are briefed on the current assignment of the USS Titan. The mission is cut short by an attack by some rogue Klingons and the adventure begins. The two Titan crewmembers that appear in the film are familiar faces to fans — Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) and Star Trek: Voyager’s Tuvok.
Wheaton was a series regular on Next Generation for three full seasons and left midway through the series’ fourth year. He guested on four episodes after that with Wesley taking off for parts unknown with the mysterious Traveler in his final series appearance. Wheaton took part in the wedding scenes of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis feature film but that footage ended up on the cutting room floor. Thankfully, they were subsequently included on the movie’s special edition DVD set. One of those scenes indicates that Wesley was scheduled to join the engineering team of the USS Titan, under the command of Captain William Riker.
In The Tour film, we learn that a goatee-wearing Wesley has indeed joined the Titan. He is now a Lieutenant Commander and Assistant Chief Engineer on the ship. Wheaton filmed the footage back on January 2, 2008. He hinted about it on his blog, calling it “one of those ‘so cool I can’t talk about it’ projects.” Wheaton’s the author of three books and occasionally does book readings and signings at conventions and stores. He’s said that he may try to coordinate some of these appearances with the traveling Tour schedule.
Russ’ Vulcan Tuvok was last seen in the series finale of Voyager when the ship was finally able to find its way home. In subsequent Star Trek novels, Tuvok is depicted as having joined the crew of the Titan as second officer and the ship’s primary tactical officer. Trek books aren’t usually considered cannon but the Tour footage places Tuvok as second in command of the Titan.
Interestingly, Russ is currently involved with an unauthorized Star Trek project in which he also reprises his role of Tuvok. It’s called Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and Russ is directing the ambitious Internet mini-series as well as acting in it. Unlike most fan projects, Of Gods and Men features several Trek veterans from the various series and movies.
Star Trek The Tour leaves Southern California on February 17th and will hit the road, travelling to many major cities across the continent. Though the Tour film is short and a bit hokey story-wise (like many audience interactive films), it’s nice to see two familiar Trek characters brought to life once more. Live long and prosper, guys.