Friday, 10 April 2015

The Renegades Trailer: The Wait Is Nearly Over

Broken by several of its cast,  the Star Trek: Renegades trailer may well offer hope that the future of fan films doesn't just lie in the realms of The Original Series.

It seems to have taken an eternity to get to this stage but it now feels that we're within reach of seeing the finished product - but what does this brand spanking new trailer tell us about the upcoming Tim Russ movie?

"...Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade..."

It's a slow opener with some non-descript shots of seemingly alien tech, their ships (possibly) and introductory snaps of Lexxa Singh (Adrienne Wilkinson) and Voyager's Manu Intiraymi.

The notable bit we get first though is a young Lexxa with her mother, played by singer Cela Scott from Automatik Eden and it tends to indicate that those two phaser-rifle wielding gents that we've seen in teasers before are out to kill the pair. Linking this to the susequent scene where Tuvok meets Lexxa in prison it's pretty clear that she believes her mother was murdered by the pair of phaser-toters. Finding out if she's still alive provides some motivation for her involvement in Tuvok's Big Plan.

The 143-year old Admiral Pavel Chekov certainly looks good for his age although the Starfleet uniforms we've seen in promo shots and here in the trailer do seem to be ill-fitting which is a surprise. Something that might also be levelled at Robert Picardo's outfit as Doctor Lewis Zimmerman - looking unusually happy for once as well you would be too getting to share the screen with Sean Young as Doctor Lucien - or Rachel from Blade Runner as you may know her better. Neither actually get any lines to say in this trailer so I can't pinpoint what their role within the Renegades framework actually is.

The USS Archer looks stunning in her first fly-by, giving us a shot of her registry, NCC-78101 and the detail is certainly impressive, even down to the numbering of the escape pod hatches. The ship gets her first appearance as we're introduced to the new alien race playing nemesis in Renegades and they're stopping at nothing to prove a point, dragging unnamed round corners screaming or killing those who get in the way. Called the Syphon, their introduction isn't the best here and nor does the make-up seem to have any amount of flexibility around the mouth area which could prove difficult in the longer movie.

"The Federation has made a great mistake of interfering. We will not be stopped by you."

That said, they do have a different look and seem to provide a genuine threat, destroying worlds and causing a headache for Admiral Chekov. I'd really like to know what "interfering" the Federation has been doing to get them unsettled and lead into this tale. Certainly there's a lot to fill in about this and more importantly about the crew of characters on the Renegades' ship. What is the path that leads Lexxa from punching seven shades out of Vic Mignogna's Cardassian prisoner Garis to the bridge of that same vessel?

Opposing her or at the least getting in the way for some of this is Corin Nemec as Captain Alvarez on the USS Archer - again in that ill fitting uniform style that everyone in Starfleet appears to be taking on. Note the homage to the Enterprise-D in the style of the bridge console right behind him when we get a glimpse on board as he faces off against Lexxa. Tarah Page gets a brief snapshot on screen in security mustard as Commander Petrona but blink and you'll miss her. Indeed, trawling the main cast there are a few notables who get no screen-time at all but I like that as it means we still have tons to look forward to.

One person who does crop up in a flash here and there as well as on the bridge of the Renegades ship is Edward Furlong, almost unrecognisable as Fixer. So much so I had to cross-check it against the movie's website cast list to reassure myself. From a later shot in the trailer it might be he doesn't last the whole movie since that looks like one of the Syphon is coming up from behind him.

"You will be hunted."
"That's the way we like it."

Also on that rag-tag crew is Gary Graham as Ragnar but more significantly shown in the trailer is Icheb wielding some impressive Borg technology and a neat little effect where the weaponry appears to grow around his arm while Lexxa and a Bajoran look on. Talking of Voyager characters here, Richard Herd's Admiral Paris also pops up, giving some sage words of wisdom to Admiral Chekov as the screen erupts with explosions and phaser fights. Those scenes tend to indicate the team's very survival could be at stake here - will they all make it to the end credits? I'm not convinced that everyone will.

From the latter moments of the trailer there's a heavy sense that this is going to be very, very action orientated with Lexxa and Icheb being in the thick of it accompanied by one Breen at the least while Courtney Peldon's Shree and Chasty Ballesteros' Ronara do get a few seconds of screentime but little more than lip service to their involvement at this point. I suppose the good thing about that is that we'll discover more about them with the arrival of the finished product.. The effects look good so far with the space shots of the Renegades ship and the USS Archer twisting around Klingon battlecruisers demonstrates how far tech has come since Of Gods and Men

As a trailer it does reveal that this crew have been placed together to assassinate the leader of the Syphon before he destroys more worlds. The Federation has to remain whiter than white so Lexxa's crew become their only, unlikely, option to resolve matters.

This movie certainly won't be Star Trek precisely as we're used to and for once it does feel that we'll be viewing the universe from the wrong side of the fence if you excuse the cliche. My fear is that this is a very sketchy trailer only really giving us a nod that the effects are complete and that it's going to have some pace to it. A few of the more static scenes did feel a little stale - those with Admiral Paris or Chekov for example and those featuring characters on more brightly lit stages did feel more false than I would have expected. 

Renegades has certainly become one of the most anticipated fan films of the last few years if only for the interstellar Star Trek alumni associated with its creation. The premier is indeed set for the German FedCon in May less than a month away and then the rest of us mortals will be able to see if the wait has been worth it. Heck, it was mid-2013 when the original Kickstarter campaign closed! The trailer is one of the most opaque pieces of promo material ever. There's no real idea of the story here (expected) but there is a lot going on, a lot to anticipate and the potential to be the fastest-paced, darkest fan spin-off ever. Here's hoping.

"Be careful Pavel; this could get out of hand very easily..."

What did you think of the official full-length Renegades trailer? Did it meet your expectations or is it falling short of the target or other fan productions? Let us know below!

Images screenshot from the Renegades trailer. No copyright infringement intended.

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