Star Trek’s Guidelines, CBS Paramount’s Loss

As I mentioned before, I rarely understand hostility towards fan productions. So long as they aren’t making a profit and aren’t doing something that negatively impacts your own work, the idea of a fan going out of their way to honor your work seems like a wonderful thing. Some properties are even kept alive by the passion of such fans, kept afloat between major productions by the fact people just genuinely love them. Allowing these people to trade creations and nerd-out together only means you have that fan-base still happy when you’re ready to show them a new installment.

The two biggest names of Sci-Fi today, Star Trek and Star Wars, easily demonstrate this. In Star Wars case, the expanded universe and the continued support by convention goers allowed the franchise to go on hiatus for 16 years before the Phantom Menace came back and was an instant blockbuster. In fact, despite their protests, Star Wars fan loyalty has meant that not a single Star Wars film has been a commercial flop – even as they’re decried for ruining childhoods. And Star Trek? They owe way more to the fans than Star Wars could ever hope to.

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Many┬ápeople don’t realize this today, seeing as most on the internet weren’t around for when the original series first came out, but Star Trek didn’t actually do that great in the 60s. Starting off with relatively soft ratings to begin with, it spent the first two seasons slowly heading towards cancellation. In fact, by the end of Season 2, William Shatner was already planning to jump ship to other projects. The only reason you know of the show today is because as that second season came to a close and was about to be cancelled, the fans began an overwhelming and surprising letter writing campaign to get a third season.

The fans saved the entire franchise, getting not only that third season but eventually the movies and future series installments. And for their efforts, in recent years, they’ve been getting a little… slapped in the face.

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