Session Descriptions

Click on each presenter’s name to be taken to their biography.

NASA Close Calls – Part 1

Dr. David Alexander

NASA near misses! How we almost lost Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the ISS. Nervousness in Mission Control and how we saved the missions! Some inside-the-room videos!

NASA Close Calls – Part 2

Dr. David Alexander

Continue to take a look at some of NASA’s close calls and near misses. How we almost lost Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the ISS. Nervousness in Mission Control and how we saved the missions! Some inside-the-room videos!

I’m thinking of breaking up with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Phil Merkel

1982 was an amazing year for Sci-Fi films: We got ET, Blade Runner, TRON, and the movie that saved Star Trek, Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan. My twenty-year-old self sat in the theater and once I got over the fact they reused footage from STTMP I become immersed in the adventure spooling out before my eyes. 40 years later after multiple rewatchings and having the time on my hands to rethink a lot of things I began to wonder if it was good Star Trek or just a good movie. Is it what attracts me to Star Trek today after logging 40 more years on this planet, is it what I want it to be. I seem to be looking over my shoulder (To cite a meme) at The Corbomite Maneuver and stories like it within the Star Trek mythos that don’t involve so much bloodshed and court marshall level mistakes by captains who should know better just to create a more exciting story.

Or should I say to myself it’s just a film and I should really just relax? Come for a discussion convince me to stay with ST TWOK or find out what my reasons are. All opinions are welcome, this is a safe space, and everyone should feel comfortable enough to express themselves, correct me, share opposing viewpoints etc. Let’s have a fun discussion!

UFO or Space:1999, Which Is Your Favorite?

Roy Bjellquist

Join Roy Bjellquist from “Roy’s Tie-Dye Sci-Fi Corner” for this open discussion regarding two of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic series, “UFO” and “Space:1999”. We’ll take a look at the format of both shows and its appeal to audience members. We look forward to you joining us for this interactive discussion of two classic Sci-Fi shows from the 1960s and 1970s.

Name That Tune!

Phil Merkel

A repeat of the hugely popular game show of Trekonderoga 2021 with different (And easier!) songs to guess.

The Borg: Threat or Menace?

Kent Schmidt

Kent Schmidt walks us through a brief history of the Borg, then join in a round table discussion of their continued role in Trek. Are the perennial favorite baddies played out or is resistance still futile?

5-25-77 Film Introduction

Michael Rizzo

If you love 5-25-77 as much as we do you will want to hear all the behind-the-scenes info and extra tidbits about the making of this fantastic love letter to Star Wars!


With the special permission of Patrick Read Johnson, Trekonderoga is excited to present 5-25-77!  In the spring of 1977, a great adventure took place, and the world was never the same. Experience the story of Star Wars’ first fan. 5-25-77 is the 100% true story of Patrick Read Johnson, inspired at a young age by 2001: A Space Odyssey to create his own Sci-Fi films in his backyard. Teenager Patrick, with the support of his mother and friends, gets the experience of a lifetime when he visits the then fledgling ILM. Patrick is witness to the magic that will become Star Wars! The heartfelt film is a celebration and tribute to all Star Wars fans and sci-fi dreamers everywhere! Patrick Read Johnson is an American filmmakerspecial effects artist, and screenwriter. Born in WadsworthIllinois, he is best known for his directorial work on the films Spaced InvadersAngusBaby’s Day OutThe Genesis Code, and 5-25-77. He also has written and produced such films as Dragonheart.


Michael Rizzo

Michael Rizzo brings back his popular open round table discussion, this time diving into Star Trek Picard. What worked and what didn’t plus season 3 insights.

Busting 101

802 Ghostbusters

A look at the cult classic Ghostbusters film franchise, materials, and prop building.

The History of Cosplay

Andrew Liptak

Cosplay and costuming have long been a pillar of science fiction fandom. Andrew Liptak, author of Cosplay: A History, will talk about the role that Star Trek played in the evolution of the activity, and how it helped propel it into a mainstream phenomenon.

The X Files Collection

Trekonderoga is excited to welcome the X File Preservation Collection and Museum!!! The world’s largest collection of screen-used props, costumes, and set dressings from The X-Files. This collection is the result of years of hard work, research, and passion by the owners Jim Thornton and Kelly Anthony, and from a number of other sources. The X-Files Preservation Collection is now finally on permanent display in their museum in Saratoga Springs, NY. Please enjoy their display in the vendor’s room and their presentation!!!

How Long Until Cmdr. Data? A Look at AI & ChatGPT

Professor Matthew Szydagis

Artificial intelligence (AI) of decent quality seems to finally be upon us, after decades of waiting, through the advent of advanced chatbots such as ChatGPT, but many individuals, including AI experts, have sounded the alarm recently about the possible downsides of powerful AI.

We will explain in our talk the difference between software-only and mobile-hardware-based AI (i.e. robots and androids), weak or narrow and strong AI, and the top-down versus bottom-up approaches, with the latter including neural networks, and machine learning in general. We will also review why strong or broad AI is such a challenging problem, taking humanity so long to achieve, and discuss positive/negative examples from ChatGPT and similar programs by competitors, from the perspective of a physicist, who has used AI in very different contexts (e.g., particle identification).

The talk will conclude with a discussion of how long it may take to marry good software with flexible hardware, including quantum computer and hypercomputer (non-Turing-machine) examples, to create something/someone(!) akin to TNG/Picard’s Commander Data, a personal hero of the speaker’s, who is recognizable and recognized as a fully sentient being, comparable to humans, whose intelligence or “consciousness” will be viewed through the lens of the (in)famous Lucas-Penrose Argument.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – The Best Star Trek Movie?

Jim Yager “Uncle Jim”

Is Star Trek V really that bad? Just what does God need with a starship? Let’s look back at the Final Frontier and discuss!

Michael Burnham – An Underrated Starfleet Captain

Jim Yager “Uncle Jim”

Is Discovery’s Michael Burnham undervalued as a Starfleet Captain? She might be one of the best. Let’s discuss!

Nerdy Comedy Cabaret

Dave McOwen & Dani Reidel

Do you, like Data, wish to know what is funny? Join Commander Data (Dave McOwen) and Seven of Nine (Dani Riedel) for an hour of nerdy stand-up comedy!


Ticonderoga High School is one of the few High Schools in the country with a planetarium. School staff members will be running tours of our solar system and beyond throughout the day on Saturday – be sure to check it out!

Cosplay Contest

Join in the fun and show off your best cosplay costume work! We keep it positive, laid back, and FUN!!! Skits and songs are welcome and everyone gets a prize!!!! Show off your costume or just come to watch the show. Hosted by Mike Rizzo, this year’s judges are Andrew Liptak, The 802 Ghostbusters, and the comedy duo of Dave McOwen and Dani Riedel.