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Talking ‘Star Trek’ Then and Now with Riker, Uhura, Chekov and Rod Roddenberry

Talking ‘Star Trek’ Then and Now with Riker, Uhura, Chekov and Rod Roddenberry

In the Mauna Lani Hotel in northern Kona, actors, comic artists, writers, fans and even scientists have gathered for Hawaii Con, a four-day sci-fi convention in mid-September. This is on the same Big Island in the Hawaii archipelago that attracted international attention in 2014 for the controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a 30-meter telescope for deep-space observation atop the Mauna Kea volcanic peak. The same island where NASA tests astronauts by keeping them in isolation for close to a year on the rocky dunes of Mauna Loa (which strongly resembles the barren red terrain of Mars) to study the effects of long-duration space travel. This is the land of Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, who is said to reside in the summit caldera of Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. It’s hard to imagine a better place for a science fiction convention. On this planet, at least. Among this year’s guests were several Star Trek veterans: Rod Roddenberry Jr,…