Monday, December 3, 2012

Star Trek: Aurora - discovering new frontiers within the Trek Universe...

Article author: Alwyn Ash

The magic of animation, a glimpse into a world that we should all embrace...

Perusing the Net like I do, in search of new webseries or ebook launches, I came across this gem, a movie unlike anything I have seen in a long time. And when you consider its high-quality production values and exceptional script, I am sure you will like it as much as I do...

"Star Trek: Aurora follows the exploits of Captain Kara Carpenter and her new (and only) Vulcan first mate T'Ling on their tiny merchanter cargo ship Aurora. This fully CG-animated movie is set just after the original Star Trek series in a lawless sector of space, where Kara and T'Ling engage in their marginal venture while trying to both turn a profit and stay out of trouble, but even in the vastness of space, trouble is never far away... and sometimes the past is never far enough behind."

Though not new to Trekkies, I am sure, this will no doubt attract anyone who is a casual viewer of the franchise. Or perhaps you are a fan who has simply missed out? Star Trek: Aurora tells the somewhat tragic story of Kara as she faces her past in an alternate reality, but one which painfully connects with her own Universe.

The characters are well realised, and the animation flawless as it explores a part of the Star Trek Universe. It's creator Tim Vining has indeed put something quite special together here - this is Trek "outside the uniform", a look into the other lives rarely seen in-depth but glimpsed at in the original Star Trek television series.

As Vining says, "The inspiration for following the exploits of interstellar merchanters rather than Starfleet characters (who will appear in later portions of this work) comes from the many civilians that Kirk's Enterprise encountered in the original series: as a kid, I would see these jumpsuit-clad people on this planet or that station and wonder more about their stories–where did they come from? How did they get there? What happened to them afterwards?"

Inspiration for this CG animation also comes from the works of US author C. J. Cherryh (Carolyn Janice Cherry). "Cherryh's sharp writing, eye for technical detail, and portrayal of characters who don't act like characters but instead act like real, flawed people make for fully realized settings and stories where it doesn't take a giant space battle to make you turn the pages (not that there isn't the occasional giant space battle), since space has hazards enough for anyone willing to try to get from point A to point B in one piece. Cherryh also particularly shines at creating believable aliens and alien cultures."

What I personally enjoy about these productions is - in addition to the detail and eagerness to create something new - that no matter what takes place in the "official" world of Star Trek, there will always be something to enjoy, whether it be fan-fiction, unofficial movies, or a webcomic. The candle flame, lit by legendary Gene Roddenberry with his vision of space travel and adventure (a "Wagon Train to the Stars"), refuses to be extinguished.

It lives on, in the fans, some of who end up working for Star Trek in an official capacity. That is the magic of Roddenberry - his dream has been embraced by so many, and continues to enrich the lives of others.

So get yourself a drink, sit back, and enjoy the work of a fan. Join Captain Carpenter as she faces up to the past, and is given an opportunity to embrace those she had thought lost forever...

Further reading: Star Trek: Aurora - Official website