Star Trek: Sentinel is about aggregating the news that exists across multiple Star Trek fan sites while also promoting them (because those guys do great work), and it’s about playing with a dream I’ve had for a long time – which was to write my own Star Trek television series, and my own Star Trek novel.
More importantly though, Star Trek: Sentinel is a love letter to Star Trek, its fans, and the Great Bird of the Galaxy, Gene Roddenberry.
At least it’s trying to be.
In life, if we’re lucky, someone or something touches us in a way that inspires us and helps shape us and the person we end up becoming.
That someone or something can sometimes come to mean so much to us, that expressing our love for it in a way that makes sense to us becomes a compulsion rather than an arbitrary thing.
That’s what Star Trek is to me.
Many of us will be inspired by a family member or a really great teacher who just ‘gets it’, or an historical figure or sports hero, and sometimes we’ll also get inspired by a fictional character from a book, film or television show.
I was lucky. In my formative years, my mother and my grandparents inspired and shaped me. They were (and are) selfless people with an incredible work ethic. As I eventually entered the professional world, my very first mentor was added into the mix – but throughout it all were a cavalcade of fictional characters and institutions that influenced me in ways I’m probably still discovering. Characters and institutions like Ellen Ripley and her determination to survive and to do the right thing, Princess Leia Organa and the Rebel Alliance and their dedication to bringing down a corrupt government, Luke Skywalker and his journey from farm boy to Jedi Knight, then as we learned more about the Jedi, the Jedi Order became a source for inspiration, John Koenig and Helena Russell from Space: 1999 and their fight to keep Moonbase Alpha and its people safe, Apollo (from the original Battlestar Galactica) and his dedication to his father and to saving the people of the 12 Colonies from the Cylons, and literary characters like King Peter from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and characters like Goldmoon and Tanis, Caramon and Sturm Brightblade from the Dragonlance Chronicles.
When I hit my teenage years, the people behind the scenes started to also influence me as I continued to grow and develop. The first behind-the-scenes person to inspire me was George Lucas and his attitude toward film-making and his desire to challenge the status quo…
…and then it was Gene Roddenberry, the man who brought us Star Trek.
Out of every fictional thing I grew up loving, Star Wars, Space: 1999 and Star Trek had the biggest impact on my life.
As I entered adulthood, I continued to love all three but for very different reasons. Star Wars swept me away, Space: 1999 made me believe I’d be alive when it all happened, and Star Trek challenged me.
Star Wars confirmed for me that I should always stand up against oppression and evil, Space: 1999 showed me, as a boy, that it was possible I would be alive when we put on a colony on the moon and that one day I might be able to go there, and Star Trek taught me to think carefully about the world and people, and to do what I could to change the world in peaceful ways with the power of words and thoughts and with the conviction of ideals that focused on the many instead of the one.
As well as the characters of Star Trek and it’s creator Gene Roddenberry, the Vulcan belief in IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) and the philosophies of the United Federation of Planets shaped me profoundly.
As a result, since I was a young teen, more than anything in this world I have wanted to be a part of Star Trek. I have wanted to help shape it and I have wanted to write stories and create characters that would inspire other young people like I had been inspired, to dream of a better world that was safer, more compassionate and less money driven. A place where everyone was accepted and we all worked for the common good instead of a paycheck.
Because I didn’t live in the United States, my ability to become as involved in Star Trek as I would have liked, was severely limited. Nowadays, thanks to the internet and the amazing Star Trek fan community, it’s no longer limited and that’s wonderful.
Star Trek: Sentinel allows me to indulge in my compulsion to, in some tiny way, ‘give back’ to Star Trek and its community of incredible people by adding to an already amazing body of work.
I am well aware that my script will never be developed and it’s accompanying novelisation will never be published, but sometimes joy comes from the simple act of creating and sharing something and allowing your mind to take an innocent flight of fancy.
There’s something liberating (and mildly terrifying) about putting your stuff ‘out there’ and hoping someone will read it and enjoy it, but we don’t fulfill our dreams by sitting on our backsides and just continuing to dream.
All things considered, an obscure little blog in amongst millions of other blogs, is a pretty gentle way of doing that!
Here’s a few answers to some of the questions I’ve been asked since starting this blog in July of 2015…
What font are you using? It looks really familiar!
The font is called ‘Montalban’, after Ricardo Montalban who played Khan in the episode ‘Space Seed’ and the film ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’.
The font was developed from the type used in the film ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ by a great artist known as Pixel Sagas (Neale Davidson). That’s why it might be a little familiar!
Neale offers his font for free, but you can donate to him here by clicking the ‘donate to author’ box under the download option for the font. It will be on the far right of your screen. You can also visit his website here and thank him for developing this beautiful font.
Why the Ambassador Class?
There’s a bit of a story around that, that you can read elsewhere on this site, but suffice to say the original class I had always wanted to use was the Ambassador Class. More than any other ship I’ve ever seen in Star Trek, I think it is the most beautiful.
To me, the design speaks of strength and grace.
The design also harks back to the origins of Star Trek. We still have the saucer shaped saucer section rather than the arrow shaped saucer section of later movies and television shows, and we still have the twin warp nacelles and obvious separation between the engineering section and saucer section.
What’s not to love about that design?
Why are you focusing on Saavik?
It’s just my opinion, but I think Saavik is one of the most fascinating (no pun intended) characters to ever pop up in ‘Star Trek’ over it’s long history.
She was superbly played by Kirstie Alley and Robin Curtis, with both women adding something amazing to the character that made her compelling.
It always frustrated me that Saavik just ‘dropped off’ the face of the universe after her brief cameo in ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’.
If any character deserves more exploration and focus, and to lead her own ‘Star Trek’ series, it’s Saavik.