By Jose Greico
As I stand here amidst 5,000 Trekkies in Dallas, Texas grabbing a drink with my friends I can’t help but think back on how I got here.
In the midst of the pandemic we all did crazy things. Most were unproductive, time wasting, boredom activities. But some amazing things came out of this pandemic boredom as well. For me as a lifelong Star Trek fan, Captain’s Log was absolutely the most important boredom contribution.
For those that don’t know, Captain’s Log was a platform and community started by Jonathan Gower and Omar Parker. Initially it began as a YouTube channel, with a few one off videos about certain Star Trek topics. From there the audience grew and grew, from 1,000 subscribers, to 10,000 subscribers, to 200,000 subscribers. As the audience grew, so did the content. Parker who hosted most frequently had a wild, crazy energy that always kept things entertaining. They had skits, watch parties, lore videos, and even video game playthroughs.
Both creators will openly admit their hobby quickly became a growing business and community. Gower became the President of the company, and Parker became the CRO as they hired 5 employees. Months later their CTO, Charles Burt began to work on a platform, captainslog.tv after they had a few copyright strikes against their content (amazingly enough these strikes came days after they received their Silver Play Button). The new website would have daily watch parties, community engagement, an online store, and a very active forum all built for Trekkies. The platform surprisingly only grew in size once leaving YouTube, with it being stated at one point that the platform had over 500,000 viewers monthly. Gower primarily attributes this to word of mouth. I believe it was even stated that their store had pulled in over 7 figures of merchandising.
I’ll admit in the dark times of the pandemic, their content and community was often a ray of sunshine. Much like Star Trek itself, an optimistic, fun escape that everyone could enjoy. The creators and the team they assembled over time also created a safe space for all. With a zero tolerance policy and open arms it became a safe space for all races, genders, and overall qualities.
Two years later, as the world reopened, it was announced the platform had been acquired by a competitor and that it would be absorbed. The community surprisingly took this in stride, being optimistic and kind. A stark difference from most other fanbases that bully actors off of social media and ruin the lives of child actors. With the platform done for, the team behind the platform (now in the double digits) announced a final goodbye meet up in Dallas where Parker is from.
And here I am, along with 5,000 other platform fans who gathered to say goodbye to a platform that pulled me through the pandemic.
I think as time goes on we all grow up, adapt, and mature. Obviously Parker, Gower, and Burt weren’t going to stay with the platform forever, as they have blossoming careers. And I don’t think the fandom wants them to keep doing something when they want to move on. But I can’t help but feel melancholic. It may be a long time until this community feels quite as attached to something again.
With all that being said, I wish the team all of the best in their future endeavors. They are incredible, kind, and deserve every award and praise they receive. I can’t wait to see what they do next.