There’s a new sheriff in town, and its name is Axanar. Okay, okay, so that’s a mixed metaphor. Simile? Analogy? Whatever. What’s important is that Trekkies have something new to love about Star Trek again. It’s been a while, and I’m pretty sure most of us have the DTs.
I grew up with Star Trek. It’s only a couple years older than I am. I can’t remember a time without it, and I can honestly say I consider it one of my best friends. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. The Federation has had as much influence on my outlook as just about anything else. It’s always been there, a shining beacon of hope, an example of what we could become if we dropped the whole greed and killing one another thing from our vocabulary.
I watched the cartoons and was there every time Kirk tore his shirt on the television show. I chewed through the first set of movies, one at a time, like a kid daisy-chaining a bag of Big Hunks. (See? I told you I was old.) It didn’t matter how good (Wrath of Kahn) or bad an installment was (The Final Frontier). I reveled in TNG and the bright future it saw for us all. I set up shop on DS9 and followed Voyager. I watched Enterprise and the Next Gen films… I delighted in watching my old friend grow older with me.
But my old friend disappeared.
Sure, I got lost in work. And those things that appealed to me most about Roddenberry’s vision of the future seemed to have waned in the society I call home.
And then came the reboot movies.
Like a lot of people, I was jazzed to hear about them, but when I plopped my butt down in that theater chair, something went wrong. All my old friends where there. Kirk, Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Spock, Uhura, Chekov. All the details about those characters were spot on. I mean, that cast nailed their roles more than I thought possible. But it was like someone had dropped them into a badly executed Dali painting.
The setting wasn’t right. I mean, it was weird. All those lens flares and the shaky cam… the utter disregard for the physical universe that was supposed to be Star Trek. It was all gone… mutated somehow… leaving only a flickering memory of who my old friend had been. I saw the faces, heard the voices… but I quickly realized that it wasn’t what my brain expected it to be. It was like putting my foot into what I thought was my favorite sneaker and realizing that it’s someone else’s platform disco boot. Sure, it was fun to dance in, but it wasn’t my sneaker.
And then I heard about something while I was at PensaCon 2015. I’m a writer now and help WordFire Press with getting their show on the road. During what turned out to be a fantastic convention on the Gulf coast, someone whispered to me about Axanar. Had I heard about? Had I seen it? I shook my head. What can I say? I’ve been busy.
He stared at me with an, “And you say you’re a Trekkie” look on his face. I was embarrassed, so when I got home, the first thing I did was pull up Axanar – Prelude to Axanar – Full Film on YouTube.
And there was my old friend.
The Federation was there. They were all new faces, but the setting felt right. It was like going home and discovering that they hadn’t replaced that old oak tree you used to climb with a shiny new Starbuck’s and a parking lot.
And I found that I wanted more.
So, here I sit, waiting for the next installment, hoping that a project with an uphill climb ahead of it can take flight, like Icarus, and never fall to Earth again.
I’ve missed my old friend, and Axanar seems to be my best chance at spending some time with it. Here’s to chasing dreams.