Greg Cox wrote:
The thing is, people try to set up this binary either/or dichotomy between "the fans" and "the non-fans," whereas, in real life, it's a spectrum with extremes at either end and the vast majority of viewing audience spread out along the middle.
At one end, you have the folks who don't "get" STAR TREK and never will. Chances are, they can't tell the difference between "Dr. Spock" and Darth Vader.
At the other end, you have us hardcore, convention-going, bbs-posting, merchandise-collecting super-fans who have seen every single movie and TV episode and can cite chapter and verse on the Organian Peace Treaty. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we are not the "core audience." We are the extremes at one end of the spectrum.
The vast majority of Trek fans consists of people who, to varying degrees, have enjoyed some amount of Star Trek over the years and have a certain affection for their favorite Trek series and characters. They've seen the more popular movies, will pick up a Hallmark ornament or paperback novel if the mood strikes them, and certainly know who Kirk and Picard are, but maybe not Gul Dukat or Robert April . . .
It's the casual fans, along the middle of the spectrum, that mean the difference between a flop and a hit. And they're the audience you mostly need to target.
All well put, but truth be told, as opposed to people
generally, mainly it's only some of us hardcore fans whom I've seen pushing the binary either/or dichotomy between "the fans" and "the non-fans,"
a dichotomy that intrinsically feeds an us versus them
I think it was easy for hardcore fans in the 1970's to convince ourselves that we were the keepers of Star Trek
's flames, but it was really nearsighted not to see that Star Trek
's return and subsequent incarnations could never be solely for our consumption.
To put it into personal perspective, I'd say that my first taste of the divergence between what I wanted in Star Trek
versus what had popular appeal came with the release of The Voyage Home.