Donor Spotlight – Why It Feels Good to be an Axanerd

By February 25, 2016 Blog 17 Comments

Axanar love

On a lark, I just visited a few of the anti-Axanar Facebook groups. I was curious because I hadn’t really given them any serious attention up till now, and I was wondering how they were responding to the legal response Axanar had just filed.

After a few minutes of reading their comments, I began to feel physically ill. But it wasn’t simply that they were dissing my beloved Axanar project or calling us “Axanads”. I could have handled all of that without the nausea.

No, what sickened me on a visceral level was the immersive atmosphere of ire, vitriol, and hatred that permeated almost every comment posted. These unfortunate people are living in a toxic environment of overwhelming negativity where civil norms of respect for others (or any kind of basic pleasantry) seem to have been checked at the door before entering.

As I read comment after snarky comment, gleefully reveling in wishing the worst upon others, my mind momentarily recalled the comment of the Companion from the TOS episode “Metamorphosis” when she says to Cochrane: “Oh, what a bitter thing. Oh, Zefram, it’s so sad. How do you bear it…?”

Oh course, the Companion was talking about loneliness, and perhaps all the Axahaters have some amount of that going on in their lives. But it’s deeper and darker than that. Their anger is leading to hatred, and that hatred has led them to the Dark Side. That eerie feeling that Luke got from the cave on Dagobah…I felt it in those groups like a palpable thing as I entered…like walking into a hot and humid day after leaving a comfortable, air conditioned house. These venomous people are living in dark places, they’re soaking in a pool of negativity, and I doubt they even realize it because it’s the very air that they’re breathing right now.

They’re not nice to us, to be sure, but strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely!) they aren’t nice to each other, either. It’s almost like “Day of the Dove” when the entity makes everybody on the Enterprise hate each other. At first, it’s the humans battling the Klingons. But on the bridge with no Klingons around, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty begin to turn on each other. Maybe the there’s an Axahater energy entity out there, turning otherwise thoughtful, polite, and reasonable Star Trek fans into raging and immature ejaculators of nastiness and hatred. Of course, you’d think that such an evil entity would use its power to pervert both sides of the Axanar phenomenon…

But then I look at all the love that pervades the Axanar fan groups. Sure, we have the occasional cranky Chris or ornery Oscar, but our “default setting” here is friendship, support, camaraderie, and optimism.

As I hit the BACK arrow on my browser a few times to return to the Axanar Fan Page from where I’d launched into my dark expedition–and as I read the newest comments that had been posted there this morning by the Axanar fans–it was like emerging from a smelly and oppressive sewer into fresh air and sunlight.

Sure, among the flood of “I stand with Axanar” and “Go Get ‘Em, Alec!” messages of loyal support were still a few critical comments or observations of a “reality check” that the war is far from having been won. A few (including me) have even argued some points for the CBS/Paramount side of the lawsuit. But the default setting here is to interact with those commentators intelligently and with respect and civility. I recently responded to one myself whom I didn’t agree with, and I didn’t use the words “idiot,” “asshole,” or “bastard.” There was no need to…and I doubt even the hint of such a desire would enter any of our heads. We’re just nice people here.

Now, maybe it’s a credit to Terry McIntosh and Alec Peters for keeping the group free of rabble rousers, but I can’t believe it’s only that. There’s just too many voices that are singing together in our chorus rather than shouting and hurling insults at both others and themselves.

And so, having been thoroughly nauseated by the overwhelming cesspool of negativity I felt from simply making a short ten-minute visit to “the other side,” I just wanted to give a virtual hug to the people who remind me why I love this project so much. It’s not simply that I want to see a cool Star Trek movie about the Four Years War with Richard Hatch and Gary Graham and JG Hertzler, and it’s not just because I’m so excited to see Tobias Richter’s visual FX or hear the amazing music or see the wonderful sets or just find out what the heck happened at Axanar.

No, it’s something far more special than that. I’ve found a home with this project and these people…and it’s a warm and welcoming home. You don’t even need to do anything to be a part of it. Sure, if you want to donate some money or time, that’s happily accepted. But it’s never been a requirement that you give money or take some kind of loyalty oath before coming to the Axanar side of the Force. All are welcome. You’re even invited to be critical and not drink the KoolAid if you don’t want to. Even over the past couple of days since Axanar‘s legal response to CBS/Paramount, not every comment on the fan group has towed the Axanar line. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Just don’t be a dick about it–that’s the only real rule we have here.

And that’s why I love being an Axanerd so much!

Jonathan Lane


  • …that’s why i stopped going to trekmovie and trekbbs: the tr0lling and negativity just became intolerable =(

    it’s a sad symptom of our sick society, i think… tearing down for gratification =(

    (…and don’t even get me started on conspiracy theory) =P

    Axanerds of the world unite! (for a big group-hug!) <3

  • Mark Heber says:

    I have also visited several of these sites to satisfy my curiosity and I have to say I just don’t get it. I could understand if they hated the story or the effects but it all comes across as hate for Alec and the Axanar team and some sort of weird elitism regarding the official series and movies. Maybe they think they will all get free passes to Beyond or maybe they’re worried that Axanar will get better reviews than Beyond. I am not a JJ hater and I really enjoyed his first Star Trek outing. I have high hopes that the Beyond trailer is not representative of the final product. The anti-Axanar groups sound very much like the anti-JJ groups but with less legitimate criticism.

  • JR says:

    You could go into a long analysis of why these people do what they do, and you could come up with an endless amount of reasons why they do what they do, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. Some people simply can’t help themselves to have to go against anything they can get their hands on whether that’s in Congress or on a message for him or anywhere else in life. One thing I have learned in the last few decades of being a Star Trek fan is that you either get the universe or you don’t get it. I have tried to interest people before and have succeeded, but to ultimately understand what it is about and Gene Roddenberry’s vision, that is either something that either clicks or it doesn’t.

    I see this kind of behavior around me every day, beat among friends, among family, coworkers. There are always people that constantly need to blame others for their own problems, but cannot own up to their own issues, and when they find a way to relieve that kind of pent-up anger, then they will just fire a broadside wherever they can. Being a fan myself it’s somewhat hypocritical of me to even say this, but to make your own life a miserable hell over a movie or a TV show, what really is the point?

    Star Trek has always meant the opposite to me. When I come home in the evening, and I am disillusioned, or just need a little bit of peace and quiet, then no matter who was in my life at any one point, or who left, Star Trek has always been there, and has given me an outlook to a positive future, that allowed me to get up again the next day to fight some more. Ask Alicia has it might be, it’s the truth. And fellow fans, that just love the franchise as a whole, and want to contribute something to it, especially in this kind of quality; that just simply needs to be supported.

    Don’t let yourself get down by all those naysayers, by all those that just seek to put his seed off misgivings and anger into everyone else; ultimately they can’t do a thing. You cannot kill an idea, you cannot kill a vision. Neither those haters, nor media companies, nor any court of law….

    • JR says:

      P.s. Apologies for some of the odd expressions; that was a “dictated, but not read” issue using my phone while half asleep…

  • Ray Myers says:

    Please keep doing what you are doing, and please don’t let the cowardly commentary from the ignorant sheep and trolls get you down.

  • Jerry says:

    I can understand the psychology of those who are afraid that a fan project they really like might be the next that are sued and that is a rational fear. And people have different tastes so I know not everyone will love Axanar. But that is not all that motivates some.

    So it makes perfect sense to me to avoid those consumed by fear, anger and hatred. They most likely will send out barbed hooks to get someone to respond and then pile on. Life is too short to get involved in that kind of game.

    Personally I’m sitting back with fingers crosses hoping for a speedy and positive outcome to the legal tangle.

  • Terry Carpenter says:

    The true facts of the Haters vitriol are simply these: Small , petty personages do exist, they live with a sense that their self-importance matters – and they WILL be heard, dammit!- along with a core of corrosive selfishness that adheres to the belief that TREK is THEIRS, no-one else can possibly understand or care as much as they, and any attempts to deviate from the origin tree with creative branches is in violation of a personal creed of insipid jealousy for the talented members of the Star Trek community. In the end, IDIC is a meaningless Acronym for them, clueless as they are to the inclusiveness- they do not even deserve our pity, as they would disdain even that.

  • Bob Lee says:

    It’s all about Community.

    Those who feel excluded will voice their negativity clearly. The Sun never shines: The Rain never stops, They believe that what they see is all there is, and that to have anything at all is to steal joy from everyone. The glass is half empty.

    Some have been terribly disappointed by Life and no longer believe in what is possible or in building the Community that is required to make the journey to Tomorrow.

    That is why non-profit productions exist. Like the Stone Soup, a Script is merely the words of invitation to contribute skills and resources to make something that can feed Many. Adding the ingredients to the soup, allows all contributors a chance to take a small step together to achieve something that alone would not be possible. Through non-profit productions, skills are shared with students, alliances are formed with vendors, and a Community emerges that can take a Script and deliver Dreams.

    By setting aside the for-profit goals, new stories, talents, and production resources can be developed and tested without the creativity-limiting interests of advertising sponsors, financial interests, and clueless TV network marketing execs. Like sailors, many small journeys are better for building a tested crew, than a single around-the-world sail costing hundreds of millions.

    Non-profit productions provide a new generation a chance to celebrate successes as well as experience losses – without the sledgehammer enforcement contracts used by studio attorneys.

    But non-profits are not about setting out to lose money and impoverish the creatives. They are about creating a controlled, audit-able, surplus so they can continue their mission, year after year, whether it is education in production trades, or to simply continue and expand the reach of the credo expressed in the words “TO BOLDLY GO, WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE.”

    Consider: The American Red Cross is non-profit, Harvard University is non-profit,and your local community hospital is non-profit. Government services are strictly non-profit.

    None of these non-profit productions have mission statements that are about creating opportunities for box-office smashing ticket sales by risking hundreds of millions with a single title release.

    Every 4-years, the Studio features are conning investors into a gamble which can roll snake eyes, and where the Studio always wins, even before the ink dries on the Screenplay Contract.

    No, it is better to donate to a non-profit production with a promise of a Thank You credit than to be an anonymous investor wondering what happened to your investment when the box office craters. You get more Star Trek for every dollar given than with a single dollar of Viacom stock.

    Diversity with infinite variety. It isn’t just for the Vulcans. It is also for all new Star Trek inspired productions.

  • I apologize if I have ever come across as adversarial toward the other side. The truth is it’s more a state of hurt.

    We’re encountering a prevailing attitude of what seems like “I want what’s mine” . . . when the truth is it belongs to all of us.

    This shouldn’t even be an argument. There shouldn’t be sides.

    Part of the hurt is we didn’t muddy these waters or create the atmosphere that allowed for this fight.

  • Duane Bruner says:

    It’s always better to stay positive. I’m staying positive!

  • Daniel says:


    Ever since I first saw Prelude to Axanar, I’ve been fiĺled with a hopeful optimism. Alec and the others at Axanar Productions are *creating* something new from material we all love. And they’re doing it as a non-profit, and now they have this damned lawsuit to contend with.

    I guarantee you the people who gripe and heckle Axanar have no experience working with non-profits or a major cinematic production. The raw amount of effort, money and passion that you have to possess to see a project with the calibre and scale like Axanar through is admirable.

    Also, to be a little petty, Axanar’s critics are just wrong. Axanar is arguably the most well-rounded, professionally produced Trek fan-film to date. It has veteran A-line sci-fi actors, amazing CGI, a great story, great sets and costumes. It has all the elements of a Hollywood production.

    I am 100% behind Axanar throughout this lawsuit, and after it as well. And to hell with anyone with disagrees or disparages that!


  • R.E.Moore says:

    Must be Donald Trump supporters!

  • Ira Schwartz says:

    This is not exclusive to Axanar or Star Trek or any other sole entity. This is a cancer that is spreading across the whole world like a tidal wave of unhappiness. With the changing climate, political instability, slow recovery of the economy and terrorist threats everywhere it has put our world is in flux and that sense of uncertainty puts everyone on edge. You can see it in the nightly news casts and anywhere you look on the internet. All we can do is keep moving forward toward that light at the end of the tunnel and hope it is not an approaching train. Like Gene has said so many times I have faith in humanity and I hope all of you do also. We have to start somewhere so why not here. lol

  • Maryann Barto says:

    Ever since I saw the promotions for Prelude to Axanar I have been a fan. Thank you for the wow moment to see a group taking a leap of faith to thanklessly create a vision without corporate influence. Watching your dream unfold to pull many faithful fans in is dedication. Sometimes like this time the vision is halted. Times like these can cause people to respond on many levels. In the end, tests like these will show who is truly behind you to thanklessly support a great vision to explore new territories. Paving the way for people to create their visions. Stay the course. Thank you.

  • D.Malone says:

    I just had My wife (who was never much of a “nerd”, but does like start trek somewhat) watch “prelude” (she is ok with fan films, she just does not entirely prefer them)…she was hooked…HARD, she just said to me that she really wants to see the finished movie because “that really hooked me”….so I say take those nasty children doing nasty children things and having nasty children tantrums and look at it this way: they are reminiscent of the “nerd haters” of many of our youth…the jocks and popular children who had nothing but extreme mental/emotional issues and could not function unless standing on the crushed emotions of others with their “cliques”…..the nerds eventually grew up to rule the world…or a very large part of it anyways.

    The jocks and popular ones??…. uh huh :)….check your local gas station, bad marriage and prisons……to name a few of the dead ends their attitudes took them to….well..except of course for the successful companies where they grunge work for the nerds.

    Keep going, keep smiling,keep working at it, the “real” people of this world absolutely want and NEED you to succeed, give us the full bloom of Axanar, and any other creation you wish to share, we will love it!!

  • Doug Shand says:

    Thank you Alex and the Axanar team. Your film made me believe that real Trek was still possible in the uninspired tyrannical desert of JJ Abrahms.
    You should be proud. You made people believe they were helping create something worthwhile that they could be proud of and would last beyond their own existence. I’m sorry the bureaucracy rolled over your efforts, but know it was all worth while. You’ve relit the spark of real Trek, and if not you, then someone else will take that spark and ignite the torch to show fans the way forward. Thank you, God Bless.