There may be a lot of eyes on Las Vegas Creation Entertainment’s official Star Trek convention next weekend, but it’s a smaller gathering in Seattle this weekend that is getting more attention than it would probably prefer.
Galacticon, a Battlestar Galactica-centric convention co-created by original BSG star Richard Hatch, is set to get underway. But it just won’t be doing it with very many people from “Battlestar Galactica.”
Instead, the heavily truncated guest list is led by two Klingons — J.G. Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly — in a series of events that have forced its executive producer to resign, creating some very unhappy fans.
Daniel Allen resigned as head of the convention earlier this week after a number of actors, including big names like Edward James Olmos and Grace Park, were cut from this weekend’s convention. Allen accepted the blame for the losses, and then redirected it to problems with its host hotel.
“A lot of rumors are floating around about why a lot of our BSG cast has been canceled,” Allen wrote on the convention’s website. “The truth of the matter is that we have lost our room block of hotel rooms. In light of this, I made the decision to do what was in the best interests of our guests. They are rightfully so upset about this, but we didn’t want to run the risk of having people come to Seattle and not have a place for them to stay.”
The convention was designed to be similar to Star Wars Celebration, taking place every five years, beginning in 2003 in Los Angeles. The second convention was held in 2008 on a cruise ship to Mexico while Houston hosted the third one in 2013.
It’s not immediately clear why the most recent convention didn’t wait until 2018 but instead was scheduled for the Seattle Center.
Besides Hertzler and O’Reilly, the convention still promoted a guest lineup that includes “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” guest star Bill Mumy and “Star Trek: Voyager” recurring actor Manu Intiraymi.
Hatch, the convention co-founder (who also is participating in the upcoming Star Trek fan production “Axanar”), says he’s still attending.
Refund options remain a mystery for fans who purchased tickets before the guest cancellations this week.
“The new management team is absolutely committed to accommodating every reasonable request we receive,” one of the new managers, Michael DeVault, posted on the convention’s Facebook page. “That process is being developed. However, given that the most immediate need is getting the convention open and making this a success for the fans and the guests, this process will almost certainly not be finalized until after the convention, at which point the new management will provide via all channels the process and procedures you’ll need to follow.”
The convention sold tickets at $30 for the day, $90 for the weekend. VIP passes were sold out at $275 each, but convention organizers did not reveal how many of such tickets were available. The convention’s rather sparse ticket policy does state that all sales are final. However, the convention did state that tickets are transferable, so customers are able to resell their passes to someone else.
One fan, Jan Jarrell, posted on the convention’s Facebook page that she expects a full refund since the guests she planned to see are no longer attending.
“My questions are the same,” she said. “Do I go to a con that really no longer interests me because my purchase was made on the basis of false information and risk losing a potential refund? Do I stay home and basically hand them almost $100 for absolutely nothing?
“I realize they have an event to put on, but I’m sorry, they owe it to us to clean up the mess they created before this is all water under the bridge.”
DeVault responded to Jarrell and other early posters demanding refunds immediately that he is cleaning up someone else’s mess.
“The new management team was not responsible for creating the track record of which you speak, and is currently doing our level best to make the best convention experience possible,” DeVault wrote. “We didn’t create the situation. We’re just committed to fixing it.”