What an unbelievable job they did on this film. Only Star Trek fans can pull off these fan films and web series. Only Star Trek fans care enough about the details to make things look so damn close to "officially sanctioned." You can tell watching this film that the people involved ("official" Star Trek stars or not) they're all also fans. Fans who sincerely want Gene Roddenberry's vision to live on. This team, the "Axanar" team, the Star Trek: Continues team, the team of which I'm a part: Star Trek: Shadows of Tyranny: they're all the best of the best bringing talent and a pandemic OCD to these projects unparalleled in the fan film genre.
First, the Renegades cast will knock your socks off: Walter Koenig reprises his Original Series role as Pavel Chekov, Tim Russ pulls double duty as director and in reprising Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager, Robert Picardo (one of my top three favorite Trek actors: Nimoy, Spiner and Picardo) appears as Lewis Zimmerman, the inventor of Starfleet's Emergency Medical Hologram (Picardo was a series star on Voyager and had featured cameos on Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the feature film Star Trek: First Contact), Manu Intiraymi brings back his always nuanced Icheb and Richard Herd reprises his patented gravitas with his Admiral Owen Paris (both from Voyager), Gary Graham who I always loved from Alien Nation and regular star of Star Trek: Enterprise (as well as the forthcoming fan film Star Trek: Axanar) appears -- though here, unlike in Axanar where he reprises his Vulcan role from Enterprise, he plays a new character named Ragnar.
There were some newcomers to Trek who, in appearing here, were also securing themselves roles in the proposed and hopeful fan series to spin off from this film. They include: Adrienne Wilkinson (from Xena, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and who also gave a memorable turn as Edith Keeler in fan series Star Trek: Continues) as Lexxa the bad-ass Captain of the Renegade ship, Sean Young (from Bladerunner and who I always associate with No Way Out opposite Kevin Costner) as Dr. Lucien, Edward Furlong (from Terminator 2) as Fixer, Courtney Peldon as Shree and Larissa Gomes as T'Leah.
Some of my fellow castmates from Star Trek: Shadows of Tyranny appear in this film as well: Rico Anderson appears, under makeup that would rival Roddy McDowall in the original Planet of the Apes, as Boras (also a heavy, like his Xindi character, Zadoss, in SofT) and Adrianne Grady (my "scene partner" and Shadows of Tyranny's Saavik) appears as a Starfleet Officer.
Tom Antonellis fans will recall the memorable scene with Saavik and Scotty in Star Trek: Shadows of Tyranny's Episode 1 which can be downloaded here. Meeting Rico and Adrianne finally was a real treat for us all. On Shadows of Tyranny, we all submit our audio files independently to the producers and director and we rarely get an opportunity to perform together. Amazing if you think about it as our episodes all sound as if they take place on the same ship, in the same space and as if we voice actors actually worked in the same sessions. It's really a tribute to the excellence of these performers and the audio production staff of Star Trek: Shadows of Tyranny that it seems so seamless.
Back to Renegades: Basically, as was outlined in the Q&A featuring producer Sky Conway, Star Trek: Renegades took shape along it's original pitch logline: "The Dirty Dozen" in space. Starfleet can't solve certain problems through traditional channels so it decides to enlist outlaws and outcasts to do the jobs no one else can do. In so doing, everyone involved must confront the moral and ethical fallout from same. Picture Suicide Squad with Star Trek characters. Great concept. Well executed. The writers took on morality in the spirit of the original series. For that, the whole audience was quite grateful.
The FX shots?! Fuhgetaboutit. Un-be-frickin'-leavable. When we learned in the Q&A just how few people were involved in the over 600 shots that were needed (Terminator had 60 FX shots) we were all flabbergasted. The music was quite good. Makeup was out-of-this-world (literally and figuratively). The sets were great -- as good as anything on Next Generation. The lighting of the sets was about as good as I think it could be given that this is often a dead giveaway to a low-budget production; there's something ineffable about professional high-budget set lighting that puts it over the top as to it "looking professional." Similarly, the editing had a tinge of that "we're in love with our material and don't want to cut it" sort of vibe. I'd've made some judicious cuts but that's an editor talking. Plus, I'm not sure what it is but: fan films have a certain "unprofessional" pacing to their acting (many of them employ "people who are acting" and do not employ actors per se) and, by extension, we get a sort of "unprofessional" pacing to their acting. Editing can only solve so many issues. So, are there some weak acting moments? Yes. Are there a few drag-ass sections as to editing-pacing? Yes. Do they get in the way? Absolutely not. It felt like good ole Trek to me and that's very exciting.
Enjoy the gallery...