Trek fan films with Chekov, Uhura, Tuvok, and Rand

I just found out about Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, a 90-minute Star Trek fan film released in 2008, available free online, featuring the original actors as Uhura, Chekov, Janice Rand, Tuvok, and John Harriman, plus other Trek actors in new roles. Plus James Cawley, who played Kirk in the New Voyages series of fan episodes, as a nephew of James Kirk. The movie (well, okay, it's really a miniseries of three 30-minute episodes) was written by two DS9 writers. It's set in 2305, twelve years after the events at the beginning of Star Trek: Generations, and decades before TNG.

I've only watched the first ten minutes so far, but it's especially lovely to see Nichelle Nichols again.

You can watch the whole thing on their website, as a YouTube video. Note that the first minute of the video, confusingly, is an unlabeled ad for an entirely different fan film, Star Trek: Renegades.

Which brings me to the second part of this post. Of Gods and Men, as noted above, came out in 2008. The same people who made that later successfully completed a Kickstarter to create a new Trek episode, a pilot for a proposed series to be called Star Trek: Renegades. The Renegades trailer has now been released (1-min video). It's set ten years after the end of Voyager, and although it includes some Trek actors and characters (including Chekov and Tuvok, but not Uhura), it looks like the focus will be on a new “motley crew of outcasts,” as Wikipedia puts it.

Which makes me think the idea is to do something between Trek and Blake's 7. A darker and grittier Trek series. I'm not convinced that's a great idea, but I love seeing the passion and dedication that goes into these non-canonical projects, and I'm intrigued by the idea of this being pitched to the studio to become a new canonical series.

I'm also really pleased that the owners of the official Trek franchise continue to be so tolerant of fan projects. I imagine that they could have shut down all of this stuff years ago had they been so inclined, but they seem to recognize that the fan-film activity (perhaps especially when it's created by people who've been heavily involved in the canonical shows and movies) is good for the franchise.

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