Okay, we all know Star Trek Discovery is headed to the small screen next year. Star Trek Beyond is out and another movie may or may not be made. But more, we know Paramount is at least making noises (sometimes very loudly) about fan productions, not least (at least imho) because they seem be increasingly high-quality. Axanar is merely the most obvious. The posted guidelines for "permissible" Star Trek fan productions boil down to--make it tiny, make it crap and pay us for it. This makes me wonder if perhaps the franchise we all celebrate might be in the process of giving birth to something new? Consider how Renegades has dropped all references to things overtly Trek (well, as much as possible). Might the fan production community find a legally safe and also compelling direction to go? Simply avoid those details which can be definitely nailed down as belonging to Gene Roddenberry's creation and then--well, legally, the sky is the limit. Doesn't matter what mood Paramount might be in, or whether you pay your crew or sell t-shirts or dvds or what. Keep in mind the technology to create high-quality special effects and the like are only going to get easier and easier as time goes by... So. Is it possible fans will create the next iteration of Star Trek themselves, but do it by (just barely) not making it Star Trek at all? Think about the basic premise--a starship crewed mostly by humans or some variations thereof, with a name from earth history, representing some kind of interplanetary alliance, commonwealth, hegemony, union, etc. The are explorers who also serve as the first line of defense for their multicultural civilization. Words and societies to discover. Secrets and mysteries to uncover. Dangers and phenomena to be faced. The crew of this starship in effect are heroes, a blend of the Argonauts with Gulliver, Horatio Hornblower meets Professor Challenger--in outer space. What about any of this violates copyright? What do you think?