Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Restored USS Enterprise Back on Display

In time for the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, the multi-year and careful restoration process of the original studio model of the USS Enterprise is complete. The model was used in Star Trek: The Original Series and is now back on the display at The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC with additional protection via a glass case to ensure its longevity, is on exhibit in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. Besides the stem to stern restoration, the Smithsonian staff replaced the internal lighting with LEDs that will power on at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm ET every day that mimics how the ship looks when was lit for filming 50 years ago. More details on the restoration can be found here. Based on the picture, via Wrath of Dhan), it is well worth it make sure to be in the area when it is lit.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Introducing the Star Trek Kelvin Timeline

After years of referring to the new movies timeline as Star Trek 2.0 (my term), JJ-verse, Abramsverse, and more, CBS Entertainment has now approved an official name as the "Kelvin Timeline". The name comes from the Kelvin which was the ship that was destroyed in the opening sequence of Star Trek (2009) that is the divergence point for the alternative timeline used in the Star Trek films. The official name became known due to the announcement of a new update to Star Trek: Online that will allow players to explore the Kelvin Timeline.

CBS Consumer Products' Holly Amos (whose twitter timeline shows a deep love of Trek) also provided an explanation saying "we needed an in-universe term since we needed some way to refer to it in the encyclopedia." The name choice came from long time Star Trek consultants Mike and Denise Okuda who said they "thought long and hard about that one." The Okudas' influence and knowledge of all things Star Trek is not to be underestimated and have worked on around the last 25+ years of Star Trek TV series, movies, books, and products. While "Timeline" is more accurate, I would not be surprised if fans modify it to "Kelvin Universe" to match the "Mirror Universe" (the one with the evil version of our favorite characters) and the "Prime Universe" (aka the one all the TV series are in). At the very least its nice to have an official common phrase that everyone can us.

Star Trek Beyond Trailer #3 with Rihanna's New Single

Without the usual advance notice that comes with trailers, Paramount has dropped trailer #3 for Star Trek Beyond. Most of the footage is near the same as seem before but as the gif to the left shows, there is a touch more involving the destruction of the Enterprise (which has clearly been shown and indicated in interviews so not a spoiler). The song with the trailer is a new single called "Sledgehammer" from Rihanna. Not clear if the song was made specifically for the movie but doesn't seem like it.

See Star Trek Beyond Early at A IMAX Marathon

If you happen to live near one of the few participating AMC IMAX theaters, you can have a chance to watch the movie a day early. Technically two but they all release "early" now on Thursday around 8pm. AMC is doing a three movie marathon of the Abrams-verse movies with Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond on Wednesday, July 20 at 4:30om. Tickets will come with an event lanyard, poster, and Starfleet patch. Full details and buy tickets here. Below is the list of participating theaters of this posting.

Friday, June 24, 2016

New Star Trek Fan Guidelines Bans Fan Movies. Episodes and More

As expected, the real consequence of the Axanar lawsuit has come to fruition as CBS and Paramount have effectively banned professional looking Star Trek fan productions. The companies issued new Fan Film Guidelines that current and future productions must follow to avoid getting sued by CBS and Paramount. Axanar violates every single one of them as do most fan productions over the last 10+ years. My read of them is the same as Axanar producer Alex Peters when he wrote "these guidelines appear to have been tailor-made to shut down all of the major fan productions and stifle fandom."

Since circa 2005 some fans have been making feature length movies and episodic productions that have a production quality that rivaled the existing movies and TV series (in terms of look and feel circa 1960s and late 1990s) resulting them getting lots of attention (within the realm of Star Trek fandom, not the general public). That was often due to professional fans and Star Trek alumni working on them either as actors or behind the scenes. The new guidelines are clearly designed to put a stop to so there is no doubt that they are "non-professional and amateur" productions.

While avoiding the word "ban", CBS and Paramount have banned movies, episodes, continuing story lines of any kind, stories longer than 30 minutes in length and prevents anyone that has ever worked on anything that is "official" Star Trek (including licensed products) from participating in fan productions. That means all actors, crew, designers, artists, you name it, if they touched official Star Trek anything in some way, they are not allowed to help. Non Star Trek professional actors and crew also used to appear in these fan productions. That will likely no longer be the case as not worth the risk of getting on the bad side of CBS and Paramount in case it may damage future job prospects with them.

Examples of recent fan productions that would now be banned under these new guidelines include Star Trek Horizon, Of Gods and Men, Renegades, Star Trek Continues and many more. There are even tribute and parody accounts (ex: The Redshirt Diaries) on Youtube were the average length of each video is maybe three minutes, clearly amateur in design but because they have an episodic like nature to them, they are now banned.

In short, CBS and Paramount are saying your fan production must be a one off story, must look & feel like a cheap fan production, and no professional experienced actors or crew should participate in their creation. In real world terms fan productions should return to circa 1990s. I am surprised they didn't demand they could only be shown on VHS cassette just to make sure.

To read the full list of guildlines, click here.