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Trekkie Runaway Beams Up to Hollywood in 'Please Stand By' Trailer

The opening scenes of a new drama sound just like a traditional "Star Trek" episode: "Captain's log, final entry," the narrator says. "Spock and I are the sole survivors."

No, it isn't another "Star Trek" reboot. Rather, it's the premise for the new drama-comedy "Please Stand By," which opens in theaters and video on demand on Jan. 26, 2018. 

In the trailer, we learn that a young autistic woman named Wendy (played by Dakota Fanning of "Twilight" and "War of the Worlds") is a big "Star Trek" fan. She's so devoted that she knows the name of the daughter of Leonard Nimoy, the actor who originally played Spock in the 1960s. Wendy also watches "Star Trek" every night. 

Her geek dreams come true when the public is invited to submit "Star Trek"-themed scripts to Hollywood. Wendy readies her 500-page script, called "The Many and the Few," in which Spock visits the space station Deep Space Nine.

However, Wendy — despite being in her early 20s and employed — can't easily leave for Hollywood. Because she has a form of autism, a spectrum disorder affecting social skills and the understanding of nonverbal communication, she's under the supervision of a caregiver, Scottie (Toni Collette, "The Sixth Sense" and "Little Miss Sunshine"). The trailer doesn't make clear if "Scottie" is meant to be a play on "Scotty," the chief engineer and a main character in "Star Trek: The Original Series" (1966-68).

Dakota Fanning stars in "Please Stand By," a film about a young woman who runs away from home to enter a "Star Trek" scriptwriting competition. (Image credit: Magnolia Pictures)

"Please Stand By" will warp into theaters in an era when "Star Trek" is bigger than ever. The franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 with numerous events, merchandise offerings, museum exhibits and the arrival of "Star Trek Beyond" in theaters

But the momentum didn't stop there. This fall, the first new "Star Trek" television network show in 12 years, "Discovery," premiered on CBS All Access. It's now midway through its first season, with a second season already in the works.

For more information on the new film, check out its official website.

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.