TULSA — Trekkies or Trekkers? When it comes labeling the devoted fans of the science-fiction megafranchise "Star Trek,” Denise Crosby calls herself a purist and sides with Trekkies. At least that’s what the actress who originated the role of security chief Tasha Yar on the television show "Star Trek: The Next Generation” titled her two entertaining documentaries ("Trekkies,” 1997, and "Trekkies 2,” 2004) that explore the world of "Star Trek” fandom. In a recent telephone interview ahead of a three-day appearance sponsored by the Boys Scouts of America at Tulsa’s Trek Expo this weekend, Crosby, 51, said at the time of the first documentary she polled friends who knew little to nothing about "Star Trek” and asked them what they call those fans. They universally said Trekkies and none had heard the term Trekkers, Crosby said. "So, the film I wanted to stand on its own as a film that could play in the cinema and appeal to a broad audience, not just a fan film, and Trekkies is sort of the universal, global expression of ‘Star Trek’ fans,” she said. Because she was someone from the "Star Trek” family, Crosby said, fans granted her access to their private and sometimes very public passion for all things "Trek.” It also allowed her to approach other actors and get them to talk candidly about fans. But Crosby said she didn’t want to offend fans because they had been burned before (by William Shatner’s "get a life” skit on "Saturday Night Live”) and was concerned about how "Trekkies” would be perceived. "It’s a fine line because you don’t want to put on kid gloves and make a recruiting film here for ‘Star Trek.’ I really wanted to have a look into this world of fandom and this particular show, which is unlike anything else and has been sort of the granddaddy of them all. At the same time, I didn’t want to be cruel or judgmental ... so I had to figure out how to really make that real for the film,” she said. Crosby said she got the idea to make the documentaries after attending fan conventions, and she became more interested in the fans than they were in her. She wanted to "flip the camera around.” She teamed with friend and director Roger Nygard to make the films, which show the extremes of fandom, from a Florida dentist whose office has a "Star Trek” theme to 14-year-old Gabriel Koerner, who created special effects on his computer and has since become a movie and television digital effects artist. Koerner’s work can be seen in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film "Shutter Island.” Crosby said she and Koerner have kept in touch over the years. Then there’s the Minnesota man who re-creates "Star Trek” devices and technology, resulting in hilarious footage of his driving a motorized Capt. Pike box beside a busy street as cars whiz by. "When Roger came back and he showed me, I fell on the floor laughing, I mean dying of laughter. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. This is the funniest damn thing I’ve ever seen,’” Crosby said. Crosby said following the popularity of the new "Star Trek” film, she’s hoping to make a "Trekkies 3” that will touch on the new film and its actors and fans as well as visit places not covered by the previous films. "Our intention was always to make a ‘3,’ to have a triple box set. And there are areas I still want to go to. ‘Trekkies 1’ was domestic and ‘Trekkies 2’ we went global, but we didn’t get everywhere,” she said. "And I’m curious still, to make it a full circle about Asia, Africa and India, like what’s going on there. Sort of our ‘Lost in Translation’ version of ‘Trekkies.’”
Boy Scouts charity breakfast
→What: Benefit for the Boys Scouts of America. Denise Crosby and test astronaut Charlie Dry will be guest speakers. →When: 8 a.m. Sunday. →Where: John Q. Hammons Union Multipurpose Activity Center, Redskin Room. →Tickets: $25. →Information: (918) 369-0650 or trekexpo.net.