Welcome to 2016

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Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016.  It’s a big one for Star Trek!

This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of a television and cinematic phenomena with a new feature film, more episodes of Star Trek: Renegades, and on top of those two wonderful events we get to watch the unfolding production of a brand new sixth live action series due for release in January 2017.

This year we’ll also learn the fate of Star Trek: Axanar.

So there will be a lot happening, and a lot we can look forward to on the news front this year.

What can we expect in the first six months?

Whatever Paramount and CBS have dreamed up to celebrate the 50th year of our favourite series, updates on the production of Renegades, previews of the two new episodes, and the eventual release of those episodes – one of which will be the swan song for Admiral Pavel Chekov and possibly also Admiral Nyota Uhura.  We can expect at least one more major preview for Star Trek: Beyond before its July release, and we should learn a lot more in the coming months about the new television series.  We might even get a teaser as a prelude to an actual preview later in the year.  In fact, we should, considering it is scheduled to air in a little over a year.  The teaser probably won’t be much more than a glimpse at some of the characters, but that will be enough considering how hungry we all are for news on the new series.  One thing I doubt we’ll see is the ship.  If the lead up is anything like it was for TNG, we won’t see the new ship until a month or two before the first episode airs.

We will definitely learn the fate of Axanar, and probably very soon.  The most recent news on the court case is that the Axanar team hope to settle out of court in a way that will still allow for the film to be made.

One thing I do know for certain, is that the Star Trek: Challenger blog will be there for all of it.

Thank you to everyone who has been following my blog, I deeply appreciate it.  Our readership is literally international, with the most hits coming out of the US, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Here’s to an amazing and Trek-filled 2016.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Live long, and prosper.

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Star Trek: Renegades Update

Banner - Nichelle Nichols Joins Renegades

There was a wonderful little surprise awaiting me in my inbox this morning, as I checked my e-mails after staggering out of bed and fortifying myself with some coffee:

Nichelle Joins Renegades

If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve probably caught onto the fact that Uhura (alongside Doctor McCoy and Sulu) is one of my favourite Star Trek characters, and that Nichelle, in particular, is a personal hero.

Finding that e-mail this morning was like having someone drop a beautiful early Christmas present in my lap.  Having the first lady of science fiction join the cast of Star Trek: Renegades just feels right – and it’s wonderful to see that every Trekker’s favourite Communications Officer is now an Admiral.

If you would like to read the official announcement, visit the Renegades Kickstarter page here, and as well as that announcement, you’ll also see that the Renegades team have surpassed their funding goal of $350,000 and are sitting pretty on $378,181.

Nichelle’s return to the Star Trek universe is something to be excited about, though I admit I am also a little worried.  The e-mail suggests (it doesn’t clearly say) that the next two episodes won’t just be Chekov’s swan song, but Uhura’s as well.

I can (just barely) deal with losing one beloved TOS character, but two?

All I can say, is that the Renegades guys had better send me tissues along with my reward for helping to fund episode two if they kill off both characters, because there will be tears if we lose both Admiral Chekov and Admiral Uhura!

If you haven’t yet become an investor in Renegades, I encourage you to do so.

Why?  Well… apart from it being Star Trek that actually takes place in the prime universe, and apart from the fact it’s REALLY good, there are 16 words, or eight names, that should convince you:

Terry Farrell
Robert Beltran
Nichelle Nichols
Cirroc Lofton
Aron Eisenberg
Hana Hatae
Tim Russ
Walter Koenig.

Not since Star Trek: Of Gods and Men have we had such a stellar cast of Trek characters all appearing on screen together.

It’s phenomenal.

If that’s not worth a few dollars, then I do not know what is.

My heartfelt thanks to the Renegades team for bringing such an outstanding cast together.  I do not know how they’re going to give all of these amazing characters the screen time they deserve, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Here’s to “Requiem” parts 1 and 2.  THESE episodes will be a 50th Anniversary gift worth celebrating.

As much as I’m looking forward to Star Trek Beyond, I’m looking forward to Star Trek: Renegades “Requiem” more.

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Star Trek: Renegades Update

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The team behind the independent new web series, Star Trek: Renegades, have released the title of their second episode… “The Requiem”.

Along with the title, they’ve also released some special art work for the episode.

STREN The Requiem

All of this can be found on their Kickstarter page, where they have now raised a little over $248,000 toward the production of episodes two and three.  They need $350,000 to start production.

Also on their Kickstarter page are images of the new comic being developed that we, as fans, can appear in if we make a certain donation.

To see the new poster and the comic, and to read about the development of the series, click here.

Still no word on when episode two will be filmed, edited and ready for us to watch, but it is finally getting some mainstream sci-fi website love.

Blastr have a feature on Walter Koenig and his intention to kill Chekov off in episode three of Renegades.  To read it, click here.

This is the first time we’ve had absolute confirmation that Chekov will die.  Previously, we’d been told it was Admiral Chekov’s swan song – which could have just meant he was retiring.  I think we all knew the Admiral was going to die, but now it is definitely official.

I’m not happy about it, but I get it.  With Gene gone, it feels right that Walter make that decision.

If you haven’t tossed a few dollars at the Renegades team yet, give it some thought.  Episodes two and three are going to be incredible, if the guest cast has anything to do with it.

Star Trek: Renegades episodes two and three guest star Terry Farrell as Jadzia Dax, Robert Beltran as Chakotay, Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko, Aron Eisenberg as Nog, and Hana Hatae as Molly O’Brien.

If you haven’t watched the pilot yet, head over to their Kickstarter page and take a look.

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Star Trek: Renegades Fundraising Update

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It’s time to indulge my Renegades love!

With the announcement of a new official series coming in 2017, it’s easy to forget the hard work and dedication of the amazing group of people responsible for bringing us Star Trek: Renegades.

While there is no longer any chance this series will become an official production of CBS, it is still the most original fan made offering available, and it has introduced some great new characters to the universe we all know and love and brought back one or two familiar ones.

 

Depending on the direction Alex Kurtzman takes with series six, this might be the only new Star Trek available to us that takes place in what has been called the ‘prime timeline’.

This might also be the last time we ever see Chekov, Chakotay, Jadzia Dax, Lewis Zimmerman, Icheb, Jake Sisko and Nog.

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In brief, Renegades is an important part of Star Trek because it continues the prime timeline and takes advantage of all the history and mythology that has been developed over 49 years.  For that alone, we should be supporting it.

The latest news out of the Renegades camp is that their KickStarter campaign has now surpassed the $200,000 mark.  There’s still a long way to go – but this is very exciting news.

If you haven’t supported Star Trek: Renegades yet, please think about giving it a go.  The pilot episode had a few hiccups, but it was pretty damn good and it showed a great deal of promise.

To learn more about Renegades, or to throw a few dollars their way, visit their official website which currently diverts to their KickStarter page.

You can watch the pilot for Star Trek: Renegades here after an ad and a brief scrolling message to support the production.

If you’d like to read a review of the pilot, you can check one out here.

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Star Trek: Renegades Update – Another Alumni Joins the Team

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I feel like my blog is fast becoming the number one Star Trek: Renegades fansite!

Which isn’t so bad.

As you might guess from the title of this entry, another Star Trek alumni has joined the growing ranks of the Renegades cast.

Who have they attracted this time?  Well, it’s not a well known face from Star Trek: The Next Generation, as I’d hoped, but it is a well known face from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Aron Eiseberg, who played Nog in all seven seasons of DS9 has signed on to star in one of the upcoming episodes.

Aron Eiseberg

Aron will be reprising his role as Nog, which brings a nice bit of symmetry to the show with Jake also being in the new series.

So that’s Terry Farrell (Dax, ST: DS9), Robert Beltran (Chakotay, ST: VOY), Cirroc Lofton (Jake, ST: DS9), and now Aron Eiseberg.

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I have no idea how they’re going to fit all of these guys into one episode – or even if they’re going to try, but I hope they do.  They’re probably going to spread their appearances out, but it would be really good to see Jadzia, Chakotay, Jake and Nog all on screen together with Chekov and Tuvok.

That would be a little bit of a geekgasm!

Spoiler Alert

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of how the Renegades writing team are going to pull all of this off, especially the return of Jadzia Dax.  The only conclusion I can come up with is that they’re going to have to bring an alternate reality Jadzia into the series because Jadzia died at the end of season six of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and her Mirror Universe counterpart is also dead.

The Renegades website says Terry will be playing Jadzia, so unless that’s a typo or a mistake, it’s going to have to be a clone, or a flashback or some other sci-fi twist.

It’s no surprise that Terry is coming back to Star Trek.  She has said, on more than one occasion, that she did not want the producers and writing staff to kill off Jadzia, as she had hoped to have the option to return at some point, but the powers-that-be chose a more dramatic end to her story arc.

As much as I’m looking forward to Renegades, I’m perhaps most interested in how they’ll bring one of my favourite characters back from the dead.

The only thing I know for certain is that I’m looking forward to the next installment.  I’m really happy with the supporting cast they’ve pulled together, and I’m thrilled that the creative team have given some thought to an arc (across five years) for the main characters.  I’d love to know what it is and how it all plays together with the hints dropped in the pilot.  I just hope they can pull off the funding they need.  It would be incredibly disappointing if this series died because of the financial constraints of putting up an independent series without the backing of a major studio.

As always, as more news on Star Trek: Renegades comes to light, I’ll post it here.

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Star Trek: Renegades Update – An Incredible Collection of Trek Talent

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The team behind the new independent Star Trek series, Renegades, are kicking goals in a big way!

Not since Star Trek was being produced professionally for television, and not since the amazing Star Trek fan film Of Gods and Men, has there been such a remarkable collection of Trek-talent gathered together to produce a quality science fiction show for our viewing pleasure.

We still don’t have a complete picture of what the next two episodes of Renegades will bring, but we do know that episode three features the possible demise of Admiral Chekov (Walter Koenig has said that episode three of Renegades will be Chekov’s ‘swan song’), and that we’ll be seeing Commander(?) Chakotay and Jadzia Dax again (at least it sounds like Terry will be reprising her role as Jadzia when she guest stars).

Now, in another media release from the Renegades team, we’ve learned that Cirroc Lofton, who played Jake Sisko in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, will also be joining the cast and reprising his role as the son of the Emissary.

Cirric Lofton

But that’s not all!  Renegades has recruited some truly legendary behind the scenes support for the first season of their internet TV series.

On October 21, the Renegades team announced that Melinda Snodgrass will be returning to televised Star Trek after a 25 year absence.  If you’re saying to yourself “that name’s familiar…”, you might have seen her credit on a little episode called ‘Measure of a Man’ (among others), which first aired in 1989 as part of the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  You might have also picked up a book she wrote called ‘The Tears of the Singers’, published in 1984 as part of the TOS crew’s novelised adventures.

Melinda Snodgrass

As if that wasn’t enough, there is one more Trek-alumni joining the crew and this announcement will hopefully set your Trekker-hearts a flutter!

Andrew Probert.  Andy is a living science fiction legend.  His first film and television work was done way back in 1978 on the mini-series Battlestar Galactica, he contributed to the design of the Cylon centurions and worked on one of the physical spaceship models for the Colonial fleet.  From there, he was hired to work on Star Trek: The Motion Picture and helped design the beautiful new USS Enterprise, which is still one of my all time favourite starship designs.  Of particular note are his designs for the bridge of the Klingon battlecruisers.  His work essentially set the style for the design of future Klingon vessel interiors.  His career has been long and varied, and he has contributed to shows like Airwolf, and films like Back to the Future, Space Camp, Tron, The Philadelphia Experiment, and more.  He is, to Trekkers, best known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation where he designed the bridge of the USS Enterprise D, the Ferengi Marauder and the Romulan Warbird (which is arguably still one of the most unique ship designs in Star Trek).

Andrew Probert

Melinda will be writing episodes two and three of Renegades (to begin with), and Andy Probert will be lending his exceptional conceptualisation and design skills to the production.

There’s no word on how long Terry Farrell, Robert Beltran and Cirroc Lofton will be appearing in Renegades, but hopefully it’s for a long time.  Jake’s character in particular, had an amazing story-arc and as the son of the Emissary to the Bajoran people, there are some incredible story opportunities still to be explored with that character.

Thank you, Renegades team, for recruiting such outstanding talent to your production.

Now… if you could just let slip some more details about the upcoming two episodes I’d be a very happy fan.

If you’d like to learn more about Cirroc Lofton and his career, you can do so at his Wikipedia page here and his IMDb page here.  Something you might not know about Cirroc, is that he starred in Star Trek: Of Gods and Men a few years back, as the Vulcan Sevar, so he is quite familiar with the production team behind Star Trek: Renegades.

If you’d like to learn more about Melinda Snodgrass, you can do so at her official website here, her Wikipedia page here and her IMDb page here.

If you’d like to learn more about Andy Probert and his career, you can do so at his official website here, his Wikipedia page here and his IMDb page here.

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Star Trek: Renegades Update – New Kickstarter Campaign Launches

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We reported yesterday that the Renegades team would be launching a new Kickstarter soon… and today we found out when!

The Kickstarter will launch on the 28th of October and it is for episodes two and three – which will serve as the swan song for the character of Admiral Pavel Chekov.  Episodes two and three are part of a planned twelve-episode first season, and an overall five-year story arc.

The information was released to fans who had donated to the original Kickstarter for Renegades way back when… I say way back when because it feels like a very long time ago that I threw some money their way.

The e-mail from Renegades said that there’s a treasure trove of exciting new opportunities for those who were a part of the original team of donars, that will allow fans to become even more a part of the Renegades journey.

If you’d like more information on the Kickstarter campaign, follow this link right here and let Admiral Chekov tell you.

The update from the Renegades team also gave us a tiny bit of information on what’s to come: “the next two episodes will take the story to new heights, introducing new cast members, as well as bringing back some of Star Trek‘s most beloved characters from Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager.

For those who didn’t pick it… I have to ask, does that mean that Terry Farrell will be playing Jadzia and not a brand new character?  It is Star Trek, so anything is possible!

As well as the Kickstarter (which you really should donate to), the official Renegades website (right here) has a brand new section called ‘STR Shareable Art’.  There are only two images up at the moment, but I love the style of them.  Here’s one to wet your appetite!

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So, there are lots of things happening in the world of Renegades, and the guys have big plans.  It’s an exciting time for Star Trek, mainly because the fans are taking control and playing a part in putting new content out there for the world to enjoy.

Join up, become a Renegade, and help shape the future of this new series.

Star Trek Renegades Crew

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