Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010


Usually pictured as the somewhat peculiar men and women who frequent convention centers in costume, Trekkies (or Trekkers, as some prefer to be called) are devotees of Star Trek, the long-running science-fiction franchise. Often the butt of geek-centric jokes, Trekkies are universally recognizable in pop culture for Spock references, ever heated Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard debates and gathering en masse. But the vast network of fans often operates in smaller, family-style regional units between conventions. An entire subgenre of nerd culture, Trekkies are the keepers of their own lexicon, including Klingon, a language created specifically for the Star Trek universe so popular with die-hard fans that many have become fluent speakers. (Official Klingon dictionaries and even a Klingon Language Institute were created as resources for those studying the language.) Given their highly mobile fan base, Trekkies have been the subject of multiple documentaries and have formed the foundation for the franchise's success for some 40 years. Collectibles and other miscellaneous merchandise can sell for more than $500 a pop, a small price to pay for a seemingly realistic taste of the final frontier.