Somehow, this story gives little hope to this one-time Star Trek fan:
The Borg is about to attempt to assimilate Las Vegas — and if the invasion is a success, the alien collective may not only breathe new life into one of that city’s tourist attractions but also could help to rescue the fading “Star Trek” franchise. On March 18 at the Las Vegas Hilton, Paramount Parks will open “Star Trek: Borg Invasion 4D,” a state-of-the-art attraction replaces the six-year-old “Star Trek: The Experience.”
Like the Borg itself — part machine and part living organism — the new attraction is a hybrid, part ride and part movie.
As the attraction’s visitors tour a futuristic research facility, the drones of the Borg collective will try to capture them using 24th century technology. In the movie portion, the Borg queen, played by “Star Trek: First Contact’s” Alice Krige, attempts to assimilate the visitors. The day is saved when the Enterprise arrives, along with its commander, Adm. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), and the doctor (Robert Picardo) from the “Star Trek: Voyager” TV series.
Lo, how the mighty have fallen! I wasn’t aware that Las Vegas had a Star Trek attraction over the last six years, but somehow this new interactive proposal reminds me more of the documentary Trekkies than of anything remotely positive about the long-running series of TV shows and movies. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so pathetic if new movies and TV shows were being produced or even solidly in development, but the franchise has been in decline since Deep Space Nine went off the air, and the movies with the Next Generation crew have mostly been duds.
People go to Vegas to gamble and get close to a seamier side of life, if only for a weekend; I thought Star Trek stood for something more than that at one point. While I don’t lionize the vision that Gene Roddenberry had as much as some other fans — it always smacked of a benign New-Agey communisim with a paradoxical military hierarchy — I’m quite sure that Gene’s vision didn’t include playing twice a night on the Strip, and competing with the strip clubs, casinos, and hookers in Sin City.
Las Vegas is where entertainment acts go to die quietly (with a few notable exceptions), outside of the mainstream of entertainment, making it a living museum of American pop culture. Star Trek’s inclusion in Vegas sadly completes its journey from radical to relic after a run of almost 40 years.