In order to further understand this post, I will have to put two infamous arguments to rest.
First up, is there a difference between Star Trek Fans? Why are some fans called Trekkies while others are called Trekkers? They are both fans of the same show, aren’t they? Yes and no.
I will use an original Series Star Trek episode (who’s name escapes me – Please refer to photo below) as an example. Kirk and company encountered this world where two humanoid nations were at war. Kirk could not understand why the two races hated each other, because in his eyes they both looked alike. One of the two male representatives (who’s facial appearance was like those infamous “Black and White Cookies” spoke up and said. “I am black on the right side and my counterpart is white on the right side. . . . . . .”
What the heck . . . . . .?
Here are my definitions:
Trekkies: Are the Star Trek fans who are like the Justin Berber crowd. They scream, gush, and ooze all over their fave stars. They are into all kinds of fannish activities. Reading every trashy magazine and internet gossip column so they can to stay up to date with their fave star. They may even write to, email, and may have received a letter or two (or photo) from said star which they have framed and/or enshrined at home. They also stand on very long lines at conventions in order to plunk down large amounts of money for an autographed photo of their fave star, and/or have a personal photo taken with them.
The last time I attended a convention, these opportunities were sold at $100.00 a pop! Pricey, but I approve of this activity when stars like Nichelle Nickels (Uhura) do this to raise money for charity.
Trekkers: On the other hand are the serious Star Trek fans. They are into costuming (hand crafting and dressing like Starfleet Officers, Klingons, Vulcans, etc), alien make up and appliances (ears, brow ridges, Trill spots, etc) role playing, making weaponry, gaming, ship building, clubs that have ranks, meetings (in character and costume), panel discussions, etc.
For example at Shore Leave in Baltimore Maryland every year the Klingons have a Klingon Feast and Ball. Klingons (people dressed like Klingons) fly in from all over the world to attend this event. They also do it in conjunction with a Red Cross blood drive.
Which type of fan am I?
I am both. I started out as a teeny-screamy type, (rolls eyes ceiling ward) and now I’m a serious Trekker. Fans like me, who have held the line so long (since Star Trek aired back in the 1960’s), are considered to be members of “The Old Guard”. Why is that title so important to Trekkers? The new Star Trek movie which came out in 2008 (screen play was written by JJ Abrahms) generated a new wave of fans which are called the “GenXs”, or just “The New Jacks”.
Which brings us to another fork in the road of Star Trek Fandom.
Canon or Non-Canon?
However, this cannon is nothing like the canon I wrote about yesterday. This has to do with what is now considered “The Old Star Trek.” Which is:
1. The Original Series: (TOS), with Captain Kirk and his crew.
2. The Next Generation: (TNG), with Captain Picard and his crew.
3. Deep Space Nine: Captain Sisko and his crew.
4. Voyager: Captain Janeway and her crew.
5. Enterprise: Captain Archer and his crew.
6. All of the Star Trek Movies.
And the NEW Star Trek:
1. The NEW Star Trek Movie (circa: 2008)
The reason there is such a great divide is due to the fact that JJ Abrams (some feel) “flagrantly deviated” from the standard canon with was set forth by the past five Star Trek Series’ and movies.
I recall attending a panel discussion at Shore Leave (a SciFi Convention) where ardent fans discussed such minute as everything from Kirk’s hair color was wrong, to the real biggie: They blew up Vulcan!
The latest Star Trek movie was supposed to be a prequel, which showed all of the TOS (The Original Series – Kirk and Company) crew and what their lives were like BEFORE they became Starfleet officers and their beginning year fresh out of Starfleet Academy.
Supposedly JJ Abrams had been given license to do what he pleased, and he deviated far and wide from standard Star Trek canon. Of course, to some of us Old Guard that was equal to Solomon Rushdi’s penning “The Satanic Verses.”! If these debates nearly turned into fisticuffs, don’t even try to discuss the subject in chat on TrekSpace and other well-known Star Trek social websites! You would be flamed immediately!
After all, with blatant flubs like blowing up Vulcan. . . . . According to Star Trek canon history, the Vulcans were the ones who originally introduced the human race to the Federation. Hence if you blow up and kill of millions of Vulcans, who. . . . . . how. . . .? In other words, you’d better have a good explanation for such a radical action.
You can clearly see two camps of “Trek fans” here. The Old Guard who love their Star Trek just the way it was, BEFORE the JJ Abrams movie. They consider his movie to be an “anathema”. And on the opposite side we have the “Newcomers” who absolutely loved the new movie and look forward with baited breath to see JJ Abrams next creation. They believe JJ Abrams did the best thing since sliced bread, and that it helped to inject new life into what was a dying fandom.
What camp am I in?
Even though I am an Old Guard Trekker, and loved the old Star Trek, I watched the JJ Abrams movie (in fact I bought it on DVD so I could watch it multiple times) with a totally open mind. By the time I got around to buying the movie, I saw and heard all of the furor and bad mouthing about it on line and everywhere else. Yay even on the NEWS!
I really enjoyed the movie because I’m a typical GEEK and love special affects, and CGI stuff. I also love the ships, the battles, and love to see things blow up (like a little kid). Yes, I did notice the JJ Abrams went off the reservation in his depictions, plus some other technicalities. But, I really liked the movie.
Guess what? I’d better not say that too loud at a SciFi convention! I might get my head bitten off! Or, I might be subject to one of those witch burnings they used to have back in the Dark Ages. . . . .
Sigh! Why can’t Star Trek fans all get along. . . . . . .?