Sunday, July 29, 2018

Prelude to Axanar (2014)

Sometimes, I come across a movie that’s hard to recommend or not recommend.  With Prelude to Axanar, it’s available on YouTube for free.  It’s not a huge commitment.  If you don’t like it, you’re out 21 minutes.  That’s not even a lunch break.  In this case, it’s more to make it known.  Fan projects like these generally don’t have an advertising budget, so there’s a good chance most people would never find out about it.

It’s set up like a documentary.  Several people are interviewed, including Kelvar Leonard Garth.  Yes, it’s Garth of Izar, from Whom Gods Destroy.  The movie details a battle that takes place about 20 years before the start of the original Star Trek.  There was the Four-Year War between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets in which Anaxar was the decisive battle. 

Interestingly, two actors known for playing Klingons in Star Trek play humans here.  Tony Todd (Kurn) plays Admiral Marcus Ramirez, who was instrumental in turning the tide of the war in favor of the Federation.  J.G. Hertzler (Martok) plays Admiral Samuel Travis.   Gary Graham also reprises his role as Ambassador Soval.  From both incarnations of Batlestar Gallactica is Richard Hatch as Commander Kharn.

On one hand, I find it strange that such well-known actors would take the time to work with an independent project like this.  You might hear that it’s not affiliated with Paramount or CBS and think it’s just some guy with a hand-held VHS recorder filming some of his friends.  This is a pretty decent production.  The film quality and effects are on par with something you might actually see in Star Trek.

It’s somewhat difficult for me to say that you shouldn’t watch this.  It’s available for free on YouTube and is only 21 minutes, so it’s not like you have much to lose.  Those that haven’t watched Star Trek probably won’t get as much out of it.  There are no regular characters from any of the TV series.  In fact, I think the only one that appeared in the series at all was Garth.

The only thing I found lacking was the running time.  It looked like it was the first part of a TV show.  It looks just like something you’d find on the History Channel.  It’s as if you caught an episode, but only went from one commercial break to the next.  Prelude to Axanar ends with the building of the Enterprise.

I think that may have been the intent.  It looks like there’s another production, called simply Axanar.  From what I’ve read, Paramount, which owns the Star Trek movie rights, has put a lot of restrictions on independent productions.  One is that films can’t be that long.  (They also aren’t allowed to make money.)  It looks like this faux documentary has to be released in segments.  IMDb doesn’t list many details on Axanar; it does look like several of the actors will be returning, though.  Either way, I’m looking forward to the next installment.

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