The LIEF Erikson

Friday, March 25, 2005

Uh, Maybe not.

Looks like I might have this era (from First Contact to a United Earth) to myself after all. Michael Hinman of SyFyPortal posted on TrekWeb that ...
Erik just messaged me and let me know that 160 years was an incorrect number (obviously), hehehehe!!So, don't let that fuel speculation that is might be a WWIII movie or anything like that. :)Sorry!
This was reposted on TrekUnited with the guess that he meant 60 years before Kirk, but Hinman updated his post on SyFyPortal to say ...
"We're going [roughly 80] years before Kirk ... Erik Jendresen contacted SyFy Portal after the story published to say that he misspoke when giving the 160-year figure in the above story. He said that was not an accurate number."

I don't think we can use this to be too specific about when the next movie will take place. For one thing Jendersen seems (perhaps purposefully?) vague about the date and for another what do we use as a base date? I mean 80 years before when? Before Kirk was born, in which case it would be 2153? Or 80 years before he gained command of the Enterprise in 2264 which would give us a date of 2184?

What happened between 2153 - 2184? This runs from ENT Season 2 and the Xindi arc, The Romulan war (2156 - 2160) and the loss of the USS Essex and Horizon.

The easy answer for the plotline would be the Romulan War but it could have a fertile ground in the foundation and early growth of the Untited Federation of Planets and early interstellar exploration before The Original Series.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jendresen hints at pre-United Earth movie?

I see from a heads up on that "SyFy Portal interviewed Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers), writer of the 11th Star Trek film, who revealed new details about

"I can certainly say that the story concept, the basic idea of this thing, is pretty damn big," ... Jendresen confirmed that the movie would take place more than a century before Captain Kirk, but acknowledged that it would not be an Enterprise spinoff."We're going 160-odd years before Kirk is born. It's an earlier time, and I think it would be really refreshing to feel something in the course of telling this tale, instead of being wowed by special effects ... By the end of this story, everyone isn't fine," Jendresen added. "I can safely say as a storyteller with certain standards... my intention is literally as a writer, as a storyteller, as a filmmaker, to go boldly where no one has gone before."

"Aussie Trekkie" did his homework and worked out that, since Kirk was born in 2233 ( then 160 years before would be 2073. This pretty much matched the "reports circulated" hint on SciFiWire that I quoted a couple of months back, that puts the new movie in the era between First Contact and the creation of a United Earth.

Of course you had the inevitable "why go back? ... why not after Nemesis? A DSN movie? The Romulan War?" Ok, so I wouldn't mind seeing a Deep Space Nine movie or a take on the Romulan War - in fact I wouldn't mind seeing Archer and Enterprise in the Romulan War if they could get Manny Cato and his crew to write and produce it. Most couldn't see anything happening in Trek Canon around 2070. Well unless you exclude ...
  • 2063--First warp flight and First ET Contact["ST: First Contact"]
  • 2067--The Friendship One probe is launched from Earth. ["Friendship One"]
  • 2067--The Terra Nova colonization expedition departs Earth. ["Terra Nova"]
  • 2079--Earth is still going through the Post Nuclear Horror. ["Encounter at Farpoint"]
  • 2103--Colonies on Mars declare their independence. ["The 37s"/"Court-Martial"]
  • 2113--The New United Nations becomes the Terran world government. ["ST: First Contact"]

Fifty years from Anarchy to Utopia: someone should write a story about that. Oh, right, I already am. (~!^)

Whenever the movie is set, Jenderson seems to be committed to making it a story worth telling, something with grit and bite and, perhaps most revolutionary of all, without a happy ending for all. Could we dare to hope for some cutting edge Science Fiction? Something that has a bit more relevance to the modern world?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Star Trek in Australia

What’s the difference between a Trekkie (Aussies never talk about Trekkers) and any other Science Fiction fan?

There have been books written and movies made about the fan phenomena that Star Trek caused in mainstream western society. We who are old enough to remember the first run of the Original Series have seen the fans of the TV and movie “franchise’ (as the media moguls like to call it these days) change from young alternative lifestyle rebels into young adults who dreamt of ethics and order in their future and finally into parents of children for whom Star Trek was a safe and entertaining alternative to the gutter trash dished up in the name of reality.

Perhaps one difference is that Trekkies have a habit of grouping together into monolithic clubs. STARFLEET International has the singular honour of being listed in the Guiness Book of Records as being the largest fan run organisation in the world. It’s also been around just about the longest as well – 30 years this year!

Those twin characteristics of size and age can be a sign of instability though. When an organization gets too big it can loose contact with it’s origins, it’s purpose. Age, can be a sign of conservatism, of a lack of change and a sure fire target for the young to label you as outdated and no longer relevant.

It might come as a surprise to some to realize that until recently, Sydney, Australia had a star trek club, a chapter of SFI that was 25 years old. Unfortunately the club seems to have adjourned for the last time, with it’s senior members not renewing their memberships in SFI and the club - the USS Southern Cross – no longer showing in the SFI “Vessel registry” as an active chapter.

Why they folded I don’t know. I suspect it was a combination of member attrition and no recruiting programme, the usual death knell for trek fan clubs. The unfortunate thing is that it leaves Australia without a viable, recognized Trek Fan organization. Perhaps the time will come for a new chapter in the future, but for now it is probably best to simply dim the running lights in respect as another old Reliant class is decommissioned.

Personally I think Trek fan clubs will enjoy a revival with the probable demise of the current series, “ST: Enterprise”. From my contacts in the States, I have heard that the quality of this final season is outstanding! I expect to see a cottage industry of Fan Fiction and other Fan productions such as movies, catering to those who want to keep the magic alive.

The value to being part of a large Fan organization is that there is strength in numbers. There are things that a club can do that an individual can’t. What is more the nature of SFI as it stands is open and relaxed enough that it has a place for fans of all sub-genres: Star Wars, Farscape, lord of the Rings … what it boils down to that membership of SFI can be seen as the base, the foundation, the cornerstone of a club whose options are limitless.