"It's the perfect tribute to all those who served aboard her..."-Pavel Chekov
Being a nerd is its own reward. This movie is one of those times that this is true. It is a fan made movie that has an incredible story. It feels like a gift of love to fans of TOS, but is a such a good stand alone story it will appeal to those not familiar with the show.
Just take a look at the cast http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0835378/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast. So many fan favorites from Grace Lee Whitney to Ethan Phillips, sans Neelix makeup. A personal favorite of mine makes a guest appearance, The Guardian of Forever. We even see a tribble.
If I ever get fortunate enough to meet any members of the original cast I want it to be Nichelle Nichols. Growing up seeing her hold her own with Kirk and the members of the bridge crew as Uhura, I wanted to be her. When you watch how calm, cool, and collected she acts you would have no indication of the turmoil the studio put her through. If you don't know the stories, I suggest looking them up. Frustrated and feeling like she had no where to turn, Nichols almost quit Star Trek, but a very influential person urged her to stay stating how positive her character was to the African-American community. Nichols projects grace and elegance when she is screen. I always knew she was talented as an actress, but I recently saw these rare pictures: http://www.thegeektwins.com/2015/02/see-uhura-do-ballet-in-rare-behind.html#.VOzp7HzF_Ak and realized just how talented she really is.
The story is not solely about Uhura. We see Pavel Chekov as we have never seen him before. If the time line was altered, would he be the same friendly, easy going navigator we have all grown to love over the years? Walter Koenig brings his own charm back to the role he originally played on TOS. One of my favorite bits of trivia about his character was that he was brought on to appeal to young women and his wife cut his hair to emulate the hairstyles of The Beatles.
Although not seen, Kirk is talked about. The movie takes place after his death in Generations. (Side rant: I read Star Trek books so I don't think he is truly dead. The books William Shatner wrote in conjunction with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens explore what might have happened. Great book series, highly recommend.) What would the universe be without Kirk? The theme of "the needs of the many outway the needs of the few" and how important is the life of one man are explored.
Being a fan made production, the special effects may be a little lacking, but this movie has heart. There are some scenery chewing moments from some of the actors, but seriously, what would Star Trek be like without a little overacting? The dialog is reminiscent of the TOS movies. I highly recommend this movie to everyone who likes science fiction.
You can watch it on Youtube here :