Star Trek fan film casts real-life astronaut

Contributed by
Aug 20, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT

We’ve known for months that Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was awesome. Besides being a freakin’ astronaut, she also celebrated Towel Day, a tribute to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, on the International Space Station. Now her geek cred has just gone even higher than sky-high.

Cristoforetti will be appearing in the crowdsourced Star Trek fan film Anaxanar.

According to, Star Trek: Axanar follows the story of Garth of Izar, a character who was introduced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Whom Gods Destroy.” Garth’s story takes place about 21 years before the events of the first Star Trek episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

As an astronaut, Cristoforetti has had many special achievements. She holds the title of the longest single spaceflight by a woman (199 days, 16 hours), first Italian woman in space and first person to brew espresso in space (because Italian). But in appearing on Star Trek, she'll be going where one other astronaut has gone before: That first goes to Dr. Mae Jameson, who appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Second Chances.” 

Details of Cristoforetti’s role have not been announced. But I doubt she’ll play Garth’s green-skinned love interest, Marta. 

Star Trek: Anaxanar promises to be a professional-quality fan film, with experienced filmmakers running the set. Contributing to the Indiegogo campaign will assure more episodes ... and perhaps more special guest appearances, like Cristoforetti.