Star Trek The Exhibition Review

Star Trek The Exhibition
© James Martin/CNET

Being a Trekie, I was stoked that Star Trek: The Exhibition was coming to town, specifically to The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. So after a bit of prodding Andrea, we made plans to go see it on Halloween, Saturday, October 31.The cool thing is that the Tech Museum of Innovation temporarily redid their 15,000 square-foot layout to accommodate all the Star Trek props, models, and information spanning five television series and eleven movies, essentially a geek’s wet dream. I didn’t bring my camera, as the website specifically said “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” of any kind, but upon arrival, a number of people had brought in their point-and-shoot cameras and no one stopped them, although I think my professional dSLR would certainly have drawn much more unwanted attention, so instead, I will link to photos taken by James Martin for CNET.

You start out in the lobby, where you pay $25 (!) per person (!) to get in, so the initial cost was $50 for Andrea and I to get in. Afterwards, you go down a hallway and enter the exhibit, which is self-guided with no audio tour option. You start out in the first area seeing display cases of the Star Trek: The Original Series (ST: TOS) uniforms and a huge U.S.S. Enterprise-A in the middle of the room. In addition, spread throughout the room are various other props such as communicators, tricorders, phasers, etc. Above the uniforms display are monitors with more information about the uniform or a famous character who wore that specific type of uniform.

The next stop takes you to a life-size recreation of the original Enterprise’s bridge complete with the Captain’s chair; sadly, from what I can tell, the control buttons only light up, as I was unable to raise shields or hail anyone. You can also get your photo taken sitting in the Captain’s chair.

From there you move into a corridor that has wall hangings detailing various information such as “Warp” and tidbits about the meaning and creation. You also can read character bios, as these hangings are strung throughout with the next area brings you to more movie props and uniforms and also a. As you continue walking, suddenly you are in one of the hallways of the starship Enterprise-D with a recreation of the transporter room where you can actually be “beamed” from one part to another and also get a picture taken.

After you continue down the hallways, you’re led out to the largest and final room of the Star Trek: The Exhibition where there are large size models of a Vor’Cha Klingon battle cruiser next to the Excellisor starship. There is also a scale model of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, various shuttle crafts, and a huge display detailing the entire Star Trek universe time-line and how each television series and movie fit in.

After you finishing, there is an exit out to mini Star Trek gift shop, in addition to two ride simulators which you have to pay an extra $5. We opted not to go on it because Andrea is pregnant. I should also mention that for an extra $8 per person you can watch the Star Trek movie on the Tech Museum’s IMAX theater.

All-in-all, being a Trekie, I was actually underwhelmed and unimpressed. For $25 a person and a leisurely diversion of about an hour and a half, I was expecting a bit more, perhaps a theater production on the bridge or a at-the-end shuttle simulator as you get at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, which sadly, is no longer operating. It was OK, not great, not bad, but could have been better in my opinion. Live long and prosper.

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