The media and associated merchandising outlets have been going crazy over the release of the latest installment of “Star Wars”. I believe this chapter is called “The Force Awakens” or something like that. Even though I love science fiction, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Star Wars universe. I’ve seen all the movies but I’ve never waited in line to see them on opening day nor have I ever been one to see all the recuts and re-edits and such. I’m just not that much of a Star Wars fan. Though, quick side note, my first date ever as with a girl named Karen Black. We saw “The Empire Strikes Back” together. I think I was 12.

Just in time for Star Wars, a teaser-trailer has been released for the next Star Trek movie, “Star Trek Beyond”. I’m a big fan of the Star Trek universe so I was quite excited to see the trailer of this next movie.

I hated it. I watched it several times and confirmed that I hated the trailer.  Directed by “The Fast and The Furious” director Justin Lin, I saw motorcycles, over the top stunts and a lot of kickboxing/martial arts. Not really the Star Trek I fell in love with as a young kid.

Uninspired by the upcoming movie, I decided to go back to watching fan-made movies and episodes of Star Trek. For those not familiar, there are several series and movies taking place in the Star Trek universe made by fans of the show. Some of these productions include actors from commercial Star Trek ventures. Some are adaptations of scripts that were never made into full blown productions. These productions take place in many different eras of Star Trek, some boast a foundation of The Original Series, others are set in a future we haven’t seen yet. All of these are funded, created and produced by fans of Star Trek. And many of them are quite impressive.

Earlier this year, a movie entitled “Star Trek: Renegades” was released. It’s available on YouTube. A slick production, the visual quality of this movie is impressive, there are many cast members from other Star Trek and sci-if shows and, while the story is a little different than what one is used to from Star Trek, it still feels like it belongs in the Star Trek universe. Sure, there was some wooden acting (remember many of the actors are fans of the show) and a plot hole here and there, but for the most part I was very impressed with the production of “Star Trek: Renegades”. I look forward to watching it again on a bigger screen (I watched it on my iPad for my first viewing) and I’m really hoping to see further episodes along this series’ timeline.  

Here’s the trailer for “Star Trek: Renegades”. Astute observers will note that the lead female role is played by the same actress that played Xena’s daughter Livia/Eve in the latter part of that series. I am looking forward to being a supporter and backer of this and other Star Trek fan derived adventures.

And I have a goal of wearing a red shirt on screen someday. I might yet see the realization of my imaging of what I think a transporter beam should look like 1.

1 In 1987 I sent a storyboard, letter and documentation to Paramount in hopes of suggesting what the transporter should look like in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”. I received a favorable response from the company, however, my suggestion never made it to the movie. A version of it, though most likely pure coincidence and not quite identical to what I suggested, made it to “Star Trek: Voyager”.