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Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton

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Chapter 7. A Sort Of Homecoming

WHEN I WORKED on Star Trek, I always struggled to fit in with the adults around me. It was easy to relate to them professionally, but on a personal level, no matter how hard I tried, I was still a kid and they were still adults. I often thought that Wesley Crusher could have been a much richer and more interesting character if the writers had taken advantage of that very real turmoil that existed within me, and used it to add some humanity to Wesley in between the Nanite making and polarity reversing . . . but I guess it was more fun (and easier) to write for the android. I can’t say that I blame them.

For whatever reason, I was never able to entirely lose that teenage angst, and whenever I attended a Star Trek event, or saw one of the cast members, I immediately felt like I was 16 again. Because of that feeling—and, if I was willing to be truly, fearlessly honest with myself, the fact that I hadn’t done very much with my career since leaving the show—I avoided Star Trek events (and that inevitable feeling of shame and angst that accompanied them) for years. Of course there were exceptions, but they were few and far between.

A couple of days after Weakest Link, I was presented with an opportunity to share the stage with the Big Three of The Next Generation: Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. The event was called “The Galaxy Ball.” Robert Beltran, the actor who played Chakotay on Voyager, hosts it each year to benefit the Down Syndrome ...

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