MYSTERY WIRE (LAS VEGAS – KLAS) — In honor of the epic battles on CBS’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” 8 News Now’s Orko Manna talked with a “Star Trek” superfan, who has found more than just a franchise to love.
“My interest in Star Trek started back in the late 70s,” said Paul Walker, admiral and founder of the USS Las Vegas Star Trek Club.
When you take a look around Walker’s Henderson apartment, you will quickly realize his love for Star Trek is out of this world.
“The posters, the plates, the cups, the steins,” Walker said. “Did I mention, I have them all on DVD, 79 episodes?”
For decades, Walker has been collecting memorabilia and signed souvenirs. He even has an authentic classic costume from the original series.
Walker founded the local Star Trek fan club, knows as the USS Las Vegas, nearly 16 years ago. They hold movie and television premiere events, as well as monthly meetings.
Walker says it is not just the space battles that make Star Trek so special:
“It’s the idea that we work together to solve problems. We don’t have the problems in the 23rd, 24th century that you’re seeing today.”
Walker also worked at “Star Trek: The Experience,” an interactive fan paradise located in Las Vegas. Although it closed in 2008, he still has pieces of its past, including a menu from Quarks Restaurant — and his most prized possession: the admiral sign.
“What better thing can a Star Trek club have?” Walker said.
Over the years, through his decades-long passion for Star Trek, Walker has not only found collectibles, he also found love.
“Cupid’s arrow — he shot, he struck!” Walker said.
Walker met his domestic partner, Robert Niwa, when they both worked at Star Trek: The Experience.
“It is never boring!” Niwa said.
Their mutual love of the Star Trek franchise turned into a deep connection with each other.
“I wasn’t looking for anything, but I found it,” said Niwa, “and it’s been a good thing for 15 years now.”
As the years have gone by, Walker and Niwa have not slowed down. Whether it is the original show or the brand-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS, they are still superfans, through and through.
COVID-19 has kept their fan club meetings virtual, for now. But they know, no matter what, their enthusiasm will live long and prosper.
“There is never a bad time to be a Star Trek fan!” Walker said.
If you would like to join the USS Las Vegas Star Trek Fan Club, click here for more information.