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Keeping up with the documentary theme, next up is Trekkies 2. This sequel largely follows the same format as the original, but takes on a more worldly view as returning host Denise Crosby visits a variety of other countries and the effect that Star Trek has had there and the fans which developed. At the same time, Crosby checks in with some of the more popular people featured in the original Trekkies to see what’s been going in the seven years between installments.
The first thing I immediately noticed was that the more hardcore Star Trek fans from Europe and elsewhere didn’t seem nearly as extreme and over-the-top as the ones from the United States. Maybe that was an intentional choice by the filmmakers (though I doubt it), but it was an interesting thing to really notice. The extreme ones were much more passive in their extremeness. I was honestly surprised that the film didn’t comment on this.
Speaking of extremeness, the film discusses the element of whether or not someone can be too much of fan. Obviously no consensus was made as everyone interviewed had wildly different answers. Trekkies 2 just lightly touches upon this before abandoning it completely which is a total shame. That is a topic that can really be explored and probably could fill up an entire documentary. I really wish the movie went further into this concept, just as it was getting good (some idiot compared wearing a Starfleet uniform in daily life to an officer wearing their military gear in public – there are so many things wrong with that statement, I just don’t know where to begin). The film’s tagline is even “how much is too much?”. I really wish they did more with this.
It was fun to see some of the subjects from the first film again. Gabriel Koerner (the 14 year-old kid from the original) has largely enjoyed the slight fame he got from Trekkies and has built some success around it. On the other hand, Barbara Adams (the Whitewater juror) seemed to have become even more disconnected from reality (but she got a promotion in whatever pretend Starfleet she is a part of).
But at the end of the day, Trekkies 2 is just more of the same. The impact of the first Trekkies is no longer there. The stuff doesn’t seem as fresh and there are long stretches during the documentary which are just plain dull. The film only clocks in at 93 minutes – it shouldn’t feel long, but it does. The original was only seven minutes shorter, but you really feel those extra 7 minutes with Trekkies 2. The funny thing is that the best parts of this film were when they were talking about the previous one.
I can’t really say that Trekkies 2 is required viewing the way the first one was. There was nothing inheritably bad about it, but the filmmaker just didn’t take the subject matter in any new or interesting direction. Going to other countries isn’t enough unless you have something to say about it – which, as I noted above, they could have. The film just touches upon some really great ideas, but don’t explore them. It almost feels like they were on to something, but got cold feet and pulled back. If there ever is a Trekkies 3 (there won’t), perhaps they will get to the nuts and bolts of Star Trek fandom and really explore it.