Last Updated 1/27/2017

These are the activities from StarFest 2016. We are currently putting together our activities for this year. You will see some of the following activities again this year as well as some new ones. Stay tuned!

50 Shades of Geek

The Speed Dating panel is back! New name, new ways, more fun.

If you are looking for that special one to enjoy the Con, search no more. 50 Shades of Geek is embracing all sides of Geekdom. Here you should find troopers, red shirts, pirates, Klingons, browncoats, replicants, ghosts, explorers, steampunks, companions and new friends.

Participation will be limited. if you wish to attend, please register at:

This panel is open only to +21.

The 501st Star Wars Experience

Star Wars Experience

In celebration of over 30 years of Star Wars, Star Wars Rebels animated series, and the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One movie, the 501st Mountain Garrison will be presenting the Star Wars Experience at StarFest. Come and join us for this momentous occasion of one of the most influential science fiction sagas in our generation.

Throughout the weekend, meet your favorite Star Wars characters in the new replica set, and get an opportunity to take your picture with stormtroopers, bounty hunters and even the menacing Darth Vader. If you are lucky, you can even meet a couple of our captured R2 units, maybe R2-D2 himself!

For more information on the 501st or the Mountain Garrison, feel free to visit our website at;.

Battlestar Trivia

Think you know Battlestar Galactica inside and out? Want to test your knowledge against your fellow geeks and nerds? Well, now you can! Back by popular demand, Battlestar Trivia! Answer questions, get the most right answers and win prizes! What can be better than that?!

Combat in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

A lively discussion about what works (and doesn’t) in books and media as far as fighting and conflict. A friendly discussion about violence, bloodshed, and what effect it has upon characters. We’ll discuss what goes on in crafting a scene, what makes a fight scene realistic without being over the top, and we’ll dive into examples of combat done right versus where authors/directors have gone wrong.

Coming Together — Anti-Bullying With the LunarGuard

We must come together and fight for the good of Humanity

Cosplay Tips and Tricks

At StarFest this year we have a special cosplay guest, Kaai in Cosplay. He’ll be at his table in the Activities Room, next to Costume Contest Registration, to talk to anyone and everyone about cosplay. He’ll be a guest judge at the Costume Contest, and he’ll share some of his secrets during four panels.

Cosplay Survival Kit

Performed at many conventions and always a good starter for new cosplayers, the cosplay survival kit is all about what to do when things go horribly wrong in a hallway. If something breaks, this panel is designed to help you fix it, at least long enough to make it back to a sewing machine or hot glue gun.

Everything You Need to Know: Cosplay

Cosplayers rejoice! This updated version of my Cosplay Boot Camp panel has websites, reviews, and more, all geared towards cosplay. Everything you need to know starts with the references for a character and goes to the finished project and traveling with a cosplay.

Cosplay Photography: How Not to Break Your Legs

Posing in a hallway approached from a fine-arts perspective. Everyone learns some basic do’s and don’t’s of posing, from the perspective of a very expensive art degree. I cover how cameras work and how to use that to the best advantage, and I teach everyone some poses to boot. Always a fun one, and photographers AND cosplayers learn quite a lot.

Convention Horror Stories

Just what it sounds like.

Costume Contest

Our Costume Contest takes place on Saturday night in the Main Events room. Prizes are awarded in several categories. If you are interested in participating, sign up at Costume Contest Registration on Friday and Saturday. It’s a lot of fun and exciting, too! Imagine appearing on the same stage as our Hollywood Stars! Online registration — see the link after the rules here.

The Dayton & Kevin Show

Join writer guys Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore for a relaxed and fun discussion—yes, audience participation is welcomed—about sci-fi and pop culture in general. Topics might include their latest projects, Star Trek news from Pocket Books and Titan Publishing, inside scoop on Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, and all sorts of cool stuff they’re enjoying at the bookstore, on TV or in theaters. It’s also quite possible that the attractive young lady wearing the Power Girl costume near the autograph lines will get a mention. Or six. But wait, there’s more! Perhaps there might even be an all-new installment of “Bleeding Ear Theater,” with an overly dramatic reading by two writers with great faces for radio. Don’t miss what happens when Dayton and Kevin get an unsupervised* panel room for an entire hour—and next year, when someone asks why they’re not sitting in Authors’ Alley anymore, you’ll know WHY!

*Programming note: StarFest dress code will remain in effect despite any declarations of “No Pants Allowed” from panel members.

Exploding TARDIS Painting Class

Doctor Who Painting
Kick back, relax, and let your creative juices flow! Blue Jasmine Studios presents this beginner-friendly class. Create your own beautiful ‘Doctor Who’ inspired painting. Whether you are new to painting, or one of the Old Masters, you are sure to have a good time! Our experienced instructor will guide and encourage you as you follow a series of simple steps. Everyone gets to keep their masterpiece! Bring the whole family for painting fun! Recommend for ages 10 and up, children should be accompanied by an adult. Class is offered at a special show discount, $22/person. Reserve your spot online at , or at our booth in the Dealers Room. Walk-ins welcome! Sunday at the Activities Stage.

Exploration at the Edge: New Horizons at Pluto and Beyond

Presented by Dr. Alex Parker. Last summer, humanity’s first robotic explorer of the worlds beyond Neptune reached its primary target: the Pluto system. During a whirlwind first-reconnaissance flyby at over 50 times the speed of a jet airliner, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft imaged Pluto and its five moons in unprecedented detail. In this talk, I will cover the history of the outer solar system exploration, the New Horizons mission, and examine the latest images and findings from the mission. I will conclude with a preview of where New Horizons could head next in an extended mission ­ deep into the Kuiper Belt, targeting a flyby of a completely new and unexplored world (currently) called 2014 MU69, the most distant world ever targeted for exploration.

Federation Ball

The Federation Ball is in the Activities Room this year. The Ball starts at 9 pm Saturday, so be ready! It doesn’t matter if you’re in costume or not, it’s always fun. Every member of the Federation needs to have a place to party!! Come join Feddies, Klingons, Vulcans and more (including the occasional celebrity) at the Ball! Door prizes awarded; must be present to win! Enter the dance contest for a chance to win some cool prizes. The audience gets to help with the judging! Cost is only $3.00 per person. Music is provided by professional DJ company ACES, and the Ball is sponsored by the USS Pioneer and O.m.e.g.a.

ALL proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association, Dumb Friend’s League Furry Scurry and OMEGAResponders!

Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet

FORBIDDEN PLANET, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s first attempt at science fiction, premiered on March 15th, 1956. It was a film years ahead of its time, the direct forerunner of STAR TREK, STAR WARS and the big-budget science fiction films of today.

It was the first film to be set in a future where mankind is spreading out into the universe in faster-than-light starships.

In an era where Cold War fears materialized in mutated, giant insects, or alien invaders subverting all that was American, Forbidden Planet worked as all good science fiction does: it examines ourselves. Quite literally, it looked into the materialization of our own inner demons. While most ’50s movies are marred by obviously wire strung rockets, rehashed radiation clouds or just plain bad acting, Forbidden Planet continues to view like a top of the line movie, some sixty years later.

The film was entered into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2013, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The story of Forbidden Planet holds up so well because it is lifted from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Starring Leslie Nielson, Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis, it tells the tale of a ship from Earth investigating the missing expedition to Altair IV. When they arrive they find that most of the crew had died nearly two decades before with only a scientist and his daughter still alive.

The scientist’s inner hate for all things foreign to the world begins to lethally manifest through the alien world’s advance technology, especially once love blooms between the ship’s captain and the scientist’s daughter.

Forbidden Planet

The 50th anniversary of Forbidden Planet was in 2006. During the year there were a number of events including panels at conventions and signings featuring some of the original cast members and other guests. The largest was the Forbidden Planet panel at Comic-Con that year. On hand were original actors Richard Anderson, Warren Stevens and Earl Holliman. The film enjoyed a brief theatrical release that year.

Even the Denver Film Festival took part. They presented, in 35MM, a complete work print of the film. The film has no music or optical effects. It was a treat to see.

We presented Forbidden Planet as well at StarFest that year, along with a look at the making of this historic film.
This year marks the 60th anniversary and StarFest is delighted to screen the film on Friday evening after the Meet and Greet.

Our MC, Kevin Atkins, will introduce the film. On Saturday morning Kevin will present an updated illustrated look behind the scenes. He will also show several deleted scenes from a rare work print of the film.

Game of Thrones Theories

We will discuss some of our favorite Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire theories and point out where the books and tv show support, and disprove, the theories.

Gorram Browncoats!

Join fellow local Browncoats for a discussion centered on Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity ‘Verse. Learn about our upcoming group activities, Shindigs and the upcoming “Can’t Stop the Serenity” charity screening of Serenity. Share with us your love of this shiny tv series and film.

I’m a writer; I Have Questions!

How do you self-publish? Should you self publish? Do I need an agent? Why? Should I use a Pen Name? What if I do? I heard… but then I heard…? Bring your burning questions about being a writer, and we will do our best to solve them!

Intergalactic Bellydance

In the mood for something rhythmic, elegant and a bit frivolous? Join Apsara and companions as they travel between worlds, performing some of the thousand dances they have picked up along the way. Recently regenerated from Les Femmes, Apsara looks forward to sharing their unique fusion Bellydance stylings with you.

Introduction to Steampunk in Fiction and Literature

So you’ve heard of this Steampunk thing, but where to get started? What interesting books should you read? We have the answers.

Introduction to the Colonial Ministry of Defense

Ever dream of flying a Viper or commanding your own Battlestar? Are you looking for a club where you can discuss your love of Battlestar Galactica? The Colonial Ministry of Defense wants you! This interactive discussion will introduce you to the Crew of Battlestar Stormbringer, the local chapter of the CMoD. You will learn about the formation of the Ministry, the principles it is run by today and the benefits group fandom can provide. We will end the meeting with an awards and promotions ceremony including the induction of new members. Join us and discover the excitement for yourself.

Irish Dancing

Kick off your St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations with a performance by Celtic Steps, Colorado’s Premier Irish Dance School!

With dancers ranging in age from five to thirty-five, including dancers who will be representing Colorado at the 2016 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland! Celtic Steps will show you the best of Irish Dance!

John Williams’ Star Wars and Other Sci-Fi Music

This panel will hear and discuss the all time sci-fi movie music classics which made the sci-fi movies great including Star Wars, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Star Trek, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Batman. Composer John Williams composed many of the sci fi movie classics. We will see how the music has affected us socially and culturally and have a final vote on the three all-time sci-fi movie music classics plus a Yoda sing-along. May the Force be with you!

Karaoke Test of Bravery

Come and prove your bravery by singing in front of your StarFest Family. We are a supportive group.

A unique opportunity to see people in costume singing in character, or not.

Name That Sci Fi Tune


A SciFi tune is played and panelists must guess the tune as fast as possible. Brought to you by MileHiCon.

Obligatory Media Tie-In Panel

What’s the state of media tie-ins? Why such a surge in short fiction? Are tie-in books influencing which movies are getting made? (WoW?)

Oh No, They Did NOT Just Go There

Panelists discuss topics they will and won’t write about and why. Bring your sense of humor, and leave your judgement outside.

Ow! My Spleen!

All too often in a book or movie, the characters undergo severe physical trauma, only for them to undertake heroic acts in the following scenes. How do you write realistic fiction where your characters are injured and face the consequences yet still manage to allow them to do what you need?

Putting the “Science” in Science Fiction

The worlds of science and sci-fi intersect in interesting, and sometimes unexpected ways. We will discuss the influence that our favorite science fiction fandoms have had on the world of scientific research.

Resin Casting 101

From start to finish on how to set up and make silicone molds and casting resin kits. We’ll show the same method we used to produce the Star Wars for the Disney’s launch bays in California and Florida. Come and see how to work with a professional FX company. Learn different methods to get that special piece cast and learn tricks of the trade on how to get that resin cast right to avoid little mistakes.

Rey’s Heritage

Where did Rey come from? Who could she be related to? What information do we have from the movie and tie-in media?

Sci-Fi Improv

Come see improvisational theatre based on your favorite Science Fiction books, movies and T.V. shows. If you like Whose Line Is It Anyways? or the Upright Citizens Brigade, you’ll love us! Watch improv made up on the spot based on your suggestions! Come challenge us, laugh with and at us and even join us for awhile on stage!

Sciencing the Heck Out of Mars

What’s happening on the Red Planet these days? With spacecraft on the ground and orbiting Mars, there’s a LOT of good science being done. Carolyn Collins Petersen fills us in on the latest Red Planet News and a special updates from two guest panelists.

Joining Carolyn are Pieter Kallemeyn, System Design Lead for the InSight Mars Lander at Lockheed Martin and Christopher Grasso of Blue Sun Enterprises, Inc. He provides sequencing software and expertise for NASA deep-space missions, including the Spitzer Space Telescope, MRO, and Phoenix. He sequenced the 2008 Phoenix landing.

Come join Carolyn, Christopher, and Pieter for the Mars Hour at StarFest!

Space Food and Out-of-This-World Games

To boldly go where no Pink has gone before!!
The Pink Trek away-mission will be beaming down space foodstuffs and playing alien games. How good are you at pinning the alien queen tail? Come to find out. Presented by the Pink Girls.

Star Trek 50 Years Later: A Look Back

It’s easy to forget how much has changed in our world since Star Trek: The Original Series aired 50 years ago. We will discuss both the historical and scientific context surrounding the iconic series as well as its influence on our world today.

Star Trek: 50 Years of Humanism

Now a continuing tradition with StarFest, Religion in Star Trek is a much requested panel. This year, celebrating 50 years of Star Trek: If the human race were to be judged by God today, what would be our defense given our history of violence? Gene Roddenberry’s view on humanism would show our greatest potential. We’ll be showing a 15 minute video Saturday at noon prior to the panel for all who plan to attend.

Star Trek IQ Test

Test your Star Trek IQ to determine whether you are a Star Trek Imbecile or a Star Trek Genius! Star Trek fans of all ages are welcome to take a written exam to determine their Star Trek IQ. Can you score over 160 to be called a Star Trek Genius? The exam will test knowledge of original Star Trek and Next Generation episodes (with a little Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise added this year) and all Star Trek movies. Even if you took the test last year, join us again as we will have new test questions. This is your chance to show your knowledge of the Star Trek universe. Each participant takes the test individually – not yelling out the answer or being called on to answer a question. All participants will receive a ribbon showing their Star Trek IQ level and score, and a trophy will be awarded for top score. This is a family friendly activity, but the test is guaranteed to be challenging to any Star Trek fan. This is not a come-and-go panel. Please be punctual since the timed test will begin 5 minutes after the panel starts. Lastly, we understand that there will not be any tables in the panel room this year. We are planning to bring some writing surfaces, but bring something to write on if at all possible (your StarFest program book, for example). Qapla’ (KAHPLAH’)!

Star Trek Outpost — LIVE!

Beam in to this two-part “panel”/hands-on experience. Audience members become the voices of characters in a “minisode” of the Parsec-award winning audio drama “Star Trek: Outpost.” After recording the session during the Saturday session, the crew from Outpost will mix the “minisode” overnight and play it back for the audience and actors on Sunday. With the time remaining, the session will be a Q&A where the audience learns what it takes to create an audio drama from the crew that produces the show. We’ll discuss the ins and outs (including how easy it is!) of production – from script writing to the final mix — we cover it all! The final production played on Sunday will be part of the Star Trek: Outpost podcast which airs monthly on and

Star Wars as Story

There’s a lot of debate over the older and new Star Wars films, especially how they stand as stories. Let’s chat and see how they hold up, shall we? Maybe we’ll even figure out who Rey’s parents are!

Star Wars Trivia

In this trivia contest open to 12 players, the questions will be asked at light speed! Players will have to chose if the answer is true or false. Prizes are offered to the top three.

StarFest Talent Show

Do you have a song you need to sing? A skit you need to perform? The Activities Stage is the place to do it on Sunday morning. Sign up Friday and Saturday at Costume Contest registration (near Convention Information). Walk-ons will be accepted on Sunday If time permits. Please keep performances to under 5 minutes each. Categories are 18+ and under 18.

So warm up those pipes, practice that guitar, or put the finishing touches on your skit!! You could be StarFest’s Most Talented!

Starfleet Academy

Starfleet Academy is a fun way to experience the Star Trek Universe first hand as a student at the StarFest Branch Campus. Each class is designed to present humor, audience participation and a different way of looking at the Star Trek Universe. Each class is self-contained, but those who complete all four classes will receive a diploma and gift from the convention.

This year Starfleet Academy looks at the History of Star Trek.

Starfleet Academy: History 201 – The Captain Kirk Era

Starfleet Academy starts out our activities this year with a look at the original Enterprise crew. We will look at life on the NCC-1701 – the crew, what it takes to be a Red Shirt Security Officer and that all important guideline – WWKD? What Would Kirk Do?

Starfleet Academy: History 202 – The Captain Picard Era

The second Starfleet Academy class revisits the Picard era of the Enterprise – The various adventures, the diverse crew, dealing with empires, alliances and syndicates and, of course, Wesley Crusher.

Starfleet Academy: History 203 – Deep Space Nine and USS Voyager

The third Starfleet Academy class will focus on two other significant entities in the Federation. First, a visit to Deep Space Nine – the Cardassians and Bajorans and the Dominion War — and then a trip to the Delta Quadrant and a ride on the USS Voyager. For both of these we will look at how the various crews dealt with adversity, discuss some amusing moments and give the students a chance to experience life at the edges of the Federation.

Starfleet Academy: History 204 – The Enterprise Elsewhere – Enterprise and Alternate Realities

We will finish the Starfleet Academy classes with a brief visit to the original Enterprise Starship – NX-01 — followed by accounts of the Enterprise in other media, including the animated series, novels, and comic books. We’ll wrap up with a look at the Alternate Cinematic Timeline. Come and be ready to enjoy a look at the fringes of the history of the Starship Enterprise.

Stargate Trivia with a Twist

Test your knowledge of Stargate SG-1 in a fun, simple and unexpected format! Prizes will be awarded. Three rounds, and anyone who wants to participate will be able to. Come have some fun!

Steampunk in the Media

Steampunk isn’t just a fancy name for the Victorians with goggles. Movies have been making use of Steampunk elements for years — we talk about our favorite instances.

Steampunk THIS

We bet you can’t steampunk a toaster! Join AnomalyCon and the Colorado Steampunks for our classic game where we pit the audience against each other to draw strange objects Steampunked. It’s Steampunk Pictionary!

The Story’s Journey

Anyone will tell you about the Hero’s Journey, a plot structure formula that many tales follow. But what they don’t tell you is now that you got your story, how do you make it sellable? Revision, killing your darlings, critiques. The real work behind every story is discussed here.

Texas Hold-‘Em

Looking for some action Friday night? Join the USS Pioneer for a free, no-limit Texas-Hold-‘Em Tournament! The game starts at 9:00 pm, with set-up starting at 8:30 pm in the Activities Room area. Players must be at least 18 years of age to play. Sheets listing the chip values and hand ranks will be available to keep it easy. You’ll have fun even if you haven’t played much!

Prizes will be awarded for those who reach the final table and for the tournament champion. We will have other random prizes throughout the game. Registration begins at 5:00 pm at the USS Pioneer check-in table near Main Registration and goes until 8:30 pm. We’ll also be selling the StarFest commemorative poker chips for charity, benefiting the Dumb Friends League and American Diabetes Association. Only $5 each. These chips will be available at the USS Pioneer check-in table Friday night, the poker tournament and at the Federation Ball Saturday night. Shuffle up and deal!!!

What Does It Take to Live in Space?

From breathing air, to side-stepping 40,000 mph trash, it takes a lot simply to stay alive in outer space. A National Space Society panel of experts will present an outline of just staying alive on the New Frontier. James Short will cover the basics in “A Shopping Cart for Space.” Bennett Rutledge will show how thinking on shelter has developed in “A Cozy Little Place on Pluto.” Tim Miller will look at what lets you level-up from survival to living, or “Creature Comforts in Hard Vacuum.” Jim Barnard will saddle up for “Getting Around Where There Are No Trails.” And, of course, we’ll need YOU for some ideas of what to actually DO out there!


Avengers, Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Serenity and so much more! Celebrate the many worlds of Joss Whedon with a lively interactive panel. We’ll be debating and discussing our favorites and speculating on the future. “Joss is Boss!”

Where Did This Chocolate Come From?

Every time our character turns a corner in a secondary world, it seems there is a decision to make. Even something as simple as a drink (and brawl!) in a tavern can lead to a thousand questions about commerce, culture, and connections. Our panelists will talk about these decisions, pitfalls and rabbit holes, and when to say when.

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