It’s been no secret that J.J. Abrams’ recent reboot of Star Trek has lots of in-jokes and asides for hardcore fans. For instance, numerous Trek fandom notables were recruited as extras, like MIT professor Henry Jenkins (whose scene was cut), and leader/”Captain Kirk” of the popular Star Trek: Phase II fan film series, James Cawley.
That Cawley was hidden away in the feature film wasn’t a surprise to fans; he mentioned it on his site and it came up numerous times when I interviewed him for my fan film book, Homemade Hollywood. Rather, the question was where he was hiding out. Much as Star Wars aficionados have been searching the film for a glimpse of an R2D2 reportedly hidden in the background somewhere, fan film fans have been trying to spot Cawley.
Of course, it helped that one of Cawley‘s fans, SpiderMike, claimed on the ST:P2 forums that he’d spotted the fan filmer twice. In the interest of helping y’all find Cawley, we dug up some stills from the film and added them to the comment below (didn’t even know we had pics until we stumbled across them, covered in dust under the couch, while looking for an errant sippy-cup. Absolutely no idea how they got there).
Both shots of him occur after Spock steps down as captain. Spock leaves the bridge and after a short scene we return to the bridge where Checkov has an idea. He gets up and a fellow officer in gold brushes by him – THAT’S JAMES!!
A few mins after Spock emerges from a turbo lift. To his right (our left as we’re looking at the screen) is none other than James AGAIN.
Kudos James. It was wicked seeing you on the big screen and I screamed like a girl when I saw u the first time and even better when u grabbed more screen time.
Does that really look like him? Hard to tell, and Cawley hasn’t given a yea or nay on it. Here’s that last shot and a publicity still of ST:P2, side by side. Wow, I think it could go either way—I’m 50/50 on this one. What do YOU think? Give your thoughts below in the comments!
PS—It should be pointed out that even if it’s not James and he somehow wound up on the cutting room floor, dude, he was there, making him infinitely cooler than you or I shall likely ever be. Nothing but good vibes for the guy coming from this blog.