Author: Kim Kindya

Review: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume: The Exhibition

Gallery of Padme's Costumes

Gallery of Padme’s Costumes

“Sometimes creating an entire galaxy begins with a single stitch.” So begins the narration at a spectacular new exhibit in New York City about Star Wars costumes and artifacts. Coinciding with the release of the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the show Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume: The Exhibition, is on display now at Discovery Times Square through September 5, 2016.

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between Discovery Times Square, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Lucasfilm. It features 15 galleries with over 70 pieces taken from the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The show includes costumes, props and other items from the three original movies, the prequels, and even several ensembles from The Force Awakens.

 As a lifelong Star Wars fan (old enough to have seen A New Hope when it was first released in theaters) I warmly welcomed the opportunity to see this exhibition. It holds particular interest for me because I am a seamstress and cosplayer who has over the years enjoyed re-creating Star Wars costumes for such occasions as Halloween and convention masquerades.

This was actually my third Star Wars exhibit. I saw Star Wars and The Magic of Myth (which originated at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum) when it came to the Brooklyn Museum in 2002. In 2005 I traveled to Los Angeles (from my home in New York) to see Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Even if you’ve seen one or both of the former, I highly recommend visiting the current show at Times Square, if you can. You’ll see many old favorites as well as new classics, and you will discover quite a bit about what went on behind the scenes to create them.

The exhibit begins in a small anteroom, where a short film introduces you to key players, including costume designers Ralph McQuarrie and Tricia Biggar; the film also has an amusing 3D shout-out that I won’t spoil – but it made me smile. Then a space-station style door slides open, revealing a glass case contrasting two generations of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s costume from 1977’s A New Hope (a.k.a. the first Star Wars movie release, or Episode 4), and the well-known red light-up throne room costume worn by Queen Amidala in 1999’s The Phantom Menace (the prequel Episode 1). I soon found out that the lights around this gown’s hem were powered by a car battery.

Two Star Wars Genearations: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala

Two Star Wars Generations: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Queen Amidala

From there, you can wander at your leisure through the worlds of The Galaxy Far, Far Away. There are rooms with Jedi Knights and Sith; Amidala and other queens of Naboo with their handmaids; the shiny exoskeletons of droids; and a sinister hall of mirrors that duplicates Stormtrooper helmets and armor into an infinite legion. You can compare the shiny, pristine armor of bounty hunter Jango Fett to the “second generation knockoff” of his “son,” Boba. (The quote comes from the exhibit captions, not me!)

A Virtual Legion of Stormtroopers

A Virtual Legion of Stormtroopers

There are also rooms comparing Rebel and Imperial soldiers; a display with the sumptuous robes of various background Imperial Senators and Chancellor Palpatine; the luxurious clothing worn by Padme Amidala in her days as a Senator (and as Mrs. Anakin Skywalker), and of course, the black leather suit of Darth Vader. You will also see some classics: Luke Skywalker’s Jedi garments, Han Solo’s outfit, Chewbacca’s furry exterior, and the infamous slave girl “bikini” worn by Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi (Displayed with choice remarks about the outfit from Carrie Fisher).

The Infamous Slave Girl Costume

The Infamous Slave Girl Costume

The exhibit has some very cool interactive features. In the Jedi room, you can push a button and light up the light sabers (with accompanying sound effects). You’ll learn a lot from numerous touch panels installed throughout the galleries that show you sketches, photographs, and audio and video clips with greater detail about the production process. I was particularly moved by an audio clip of Anthony Daniels, who was inspired in his performance of C-3P0 by a preliminary painting he saw of the robot that was done by Ralph McQuarrie. (“Clearly, the figure wasn’t human, but it was so humanoid…Our eyes met, and it seemed to speak to me.”) From other panels you will discover that it takes over 14 distinctive steps to get an actor into the Darth Vader costume.

What I found most interesting about this show was its emphasis on the symbolism and meaning of the costume designs, and how they were used to illustrate the characters who wore them. There are extensive explanatory texts that describe the thought processes behind the costumes, and what particular inspirations from Earth culture were used in the designs. You get not only quotes from Star Wars production teams but also wider cultural analysis from curators at the Smithsonian.

Queen Amidala's Mongolian-Inspired Headdress

Queen Amidala’s Mongolian-Inspired Headdress

For example, we learn how the Jedi costumes were inspired by the Japanese Samurai (and how, since the Sith started with renegade Jedi, their costumes, particularly that of Darth Maul, are similar in design). The East Asian influence continues in many of the kimono-like outfits of the Queens of Naboo, and one of Amidala’s royal headdresses is based on a Mongolian design.

Similarly, there is much discussion about how the costumes portray the essential nature of the character. Colors, for example, denote whether a character is good or evil. (The good Jedi wear earth tones vs. the Sith, who dress in black.) The rebels wear uniforms inspired by American fighter pilots and war heroes; the Imperial officers’ costumes come from German uniforms in World War I and II. (Lucas said he wanted them to look “efficient, totalitarian, fascist.”) Han Solo’s costume is essentially that of an American cowboy. The masks of the Stormtroopers and Darth Vader dehumanize them and thus contribute to their aura of malevolence. Even the sumptuous robes of Chancellor (later Emperor) illustrate his decline into greater and greater evil.

Imperial Officer (Evil), Rebel Pilot (Good), TIE Fighter Pilot (Evil)

Imperial Officer (Evil), Rebel Pilot (Good), TIE Fighter Pilot (Evil)

The hard-core costuming geek can find out a lot about the nitty-gritty details regarding how the costumes were made: what materials they used (and why), and in some cases even how much they cost. For example, the original Stormtrooper costumes were made of a mixture of light polyester resin and a glass fiber that was cured in a mold under a vacuum. Of the entire 1977 costume budget of Star Wars: A New Hope, the Stormtrooper costumes alone consumed almost half the money.

My personal favorite costumes from the films are the amazing outfits worn by Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala/Senator Padme, whose elaborate design and craftsmanship have long impressed me. Of the 37 different outfits from all 3 prequels that she wore, there are at least a dozen of the in this exhibit. The costume designers demonstrated great ingenuity in creating these ensembles. In some cases they used vintage fabrics and repurposed found items (especially in the headdresses). In other cases they tracked down exotic fabrics from all over the world, and enhanced them with embroidery, hand-dyeing and other processes. In the introductory film, Biggar says, “Everything we can do to fabric, we have done it.” For a literally “hands-on experience,” many of the costumes in the exhibit feature sample fabric swatches mounted nearby that visitors can actually touch.

As a costumer who has a tendency to work until the last possible minute, I could relate to one of the anecdotes about the lace wedding dress (made partly from a vintage Italian tablecloth) that Padme wears for her marriage to Anakin at the end of Attack of the Clones. The night before the scene was to shoot, Tricia Biggar decided the dress needed further embellishment, so she stayed up all night sewing pearls onto it.

Padme's Wedding Gown, detail (Photo by K. Cadena)

Padme’s Wedding Gown, detail (Photo by K. Cadena)

The entire presentation of the costumes was, for the most part, excellent. Most of them are not under glass, allowing you to get a really good look at the details. (The level of workmanship for characters that sometimes appear for only seconds on screen is amazing.) Visitors are allowed to take non-flash photos, and the lighting is generally quite good. However, I did have one disappointment. The Chewbacca and Han Solo costumes are displayed in front of a very brightly-lit panel that imitates the hyperspace effect. Though it looks very dramatic from a distance, the backlighting of the costumes leaves them in relative darkness and makes them relatively hard to see. However, this is one minor misstep in what is otherwise a first-rate show.

As you leave the show, you’ll see a figure of Yoda, and the costumes from The Force Awakens. For final interactive fun, you can pose in front of mirrors which capture your motions and render you as one of the SW characters in 3D.

When I first arrived at the show, by way of introduction one of the museum guides said “The exhibit takes about an hour to go through – four or five hours if you’re a Star Wars fan.” I laughed, thinking it was a joke. Well, I entered the exhibit at about 3 pm. After a thoroughly enjoyable time experiencing it in great detail, I checked the time when I reached the end. It was almost 7. Four hours just FLEW by. I felt as if I had been transported through time and space.


Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star WarsTM and the Power of Costume was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in partnership with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and in consultation with Lucasfilm Ltd. Lucasfilm Ltd., the Lucasfilm logo, Star Wars™ and all related characters, names and indicia are trademarks of & copyright © & ™ 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.
©2015 &™ Discovery Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
AniMiniCon SoHo July 30-August 1

AniMiniCon SoHo July 30-August 1

AniMiniCon SoHo is a three day-event taking place July 30-Aug 1
for local New York City area fans of anime, manga and Japanese culture. It’s
happening at a unique downtown space, the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art
in Manhattan (138 Sullivan Street, New York, NY The Gallery has 16 hi-resolution 40″
computer monitors on the walls, which will show off not only anime and
manga artworks, but also photgraphic scenes from Japan that will make
you feel like you’re in a “Virtual Tokyo.”

On Friday night, (July 30) the events open
with a cosplay reception (refreshments will be served!) that will also mark the debut of the SOHO Host
. This group of young gentleman fans of anime and manga will be
circulating throughout the event and presiding over several program
items throughout the weekend. They will be serving tea and snacks at the Victorian, Gothic and Lolita Tea Party on Sunday afternoon (August 1)
where premium tea will be provided by Harney and Sons. You don’t need to
dress up, but if you can, please come in your best Victorian,
Steampunk, Gothic, Lolita or Japanese traditional outfits! If you have
any Asian Ball Jointed Dolls (such as Dollfies) bring them along to show

On Saturday night (July 31) there is a
live musical performance of songs from anime series such as Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist and Blood Plus. As ComicMix’s
own Alexandra Honigsberg plays, corresponding scenes from the anime
will be projected onto a large digital screen, so the live music becomes
the soundtrack to the show! You’ll also be encouraged to sing and dance

AniMiniCon SoHo will also feature anime screenings
(courtesy of Funimation) as well as panel discussions with animation and
manga artists including Misako Rocks. There will also be a Dealer’s
Room, as well as organized discussions and anime/manga themed games and

For more details and updates, visit or join their Facebook group. Admission is $30 for the three-day pass (available in advance at
the website) or $12 per day at the door.  If you are interested in
participating in any of the program items (especially if you can
demonstrate Japanese traditional arts, such as kimono or origami) e-mail

‘World War 3 Illustrated’ Event at SOHO Gallery for Digital Art

‘World War 3 Illustrated’ Event at SOHO Gallery for Digital Art

The SOHO Gallery for Digital Art in New York City will be hosting a celebration the publication of the new issue of World War 3 Illustrated, with live performances by contributors at 138 Sullivan St. New York, NY 10012 this Friday, February 26, from 8pm-11 pm.

Art Quality prints of the Artists’ work will be on sale at reasonable prices.

World War 3 Illustrated, the Independent Comic Book Anthology Magazine Is Now in Its Fourth Decade of Publication. World War 3 Illustrated presents the “What We Want” comic issue! This latest 128-page anthology uses the power of comic books to ask for something radical: real proposals for building a better society.

What’s in this issue:
While the ’08 Presidential election is viewed by many of us in America as a turning point, it is uncertain what the ultimate outcome will be. The nation remains distressed, economically and ecologically in the aftermath of 28 years of right wing dominance in politics. World War 3 Illustrated asked that artists do more than just criticize things as they are: World War 3 Illustrated is responding with 128 pages of answers from comic book artists; exploring alternatives, making proposals for progress and offering ideas for a better world for all.

Featuring the work of: Seth Tobocman, Sabrina Jones, Jennifer Camper, Rebecca Migdal, Paula Hewitt Amram, Susan Simensky Bietila, Carlo Quispe, Sandy Jimenez, FLY, Melissa Jameson, Colin Matthes, Eric Hadley, Jack Laughner, Erik Ruin, Ethan Heitner, Kate Evans, Katie Fricas, Michael Hew, Sabin Calvert, Zeph Fishlyn, Sylvan Migdal.

Reviewers, Press Inquiries Please Contact: Communications, World War 3 Illustrated Magazine

#SDCC: Wonder Women: Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zoe Saldana, Eliza Dushku

#SDCC: Wonder Women: Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zoe Saldana, Eliza Dushku

Sigourney Weaver received a standing ovation at the Comic-Con 2009 panel “Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture,” moderated by Entertainment Weekly.  The “ass-kicking” icon shared the dais with Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliette on Lost), Zoe Saldana (Uhura in the new Star Trek film) and, in an unannounced appearance, Eliza Dushku (Echo on Dollhouse.)

Weaver said “MTV called Ripley the second biggest badass after Clint Eastwood, but I think she could take him.” Apparently, the part of Ripley had originally been intended for a man, then Weaver came “and she was better,” said Saldana, who expressed her excitement about appearing with her.  Said Weaver of the part of Ripley, “I never thought about playing it as a woman, I thought about playing it as a person.”

With regard to the evolution of women’s roles, Weaver said, “I think that society is changing much faster than Hollywood understands.” She also said, “Hollywood gets really wrapped up in what women should wear and I was lucky when I did my action role that I got to wear real clothes.”

The other panelists also discussed their recent empowering roles. Saldana said, with regard to playing a new incarnation of Uhura, that it was “humbling” to continue the role of an original character that “everyone admired.”

Dushku talked about working on Dollhouse with Joss Whedon, known for creating strong female characters in his other TV series. “There was a reason I went back to Joss when I wanted to find my next role. My role in Buffy was so amazing. When I went back to him, I had such trust that he is the reason why I have all these opportunities. I asked Joss to make me the most multi-dimensional, deep character he’d ever done and he delivered.”


#SDCC: Disney: 3D Panel ‘Alice In Wonderland’ with Johnny Depp, ‘Tron’, & ‘Christmas Carol’

#SDCC: Disney: 3D Panel ‘Alice In Wonderland’ with Johnny Depp, ‘Tron’, & ‘Christmas Carol’

Johnny Depp made an unannounced appearance at the 3D Disney panel at Comic-Con 2009, generating a roar of approval from the crowd. Depp will be playing the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s upcoming film, Alice in Wonderland, due out in March 2010. Burton himself made his Comic-Con debut as a panel guest. The panel also featured footage from the Alice film, as well as from A Christmas Carol (November 2009), and images from the new Tron film that just wrapped filming, whose official title will be Tron Legacy. Jeff Bridges and other cast members were there to answer questions.

Also on hand were director Robert Zemeckis (A Christmas Carol) and panel moderator Patton Oswalt (voice of Remy in Ratatouille).

Here are more details about what went on at the panel — including tantalizing remarks from Zemeckis about Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

#SDCC: Astro Boy Panel

#SDCC: Astro Boy Panel

A new CG-animated version of the classic manga and anime, “Astro Boy,” created by the “god of manga,” Osamu Tezuka in the 1950’s, debuted clips at Comic-Con 2009. This seminal work about a heroic boy robot was a generation’s first exposure to the Japanese art form when it aired in the U.S. in the 60’s, and is set to hopefully gain a whole new audience.

Director David Bowers, producer Maryann Garger, and stars Freddie
Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) were there to answer audience questions.

Deb Aoki tweets from the panel:

  • Very
    nice clips from astro boy — saw at least 3 nods to tezuka in the first
  • Director david bowers: “macoto tezuka will be doing voice of the tezuka character in the japanese version of astro boy movie”
  • Also announced: Samuel l. Jackson, a.k.a. Mr. Comic-con is the voice of zog the junkyard robot in astro boy
  • Actually, this
    was the most positive, enthusiastic response to an astro boy movie
    preview that I’ve seen they’ve started to promo it
  • Nicolas cage,
    the voice of dr. Tenma was not at astro boy movie panel, but was
    described as a passionate Anime & manga fan. 

According to IGN news, Charlize Theron will also be voicing a character in the film.

USA Today has an article about the film, with lots of images.

(UPDATE 8/5: The artwork is early concept art for the movie, newer images (and a bit of an explanation) can be found here.)

Frank McCourt, Mentor to Generations of NY Geeks, Dead at 78

Frank McCourt, Mentor to Generations of NY Geeks, Dead at 78

Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes, died on Sunday, July 19, of metastatic melanoma. Though his loss is undoubtedly felt acutely in literary circles, it is also felt among the thousands of students to whom he taught English and Creative Writing, first at McKee Vocational High School in Staten Island, NY and then from 1967 to 1987 at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan .

What does this have to do with comics, you may ask? Well, a couple of things.

Number one, among his students was Paul Levitz, current president and publisher of DC Comics, writer of The Legion of Super Heroes and Justice Society of America, and the former editor of Batman comics. Whether you can thank or condemn any of McCourt’s influence for this, I leave to the individual reader to decide. 

Number two, this reporter, speaking as a Stuyvesant alumna (class of 1986) and former student of his, can tell you, McCourt reached out to two generations of young geeks. (I say this with love, as a professed geek myself.)

Stuyvesant is one of several specialized high schools in New York City — a type of magnet school. It’s a public school, but to get in you have to take a competitive entrance exam. The main emphasis of the curriculum is on science and math, and the student body regularly wins kudos in national science competitions (like the Intel Science Talent Search) and has a crack robotics team.

Despite its reputation for left-brain subjects, “Stuy’s” academic curriculum is quite varied, with electives in languages, social studies, and the arts. In the 80’s, I remember that McCourt’s class was extremely popular (and not always easy to get into).

I was not a big fan of English literature in high school. I loathed having to read Moby Dick and The House of the Seven Gables. I was a science fiction and comic book geek. Why, I asked, didn’t we get to read cool stuff like Isaac Asimov in English class? (Even I couldn’t dare hope we’d get to read a comic book in English class — folks, this was before they’d even released Watchmen. As individual issues coming out….well theoretically monthly, at least.)

At the same time, though, I loved to write. Stuyvesant had a ton of student publications, and of course a school like ours had a science fiction magazine. It was called Antares, and I got a couple of things printed up in it. I was reading the classic SF authors at the time. I wanted to grow up to be Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarke or Ursula LeGuin.

So, I thought it would be perfect if, as a student at a science and math high school, I could take a creative writing course, and thus learn science+fiction = science fiction! I signed up for McCourt’s class — an elective — and managed to get in.

His teaching style was, shall we say, unconventional. It was informal, perhaps seeming at times even disorganized and
rambling, but it felt like a safe haven from our high-pressure
academic environment. He encouraged us to use our right brains, to take
a risk and tell a story without having to worry about “is this the right answer?” or, the classic refrain of the Stuyvesant student, “Is
this going to be ON THE TEST?” He didn’t pile on the homework
assignments or problem sets. He encouraged us to write — not always a
formal assignment, just anything, and bring it to class and read it to
the room.

Once I read something that was pretty much just a first draft… and not a very good one. He said, quite bluntly, that it was terrible. As a Hermione-Granger-type straight-A nerd, I don’t think any teacher had ever told me I had done crappy work. It upset me for days…then I realized, he was right. I’d just vomited silliness onto the page, without really working on it or making it something someone else would want to read. It was kind of an epiphany to me. 

I will say, I took this lesson to heart. McCourt didn’t give a lot of formal assignments, but for our final projects, he asked us to write a children’s book. I actually put quite a bit of effort into mine — I even gave it full-color illustrations and bound it myself. This is in the days before desktop publishing, mind you — I did it all with paper and scissors and glue. It got an A — in fact, it got high praise. I can be taught! (Years later I even actually got some short stories and children’s books commercially published.)

McCourt would often sit in front of the room and regale us with stories about his now famously-miserable Irish childhood. By the time I got to hear them, he had already honed them with impeccable comic timing and a dry wit. He also would make crusty observations about life in general. At the time, the movie Purple Rain had just come out and he had taken his daughter to see it. He went on, crankily, for days afterward about how motorcycles and guitars were “phallic symbols.” I thought it was hilarious.

I remember in the early 90’s, just after Angela’s Ashes came out, I went to see McCourt at one of his early book readings and signings at a Barnes and Noble on the Upper West Side. He wasn’t famous yet — the audience was a Stuyvesant High School reunion — former students and some other teachers. (In fact, I sat behind another one of my former English teachers.) He read from the book in that same cranky dry tone he’d used all those years ago. I recognized some of the stories. I got my book signed. He didn’t really remember me very well — though he did ask if I’d ever gotten published the children’s book I’d written for his class. (Alas, I never did sell that particular manuscript, and this was before my other stuff was published

So, speaking as one New York Geek, I can definitely say that he influenced me. Whether you can thank him or condemn him for that…well, I leave that up to you, the individual reader.

Anime for Comics Fans; Comics for Anime Fans: Beauty and Literature

Anime for Comics Fans; Comics for Anime Fans: Beauty and Literature

Welcome to the second article in our series, where American animation and comics and fans of Japanese anime and manga can connect with each other through pairs of titles that share tone, themes or character types in common.

Today’s pairing is about series that have been influenced by classic works of fine arts and literature, but with orginal twists.


Anime directed by Mahiro Maeda, produced by Gonzo studios
Manga written by Mahiro Maeda, illustrated by Yura Arikawa

This is a fantastical re-telling of the classic novel, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, set in a space-faring future with some supernatural elements. Unlike the original novel, which was told from the point of view of the eponymous count, this story is told from the perspective of Albert, a young man who meets the Count at the beginning of the story and eventually discovers they have a disturbing connection. The anime also has a very different ending from the book – so don’t use this as a substitute for reading the book if it’s assigned to you for a class.

The 2004 anime’s most striking features are its lush and unique visuals. Instead of flat planes of color, the figures are depicted with textures and patterns that can delight – or boggle – the eyes. The Comic Con panelists said you can turn off the sound and just gaze in amazement at the characters’ costumes, some of which were created by real-life fashion designer Anna Sui. The series received critical acclaim as well — in 2006, Theron Martin of Anime News Network named Gankutsuou the best series of the year.

There is a manga adaptation of the anime currently being released, but for the full effect of the visuals you should go for the DVDs.

Availability Current Numbers English-Language publisher
Original Japanese
26 episodes, concluded
3 volumes of manga adaptation of anime
US Manga
2 of 3 volumes released so far
Del Rey

6 DVDs originally released from Geneon, which recently went out of business (but you may still be able to find it. Boxed set available.)

FUNimation has picked up the license and is re-releasing them this year.



Happy 20th Anniversary, Dilbert!

Happy 20th Anniversary, Dilbert!

And speaking of dating oneself… believe it or not, that was the first Dilbert. Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the comic strip by Scott Adams, featuring the office cubicle misadventures of engineering geek Dilbert, his wacky co-workers and bizarre furry friends. The occasion has been marked by the release of  Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert, a new commemorative hardcover collection. The 600-page slipcased book includes thousands of strips from every era of Adams’ career.  Adams also provides original commentary and the book also comes with a special disc that archives every Dilbert strip so far, and that can be updated with new releases.


CSI not-so-boldly goes to a science fiction convention

CSI not-so-boldly goes to a science fiction convention

The original CSI series has a habit of setting episodes in the worlds of various subcultures — they’ve had cases about furries, vampires and the BDSM scene. Surprisingly, it’s taken until the ninth season for them to get around to solving a crime at a science fiction convention.

Tune in tonight to CBS at 9 PM EST for the episode "A Space Oddity," where two of the lab rats, Hodges and Wendy, go to blow off steam at a convention for a fictional show called, "Astro Quest" (that bears a striking resemblance to a Certain Program about a 5-Year Mission) and find their work following them when a murder takes place.

This episode is going to be a field day for TV SF fans — behind the scenes, it’s a Star Trek/Battlestar Galactica reunion party (with quite a few other series represented).  If you’re a credits reader, you may recall that CSI executive producer Naren Shankar worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine (as well as other shows such as Farscape).  The CSI episode is written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson, who wrote for DS9 and most recently, BSG. The episode will be directed by Michael Nankin, who has also worked extensively on BSG. Joshua Cox will play the star of the fictional  "Astro Quest" show (TV SF fans will remember he played the bridge officer on Babylon 5).

Keep your eyes open for cameos by BSG (and former Star Trek) producer Ronald D. Moore, as well as BSG stars Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh) and Grace Park (Cylon "Skin Job" Model 8 — I’ll leave it to the reader to keep track of how many names she went by). There may be other cameo appearances too, so get that freeze-frame button ready.

Finally, in the category of "Hey, it’s That Guy!" Arne Starr will show up as an artist guest at the convention, which we understand will be quite a stretch for him.