Trekkies 2By Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at September 6, 2004 - 2:23 PM GMT
Title: Trekkies 2
Release Date: August 31, 2004
Format: DVD (Region 1)
"If you were to do a documentary about what the majority of Star Trek fans are like, it would probably make a pretty boring movie," states Brannon Braga in the new documentary Trekkies 2. I would definitely have to agree with him on that. One thing Trekkies 2 is not is boring. At times it's irreverent, at times it's even poignant but it is very entertaining.
In 1997 the movie Trekkies caused outrage among many fans that felt that the film put too much emphasis on 'extreme' fans to the detriment of all Star Trek fans. Trekkies 2 provides a broader and more balanced look at fandom. Sure the film introduces us to even more people who had me shaking my head in wonder but it also provides a fascinating look at the multicultural diversity within Star Trek fandom as the filmmakers travel around the world. Isn't that what Star Trek is all about, celebrating and embracing diversity?
Trekkies focused on fans in the United States but as you watch Trekkies 2 you get to globetrot with the filmmakers as they film at conventions in Europe, South America and Australia. I can't say that it came as any great surprise that fans worldwide embrace Star Trek with such enthusiasm and devotion. Among those who really stood out for me were Tony Alleyne, a British fan whose apartment looks like the interior of a starship, and Father Bernie Carman, a Catholic priest who celebrates mass at an Italian convention.
The United States isn't neglected and one of the things that director Roger Nygard choose to do is to revisit some memorable characters from Trekkies and see not only what they currently up to, but how appearing in Trekkies affected their lives. The memorable Gabriel Koerner, who is now in his early twenties with a wife and a successful career as a special effects modeler, took a lot of grief for his appearance but you can't help but admire his confidence. (Koerner did the opening graphics for the film.) "The Commander", Barbara Adams, is back as well.
One of the most amusing segments is the chapter on Star Trek themed bands whose music will be featured on the upcoming Trekkies 2 soundtrack CD (due out Oct. 5th). Those bands are just as diverse as the fans themselves and play different styles of music but the one thing they all have in common is that they don't take themselves too seriously.
One thing that seemed to be pretty universal, no matter what the continent, was that some fans enjoying making fan films. They devote a lot of time and a lot of their own money to these endeavors. One thing that did bother me as I watched Trekkies 2 was that an excessive amount of time was spent on the subject of fan films. Instead it would have been nice to see what the fans in Asia were like, or perhaps even Africa.
Among the actors who comment on fandom in Trekkies 2 are Nana Visitor (Kira), Casey Biggs (Damar) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) from Deep Space Nine. Ethan Phillips (Neelix) is the lone Voyager regular but the cast of Enterprise is well represented with Dominic Keating(Reed), John Billingsley (Phlox), Connor Trinneer (Tucker) and Vaughn Armstrong (Admiral Forrest).
This film has a much sleeker look than it's predecessor and the special features include almost an hour of deleted footage. Too bad some of this wasn't included instead of all the fan film stuff. There is also an optional commentary track that features director Nygard, narrator Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar) and producer Michael Leahy and the two fan films also included in the bonus material may be lacking when it comes to acting ability but the production values are surprisingly good.
Trekkies 2 is fun to watch because of the quirky and interesting personalities and individuals it allows us to meet. It's a shame that the more extreme is what some people will focus on and remember but that isn't what really stood out for me. What did stand out was the theme of acceptance and hope that those interviewed projected so well. One fans comments about Star Trek fans being like a big family sums it up perfectly, "Every family has the nutty Uncle you know. We just have a few more."
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.