Space: the final frontier. This is the voyage of a traveling pop culture exhibition. Its latest mission: to stop by L.A.’s Skirball Cultural center.
After missing its 2020 debut because of, you know, everything happening here on Earth, “Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds” has finally landed at the Skirball. The exhibition celebrates the sci-fi franchise’s impact on culture, art and technology and its futuristic vision of inclusiveness - but mostly, it shows off some particularly cool Trek relics.
Originally organized by the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Seattle, “Exploring New Worlds” features over 100 artifacts, set pieces and props - from communicators to phasers to Borg cubes to tribbles - from the television series, spin-offs and films. The original series and its subsequent movies are the most well-represented, but you’ll find a little bit from just about everything that followed, up through Discovery (the insistence in one video that the J.J. Abrams-launched alternative universe movies are still going strong certainly dates the exhibition to a specific time in the franchise’s history).
Even if you’re not a Trekkie, you’re sure to recognize some of the things on display here: Captain Kirk’s command chair (there’s a replica in the lobby for photo ops) and the navigation console from Star Trek: The Original Series; costumes worn by Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and Patrick Stewart (Spock, Uhura and and Picard, respectively); filming models of the U.S.S. Enterprise, U.S.S. Excelsior, U.S.S. Phoenix and Deep Space Nine space station; pop culture ephemera like a Vulcan salute foam finger; and a fabulous Gorn lizard-man costume.
Timed tickets cost $18 and include admission to the rest of the museum. Reservations open up on the first Thursday of each month at noon.