8/29/19-9/2/19 Phoenix Rising Invades Dragon Con, Atlanta, GA

Commander N’ayr sutai-K’cep and IXL Major Kavura vestai-K’cep, the CO and XO of the Phoenix Rising Quadrant, attended Dragon Con 2019 over Labor Day weekend, along with 7 others from our quadrant. This was the first year that we hosted our own panel at Dragon Con. Our panel was part of the Trek Track, and it was called “StarPodTrek Presents Exotic Aliens of The Original Series”. StarPodTrek is our all-Star Trek podcast. During the panel, we promoted KAG and the Imperial Xeno Legion, the part of KAG that is for non-Klingon alien members. We had a great turnout for our panel. We talked about Orions and Andorians and tribbles. Oh my! And other colorful Trek aliens! It was not our first time doing a panel, but it was our first panel at such a large convention. It was a little intimidating, but since we are both Dragon Con veterans, we took it in stride. Everything went smoothly, and we were thrilled. Doing panels is a great way to participate in cons and do something you love.

Garrett Wang was the director of the Trek Track. He said he would love to be on the new Picard series, but he doesn’t think he will get asked to be on it. He said he would love to play an alien on Orville if they ever asked him to be on it. He was the moderator for one of the Orville celebrity panels. He wanted to moderate because Orville is pretty much Star Trek by another name. He actually got to visit the Orville set once. The Orville actors at the con were the ones who played Isaac, Klyden, Bortus, and Lamar. Mark Jackson, who plays Isaac, said there would be no Orville if we didn’t have Star Trek. There was also a fan discussion panel on Discovery v. Orville. They talked about how both shows now have time travel and how Disco started dark, and Orville is now darker. They mentioned how Trek has always been political, and Orville is also political in many episodes. Disco doesn’t deal as much with aliens as Orville. Orville has more social commentary and character development, things Trek is known for. The next season of Orville will be streaming on Hulu. That may allow for better stories since they don’t have to appease network censors; they may go darker, probably to to war with the Moclans. How ironic. Orville may go to war as Disco did in the first season.

Group photoshoots are another big thing about Dragon Con that we always participate in. We went to the Star Trek photoshoot in our our ’70s Klingon costumes, all glittery with groovy sequins. We didn’t see a lot of other warriors there, so we represented our House with honor. We did see two other bumpy-headed Klingons and one neophyte Klingon apprentice who will be a warrior in no time. We also went to a group photoshoot that was just for Discovery. We wore our Disco jogging t-shirts. There were other people in Disco t-shirts, and we got some great pics together. There were also some great Enterprise and Discovery uniforms there. No Disco Klingons though. They must have decided the humans weren’t worth their time.

We attended a fan discussion panel on the purported new Star Trek movie to be directed by Quentin Tarantino. Someone mentioned he could do a great Klingon movie, but he probably won’t. We also saw a panel with Keith DeCandido, author of “Klingon Art of War” and many other Klingon books and miscellaneous Trek books. He mentioned the excellent Klingon novel “The Final Reflection” by John M. Ford, written in the ’80s, and how its portrayal of Klingons happens to make them a lot like the Cardassians. That is why in Keith’s book “Art of the Impossible”, he had the brilliant idea to make the story about Klingons and Cardassians as arch enemies.

We wore our Andorian costumes one night to promote the Imperial Xeno Legion. We were strong and mighty as Andorians, carrying our weapons and challenging anyone who walked by. We stopped by the Klingon Karaoke, which was a hoot as usual. This time the song lyrics were projected on the ceiling. It worked out very well for everyone. And the Ten Forward Dance was a lot of fun. We saw many in costumes and challenged them in battle. There was a panel called “Morals of Star Trek”. They talked about how Section 31 and the mirror universe are both utilitarian and not very moral, and only would work if facing an existential threat. There was a panel on the “Future of Star Trek” that said they don’t think there will be much of Starfleet in the new Picard series.

We saw a panel with the Star Trek: Discovery stars Mary Chieffo, Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Emily Coutts, and Shazad Latif. Mary Chieffo, known as the Klingon L’Rell, said that she is vegan. What? Is that even possible for a Klingon? LOL! The panel moderator Garrett Wang said she should learn to say “I am vegan” in Klingon. More LOL! She also happens to be a big Harry Potter fan. Anson Mount said he grew up watching Star Trek because his mother loved it. Mary and Shazad were proud to play Klingons and to learn to speak the language so well for Discovery. Another great guest this year was Karl Urban, Dr. McCoy in the reboot movies. He was there not as a Trek guest, but for The Boys, his new show on Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, we missed his panel. We also missed Trek stars William Shatner and George Takei. Dragon Con has way too much going on to see everything.

We got to do a few other things such as have our picture taken in the Tardis, attend a party as Playboy bunny-style Wonder Woman and Hugh Hefner-style Steve Trevor, and cosplay as The Comedian and Silk Spectre from Watchmen. We got to hang out with a lot of friends that we only get to see at this con. Once again, Dragon Con Rules! The reported attendance this year was 85,000. And the Trek Track had so much going on that it was its own con-within-a-con. The Trek Track at Dragon Con is the place to be every Labor Day weekend.


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