There’s no mistaking the global impact Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek had on the world at large. The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles pays tribute to Rodenberry’s vision with Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds, an interactive Star Trek exhibit and experience running from October 7, 2021 to February 20, 2022.
Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds is the first exhibition to open at the Skirball Cultural Center in a Post-COVID world.
“When I arrived at the Skirball last July, we were in the middle of the first COVID surge. Hearing the words ‘live long and prosper’ sounded really good,” commented Skirball Cultural Center President and CEO Jessie Kornberg. “All of these months later, I am overcome with gratitude that we can reopen our full museum and on-campus activities with this exhibition as our headliner. Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds highlights how the essential Jewish values that animate our work at the Skirball – welcome the stranger, honor memory, seek learning, pursue justice, build community, and show kindness – are the same touchstones of Star Trek’s fictional future, and the key to what made the series so appealing to its audiences. Star Trek’s universe feels hopeful because the characters live these values, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate our shared ideals.”
“Star Trek depicts a future where members of a diverse team work together, strengthened by their unique qualities and backgrounds,” continues Skirball Museum Director Sheri Bernstein. “This hopeful vision resonates deeply with the Skirball’s commitment to help build a society in which everyone belongs and is valued for their unique contributions. I can’t think of a more apt exhibition to help us welcome our community back than the phenomenal Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds.”
“Star Trek remains one of the most iconic touchstones of twentieth- and twenty-first-century pop culture. More than fifty years since the original TV show premiered to modest ratings, it has succeeded in shifting our ideas about both technology and human relationships,” remarked Laura Mart, managing curator for the Skirball presentation. “We welcome fans and fans-in-the-making to explore how Star Trek has continued to probe themes of justice, equality, and heroism, and inspired people of all backgrounds to see themselves as leaders – in space and on Earth.”
There are plenty of interactive photo opportunities including sitting in Captain Kirk’s command chair, join the Borg hive, crawl through a Jefferies Tube, and beam down to a hostile planet in your favorite red shirt.
On view in the exhibition will be an array of rare artifacts, set pieces, and props from the television series, spinoffs, and films—many of which have never been on display in LA.
- Set pieces from Star Trek: The Original Series, including Captain Kirk’s command chair and the navigation console.
- More than 100 artifacts and props from the various Star Trek TV series and films, including an original series’ tricorder, communicator, and phaser; a Borg cube from the film Star Trek: First Contact; a Klingon disruptor pistol from Star Trek: The Next Generation; and tribbles from Star Trek: The Original Series
- Spock’s tunic worn by Leonard Nimoy; Lt. Uhura’s dress worn by Nichelle Nichols; Khan garments past and present, including the open-chest tunic worn by Ricardo Montalbán and the costume worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2013 reboot; Captain Picard’s uniform worn by Patrick Stewart; plus, a Borg costume, the alien Gorn, and more.
- Original scripts, concept art, storyboards, and production drawings.
- Spaceship filming models of the U.S.S. Enterprise and U.S.S. Excelsior.
- Objects that illustrate how Star Trek has become deeply embedded in popular culture and has even inspired real-world technological innovations, such as a prototype of an actual medical tricorder, Star Trek-themed beer, a Boston Red Sox “Star Trek Night” foam finger in the shape of the Vulcan salute, a “Picardigan” sweater, a listening station with songs by Star Trek tribute bands, US postal stamps featuring the U.S.S. Enterprise, and much more.