In this sequel to Trekkies, the filmmakers visited Star Trek fans all over the world, including the Spock of Germany, an Englishman who transformed his flat into a starship and listed 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 alternate Whitewater Juror Barbara Adams.
Trekkies 2 7.5
eyelights: its more provocative questions.
eyesores: the lameness of some fandom.
You have been warned: The nerd alert is at red. Our movie for today is ‘Trekkies 2’. Released in 2004, these are the adventures of Denise Crosby (of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ fame). Her continuing mission: to explore strange new nerds, to seek out new geeks and new aficionados, to boldly go where no fandom has gone before.
A follow-up to 1997’s unexpected cult hit, ‘Trekkies‘, this time Roger Nygard’s documentary explores the ‘Star Trek’ community beyond its North American borders, taking us around the world to Australia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Serbia and, naturally, all the way back to the good ol’ U.S. of A., to explore Trekdom.
Unfortunately, aside for its multicultural perspective, ‘Trekkies 2’ doesn’t bring that much more to the table that the first picture hadn’t already: We’d already met some of the freakiest freaks of them all, and nearly everything else now pales in comparison. Oh sure, there’s a Klingon Santa, but, otherwise, it’s pretty much par for the course.
Okay, okay… there’s also the wacky Trek-themed folk artists (whose music is now dubbed “Filk” due to a typo) and rock bands, like Warp 11, No Kill I, No Kill I: The Next Generation, No Kill I: Deep Space Nine and the Klingon death metal band, Stovokor – who, yes, play dressed up as frickin’ Klingons and sing in bloody Klingon! Seriously!
But, aside for that, it’s just your usual assortment of nerds, dweebs, freaks and geeks.
One thing that’s fun about ‘Trekkies 2’, though, is that we get to catch up with Barb and Gabriel from the previous film:
- We get to see Barb at conventions and at her job at the print shop. It was funny to see her talk with a co-worker about ‘Star Trek’ versus ‘Star Wars’. She made a strong case for how meaningful ‘Star Trek’ could be thematically, but he actually claimed to prefer ‘Star Wars’ because you don’t have to think. “It’s just good!”, he says. Le sigh.
But the best part is the type of thing that usually gives science fiction geeks a bad name: One of Barb’s friends shows us a drawing of what she claims is a picture of a “real ET”. Picture, not drawing. She states as-matter-factly that they’re already here and they’re helping us be peaceful. Yeah, ahem, they’re doing a real fine job of it!
- Meanwhile, Gabriel has gotten his life started: He’s got a long-time girlfriend and is now a digital ship designer for science fiction films. On his spare time, he makes ‘Star Trek’ spoofs. What was fascinating is that his dad helped him build sets, …etc., for his film, and was so devoted that he got fired and lost his gf. Wow. Now that‘s a dad!
Beyond that, the picture consists of your usual array of nerdery, including many visits to conventions around the world. Some of it was really embarrassing, like watching a bunch of dudes dressed as Klingons choreographing fight sequences in front of a half-dozen people. It looked lame and the lack of fan interest killed all their credibility.
What little they had.
What made ‘Trekkies 2′ more interesting was the questions that Crosby asked fans and interviewees about the role that “Star Trek’ plays in people’s lives: Can anyone go too far? What about the stigma of being a fan? What’s the difference between Trekkies and Trekkers? How do they propagate the values of ‘Star Trek’ that they cherish so?
I found it especially interesting to watch fans talk about the values and positivity of ‘Star Trek’, in light of the the fact that it’s quite the reverse of what you can find the new batch of motion pictures. It’s rather ironic, I think. Some interviewees were even asked what they thought the future held for the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.
Gosh… I wonder if they would they be supportive of the new direction it’s in.
Well, we may never find out: ‘Trekkies 2’ is the last in the series. Is it because the sequel had pretty exhausted all the possible subjects, because no one really wants to take another look at ‘Star Trek’ fans, or is it because Geek Chic has hit our culture in recent years and made this type of fandom more commonplace, less marginalized?
Who knows. And does it even matter, so long as they live long and prosper?
Date of viewing: July 20, 2016