Star Trek LCARS Blueprints Database: “There are currently 1,703 Blueprint Sheets Online.”

Apparently, the online world of Trek fandom has sprung up again in the wake of Paramount dropping intimidation lawsuits as a fan-retention strategy. This site is only a partial node of the parent site, which appears to be devoted to making out-of-print Trekanalia available online, as is the case with this really quite incredible collection of Trek blueprints.

Back in the 70s, I had hard-won early editions of the Franz Joseph / Bantam Enterprise blueprints and Starfleet Technical manual, which inspired a limitless array of variously professional and otherwise interpretations of Trek tech as envisioned by your shop teacher.

Still, these documents were among the aspects of Star Trek that drew it closer to me than the Star Wars universe. Star Wars fans made and make obsessively accurate and cinematically detailed costumes; Trek fans produced obsessively detailed and quite uncinematic blueprints. Star Wars fans thought they were creating for the camera; Star Trek fans thought they were creating for a new world.

I wonder what the shift to embrace fan-created and fan-inspired content means for Star Trek? After all, the upcoming film is generally thought to have been greenlit based on the presence of competing fan film projects that used new actors to portray Kirk, Spock, McCoy et al.

I have a hard time imagining that it would result in the fictional world of canonical Star Trek suddenly embracing the anarchy of a copyright-free sci-fi souk. No, the appeal of the series – especially the first series – is specifically authoritarian, and the fan content seen here adopts that rhetorical tone.

These documents are savory precisely because they adopt the voice of authority as camouflage, of NASA technical documents and NORAD strike plans, and the particular thrill of these items was always that they never dropped the pose by inserting the Paramount logo or a special guest appearance by, oh, Lucille Ball into the apparent documentary evidence for a better future.

The pose is, I must admit, something I personally savor and have a bit of experience of.