A scene from the Axanar trailer screened at the 2016 Denver Comic Con.

Axanar Trailer Removed After Criticism

After treating attendees at a panel at Denver Comic Con to a two-minute trailer for Axanar, producer Alec Peters had leaked copies taken down from YouTube and Facebook after it was criticized for technical problems.

The trailer, cobbled together from visual effects shots completed prior to the copyright lawsuit faced by Axanar, also included voiceovers and footage shot in October 2015 on the set of Star Trek: New Voyages that is not part of the actual film.

« Now [the trailer] comes down until we have a fully polished version to share with the world.»Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden

After it was screened on June 18, 2016, in Denver, the trailer was posted for 18 hours on the private Facebook page set up exclusively for people who donated to Axanar in its Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns.

From there, the trailer was leaked to YouTube and Facebook, with Axanar Productions filing repeated takedown notices with YouTube, ironically claiming the leak constituted a copyright violation.


While the 20-minute short film, Prelude to Axanar, created to attract donations to fund the feature, Axanar, was roundly praised for its storytelling and technical merits, the leaked trailer faced criticism, even from the project’s supporters, for technical problems.

“It wasn’t terrible, and it wasn’t excellent,” one donor wrote on the donors’ private Facebook page. “I liked the visuals, but one can clearly hear the audio needs some work.”1)

GARTH OF IZAR as played by producer Alec Peters in a framing sequence not actually part of the Axanar feature but included in the trailer.

“Audio needs work,” another donor agreed. “Alec [Peters, portraying Garth of Izar], appears a bit stiff; shouting Klingon is hard to understand and needs slower vocal pace.”2)

Others criticized the trailer for being more of the same — starship flybys, space battles and stentorian military monologs — the voiceovers featuring noticeable audio problems.

Of course, since no principal photography at all has begun on Axanar, the CGI starships and voiceovers were all director Robert Meyer Burnett had to work with. Except for footage shot in October 2015 on the Enterprise interiors constructed by Star Trek: New Voyages in Ticonderoga, N.Y.

That footage, which features an older Garth, played by Peters, was never meant to be included in the feature; it was for a vignette called “Heroes,” likely intended as a bonus feature on the Axanar Blu-ray, should it ever be produced.

Not ‘Fully Polished’

On June 19, 2016, Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden announced it was being removed from the donors’ page on Facebook:

Now it comes down until we have a fully polished version to share with the world. Stay tuned for a new version in 2-3 weeks …3)
TAKEDOWN A leaked version of the Axanar trailer was taken down from YouTube shortly after it was posted on the donors’ Facebook page.

Three weeks later, no revised trailer had yet been released.

Not Available

Donors in the group complained about the short time the trailer had been available to them on Facebook.

“Can someone link me to the actual video?” one asked. “I can’t find the thing.”4)

Bawden replied that access to the trailer was only posted “for a limited time, as a donor perk,” and that the promised new version would be available first to donors before the general public.5) Other donors had problems with that.

“Not much of a donor perk if donors don’t know,” one wrote. “An email would’ve been the decent thing to do for people who paid $$$. Doesn’t make me feel good about things. … Not cool. Not the way to get me to donate.”6)

Another wrote, “I’m a donor and didn’t know about this until just now.”7)

AVAILABLE The Axanar trailer is currently available for viewing in the CBS/Paramount vs. Axanar Facebook page.

Where to Find It

Since the trailer was no longer accessible to donors, one donor noted that “the haters have linked to it on YouTube,” and provided a link to Bawden by which the trailer was subsequently removed from YouTube.

At this time, the trailer is available on Facebook at the link provided here.


1) , 2) , 4) , 6) , 7)
Donor posts on Axanar Donor Group on Facebook, 6/18-19/16.
Mike Bawden post, Axanar Donors Group on Facebook, 6/19/16.
Mike Bawden post on Axanar Donor Group on Facebook, 6/19/16.
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