Star Trek Fandom is Going Through What No Fandom Has Gone Through Before:
In this world where geek culture has grown so fast that people are actually pretending to be geeks and nerds to ‘fit in’, it’s difficult to even conceive of a time when being a fan of a geek-culture phenomenon like Star Trek was likely to get you stuffed into lockers in school. Star Trek was way ahead of the curve: fan conventions, letter-writing campaigns and all the facets of a large following all seemed to happen to Star Trek first.
But now that geek culture is so popular, it seems like the franchise of Star Trek is heading into uncharted territory: their own fandom seems to be choking the franchise right out of profitability.
Last year I went to the big Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. It was awesome. I got to meet almost the whole cast of Next Generation (Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes sadly weren’t there). The whole trip was quite pricey, but I found a quick sale on convention tickets, and then I researched and found some coupon codes for travelocity that saved me something like $50 off the flight, so it wasn’t too bad (I used the savings to buy some Star Trek whiskey glasses).
Anyway, at this Convention people were more than ready to boo any mention of Star Trek Into Darkness. They had famously voted it as the worst Star Trek movie of all time. You didn’t see Benedict Cumberbatch …
Remember the great quiet moments in the TNG observation lounge when Picard and company would decide the fate of the galaxy? Those great moments were scored not by an orchestra, but by the low-hum of the Enterprise engines. The sound of the engines hummed through the whole ship, giving everyone on board a sense of the fact that they were traversing the stars.
After discovering this video, I have been listening to it non-stop while I write/study. It gives me a sense that I’m doing something incredibly important for the whole galaxy.
For practical purposes, the noise is just enough to drown out any distracting noises going on around you and keep you focused. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it:
Fans of Trekkersonline.com may have noticed that we were down for a while. The reasons for it were numerous, but for the most part we didn’t want to work with our existing web host anymore and they shut us down.
We lost a fair amount of content, but it was worth it to get the fresh start. When we decided to look for a new web host, we went looking for a sign: something that said this web host and “Trekkersonline” were meant for each other.
Then we found them: Lunarpages. The name evokes the hey days of the NASA Lunar missions of the 60’s and 70’s, where a trip to the Moon was a yearly occurrence. That fit the mode of our website perfectly. They fit into our budget as well: $4.95/month (we used a Lunarpage coupon).
So far we’ve been more than happy: setting up the website has been a breeze, and website seems to be faster than it used to be. …
Remember how agonizing it was for us Star Trek: TNG fans to wait from May until September for new episodes to appear? Sure, you could watch Tasha Yar die in reruns forever and ever, but seeing brand new stories was something to get excited about.
Well, it’s been 10 years since Star Trek went off the air. I managed to stick with Enterprise more out of habit than anything else. I was actually one of the people that was glad when it was put down: it felt like an old dog that you loved, but it was getting sick and it was for the best of everyone if we just put it down for a while.
Now that time has passed, my appetite for a new Star Trek series is growing. And really, it’s a little insane that Star Trek isn’t on the air right now: special effects are a lot better and cheaper than they were twenty years ago. Television is much more open to serialized television and character arcs, something that Star Trek struggled with as it built a universe while telling standalone stories. And the general public is much more accepting of strange science-fictional ideas than it ever has been. One look at our smartphone/google glass culture and you realize that Star Trek fans aren’t the ostracized nerds they once were.
There are bigger questions that need to be answered before this Star Trek thing happens. That’s for a later post. For now I wanted to talk …