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Vulcan, Alta. lobbies to host premiere of Star Trek movie

An attempt by residents of Vulcan to beam the world premiere of the new Star Trek movie into their small Alberta community remains in a holding pattern, but the captain of the mission is optimistic the quest will still be a success.

An attempt by residents of Vulcan to beam the world premiere of the new Star Trek movie into their small Alberta community remains in a holding pattern, but the captain of the mission is optimistic the quest will still be a success.

It may not be the planet of Vulcan, but the town of the same name, population 1,942, has already developed itself as a tourist attraction focusing on the birthplace of Star Trek's beloved Mr. Spock.

And after word that filming on director J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie was about to begin, Trekkies in the community southeast of Calgary began the process of attempting to go where no small Canadian town has gone before.

"I've been communicating with executives at Paramount Canada and they still haven't said no. We're optimistic but they also haven't said yes," acknowledged Dayna Dickens, Vulcan's tourism co-ordinator.

"We are developing a second proposal now which we're going to send down which outlines the logistics of what an event would look like if it were to happen here.

"My hope is when I send that on to Paramount they'll say, 'Gee, this offer's too good to pass up and let's give them the movie.' "

"Star Trek XI," which focuses on Mr. Spock and Capt. James T. Kirk's early years, is scheduled to premiere on Stardate 05-08-09, otherwise known as May 8.

Vulcan pulled out all the stops to try to gain the premiere or even a sneak peak of the movie event. It even launched a Facebook site which now boasts over 1,500 members.

"This is the voyage of a small town's quest for the 'Star Trek XI' movie premiere," begins a video on the Facebook site with the Star Trek theme playing in the background.

"Our Mission - to showcase our Star Trek spirit, to help Hollywood showcase the new Star Trek movie and to host a spectacular event that brings Spock home to Vulcan, Alta."

Supporters of the quest are equally passionate about the TV and movie franchise.

"I think we should have the event here in Vulcan, Alta. Then again, I am only one Klingon," wrote Jaymz Smith. "But one Klingon is a force to be reckoned with."

Already on the international radar for its famous name and for its homage to Star Trek, Vulcan held its first Vul-con convention in 1993. Two years later, the town unveiled its own Star Ship FX6-1995-A to welcome visitors. A plaque includes greetings written in English, Vulcan and Klingon.

Another sign welcomes visitors with the Vulcan motto "Live Long and Prosper." There's also a space-themed visitors centre and, in an odd combination of prairie tradition and outer space zeal, there's also the annual Spock Days Rodeo.

There were 16,693 people who made the trek to Vulcan in 2008, said Dickens - an increase of 19 per cent over 2007.

Dickens said the local community centre could easily be turned into a large movie theatre and parts of the town converted into a mini Star Trek convention. She realizes not many people have faith that the stars will end up in perfect alignment.

"Most people say you haven't got a chance and it's just crazy but my theory is as long as the senior vice-president of motion picture monitoring isn't saying no to me then I have to be optimistic," she said.

And with the release of what could be one of the summer's biggest blockbusters approaching at warp speed, the lack of word from the studio isn't a concern.

"When I first spoke to them a year ago they said they were considering the proposal but they did mention it might be something we wouldn't be able to find out about until four weeks out from the actual release date," Dickens said.

 
 
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