When I learned the Mall of America had a Star Trek exhibit, I told Lisa we had to go to the Twin Cities for the Independence Day holiday weekend. I HAD to see it! Life wouldn’t be complete without it. OK, maybe I went a little overboard on that part, but I did want to see it badly.
I wasn’t disappointed. The exhibit – which runs through at least the end of 2015 – highlights facets of all of the Star Trek franchise – from the original television series to the movies and ends with coverage of the last series, “Enterprise.”
Visitors can have their photo taken by a crew member aboard the bridge of the Enterprise. There is a $10 fee on top of the $17 admission fee. Please note that photography is not generally allowed at the exhibit. We received permission to photograph props and displays as part of this story.
The tour starts with a very cool timeline, from the Wright brothers’ first flight to the creation of NASA. Then, the exhibit kicks in with the creation of Star Fleet and the Enterprise. The display covers the TV series and the original and “Next Generation” movies.
The exhibit has so much on display – sets, costumes, props and models.
A couple of captain chairs are on view that belonged to Star Fleet and the Klingons.
Dr. McCoy’s tricorder and other medical devices from subsequent shows are displayed in a medical unit exhibit.
An engineer set highlights the work Scotty and others put in to power the Enterprise models.
Costumes were very cool to look at. And it was odd to realize that the actors who wore the outfits were so small.
My favorite outfit to view was worn by Ricardo Montalban in the second “Star Trek” movie, “Wrath of Khan.” He portrayed Khan, Kirk’s nemesis from the television series.
Whoopi Goldberg portrayed Guinan on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Her outfit is on display.
Visitors can check out the costume worn by James Cromwell as Efram Cochran in “Star Trek: First Contact.” The 1996 movie ended with the arrival of the first Vulcan on Earth.
A Klingon officer’s uniform is also on display.
Models of various transport and crew shuttles and ships are on display. Recognize any?
Weapons of all types are on display. Set your Phazer to stun.
Star Trek: The Exhibition has a few models of face molds available to be viewed. I found the Borg mold a bit scary. They were a creature that freaked me out during the show. “Resistance is futile.” No lie. Thank goodness, Seven of Nine was able to be saved.
A full scale model of a Borg was very interesting to check out.
I liked the model of the Klingon’s mask, as well.
“Next Generation” fans will enjoy the mold of Data. Lt. Commander Data is an android. He always wanted to know what it was like to be human. He eventually got his wish.
Star Trek: The Exhibition has a display of all of the franchise’s captains’ uniforms – James T. Kirk (“Star Trek”), Jean-Luc Picard (“Next Generation”), Benjamin Sisko (“Deep Space Nine”), Kathryn Janeway (“Voyager”) and Jonathan Archer (“Enterprise”).
“Enterprise” was actually meant as a prequel for the franchise, though it was the last series produced. It had its detractors among the supporters.
Capt. Janeway was the first female captain in the Star Trek franchise.
Capt. Kirk actually appeared in the original series’ second episode. Capt. Pike was the original captain in the first episode. William Shatner came aboard as Kirk in the following episode.
As fans, we’ve been fortunate to see some of the original series stars. We were in Hollywood the day Walter Koenig received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to Koenig (who played Chekov in the TV and film series), we saw George Takei (Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock). Sadly, Nimoy passed away earlier this year. Nichols suffered a stroke this spring, as well.
So, the chance to visit an exhibit highlighting the entire franchise was a great experience. We had a lot of fun. Our guide was also a bit of a geek, as he loves his shows, too. We talked for several minutes about the franchise, other series and conventions to attend.
If you are a fan of any of the Star Trek shows, Star Trek: The Exhibition is for you. We suggest checking it out.
If you or someone you know is a fan of Barbie or “CSI,” there are a couple more exhibits to check out in the Exhibit Center at the mall of America. “Barbie: The Dreamland Experience” and “CSI: The Experience” also run through the end of the year.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Meet Minneapolis, Mall of America and Star Trek: The Exhibition for the complimentary passes and photo opportunities. However, all opinions and views are ours.