Nerd Watch: A Full-Size 'Star Trek' Enterprise Attraction & New Children's Book Imagines Luke's Childhood with Darth Vader

Nerd Watch: A Full-Size 'Star Trek' Enterprise Attraction & New Children's Book Imagines Luke's Childhood with Darth Vader

Apr 09, 2012


Trekkies: this news may make you weep a little — but knowing how dedicated you are to all things Star Trek, it wouldn't surprise us if you were already in the know. A full-size Starship Enterprise attraction almost became a reality — smack in the middle of Sin City, no less. This wasn't a rinky-dink operation either, because the licensing department of Paramount Pictures was behind the construction 100% — but unfortunately plans were shot down. What the heck happened?
Entertainment firm CEO Gary Goddard proposed building a full-scale version of the USS Enterprise — the fictional spacecraft from the beloved Star Trek television and film series that has seen many an adventure — in the middle of Las Vegas. The $150,000,000 proposed spacecraft would have been a unique tourism draw, aimed at one of the largest and most loyal fanbases in the world — Trekkies. Goddard described the idea, which website Geek Tyrant shared recently:
"The 'big idea' was building the ship itself at full-scale.  That was the main attraction. That being said, we also knew we would have to have some kind of 'show' on board.  So, conceptually, it was to be a 'tour' of the ship, with all of the key rooms, chambers, decks, and corridors that we knew from the movie. There was to be the dining area for the ship’s crew (where you could dine in Starfleet comfort), and other special features.  There were also one or two interesting ride elements that we were considering including a high-speed travelator that would whisk you from deck to deck."
Squirming with excitement yet? According to plans drawn up for the attraction, the whole shebang would have been nearly as tall as the Empire State Building, and would have been visible from the sky as tourists arrived to Vegas by plane. 
Goddard approached Paramount Licensing to snag rights, and the division loved the concept. Eventually Goddard got the Las Vegas Redevelopment Committee and Mayor on board, but when it came time for the final signature, the developer's idea was shut down completely. Head of Paramount Stanley Jaffe didn't want to proceed. " … On one hand that sounds exciting. But on another hand, it might not be a great idea for us — for Paramount … " he responded. "In the movie business, when we produce a big movie and it’s a flop — we take some bad press for a few weeks or a few months, but then it goes away. The next movie comes out and everyone forgets. But THIS — this is different," he continued. "If this doesn’t work — if this is not a success — it’s there, forever … I don’t want to be the guy that approved this and then it’s a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever."
After taking the massively disappointing hit, Geek Tyrant reports that Goddard became part of a 10-year-long Vegas Trek show called The Star Trek Experience (no longer running). We can only imagine the what-could-have-been moments running through the developer's head during that decade. Can you envision this project being a smash success, or would the attraction be a disgrace to the Star Trek franchise entirely?


Jeffrey Brown wrote a book envisioning what the father and son relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker was like. The artist and author's illustrated children's book transforms the Star Wars universe into a kid-friendly read with a fun take on the young Jedi's boyhood. Darth Vader and Son is 64-pages of lightsaber instruction, loving — but awkward — moments, toy shopping, trick or treat experiences, and other adorable adventures. The illustrated book is the perfect gift for any Jedi hopefuls you have at home — who may possibly be using whatever they can find as a lightsaber to beat the hell out of their siblings with. [via Design Taxi]


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