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Abrams Wants You To Have An Open Mind January 9, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,STXI Status , trackback

EW.com got a moment to talk Star Trek with JJ Abrams after his panel at the New York Times’ 6th Annual Arts & Leisure Weekend. Abrams confirmed TrekMovie.com’s earlier report that there is a draft of the script complete and that it will be ‘trimmed soon’. As usual JJA would not reveal any plot details but did address the contentious issue of who Trek XI is directed at. Abrams made it clear that they have a wide aim:

On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying…For people who’ve never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind.’

Will Trekkies keep an open mind?
Some may read a lot into the above statement, but it is important to remember that the writers and Abrams have stated that they are not going to throw out Trek’s history and that he has great respect for the fans. Bear in mind that just accepting new actors in roles that some hold near and dear will take an open mind for some. As has been discussed on this site before, the Trek franchise does not currently appear to be able to fully support a film with just the hardcore base. Therefore, if fans want Paramount to pump millions into a new Trek film then fans will need to accept that it will have to appeal to casual fans and mainstream movie audiences as well. Recent films like Casino Royale and Batman Begins have shown you can reinvigorate a franchise without abandoning the source material or disillusioning the fan base (except for a lunatic fringe). 

Trek XI’s Producer also expressed how excited he and his team are about Trek XI, telling EW ”I can’t wait to do this…it is an absolute thrill to work on this project. We really are still like, ‘How the hell are we able to do this?”’

 

Original article at EW.com

Note: EW list the screenwriters as Roberto Orci and Alex Christian…it is actually Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman

Comments

1. Matt Wright - January 9, 2007

Well I for one still tend to have faith in JJ, and it sounds like he and his team know what to do, and what the fans expect, and what Paramount expects.

2. Father Rob - January 9, 2007

This is great to read, and I am looking forward to hearing more about the cast and the plot. I am glad that JJA seems interested in bringing some life and vitality back to the series, and I hope that he isn’t afraid to take some creative steps while he seeks to honor ‘canon’.

3. Trekweb Forever!!! - January 9, 2007

I’m glad Anthony’s willing to call the lunatic fringe for what they are. Unfortunately a few fans lose all perspective over things like continuity–in the end, it’s about quality storytelling, not about whether the buttons at the helm station perfectly correspond to the layout from the original series.

And while we’re on the subject of keeping an open mind, I’d like to point out while J.J. and his screenwriters have pledged not to violate prior established Trek history, all we can reasonably take from that is they won’t go out of their way to destroy whatever canonical elements that they know about. But we can’t expect them to have the detailed awareness of canonical minutiae that the hardcore fanbase takes for granted, so it’s entirely possible small elements of canon will be violated from sheer ignorance.

That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to accept as long as we get a great story in return, and maybe even a resurgence in Trek’s popularity.

4. De Baisch - January 9, 2007

Trek can no longer afford to wallow in its exclusivity and the hardcore fanbase really needs to understand that their money alone is not going to support a major film effort. This film has to bring in those folks who can’t tell the difference between a Klingon and a Romulan.

5. trekmaster - January 9, 2007

Abrams: “On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying…”

What kind of fix? Is it the correction of the nexus incident and Kirk’s so called death? We know from the novel based on “Generations” that Kirk being in the nexus reflects several stations in his life, and that’s exactly what Abrams recently mentioned when he talked about a Kirk/Spock centered story based on biographical happenings in both characters’ life and at different times.

6. stallion - January 9, 2007

I’m looking forward to see what he can do with it. If another Trek series is made I would love for Manny Cotto and Ronald Moore to be involve in it.

7. New Horizon - January 9, 2007

I find it amusing that Trek is about being open minded, yet many Trekkers are anything but open minded. I’ll make my judgment after the credits have rolled on this film, and the lights come up.

8. Dip Thong - January 9, 2007

It isn’t the “lunatic fringe” so much as the “collective ownership” mentality that must be overcome. It’s easy to dismiss fans who get caught up in nitpicking and minutia, but harder to ignore otherwise rational people who simply have the mistaken idea that creative decisions are subservient to the desires and opinions of the fans.

9. Scott - January 9, 2007

But…aren’t ALL us Star Trek fans in the lunatic fringe?

I kid. I’m a kidder.

Seriously, I’m a long-time hardcore TOS fan, who watched most of the “other” Treks and enjoyed them to one extent or another. But to me, Star Trek is Kirk, Spock, McCoy, velour shirts, bright colors, blinky lights and rubber Gorns. Still, I have an open mind, and am looking forward to whatever Abrams does with it. I think as long as the guy in charge respects the source material, as Harve Bennett and Nick Meyers did in their movie efforts, it’ll work. Half the fun of watching (and rewatching and rewatching) the old episodes, the movies and the newer shows is finding the continuity gaffes…and then thinking up fun ways to reconcile them!

As long as there’s respect for the “real” Trek, and we get a ripping good tale, and I’ll doff my hat to this next new incarnation of Star Trek.

Scott B out.

10. CmdrR - January 9, 2007

Bring it on! If it’s good in its own right, we can accept the ‘reset’ of some elements.
I swear I won’t dwell on other series in this forum, but a couple of them (BG, DW) have gone through the reimagining phase and come out modern and strong.
Continuity gaffs? Duh! It’s a fictional universe being constructed by hundreds of disconnected, imperfect humans.
Again, the point is to make a movie that works as part of Trek, but all on its own.

11. Norm - January 9, 2007

I’m looking forward to this fresh start! I can’t wait for this movie.

12. Orbitalic - January 9, 2007

#5 Trekmaster… I read the word “fix” in his statement as it would be used to describe what a drug addict needs to function… getting “his fix”.

It’s good that JJ is excited and ready to roll. I look forward to two things. One, the movie of course. Two…. the reaction. Anthony… buy more bandwidth… we may need it when the film comes out.

13. Le Martin - January 9, 2007

I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with. I’ve seen all of Star Trek, most of it in a short period of time and there a clear line of similar thought running all thrughout TNG, DS9 ,VOY and ENT. Maybe it was the fact that Berman was in charge on all those shows, maybe it was the fact that the same people were involved behind the scenes, but, excluding varations in quality, those shows were very similar in style and presentation.

TOS was completely different from those shows, much like the TOS crew movies were different from the TNG crew movies.

I am hungry for something new, something fresh in terms of storyline and style.

Can’t wait to see what Abrams and co. come up with. I hope it’s something different from the style of the Berman era. A new visual style (in terms of cinematography, directing and sets). I’m not talking about shi design or uniform design, but in terms of structure and presentation.

To keep an open mind is good advice. The thing that I want less of is more of the same TNG style that ran throughout TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT. To me, ENT was a breath of fresh air thematically and visually. Too bad that the only overall good seasons of it were 3 and 4, the least watched ones.

I happen to love ALL Trek and to find redeeming values for all of it (including ENT, VOY and the bad parts of TOS,TNG, TAS and DS9).

Trek needs a new voice, a new leader which in fact it really hasn’t had since Harve Bennet.

Berman was too much of a studio man, too much the financial manager and a very poor creative manager. I blame his lack of understanding of the creative side of Trek for the failure of Trek as a franchise.

There are 4 things I wish for:

1) Trek XI ends up as a good movie and a fresh take on the universe

2) Trek XII is about TNG, the final TNG movie that ends that saga. (I wish that the final 2 episodes of TNG (All good things…) had not been made as tv episodes, but rather as the final chapter of TNG instead of NEMESIS). TNG needs a great farewell movie, much like The Undiscovered Country was for TOS.

3) Shatner or somebody that knows the movie well gets to do a Special Edition of Final Frontier (much like Wise got for TMP). That movie is severly underrated and suffered from studio interference (they were ordered to put more humor in the movie, forcefully) and from bad SFX. Final Frontier needs to be upgraded and brought closer to what it was meant to be. A similar thing happend recently for Superman II (a new version called The Richard Donner cut was released and it included unseen footage and revamped storyline, etc)

4) A new animated Star Trek series gets put out. But not the recently rumored project. What I have in mind is an animated Star Trek that has episodes placed within all of Trek’s series. This way we could get new VOY, DS9, TOS, ENT and TNG for not that high of a budget.

Yup, I’m dreaming, but in reality, I just hope for No.1

Trek needs to get fresh…and NOW.

Sorry for my bad typing, but it’s 4 am here and I’m almost fainting from lack of sleep.

14. Anthony Pascale - January 9, 2007

for the record I was referring specifically the the fringe of the Bond fandom. the types of people who reject Casino Royale (the most successful and possibly best Bond film ever) just because the new Bond has a different color hair.

it is this kind of missing the forrest for the trees mantality that I find most infuriating and I am sure that Abrams hopes Trek fans like that can step back and….have an open mind.

in a way…this site was created to help build the case for open mindedness

RE: buy more bandwidth…I already have….site migration will happen sometimes this month to a much more scalable host.

15. mikeg - January 9, 2007

I couldn’t help but feel Abrams enthusiasm when he said, “I can’t wait to do this…” Just imagine what it would be like if you (you, me and everyone here), were given the opportunity to do what Abrams is about to do. Being a fairly hardcore Trek fan, it would be beyond my wildest dreams to be able to actually make a Star Trek movie… I think I envy the new group of producers and writers more than anything.

16. Jeff Nelson - January 9, 2007

Actor Jesse Lee Soffer plays Will Munson on the CBS soap, As the World Turns. He looks a lot like a young William Shatner, including the hairline bu tno toupee. Perfect casting… I hope J.J. Abrams sees this.

17. VOODOO - January 9, 2007

Anthony P:

I loved Casino Royale and Daniel Craig. But, for the record Casino Royale is far from the most successful 007 film when you take inflation into account.

That honor goes to Thunderball with well over $400 million (domestic) when inflation is counted.

Also, I have no problem with younger actors playing these roles. But, I would like to see an aged Kirk and Spock have the chance to give these characters (espically Kirk) the ending they deserve. While taking the bad taste of Generations out of the mouth of all the fans who hated the demise of Kirk in that film.

18. Kevin - January 9, 2007

Le Martin, I agree. The TNG crew does need a decent send off film.

VOODOO, I also agree that this could certainly give those actors a proper way to end thier Star Trek careers. At least that’s my hope, that it will be done right.

Isn’t nice when we agree : )

As for puttin’ butts in the seats at the movies. That’s getting harder and harder to do these days. People don’t go to the movies. Why would they? Pay 10 bucks now (per person) or wait a few months and rent it for a buck. So w/o the support of hardcore fans it could be the last Star Trek movie. So you can try to get as many people in as you can, but you have to appeal to and think of the hardcore fans when making a picture like this.

19. Captain Pike - January 9, 2007

“I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series.”

Just think about for a minute.

Isn’t that the attitude that the director of Nemesis caught so much flack for?

Wasn’t that THE problem with Enterprise.

Can you imagine George Lucas saying, “I’m making the next Star Wars project for people who are ignorant about Star Wars.”

Would you trust your intellectual property to a producer/director who declares, “I’m making this picture for people who don’t know James Bond/Batman/Spiderman/Insert name of your IP here.” How in hades does that build on the value of the property?

I had an open mind, JJ, until I heard that. Now I’m moving to the extremely cautious side of the fence. You’re making a Star Trek movie. You think the movie going public don’t already know what Star Trek is?

Sorry but I don’t see how that sentence, even couched in terms of the rest of his statement, can be anything but a slap in the face to us fans.

I would much prefer a film that reward the fans that do know the series very well. Unfortunately I’m not the flavor of the month Hollywood wunderkind….

Sorry to be so negative, but this “news” annoys me. I think I’ll just ignore Trek XI news in favor of TOS-R news.

20. Scott Gammans - January 9, 2007

Jeff Nelson, Paramount should hire you as a casting director. I just Googled Jesse Soffer and found this photograph:

http://wwwimage.cbs.com/daytime/atwt/star_images/actors/dt_atwt_act_large_jsoffer_05.jpg

Maybe it’s the fact that the shirt Jesse is wearing in that photo has a definite Trek-ish vibe, but I could *totally* see him as a young James T. Kirk.

21. Scott Gammans - January 9, 2007

p.s., Hey Captain Pike, aren’t you jumping the gun just a wee bit? Star Trek XI won’t be in theaters for another 695 days or so and you’re already giving up on having an open mind about it?

22. Anthony Pascale - January 9, 2007

to those that think an actor should be picked based on how much they looked like a previous actor

will you have an open mind if they dont?

please tell me my fellow Trek fans and readers of Trekmovie.com…you people dont think their closness is more important than their talent do you? if you had an actor that was taller and had dif. hair but was a much bigger star and actor…would ou still go with the soap guy just on his looks

For example…These are my parameters for Kirk\’s look:

  • male
  • handsome
  • farm boyish

lots of folks can be Kirk and look not a thing like Shater

have an open mind

 

 

this is why Abrams is saying \’It would be better if you hadnt seen it\’. He wants to make a great movie. He knows that if you spend the whole movie trying to \’match\’ things and compare things (does the actor match, is the bridge railing the right color, are the phasers in the right location, does the backstory match, etc, etc) you will never be able to enjoy it fully.

 

again…the reason for an open mind.

 

 

23. SolFlyer - January 9, 2007

14. “mantality”? not sure if that was a freudian typo or intentional. Either way, I love the word.

I agree that the “lunatic fringe” will not be happy. But really, what would make them happy? The Shat and Nimoy rolling around in wheelchairs the entire movie? Kirk/Pike and Spock/Pike would only be entertaining for so long.

I have been a fan since I was a kid watching Saturday afternoon reruns in the ’70s and I can’t wait for something new. As 19. Captain Pike stated, if you are too close minded to even give the new movie a chance then just stick with TOSR.

24. Adam Cohen - January 10, 2007

Now hold on a sec, Anthony-

I appreciate the discussion and I think we all do need to keep an open mind on this project, but you are coming off a tad bit defensive. Case in point, your #22 post above. A person linking to an actor as a possibility for Trek XI is a fan game we play. We’re not saying (at least I assume we’re not) “Young Kirk must look like Shatner!”, etc. But at the same time, Abrams has set the stage for these kinds of discussions by 1) keeping Trek Xi in the known canon of TOS and 2) asking both Shatner AND Nimoy to appear in this film. And pointing to actors that look like the original actors is completely appropriate in that regard. And second, suggesting actors that look the part does not mean thay we don’t care if they are good actors. Why assume that there is a tradeoff between appearance and talent? I get your point, we may have new actors that don’t look a lot like the classic crew, but why make that tradeoff if there are actors that fill both requirements successfully? And for clarity’s sake, when I say “appearance” I mean both the look and the demeanor of the person. Yes, great actors can bridge gaps in our mind if they give full-bodied performances (one example that comes to mind is Anthony Hopkins as Richard Nixon) but those are rare, special exceptions to the rule. And I don’t want someone with a shaky resemblance to Kirk or Spock doing a full-on impression of Shatner and Nimoy either. In the end, the young actors need to both look the part and have the talent to fill those Starfleet boots in the same way Shatner and Nimoy managed 40 years ago.

PS I disagree with using Batman Begins and Casino Royale as parallel examples to Trek XI in that both of those series have extremely loose canon respectively. And neither film had predecessors from previous movies showing up in them either. Instead, they were clean-cut reboots. So far, Trek XI looks like something a lot more in line within established continuity.

25. Lukas - January 10, 2007

Stingy bastard why doesn’t he give us any plot details even a little one I want at least a vague idea of whats gunna be in this film!

26. Mark2000 - January 10, 2007

I think the definition of Trekkie is a lunatic fringe and this thread makes that clear. Calm down.

27. McCoy97 - January 10, 2007

Greetings one and all
I for one have been anticipationg a new Star Trek movie for sometime. I make minatures for Starfleet Battles, and the ships I make have been acceppted with open arms. I create new ships from my imagination, and they are gobbled up as fas as possible. I pray that Star Trek XI dose attrack new fans, because I see the effects of dwindling fan base. The remastered edition of STOS has deffently made new viewers. I would hate to see Star Trek die off of old age. Greoge Lucas is hopping to keep Star Wars alive as well. Its not because he needs the money it is just like Star Trek, both are part of American mythology.
Last word, May Both Star Trek and Star Wars live long and prosper.
Nuff Stuff Said

28. Josh T. (Thesaurus) Kirk Esquire' - January 10, 2007

# 22

Anthony, that guy that is the Elvis impersonator on the New Voyages fan films meets all of your “criterion” for Kirk – and his is a POWERFUL performance and representation of the character, heh heh. ;)

29. Josh T. (Thesaurus) Kirk Esquire' - January 10, 2007

I think with any casting decision, particularly WELL established characters, any potential casting call first and foremost begins on the written page- i.e. character traits, unique attributes, disposition,etc.

What can be said about our merry intrepid crew? How would a casting director break down the essence of these friends and heroes we know so well?

My take would be:

James T. Kirk – Kirk embodies the Homeresque’ quintessential hero in both appearance and function. Brave, daring, a quiet confidence born of innate ability and experience in his chosen profession. Yet for all his bravado, tempered by a moral and ethical sense of duty and honor. Kirk long ago abandoned any preconcieved expectations of having a substantial long term relationship with a woman, having decided to first and foremost cherish the service to which he belongs and the charter the service pursues, to boldly go…..

Spock – A reserved, stoic, dignified atypical Vulcan nearly unequaled in intellect, yet fundamental to SPock’s persona is his eternal struggle to justify his bloodline duality. ( Not to actors. Vulcans HAVE emotion, they simply surpress them, leading to many unique and fascinating emotional oppurtunities. Do NOT play a Vulcan as lacking emotion.)

Leonard “Bones” McCoy – A loveable curmudgeon, bleeding heart liberal, quick to anger yet equally quick to mercy. “Bones” is the senior member of the crew and best friend to James Kirk limited where Kirk permits himself to have friendships. As senior Medical Officer , “Bones” McCoy has years of experience in the art of healing, both holistic and professional, and a medical knowledge unrivaled among the service.
An accomplished cynic, McCoy is the epitome’ of opinionated, inserting his dry sarcasm in quite effective arguments against the impulse of Kirk and reserve of Spock.

Montgomery “Scotty” Scott – If Scotty can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed. With the most years in the service, “Scotty” finds his home and domain his precious engine room. With a thick Scottish Burr, the Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise makes it known to one and all you are but a priveledged guest in his engine room. Where Kirk loves the Enterprise, Scotty feels personal ownership over her. Quite vocal and animated, Scotty is very much an “as is” character not hidden behind pretense or guile. Scotty says what he thinks and thinks what he says.

Hikaru Sulu – ( Not to actor- be prepared to master the control panel prop and practise variations on “Engaging Warp Drive Captain.”)

Nyota Uhura – (Note to actor- likewise, be prepared to find multiple inflections in saying “hailing frequencies open Sir.”)

Pavel Andreovich Chekov – Everything in the universe has it’s origin in Russia.

Etc.

30. Buckaroohawk - January 10, 2007

If one more person mentions giving Kirk a proper sendoff, fixing “Generations,” or ignoring Kirk’s death completely just so Shatner can be in the new film, I’m going to go crazy.

Please, please, please…just leave it alone. Let go of it, for heaven’s sake. It’s over and done with. I wasn’t all together satisfied with Kirk’s demise, either, but I accepted it and moved on. Please do yourselves, and the Trek franchise, a service and do the same thing. Kirk still lives in the novels. They may not be considered canon, but if you need him to be alive that badly, go read about his further adventures in the books and leave the films to those of us who aren’t hung up on it. Enough already.

31. xizro345 - January 10, 2007

Am I the only one that sees Abrams’ statement just as a PR stunt? Until something real (i.e. no rumors, no speculations, no sources that can’t be verified indipendently) comes up, I’ll just wait and see and disregard any official comment that is like this.

32. Trevok - January 10, 2007

Nice to read actual coments from JJ. And ofcoarse the knives will come out about his statement about wanting to attrack non Trek fans to the movie. This has to happen if the film has any hope of making any money. Too many existing fans are wrapped up in their own little world view of what Trek should or shouldn’t be. All you need do is read a few of the comment section of any article here to see that.
As for recasting leads I hope they get the biggest names possible for the roles, and add some star power to the film. Something all previous Trek films have lacked. Just emagine if Eddie Murphy Had played the Marine bioligist in IV.

33. Dave - January 10, 2007

Canonical elements however minutiae are important. They must respect star trek and it’s history. That includes recent star trek books that tells the story of Kirks return. I am very excited about the movie, but also a little concerned.

34. Dave - January 10, 2007

Regarding any new actors that may play Kirk, Spock , Mc Coy, Scotty and others, they must look like Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley. They must have the same mannerisms, in short, act exactly the same way, otherwise… it’s not correct, right or proper. Surely JJA must understand this. Generations can be righted!!, but not forgotten.

35. StillKirok - January 10, 2007

For me, the most important thing is that Shatner and Nimoy reprise their roles. That would be good for the nonfan too. And you don’t need to be intricately familiar with the franchise to show a clip of Generations and lead it into the next story.

I want this movie to highlight the Kirk and Spock friendship. We’ve seen the extreme Kirk went to when Spock died. I want to see Spock return the favor, while getting the story of how these two first met. But more important than anything–

FIX GENERATIONS. BRING BACK KIRK.

36. Dave - January 10, 2007

Anthony, I disagree, though respect your opinion. But things must ‘match’ Star Trek. If they show the early days of Kirk/Spock on the enterprise then, the actors must match, the bridge railing must be the right colour, the phasers in the right location, even the same furniture and decor in Kirks room, otherwise it’s not correct. I am worried a little by JJA’s statement. Please don’t change Star Trek, I beg you!!!!!

37. Trekweb Forever!!! - January 10, 2007

35- Ughh. We’re all TOO well aware of your opinions, especially over at Trekweb, StillKirok.

Starting off a new movie–especially one that’s supposed to take Trek in a fresh new direction to revive the franchise–with a clip from Generations is like starting a 100 yard dash by tripping and falling on your face. Too hard to recover from to have any real chance of success.

30 – I hear ya. I want Star Trek to be something fresh and exciting again. We can’t get there if the focus is on “fixing” supposed mistakes from the past.

38. Admiral Deem - January 10, 2007

I for one have an open mind on all this. I made a showing of every Trek film (I-X) on its opening day and,with the exception of Nemesis, I saw them all multiple times. When TNG debuted, I was expecting to hate it because it was NOT ST in that our holy triumvirate (as Walter Koenig put it) was not in it. But I was surprised, pleased and became a major TNG fan over the next three years.

That experience now allows me to maintain that open mindedness. Once before I learned to accept a new look at Star Trek. Knowing that JJA is a man of great enthusiasm for TOS gives me a certainty that he will do the best he can to bring honor to the series. I also recognize that any future franchise requires a lot more attendees than just us Trekkies so the movie doggone well better appeal to the casual fan.

I WILL be there on Trek XI’s opening day–this time expecting to love it– and, unlike Nemesis, I hope my wife and myself are not the only two in the theater (and that’s not poetic license–it’s sad fact!).

Git ‘R Done, JJ!

39. Dennis Bailey - January 10, 2007

This all strikes me as encouraging news. Abrams clearly has the attitude that’s going to be necessary for this to have a shot at success.

If one is trying to read tea leaves in respect to the likelihood of seeing a different wrap-up to Kirk’s life than we saw in “Generations” I’d say that Abrams’ remark that the film should work for people who are unfamiliar with Trek militates against that.

Any minutes spent on explaining this ridiculously complicated notion of Kirk being sucked into the future, and then in ressurrecting him, are wasted minutes where story and character and moving Trek forward are concerned.

Kirk’s death is a fait accompli and has been for over a decade. The world has gone on spinning and there’s no good reason to mess with it. Leave Kirk Dead, and let’s get on with the business of living.

40. New Horizon - January 10, 2007

I love Shatner and Nimoy, but I don’t want them in this film. If they’re appear, it’s as if the producers are giving up before they’ve begun. Enough is enough. Shatner agreed to kill off Kirk…he didn’t have to, Nimoy is retired. I think one thing is certain, the new actors chances of being accepted could very likely suffer were Shatner and Nimoy in this movie. How easy it will be to compare and nitpick when both versions are on screen. Start fresh….stop caving in and wallowing in nostalgia. Nostalgia will kill Star Trek faster than sloping ticket sales. Surely everyone has noticed that Shat and Nimoy are a bit egocentric? The film would have to be about them…I think Nimoy said…Special. I don’t know, I’m just sick of the constant clawing at the past and refusal to move on. I’ve pretty much had it with Star Trek. It has become a huge joke. If Abrams can’t revive Trek without resorting to a Shatner, Nimoy stunt…then Trek can stay dead as far as I’m concerned. I don’t need it that badly, I’ve got better things going on in real life than to clamor for a fictional universe that has disintegrated into self parody.

41. Thomas Jensen - January 10, 2007

I don’t care what happens with the film. For me, its 79 episodes, 6 films and out. Everything else that happened after that doesn’t count. In my world Kirk is still alive.

As for this film, if it adds to the body of work above fine, if it doesn’t, then I’ll basically ignore it as I have with all trek since 1991.

42. SithMenace - January 10, 2007

It is going to be interesting however to see how Kirk is going to be in the next movie. If it’s not pre-Generations then there is going to have to be a surviving/escaping the Nexus storyline.

That said, I have alot of faith in Abrams and the re-casting. Prequels are not guaranteed to suck just because they are prequels. You just need to have the right creative team with a strong vision, which it seems like we have for this movie.

Abrams knows these characters and seems to love them, so I don’t think he will let them be recast with the wrong people. As a writer he has a strong ability to put real people on the screen with real emotions, he’s not one of these guys like Paul W.S. Andersen that sticks cardboard characters in between action scenes. Abrams believes the action should follow the story, and the story should be about the people. He’s demonstrated this over and over. Now add to that the fact that he knows how to direct a great action scene, pace a movie and get honest, natural performances from his actors and you have a writer/director that knows how to make a very balanced film. He has all the right ingredients to knock this one out of the park and I personally can’t wait.

As far as the lunatic fringe is concerned, I sympathize. I was one of the many that was disappointed in The Phantom Menace because it did not live up to the original trilogy. However, I reserved judgement until AFTER I saw the film. This nonsense about boycotts (Yes, someone was trying to start a boycott on a different site) and letter writing campaigns and protests is just plain out there. Nobody even knows anything about the film yet, except that it will most likely be a prequel about Kirk and Spock. But if it’s a well done movie with a good story, WHO CARES what time period it’s in or who plays the characters, it’s a new Trek movie. I prefer to see these characters recast for new movies than die with the original actors. Hell, 15 years from now there will probably be a debate as to which actors are the better Kirk and Spock.

Trek XI is Abrams dream project, not something assigned to him by the studio. In my opinion that is more important than anything else.

43. Captain Pike - January 10, 2007

I’m fine with prequel and recasting. I personally don’t care if Shatner or Nimoy or any of the other cast appear. I’m hearing what appears to be a ‘casual’ attitude towards continuity. That is what is making me cautious. I never said I was writing it off. But I’m not going to get my hopes up after my disappointments in Enterprise, Voyager and the last 3 films.

44. Sam Belil - January 10, 2007

Re #42-Sithmenace, I could not agree more!!! The key is for the movie to be well done with great story telling as in the orignal series. I may be naive here, but I do believe whoever Abrams picks will do a fine job. However (if true) I’m not crazy about having a casual attitude towards continuity myself. To me continunity is critiical to the success of the movie.

45. Spock's brain - January 10, 2007

Forget about all this kirk’s death in “generations” stuff!

All I need to see is a an opening scene in the XI that shows kirk (Shatner) and Spock (Nimoy) looking out some window into space and start to talk about the early days….then BAM! we see a new, young, re-casted Kirk, Spock, etc. going on one of their first missions together. We then see the freindships develop and we get a story that is awesome. I’m holding out hope that all the sets and and and feel of the movie are at least similar to the orginal series. Improved look because of today’s technology, but “similar”.

46. Dennis Bailey - January 10, 2007

Sounds good.

47. Picardsucks - January 10, 2007

Sigh…….Can we at least all agree that there should be a cameo by Data’s cat

48. John N. - January 10, 2007

#44 – Sam Belil

Can you or anyone please explain to me how on earth continuity (with respect to canon, not continuity within the film plot, etc) is critical to the success of the film?

#33, 34, and 36 – Dave

I hope that you’re just kidding… You MUST be kidding. You’re practicing your sense of irony by posting such an extremely close-minded view of what Trek XI ‘should be’ in a thread that was created to encourage open-mindedness. I mean really… surely the colour of the bridge rail can’t be THAT critical to you…. can it?

Otherwise, on opening night of Trek XI, I would suggest that you cuddle up with your TOS or TOSR DVDs, because with THAT attitude, you’re sure to be disappointed.

49. Dom - January 10, 2007

I hope continuity is ‘casual,’ meaning it keeps the spirit of Trek, but does its own thing.

Think about it: how many TOS episodes were ever reliant on knowing earlier episodes in detail? Could you comfortably watch ‘I, Mudd’ without having seen ‘The Corbomite Maneuver’?’ By the same token, could you comfortably watch a Trek film set in that era without knowing the ins and outs of ‘For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky’ or ‘The Alternative Factor?’

We accept Trek novels set all over Trek history, so why can’t we accept a new adventure set in the TOS period?

Plus, of course, this isn’t really a prequel, the way ‘The Phantom Menace’ was: it’s set after ‘The Cage’, so it’s more what they call a ‘continuity plugin.’ One way or another, this approach indicates that this film can comfortably be a fresh start for Trek. Due to the number of years The Cage/TOS-crew Trek is set across (50-ish) lots of new adventures can be told without wildly contradicting anything else.

Think less in terms of Star Wars and more in terms of the Sherlock Holmes stories!

50. SithMenace - January 10, 2007

#44 Sam Belil, I have a good feeling about the continuity of this movie. I don’t think the bridge will be constructed exactly like it was in TOS simply because they’re working with a much larger budget and higher production values, but I think alot of care will go into capturing the overall look and feel of the TOS Enterprise. There’s a chance we may not even see the Enterprise in this movie, but I think we will.

As far as story goes, Abrams seems very conscious of canon. Being a fan of TOS and TNG he wasn’t familiar with the other three series, so he went and watched them all. If that doesn’t say something about him wanting to respect canon I don’t know what does.

But I think you and I can both imagine what this movie’s potential is, considering today’s visual effects and his emphasis on characters. It’s going to be like watching an extended TOS episode with a 70-90 million dollar budget.

51. Anthony Pascale - January 10, 2007

I was just chatting about this with TM.com contributor and Trek Socilogist John Tenuto and he made a good point. Star Trek II (considered by most Trekkies to be the best Trek film) did not require you to know anything about Trek

52. StillKirok - January 10, 2007

The only clip from Generations you would need is one establishing Kirk’s death, so you can pick up the story from there. While I agree that Generations was an abomination, it’s one that is still out there.

As for Trek II not requiring any knowledge, the fact that Khan was in there was a sequel. Yes, you could figure things out without seeing Space Seed, but Space Seed was pretty important to the movie. It established the character of Khan and you see just why he could have a grudge against Kirk.

53. Josh T. (Tiberius) Kirk Esquire' - January 10, 2007

It helped having seen “Space Seed” prior Anthony, I vaguely recall local NBC affiliates airing the episode nightly around the time of release of TWOK

54. SithMenace - January 10, 2007

#52 StillKirok, that entire episode was pretty much summed up with that conversation between Chekov and Kahn, something to the effect of “Captain Kirk was your host, and you repaid his hospitality by trying to kill him and steal his ship”. Later on in the convo, Chekov says “Ceti Alpha 6 was a paradise” where Kahn rages “THHHIIISSS IS CETI ALPHA 6″…”Six months after Captain Kirk left us here, Ceti Alpha 5 exploded, blah blah blah”. That wasn’t it exactly, but that’s the jist.

Yes, it is extremely cool if you know Space Seed when going into TWOK for the first time, but it is not Necessary to understand and enjoy the movie.

55. SithMenace - January 10, 2007

So, basically, TWOK was really cool if you knew Trek, while the average person could still enjoy it. Doesn’t it sound like that’s the same thing Abrams is going for? If you don’t know Trek, it’s going to be a cool movie. But if you do know Trek, it’ll be even better.

56. Dennis Bailey - January 10, 2007

There was so much inconsistency between Khan and his people in “Space Seed” and their representation in TWOK that it probably *would* help to know nothing about the episode.

57. SithMenace - January 10, 2007

Dennis, apparently for TWOK, Khan found a Ceti Alpha 6 Chippendale’s and recruited their waiters.

58. Dave - January 10, 2007

The example of TWOK and Space seed only emphasis more why canon needs to be followed. Moreover, 3 wonderful books by Greg Cox filled in the story more. These are all great reasons why the next movie should follow canon. Don’t destroy star trek by creating a movie that doesn’t follow what is star trek…and yes that does mean going right down to the colour of the bridge rails, the medical indicators in doctor Mc Coy surgery, the same bridge chair where Kirk sits.

59. Dom - January 10, 2007

I first saw TWOK on VHS as an 8-year-old, having failed to get into the cinema one rainy afternoon in Brighton a couple of years earlier, because it was full.

I had no idea about Space Seed, but TWOK made perfect sense: he was a maniac Kirk had marooned on a planet 15 years earlier, blamed Kirk for his wife’s death and wanted revenge. He was a great, archetypal villain.

I was thrilled when, tuning into a mid-week Trek episode, I discovered Khan had actually turned up in TOS for real!

Fans can always explain away minor inconsistencies, while no one else cares. You could argue that most of Khan’s shipmates died on Ceti Alpha V and their children all grew at an accelerated rate because they were the progeny of genetically-engineered parents. Chekov was an Enterprise crewmember not working on the bridge at the same time as the other castmembers when Khan was on board. And stardates simply function in ways we can’t understand!

As for the ship’s interior design, it’ll reflect the film’s theatrical aspect ratio. The original design was meant to work in 4:3-ish. If Abrams sticks with 2.35:1-ish the design will have to be reworked to reflect this!

60. Anthony Pascale - January 10, 2007

Dennis is right of course

In Trek XI it might be fun if you have seen “Obsession” and therefore know why Lt. Kirk is on a ship called the Farragut, but you will not be required to have seen it. And if they make some changes (lets say the vampire cloud is different) then those with a closed mind will not be able to enjoy it because they are fuming over the ‘changes’ and forgetting to enjoy the movie.

what matters is the drama of the moment and the characters, not ‘matching’ all the colors. If that is what you think Trek is about I really feel for you

but I have a solution for the ‘it must match exactly or I will write nasty mean letters’ people…pretend it is an alternative universe (or timeline)…feel free to add your own reasons for the alt. universe/timeline (created by Q, something Archer did, etc)

61. StillKirok - January 10, 2007

#52, you’re right for the most part. And I am POSITIVE something similar can happen to address Kirk’s death and move forward. I only suggest a clip because it would take less than 2 minutes and a picture is worth 1000 words. It’s almost like moving to Star Trek III. They had a brief clip of ST2 and moved the story forward. You wouldn’t have needed to see TWOK to watch ST3 because of that clip.

62. Dom - January 10, 2007

Dave.

There is no canon. Canon is when you make a definitive selection based on a complete set of materials. Most (but not all) of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are ‘canon’ but that doesn’t mean other people haven’t written great ones!

The thing is, Star Trek is still being made, so there is no final definitive set of works. Everything is still open to revision and refinement. Plus since so many people have worked on Trek, what constitutes canon? All the shows and movies? Just TOS? Only stories written by certain people? Produced by certain people? You can certainly define what isn’t canon, but you can’t define what is.

And you are NUTS, plain and simple, if you think a multi-million dollar studio franchise movie is going to make its sets look like they’re made of cardboard and plywood! What next? The campaign for shooting the film in 4:3?

63. John N. - January 10, 2007

#61 – StillKirok

Did you just reference your own previous post and say “you’re right”?

I should try that…

#48, not only are you SO right, you’re also devilishly handsome, and you can play the jazz flute like NOBODY’s business.

Stay classy San Diego.

64. TrekNerd - January 10, 2007

“for the record I was referring specifically the the fringe of the Bond fandom. the types of people who reject Casino Royale (the most successful and possibly best Bond film ever) just because the new Bond has a different color hair.”

Well, Kirk fans can’t complain if Kirk’s hair is different, because Kirk had different styles, colors, and textures of hair throughout the series and the movies — and that was all with the same actor!

65. Canonista - January 10, 2007

#22 and #60

First, I’d say that throwing out a term like “Lunatic Fringe” — especially given the context of this site and the type of heated discourse we’ve witnessed in the comments section — is just asking for an outraged response. Your “lunatic fringe” is not everyone else’s “lunatic fringe”.

Finally, once again, we’re heatedly debating absolutely nothing. As a fan that respects Canon, I have no problem with the “What If” scenario you floated in post # 22 and # 60. But then, you didn’t get detailed. I have no problem with a change in the vampire cloud, change in the actor, etc. But then, if the Farragut is a super modern spaceship that looks like a Superstar destroyer and involves hundreds of “Starfleet fightercraft” being deployed to battle, then we might have a disagreement.

Similarly, we might have a battle between us “Canonistas” and the “virtuous change-is-everything” crowd if, say, Vin Diesel is cast to play Spock. Vin Diesel: Great in Pitch Black. Not so great as Spock. Or some other completely stupid attempt to draw a typical “action only” mindset to the theatre to watch a Star Trek film. Matt Damon is ok, I mean, I guess. I guess if you REALLY have to have name recognition. Seriously, there’s no shortage of unrecognized talent in the world.

Us “Canonistas” have no real information to work with yet. If they don’t take the story, set design, or the casting way out to..what MY definition of “Lunatic Fringe” is…..then I suppose we won’t have anything major to bitch about…

BTW, thanks for the new Avatar name….

Canonista f/k/a Senya

66. Picardsucks - January 10, 2007

As an often sombering voice of peace on this site can’t we all get along. Take may lead an appreciate all our diverse tastes. Sorry gotta go Voyager is on and I ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ snore ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ snorezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

67. Trekweb Forever!!! - January 10, 2007

63 – What is it they say about talking to yourself? “Lunatic fringe,” indeed! ;-)

68. John N. - January 10, 2007

#65 – Canonista f/k/a Senya

In my experience, the only people likely to post an “outraged response” at the phrase “lunatic fringe” in the context in which it was used are the ones who are most likely to be categorized under said label.

Stable people don’t fly off the handle when their ‘vision’ the franchise is called into question.

#22, 60, etc. – Anthony,

I’m with you… call it like it is… there is defintely a faction that frequent this site with an over-developed sense of ownership.

When you hear statements like “the uniform material MUST be velour!” and there is no mention of the quality of the script, acting, cinematography, etc., then it’s clear to me that some people may be great at watching cinema, but would be terrible at creating it.

Thankfully, there are a number of people that seem to maintain an open mind.

69. John N. - January 10, 2007

#62 – Dom

“What next? The campaign for shooting the film in 4:3? ”

That’s hilarious! Let me add this demands to the “campaign”:

1. Whoever plays Scotty MUST have an amputated right middle finger! If the actor has all five fingers on their right hand… IT IS NOT CANON. If no actor can be found with a missing digit, it must be in the contract that the actor andergo voluntary surgery to remove the finger.

Please note: voluntary finger amputation does not guarantee this actor a role in any subsequent films.

2. No digital effects should be used in the making of this film… OPTICAL EFFECTS ONLY.

Please note: 40 years after the initial theatrical release, the makers of the film may be required to replace the optical effects with digital effects so that new audiences will be able to embrace the film.

:)

70. Picardsucks - January 10, 2007

Anthony – Free Enterprise, to my mind, was a better representation of a non Star Trek, Star Trek film than Trekkies or Trekkies 2. I have many friends who idolize The Shat and original Trek and we love the genre, we play D&D, we have a collection of Mego figures , but we also go to nightclubs, played football in high school and chase girls as well. I don’t have a tailored Starfleet Uniform nor would i wear one to the healthclub. I wouldn’t go to a summercamp where you dress up like and speak Klingon but i think it’s nice that my some of my fellow fans find meaning in doing so. I have my Bandai Enterprise model refit on a shelf next to my Joe Paterno autographed football. I have , may I proudly say, used many Shatnerian techniques to pick up chicks (IT REALLY WORKS) “you have eyes like some cosmic phenonoma ” (Try it) I have a felow original Trek fan who is a Chicago cop and his cousin who was in my fraternity in college, also a fan is serving in Iraq. We are truely a diverse group

Kirk must not only have farmboy good looks but Kirk is all about the swagger. He wasn’t the prettiest guy in school but he banged the promqueen and was the quarterback of the football team. He might not be the biggest but you know by his confident air that he could knock out the bully with one punch. Kirk is part Patton, part Joe Namith and part Julius Caesar. If Matt Damon can pull of the swagger part of it then he can be Kirk as I am sure many capable actors could with the right guiding hand. Russel Crowe and Danial Craig are to old but they have those Kirkian qualities. (Crowe in master and Commander and Craig in Layer Cake and Casino) The actor who plays Vorinus in Rome is about 34 years old and seems to exibit many of those qualities as well. Just examples I trust JJ to do the right thing

Spock is all about subtlty and showing a great deal of emotion through the way he tilts his eyebrow. Spock is also all about the voice deep and rather catlike. Spock is not a monotone unemotional person, quite the contrary. Spock is all emotion without outwardly emoting. Spock will be the most difficult to cast and will likely garner the most scrutiny.

Bones is Gary Sinise period…

71. Dave - January 10, 2007

I don’t feel the average Star Trek fan has an over developed ownership of Star Trek. Star Trek fans adore Star Trek and it’s characters. To develop new stories around these characters is wonderful and I accept that if more movies are to be made based on TOS…. then new actors need to play these MUCH loved characters. But that doesn’t mean that Star Trek history and timelines have to be ignored! Stay true to Star trek history, add to it ..yes!! But stay true! That means, that the new characters need to look like, sound like, and act like the orginals actors. Maybe I do take things to extreme, but I believe that extends to the finer details, like the uniform, bridge rail colours, Uhura’s listening device that is on her ear, the red alert sound, Kirks chair, Spock’s science station and the blue glow from his scanner. Stay true then all the new Star Trek fans that this movie would bring can develop the same love for Star Trek that we all have. And please fix the wrongs of Generations!! Kirk is alive!!

72. Scott Gammans - January 10, 2007

I demand that Star Trek XI be shot entirely on a soundstage in monaural sound using 35 mm film matted to the Academy format. Anything more and you are desecrating the memory of Trek.

73. Sam Belil - January 10, 2007

#50-Sith Menace & #48 John N– Hello again, When I mean continuity (just for the record I totally supported and LOVED “Casino Royale”, I also happen to be a huge BOND fan. It has to capture the feel and spirit of TOS. What made Connery’s Bond and Craig’s Bond so successful (especially Craig) was that they captured the feel and the spirit of Ian Fleming’s novels. As a HUGE BOND fan, I got used to seeing 6 (7 if you count the 1967 version of Casino Royale) play the character. The one huge difference in this case is that Shatner and Nimoy are the ONLY one’s to play their character — and that is where Abrams needs to be very careful. I would rather see some unknown (but gifted actor(s)) play the roles, as opposed to Matt Damon (just for the sake of so-called star power). Remember, Star Trek is a huge megabrand (around for 40+ years) and arguably as a brand equity that is second to none.

I agree to an extent regarding the budget, having said that I would like to see the unfiorms be reflective of the “Cage”/”Where No Man Has Gone Before” era. The ship(s) interior also — but perhaps with somewhat of a better and sleeker look (since they should have the “dead presidents” in the budget to, for the lack of a better term — make it so. As I stated to Dom recently the fact that we’re discussing/debating this thing speaks HUGE volumes about Star Trek’s franchise. Star Trek (again) is huge megabrand with the SAME type Brand Equity that Nike, National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have.

74. James Heaney - January 10, 2007

# 62 Dom –

I see the rhetorical point you’re trying to make, but I’m going to have to call you on it. Every show, every large franchise has canon. It is set, and, once set, it can be changed only by the Great Powers That Be (i.e. Roddenberry’s ghost). Now, every show defines its canon according to different rules, like Star Wars, which uses everything ever licensed, Halo, which uses the video games as its ultimate canon authority, or comic books, whose canon rules are unbelievably complex and require a PhD in Comic Shop before admitting of interpretation.

But the point is, there are rules about what to follow and what not to follow, even before a “final definitive collection” is ready. Abrams will follow or not follow canon to various degrees, and we can argue about how important it is, but there is most definitely canon.

On a more amusing note, for those who haven’t seen this (and for the woefully ignorant), a primer from our friends at the TrekBBS: http://www.trekbbs.com/threads/showflat.php?Number=1702839#Post1702839

75. The Freon Freak - January 10, 2007

If JJA can make the story interesting and the characters 3 dimensional and ‘human’, I don’t care HOW radically he ‘twists’ the Star Trek universe. As an original series fan and former ‘Trekkie’, I’ve had to accept the fact that historical and technological Star Trek canon has already been skewed so badly with films like “First Contact” and series like “Voyager” and “Enterprise” that it can no longer be reconcilied with itself anyway. So, more power to JJA. Bring it home, boooyeee!

76. Mark - January 10, 2007

Sam in #73 beat me to it. We can talk about Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Superman, Bond, et al, and you are dealing with many actors over many decades in at least two media (TV and movies.) With those characters you can have favorites, have likes and dislikes about the various actors/episodes/films whether you have a favorite or not , argue about what’s canonical, etc., but with Kirk and Spock you only have Shatner and Nimoy and anyone playing younger versions of them needs to look and act like the characters we know. I mentioned in another thread what a difference it would have made if Kirstie Alley had been back for III. It’s the same thing here.

Few people cared for Nemesis, and rightly so. But one thing that would have made it many times better is if the actor playing Shinzon, a “young Picard,” had really *looked* like a young Picard. Having a shaved head does not make one a young Picard. Patrick Stewart has thin, severe lips, and Tom Hardy has lips like Angelina Jolie. The character could have a completely different personality because of his upbringing, etc., but he needed to look (and to some degree, sound) like Picard.

And continuity in Trek *is* important. If it is abandoned to bring in a non-Trek audience, where do you draw the line? TWOK is mentioned above as a perfect example of good Trek (ignoring a few errors), but also good as a stand alone film for someone not familiar with Trek in general or Space Seed in particular. Agreed. But if you change too much, it just won’t be Trek anymore. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t care for Tuvok in VOY – Vulcans are green, not black. Be diverse all you want, have as many black characters as you want, but Vulcans are green, not Black. Why not also have some Vulcans that don’t have pointy ears and get real emotional? Can’t you just have an open mind?

Same thing with Uhura. If she’s in the new film (and she better be), I don’t want a white woman or a Japanese woman or a CGI character playing the character – she needs to be a black woman. (Why not have Verne Troyer play Uhura? Come on, have an open mind.) There are things that are Trek that need to be included in the new film to maintain the continuity that we all know. And do you really think that changing the basic look and feel of Trek, whether you are talking about uniforms, ships, technology, terminology, whatever, will all of a sudden bring in new fans? Is that the real problem with the Trek films (and recent TV)? I don’t think so. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s what Abrams is going to do, because we just don’t know at this point. But let’s not use “open mindedness” as an excuse to further water down a franchise that is hanging on by a thread, anyway.

77. JON - January 10, 2007

What I’d like to know from Mr Abrams is …What is the business case for another large budget Star Trek movie?

78. Dennis Bailey - January 10, 2007

#76: “We can talk about Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Superman, Bond, et al, and you are dealing with many actors over many decades in at least two media (TV and movies.) With those characters you can have favorites, have likes and dislikes about the various actors/episodes/films whether you have a favorite or not ,”

Yes, and for each of those there was a time when only one actor had played each – when each had appeared in only one medium.

Same with “Star Trek.” Eventually folks will argue about who was their favorite Kirk and Spock.

As for Spock and Tuvok – Nimoy was a white guy wearing sallow (not green) makeup. He looked like a caucasian human being with pointed ears – there was nothing “alien” about him. Tim Russ looked like a black guy with pointed ears. There’s no actual problem there.

79. Mark - January 10, 2007

#78: “Yes, and for each of those there was a time when only one actor had played each – when each had appeared in only one medium.”

True – but Trek is different for more than one reason, the most notable being that there was never a time when there was a gap of 40+ years between the first and second portrayal of the other characters mentioned. (To say nothing of the more or less continuous character portrayal by only one actor over a 40 year period of the Trek characters.) Another is that with all the characters mentioned, as well as many others (The Lone Ranger, Tarzan, The Saint, Robin Hood, e.g.), the characters had originally appeared in literature (including comics) and/or radio, and their TV and/or film characterization were an actor’s/writer’s/director’s interpretation of an existing popular character, whereas with Kirk, Spock and the rest, there has only been one portrayal, over many decades, by one actor, of an original character never seen or heard before. This isn’t another case of one more actor interpreting a well-known character like the ones mentioned above.

“Same with “Star Trek.” Eventually folks will argue about who was their favorite Kirk and Spock.”

I seriously doubt it. As I said once before, I hope the movie is successful. But in the same way that Clayton Moore defined The Lone Ranger (even though he existed on Radio and Movie Serials prior to the TV version), there will never be another Kirk and Spock. Just ask Klinton Spilsbury.

“As for Spock and Tuvok – Nimoy was a white guy wearing sallow (not green) makeup. He looked like a caucasian human being with pointed ears – there was nothing “alien” about him. Tim Russ looked like a black guy with pointed ears. There’s no actual problem there.”

The quality of the makeup is not the issue. It was a combination of traits, some physical, some not, that created the “alienness” of Spock. If you want a new “alien” for Star Trek, great – create one. But don’t mess with established species, characters, timelines, technology, etc. There’s certainly some flexibility there, some gray areas, etc., but it can reach a point where you ruin it.

80. Bryan - January 11, 2007

Has anybody seen on YouTube.com the British documentary “Star Trek: Before They Were Famous”? Bill Blackburn who played a non-speaking role in TOS for three seasons brought his 16mm soundless camera to the set and filmed behind the scenes stuff. This is really rare stuff seeing our favorites goofing it up. I’m not talking the famous bloopers stuff. Paramount/CBS should purchase the film and include IT and the BLOOPERS on the TOS-R HD DVDs when released. DISCUSS!!!!!!!

81. SithMenace - January 11, 2007

73. Sam Belil, I couldn’t agree more. In order for this movie to be good to fans and non fans alike, they need to concentrate not on rebuilding everything piece by piece, but capturing the overall look and feel of Star Trek. The actors shouldn’t duplicate the original performances, but emulate the standout qualities of the characters in their own way. I look forward to Abrams new interpretation of Trek, because I know it will be old and new at the same time.

79. Mark, yes, I think that down the road people will be arguing which Kirk and Spock are their favorites. You can almost guarantee that the 15 year olds that go see this movie who have never seen Shatner as Kirk are going to like the new actors better because it will be what they grew up on. Maybe the new guy will do such a great job of making Kirk his own it will even make some TOS fans say “Damn, I really, really like this interpretation of the character, I never knew Kirk had this in him”.

82. CW - January 11, 2007

“As has been discussed on this site before, the Trek franchise does not currently appear to be able to fully support a film with just the hardcore base.”

I keep reading in different fandoms, and all I can say is: what a load of feces! This is nothing more than writing laziness and a cop out for those involved.

Believe it or not, it is quite possible to appeal to the base and the general audience.

Sheesh.

83. John N. - January 11, 2007

I’d like to take all talk of canon,
shove it into a cannon,
and fire it into a deep canyon,
somewhere in the heart of kenya.

84. tadayou - January 15, 2007

J.J. Abrams surely is quite talented, but this attitude that he’d prefer viewers who never saw Star Trek before is – in my opinion – excactly what caused the demise of the franchise and the flop of Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Enterprise.

I mean, come on… Star Trek already is pigeonholed and I really fear, that if the fans can not support a movie in the first place, ‘normal’ viewers will never be able to do this. They’ve said about Nemesis that it was cool because it was a Movie that was some sort of action-flick in the first place and a Star Trek movie in the second. We’ve seen what happened.

I’m not saying, that the new movie is necessarily bad, but maybe the producers should start to understand that their main target should always be the fans and than other viewers. The other way round they’re just repeating the same mistake that already has been made with Star Trek X and the first two seasons of Enterprise.

85. Dave - January 16, 2007

I couldn’t agree more with the above comment. Star Trek Xl should be for the fans, the ‘true believers’. That’s what would make this movie great!

86. SithMenace - January 16, 2007

85. Dave, it will be, while also making it mainstream again. I think what Abrams means is that he wants people to enjoy the story and the characters, without being bogged down by Nacelle caps and toggle switches. In the big picture, Trek IS the characters, everything else is just scenery.

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