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The award-winning audio show is making a 50th Anniversary Special, featuring the original Captains Chekov and Uhura!
The award-winning audio show is making a 50th Anniversary Special, featuring the original Captains Chekov and Uhura!
The award-winning audio show is making a 50th Anniversary Special, featuring the original Captains Chekov and Uhura!
104 backers pledged $16,011 to help bring this project to life.

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Walter Koenig & Nichelle Nichols join STAR TREK: EXCELSIOR

$16,011

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Thanks to your overwhelming generosity, we've made it: we've raised enough money to bring Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols to the show as Captains Chekov and Uhura!

WHOOHOOOOO!

On September 8th, 2016, Star Trek will celebrate its 50th anniversary. So let’s celebrate! Star Trek: Excelsior, the award-winning fan audio series, has teamed up with Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig, the actors who brought Nyota Uhura and Pavel Chekov to life, to make our biggest episode ever.

Ms. Nichols and Mr. Koenig are already fully on-board. We have worked with their agent and hammered out agreements with them, which will go into effect if we are able to raise the necessary funds.

Our goal for this Kickstarter, then, is simple: to get the episode (which is already written) recorded and released in time for the biggest party in Star Trek history. You know we can deliver, because we’ve been delivering quality radio drama to your headphones, for free, for more than eight years now.  

For those of you who may not have heard of us, Star Trek: Excelsior is a fan audio series about the voyages of the U.S.S. Excelsior-C in the late 24th century.  (A fan audio series is just like a fan film series, except made for radio.  You can get us from iTunes and listen to us on your drive to work.)  Our cast and crew, who are spread throughout the world, record and assemble each episode without ever meeting in person.  You can find us at StarshipExcelsior.com, or listen to a sample scene from our episode "Picking Up The Pieces".

The Excelsior 50th Anniversary Special will be released on September 8th, 2016, as a free download on our website, StarshipExcelsior.com. The episode centers on Captains Chekov and Uhura. This is not a cameo appearance for them. They are not even guest stars. They are the stars, period. Our regular cast will be present, but they’ll just be helping out. It will be down to Uhura and Chekov to resolve a historic crisis and save the galaxy – past, present, and future. That’s the story our fans want to hear, and that’s the story we intend to tell, over the course of 75 harrowing minutes, on Star Trek’s 50th birthday. We have a script. We’ve negotiated with the actors. We’re scheduling studio rental and locking down supporting cast. All we need now is your help.

We’ve wrestled our production budget as low as we can take it. The amount we're asking for is far less than any other Kickstarter featuring stars of this caliber. But it is still way more money than our cast and crew can find in the couch cushions, so whether this episode gets made is now entirely up to you

Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols are legendary professional actors; their time is extremely valuable. Compensating these actors is, by far, our most substantial – and most critical – expense. Therefore, we’ve structured our funding entirely around them. 

Our initial goal of $5,556 is exactly enough for us to bring Nichelle Nichols to the bridge of the Excelsior as Captain Uhura. This threshold is the minimum we need to hit to make a bare-bones version of the episode. Doing the episode with Uhura but not Chekov would be unfortunate, but it is entirely workable. 

At $12,500, we will be able to bring Walter Koenig aboard as Captain Chekov. At this point, we can make the episode we (and you) truly want. 

Just another $1,750 allows us to rent a real recording studio, fly in Excelsior’s chief engineer from Toronto, and make other production changes to help make Chekov, Uhura, and other L.A.-based members of the cast sound better than anyone on Excelsior has ever sounded before. This is our least sexy goal, but you'll be surprised by how much of an impact it will have if we make it.

Thank you for considering a pledge, large or small, to the Star Trek: Excelsior 50th Anniversary Special, featuring Captains Uhura and Chekov!  We've always loved Star Trek and our fellow Star Trek fans – that's why we've spent so many years making new Trek without asking for a penny in donations... until today.  Today, we are counting on all of you to join with us to make this story happen!  We hope you want to hear Chekov and Uhura's final adventure together as much as we do! 

Any questions?  Ask them in the comments; we'll answer in an FAQ!  

As another captain of the Excelsior once said, "May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet!"

MEDIA COVERAGE

Risks and challenges

We’ve been making radio drama for eight years, and, although sometimes we’ve been late, we’ve never failed to release one of our episodes.

However, this production is uniquely dependent on its key actors, and that creates a risk. If our star actors suddenly decided to drop out, it would be impossible to deliver the episode we’re pitching, and very difficult to deliver anything that even closely resembles it. To mitigate this risk, we are pursuing an aggressive timeline; we plan to complete recording the key roles in this episode (Uhura and Chekov) within a month after the end of the Kickstarter.

Star Trek is a licensed property of CBS, and they have the final say over this and any other Star Trek adventure. We at Excelsior can only promise to do what we've always done to avoid legal complications: we will not pocket one penny of Excelsior-related money for ourselves. (We’ve been doing this for free for eight years, so you know we’re not in it for the money.) CBS, if you're reading this, feel free (as always) to get in touch with us (starshipexcelsior@gmail.com). We're saving all our receipts, invoices, and emails for you, in case you want to make sure we're on the up-and-up.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Receive credit as an official donor on our website!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Receive a PDF copy of the script when the episode is released. You'll also receive earlier, discarded drafts of the script, featuring some VERY different stories with VERY different characters.

    ...plus all of the above rewards!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Listen in style!

    On release day, you will be sent a high-definition, lossless copy of the completed episode -- a level of audio fidelity exclusive to backers!

    ...plus all of the above rewards!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Exclusive vignette!

    We will release a vignette, "Prelude to 50," in the weeks before the episode arrives, setting up the events of the main episode. This vignette will be available EXCLUSIVELY to backers with this reward for sixteen months after release.

    ...plus all of the above rewards!

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    You're an associate producer!

    Oftentimes, getting a credit doesn't sound so great. Who really reads the credits? Well, we're an audio show, so your name won't just be scrolling past -- our announcer will read your name aloud during the ending credits, and you will be credited there and in all other materials as an associate producer!

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Excelsior Secrets Revealed!

    You'll receive a PDF copy of the complete Excelsior Season 4 Writer's Bible (top secret until now!), plus James Heaney's Official Excelsior Timeline, never-before-seen by anyone except James, including many secrets not yet revealed on the show!

    ...plus all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Your very own character file!

    Trekspert and professional artist Jon Baas has volunteered to come out of retirement as a character profiler to construct a custom Star Trek character file just for YOU. Ever wanted to be a Vulcan? A Klingon? A Starfleet officer? (Perhaps aboard the Excelsior-C herself?)

    Jon will work with you and his own extensive collection of encyclopedia material to develop a full, one-of-a-kind, professional quality 24th-century character profile for you, which will be yours to keep! You can decide the general details of your character, and Jon will work with you to develop a full profile, service history, list of awards, and more, all completely consistent with the rest of the canon Star Trek universe! You'll be put in contact with Jon shortly after the Kickstarter succeeds to begin your collaboration with him.

    This is a completely unique, standalone reward, which does not include any of the other rewards.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A song about you! Caitlin Heaney (Lt. Asuka Yubari) will have a 30-minute Skype call with you to get to know you, and will then write a song inspired by you (and your conversation) to be posted on her popular YouTube channel, CaitlinHeaneyMusic!

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level! A big thanks to Caitlin for donating it!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Your very own character file, PLUS the $50 rewards!

    Trekspert and professional artist Jon Baas has volunteered to come out of retirement as a character profiler to construct a custom Star Trek character file just for YOU. Ever wanted to be a Vulcan? A Klingon? A Starfleet officer? (Perhaps aboard the Excelsior-C herself?)

    This reward is identical to the sold-out reward above, except that it is no longer standalone! Along with your profile, you'll also receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Excelsior Fangirl Pack!

    This perk is especially for our loyal fans who've been with us all these years, and now want to see how things are done on our side.

    With this reward, you will be cast in a small speaking role in an upcoming Excelsior episode (not this one). You will be invited to join an official cast readthrough for that episode on Skype, plus you'll earn the right to a private, 30-minute Skype video call with Executive Producer James Heaney AND another 30-minute Skype call with Larry Phelan (Captain Alcar Dovan). And these are Ask Me Anything calls, so if you ever wanted to know more about the U.S.S. Oracle, or hear Larry's singing voice (it's great), this is the reward for you!

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Your name & voice in the title credits!

    At this level, we will credit you as a "Co-Producer" in the episode's OPENING credits... and we will be asking YOU to record yourself saying your own name! Your voice will be heard right alongside Nichelle Nichols's and (if we make the stretch goal) Walter Koenig's!

    Because the opening credits are not that long, this perk is limited to six backers.

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your character appears in Excelsior!

    Ever wanted to see something you created in an episode of Star Trek? Here's your opportunity. Backers with this reward will be invited to create their own character, including a name, rank (if applicable), and short background. This character could be a 24th-century version of you! Or it could be something you've always dreamed of being. During an upcoming regular episode of Excelsior (not the 50th anniversary special), we'll insert your character into the episode (giving him, her, or it roughly 1-3 lines), and boom! Now you're a part of Star Trek!

    If appropriate and practical, we will also offer to cast you in the part you created!

    Limited to 5, because we don't make all that many episodes, and want to make sure we do a good job with each of these rewards.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Early Release!

    Star Trek premiered on NBC on September 8th, 1966. But did you know that it premiered in Canada on September 6th? With this perk, you get to be a semi-Canadian! We'll send you the exclusive lossless version of the finished episode on September 6th, two days before the rest of the world gets to hear it!

    ...plus all the rewards up to the $50 level!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Be part of history! You will be cast in a minor speaking role in the episode, appearing in the SAME SCENE as Mr. Koenig and/or Ms. Nichols! You will be officially credited in the end credits as an actor.

    If you do not have access to a decent quality microphone (we will be in touch to check), we will buy you a microphone from Amazon and have them ship it to you! We will do our best to ship anywhere in the world, but can only guarantee it in the United States.

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

    (NOTE: Because lines are not recorded at the same time, you will not actually MEET Ms. Nichols or Ms. Koenig. Only your character will.)

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Be an even bigger part of history! You will be cast in a minor speaking role that DIRECTLY INTERACTS with Captain Uhura or Captain Chekov. Like Ben Sisko speaking to James T. Kirk in "Trials and Tribble-ations", your character will interact with one of television's biggest heroes on one of Star Trek's biggest anniversaries. You will be officially credited in the end credits as an actor.

    If you do not have access to a decent quality microphone (we will be in touch to check), we will buy you a microphone and have it shipped to you! We will do our best to ship anywhere in the world, but can only guarantee it in the United States.

    ...plus, you'll receive all the rewards up to the $50 level!

    (NOTE: Because lines are not recorded at the same time, you will not actually MEET Ms. Nichols or Mr. Koenig. Only your character will.)

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Funding period

- (29 days)