For two ‘Star Trek’ fans, marriage is the final frontier
Theirs is a marriage made, if not in heaven exactly, then at least in intergalactic space.
Mark Restucci popped the question last October, dropping to one knee in the style of his hero, Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise. Amy Campbell said yes. How could she not?
She stood on a life-size mockup of the spaceship’s bridge in the original 1960s TV series turned cult phenomenon. There before her was a grown man who had boyishly captured Kirk’s swaggering panache, right down to the spiffy form-fitting tunic.
Like “Star Trek” characters of old, she was beaming.
The couple recently became the first fans ever to recite their vows at the annual “Star Trek” convention at the Rio hotel and casino in Las Vegas, where conventioneers exhibited the mannerisms, costumes and trivia of creator Gene Roddenberry’s futuristic world, including Spock’s Vulcan salute.
Restucci knew that if he was to boldly go where he had been only once before (his first wife loathed “Star Trek”) he would have to make the journey with a fellow Trekkie. “I never thought I’d get married again,” he said.
The newlyweds cite their fathers for their mutual mania. Campbell watched the show on her dad’s lap at age 2. In Restucci’s hometown of Boston, his father got him hooked on the show’s lore — the colorful nomenclature and the bond between Kirk, Spock and Dr. Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy. He wore his first Spock tunic at age 10.
“When it comes to ‘Star Trek,’ I’m a detail guy. I can tell a phaser one from a phaser two,” he said. “In real life, I can’t recall who was on the news last night.”
As a child in Fresno, Campbell fell in love with, ahem, dreamy Captain Kirk.
While cleaning shelves in her parents’ ceramics shop, she finger-drew Kirk’s image in the dust. She dreamed of being his daughter and, as she got older, his girlfriend.
“You wanted him to be your captain, didn’t you?” Restucci asked over drinks days before their wedding.
“No, honey,” Campbell purred, taking his arm. “I’ve got my own captain now.”
As adults, both became addicts of the show’s TV spinoffs: “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” as well as the big-screen film franchise. He works at a product return center in Phoenix; before the marriage, she worked as an executive assistant in Los Angeles. Both began attending annual Trekkie conventions across the West Coast.
Campbell’s “Star Trek” fantasies emulate Jadzia Dax, a sexy so-called Trill from “Deep Space Nine” who embodies the phrase “live long and prosper.” Restucci’s favorite character is William Riker from “The Next Generation.” But his favorite phrase is old-school “Star Trek,” what McCoy frequently said to Kirk: “He’s dead, Jim.”
A few days before the nuptials, the couple sparred over details as the 47-year-old Restucci detailed the original series premiere, “Where No Man has Gone Before.”
“No,” interrupted his wife-to-be, two years his senior. “Wasn’t it the salt monster episode?”
He shot her a hard look that instantly softened: “Remember? It’s where Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell goes through a barrier and gets ESP powers.”
The couple met — where else? — at a “Star Trek” convention here in 2012. They talked, flirted and he asked her for a bite to eat. She demurred, promising to look for him over the ensuing days.
“Later I thought, ‘Am I making a mistake? No, I’ll see him again,’” she said.
She didn’t. Not that year anyway. But he friended her on Facebook, and that launched a relationship.
At last year’s convention, they spotted one another and embraced.
After that, they met for a date in Blythe: He drove in from Phoenix, she from L.A. Back home, they talked for hours on the phone about non-“Star Trek” things: He told her of his first marriage. She talked about her grown son.
Later, he posted their engagement on Facebook, where a friend spotted it and talked to convention organizers.
The organizers offered to host the affair this year in Vegas as part of their scheduled activities. The wedding reenacted the ceremony in which Riker marries his Deanna Troi in the film “Star Trek: Nemesis.” Like the character Troi, Campbell wore a pink wedding dress.
Restucci started to explain his costume: “It’s a white jacket with white ruffles…”
“Not ruffles,” she said. “That sounds like a pirate.”
They agreed on this: The ceremony would be non-denominational. “It’s more of a Starfleet thing,” Campbell said. “‘Star Trek’ means everything to us. It’s why we’re together.”
Restucci has his own ideas about the show’s significance for Trekkie fans.
“People share Roddenberry’s hope that humanity will overcome its differences and work together to promote a healthy future.” He turned to his bride.
She smiled approvingly: “Tell him what you think.”
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