Before long the ban placed upon fan films will sweep across the community. Star Trek: Continues will be wrapping up production in the next few episodes and Renegade is struggling to re brand itself as a wholly original sci-fi franchise. But before that time comes there is enough for one more ride, one more over the top love letter to the final frontier. It’s been a long road getting from “Paragon’s Paragon” to here. It’s been a long time since Sulu was aboard the Yorktown but our time is finally here. This is………………
Now before we begin I should probably say I’m not much of a fan of Enterprise, the fan wanky last series was okay for a laugh but that’s the best I cant say really. This is relevant because we’re going back to height of the Romulan War, back to funky blue jumpsuits and warp five engines. Set aborad, not the Horizon as you might imagine but the Discovery the forth NX class off the production line. We open with them racing home with a cargo of one lone Romulan officer and two ships full of them in hot pursuit. Because the guidelines of all fan films being fifteen minutes in length had not yet been put in place the ship is not quickly blown apart to allow the credits to roll but they manage to survive. Just about. From the rings of Saturn to a log cabin in the woods the crew toast the dead and prepare to unwind before they find that they will soon be shipping out on the next best tide. For the defector has news of a Romulan weapon able to wipe out entire systems and of course it’s up to our gallant heroes to stop them.
For me there were two main problems with the film and the first and most major of these was that it was Enterprise. Now a Romulan war movie is fine by me but this doesn’t push the story of the federation ahead instead choosing to focus on some of the key bits people picked the show apart for. The main one of these is the temporal cold war which comes back here in full force. If you are that one person out there who still longs to know who them shadowy man in the light was then you’re in luck. The problem is the plot was so lack luster and poorly written even the show gave up on it before it was done choosing Xindi and mirror universe two parters over carrying it on and if the show you’re emulating dropped a plot because they could get it to work then maybe you should too. See if you’re going to go back to the beginning then show us the beginning. You could argue that this film is even worse when it starts linking to the Abrams movies and ropes in the Iconians for their long forgotten aliens. Aliens that were a myth until the age of Picard but then again we didn’t know what a Romulan looked like until the age of Kirk either. In many ways this is not a Star Trek fan film but an Enterprise one and if you’re not onboard with that then maybe you’d better get off at the nearest space dock and wait.
The second is the film itself which uses green screen to mask the lack of a lot of actual sets. Now this wouldn’t be a problem especially as I grew up on Hidden Frontier which would make the cut scenes from command and conquer look like million dollar set. Yet when they try to hide this fact the trouble starts as they introduce enough lens flare to blind J.J Abrams, shaky cam and a weird blur that makes everything seem out of focus. I’m not sure if the fact they stick to this when in peoples living rooms is a good thing or not but it’s consistent throughout.
Now I like to place my fan films and fiction alongside the actual thing because as big a fan of Trek as I am I am more than willing to admit there have been some stinkers in amongst the diamonds. This sits in the middle. It’s not terrible but it’s not exactly great either. Due to the amount of call backs and call forwards we get the crew don’t really get a chance to shine outside of maybe the captain, the Romulan and the Captains lady friend who I won’t go into and even them are a bit of a push when they’re given exposition instead of dialogue and plot points instead of character arcs. The costumes, makeup and cgi effects are nice though at this point that’s like praising a Star Wars game for sounding and looking like Star Wars. The acting is a little stiff in places but I guess that’s to be expected. Overall it’s not a bad little fan film but in this day and age I doubt it’s one you’re gonna rush to see. Maybe when the drought hits you can come back and appreciate the time, effort and energy that went into it or maybe you can just dive into their next venture ‘Election Balde‘ but until then theirs always Horizon.