Fans heard yesterday that BARBARA READER has finally lost her year-long battle with cancer. Let his soul rise above an unknown land and cross the final frontier.
If you don’t know Barbara, but are a fan of the Star Trek movies, you should know that she has made a valuable donation to our community: STAR TREK REVIEWED blog page. Launched in 2009, Barbara’s modest website has quickly grown to an impressive size and contains resources and information on almost EVERY Star Trek movie ever released! I don’t know if I’ve ever found a Trek movie that wasn’t already on Barbara’s site somewhere. If you think I’ve covered a lot of Trek fan films here, I’m peanuts compared to a set like Star Trek Reviewed!
I have never considered Barbara and her blog as competitors. Just like firefighters and police officers, there are not only similarities, but also many important differences in what we do. STR covers EVERYTHING, but mostly as a starting point for articles, interviews, and of course YouTube links to the fan films themselves. Barbara once told me that she sees herself primarily as a fan film librarian.
I’m more of an outside journalist, and while I don’t write as much about fan films, I do get an in-depth look at the production process of each project and get to know the people who make them.
Barb and I (or rather, our blogs) make a great team together!
Speaking of teams, Barbara finally had to find her own team to run the STR. In 2016, as her cancer began to take over (though she never complained or asked for sympathy), Barbara turned to the film community for help. Up until now, I had managed to keep track of all the Star Trek fan films, old and new, and maintain a seemingly endless number of separate websites (one for each production)… For only SEVEN years!
She needed help now, and several volunteers came forward. Among them KIROK L’STOK (real name Alan Anderton) from Australia, SVEN MATTHES from Germany and JAMES HEANEY (from Minnesota). Barbara and Sven found the content of all the fan films, Kirok recorded it and put it on the site (and put it on Facebook), and James was the IT guy. They are already in the process of transferring all the material to the new site, and a searchable database should be available soon. They hoped it would work before Barbara died, but it didn’t.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know much about Barb’s personal history. But fortunately, James Heaney has created an enlightening backdrop…..
Years before Star Trek lit up Roddenberry’s eyes, Barb discovered her first love as a child: Comic books. She has become a prolific writer and one of the youngest names to appear regularly in Marvel’s Letters to the Editor columns.
Then Star Trek came out and life began and everything changed. Decades later, after graduating from Yale, surviving an abusive marriage and a roller coaster ride through the 70s and 80s, Barb discovered that fledgling thing called the Internet. Although she had lost touch with her former comic fans, she discovered that comic BBSs (which is a messaging service for young people) existed and decided to sign up.
One of the first topics she found was called What Happened to Barb Reader…? and it was about a group of grunts from the 60s who shared their old letters and asked if anyone knew where she landed.
When she answered, of course, she fitted as if she had never been away. She was a big fan and friend of Barb. She was ruthless. She cared passionately. She will never let something as trivial as the passage of time get in the way of what is important. And she was always surprised to discover the enormous impact she had on the people around her.
Based on my own memories of Barb (Jonathan’s), I always thought she was a woman with strong opinions that she never dared share. In fact – and most of you don’t know this – she quietly sent me friendly corrections to some of the rights on my blog….. and not because she wanted to do a story on me or be recognized as an editor or fact checker. In fact, she asked me not to state her position publicly. No, Barb sent me the corrections because she wanted the information to be there. And I’m proud to say that after years of blogging, I’ve never heard of Barb with corrections.
But I kept hearing from her, even a few months ago, and those messages were always welcome. Although Barbara, like me, has strong opinions, she would never openly criticize a fan’s film. …No matter how good it is. Barb hated trolls and haters. She believed in honoring the fans who showed their love through these projects and has always supported fan filmmakers everywhere.
I contacted some of these directors, past and present, to ask them to say a few words in honor of Barbara Reeder. The responses have been pouring in…. Until the last few minutes before I published this blog. But first, I want to share an official statement from the Star Trek review board: Kirok L’Stock, Sven Mattis and James Heaney
Barb was a fan. She was interested in Star Trek and how we participated in Gene’s universe…and she didn’t care about the quality of our products or whether she agreed with them, she just cared about what we did. Nobody liked fan films anymore. We’re honored to continue her legacy, but we’re sure she won’t be with us every day to find references, correct mistakes, and encourage the Star Trek fans she loved.
Now we want to hear from some of the fans she loved so much. ….
John Atkin and Stan Wu – Yorktown: Healing time
John: Barbara Reeder was one of the great pioneers of the fan film community. She was thoughtful, intelligent and very well organized. The last reel of his life may have passed, but his memory will live on forever.
Stan: I was afraid this day would come for us. I knew Barbara was sick because she said so in one of her posts. She fought her cancer with such courage. Her messages were always so positive that she never spoke of a serious illness. I will miss his comments on Star Trek fan films and current political events.
JOSE SEPEDA – Star Trek: The hunger of nature
Barbara Reeder was a big fan of fan films. She helped raise and promote natural hunger and gave helpful advice. Your research and extraordinary support will be sorely missed.
David Chang – Star Trek Fan Productions International
I’m sorry to hear the news. She contacted me when I was working on my first fan film. I liked the fact that she was interested in the project and was perhaps the first to publicize it. We’ll miss her.
Barbara was a friend to all movie fans. She has made her website a personal mission and legacy. Since the early days of the Time Anomaly, she has supported us. Every year she would go to the progress page… because she wanted to keep her page up, and also because she wanted to see the film in general. It was always nice to see that at least someone remembered my film when it was still in production!
I know her name is known to almost every fan-filmer, and it’s a testament to how important she was to herself. She will be missed… but she leaves a legacy of support for many of us.
NICK COOK – Unafraid
I first met Barb when she told me about Intrepid, and I was honored when I learned that we were her gateway to Star Trek fan films. Many of you may not have known Barb, but the film community owes her a great debt of gratitude for her efforts and kindness over the years. She was one of us, and she will be sorely missed.
Gary Davis – Dreadnought Dominion.
I’ve just received the news of Barbara Reader’s death. Over the past few years, I’ve had the chance to talk to him about our fan film. She’s been a fan since the episode with Tracy, my wife, who is deaf. Her parents were deaf and she loved that we had a deaf character in the production. Even before that, Barbara honored us by showcasing our products on her website. Barbara, we will miss you!
Lee GARTRELL – The Romulan Wars
Barbara Reeder was the first to discover my low budget fan films. She was a big fan of Star Trek fan movies and posted everything she could find on her blog. But alas, my friend has passed away and I will miss her. She was a very nice lady and I wish I had gotten to know her better. She will be sorely missed.
Robin Hayert – Star Trek: The Black Armada
Barbara, or as she called herself at my house: the Star Trek fan film librarian, was such a nice person to talk to about anything. She was as dedicated to the release and exploration of fan films as she was to their creators….. no matter how big or small the product. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the many friends she has made around the world. Thank you for everything, Barbara.
Joshua Irwin and VICTORIA FOX – Avalon Universe and Interlude
VICTORIA: I’ve only spoken to Barbara a few times, but I could tell right away that her joy and enthusiasm for fan films is second to none. Many people may have never realized what an incredible gift she was to this community because she never tried to put herself forward; she was so busy focusing on others. We all owe her a debt of gratitude and will miss her dearly. It will shine among the stars.
Josh: I only had a chance to exchange a few emails with Barbara. But she was very nice. She wrote me back, which was nice, and I could tell from her website that she is dedicated to tracking down and promoting fan films. It was amazing that someone took the time to research and promote other people’s fan films. There are so few such selfless people in the world. The movie fan community has suffered a great loss.
Scott Johnson – Starbase Studios and many other fan productions
Barbara supported us here in Oklahoma City when we were a Starbase studio. Trekdom will surely pass! !! She was the best.
GEORGE KAYYAN – Starship Antilles.
Barbara Reeder was a wonderful woman. She loved Star Trek fan films and found me online. Since then she has promoted, defended and appreciated my work. In time, we became good friends. I will always be grateful for the many memories we had together. Let us honor his memory. Live through us.
Michael L. King – Starship Valiant.
I just heard about Barbara Reader’s passing. It makes me so sad. We had many conversations and she was always so down to earth, sweet and caring. I will miss her, and the fan film world will not be the same without her presence. She loved fan films and was often a voice of reason, acceptance, wisdom and inclusion. Thanks for all you’ve done for the fan films, and from the bottom of my heart: RIP dear Barbara.
Randy Landers – Potemkin photos
Barbara was a friend of the Star Trek films, their creators, cast and crew. Their website, Star Trek Reviewed, is a testament to their love of it. She will be sorely missed.
MARK BIG – Track set
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara Reeder. She has always supported me in my work and I have enjoyed our correspondence. Most people know her as an advocate for fan films about Star Trek, but she was also a comic book fan in her youth and wrote many letters to the editors of DC Comics that were published in their letters pages. I found several and she was a master storyteller and had a keen eye and humor! It’s a shame I couldn’t share this last movie with her.
MIKE LONGO – I look forward to this day.
I only knew Barbara and her work. She took care of our fan films and catalogued them so they could be seen. This is sad news for us, the Star Trek fan community. The second star on the right…
VANCE MAJOR – The Saga of Minard and the Constar Chronicles.
She has also always taken the time to work on any project, big or small. Her heart was very big and most of us don’t realize the impact she really had. She was such a warm person and I will miss her very much.
GARY O’BRIEN – Meet the Chances and the Sacred Heart.
I remember a few hours after Chance Encounter was released, I got a nice, warm email from Barbara, who somehow already knew everything about the movie and had already created a page for it on Star Trek Reviewed! She was very determined and welcoming when I first dove into the world of Trek fan films. Wherever she is now, I’m sure it’s for the best.
ALEC PETERS – Aksanar
Barbara’s website, which was the predecessor of . She set the tone and we all benefited from her dedication and passion. His tireless work cataloguing all the Star Trek fan films is a very important part of the Star Trek legacy.
RAY TESI – Republic and Neutral Zone Ship Studios
Barbara’s death is a great loss to the Trek fan community. Star Trek Reviewed has listed and updated every fan film ever made. He’s been a friend of ours since Starship Republic and has continued that friendship through Tales from the Neutral Zone. We will miss her…
GLEN WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS – Federation and WARP 66 Studio Files
Then: Although I never physically met Barbara, she contacted me several times and was very interested in every detail of our films. I will remember her for her exceptional fairness to all the Star Trek films she reviewed, and for her fair treatment of all productions, regardless of budget, plot, or author. She was loved and will be missed.
Glen: If you have a UFP flag, it should be at half mast today. Star Trek fan films lost an icon yesterday. Barbara Reeder, founder of Star Trek Reviewed, has been taken from us. Barbara, I pray that you may rest in peace as your mortal journey comes to an end. His spirit will live long in the hearts of all Star Trek fans. Barbara, you are a giant in the Trek community and you will be sorely missed. (Turns to the starry sky with the birth of a bright new star).
There were also a few comments from members of the Fan Film Forum Facebook group (who I had invited to share their thoughts) …..
MARTIN BENNETT – She loved all the fan films, from the big to the small, she was a very caring person who will be missed by the community.
John Tessler – Even though we only spoke on Facebook, I considered her a friend. It gave me the chance to meet a lot of fan directors. She never let her battle with cancer take over her life. The fan film world is mourning now, but soon we will accept the idea that our world is richer because we have been there. It’s a much better thing I’ve done. It’s a much better recovery than I’ve ever known.
Second star to the right, and straight on until morning.
ANDREW J. Lucas – Oh, no. I talked to her several times. His preservation of many, many small films was a much appreciated archive, and his insight into many fan films will be missed.
PER KRUTKE – Barb and I had a very good online relationship. Yes, we were not always on the same wavelength, but that happens so often in families and friendships, and then? I’m gonna miss her so much. It still moves me to see how long she fought this beast that she eventually defeated. It has been very strong all these years. Barb has left us the legacy of Star Trek – and what a great legacy it is! Barbridger – God help you!
And finally, to end this tribute with yet another person who has given something of himself to the entire film community, here are ERIC’s thoughts. L. WATTS, Founder and Chairman of Treklanta, creator and producer of Bjo Awards….
Barbara Reeder’s passion and dedication to independent Star Trek fan films is absolutely unmatched. The fact that she put so much time and energy into compiling and updating the most comprehensive and reliable source of independent Star Trek fan films – an amazing feat by any standard – shows how much she loved them. Needless to say, it would have been impossible to create and produce the Bjo Awards without Barbara’s phenomenal work on Star Trek Reviewed, and I will be forever grateful for her support.
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