Title: Trek Nation
Directed by: Scott Coltorp
Starring: Rod Roddenberry, Gene Roddenberry (archive footage), Rob Zombie, Stan Lee, Majel Barrett (archive footage), George Lucas, Nichelle Nichols, J. J. Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, Wil Wheaton, Patrick Stewart, D.C. Fontana, Jonathan Frakes
Running Time: 82 minutes, Not Rated
Special Features: Disc 1 – Comentary; Disc 2 – Trailer; Home Movies; Footage of Gene Roddenberry’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony- 09.04.86; Infinte Diversity: The Fans of Star Trek featurette; “A Star Trek Is Born” featurette; Extended interviews with George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Seth Mc Farlane, Stan Lee, Rick Berman, Wil Wheaton, Nick Sagan, Ernie Over
Most would think that the child of the legendary Gene Roddenberry was born a fan. To the contrary, Rod Roddenberry explains that how even though he grew up amongst Star Trek, he wasn’t a fan; it was just his dad’s show. After his father’s passing in 1991 he discovered a new love and appreciation of Star Trek through the fans after attending conventions. Rod interviews actors, fans, writers and producers who were affected by Gene Roddenberry’s breakthrough show and also gives a little unexpected and somewhat shocking insider information on the “Great Bird of the Galaxy.”
This documentary will give any Star Trek fan a geek-gasm. I loved the two Trekkies documentaries, and was really excited at the opportunity to review this film. I would never consider myself a true fan of Star Trek, and I will admit I’m more of a tourist. I understand and know enough back story of the show so that if I were abandoned in the middle of a Star Trek convention, I could communicate with the locals and not fear for my life. I felt I related most to J.J. Abrams as he explains in his extended interview (Disc 2) that he wasn’t necessarily a fan, but appreciated the series for what it represented and how it spoke to the fans.
An example of what can make a hater or skeptic of Star Trek change their tune was when Nichelle Nichols recalls the time she had told Gene she wanted to leave the show and go back to musical theater. That weekend she had a meeting with self proclaimed Trekker Dr Martin Luther King, who convinced her that she wasn’t just a black character, she was an equal character and her role was too important to let go. So Monday morning she went back to work and told Gene what happened with Dr. King and Gene happily welcomed her back.
The only negative I felt needed mentioning is that there wasn’t any subtitles or closed caption options on these discs – with exception to the home movies feature when the audio is really muddled or non-existent.
Trek Nation is a highly enjoyable and fascinating documentary. Viewers can empathize with Rod as he laments taking his relationship with his father for granted and not taking the time to get to know him. Nick Sagan, writer for Voyager and son of Carl Sagan gives Rod some excellent advice and perspective on his growing up with a famous dad and living with the void of a deceased parent. Rod feels some jealousy and regret when learning how Gene stood up for actor Wil Wheaton at a convention when some Trekkers were trying to tear down a character that was very true to his heart and treated Wil more like a son; something Rod didn’t know until years after Gene died. As he learns more about his father, he garners more respect for who he was as a person and how important it is to continue his father’s legacy.
Total Rating: A
Reviewed by: JM Willis