Trek Nation (2011)
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"Rod" Roddenberry, Gene's son, explores his father's career and what Star Trek means to fans. As the narrator and interviewer, it is a little unusual to see Rod as an interview subject himself. Sitting in a planetarium Rod talks about how he didn't know his father very well and how this documentary is a journey to find out the kind of man he was. Several years and hairstyles go by as Rod makes this movie with Colthorp. The "prologue" is too long as it repeats what the doc covers later. People involved in making the early tv shows and movies are interviewed. D.C. Fontana, Ronald D. Moore, and Rick Berman in particular share valuable incites. A few actors, but nowhere close to all of them, share a couple anecdotes. Rod talks informally to many fans at conventions and considers the historical impact of Trek. Stan Lee, George Lucas, and J.J. Abrams are also interviewed. At one point Rod finds a record called Inside Star Trek from the mid-'70s of Gene talking about the philosophy behind Star Trek. He listens to this recording of his father's voice that he hasn't heard before. I thought the album cover looked familiar (like a blueprint sketch) and found I owned it too, but I hadn't listened to it. In the end, Rod comes to appreciate what his father created much more, but he keeps his emotions kind of disconnected, perhaps because, impossibly, he tries to remain the impartial filmmaker.
Having seen my fair share of Star Trek documentaries, this one struck me as singular and wholly unique. Quite heartfelt (especially the last third of the film), if you were ever a fan of the original show, The Next Generation, the other TV spin-offs or any of the movies, this is a must-see.
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