J.J. Abrams may have done interesting things with his reboot of the Star Trek franchise but there's little to really set the new movies apart from any summer franchise flick. They're big, loud and glossy and make little attempt to really replicate the specific elements which made the original movies and TV shows so long lasting.
Which is fine - new Trek was invented with the understandable aim of making money and they've managed to introduce these characters to a whole new generation, while also toying with the time line to leave the legacy story alone for fans. But if you're into something a little closer to the original Star Trek, then this is a project you'll want to watch.
Star Trek: Axanar is one of the most ambitious fan project ever. In fact, with its recognisable stars, budget and scale its really much more than a fan film - apart from the fact that Paramount own the Trek license.
The story is set more than 2 decades before the original series, and focusses on Garth of Izar, a legendary Starfleet captain who Kirk idolised. He charted the cosmos like no other and came to prominence during the Battle of Axanar - a decisive moment in a long standing war against the Klingon Empire.
That's the tale creator Alec Peters (who also plays Garth) wants to tell and he's already raised $100,000 via Kickstarter to do it. Now, to get the budget up to the necessary $250,000 he's heading to Comic-Con with a very special treat. Prelude to Axanar.
In an inspired move, this 20 minute short film features the characters from the main movie looking back over the events of the Battle of Axanar giving the filmmakers freedom to dip into some neat special effects sequences, show off their cast and gain some extra attention for the film.
It also helps to widen the mythology of the Trek offshoot that Peters and others are building, adding a sense of documentary realism to proceedings. The short will be shown in San Diego on the 26th of July from 9pm to 11pm with director Christian Gossett in attendance, alongside stars Ricahrd Hatch and Gary Graham.
It's an amazing project and we can't wait to see what they do with a bigger budget and a little more time. Keep up to date on the official site.