Wil Wheaton and LeVar Burton Q&A

Wil Wheaton and LeVar Burton are both back onboard The Un-Conventional Voyage in 2024. Discover their experiences by tuning into both of their Q&As to get a taste of life onboard!

Wil Wheaton

Do you have a favorite memory from your first time onboard Star Trek: The Cruise?

I was so reluctant to join the cruise, because my experiences in the past with other promoters weren’t always great. Passengers very much treated me like a Pokemon to be caught and traded, and I didn’t have much time to truly relax and enjoy myself. It was sold to me as a working vacation, which meant that my parents and siblings got to have a vacation while I worked for people who didn’t respect my boundaries at all.

Star Trek: The Cruise is entirely different from those experiences, and I’ve been excited to come back ever since my first voyage. The fans were amazing, gave me my space, respected my boundaries, and allowed me to genuinely enjoy and look forward to interactions with my fellow nerds. And I finally got the vacation I was always promised, because it was built into my schedule: There was time set aside for me to experience this joyful week with nerds who love the same thing, loving it all together without apology.

What nerdy comics/shows/books that are not Star Trek are you digging right now?

So I’ve always said that being a nerd isn’t about what you love, it’s about how you love it. So with that in mind, I am currently a giant nerd for: Assassin’s Creed: Origins, the works of Simon Stålenhag, Severance, Alice in Borderland, and I’m finally watching Deep Space 9, in its entirety, from the very beginning. As of this writing, I’m in the middle of season 3. I expect to be finished by the time we are on the cruise, and there is a nonzero chance I’ll be doing the same thing with Voyager.

Would the current version of Wesley Crusher, out there with the Traveler, ever need to take a vacation?

I will spare you the forty thousand words of fan fiction I’ve written about this and just say: The way he experiences time is so different from the way we do, I don’t think we would be able to understand how he takes vacations, or if he and the other travelers are even allowed to. As far as we know, he could spend what appears to be a week with us on a cruise, but from his perspective, it’s the time between two of his heartbeats while he’s in the Delta quadrant. Space, time, and thought are not the different things they appear to be, you see.

Have you ever personally witnessed Jonathan Frakes play the trombone?

I have!

What are you most looking forward to on Star Trek: The Cruise VII?

Seeing my friends and family from across the fleet, of course.

We know you’re an amazing actor, what other talents do you have that we don’t know about?

I appreciate you saying that. I don’t think I’m amazing, but I do my best to be as truthful in my performances as I can be. The things I chose for myself that I enjoy? Hmmm… I can sort of play harmonica, I have high scores on every game at my local arcade (disclosure: I own the arcade and it is in my house), and my mundane but useful human super power is absolute perfect direction. I am never lost. (Now watch me fly too close to the Caribbean sun and get lost in a port.)

What emotions and memories come to mind when you think about your place in Star Trek history?

I’m just so grateful. For me as a human, as a child who was abused and exploited by his parents, TNG gave me a family that I never had and wouldn’t have had otherwise. Star Trek gave me a place to feel included, valued, and seen. I know that I’m not the only Trekkie who feels that way, and that my personal experience is a little more, uh, “actually being on the Enterprise” than the average fan’s. But the fundamental experience of belonging, of being inspired to literally and metaphorically reach for the stars, I understand that it’s the same for all of us.

It gets overwhelming when I think about it too much. When I was cast in TNG, I was just a lonely, scared kid who was desperate to make someone — anyone — proud of him. So when I think about Star Trek, that part of myself is always sitting next to me. Sometimes, I’m even looking right through his eyes. It brings up a lot of complicated emotions that I’ve spent decades working out.

At this moment in my life I am about to turn 51, 37 years after we first saw Wesley Crusher in the mall on Farpoint Station. I don’t feel like it, but the math (and a lot of current cast members) say I am Elder in the Star Trek universe. (And a note to teenage me, who is REALLY getting crap from a loud and angry segment of fandom: when you’re an old man, literal adults from current Star Trek series tell you that they looked up to you. One of them, who you think is phenomenal, will tell you that when you officially welcomed him into the Star Trek family, it meant more to him than even getting cast, because it came from YOU, dude. I know. Don’t worry, you play it cool when it happens.)

For over 80 episodes of the Ready Room, I have had the privilege to talk to nearly every actor from every cast, as a voice for my fellow fans. I’m so grateful that I get to be part of this, and that I am trusted with something that feels as important as TNG ever felt to me. We who have the privilege of carrying the Star Trek baton for a little bit don’t always realize it. I didn’t realize it until I was in my 40s, and I’m doing my best to take nothing for granted while it’s still in my hand. I am so grateful to everyone who has shared with me how they were inspired by Wesley, that I am part of their story.


LeVar Burton

Last time you treated us all to a reading excerpt. Do you have something planned for this time?

I do, and it might just involve another cast member.

We all know Geordi LaForge is one of the greatest engineers in the galaxy. How handy are you when something breaks around the house?

For fixing things around the house I’m better at calling a handyman. I excel at Angie’s List. However when it comes to assembling stuff, I am your guy. I’ve never met an Ikea purchase I couldn’t conquer.

How much of your decision to join us on this cruise was due to wanting to see Brent Spiner in snorkeling gear?

Not as much as I ‘m looking forward to seeing Brent in a Speedo, in snorkeling gear!

What are you most looking forward to on Star Trek: The Cruise VII?

I’d be lying if I answered anything other than, the buffets!

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