Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture

By Henry Jenkins | Go to book overview

8

"Strangers No More, We Sing": Filk Music, Folk Culture, and the Fan Community
I was with the Midwest crowd
Who stood in line for blocks.
I cheered on the Reliant's end.
I shed a tear for Spock's
And we talked for three days running
Of how Khan did push his luck.
And I am saved!
I am saved!
I am saved!

(Julia Ecklar, "Born Again Trek," 1984a)

Julia Ecklar's passionate song, "Born Again Trek" expresses sentiments shared by many within the fan community upon the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The first generation Trek fans had waited for the better part of two decades for a revival of their favorite media universe, through countless repeats of the original series episodes, through a succession of rumors concerning its possible return either as a network series or as feature films, through a promising yet disappointing animated series, uneven professional novels, and a lackluster first movie. What Ecklar's song captures so vividly, then, is the sense of tremendous relief and jubilation those fans felt when they first saw Star Trek II, a film widely praised by Trekkers and seen upon its release as sparking a revival of interest in the series: "Sixteen years it's been/But now Trek has been born again/I'm proud to be a born again Trek fan."

At once a personal expression of one fan's response to the film and a statement of generally shared sentiments and experiences within fandom, "Born Again Trek" is a rallying cry for the reconstruction of Trek fan culture and for the recruitment of new fans ("Now it's our solemn duty/To see that everyone's been saved").

-250-

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