When is Star Trek over?  When the fans say it’s over. Not satisfied with the five season of the Star Trek television series Enterprise, one German fan embarked on an epic production which took seven and a half years to complete.  Jürgen Kaiser, the filmmaker, says that his stop motion epic cost about as much as a midsize car to produce.

There are no actors in the film, unless you count the voice actors. All the action scenes with people in them are stop-motion animated.

Kaiser has almost completed his project. The amateur filmmaker has a small working room with two sets. On the left side is the star of his film, the Vulcan Sub-Commander T’Pol, pointy-eared, with a serious expression, and about as tall as Kaiser’s hand. Kaiser had found volunteers throughout Germany, including artists, programmers, craftspeople and voice actors, over 37 people in all. His film was the first Star Trek fan film of this length (a full hour) to be produced, though since it took so long to complete, other feature length Trek films have beaten it to release.

None of the participants can expect to make money out of the project,  since the intellectual property isn’t something they own commercially.”We are the first in the world to have created such a long fan film,” Kaiser declares.  He’s technically right.

Nach dem ersten Teil „Der Zeitspiegel“ kehrt die Crew der Enterprise unter Captain Jonathan Archer in eine Realität zurück, die nicht auf der ihnen bekannten Zeitlinie verläuft. In „Der Anfang vom Ende“ kämpfen die Spezies der zukünftigen Föderation gegen eine kybernetische Lebensform, die alles organische Leben vernichten will. Eine zerstörerische Kraft greift das Universum an. Der Feind ist stark und verfolgt sein Ziel auf nicht ersichtliche Weise. Die Crew mit Trip und T’Pol erhält Hilfe aus der Zukunft. Eine bisher unbekannte Art der Kommunikation ermöglicht eine Verbindung durch Raum, Zeit und Vertrauensbarrieren.

After the events of the previous episode, Crossroads, the Enterprise` crew under the command of Captain Jonathan Archer returns to a reality which is way different from the one they used to know. In The Beginning of the End, the races of the future Federation fight against a cybernetic lifeform which intends to destroy all of the organic beings it encounters — a destructive force – attacking the galaxy. The enemy is strong and pursues a hidden agenda. The crew, among them engineer Trip Tucker and T`Pol, get unsuspected help from the future. An unknown way of communication helps to breach space, time and suspicion by the NX-01`s crew.

The visual effects rival anything done in Hollywood today, and the storyline is extremely well in keeping with what makes a good Star Trek story, though admittedly the use of stop motion puppets doesn’t cut all that well with the exterior scenes. All that aside, though, it’s very polished and is of such high quality that it must make Paramount nervous. If the fans can do work that looks this good, the real deal is going to be held to a very high standard.

Star Trek Beyond premieres in theaters on July 22. Between this, Axanar and Star Trek Continuesfans will have some immediate examples to which the new official film can’t help but be compared.