Well, sadly, they have. . . Here's the petition:
To: JJ Abrams, Brad Grey (Chairman and CEO of Paramount), Frederick D. Huntsberry (COO of Paramount), Mark Badagliacca (EVP and CFO of Paramount), Majel Barrett, and the cast and crew of Star Trek XI
In 1966 Gene Roddenberry gave us his optimistic vision of the future with Star Trek, and millions of people fell in love with his vision. To say that the impact of Roddenberry's vision is profound, is no exaggeration. Designers, engineers, astronauts, scientists, and doctors by the thousands all have stated that Star Trek was the spark which set them on their career path.
And Paramount has benefited greatly from our love of the franchise. When it looked like the original series was going to be canceled early on, it was a letter writing campaign from the fans which saved the series and enabled it to have enough episodes to be considered viable for syndication. From there, things really took off. Five spin-off TV series, ten (soon to be eleven movies), novels and comic books by the hundreds and other merchandising tie-ins by the thousands, if not tens of thousands. The profits from Roddenberry's original seed now measure in the billions.
Yet, it's not simply in monetary gains that Paramount has benefited from Star Trek. The technology which Paramount uses every day to run it's business, owes at least a portion of it's existence to those who were inspired by Star Trek. Indeed, the terms “computer programmer” and “Star Trek fan” might as well be one-in-the-same in most cases. One could argue that technology is only considered to be “sexy” because of it's association with one Captain James T. Kirk.
We fans happily gave our money to Paramount for these things because we believed in Gene and his vision. We very much wanted to be the characters Gene created and have similar adventures ourselves. When Star Trek began, the Space Race was busy gearing up for it's greatest achievement, and it seemed to all of us that soon, we'd be “boldly going where no man has gone before.” That wasn't to be, however. The Space Race fizzled out and Star Trek was canceled.
Still, we fans kept the fires going. It was the fans who organized the first convention, and who launched letter writing campaigns to name the space shuttle in honor of the Enterprise, and it was the technology spun off from the space program which enabled Paramount to expand upon Gene's visions in ways which were undreamed of when Star Trek first premiered. All of these things were insanely profitable for Paramount.
On December 25th, 2008 Paramount is offering us a new vision of the original Star Trek series. Paramount's hoping that we will continue to flock to this latest incarnation as we have to the others. Well, enough is enough. If Paramount's going to expect us to pony up money for this, then we want something in return: We want Paramount or J. J. Abrams to agree to donate at least a portion of the box office receipts for opening weekend to one of the various non-profit (and Paramount will get a nice, healthy tax deduction for this) organizations dedicated to the exploration of space. Be it the X-Prize Foundation, the Planetary Society or other group. This is an investment in Paramount's future. Their artists will use the images beamed back from space as basis for future film scenes, the technology spun-off from those missions will enable Paramount to make bigger (and hopefully better) films of all types, and we know that shortly after commercial spaceflight becomes possible, someone at Paramount will hit upon the idea of shooting a film in space. They'll do it because they know people will go see it. We're asking Paramount to make an investment in it's future, since we know that they'll benefit from what is discovered. After all, it was Star Trek which showed us that.
If, however, Paramount decides that they'd rather continue to simply take our money and give us nothing more than a pale shadow of what Star Trek once was (as they have done with some of the spin-offs and movies in recent years), then we, the undersigned fans will simply stay away from the theaters on the opening weekend for Star Trek XI. Since it is the opening weekend results that drive so much of Hollywood's thinking, our staying away will hurt Paramount's bottom line and not the theater chains. If the film's a good one, then the subsequent weekend earnings as well as the DVD and related merchandising sales will more than make up for the loss. Our point, however, will be made: We're tired of Captain Kirk having all the fun. It's time for the rest of us to get “a piece of the action” and that will only happen if more money is poured into research and development. If Paramount issues a large press release about their donation, it'll attract attention to the new Star Trek film (and hype is always good in Hollywood), as well as raising awareness of the matter (thus attracting more funding as well as more ticket goers). It's a win-win for Paramount, if they're willing to take it. If they don't, then we, the undersigned will not be there on opening weekend.
Throughout my adolescence and many years afterward, I fought to shake the "geek" and "dork" image associated with anything that has to do with SFF. I've succeeded in that endeavor, at least where I'm concerned.
But with a ludicrous petition such as this, do you actually believe that "ordinary" people will applaud and look at Trekkies with anything but derision???
Ah, Trekkies. . . I'm told it's Trekkers nowadays. Apparently it's got more "panache." Yeah right. . .:p
Imagine if those people used all this energy to accomplish something worthwhile instead. . .