I have a confession to make. I am a life-long Star Trek fan. I don’t know if that makes me a Trekker, a Trekkie or just lame but I still re-watch any and all variants of Trek, from the original 1960’s television programs to the JJ Abrams theatrical reboots (Except Star Trek: Enterprise. Once was more than enough of that clunker of a series). When I discovered that a fan based film, Star Trek: Renegades, was being created I was more than a little intrigued.
ST:R centers around a crisis involving the planets where the mineral for warp engine fuel, Dilithium, is mined. A mysterious anomaly is causing time and space to fold over the planets resulting in their disappearance. Admiral Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) is the head of Starfleet Intelligence and through his sources he discovers that this phenomenon is technology based. In direct violation of the orders of the Starfleet Council, the Admiral enlists the assistance of Commander Tuvok (Tim Russ) to recruit a rogue crew of Starfleet rejects, misfits and even criminals to uncover the mystery behind these planetary disappearances. Leading this Trek version of a Suicide Squad is Captain Lexxa Singh (Adrienne Wilkinson), a convicted criminal that is strong, determined yet vulnerable. She is also somehow a descendant of super villain Khan Noonien Singh but that plot point is more glossed over than explored. Her mission is to infiltrate the mysterious entity that the Tuvok believes is the source of the space-time rifts. She is aided by her crew, brilliant scientist Dr. Lucien (Sean Young), loyal strategist Ragnar (Gary Graham), former Borg and Star Trek: Voyager cast member Icheb (Manu Intiraymi ) and handy-man extraordinaire Fixer (Edward Furlong) in saving the Federation and perhaps the galaxy from this threat. Standing in her way is Federation Starship Captain Alverez (Corin Nemec), a possible conspiracy at the highest levels of Starfleet and her own past. Can Singh and her misfit crew rescue the Federation and perhaps the entire quadrant in time?
Star Trek: Renegades is the pilot episode of a kickstarter fan based YouTube program which hopes to launch a full online series in the future. Obviously the FX production is below other Trek versions and is easily overlooked. The love of the craft and of the content shines through the cast of recognizable stars and it is an absolute thrill to see old fan favorite characters such as Chekov, Tuvok and Dr. Zimmerman (Robert Picardo) along with fine actors such as Young and Graham. The premise, while interesting, falls a bit flat and the reasoning behind why Starfleet would go along with this conspiracy is vague and convoluted. The real problem for me was the final 20 minutes of the program which was nothing more than a story wrapping voice-over while the entire show was recapped in a flashback montage. It took all of the steam out of the pilot for me and I found myself anxious for the end. However having said that, the ground work has been alluring web series that I would whole-heartedly support. The Trek universe is full of wonder and more than a few stinkers along the way (I’m looking in your direction ST 5 The Final Frontier and Nemesis) but Star Trek: Renegades has more promise than downside.
2.5 Dilithium Crystals of 5