Fan Film, Fan Films

The First Star Trek Fan Film Ever!

jr. star trekWhen I was researching my fan film book, Homemade Hollywood, I came across brief, fleeting mentions of a fan film called Jr. Star Trek and it drove me crazy. This wasn’t just any fan flick—it was something really special.

See, this fan film was made by a 10-year-old kid in 1969, when the original series was still on NBC, long before Star Trek conventions, before the emergence of Trekkies and Trekkers, and of course, well before fan film culture came into its own.

It was probably the very first Star Trek fan film. And I couldn’t find it anywhere!

It wasn’t on YouTube or any of the other video sites, and there was virtually no information about it to be found. I put what little I could find into the book, sighed, and figured it was a mystery that would never be solved. In the end, all I had was a paragraph:

The late Ed Emshwiller, dean of the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts, started out illustrating science fiction magazine covers, but began making movies in the 1950s, eventually receiving a Ford Foundation grant in 1964. Films such as his short, Relativity, a meditation about man’s place in the universe, were often shown at sci-fi conventions, and it wasn’t long before his son, Peter, started getting his own flicks screened at them as well. Working with his dad in 1969, 10-year-old Peter shot Jr. Star Trek, one of the first fan films about the famed series. The 8-minute, 16mm short eventually aired on PBS, and became a staple of Trek conventions for years to come.

Luckily, that small mention was all it took for The Nostalgic Gangsta over at Trek Nostalgia to become determined to find the fan film. Not only did he find it, but he interviewed filmmaker Peter “Stoney” Emshwiller all about it, too!


Pre-teen Emshwiller worked for months on his fan film, and came through in the face of serious hardship:

”I meticulously created all the props, costumes and “sets” for months in advance. On the big first day of “production,” I tried to get the captain’s chair out of my room where I had slowly, carefully constructed it. It was too big now. It didn’t fit out through my bedroom door. I burst into tears and threw myself on the bed, almost giving up right then. “Mini-Kirk throws a tantrum.” Eventually I calmed down and took the chair half-way apart, slowly re-assembling it again in my living room where we’d be shooting. Whew!”

Despite the technological barriers for filmmaking at the time, he fortunately had the right gear lying around the house and a great resource for both the filmmaking and sci-fi aspects in his dad. Working with old AMT models, stop-motion animation and friends, he fashioned together a prototypical Trek fan film, and began work on a far more elaborate sequel that never happened—find out why over at Trek Nostalgia.

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3 Responses to “The First Star Trek Fan Film Ever!”

  1. Could have been a lot worse for a 40 year old flick! And I doubt that there’s many 10 yo kids who could do a better job with all the resources we have nowadays!

  2. I play Scotty on Star Trek New Voyages and all I have to say is this is AWESOME!!! Thinking that these kids did this in the 60′s is just mind blowing. The opening scene where the Enterprise closes on the D7 is actually not much worse then the early SFX from the real show.



  1. First Star Trek Fan Film Made by Kids in 1969 - Candlelight Stories
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