Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
is a 2005 motion picture produced by five friends in a two-room flat with a small budget and the support of a few hundred fans and several dozen acquaintances. It is the seventh production in the Star Wreck
movie series, and the first of professional quality and feature length. It is a dark science fiction comedy about domination of the world and the universe, and a parody of the Star Trek
and Babylon 5
The original version ("net version") of the film is available as an authorized and legal download on the Internet under the Creative Commons BY-ND-NC license.< name=cc-by-nd-nc-fi> [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/fi/ Finnish Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial license</>
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
starts off with the newly established P-Fleet warping into a remote region of space. They approach an anomaly, identified as a "maggot hole" (a parody of the worm hole). On the bridge of the C.P.P. Potkustartti
(the name means Kickstart
), Captain James B. Pirk (Samuli Torssonen) reminisces about the events up to the point where the previous movie, Star Wreck V: Lost Contact
, ended. Pirk is stranded with his crew, Commander Dwarf (Timo Vuorensola) and Commander Info (Antti Satama), on 20th-century Earth. Dwarf works at a small-time hot dog stand, and Pirk gorges on hamburgers while trying to pick up girls. Info's whereabouts are unknown.
While they are stranded on Earth, the timeline is damaged beyond repair, so Pirk takes matters into his own hands. He locates the spaceship of the Vulgars, whose first contact mission was corrupted by rock star Jeffrey Cochbrane, who sold their ship to Russia. Pirk incites the Russians at the Chanistanya nuclear facility to revolt. They build a new ship, the C.P.P. Kickstart
. With Russia's help the P-Fleet is reconstructed. Earth quickly falls under Pirk's rule, but the primitive technology of the new P-Fleet's ships prevents the empire from expanding to other planets.
Sergey Fukov's encounter with the maggot hole inspires Pirk to desire further conquest. He takes the fleet through the maggot hole to a parallel universe, in which history has taken a different path, leading to Babylon 5
-like technology. Pirk reveals his plans to conquer the parallel universe to Captain Johnny K. Sherrypie, the commander of the Babel 13 (which resembles the Babylon 5
space station). The two sides battle, and Babel 13's fleet is devastated. Sherrypie surrenders to the P-Fleet's forces and lures Pirk and the Kickstart's
security detail with promises of shore leave and sexual encounters with the Babel 13's female personnel.
Sherrypie and his crew later try to execute Pirk, but he and his men escape. Battle resumes with the arrival of the Excavator
, commanded by Festerbester. In a bitter fight, the P-Fleet suffers considerable loss, and the Excavator
inflicts heavy damage on the Kickstart
. Crippled, the Kickstart
is set on a collision course, and the bridge personnel evacuate to Fukov's ship, the C.P.P. Kalinka
. The destructive force of the Kickstart
ramming the Excavator
on the edge of a twist core split (a parody of Star Trek
's warp core breach), along with the Kalinka
destroying the Excavator's
bridge, destroys Pirk's flagship. The remaining five P-Fleet ships move in on Babel 13, preparing to destroy it, only to learn that Sherrypie's security officer Mikhail Garybrandy (Jari Ahola) has primed the station's reactor to blow up. The blast destroys the other ships, but the Kalinka
escapes through the maggot hole, spiraling out of control and crashing into what appears to be ice age Earth. Pirk, Info and Dwarf beam down to safety as the ship crashes. The ending mirrors Pirk's initial predicament: he is stranded without a ship during an uneventful time in history. Info suggests he go into power save mode and stop the fleet from ever leaving, thus saving Pirk and the rest of P-Fleet. The camera then pans into Earth's orbit, showing the debris of the remaining P-Fleet, suggesting that they are in the future, not the past.
Most of the major characters are obvious parodies of characters from Star Trek
or Babylon 5
=Members of the P-Fleet=
- Captain/Emperor James B. Pirk, played by Samuli Torssonen. A semi-independent character based on James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, his surname an amalgamation of the two, who amounts to a megalomaniac, egotistic and incompetent fool with incredible luck. He has an eye for tactics in ship-to-ship combat, but lacks any social abilities. The only reason he has ever advanced beyond Sub-Lieutenant are his tactical skills and his ability to keep discipline by bullying.
- Commander Info, played by Antti Satama. A parody of Data (Star Trek). He is basically an android (robot) with Asperger syndrome. He is always correct, and tends to annoy everyone around him. On 21st-century Earth, when he runs out of flesh-colored paint, he stops trying to disguise himself.
- Commander Dwarf, played by Timo Vuorensola. A parody of Worf. He is a psychotic Plingon alien who betrayed his people to join Pirk's crew. True to his Plingon warrior background, he never showers or bathes. Famous for saying "Plingon warriors do not take showers!", he is trigger-happy and eager for action even when it puts the objective at risk.
- Sergey Fukov, played by Janos Honkonen. A semi-independent character based on Pavel Chekov. He is the great-great-great-great-grandfather of the original Fukov in Star Wreck 1, 2, and 3. Before joining up with Pirk, he was a highly incompetent nuclear engineer at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. He is the only captain of the P-fleet to inflict more destruction on his own ship than on the enemy. As Emperor Pirk says, he is "a brain-dead piss-for-brains Soviet mutant".
=Members of the Babel 13 forces=
- Captain Johnny K. Sherrypie, played by Atte Joutsen. A parody of John Sheridan (Babylon 5). He is the commanding officer of space station Babel 13 and likes making long-winded speeches and delaying decisions.
- Commander Susannah Ivanovitsa, played by Satu Heliö. A parody of Susan Ivanova. She is the sarcastic Executive Officer of the Babel 13. Her daily duties consist of reporting parking violations and enduring Sherrypie's speeches. She bemoans the fact that her career seems to have stalled.
- Festerbester, played by Janos Honkonen. A parody of Alfred Bester (Babylon 5). He is a Psy-Co officer with a habit of commandeering ships, and he is a good tactician. He is played by the same actor who plays Fukov (just as Walter Koenig plays both Chekov and Bester).
- Security Chief Mikhail Garybrandy (Karigrandi), played by Jari Ahola. A parody of Michael Garibaldi, who also parodies Kari Grandi with some of his jokes and with the name. He is Babel 13's head of security, and tends to drink at the most inappropriate moments.
- President Ulyanov, played by Kari Väänänen. His name is a erence to Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin). He is the president of Russia—an honest, well-mannered politician with the best of intentions.
- Lieutenant Swagger, played by Tiina Routamaa. She is a parody of every exploited female officer in the history of science fiction. Lieutenant Swagger is the beautiful but ice-cold helm officer aboard the Potkustartti. Her tough composure only lifts on seeing Pirk in peril. She hates her uniform. (Some online sources, such as the user-edited IMDb, give her character the name Lt. Whip; she is not erred to by name on screen.)
- Ambassador Flush. A parody of Kosh Naranek, he utters idle comments in cryptic ways.
The movie was produced by Torssonen, who also played the part of Pirk and was one of the writers. In the early 1990s he produced short animated humorous fan films inspired by Star Trek
, under the collective title Star Wreck
. During those early years, Torssonen recruited his friends to help him in these productions. Most notable of them was Rudi Airisto, who disliked Star Trek
and helped to add parody to these films.
After four animated short films, Torssonen and his friends decided to produce a longer live-action piece. The first was 1997's Star Wreck V: Lost Contact
, a straightforward parodistic retelling of Star Trek: First Contact
with some original elements. All the non-location shots were produced using a Chroma key technique. This movie, like the preceding animations, was a small cult hit on the Finnish science fiction scene.
After Lost Contact
, Torssonen and others intimately involved with its production decided to create a final, sixth episode. It was planned to be a 15-minute live-action special effects heavy film containing the basic plot elements of In the Pirkinning
: Pirk acquiring a ship and then a fleet, a quick transport to a Babylon 5
-like world, where the Trek-inspired P-fleet ships would have a huge battle with Babylon 5
-inspired ships. Airisto was to direct, and the production started in the way Lost Contact
was made: without proper planning, but learning as they went. After Airisto moved to the UK to study, Torssonen called Timo Vuorensola and appointed him as director.
The first years of production were a period of learning and recruiting. No footage shot during that time survived to the released film. In 2000 the production crew released an intermediate film, Star Wreck IV½: Weak Performance
, a short live-action piece. For the next several years, little progess was visible to outside observers. It took altogether seven years from the first conception of the movie to its release. Most of that time was needed to render all the computer-generated imagery for the special effects and for the virtual sets for all non-location scenes.
For most of the production, the studio was a converted two-room apartment. One room featured the blue screen and most of the computers and other equipment involved in the shooting. The kitchen contained the render farm, and a closet was used for dubbing. A number of other locations were used, including a newly built college building and a cruise ship.
The film features three professional actors: Jari Ahola, Karoliina Blackburn and Kari Väänänen.
The ships used in the picture are almost exact copies of ships from Star Trek
and Babylon 5
, but with parody names. The name of Pirk's ship, the Enterprise-E
, means Kickstart
. The Excalibur (Crusade)
from Crusade (TV series)
becomes the Excavator
. Babylon 5
Starfury are renamed Star Flurries. Earthforce's Omega class destroyers are erred to as Amigo Class Destroyers and bear names like Backgammon
(parodies of Agamemnon
from Babylon 5
). Two of the Amigos are named after the Finnish military figures Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
and Adolf Ehrnrooth
, and one is named after a hero of Finnish mythology, Ilmarinen
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
exploits many kinds of humour, from word play and short gags to character parodies and a black comedy story line. Much of the word-level humour is based on mistranslation. For example, the alien race Minbari from Babylon 5
The Star Trek
spoof material is mostly inherited from the earlier Star Wreck
films, dating back to the first Star Wreck
animation from the time when Torssonen and his friends were in their early teens. Consequently, some of the Star Trek
spoofs have a distinctly teenage feel.
Most Star Trek
and other science fiction terminology has corresponding terminology in Finnish, introduced through many translations of science fiction. Star Wreck
takes these established translations and twists them: for example, a phaser is conventionally translated as vaiheinen
("that which has phases"), while the Star Wreck
equivalent is tuikutin
(literally, "a thing that can cause twinkling"). Similarly, warp is conventionally translated as poimu
(tuck, especially of a garment), while Star Wreck
(twisting or becoming perverse). English subtitles try to apply similar ideas, such as twinkler for phaser, and twist for warp. Photon torpedoes have become light balls, and a wormhole is a maggot hole. Pirk himself has a poor understanding of several words, saying "resorts" instead of "resources", for example.
The character of Mikhail Garybrandy is also a spoof. The Finnish name of the character is Mihail Karigrandi, a erence to the fictional character Kari Grandi, whose adventures for the benefit of thirsty people (bringing them the Grandi-brand juice to drink) were depicted in a long-running series of Finnish TV commercials. The tagline of the commercials is paraphrased in the film roughly as "After all, I am the hero of all who are thirsty ... a legend in our time". The fact that the Garybrandy character likes his alcohol also plays on this idea.
As a spoof of both Star Trek: The Original Series
and the Finnish language, the engineer of the Potkustartti
(credited in the English credits as "the Scottish engineer") speaks Finnish in a heavy Turku dialect. This parodies Montgomery Scott's speaking in Scots language. Moreover, the corresponding English subtitles have been rendered into Lowland Scots.
During the seven years of production, In the Pirkinning
was occasionally mentioned in the Finnish media, including several stories in national television news and in major regional newspapers. Several favourable reviews have been published in Finnish media since the release.
Within a week of the movie's authorized Internet release, more than 300,000 copies of the movie were legally downloaded from the main distribution site, excluding the several mirror sites.< name=magentasites10207>magentasites 10207]</> Within two weeks, it was estimated that more than 1,500,000 copies had been downloaded in total, including the mirror sites. Within two months, the estimate stood at more than 2.9 million copies downloaded from the official site alone. The film's service provider, Magenta sites, reported over 2 petabytes of data transfers and estimated that total number of downloads, including all mirrors, would be .< name=magentasites10210>[http://www.magentasites.com/public/index.php?page=10001/10210 magentasites 10210
On January 28, 2006, In the Pirkinning
premiered in Finnish TV, broadcast by YLE TV2< name=YLETV2> YLE TV2, YLE TV2 Channel Feature
, 28 January 2006. "Star Wreck VI: In The Pirkinning"]</> followed by a February 4 rerun on YLE's Digital television channel, YLE Teema]
. Teema's broadcast included the earlier movies and a documentary.
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning: Imperial Edition
was released on December 13, 2006. It is available on DVD only and is distributed by .
In the Imperial Edition, the only major change to the movie itself is that the special effects have been redone and ship models are entirely new. The two-DVD release also has a number of documentaries and a commentary track. The motives for this release were the production crew's desire to use their own ship designs in the movie and to get additional funding for their next movie, Iron Sky
The Imperial Edition was released in North America in 2009 on a single DVD, but retaining all the features of the Finnish release. For the American release, the box title was shortened to Star Wreck
and the box art shows Torssonen wearing a Starfleet uniform with normal Star Trek
The experiences of the creators of Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
led them to develop Wreckamovie, a Web 2.0 service that serves all kinds of audiovisual productions, from short films and music videos to full feature-length films. The concept is that anyone can build a community for a movie or audiovisual project and ask for assistance with identified production tasks.
Sources for this article include the movie itself and the documentary distributed with it on the DVD image.
Category:Finnish science fiction films
Category:Creative Commons-licensed science fiction films
Category:Fan films based on Star Trek
Category:Comedy science fiction films
Category:Space adventure films
Category:Parody films based on Star Trek