Trekkies 2: How Much is Too Much?
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Directed by Roger Nygard, TREKKIES 2 is hosted by Denise Crosby, the actress who played Tasha Yar on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The filmmakers visit Star Trek fans all over the world, including the Spock of Germany, an Englishman who transformed his flat into a starship and auctioned it on the internet for $2 million, and the first convention ever held in Serbia. The film also checks in on some of the original TREKKIES profilees like wunderkind Gabriel Koerner and Whitewater juror Barbara Adams.
As promised, the sequel to Trekkies presents an expanded universe of Star Trek fandom, and even curmudgeonly Klingons will enjoy this globetrotting trek of discovery. NextGen alumnus Denise Crosby returns as host of this sincerely appreciative survey of Trek enthusiasts from the U.S.A., Germany, England, Australia, Italy, Brazil, France, and even war-torn Serbia. Director Roger Nygard seizes the opportunity to revisit the most memorable fans from Trekkies, and Trek savants the world over will be delighted to learn that über-nerd Gabriel Koerner is not only married but happily employed as a digital-effects modeler (go, Gabe!), while Whitewater juror (and Starfleet Commodore) Barbara Adams continues to exemplify the Prime Directive in Little Rock, Arkansas. Emphasis is duly placed on the charitable activities of Trek devotees (yes, the Trekkies/Trekkers debate continues to rage), while "filk" singers and Trek tribute bands are given props for their musical inspiration. Most importantly, Trekkies 2 meaningfully explores of the motivation, purpose, and appropriateness of Trek fandom in a world that is still light-years away from the benevolent idealism that Star Trek represents. Trekkies 3 (due a few years later) promises to expand the survey to Asia, Africa, India, the Middle East, and Russia. Could this be the start of genuine unification? --Jeff Shannon
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"Trekkies" focused on fans in the United States but as you watch "Trekkies 2" you get to globetrot with the filmmakers as they film at conventions in Europe, South America and Australia. The United States isn't neglected though and one of the things that director Roger Nygard choose to do is to revisit some memorable characters from "Trekkies" and see not only what they currently up to, but how appearing in "Trekkies" affected their lives. The memorable Gabriel Koerner, who is now in his early twenties with a wife and a successful career as a special effects modeler, took a lot of grief for his appearance but you can't help but admire his confidence. (Koerner did the opening graphics for the film.) `The Commander', Barbara Adams is back as well.
One of the most amusing segments is the chapter on Star Trek themed bands whose music will be featured on the upcoming "Trekkies 2" soundtrack CD (due out Oct. 5th). Those bands are just as diverse as the fans themselves and play different styles of music but the one thing they all have in common is that they don't take themselves too seriously.
Among the actors who comment on fandom in "Trekkies 2" are Nana Visitor, Cirroc Lofton and Casey Biggs from Deep Space Nine. Ethan Phillips is the lone Voyager regular but the cast of Enterprise is well represented with Vaughn Armstrong, Dominic Keating, John Billingsley and Connor Trinneer.
This film has a much sleeker look than it's predecessor and the special features include almost an hour of deleted footage. Too bad some of this wasn't included instead of all the fan film stuff, my one grumble with this film was that it has too much about fan films. There is also an optional commentary track that features director Roger Nygard, Denise Crosby and producer Michael Leahy.
"Trekkies 2" is so fun and entertaining to watch because of the quirky and interesting personalities and individuals it allows us to meet. It's a shame that the more extreme is what some people will focus on and remember but that isn't what really stood out for me. What did stand out was the theme of acceptance and hope that those interviewed projected so well. One fans comments about Star Trek fans being like a big family sums it up perfectly, "Every family has the nutty Uncle you know. We just have a few more."
More of the same is offered up in "Trekkies 2," though this one was a little more emotional than the first. Denise Crosby bounces across the globe in search of more Trek fans. Once again we visit some pretty strange folks, but we are also shown how something as simple as "Star Trek" can have so much meaning to a group of people when Crosby goes to Serbia. Those people were so touched and amazed at how the characters in "Star Trek" lived amongst each other in relative peace even though they were pretty much all from different races, religions, etc. It was heartwarming to listen to these people talk about how their newfound freedom took on a special meaning through "Star Trek." I also noticed that out of all of people in this film, the Serbians seemed to be the least to play "dress up" as their favorite characters, holding more to the ideals of "Trek" and not so much the whiz-bangs and Klingons of it all.
There's one fellow who converts his house into a replica of the Enterprise. We get a better and perhaps more disturbing look into the world of "Filk" music and some of the bands in that genre. We also get a few nice clips featuring stars of the later "Trek" series and how many of their fans reacted to meeting them, funny letters, tattoos, etc.
The most fun part of this flick was when we get to look back on some of the more popular characters from the original film. We catch up with the guy who dresses his dog up in "Trek" costumes. We see Whitewater juror Barbara Adams interact with a group of people who question her about her motives for dressing up in a Starfleet uniform for court, and one individual gets pretty rough with her. Finally, we get to catch up with Gabriel Koerner, and learn that he is married, has steady work as a digital model builder for such shows as the new "Battlestar Galactica" and seems to have stepped back from, just a little, his love for "Trek."
In the end, if you enjoyed the original "Trekkies," you'll like this second helping. It might go overboard with a few of the fans, especially with the "Filk" singers, but we are shown that most Trekkies, Trekkers, etc. are primarily good folks with very big hearts(and many have graduate degrees).
Some folks collect baseball cards, some collect CDs, these folks just love their "Trek." Is that so wrong?
Denise Crosby does some follow up visits with stars from the first Trekkies, notably Gabe Koerner and Barbara The Commander. They're both doing great and still digging their Trek. Trekkies 2 reveals the loves and fanaticisms of the average Trek lover (I'll leave you to quantify "average"). They're great people, no matter what language they speak or which incarnation of Trek they love best. And for the record, it's Trekkies, not Trekkers. Wave your freak flag high, and you have the bridge Number One.