There’s no shortage of Star Trek fan films out there, and the quality and level of production values have only been increasing over the years. Advancing technology has made it easier than ever to pull off the CGI and visual effects needed to help sell an original Trek story, and some of the bigger projects, such as Star Trek: Phase II, have even brought in actual Trek vets such as George Takei, Walter Koenig, and writer D.C. Fontana. Now a new Kickstarter project is looking to set the bar even higher with a short film that will lead into a full-length independent Star Trek feature film.
The project is envisioned in two stages. The Kickstarter that’s in the works right now is for Prelude to Axanar, a short film that will play as if it were a documentary actually set within the Star Trek universe. It will look back at the Battle of Axanar, a conflict between the Federation and Klingons that made “Garth of Izar” an iconic name within the Trek-verse. Garth is mentioned several times in The Original Series, and his exploits during the Battle of Axanar are cited as required reading for Starfleet cadets. The 20-minute short will incorporate “interviews” with the characters involved, as well as actual footage of the events, which is intended as a proof of concept for the full-length film, which will eventually follow and be funded by a separate Kickstarter campaign.
They’ve managed to round up an impressive cast of science fiction veterans for the project as well. Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch will play Klingon Supreme Commander Kharn, Michael Hogan (also of BSG fame) will Captain Robert April, and Gary Graham (Alien Nation) will reprise his Enterprise role of Vulcan Ambassador Soval. Visual effects will be handled by Tobias Richter, who also worked on Phase II. All the CGI footage in the Kickstarter video up top is from Richter and his team.
The good news is that Axanar has already surpassed their $10,000 goal and there are still 16 days to go. In fact, they’re already zipped past stretch goals of $20,000 and $30,000, and they’re a few hundred bucks shy of hitting $40,000, which will had yet another stretch-goal reward. Beginning with a $10 pledge, all the original rewards are still available, ranging from a digital poster designed by artist Juan Ortiz, all the way up to limited edition t-shirts, soundtrack CDs, and the actual short on Blu-Ray.
So what say you, Trek fans? All you folks who rage and seethe against the Abrams flicks, here’s your chance to support a new Trek movie set in the original universe, and to get some goodies to boot. You can donate and read all the details at the Prelude to Axanar Kickstarter page.