Most kings adopt a regal air, separating themselves from the common folk.
Star Trek theme park (Rubicon Group Holding)Not Jordan's King Abdullah II. He's a geek and he's proud of it.
The Jordanian monarch is the chief investor in an upcoming theme park that will revolve around Star Trek. Slated to open in 2014, the park costs a reported $1.5 billion.
That's a lot of Gold-Pressed Latinum.
Unlikely though it may sounds, the coastal town of Aqaba is set to become the center of the Trek universe. The 184-acre theme park -- dubbed the 'Red Sea Astrarium' -- will feature several "multi-sensory futuristic experiences," including a high-tech space-flight adventure simulator.
All totaled, there are 17 entertainment areas being planned, and the entire park will be fueled by renewable energy. Alongside the 23rd century attractions, the park also plans to feature a number of exhibits highlighting Jordan's own history.
King Abdullah II has a long-standing obsession with Star Trek. When he was but a prince, he even wrangled a non-speaking role on Star Trek: Voyager (he's the guy who promptly takes off):
He's not alone in the venture, though. Several American and Gulf investors are also contributing to the park, though none have been formally named.
Unlike the Chinese knock-off theme park that focuses on World of Warcraft and Starcraft, the Star Trek park will be officially licensed and has the blessing of series rights-holder CBS. And given that Jordan plans to surround the park with five-star hotels, fine dining and theaters, odds are this park won't be run down after just a few months, like the China attraction.
The theme park isn't the only Trek project switching from impulse speed to warp nine. A sequel to J.J. Abrams' prequel is underway -- though reportedly it's been pushed back, meaning it won't hit theaters next summer. And just before E3, Paramount announced it would be overseeing a new co-op game based on the series, letting players play as both Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. That's due on consoles and PC in 2012.
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