Star Trek: First Frontier is a brand new fan film released on YouTube. The new feature-length production tells the story of the initial launch of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Robert April. His wife, Sarah April, is also part of the crew and is the very first Chief Medical Officer on the USS Enterprise.
You can watch Star Trek: First Frontier right now! Here is the entire movie:
If you aren’t sold yet, maybe this will do it for you. Below you can also check out the film’s impressive poster:
Director Kenneth Smith says he wanted to create a film that would honor the original timeline and canon of Star Trek. His decision was to tell the story of the original USS Enterprise crew since it was a storyline that had never been explored. The connections to Star Trek canon are legitimate, going back to Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Counter-Clock Incident”. Robert April and his wife, Sarah, both appear in that episode.
Captain Robert April was also referenced in the Star Trek: Discovery episode “Choose Your Pain”. He was considered one of Starfleet’s most decorated captains, though we have never really delved too deep into his personal history or his Starfleet record. As far as creative avenues to explore, the story of Captain Robert April and the very first USS Enterprise crew is a good one.
It is nice to see such a passionate fan base that wants to respect the original incarnation of the show. Ever since the J.J. Abrams reboot back in 2009, the franchise has trended towards more and more modern depictions of technology. Seeing a fan film that attempts to recreate the old school charm of Star Trek: The Original Series is like cuddling up with a warm blanket.
Fan film culture has been around for close to an entire century, dating all the way back to 1926. Star Trek has had numerous fan films created in its honor, and First Frontier proudly continues that tradition. With productions like this and Star Trek: Lower Decks being more reverential to the older, dorkier history of the franchise, it is clear that fans enjoy that facet of the universe quite a lot.
Could we see the franchise as a whole return to these kinds of depictions? Most likely not since mainstream audiences expect their science fiction programming to feel reflective of a modern take on the future. It might look clunky now, but Star Trek: The Original Series did feel like a modern take on the future when it debuted 54 years ago. It is always pleasant to see that interpretation be treated with respect, and First Frontier is certainly doing that.
Will we see more fan films from director Kenneth Smith? Nothing is certain right now, but hopefully, more fans will feel inspired by the classic version of Star Trek and add their own adventures to the franchise’s ever-growing library of stories. And if there is an obvious desire for these classical interpretations, perhaps they will find their way to the canonical shows of today.