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Comic-Con 2016: The Museums That a Broken "Star Trek" Bridge Built

Dumpster divers aside, the average person would be surprised at what ends up in the trash. In August 2012, a "Star Trek" fan found a Paramount-built, Star Trek Enterprise-D display bridge in the dumpster. (An Enterprise-D style of bridge is the one used in the TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation.") In a moment of complete idealistic insanity, Huston Huddleston decided he wanted to preserve it. He set off on what would turn out to be a five-year mission that began with a crowd-funded restoration and looks to culminate in the founding of two museums: The Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum and the Hollywood Horror Museum.

His family isn't without Hollywood connections. Huddleston's father, Floyd Huddleston (1918-1991) wrote songs for films such as "The Ballad of Josie," "Midnight Cowboy" and Disney's "The Aristocats" ("Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat"). For Disney's animated feature "Robin Hood," Floyd Huddleston and George Bruns' song, "Love," sung by Huddleston's wife Nancy Adams, was nominated for an Academy Award.

Huston is proud of the late Floyd, but undoubtedly, his father would be and his mother is proud of him. Huddleston has not only restored the bridge, but reached far beyond that original goal. What good is a crowd-funded restored "Star Trek" bridge if one can't share it? How does one share something with hundreds of sponsors? The idea of a museum took hold. But is there really a need for a "Star Trek" only museum? And what would the museum's goal be?

True to the old values of "Star Trek," the goal has become one of sharing the wealth and educating generations: An educational museum not just for "Star Trek" treasures, but science fiction props from yesteryear and even more recent films.

Huddleston now has more than just a "Star Trek" bridge or a "Star Trek" captain's chair. Last year at San Diego Comic-Con, Conan O'Brien's people reached out to Huddleston, who had brought a "Dr. Who" TARDIS. O'Brien was in his first year at San Diego Comic-Con and the current/12th Dr. Who, Peter Capaldi, was one of his guests. Of course, what could be better than Capaldi coming out of the TARDIS?

At other conventions, a "Star Trek" captain's chair or a life-sized model of Iron Man will turn up. For San Diego Comic-Con 2016, the museum had a modest booth with the screen-used Borg Alcove from "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Voyager" (used by actors Patrick Stewart and Jeri Ryan).

Huddleston was one of 3,000 fans at the red carpet premiere of "Star Trek Beyond" on Wednesday night of SDCC. He came away pleased and ranked the "Star Trek" movies as follows:

1. "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan" (1982)
2. "Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country" (1991)
3. "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)
4. "Star Trek: First Contact" (1996)
5. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," director's cut (1979)
6. "Star Trek Beyond" (2016)
7. "Star Trek" (2009)
8. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
9. "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)
10. "Star Trek Into Darkness" (2013)
11. "Star Trek: Insurrection" (1998)
12. "Star Trek Generations" (1994)
13. "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002)

If you didn't get in to SDCC this year, the Borg Alcove will appear at other events, but Huddleston isn't sure which ones yet. He plans to have a booth at:

ScareLA: Season of the Witch (Los Angeles, CA, August 6 - 7)
Long Beach Comic-Con (Long Beach, CA, September 17 - 18)
Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo (Los Angeles, CA, October 28 - 30)
Walker Stalker Con (Atlanta, GA, October 28 - 30)

In 2017, two world tours are planned for exhibits of the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum and the Hollywood Horror Museum. The brick-and-mortar versions of both museums are currently in the planning stages.

Although the museum won't be open in time for the 50th anniversary of "Star Trek," it will be doing giveaways and promotions through Paramount on its websites. For more information, visit the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum website

Jana Monji

Jana Monji, made in San Diego, California, lost in Japan several times, has written about theater and movies for the LA Weekly, LA Times, and currently, and the Pasadena Weekly. Her short fiction has been published in the Asian American Literary Review.

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