HOLLYWOOD, CA - After nearly 18 months of silence, Paramount Pictures spokesman Josť Niger has re-emerged, and yesterday held a press conference on the future of the so-called eTrektion.
"When mistakes are made, sometimes it takes courage to admit to them, but I'm going to come right out and say it: it's your fault," explained Mr. Niger to the assembled journalists. "The eTrektion's media coverage was negligible. What should have been a contest for the ages, touted on the front page of every newspaper in the land, was instead only covered by a two-bit online birdcage liner that thinks crumply gray background images are the height of sophistication. I don't know how many steps above total obscurity that is, because they're too small to count. And we figured, if no one widely-circulated was going to care, why bother?
"Over time, however, we started to feel bad about it. We'd put all this effort into finding a new Trek producer, and that's effort we'll never get back. We'd left our aspiring candidates to twist in the wind without getting any money out of them. But the real blow came last week when Canada had a federal election. Canada! I can't think of a single thing less important than who runs that podunk country, and they still bothered to go the whole nine yards. If they can pull it off, we'll be damned if we can't.
"So lock up your tribbles, folks! The eTrektion is personal. And this time... it's back."
Anticipating questions about how the franchise's current status would be accommodated, Mr. Niger explained, opening with a question. "Okay, who here has heard of retcons?
"Well? Come on. Someone here must have. You're reporting on Star Trek, for God's sake.
"Oh, fine. A retcon is what you call it when you deliberately ignore or alter established continuity. TV shows and movies do retcons all the time, and the comics industry practically lives off them. The standard procedure there is to hire John Byrne and have him change everything we know about a character, then, after a few years, hire someone else to change everything John Byrne knows about the character. It's been going on so long that Byrne is running out of targets. Who ever cared about the Doom Patrol?
"But I digress. The point is, given how much things have changed since this business started, we need to do a retcon of our own. When the eTrektion was first announced, Enterprise was going into its fourth season. But NOW when the eTrektion was first announced, the fourth season had just ended and we were getting ready for a fifth. And none shall say otherwise. With me so far?"
This reporter, not with him so far, inquired about the contradictions inherent in such a redefinition. "Not to worry," replied Mr. Niger. "For the most part, the universe will sort itself out. For example, the candidates who were running before are still running now, they just started a year later. And the new Enterprise season is set to air on CW, since that's what UPN will have become next fall. Child's play.
"There's only one real tweak that has to be made: 'These Are the Voyages' no longer happened. It was a series finale, so under the new continuity, it wouldn't have been made in Season 4. This is not in any way a concession to the bashers, but I don't mind if they take it as one, because it'll really tick off that Zeke guy."
Regarding the next step, Mr. Niger explained, "We've got a final list of candidates now, and as soon as we get in touch with them all again to confirm their intention to participate, we'll release it. It's about half-and-half between real people and NPCs. ....What? Look, this is enough like a role-playing game to use the terminology. Now get out of my way, because I just passed my this-interview-is-over check."
While we at This Just In have been unable to illegally (shh) obtain a copy of the list of candidates this time, we did check in with some of the known ones. Incumbent producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga will still be defending their title; the latter observed that "It's too bad Threshold was cancelled, but at least it frees me back up for this. Uh, I mean, Threshold never happened and I was always doing this. And it hasn't been a year, either. And I didn't say any of that. Geez, now I know how my characters feel when I mess with their timeline."
Former Enterprise staffer Manny Coto is also running -- separately. "I want Rick and Brannon to understand that this is nothing personal, but my fans in The Coterie have convinced me that I am, quite simply, God. As such, I don't see any reason to settle for second place when this show is part of a universe I created."
Star Wars Grand Moff George Lucas has confirmed his intention to run. "With the second trilogy complete, I'm looking forward to a new challenge. Revitalizing the world's most popular sci-fi franchise won't be one, but it'll make a good warmup."
"We're all over this like mustard on chocolate," stated South Park co-creator Matt Stone. "Trey and I have even kidn-- built a superintelligent robot to help us come up with ideas. We call him AWESOM-O."
Cult favourite Joss Whedon will still not be running, but he did tip us off to a new candidate -- none other than Marvel Comics overlord Stan Lee. "I'm the perfect guy to take after Gene Roddenberry," boasted Mr. Lee. "I made something in the 60's that revolutionized an industry and permeated popular culture, and I have the libido of six Hawkeyes rolled into one. Jolene Blalock is fine if you like that sort of thing... but I can get Pamela Anderson for the role. Excelsior!"
On a related note, we are -- frankly -- horrified to announce some breaking news: Jolene Blalock is now an eTrektion candidate. Fortunately, none of the comments she offered us were printable.
Evil feline Human Resources director Catbert has entered the race with a surprise running mate: artificial intelligence HAL 9000. According to party spokesman PointyHairedJedi, "We're not going to lie to you: if elected, we will rule tyrannically. This is also true of all the other parties, but we're honest about it."
Candidate Opium of the Morphine Party (a loose alliance of controlled substances) was in high spirits. "I'm so glad Paramount has finally sorted out their eTrektile dysfunction. ...What? Can't I say anything around here?"
"Lame," commented robot AWESOM-O.
As before, This Just In will be your best source for the upcoming campaigns. Look for our candidate profile series on newsstands soon, and keep --
Wait a minute. Birdcage liner?