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By CARLOS PEDRAZA | APRIL 24, 2019 | 10 MIN READ
 
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Vic Mignogna/Star Trek ContinuesThe situation: Using GoFundMe dollars raised by supporters, Star Trek Continues star and anime actor Vic Mignogna brings a million-dollar suit against Funimation, the company that fired him, and four people he says ruined his reputation. Filed in Tarrant County, Texas. We'll be tracking the case.

1. Peters Takes Aim at More Legal Targets

First of many? Is Alec Peters' lawsuit against former Axanar director Robert Meyer Burnett only the first of many? An email from Peters indicates his desire to strike back at his most ardent critics.
  • Taking action. In the missive to AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza, Peters expresses his frustration with two vocal Facebook critics, Shawn O'Halloran and Sandy Greenberg.
  • O'Halloran's criticism: O'Halloran, who often takes a comical approach to criticizing Peters, isn't surprised, given Peters first threatened to sue him three years ago.
  • Greenberg's criticism: Once an Axanar supporter, Greenberg was booted from the film's Facebook group for asking the wrong questions. His criticism of Peters has since been unrelenting.
  • Embarrassing. Peters accuses the two — and unnamed others — of:

“Go[ing] after me personally, posting fraudulent and Photoshopped bullshit to embarrass me, then I am going to take action.”
  • Suits already in play: Peters also brags about his prospects in the two lawsuits he's currently pursuing against Burnett and Hero Prop owner Tiana Armstrong: "I have started two lawsuits this year against people who owe me money. … I will win both cases."
  • ‘Not bluffing’: His lawsuit against Burnett demonstrates he's not bluffing about suing more people, he says, adding, "the Rob lawsuit should be a wake up call. … Being nice hasn't worked."
  • The real target: It appears Peters most wants to shut down the constant criticism leveled at him in the AxaMonitor Facebook group, saying, "I am happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers."
  • Not on the list: Curiously, AxaMonitor itself (and me, editor Carlos Pedraza) is exempt from Peters' legal ire.
The email: Peters wrote me on February 24, with the email marked "personal and confidential."
  • No such thing: I reminded him we have no pre-existing agreement as to confidentiality regarding any communication with me. He knows I'm a reporter so what he tells me isn't privileged.
  • Offer to talk: I offered to talk with him, and, "before going down a litigious road," I suggested he reach out to O'Halloran and Greenberg, even to seek third-party mediation, in exchange for not quoting his email. He never took me up on the offer.
We'll be publishing Peters' full email in a follow-up article on AxaMonitor.com
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2. Legal Targets Take Dim View of Peters' Threat

COMICAL CRITICISM Alec Peters' legal target, Sandy Greenberg, himself regularly takes aim at Peters, as seen in this meme on Facebook. Image/We ❤️ Axanar Memes Facebook group

Greenberg reacts: One of Peters' two named legal targets, Sandy Greenberg doesn't find Peters' bravado impressive. In a statement to AxaMonitor, Greenberg contends:
  • Legally inept: "First off, his filing suit against Burnett has been a train crash of ineptness."
  • Can't prove defamation: "To prove defamation he’d need to show that something I said was untrue [and] prove I was willfully incorrect."
  • Must sue in England: Greenberg says Peters would have to sue him in the United Kingdom, where he resides.
  • Make Axanar: "If he wants me to go away, instead of spending tens of thousands on litigation he should just make the damn film.  In short, I’m not worried."
O'Halloran reacts: For his part, O'Halloran asserts Peters "continues to overestimate his own prowess and underestimate those who he who he feels are his 'enemies.'" From O'Halloran's statement:
  • Ineptness: "Considering how spectacularly [the Burnett] lawsuit has blown up in his face … does he really think that it’s a good idea to take that chance with any of us?"
  • Unafraid: "If this current litigation … against Burnett is any indication of the level of incompetence and complete lack of legal acumen that I can expect... let’s just put it this way: I’m not exactly quaking in my boots over here."
  • Strong-arming: "Peters would seem to be, once again, attempting to abuse the legal system in order to strong-arm the defendant into acquiescing to his demands."
  • Failed before: Both O'Halloran and Greenberg point to the last time he sued someone for defamation. The case was thrown out and the court awarded damages to the defendant, Jason DeBord — $26,000 Peters has never paid.
  • ‘Rain hellfire’: O'Halloran warns legal action by Peters would be a mistake, saying, "I will consider that a direct threat to my wife and children and I will rain hellfire on him, legally, in such a manner that he could never possibly imagine.
Bluffing? Despite his bluster, Peters' former PR director and close advisor, Mike Bawden claims Peters chose to pursue the Burnett suit because he represented the lowest hanging fruit, legally.
  • Opportunistic bully: In an email to Peters just two days after Peters wrote me, Bawden called the Axanar producer an "opportunistic bully" for going after Burnett instead of Peters' critics:
"Compared to what you’ve threatened and refused to do with [former tech chief] Terry McIntosh, [AxaMonitor editor] Carlos Pedraza, [Alpha Waves Radio host] Michael Hinman, [ardent Facebook critic] Sean O’Halloran, [former Axanar director] Christan Gossett and an unending list of people who have said bad things about you … [it] looks like you’ve decided to file suit against the one guy [Burnett] you were sure didn’t have the financial resources to fight you in court."

Full statements from O'Halloran and Greenberg will be published in a follow-up article on AxaMonitor.com

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3. As Studio Patreon Passes $2,000, Axanar YouTube Producer Admits it is Not a ‘Real Studio’

MONEY PIT The MTM blog describes Axanar's plans for turning its warehouse into 'a real studio.' Image/MTM blog

The blog, Monitoring the Trek Monitors, has been keeping close tabs on Alec Peters' Patreon effort to get fans to cough up $4,000 to keep him in the warehouse he calls Ares Studios.
  • Falling short of a studio: MTM reports that John "Stoggy" Strekis outlined what the warehouse is missing in order to become 'a real studio.'
  • Adding a set: Strekis led a group of volunteers in erecting the Captain's Quarters set originally intended for the Axanar feature.
  • More power: The current warehouse isn't outfitted for the power requirements of movie lighting.
  • Internet: None of Peters' YouTube livestreams is shot at the warehouse, despite his impressive bridge set. Why? Peters admits no one spends enough time there to justify the cost.
Halfway: After noting Axanar recently passed the halfway mark in reaching the $4,000 monthly goal, MTM observes: "Fan studios are a money pit; you cannot make money, you can only hope to break even and that comes from other productions, [themselves] largely powered by fan contributions."

Why it matters: The monthly $4,000 goes totally to rent, insurance and utilities. Strekis' dreams would require patrons to give even more to achieve 'real studio' status. Peters hasn't said how much such improvements would cost, nor has he committed to staying in the warehouse or moving to a much smaller facility.
  • Seen it before: Longtime Axanar observers note Peters' costly, now abandoned, California warehouse suffered from similar infrastructure problems. Back then, he had fans' donations to improve that facility, ultimately sinking almost three-quarters of a million dollars into the failed facility.
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4. Tony Todd Reflects on Axanar Experience

Photo/Trekszone
REFLECTING Tony Todd's career spans several critical roles in multiple Star Trek series. Trekzone's Matt Miller reminisces with him, including a chat about Axanar.


BIG INTERVIEW: Trekzone's Matt Miller sits down with renowned actor Tony Todd to reminisce about his experience playing many roles across multiple Star Trek series, as well as a much-lauded performance in Prelude to Axanar.
  • Listen to the interview: Tune in to Trekzone on Thursday. The interview is available now for contributors to Trekzone's Patreon.
  • Joining Prelude: It was Prelude director Christian Gossett's talent and professionalism that drew Todd to the project.
“It was Christian's dedication and study and hard work and directorial design that made that short the impactful tribute to Star Trek that it was.”
  • And Peters? Not so impressive, according to Todd. At the Korean BBQ restaurant where Gossett convinced Todd to join Prelude's cast, "I believe Alec [Peters] was there but he didn't say much, so I didn't get a take on him."
Leaving Axanar: Gossett, concerned about Peters' mismanagement, left Axanar in 2015. Without Gossett at the helm, Todd departed soon after. Peters later lashed out at Todd after it was revealed Peters kept Todd's departure secret for months.
  • Hawking merch: Years after departing, Todd discovered Peters continuing to use his image to sell merchandise to Axanar fans and demanded he put a stop to it.
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Short Takes: Stranger copyright things

Stranger Things: Creators behind the popular Netflix series are accused of stealing the show's concept by a man who said he'd pitched his film project to the Duffer brothers years before.
  • Judge won't dismiss: A Los Angeles Superior Court says no to their request for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by Charlie Kessler.
  • Implied contract: Kessler believes his sit-down with Matt and Ross Duffer resulted in an implied contract, entitling him to a share in their earnings from the wildly Stranger Things.
  • Not enough facts: The request for summary judgment lacks "verifying evidence of the originality of [the Duffers'] idea.
  • Pattern: Kessler claims this isn't the first time the Duffers have done this.
  • A May 6 trial is scheduled.
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In Case You Missed It …

The future of the franchise is the future? Screenrant and io9 both suggest that Star Trek: Discovery's bold season 2 ending, propelling the starship nearly a thousand years in the future is a big risk but offers a chance to show what's truly enduring about the franchise.

Allegory and social issues propel The Orville, creator Seth McFarlane tells Variety. He wants the show to make viewers think more than laugh, leaning into fantastical premises and allegorical stories. Of course, many of those premises are derivative of Star Trek. Even so, audiences and critics seem to be coming around. No word on renewal yet, however.

That Twilight Zone theme isn't the original: Sure, it's been around for decades but the show's iconic theme wasn't its first. Season 1 back in 1958 had a much moodier tone. The one you're thinking of has evolved different iterations over the years but remains much the same. With its latest version on CBS All Access, the familiar theme gets a bit of a modern workover. From Men's Health (not kidding).

The Good Fight wins a fourth season on CBS All Access. It's one of my favorite shows, and deserves to be yours, too. By turns serious, incisive and wacky, it takes on today's divisive political and social climate with smarts and heart. Binge it before you cancel your subscription with the end of Discovery's season. PopCulture.com reports.

Ewwww! Humans are pooping on the streets of San Francisco, leading the city to create a Poop Patrol (and interactive map charting poop sites) to stamp out the growing problem, spending upwards of $750,000 a year. From Fox News (naturally, since they can't pass up an opportunity to make the liberal city look bad). With video, if you must.
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Find Us on Super Geeks

Join AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza every week on the Super Geeks podcast, and Geek of Thrones review show, both on Subspace Radio, Mondays  at 8 p.m. PST/11 p.m. EST. If you miss it live check the "rewind" section for recorded episodes. Super Geeks is hosted by George Silsby. Check out the Facebook page, The Real Super Geeks.
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