You might want to watch this documentary before you answer that question. Before I saw this film, I classified myself as a Trekkie. Boy was I wrong. The Trekkies in this movie are extreme. I don't even own one uniform, let alone two or three, and I've never been to a convention. This did not prevent me from enjoying this film. Denise Crosby, who "stars" in the documentary, visits several Trekkies, mostly at a convention in Pasadena, CA, and talks with many of the cast members of the various shows. The interviews with Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, James Doohan and DeForest Kelley about the first Trek conventions are great fun, as are the interviews with later cast members about the endurance of the franchise's popularity. The best interview is perhaps the one with Brent Spiner, who makes some rather amusing comments about fan artwork. Never does the film present the fans as objects of ridicule; rather, it is an attempt to understand why someone would turn his dental practice in to a "Star Trek"-themed practice, or why someone would wear his/her uniform to work or the grocery store. At the same time, the film is incredibly funny. One of my favorite scenes involved Denise Crosby following some Klingons into a fast-food establishment.
If you are a Trekkie, Trekker, or just a fan of Star Trek in its various incarnations, you must see this film!
Although I've watched many of the countless episodes of the original Star Trek and all of its spin-offs, as well as viewed most of the films, I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of Star Trek. Outside of the major characters and a few of the ships, I don't remember many names of planets, alien races, etc. As a matter of fact I really didn't have much interest in watching this film until I happened upon it one day on cable.
It honestly amazed me at how serious some people take this juggernaut that is "Star Trek." Some of the folks documented here seemed to be pretty normal, excepting the fact that they carry a phaser around with them. Others were just a little bit too serious for my taste, such as the lady who is addressed by her rank of "commander" at work and the man who has flirted with the idea of getting Vulcan ear implants.
With that stated, however, there are plenty of people out there who obsess over other things a little too much as well. For instance, lots of kids dress up like the pop queen flavor of the month. Tons of folks as of this writing are walking around with "West Coast Choppers" clothing on but have never even touched a bike before. Also, there are plenty of fans of reality shows right now who have their favorite "Survivor" or castaway, etc. The one thing that separates "trekkies" and "trekkers" from this bunch is that most of them stick with Star Trek for their entire lives.
Soon enough, West Coast Choppers will be a fleeting memory and all of the people who think it is cool right now will be wearing some other T-Shirt or cap. Pop princesses will go out of style and end up in the pages of Playboy. The same goes for some reality TV stars. Though "Survivor" and many of its copiers are still around, they are beginning to take heavy ratings losses. But unlike those things, "Star Trek" continues to pull in fans and followers. I'm pretty sure that someone dressed like a Klingon will be going to a convention twenty years from now. I'm also sure that West Coast Choppers gear will be replaced by that trusty ol' Harley Davidson jacket.
In other words, fads come and go, but much like Harley Davidson, Boston Red Sox lovers/haters, and Elvis, Star Trek lives forever. I won't be carrying the torch for Trek, but I'm not going to sit here and pick at "trekkies" for being what they are. At least they're devoted to something, and they don't try
to latch on to the latest trends or fads. What they have is special, and though I might find it a little weird, you have to respect them for being true to themselves.
As for this movie, it is an interesting look into the lives of some very different and unique people. Most of them are extremely intelligent and have sought out occupations in the scientific arena. What's so weird about that? Although I still sometimes wonder what is going through some of these peoples' minds, I have to admit that I do appreciate them a little more now than I did before.
on January 13, 2006
This documentary really shows how ST has ingrained itself in all levels of the culture. At some point during this DVD, I was a little concerned for some of the individuals involved, but gradually by the end of the film reminded myself that the point of the ST universe is acceptance of all.
These people's passion drives them to be better people, and thats something no one should criticize. While bizarre at times, the people in the film follow Roddenberry's guidelines for life - were the world to do so, I doubt we would face most of the problems we now deal with globally.
The need to belong manifests itself in different ways for different people. ST is clearly an outlet for a rather large group to be a part of something larger than themselves. They don't hurt anyone doing it. They embrace different cultures and ways of life. They support each other with a common belief.
Who can argue with that?
on June 20, 2004
I'm not quite a Trekkie (for one thing I've not been to a Star Trek Convention---yet!), but I remember first watching some of the rerun episodes of the original series when I was about 9 or so. I remember being excited when STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979) was announced, and I made sure to see it in the theater soon after it came out. I didn't see STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1981) till many years later, ditto for STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (1986), I don't think I've still ever seen III, I've seen part of V (eventually I'll get around to seeing the rest of this travesty), I've never seen VI, but I've seen all the rest (you know, with The Next Generation cast). As for the series(es), I've seen most of TOS, about half of TNG and DS9, and almost all of Voyager, which is my personal favorite.
So that's my Star Trek confession; I wanted to get that out of the way as soon as possible. You can tell that I am a casual fan (well, maybe a *little* more than that), but not an actual "Trekkie." However, I've always been interested in the Star Trek phenomenon and how it came to be, especially considering that the original series (otherwise known as TOS) only lasted 3 1/2 years! Well, I got all the answers (well, most of them, anyway) while watching TREKKIES on cable TV one night. This documentary was directed by Roger Nygard in the spirit of wonder, and love, for the die-hard fans who spend hours dressing themselves up as their favorite character, or alien race, to attend these conventions. As is also shown, there are those who dress "in uniform" in their daily lives, such as the lady who's a postal worker in Little Rock, Arkansas, who famously kept her Starfleet uniform on when serving as a juror in the Whitewater Case. Then there's the dentist whose office is truly amazing and a space-age wonder to behold (known affectionately as "The Starship Dentalprise"). There's also an Illinois man who is dressed as a Vulcan doctor of the Federation 24/7 (who comes across as the most "normal" one on here, and is quite likable). There are countless convention scenes featuring William Shatner (no, he doesn't tell anyone to "Get a life!" as he famously---or infamously---did on "Saturday Night Live" back in 1986), James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Majel Barrett Roddenberry (also known as "The Voice of The Computer" in every one of the series and the films, as well as being Gene Roddenberry's widow), DeForest Kelley, Denise Crosby from TNG, etc...it's all very entertaining, and it made me really want to attend a Convention badly!
I found it particularly touching when James "Scotty" Doohan related a story about a woman who had been going through a rough spell who had been contemplating suicide, until she started watching reruns of the show in the early 70's and became inspired by Scotty's example. His eyes began to well up with tears as he described the incredibly gracious letter she had sent him, a letter that, mind you, she wrote 30 years ago! It shows that sometimes fans have just as big an impact on the celebrities themselves as vice versa!
TREKKIES is an enjoyable 86-minute documentary that is especially recommended for Star Trek fans, and recommended still for all who have even the slightest interest in this strange and wonderful phenomenon. It captures the positive energy and the excitement of the Conventions without making the Trekkies themselves look stupid or foolish. It doesn't poke fun; rather, it celebrates the fun. Have some fun and watch this!
RECOMMENDED; AGES 8 & UP
on April 30, 2001
I am NOT a Star Trek fan. In fact, half the reason I watched this documentary was to poke fun at the more eccentric fans. While that happened, I also fostered some appreciation for what is probably the biggest cult following of all time.
The movie follows the fans and actors in all their glory. You should watch this movie to see how deep Star Trek really extends into our society. Fans ranged from the mostly benign (dressing dogs and cats in official uniforms), the truly eccentric (the Whitewater juror who went to court every day in her uniform and wore a phaser to work), the truly bizzare (a guy who wrote Star Trek every day telling them what he ate for lunch and sending his old travel and Victoria's Secret catalogs ... he did this every day for about 10 years) and the unexplainable (Spok and Kirk sex stories on the Internet).
The actors have been able to keep in touch with reality, it seems, and they seem pretty warm-hearted. LeVar Burton's character is actually named in memory of a fan who died several years ago. And the guy who played Scotty was literally in tears talking about how a woman thanked him for inspiring her to go back to college and get a Master's degree in science.
The movie wanders back and forth between different people's stories. At times it stumbles, but never is it mean-spirited toward these people. In fact, it gets downright hokey at times (like the guy who suggests that the show be a "blueprint" for behavior in the 21st century). I can't vouch for Star Trek fans, but as for someone who doesn't watch any of those shows, I can tell you that being a Trekkie should not be a prerequisite for watching "Trekkies." You will find it worth your time and money to see it if you are not a fan.
on August 25, 2000
It is not simply my love of Star Trek that leads me to highly recommend Trekkies. This is a fascinating film. Certainly, whether one is a fan or foe of ST, the impact the show has had upon popular culture is undeniable.
Trekkies is an examination of the extreme. The film highlights the most energetic and high profile fans. Of course there are multitudes of common everyday TV viewers who adore Star Trek without wearing the uniform or attending the conventions and so forth, but these individuals would not make a very interesting topic for a documentary. I have to respect the fans who so lovingly spoke of their Star Trek obsession in a manner that was neither apologetic nor flinching. I can think of no other TV show that produces such a negative reaction from non-fans. Therefore it's nice to see a group of people who are obviously enjoying themselves (although I must confess that several examples of this intense dedication left my jaw gaping open in disbelief).
Herein lies the genius of this work. Trekkies has captured a cultural phenomenon and provided us with valuable insight into a particular human behavior; we experience the point when fanaticism becomes a form of self-identity. The snobbery behind the film's Trekkie vs Trekker debate is very telling; this terminology is essential to those who define themselves through their relation to Star Trek. Knowledge and dedication to a pop-culture icon has become the essence of self-definition for these individuals.
Undeniably, this identification is a sure-fire way to set oneself up for ridicule. Yet I find the embracing of the status of outcast to be refreshing. In truth, I see no difference between the Star Trek fan in full regalia and the teenager who dresses, speaks, and becomes the embodiment of his favorite musician. Our society tends to praise individualism while nurturing conformist attitudes. In combating this paradox it has become the habit for many to turn forms of entertainment into the basis of our identities. What we like becomes a valuable substitute for who we are. And always, there is profit to be made. For me the most disturbing aspect of Trekkies is the financial exploitation of people's need to be the "worthiest of fans".
on December 21, 1999
Brilliantly edited documentary of the Star Trek phenomenon. Being a Star Trek fan helps the viewer understand some of the more discrete "inside" jokes, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. The editor(s) has done a superb job of mixing the stories and interviews so the viewer transistions between laughing, slapping their foreheads in disbelief, and the occasional stark realization of just how influential Start Trek is in our culture.
on January 17, 2000
My fiancee and I laughed our heads off about this movie. It explores the strange phenomena concerning Trekkies (or Trekkers), of which we are both included. The film looks at all ranges of fans, from the loyal to the ones who will strike the world as being rather strange. Yet, it does not humiliate these people, who often face ridicule enough. It simply presents them for who they are, letting them speak in their own voice to the love they feel for Star Trek. There are many funny scenes and many touching ones as well, most any Trek fan should be able to appreciate this movie! If you're using VHS I would wait for the price to drop (it's good but the $'s seems excessive for any tape) but the Trekkie will want this in his or her collection.
on October 18, 2004
This is a documentary film about the people that love Star Trek enough to make it a part of their everyday lives. I'm a Star Trek fan. I have all the DVDs including the original series when they were first released several years ago. Before that, I had all the laser discs, and before that I had all the VHS tapes, and before that, I had all the beta tapes of every episode of the original series. When the movies came out, my friend and I played hooky from work to go to the first show on the first day, standing in line for hours. I met an old high school friend standing in line at the fourth movie. He was wearing a copy of Spock's death robe that he made while pausing the third movie on his TV and tracing the Vulcan symbols and then replicating them on this long black robe. It was facinating. I go to the conventions too. I don't dress up, but I can quote numbers, titles, and lines from all of the original series.
Anyway, I love this movie. If you are a fan, you must have this DVD. If you know a fan and you don't understand, you have to watch this DVD. It is absolutely fascinating. There's a whole world of Trekkies and Trekkers out there and you can get as involved as you want to.
░░░░░A TWO SIDED STORY░░░░░
What I love about this documentary isn't so much the way they depict Star Trek uber fans. It's the way they show how important the fans are to the actors.
Star Trek is not a 1 way street. It's not a bunch of super fans who obsess over actors who barely know the fans are alive. Star Trek actors have a personal connection with Trek fans. And in this documentary they open up about that connection in some very personal ways. From Nichelle Nicoles (Uhura) talking about how Martin Luther King talked her out of leaving the series due to her impact on the civil rights movement to James Doohan (Scotty) talking with tears in his eyes about how he had personal correspondence with a suicidal fan who ended up living because she found community among Trek fans. And everyone else in the many series seems to genuinely care about the fans of the show. You just don't see that with actors of other shows/movies.