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‘Star Trek’ fans boldly go … to the Mall of America

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- "Star Trek" caretaker Sebastian Schubert is a bit of a wreck when the dozens of props, costumes, scale models and other items in his care are being moved from city to city.

Dana Erickson sits in the captain's chair
Longtime Star Trek fan Dana Erickson of West St. Paul, Minn., has her picture taken by her daughter Megan Erickson, also of West St. Paul, as she sits in the captain's chair on the bridge display of Star Trek: The Exhibition at the Mall of America, on Thursday, May 15, 2014. The exhibit features props and displays from the Star Trek shows. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- “Star Trek” caretaker Sebastian Schubert is a bit of a wreck when the dozens of props, costumes, scale models and other items in his care are being moved from city to city.

“I do not sleep well when they’re traveling,” said Schubert, of Vienna, Austria. “That is when you can’t control them. … They’re a big responsibility.”

All that memorabilia from the famous science-fiction television programs and motion pictures recently arrived safely at the Mall of America’s exhibition center.

But poor Schubert remained sleep-deprived last week.

Schubert is production manager for EMS Entertainment’s “Star Trek: The Exhibition,” which debuted Friday at the Bloomington megamall, and he was scrambling to get everything set up in time -- and in a manner that is up to zealous Trekkers’ exacting standards.


“You have to be a little nerdy to work here,” said Schubert, who was not a superfan as a child. “There’s no way to install this here without knowing about ‘Star Trek.’ That is the challenging part.”

Schubert has boned up on the “Star Trek” movies, and several of the TV shows -- but admits he has yet to wend his way through “Star Trek: Deep Space 9” and “Star Trek: Voyager.” He has an affinity for two crucial “Star Trek” villains, Khan Noonien Singh, played by Ricardo Montalbán, and Shinzon from the movie “Star Trek: Nemesis.”

Even so, Schubert is bracing for a scolding or two from “Star Trek” sticklers. A Trekkie once dressed him down for having the wrong number of pips on the uniform of Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the USS Enterprise on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Schubert took a few breaths and refrained from reprising the “get a life” tirade made famous by William Shatner, the first “Trek” TV captain, in a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

“I just say, ‘Yes, you’re right, thank you,’ ” Schubert said while sipping an energy drink provided by a Mall of America staffer. “I learn to deal with this, and everything is fine.”

The dozens of items in “Star Trek: The Exhibition” include original costumes worn by human and alien characters, Enterprise scale models in that iconic starship’s various incarnations, and sets that include the original Enterprise bridge along with the sickbay and engineering deck from “Next Generation.”

Visitors will be able to repose in James Tiberius Kirk’s Enterprise-bridge command chair and have their pictures taken for geeky posterity.

“It is the heart of the exhibition, in my opinion, that fans will like the most,” Schubert said. “Who wouldn’t want to sit on the bridge of ‘Star Trek?’ ”


The exhibit is due to run for six months.

What: “Star Trek: The Exhibition”

Where: EMS Exhibit Center at Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.

When: Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays

Tickets: $16.99 adults, $9.99 ages 5-12

Info: mallofamerica.com or 952-883-8800

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