You have to remember when this was made. Generations left a bad taste in many fans' mouths because Kirk, who beat up genetic supermen for breakfast, died because he was too heavy on a teetering bridge. I could almost accept the first "death" of Kirk, what with him saving the Enterprise and all.
I don't recall there being many fan films then, either. And to us Kirk fans, it was a shot in the arm after putting up with the character's stupid, senseless death. Of course, the situation has changed since then. In Shatner's novels, he brought Kirk back for adventures in the Next Gen era, and now a new actor is playing the role.
This is a perfect example of Paramount wasting their resources. I would have liked to see an annual Trek film with the original cast before any of the actors beamed up to the big Enterprise in the sky, but the company didn't know how to handle the lightning in a bottle Star Trek was ... and is.