When we last checked in with the evolving lawsuit that Paramount and CBS filed against the creators of Star Trek fan film Axanar, things weren’t looking so hot for DIY producer Alec Peters. In a ruling chockablock with Trek puns, the judge declared that a jury of Peters’ peers would be responsible for determining whether his film infringed upon Paramount’s legal copyrights in terms of actual people, places, and things (“objective substantial similarity”) as well as overall spirit and feel of the Star Trek franchise (“subjective substantial similarity”). I’m no legal professional, but even this layman could see pretty plainly that Peters’ ass was legal grass, and Paramount was preparing to mow it.
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There’s good news and bad on the front of CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, which is starting to sound like an old refrain. And speaking of frains, James Frain has been added to the cast in the role of Spock’s father Sarek, albeit at the cost of an official May premiere. So, when should we expect the series?
The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of CBS and Paramount’s efforts to sue the Spock ears off of the producers of Star Trek fan film Axanar continues today, with a new development from the Los Angeles federal court system. This hullabaloo began back in December of 2015, when copyright-holding studios CBS and Paramount got wind that a fellow by the name of Alec Peters had raised nearly a million dollars (that figure is now well over a million) for an independent film project taking place in the Star Trek universe. Because studio executives did not remember selling the creative rights to Mr. Peters, they did the reasonable thing and hauled him into court, claiming the man had infringed on ‘thousands’ of copyrights. In March, Paramount tightened their case up, specifically naming the most heinous violations contained within Axanar, and come June, Paramount released a list of 10 guidelines that fan enthusiasts crafting their own homemade spinoffs can follow to avoid legal action.
Good news for one franchise might be grim for another, as CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery has found its lead on The Walking Dead. Sonequa Martin-Green will beam up as the central character of CBS’ new Trek venture, the first in the franchise to be led by an African-American woman.
If ever you wondered which alien race might have the largest presence in CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery, the latest round of casting isn’t exactly subtle. Three new stars have joined the All-Access cast, and all three of them playing Klingon roles.
Bryan Fuller’s stretched schedule made it likely one production had to give, though Star Trek fans were particularly dismayed to see Discovery suffering Fuller’s exit. The Hannibal creator remains an executive producer, but according to Fuller himself, that credit marks the full extent of his involvement.
At long last, the veil of Star Trek: Discovery began to lift with the casting of Michelle Yeoh, and now two new crew members have beamed aboard as well. Not only will Rent alum Anthony Rapp play the first openly-gay Star Trek character on TV, but creature favorite Doug Jones will continue his diverse body of work.
Star Trek: Discovery producer and franchise heavy Nicholas Meyer unexpectedly let slip that Michelle Yeoh might be boarding the title ship, but trades are finally confirming. Yeoh won’t lead Star Trek: Discovery itself, but nonetheless play a major role with a separate vessel.
The outlook on CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery grew somewhat dim with delayed production and the exit of Bryan Fuller, but its first official casting might perk things right back up. According to reports, Crouching Tiger star Michelle Yeoh is the first to board Discovery, potentially in a leading role.
The big emotional climax of Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t a lightsaber battle or a dogfight in space or even two characters talking. The last scene of 2015’s Star Wars saga revival follows Rey, a young woman from a desert planet, as she finally locates Luke Skywalker, the reclusive former hero of the galactic Rebellion. Without saying a word, Rey approaches Luke, reaches into her bag, and offers the Jedi master his old lightsaber.