PACIFIC 201—Part 2 debuts just hours before the new year!

Happy New Year, everyone! For a little while, it was looking like I was going to have to cover TWO major Star Trek fan film releases on the same day…as both PACIFIC 201, PART 2 and YORKTOWN were both scheduled for release on December 31, 2020. But at the last minute, JOHN ATKIN made the following announcement about Yorktown

It’s been 36 years, what’s another month?! Yorktown: A Time to Heal will be released in 2021. I regret posting this message, but more important to me is to get this right, and that means a bit more time on the sound design. I am expecting to release it in late January once the sound design is completed. Not the news I wanted to give you all today, but I promise the wait will be worth it. With very best wishes for the new year.

That leaves fan filmmaker ERIC HENRY in sole possession of the New Year’s release of a highly anticipated Star Trek fan film. Pacific 201 has been in production since 2015, and now Eric’s long, five-year mission is finally complete. Part 1 was released in mid-November, and you can read my blog about that premiere along with listening to an audio interview with Eric and his producer/star MARGARET HERBENER.

I asked Eric what elements of Part 2 that he’s been working on for the past month and a half, and how much work it’s been. “Essentially just completing VFX sequences and perfecting the edit,” he answered. “Some last-minute changes we made to part 1 affected certain elements of part 2, requiring some new VFX. Overall, we’ve got a stronger film for it, but it essentially guaranteed an all-hands-on-deck schedule for the entirety of December.”

I also asked Eric how he feels now that the full film is finally completed and posted. “I’m satisfied with the final product. In fact, it’s quite a bit higher-quality than I could have predicted back in 2015, even if the direction changed somewhat over the years. Overall, it’s really just a huge relief to be done. I’ve never undertaken a five-year project before, and it’s hard to even imagine what life after Pacific will be like. But I’m really excited to finally get to work on a huge backlog of projects.”

And of course, WE’RE really excited to see the conclusion of this meticulously crafter fan production. Just in case anyone didn’t see the first part, I’ll include both Part 1 and Part 2 for your viewing pleasure below…

After five years, PACIFIC 201—Part I finally premieres! (audio interview with ERIC HENRY and MARGARET HERBENER)

It’s been an awesome three months for long-awaited Star Trek fan films! Back in September, the hour-long STAR TREK: FIRST FRONTIER premiered after being in production and post-production for five years. In October, it was time for THE ROMULAN WAR, which started production back in 2017, to finally release the first of its two-part documentary-style fan film.

And now, on November 13, one of the most eagerly-awaited of all Trek fan films (right up there with AXANAR and YORKTOWN: A TIME TO HEAL…the latter of which is scheduled to debut next month), PACIFIC 201 launched the first half of its two-part fan film. Originally crowd-funded with a $26K Kickstarter way back in September of 2015 and a$32K Indiegogo campaign the following year, Pacific 201 was the brainchild of Harrisburg, PA-based showrunner ERIC HENRY.

What makes Pacific 201 so unique and exciting is the time period it covers in Federation history. The year is 2200. It’s four decades after the end of the Romulan War and the founding of the United Federation of Planets, and still more than six decades before the time of Kirk’s five-year-mission. Earth and the Federation are at a crossroads. Those who remember the horrors of the Romulan attacks fear a return to deep space exploration and the risk of provoking new enemies. But a new generation born after the war dreams of returning to a renaissance of exploration and discovery.

This push/pull of paranoia vs. positivity was put on display in one of my all-time favorite fan vignettes, DOWN TO EARTH, which Eric released back in late 2016. In this short film, the first officer of the USS Pacific is grilled by a talk show host who is anything but fair and balanced when it comes to restarting the exploration of space. The following summer, another Pacific 201 short vignette was released, featuring the new captain. (You can watch that here.)

Over the years, Pacific 201 seemed always on the cusp of debuting. Back in 2018, a series of images were released along with a promised premiere date of spring 2019. That didn’t happen. But then earlier this year, a new trailer with some amazing footage promised a release date of August 2020.

Missed it by that much!

But who cares? Part one of Pacific 201 is finally out, and it was totally worth the wait. Take a look…

Pretty awesome, huh?

I set up a phone interview with Eric Henry for a couple of days before the premiere (after getting just a sneak peek of a short 2-minute scene). But when I called, producer and star MARGARET HERBENER was there, as well, finishing up some last minute editing with Eric. She was just about to head out, but I invited her to stay for the interview if she and Eric wanted—and they were both up for it. So two for the price of one, folks!

Take a listen to a FANtastic interview with the writer/director and also with the producer/star of Pacific 201

UPDATE: Pacific 201—Part 2 debuted six weeks later. Click to read more about it and watch the video.