Maybe in some distant corner of a galaxy that’s light years from earth, Klingons get married every day. But it’s rare that any marry on earth yet that’s what J’Sheel and O’Dwinn did Saturday evening in a ballroom at the Ramada Inn on S. 72nd. Although dressed in Klingon clothing and portraying fictional characters from the Star Trek TV series and motion pictures, J’Sheel and O’Dwinn–known as Julie Powell and Kevin Carroll by the earthly friends, were really getting married.
It didn’t hurt that the ceremony took place in the midst of OSFEST, the Omaha Science Fiction Festival which occurs annually, and that meant the hundred or so witnesses included a very young Anakin Skywalker, the Cheshire Cat, a couple of Dr. Who’s, officers from the United Federation of Planets, Speed Racer and several enthusiasts of the fictional world of steam punk (think of a way-over-the-top version of “The Wild Wild West”) not to mention a white rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. As one might imagine, Klingons dominated the wedding party although an admiral from the Federation’s Star Fleet was also in attendance. Even the minister, Janet Stiles, was in Klingon garb.
“The words for the ceremony came from a wedding on the TV show where two Klingons were married,” said Stiles, who really is a minister from Iowa and once married two people dressed as Japanese anime cartoon characters. Instead of hearing the usual vows spoken by earthlings, the witnesses heard phrases like, “Kevin, son of Edward, does your heart beat only for this woman?” and “If we join together, no forces can stop us,” although near the end was the more traditional statement, “Kevin, you may now kiss the bride.”
With their fellow Klingons holding curved sharp-edged bat’leth swords high to form an archway, J’Sheel and O’Dwinn, bride and groom, stepped down from the stage where the ceremony had been held and made their way into the well-wishers.
Julie said she and Kevin, both of Omaha, met years ago and shared a common love for the fictional world of the Star Trek characters. So when Kevin was involved in the planning of this year’s OSFEST, an idea occurred to him. “He thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a Klingon wedding ceremony during all of this?’” said Julie. It was clearly an out-of-this-world thought.
Story and photos by Mike Whye