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Monday, August 1, 2016

Our Love Letter to STAR TREK

In a matter of hours, thousands of STAR TREK fans will converge on Las Vegas for the 50th Anniversary convention.  Our favorite show premiered on NBC on a Thursday night in 1966, and September 8th will again fall on a Thursday in this anniversary year.  If you’re coming to the Las Vegas event, please do say hello if you see our cast members like Chris Doohan, Kipleigh Brown, Michael Forest, Michele Specht, and me.  Several of our dedicated crew people will be coming to Vegas, too – including talented makeup artists Lisa Hansell and Tim Vittetoe, who will be demonstrating alien prosthetic makeup application and answering audience questions at the Roddenberry Interactive Stage on Friday afternoon at the Rio.

Fans have been celebrating this anniversary year with special events and conventions, new merchandise to enjoy, a new movie, and with a healthy dose of reflection about what STAR TREK means in their lives.

We’ve been very humbled by the amazing reaction to Episode Six, “Come Not Between the Dragons.”  The amazing talent of Gigi Edgley really brought a powerful touch to this episode, and it was wonderful to have a native Australian aboard the Enterprise.  I hope all of you enjoyed Episode Six, and we’ve got some insight into that beautiful story in this issue.

At STAR TREK CONTINUES, we are excited about the premiere of our seventh episode – “Embracing the Winds” – that will have a convention screening on Friday, September 2 at the Salt Lake City Comic Con.  A day later, our new episode screens at Toronto’s Fan Expo.  It’s our personal tribute to a half-century of STAR TREK.

I want to assuage any concerns that our fans may have about the current climate. We fully intend that the kind donations from our supporters will be used for the exact purpose for which they were donated. 

STAR TREK CONTINUES is the only official 501(c)3 non-profit Trek fan production company out there dedicated solely to TREK.  We are awaiting further clarification, but I am optimistic about completing our planned series and I would like to ask all of our fans to remain optimistic with us.  We have a plan to bring STAR TREK CONTINUES to a close with an outstanding final episode arc.

We are working at warp speed to complete STAR TREK CONTINUES.  Below is a photo of the bottom of the last page of the script for the final episode in our series.

We have been humbled and honored beyond words by the kindness, enthusiasm and support of our series, and we will continue to demonstrate the integrity and quality that have defined STAR TREK CONTINUES from the beginning.

STAR TREK CONTINUES is our love letter to the series, a true effort of joy that we do just because we love the vision of Gene Roddenberry and the world he and others created.

-- Vic Mignogna

A Story That Needed to be Told

By day, he’s a character sculptor and designer.  Born in the Midwest, but interested in robots, molding, casting, and camera work, Greg Dykstra’s busy creative background seems like the perfect environment to formulate a story for STAR TREK CONTINUES.

Early in his career, Dykstra worked in a photo lab and made Super 8 films.  But it was the lure of the film industry that brought him from rural Indiana to California.

This Dykstra is not related to John Dykstra, who did special effects work on STAR WARS and STAR TREK:  The Motion Picture.  But Greg Dykstra admits that it didn’t hurt to have a famous name in the small circle of Hollywood. 

“’Oh, he’s the Dykstra who isn’t John’ is what I heard,” said Greg, whose own work can be seen in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “Ghostbusters II,” and “Nightmare before Christmas,” and more recently in a host of animated films including  Brave,” “Up,” and “Finding Nemo.”

Greg and his wife Cherri became fans of STAR TREK CONTINUES and he contacted Vic Mignogna to express their love for the show. A meeting with Mignogna led to a discussion about the stories that propelled the original series, and the sorts of stories that were needed for future STC episodes.

“One of the biggest challenges we have as a production is developing good stories – not just scripts that include all of the gadgetry and villains of STAR TREK.  We really want our episodes to have a message and to have something that you remember.  We want stories that make you think.  Greg proposed an idea, and I asked him to develop a treatment,” Mignogna explained.

“This story comes out of things in my personal experience.  My grandfather was like the father figure in this episode.  I witnessed, firsthand, the effect that this had on our family.  One of the things I looked at was how a lot of abusers feel like there’s a better person inside that they wish they were.  But they are controlled by a monster, a paranoia.  They think that everyone is trying to undermine them.  It plays out as fear, and anger that is released blindly.  Some people overcome it.  Some people grow up in an abusive household – and some become abusers themselves,” Dykstra said. 

“My grandfather has been dead for some time, but I know that my grandmother had been through a lot.  I was talking to her once, and she gave me a lot of detail.  I was interviewing her for a genealogy project.  So I know all this stuff had gone on, and she revealed the details.  It was just horrifying.  But I still loved him.  And that’s often the case with children who go through this.  I did have a very hard time forgiving him.

“And that was the idea that I wanted to start talking about in this episode.  I wanted to explore the reason that these people love -- the reason that a child loves a father and the reason a wife loves a husband (even as an abuser.)  And abusers may not know how much they children or loved ones care about them.
“Certainly, this is a heavy subject and giving it classic STAR TREK action adventure element help a lot.  You have a monster that comes in and turns out to be a child.  His dad is a monster in space,” Dykstra said.

Before writing Episode Six, Dykstra helped behind the scenes on a previous episode. 

“STC is such a family kind of operation.  We eat lunch together, and we go out to dinner at night.  We don’t disperse like a lot of productions do.  We can’t make a profit, and nobody is here for the money."

Thanks for Your Support!

Except for the signed STAR TREK CONTINUES Cast Photo (which will ship in September), all of the “physical” perks from the most recent crowdfunding campaign are en route.  The last batch of items ship in early August, followed by the Cast Photo.  All “digital” rewards have also been fulfilled.

If you didn’t receive your digital rewards, or if you don’t receive your perks by the end of August, please drop a line to

Your support helps us finish the work we’ve started, and we appreciate the financial contributions and encouragement to keep STAR TREK CONTINUES going.