Star Trek: Renegades – A Review

Star Trek: Renegades – A Review

Firstly, let me start off by saying that I am not against fan films existing. I think that Star Trek having such a giant fan film base is a great thing and an excellent platform for aspiring filmmakers to get their start in a universe grounded in the deep lore that Star Trek has built over the last 49 years. I personally attempt to keep up with any news of new fan films in the works and I am ecstatic for the upcoming Axanar and Pacific 201 films which appear to bring a new brilliance to otherwise unseen eras in the Star Trek timeline.

That being said, Star Trek: Renegades was just…bad, in every sense of the word. While I am not against fan films existing, I am against bad producing, bad writing, and just generally bad storytelling in whatever forms it may appear in. Be that a Star Trek fan film, James Cameron’s Avatar, or any Uwe Boll film ever, I will always be against sloppy, confusing, and just plain uninteresting storytelling such as that which appears in Renegades. In order to be specific and logical with my grievances, I will attempt to go through each category of filmmaking and be as specific as possible about where I feel there are errors.

 

***********PLEASE NOTE THAT SPOILERS WILL APPEAR BELOW.*****************

 

ACTING

Firstly, the acting of Renegades was, in simple terms, atrocious. People may point to the performances of Tim Russ, Walter Koenig, and Robert Picardo as being good acting and yes, for the most part, these three seasoned Star Trek actors do give good and convincing performances. I was actually quite surprised at Koenig’s ability, in this film, considering his age and the fact that he hasn’t really played any other character ever, besides Chekov, except for his conniving role as Bester in Babylon 5. I thought perhaps he may have lost his ability to act over the years of playing the same character over and over again but this was not the case. Koenig delivered a nuanced and pleasant performance as a new kind of Chekov that I will admit was fun to watch.

Star Trek: Renegades Walter Koenig

However, Koenig’s, as well as Russ’s and Picardo’s considerable acting ability only serves to make literally every other actor pale in comparison. Extremely pale. Even other actors who have acted in professional films such as Manu Intiraymi, reprising his role as freed Borg/Brunali Icheb from Star Trek: Voyager, and Corin Nemec, known for his role as Jonas Quinn from Stargate SG-1, simply do not seem to have the ability to act anymore, if they ever did. Honestly, I think their respective performances in Voyager and SG-1 were raised by the professionalism of those around them and once that professionalism was lost, their acting ability suffered. Unfortunate but true.

For Nemec’s performance, I was half convinced that, when looking at his ship’s viewscreen, he was really looking at cue cards for his dialogue and was reading them off one at a time. Unfortunately, this is the standard that Renegades sets with its acting and the bad performances are made even worse when performed in front of Koenig, Russ, or Picardo. It was torturous to see Chekov actually perform when the character of his great grand-daughter stands there and delivers lines as wooden as can be, especially that of former Mythbuster/McDonalds spokesman Grant Imahara. Even the scenes where Koenig, Russ and Picardo are not present, the acting feels like a band of amateurs decided to recite lines off the Renegades script. Not act, recite. All of the rest of the performances feels more akin to a dramatic reading than film acting. Everything comes off as forced, wooden and entirely unconvincing, which is the job of actor. Make me believe that you are your character. In this, Renegades entirely failed with the notable exception of Koenig who, I am pleased to say, still has it.

PRODUCTION DESIGN AND SPECIAL EFFECTS

Perhaps the only half redeeming part of Renegades is that, because its budget was larger than most, it does have a decent amount of good designs, mostly in the area of the ship design. Many of the CGI ships were well designed, well rendered and pleasant to look at. My only issue with this area was how the Syphon ships looked too similar to the Son’a ships from Star Trek: Insurrection but maybe that’s just me. However, the CGI model for the USS Archer, same class as the titular ship from Voyager’s two parter “Equinox”, was gorgeous. Very nice to look at and praise to the artist who made it. All that being said, the bulk of any CGI where it was motion-tracked or chroma-keyed was just bad. When physical sets were being used, the settings were decently convincing but once any actor walked in front of a green screen, I instantly could tell the difference and it severely brought down the experience.

Star Trek: Renegades Icarus in Battle

While all that could be explained due to a lack of proper budget, nothing can explain why Icheb’s pseudo-Borg tech arm thing was made from CGI and not a physical prop. Icheb’s robot arm was seriously the most distracting part of this film simply because it was horribly motion-tracked. As Icheb would walk, his arm would not move smoothly and would inexplicably jerk one way or another regardless of how Icheb was actually moving. It was so noticeable that I had to rewind just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. It would have made so much more sense to just build a glossy plastic arm for his to wear and, in all likelihood, would have been cheaper to do. It seems like the filmmakers wanted so much to have the CGI effect of Icheb’s arm appearing from nothing that they dismissed all concepts of practicality in favor of one effect that was unimpressive to say the least.

 

And Icheb’s arm is not the only CGI artifact that doesn’t appear good. The strange artifact that creates portals simply did not appear real. It had such an annoying glow and faded look that one can only assume that it was made using the most simplistic of 3D modeling software. If they took so much time and spent so much money on making the ships look as good as they do, why couldn’t they make a simple 3D stone block look any sort of real? Apparently consistency was not on the minds of these filmmakers since the complex CGI elements like spaceships will look good but simple elements like stone blocks or robot arms look entirely fake.

EDITING

While I understand that making an amateur film can be an overwhelming undertaking, I do not believe there is an excuse for the sloppy editing present in Renegades. I remember a year or so ago when Renegades was posting about their new cameras and how professional they were gonna look because of it and stuff. However, even with their tech advances, Renegades still feels like an amateur backyard film. I remember making backyard films with my brother and I make no claims to greatness. Our films sucked and I fully admit that but Renegades promised something so professional looking that they made it out like CBS was actually considering them. After viewing Renegades, I can say that the editing alone would be enough to turn any professional TV executive off of the idea. The flaws in the editing are almost too numerous to count. Perhaps the most grievous error is the absurd amount of bad closeups. I don’t mind an occasional closeup but when you literally spend half of your dramatic scenes with a slow motion closeup that isn’t even centered on the actor’s face, you have a problem. It comes off as forced drama and looks cheap.

CHARACTERIZATION (AKA AN EXERCISE IN FAN SERVICE)

Being an aspiring screenwriter, I pay close attention to how characters are developed and characterized in TV and films. Characterization is perhaps the most important part of screenwriting because it’s how you get the audience invested in your story. Without characters that feel real, you leave the audience wondering why they are wasting their time on characters they don’t care about, and that is the case for literally every single character in Renegades. No one, and I literally mean no one, is an interesting character. After viewing Renegades, I couldn’t believe just how bad each character was made and how much apathy I had for them all. This is largely due to the fact that the bulk of characters in Renegades are not actual characters but merely caricatures of their “place in Star Trek” for the purposes of fan service.

Let’s start off with the minor characters and since their names are unimportant, I will refer to them by their species since that’s all they represent in this movie.

The Bajoran has no purpose in this film other than to be the foil for The Cardassian. Both have no reason to be there other than they already are, both have no character agency to keep doing the things they do. They are contrivances for the purpose of making the audience feel like it’s more ‘Star Treky’ because there is a Bajoran who hates a Cardassian and makes a Pah-Wraith reference and a Cardassian there for the Bajoran to hate. They all forget that Renegades is supposed to take place long after the events of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and that the Dominion War was won. The Cardassians were defeated and were presumedly forced to pay restitution and work towards peace, although not seen on screen. Being an avid Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan and a lover of how the Bajoran/Cardassian political situation was worked into the story, I cannot express how much I hated how Renegades decided that their best use of a Bajoran and Cardassian was as a simple exposition of racism with no explanation and no reasoning. I found this insulting both to myself and to the depth that DS9 had explicated the Bajoran/Cardassian story over its seven year run.

Now for another minor character pairing that made no sense. Icheb and the Betazoid are simply the most awkward coupling I’ve ever seen. Their pairing is not romantic in nature but it’s also not without possibility and if this explanation makes no sense, that mirrors the sense that both of these characters don’t have. Icheb, bitter at being experimented on by Section 31, but also possibly thankful, constantly gives the Betazoid a hard time just for being around. Icheb exudes angst over being abused by both the Borg and Section 31 but he also somehow likes it and when the Betazoid questions him about anything, Icheb gets angry. You’ll also notice reading this that I haven’t mentioned anything about the Betazoid on her own because for all intents and purposes, she has no character on her own. She is there to be the plot device that Icheb talks to and also the plot device that helps free Icheb from the Syphon guard with her Betazoid telepathy. If one were to simply replace her with say Deanna Troi, or any Betazoid ever, or even if she was just replaced in the script with “telepathic plot device”, one would never know the difference because of how flat and unnecessary she is.

Star Trek: Renegades Icheb

Coming over to Dr. Lucian and Fixer, this is perhaps the only pairing that had any sort of compelling emotional appeal that worked. While I think that the explanation for why we should feel for these characters didn’t work, Sean Young, better known as Replicant Rachael from Blade Runner, gave a decently nuanced performance alongside Robert Picardo’s reprisal of Dr. Lewis Zimmerman that made me feel for her situation even though I didn’t really know nor understand her situation. Basically, I understood that Fixer was once a person important to her and when he died, she preserved his brain patterns in the hologram of Fixer that has been serving as the Icarus’s engineer since then unbeknownst to the rest of the crew. However, this is where this plot line fell apart. Given the numerous problems with maintaining hologram’s visual integrity as seen in Voyager with The Doctor, I didn’t find it believable that the Fixer hologram had passed itself off as human for years with no one on the crew knowing, including himself. Wouldn’t someone have noticed at some point the slightest glitch in his holographic matrix? Wouldn’t someone have noticed that he doesn’t eat or use the bathroom or anything a human does? This coupled with the fact that it is never explained where Fixer’s holographic emitters are or how they work or how he can go anywhere and do everything everyone else can made for Fixer’s character to be just an excuse for Dr. Lucian and Dr. Zimmerman to have a secret from everyone else. While they could have at least explained that Fixer uses a mobile emitter like Voyager’s EMH, it’s as if Renegades assumed that its audience was too dumb to question how his hologram works so they sidestepped the issue entirely.

Coming over to perhaps the worst performance of the entire cast, Lt. Masaru, played by Grant Imahara, I have to say that this character made no sense in the slightest. He starts out as an aid to Admiral Chekov and only serves as a plot device for narrative explanation to bring the audience up to speed. Then, near the end of the film, he is revealed to have been a spy and assassin. He kills Admiral Paris, and just as he attempts to reveal his evil plan and kill Admiral Chekov, Masaru is conveniently killed by Chekov’s unnecessary Romulan bodyguard. This was perhaps the ultimate slap in the face to the audience. The Romulan, who is never explained, kills their only known lead to the conspiracy and her only excuse for killing the person who could explain everything is “old habits.” Like really? You unnecessarily kill your big reveal plot device character of Masaru using another unnecessary plot device Romulan because of “old habits”? Way to prolong the conspiracy way longer than needed because you were too dumb to realize that information could save everyone but what can you expect from a character whose only existence was to kill Masaru because the plot demanded it.

And for the final minor character that I will explicate, The Andorian. This was the most blatant use of fan service that has ever existed. Not only is she a hot Andorian chick, but one with cleavage that would make Seven of Nine blush. Her entire existence is reduced to serving as an over-sexualized device for the demands of the plot to use and spit out. First, I am not going to be one of those people who say that ALL sex appeal in Star Trek is heresy like those who disdain Seven of Nine or Deanna Troi simply because their bodies were accentuated. However, the Andorian’s body is not just accentuated, its crafted for the specific purpose of over-sexualized titillation clearly seen in her first seen when she engages in a lesbian tryst with a woman right before using a “mind rape” device on her. Then, for the rest of the film, is seen with an annoying amount of cleavage rivaling that of Christina Hendricks. I can only assume that this distracting amount of cleavage was used to draw the audience away from the fact that the Andorian only exists to be the stereotypical “hacker” chick who discovers the evil conspiracy because she can and the plot demanded that of her. When your characters are serving the whims of the plot just because that’s how it HAS to happen or it all falls apart, you have a problem with your plot and it makes your characters flat, uninteresting, and unpleasant to watch.

While I could go on with other minor characters and how contrived they are, I shall digress by moving on to the antagonists. The Syphon are a new race introduced in Renegades and I have to say, I couldn’t find them less interesting. Given that the Syphon are supposed to be something new, you would expect perhaps new and unexplored traits to appear that may bring interest to the audience but about five minutes into their introduction, they are revealed to be nothing more than Klingons in fake looking masks. The Syphon culture, as it appears, praises honor and rituals and rites essentially all things that we’ve seen before in the Klingon episodes of The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, coupled with the fact that the Syphon appearance looks curiously like it was ripped off of the Wraith from Stargate: Atlantis, I feel like no imagination was actually put into these villains. They are given some plot contrived reason for why their actions are not actually wrong because they were wronged first but this is never explored beyond their word so we have no way of knowing what they’re actually doing. The Syphon are the bad guys because the plot demands that there be alien bad guys for no real reason. Again, having contrived characters, or in this case entire cultures, makes for zero interest on the part of the audience. Especially when this alien race is nothing more than Klingon rejects.

Star Trek: Renegades Lexxa

Finally we come to the major characters but curiously, the only one of any real consequence is Lexxa Singh. I cannot express just how uninteresting this character is. She first appears in her Orion prison cell writing the words to William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus, on the walls which in itself made no real sense other than Lexxa accentuates the word, “captain”, in a clichéd way to reference Star Trek’s tradition of captains. Perhaps this was meant to be a reference to Nelson Mandela’s incarceration in Robbin Island prison but given Lexxa’s apathy about pretty much everything other than her mother, I just couldn’t see it. But let’s just discuss Lexxa’s origins for a minute. Her last name is Singh and it is revealed that she is the famed Khan Noonian Singh’s daughter…three hundred or so years after he would have been at the peak of power during the Eugenics Wars…and about a hundred years after his brief resurgence as seen in Space Seed and The Wrath of Khan. So you may ask why Khan’s daughter appears in a time when it’s pretty much impossible for to appear in at her age and you would be right to ask. There is no answer to be found however. Replace Lexxa with any character who has any modicum of fighting skill and nothing would have changed. There is nothing special about Lexxa that would make her being Khan’s daughter make any sort of sense. It is as if the writers were like: “We need a main character but with something that the Trekkies will like because it’s a reference to something…Khan’s Daughter, let’s do it regardless of how much sense it won’t make.” Then Lexxa’s origins are conveniently sidestepped by her flashbacks regarding her mother whose identity is never revealed. Is this supposed to be Marla McGivers? Or someone Khan knew during The Eugenics Wars? We never find out. All that matters is the half-hearted attempt at giving Lexxa some character depth even if it only serves to make her character more confusing than she already is.

STORYLINE

I will put this quite simply. The plotline is a mess. There are these interwoven plot threads involving a Starfleet conspiracy, the Syphon threat, Section 31, the USS Archer, and the crew of the Icarus but nothing comes full circle. It feels as if the filmmakers wanted to do something impressive so they took the base ideas from three fan films and smashed them together into one, resulting in a convoluted mess that makes the Temporal Cold War of Star Trek: Enterprise’s infamy look like the plot a children’s chapter book. The conspiracy is never resolved, story feels no more advanced at the end than it did at the beginning, and the Syphon threat is only somewhat resolved due to some deus ex machina performed by Fixer using technobabble that would put Voyager’s plot resolutions to shame. In short, don’t expect anything to make sense at all because it won’t and thinking about it will only result in a headache.

Star Trek: Renegades Syphon

THE BUDGET ARGUMENT

Now many will argue that Renegades deserves some slack due to its lack of budget and yes, I can forgive things like effects, set design and the like since money is required for these things. But one thing that always pops out to me is why do some of the effects suck while others are pretty great? Why is there this disconnect? If you’re going to do one thing well, do everything well. Don’t be so half-hearted that you think that if you do a few things well and skimp on the rest that no one will notice. Another thing that does not require money is imagination. There was no imagination brought into this movie. Everything was so contrived and forced that it felt like these filmmakers were being forced into making a movie when they really didn’t want to. Good writing costs no money but this film is lacking any sort of good writing and skill in making an interesting movie. Look at a movie like Primer. While I am not a die-hard fan of Primer, it is easily recognizable that the makers of that film had imagination and while they had a tiny budget, certainly less than Renegades, they still made something decently good and at the very least, interesting enough to enthrall an audience in its world. This is something Renegades quite simply didn’t do.

THE TV PILOT ARGUMENT

Some will also argue that Renegades was meant as a television pilot and that the characters, plot, and budget could all be fixed if given more time to develop. While yes, TV pilots are meant to introduce characters and plots but Renegades did too much. Like I said in the Storyline section, it felt as if they wanted to smash three plots into one and hope it worked out when it didn’t and, while I don’t think having a lot of characters was a flaw, I do think having every character nothing more than a caricature, plot device, or fan service was a flaw. Look at a show like Firefly. They had a cast of eight and, just in the pilot, they made each character interesting enough that we wanted to come back to see more of them then in the subsequent episodes. We got to see each character develop more and more. Same with shows like Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, JJ Abrams’ Lost, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, and the list goes on. While they didn’t complete plots or character threads in the pilots, and they didn’t need to. They did at least make the characters have the potential to become more than what they started out as. Renegades did not do this. Each character was so flat that they can only continue being just as uninteresting if any more episodes have the unfortunate fortitude to get made.

STAR TREK: RENEGADES OVERALL

Just to wrap up, do not think that I am a hater of all fan films or anything of the like or that I am a Trek hater. I too would love for Star Trek to return to TV but I am extremely thankful that CBS did not pick up Renegades because I am simply against shoddy writing and poor filmmaking and, in the case of Renegades, it simply did not do justice to Star Trek. Given that Star Trek is one of the richest modern mythologies ever created, it deserves better than Renegades’ half-hearted attempt at continuing where Voyager/Nemesis left off. With its nonsensical plot, terrible characterization, and mismatched production value, Renegades should serve as an exercise in how not to make a fan film when you have a larger than most budget and also as an example of not being so steeped in hubris in a vain attempt to sell to CBS.

Have you seen Renegades? What did you think? Let us know in the comments

About the Author
Avid science fiction fan with a penchant for stories that explore the human condition.

17 comments on Star Trek: Renegades – A Review

  1. David Hill says:

    The big killer of the ‘TV pilot’ argument, for me at least, is the question “Would you come back next week and watch another episode of this?”

    No. No I would not, for pretty much all of the reasons you listed above. It’ was just unpleasant to watch and made too little sense.

  2. Marek says:

    Agreed wholeheartedly. Renegades is a *mess*. That they had the audacity to use their ‘outer’ voice and claim this could be a pilot for a CBS series is simply laughable.

    The visual effects – as you note – are for the most part excellent, evidence that the technology has advanced to the point where almost anyone can afford to bring great visuals to even bad films (Star Trek Continues and Prelude to Axanar are great contemporary examples of really amazing CGI — thankfully the acting / writing in those efforts is worthy of the visual).

    Nothing about Renegades makes sense. The plot is a disaster. And Lexxa Singh’s character is precisely as you note: forgettable. uninteresting. The actress doesn’t have the chops to pull off this role. Another review of Renegades brought up an important angle that hasn’t been explored here: the use of the character’s experience of rape simply to provide some kind of depth. The writers have some serious work to do in understanding and appropriately writing conflicted female characters without falling into clichéd trauma that serves little purpose. Given the weird sexualized representations of other female characters in Renegades, one can’t help but feel that the writers have spent little time outside of their parent’s basements, let alone in the company of other genders.

    Lastly, and perhaps outside the scope of the review, is the terribly sour relations that have arisen between Renegades and other Star Trek fan efforts, particularly Axanar. For a fan base that supposedly embraces IDIC, there is a sadly large number of Renegades-linked folks who seemed to delight in taking unfounded potshots at Axanar. Perhaps it’s psychological, having invested so much time and energy into a project that has turned out so terribly wrong, to see a project that should be complementary in the Trek fan ‘verse instead as a competitor, as various projects compete for limited fan backing via crowdfunding.

    I guess we’re still a fair ways away from Roddenberry’s vision of an enlightened human society.

  3. Frank Bones McCoy says:

    I think your tone is a little too harsh, I’d never go so far as saying anyone has forgotten how to act. I think people underestimate just how hard it is to deliver lines that are subpar. But you bring up some very valid points that no one can dispute such as character builds and story lines. I would disagree with you as for the acting.
    I think more of the blame lies with the writing while many of the stars did a decent or in some cases excellent job with what they had. I just don’t think many people give writers their proper due and often put the blame too much on actors. I think all of the professional actors did well from Manu Intiraymi to Corin Nemec considering what they had. I’d say that a perfect actor can turn really bad writing into something decent while just a great actor may need some help from the writers and directors to get the scene down. Though I think the character herself isn’t that well made, I felt Adrienne Wilkinson brought such a great confidence and charisma that was at times magical when considering the scope of the film. This is something that a lot of great actors just don’t have a knack for and seeing this was a treat.
    Plot wise they never really answered the question why the renegades were needed instead of any other crew from a federation starship. Was it for political reasons? Either the Federation was to dumb to recognize the threat or this renegade crew was better than anything the Federation had to offer, whatever.
    Though the special effects were really good I wasn’t a big fan of the ship designs. From the Federation’s bulbous secondary hull to the protagonist vessel being an odd design mix of a Klingon Vorcha and a Federation Prometheus class. I feel the ships could’ve hinted more to there roles in the film and the protagonist’s ships just looked to over powered for it being a renegade.
    For it being a fan film it was pretty well funded but I wonder to where it was all budgeted. I could’ve done with a much smaller cast of characters and much more stream lined plot. Real life locations could’ve save some money as they only really made the Federation sets at an acceptable level and those where oddly way too yellow. Many of the other shots because of bad sets forced the camera to be in stagnate static positions and that was just painful to watch.
    On the whole the show was hard to watch and felt more like work instead fun. Its best parts were scenes from veteran actors and space battles but its worst parts were just about everything else. Sci fi is one of the more expensive kinds of entertainment out there and low budget films are no exception. I think if they would’ve planned things out better, where the time and money was going, then maybe it could’ve turned out better.

    1. Sam Williamson says:

      Perhaps I was harsh but I feel it was justified. After all, Renegades had been marketing itself for years as a studio quality TV pilot that they claimed CBS was seriously considering. Obviously once released, it was not up to snuff and CBS made that clear but that doesn’t excuse Renegades for claiming it was supposed to be of TV quality when it obviously wasn’t. If Renegades had marketed itself as just a fan film like it is, I wouldn’t have been so harsh.

      1. Capt. J.G. MacIntyre says:

        I don’t believe you were harsh at all. The overall production is a train wreck. You correctly pointed out MANY flaws, and I stand behind your words as I said virtually the same thing when I saw the ‘pre’ release. The fact from the outset they claimed they WERE the next Pilot, how much money they raised in crowdfunding .. it seems as though they rushed the final product out the door. No clue, but Tim Russ was also behind Of God’s and Men, and I feel that was slightly better than renegades, albeit, not much.

      2. Frank Bones McCoy says:

        I’m not a big fan of this studio has done before but I imagine if I had followed this film with some anticipation I’d be upset to.

    2. David Hill says:

      In some cases I don’t think it’s the actors that can be blamed so much, given the material they had to work with. I think the best example is Icheb. The character presented in Renegades is just a complete mess of a character.

      He’s constantly angry, ostensibly because of what Section 31 did to him, but he’s fully willing to use the tools he gained from the process.

      He knows that they’re being sent on a mission basically on behalf of the Federation (and Section 31?) and doesn’t have any problems with that.

      None of the gels for me as a coherent character. If he REALLY hated what was done to him that much, I would have preferred to see him attempting to not use his Borg gun-arm at all, until it was absolutely necessary for his survival. Or better yet, for the survival of someone he cares about. But that would require Icheb to care about someone else on the crew…which is obviously not the direction they went here.

      1. Sam Williamson says:

        Its true. I do blame the writing the most since it was utter nonsense. That being said, I didn’t ever feel that Icheb’s performances in Voyager were that good either. Certainly better than in Renegades but still. I feel like Icheb was buffed, in a sense, by having the excellent performances of Jeri Ryan and Kate Mulgrew to made the audience overlook Icheb’s weaker acting. But that’s just me. It was still the nonsensical writing that was the ultimate bane here.

  4. John MacEnulty says:

    I think you nailed it. The only thing I might take issue with is the acting. While it is possible that the acting was simply bad, it’s equally possible that the directing was bad. A good director can get a good performance from a mediocre actor, and a bad director can make a good actor look awful.

    As the rest of the film was such a mess, I’m inclined to place the bulk of the blame on the director.

    1. Sam Williamson says:

      I still wonder how much influence Tim Russ actually had on this production and since I can’t say for sure that it was Tim Russ’s fault, I tried not to. Had I access to much more information about Renegades’ production, I might change my mind but for now, I decided to put blame where I saw for sure that it was due. Such as writing and acting.

  5. Fly says:

    One other aspect that ruined it for me was the terrible makeup! Some of the worst appliance application I have ever seen, completely pulled me out of the film and I ended up staring at the edges of the carrdasianridges and the greasy look of his makeup! As well as icheb’s and the bijoran nose….

  6. Gemma 7 says:

    There really is no getting around the fact that Renegades is a terrible movie. It will be a massive challenge for them to do a sequel, as many fans don’t like the film. I donated to Renegades, but there is no way I will donate to a sequel.

  7. BobDobolina says:

    “Be that a Star Trek fan film, James Cameron’s Avatar, or any Uwe Boll film ever, I will always be against sloppy, confusing, and just plain uninteresting storytelling”

    Um. I’m sure your gripes with Renegades will be legit. But that you think [i]Avatar[/i] and Uwe Boll films are comparable examples of bad storytelling is maybe not the most promising starting note? That’s a fairly bizarre thing to say and doesn’t instill like a huge amount of confidence in your aesthetic judgement.

    1. Sam Williamson says:

      I’m not entirely sure of your meaning but I’ll attempt to clarify. I simply meant to give a wider range of films that, regardless of budget or popularity, still possess bad storytelling. Its unanimous that Uwe Boll films are horrible and while Avatar is considered a visual masterpiece, it is not an unpopular opinion to find the story line contrived and nonsensical. Sure, both are entirely different genres and universes apart but that was the intent to show that bad storytelling can exist anywhere.

      1. BobDobolina says:

        I get the general intent, I just don’t think it lands. “Unoriginal” I can see, but the opinion of Avatar being “contrived” or “nonsensical” mostly seems to originate with people who mistake being *uncomfortable with the allegory* for either of these things. It’s implausible to claim that Avatar is actually “nonsensical” on its own premises or doesn’t go further to justifying what contrivances it contains — compared to the average big-budget SF actioner — through the same extensive world-building that makes it visually striking. IMO there were much more direct examples available, like say Prometheus (or either of the Trek reboots for that matter, though I can understand why you might prefer not going there).

        Having read the review, but there’s a lot of it that doesn’t ring accurately; if I hadn’t seen the movie, for instance, I would be tempted to think Nemec or Intiraymi performed a lot worse than they actually did, and I wouldn’t know from the section on effects that it contained some legit impressive space battle sequences. Not that there aren’t rich veins of silliness to be mined here, but it seems to miss the mark often enough that I start to lose interest by the time we reach the big section on Characterization. Nevertheless, thanks for sharing your thoghts.

        1. Sam Williamson says:

          True. Prometheus was also just as contrived. Avatar just came to mind first. And to me, Nemec’s performance was just absolutely awful, beyond just bad acting and borderline just…not acting. Intiraymi did better but it still felt entirely wooden to me so I still felt that my criticism of them was justified. As for the space battles, I do address the impressive CGI for the space sequences but given the disparity between those effects and the ridiculously bad effects seen elsewhere, I again thought that criticism was justified. And perhaps I should I have organized it different. Characterization, to me, is one of the biggest parts of what makes a film so given how much criticism I had for that, putting it later after some smaller sections made more sense. But that’s me.

  8. derreckmayer says:

    Well, I finally got to watch this. I found the special effects inconsistent, with some objects, like the USS Archer, being of high quality while others were pretty awful. The story was confusing, convoluted, and over the top. The acting was so-so, which I expected but overall, I was disappointed. I am curious to see what they do with the next two-parter with the addition of more Trek alum.

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