THE ICARUS MANEUVER expands the AXANAR saga of THE FOUR YEARS WAR! (video interview with MARK EDWARD LEWIS)

PRELUDE TO AXANAR debuted in 2014 and awed fans with its production quality, acting, costuming, make-up, sound, music, visual FX…the whole shebang. The 20-minute “mockumentary”-style fan film became iconic, a new level of achievement to strive for. And with a cliffhanger ending, fans eagerly awaited the continuation of the saga of the Four Years War between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

And they awaited…and they awaited…and they awaited some more.

Now, a decade later, all of the live action footage of the 19 actors and actresses who will appear in the two 15-minute AXANAR sequels has been shot and is in the can. The project has officially moved into the post-production phase with completion and release scheduled for later on this year. Yes, 2024 will see the long-awaited conclusion to the cliffhanger from ten years ago.

However, a settled copyright lawsuit with ALEC PETERS from 2017 has unfortunately ensured that Axanar will not be the full-length feature film that it was originally intended to be. And that means that many of the jaw-dropping VFX created back in 2015 and 2016 will never see the light of day because Axanar is now limited to a total runtime of a half hour.


Mark is the co-director of the Axanar sequels, along with being one of the sound effects people on the original Prelude. He was also the sound designer on INTERLUDE, the fan-film-of-a-fan-film from 2021 that took place in the Axanar Universe and told a tale of the Four Years War. Interlude was written and produced by me, although it was filmed on the U.S.S. Ares bridge set in Lawrenceville, GA and featured three of the actors (plus one voice actor) who would also appear in the Axanar sequels.

Even though Alec and AXANAR PRODUCTIONS are constrained to two 15-minute sequels by the legal settlement, CBS and Paramount never had a problem with Interlude because it was produced by a different production company (two, actually): FAN FILM FEATURES and AVALON UNIVERSE.

Following that precedent, Mark Lewis has done something very similar. Utilizing the Ares bridge set, actors, and some of the production crew for Axanar, Mark is also using some of those original VFX (many of them, actually) to tell yet another story that takes place during the Four Years War: THE ICARUS MANEUVER. Although written by and featuring Alec Peters as Garth, Icarus was directed and produced by Mark using his own production company and resources.

Mark is a former Hollywood professional with extensive experience, and what he has put together is a six-minute tour de force with production quality and immersion within the action that is seldom seen in Star Trek fan films. (The film is temporarily unavailable.)

Keep in mind that, like Interlude, Icarus doesn’t completely resemble what the Axanar sequels will be like. Mark’s film is pure drama and action while Axanar will be presented in the same mockumentary style as Prelude. However, Icarus does give fans their first real taste of a few of the never-before-seen (in Axanar) actors who will appear in the sequels, including ADRIENNE WILKINSON as Corax, VINCE CANLAS as Tanaka, and HALEY LEARY as Wagner. Each puts in a very impressive performance in this short vignette film, portending a strong production when the Axanar sequels premiere later this year.

Mark Lewis is one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to sound design and editing in films, and he shares many of his insights and behind-the-scenes commentary about production and post-production on the just-launched website for The Icarus Maneuver.

And of course, I have a brand new video interview Mark discussing this project, and you can watch that right here…

14 thoughts on “THE ICARUS MANEUVER expands the AXANAR saga of THE FOUR YEARS WAR! (video interview with MARK EDWARD LEWIS)”

  1. Of course a known former member of the Axanar production staff has already laid a claim to credit for some of that 2015 effects work…

    1. As Mark says in the interview at the 19:22 point, he reached out to Rob Burnett via messenger and offered to include him in the credits and also to even pay him out of pocket if Rob wanted. Rob didn’t reply, although the offer is still good. Mark will happily add Rob to the credits on IMDb and in the description of the video if Rob would like. (Too late to change the video itself.) And yes, even though it violates the guidelines, if really wants to be paid, Mark will do that, too. Mark and Rob are actually old friends. It’s Alec (and me) that Rob can’t stand…which is kinda sad because I actually have a great deal of respect for Rob’s creativity, knowledge, and editing skill (if not his temperament).

  2. The video is great – very well done. It was a definite lift for me. I love it when amateurs put in a stellar acting performance. The SFX was spot on.

    But I have a nit – too much single camera back and forth. Maybe that was a limitation they could do nothing about and in which case, no biggie.

    1. The camera movement was a feature, not a bug. It was an artistic (and technically challenging) choice–and something seldom if ever seen in fan films specifically because it’s so challenging…and expensive!

  3. VFX, impressive! Everything else, not so. Hoping to see better going forward…..

  4. Thanks Jonathan for the great interview, but, especially what Mark created is Awesome, so thanks to Mark especially! Absolutely LOVED IT! Looking forward to all he does in Axanar, and related projects. Great way to finish out my Sunday.

  5. The whole event was a great success. Over 300 people watched this premiere and I was glad to be one of them. Despite what the detractors may want to think, Axanar lives

    1. Yeah, there was a take-down directive by CBS against the film. The issue is apparently being addressed, although I don’t know the status, as I’ve been away on vacation (nice timing, CBS!!!). I’ll be looking into this more in the coming days to try to get a status on the fan film and when (possibly if) it will be viewable again. Stay tuned!

      1. UGH. I missed it. !!!! I waited so long and I missed it !!!! KAAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNNN

        1. You snooze you lose, I guess. I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to see it, Hans. It’s possible the Mark Edward Lewis will be able to convince Paramount/CBS to let him re-release it with fixes (legal fixes), but that’s still very much up in the air right now.

Comments are closed.