Marc Perton over at Newsweek wrote a nice article today about the ongoing legal battle between Paramount/CBS and the producers of the Star Trek fan film Axanar.
While not adding a ton of new information to the discussion, he has broken down the long-standing love affair between the Star Trek universe and its fans, as well as their contributions to Gene Roddenberry’s visionary future over the past five decades.
I did find his comparison of this new batch of fan-based Enterprise-related, uh, enterprises, to the horrifically terrible fan-base “phenomenon” the was the 50 Shades of Grey novels, to be more than a bit demeaning to the Trek fans.
He also made reference to other “fan-based” projects such as Star Trek Continues, which seems at a glance to be much more of a theft of any Trek intellectual property, since it uses characters, uniforms, and scripts from the original series. Literally.
At least the folks involved with Axanar are trying to expand the Trek universe, not simply regurgitate nostalgia all over the screen.
But I digress. As I pointed out in my post about Axanar in the first place, the real question here is why Paramount doesn’t seem to want to support such a quality effort? Even the director of Star Trek Beyond, Justin Lin, has tweeted his support. The guy who directed the next movie thinks Axanar is a good thing! Maybe he’s trying to take the heat off himself after the lukewarm reception the trailer for Beyond received. Maybe he actually believes it. Maybe he’s so disgusted with the Paramount process for some reason that he’s supporting it out of spite.
A real cynic could interpret Justin Lin’s support for Axanar and other fan productions as something akin to Josh Trank commenting on his Fantastic Four flop that “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this,” implying that the studio ruined a perfectly good movie and franchise.
Again, I don’t know. But what really bugs me is that I still can’t for the life of me figure out what Paramount hopes to achieve with this and other Cease & Desist actions. They’ve already taken the PR hit with the fans, which will only get worse as the process moves forward. But if they were to withdraw their lawsuit and legal attack dogs and suddenly support such works with something close to enthusiasm, then they’ll look like opportunistic, hypocritical studio ass-hats only interested in the almighty dollar.
Wait–we already know that.
So what the hell are they doing?