The timing couldn’t have been worse for Star Trek: Renegades. When the new fan film guidelines were released from CBS and Paramount, Renegades was completing principle filming on two-days of scenes featuring Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols reprising their iconic roles of Chekov and Uhura. But suddenly, Star Trek: Renegades would be in violation of all of the following new fan film rules:
Must be less than 15 minutes and not be a series with recurring characters.
Title cannot contain the words “Star Trek.”
Cannot use imitations of commercially-available costumes or other licensed Trek items (like phasers or custom-designed comm badges).
and most important of all…
Cannot feature any actor who has previously appeared in any Star Trek series of film from Paramount/CBS.
Oh, and they cannot have raised more than $50,000 (Star Trek: Renegades took in $378,000) or given away any perks in exchange for donations (which they also did).
What is a Star Trek fan series to do…?
Get the Star Trek out, of course!
Yesterday, Star Trek Renegades shared the following announcement with donors:
On June 23rd CBS and Paramount issued fan film guidelines – http://www.startrek.com/fan-films.
We, at Renegades, have nothing but the utmost respect for Star Trek and its IP holders, CBS and Paramount. Everything we have done has been because of Gene Roddenberry’s vision and creativity. Star Trek is their property and we will absolutely abide by their rules and guidelines.
That being said, we do have an obligation to our donors and fans, and we have every intention of fulfilling it to the best of our ability. So, we will continue to make “The Requiem” as promised, but without any Star Trek elements.
As you know, we’ve already begun filming “The Requiem” so we cannot halt, suspend, or postpone production. Renegades, from the get go, was designed to be transformative… not derivative. Thus, with very minor changes to our script, we have eliminated all of the Star Trek references. The good news is that Renegades is now a completely original and ongoing series.
We would like to take this time to thank CBS and Paramount for letting us play in their proverbial sandbox for as long as they did. And we’d also like to thank our loyal, creative, and passionate fans for their unending support. We truly appreciate it.
-The Renegades Team
It was easy enough to take “Star Trek” out of their title, but many donors have expressed curiosity about how Renegades can pull off the rest of this “de-Trekification.” Walter Koenig is playing Chekov. Do they now simply refer to him only as “Admiral” and have Uhura only use the pronoun “you” instead of calling him “Pavel”? Or is “Pavel” not considered CBS intellectual property because it’s just a Russian name? (Of course, so it Chekov.)
Will the comm badges be changed (they include the delta-shaped arrowhead logo of Starfleet)? Will Starfleet simply be called “the Fleet”? What about Lexxa Singh, the alleged daughter of Khan Noonian Singh? Will he now just be referred to as “that genetically-engineered superman”? Or will they change names and call him Carl Nubian Sang? Will Chekov and Uhura and Tuvok now be Charles and Urania and Tom? Will Tuvok now be a Vulgon with different ears and eyebrows?
Questions abound, and I suppose we’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, some donors (not me!) have complained that they’re not going to get what they paid for: a Star Trek fan film. That may be true, but the alternative was potentially a lawsuit that could end the production entirely.
So…time to drink the lemonade.