Tony Wilkins looks at the exciting new Star Trek fan film series with its cast of sci-fi veterans from both Star Trek and BSG.
Whenever people ask me what I am looking forward to in the future and I respond with “Star Trek Axanar” I usually get the same response, “Is that the new Star Trek film?” It’s then I have to explain that rather than a big budget Hollywood production it is in fact a fan film and that’s when they sigh. It’s true fan films (like fan fiction) is a mixed bag with some good and some bad. In the last few years however Star Trek fan films have not only increased in number but they have increased in quality. Gone are the Playstation One effects and dodgy sets. Fan series like the ever impressive “Star Trek Phase II” have raised the bar so high that many of them now have the quality of a lot of tv series these days. We are truly in the era of the fan film and this has attracted mainstream actors to volunteer their time (as these are non-profit affairs) to star in them either as a way of promoting their talent or because like us they too are fans.
So now we have “Star Trek: Axanar” on the horizon and by looking at the recent trailer on YouTube we are in for a treat. According to the website for Axanar;
“Axanar” tells the story of Garth and his crew during the Four Years War, the war with the Klingon Empire that almost tore the Federation apart. Garth’s victory at Axanar solidified the Federation and allowed it to become the entity we know in Kirk’s time.
It is the year 2245, four years into the war with the Klingons.
The story is certainly an ambitious one but if any cast can pull it off this one can. The cast line up is a list of sci-fi gold with veterans of Star Trek and the remake of Battlestar Galactica headlining the project. Richard Hatch who is best known for playing Apollo in classic BSG and Tom Zarek in the remake plays Klingon Commander Kharn. Kharn has a few lines in the trailer and boy does Hatch nail it. I think he will prove one of the highlights of this movie but he is not the only one. Kate Vernon and her BSG ‘husband’ Michael Hogan both make appearances with Hogan playing Captain Robert April who in Treklore was Captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 when it was first launched. J.G. Hertzler returns although for once he is not playing a Klingon and I am grateful they didn’t just make him Kharn. A surprise for me was seeing Gary Graham resume his role as Ambassador Soval from “Star Trek Enterprise”. Judging by the trailer this will be Tony Todd’s film however and he delivers a powerful, hair raising speech that caught me from start to finish.
“Axanar” looks set for a 2015 release at the earliest it having already had to be put back a bit. I think it will be worth the wait. In my experience fan films are made by fans for fans and therefore often have the best stories and that’s why we love Star Trek. The look is clearly going for a hybrid of original series with elements of J.J. Abrams styles. Several ships are based on Abramsverse designs but are made to look more original series.
Check out the trailer and see for yourself.