MrJoelieC’s Confession about the latest news in Star Trek (Spoiler alert: He’s a geek!)

So as I sit in front of my computer trying to figure out what to do next to expand the web page that is BeerDrinkersUnited.com, I drink a beer. A Harpoon IPA to be exact. My “Go To” beer of choice when I want to kick back and relax.

I used to have a static page on the home page but I decided to put much of that content onto the “About” page but one sentence caught me:

Think of your favorite pub. (Use your mind) Now hold that thought. Add your favorite friends, now add you and your friends discussing your favorite topic, now add your favorite beer, and now you have BDU.

I had originally written about this topic on my personal blog as I was unsure if this topic was suitable for BDU. But then I looked at the above quote and realized maybe not for some. But – A lot of my friends are just as dorky as I am and some of them would sit in a pub discussing this topic so – Why Not?

Confession: I’m a geek. To some of you “new folks” around here that may or may not come as a shock. To those who know me they are rolling their eyes and saying: “Yeah? – And?” I’m a total dork about Sci-Fi. I love it. I love Robert Heinlein, I love Doctor Who, I love Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999, and of course: Star Trek.

James Cawley at the “center seat.”

A few years ago I was lamenting about no Star Trek on the TV. I Read the novels in what little spare time I have when I’m not screwing with web sites and in drinking good beers and hanging with friends. I fired up a web browser and found an article that pointed me to “Star Trek New Voyages” (Now called Star Trek Phase II.) I watched “Come What May” Featuring James Cawley and I was hooked.

Then I found “Star Trek Continues” with Vic Mignogna and Chris Doohan the son of Mr. Scott himself playing his father’s role. These 2 series had production values and scripts and even “Acting Chops” and I was floored that fans could come together and make such things.

Tim Russ as Mr Tuvok

A bunch of the series regulars and a few others genuine TV stars led by Tim Russ (Mr. Tuvoc from Star Trek Voyager.) made a “Mirror Universe” Movie length episode called “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men” and then followed it up with a post Voyager movie called “Star Trek: Renegades” a subject I always wondered about in the Star Trek Universe was there has to be nobler pirates than the Orions. (While it’s very doubtful that Tim Russ would read this I have a story idea for a massive ship upgrade.)

As I was looking for updated episodes for the above and others I was sidetracked and pointed to a Kickstarter page for that had a trailer for a soon to be released short film to help fund the main film “Prelude to Axanar” was done as a documentary style film about the “4 Years War” with the Klingons decisively won by Kelvar Garth. The Show’s creator: Alec Peters stared as Kelvar Garth and had rounded up Richard Hatch, J. G. Hertzler, Kate Vernon, Gary Graham, Michael Hogan, and Tony Todd, all mainstream science fiction actors from Star Trek and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. Prelude to Axanar features some well-known actors portraying both new and familiar characters from the Star Trek universe.

When the short film came out I used my Chromecast to watch it on my 50” plasma television. After I picked up my jaw from the floor, and replaced the drool I had lost with a few beers, I sat and just went: “Holy Shit!” I showed it to friends, I showed it to my kids. If you have not seen this cinematic masterpiece, I strongly urge you to take the 21 minutes and 9 seconds to watch it here:

Raising $638,000 on Kickstarter through the creation and release of “Prelude to Axanar,” Alec Peters went into pre-production for the feature film “Star Trek: Axanar,” with production slated to begin in October 2015, for an early 2016 release. The original plan was to raise financing “in chunks”, with the initial Kickstarter to raise enough money to obtain a warehouse, convert it to a sound stage and build sets through the creation of a not for profit production company called: Axanar Productions. Approximately $200,000 of the funding happened in the campaign’s final 49 hours, after Star Trek alum, George Takei, (Mr. Sulu.) shared his interest publicly, bringing production more than six-times the originally sought amount of $100,000.

Mr. Peters announced sadly that he would not portray Kelvar Garth, (A mistake in my opinion because he was brilliant as the soft spoken hero. In the “Prelude” film.) saying that he wanted to hire a professional actor to fill the role, which would allow him to focus more on writing and producing. Yeah OK I get it… But still I think it’s a mistake.

Anyway. On December 29, 2015, CBS and Paramount Pictures filed for an injunction and damages in the US District Court for the Central District of California, stating that Axanar Production’s works infringe their rights by making use of the Klingon language and “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.”

(Insert cricket noises here.)

(Insert intake of beer here.)

So – Here’s the thing. All of the above and the many more films I have been rambling on about are “Fan made.” Did you read that CBS/Paramount? Put the focus on the word: “Fan” you know? The people who love “Star Trek” and throw money at your feet so you can then throw money at JJ Abrams to reboot the brand and then get us to throw more money at your feet?

But I digress… In my BLOG post I basically discussed an interesting occurrence that happened on Friday May 20th. Here is clip from TrekNews.net of this announcement by JJ Abrams:

In case you do not want to view the whole clip here is the transcript:

A few months back there was a fan movie, Axanar, that was getting made and there was this lawsuit that happened between the studio and these fans and Justin, and I’ll tell the story because he probably wouldn’t, was sort of outraged by this as a longtime fan. We started talking about it and realized this was not an appropriate way to deal with the fans. The fans should be celebrating this thing… Fans of Star Trek are all part of this world. So he went to the studio and pushed them to stop this lawsuit and now, within the next few weeks, it will be announced this is going away, and that fans would be able to work on their project.

Justin Lim (left) and Alec Peters

Now until recently I was not a huge fan of JJ. I Liked Justin Lim but as of the above I bow to them. I seriously want to shake their hands and announce “You Get it! You Really are Fans!!”

Because all the above fan made films are not intending to make money. They want to tell a story in the universe that all of us “Fans of Star Trek” share a love for. They release the movies free of charge on the internet fo all of us to consume. If they are making money it’s to pay for the cost of production to make a movie that looks as good as what paramount makes for Millions of dollars more.

Paramount should not be filing law-suits against these fans. They should be throwing money at them so the rest of us fans will go throw money at CBS and Paramount to watch the results! CBS and Paramount should be asking the fans to submit scripts and ideas. Sure you’ll get thousands of bad scripts and ideas but in there: there might be some “Gems” but probably not many as good as what Axanar and the others I have mentioned might create.

(Insert contemplative swig of beer here.)

Peters wrote on behalf of Axanar Productions on a blog post: “It was a great moment for Axanar and we are very grateful to both JJ and Justin Lin.” he cautioned however, that the lawsuit is NOT officially resolved just yet.

I hope it’s resolved in such a way so that I can watch this movie. I really want to see it.

(Insert hopefull swig of beer here.)

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