Time for another Star Trek fan episode! This one is several years old—dating back from 2007 according to the episode’s IMDb page—and stars an original cast member: George Takei!
He’s not the only Trek cast member to get involved with fan films. In fact, Grace Lee Whitney also made a cameo in the episode.
Anyways, the episode starts off with Captain Sulu waiting for some guests aboard the Excelsior. We’re then transported to a time when Sulu was much younger, helming the Enterprise.
Enterprise attempts to save a merchant ship from the Romulan Neutral Zone, but the Romulans attack with a new weapon and vaporize the merchant ship. Enterprise defeats the Romulans, but gets trapped by a hyperphasic field (woo, science babble!!). Sulu and Lisa Chanders—a new crew member—are sent to a wrecked Romulan ship to find a way out of their predicament. Unfortunately, the Romulan ship blows up. Lisa is lost, but Sulu’s signal is retrieved. He rematerializes on the Enterprise 30 years older and looking a lot more like George Takei.
As it turns out, Sulu and Lisa survived by being accidentally sent to a barren planet on a parallel universe. Scotty picks up another signal, thinking it’s Lisa. He picks it up and lo and behold, it’s Alana, who turns out to be Sulu and Lisa’s daughter. I guess being stuck on a barren planet leaves lots of time to raise a family, and that’s all the plot information you’re getting from me!
There’s a lot I can say about this episode. The only thing I’ll reveal about the end is that it’s bittersweet and has made me and at least one other person I know cry.
The story is original and emotionally riveting. The pace is a bit slow at first; it takes about 12 minutes for things to really get going, but it doesn’t let up. The actors are at the top of their game in this episode. There’s not a single performance that misses its mark. The actors embody their characters and really give a sense of the weight of the situation they’re dealing with. Sometimes I feel that they underplay their parts, but it’s better underplayed than overplayed depending on the story. This is a story where underplaying is acceptable.
Takei’s performance is spot on as a man who is out of his element in a once familiar environment, and he brings along his skills and energy when he reprises the role that made him famous. Takei’s talents help him portray his character’s inner and outer turmoil. From his performance, the audience can tell Sulu is still a proud, determined, and intelligent man, but he is also deeply troubled and traumatized.
The sets and visual effects in Star Trek: New Voyages are amazing for a fan series, and this episode is no exception. They aren’t Hollywood spectacular, but for a bunch of fans doing all of this from their own pocket and in their spare time, this series does not slouch on its visuals and sets.
The major theme in this episode is about sacrifice, and how willing people are to make certain decisions and take actions that will affect them negatively while benefitting and saving the lives of others. James Cawley—who plays Captain Kirk—gives the audience a sense of how difficult it can be to command a ship, and how much of a toll making life and death decisions is for Kirk. The second most important theme is duty, which is related to sacrifice. The episode contemplates—albeit to a limited degree—what it means to perform one’s duty to those a person serves and works with, and what duty and sacrifice means for family as well.
This is a seriously good episode of Star Trek: New Voyages, and is worth a watch for fans. For non-fans, I still encourage you to watch it. Just disregard from the hyper bubble-bauble pseudo-science and focus on the story for the best experience. If you want to give it a watch, then click here!