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JJ Abrams Sends A Message To the Fans April 14, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,Conventions/Events/Attractions,STXI Status , trackback

It is still a bit early for Star Trek XI to have any official panels or presentations for the Creation Grand Slam being held this weekend in Burbank, but J.J. Abrams still had a presence. Trek XI’s writer/director sent a message to the fans, which was read to the crowd by Richard Arnold Saturday morning.  

Dear Grandslammers,

We are currently in pre-pre-pre-production, and are all beyond excited — and honored — to bring you the next chapter in the Star Trek saga. There will be much more to say at next year’s convention — but for now, know that we are working hard to do you proud. Thank you for your support, and for keeping Mr. Roddenberry’s vision alive.

Best,

J.J. Abrams

Abrams embracing Roddenberry’s Trek
On Friday Arnold said Abrams had called him at the behest of Leonard Nimoy (Apparently Nimoy told Abrams that Arnold is the go-to guy for communicating to fans at conventions). Arnold told the crowd that he discussed with Abrams how he felt that some of the later series of Trek got away from the Roddenberry vision, noting that Rick Berman once described early Trek as ‘pollyannish’. Abrams reply to that was "I think we can all do with some pollyanna."

Abrams really does seem to be a fan of Roddenberry’s positive vision of the future. Abrams has stated that he is a big fan of both TOS and TNG, but no so much the later (post Roddenberry) series. If you look back to the press release announcing Trek XI, Abrams was quoted as saying "If there’s something I’m dying to see, it’s the brilliance and optimism of Roddenberry’s world brought back to the big screen."

Trek XI embracing the cons
It was also nice to see Abrams commit to participating in next year’s Grand Slam. So far the only time there has been anything officially done for Trek XI at a con was the introduction of the teaser poster at last summer’s Comic-Con (and TrekMovie.com was there in our first week online!). TrekMovie has been told that Paramount plan on doing some kind of Trek XI event for this summer’s Comic-Con. There is also a possibility of something at Creation’s regular Trek Vegas Con, but that is less certain.

 

NOTE: expect more reports and pictures from Grand Slam XV

UPDATE:

The letter from Abrams has been updated with the exact text of JJ’s message to the fans. Beyond differences in punctuation, the only word different was where the message should have said ‘…and are all beyond excited‘ and not ‘…and are all beyond excitement‘ 

 

UPDATE 2: ABRAMS TALKS SOME MORE:

Abrams confirms KIrk, talks ‘trek canon’ 


Comments

1. Ralph - April 14, 2007

I just hope they do not do what Enterprise had done. By making their own. Not using the flow of the series.

2. mikeg - April 14, 2007

Being an original Trekkie and admirer of the “Roddenberry Positive Vision,” I do wonder if such a vision of the future will really take hold with today’s audience. We already know that visions depicting the darkest, most horrible possibilities of men do pretty well at the box office… well enough to justify the studios to keep producing them. And a lot of today’s movie-going audience was brought up on plenty of films which seem to glorify violence, terror, and bloodletting…

I seem to recall a daytime tv show called “The Good News”, which attempted to show only good the things happening in the world. It was cancelled in a very short time because no one was watching it.

Do people even believe in the possiblity of living in a “Roddenberry World” anymore? I would like to believe it is possible, but I’ve become rather cynical (maybe it’s age setting in…?). What precisely is it that will transform THIS world into a more positive, optimistic world? Surely it must be something human beings will do, but then why aren’t human beings doing that now? We have as much conflict, violence, corruption, intolerance and unenlightenment today as in any other time throughout history, except that now we have the best opportunity to really wipe out the planet, if someone ever plays the nuclear or biological card.

Growing up, watching Star Trek every week, I came to believe Capt. Kirk’s world really existed somewhere, in some other universe, perhaps. And I believed that mankind would evolve mentally and emotionally enough to even get along with other species. When I watch the nightly news today I’m baffled as to how this version of mankind will EVER get to become the Roddenberry version of mankind.

I didn’t mean to babble, but this is a matter that I ponder often, since, as a human being, I would love to see a world of peace, cooperation, tolerance and (dare I say it) Love. I really hope JJ & Co. will not simply show us an already evolved (and, therefore, positive) Man, but will — as many sci-fi writers have done in the past — give us a glimpse as to HOW we actually get THERE from HERE.

3. Duane Boda - April 14, 2007

They must or rather should go back and look at Star Trek (even the failed pilot) to get a true feel of what has to be in the next film – just because the original pilot was rejected by NBC doesn’t mean that it doesn’t warrant merit today. Now….to see crew members strolling down the corridors once more in their 60′s – beach attire would be taking it way too far but much of the material can be gleaned over and emphasized in a positive fashion. I much rather see a down to earth character driven film then one with a lot of slam and polish! Of course its possible to have both but it must be well thought out and prepared like a Thanksgiving dinner otherwise who will want to sit down and partake in this so called feast that we’re hoping for?

4. New Horizon - April 14, 2007

#2 “Do people even believe in the possiblity of living in a “Roddenberry World” anymore?”

I do.

5. Dennis Bailey - April 14, 2007

It’s a small and probably coincidental thing, but “the next chapter in the Star Trek saga” was used in the voice-over intro to the TNG presentation film back in 1987.

How sick does it make me, that I know such a thing? :lolL

6. Duane Boda - April 14, 2007

# 4 – Some people do….the dreamers but its the people who head and run the government that must believe and put forth such lofty visions. Instead they are pissing away billions on war here whereas it would obviously be much better spent on the stars and the futures of generations not yet born.

7. Dennis Bailey - April 14, 2007

#3:”They must or rather should go back and look at Star Trek (even the failed pilot) to get a true feel of what has to be in the next film”

Well, if they’re going to do that they’ve done it by now. The script is written and they’re apparently into design thinking.

8. stallion - April 14, 2007

I think if he does ignore the Trek series he didn’t care much for then there will be some kind of backlash. A lot of people loved DSP,VOY, and ENT and those fanbase add up to a lot of people.

9. Cygnus-X1 - April 14, 2007

After the past 6 years, I think that most of us are ready for some optimism. Abrams’ letter indicates a good start to the Trek XI project.

10. Kev - April 14, 2007

Positive beats negative at the box office every time. Look at the top twenty films of all time. Negativity is easy, but it doesn’t always sell more tickets. We don’t want Dudley Doright in space, but nobody’s going there anyhow. Enterprise gave us warp core swiping ship captains and didn’t get us anywhere.

11. Still Kirok - April 14, 2007

The original GR vision would be fine today. The original series still holds up well. Great characters and great writing will lead to a successful movie. They already have the great characters by wisely turning to the original series. Let’s see if they can get the great script.

12. pietmax - April 14, 2007

Wouldn’t be surprised if it does take what it took in the ST universe… WWIII, nearly destroying ourselves, before we think “Hey, maybe this isn’t such a good idea…”

‘Sfunny that we can have all these great ideas, but it takes something that drastic to make us really think about them and implement them.

13. Mike T. - April 14, 2007

I don’t know why Abrams would not like Deep Space Nine. It’s closer in tone to TOS than TNG.
There were always conflicts on TOS not only between enemies but the main characters and they made some of TOS’s best moments with Spock and McCoy or Kirk and McCoy verbally sparring.

And then there is the crew against other Federation/Star Fleet officials like Ferris (sp) and Decker.

My point is people say DS9 is too dark, but it still shows humans overcoming the odds to succeed, and the new Trek movie could do alot worse than have characters like those on DS9.

14. Josh T. (The phantom Shatners smirking grimace) Kirk Esquire' - April 14, 2007

#8

I agree wholeheartedly, all Eight DS9,Voyager, and Enterprise fans will boycott the film resulting in the net loss of $72.00. This is entirely unacceptable, the film MUST be revamped to accomodate the tastes and desires of the Eight DS9,Voyager, and Enterprise fans.

15. doomed huh - April 14, 2007

does this mean we have to wait a whole nother year to find out about the film

16. Hacom - April 14, 2007

Well, once again Richard Arnold is placing himself at the center of StarTrek importance and as the “Voice of the Fans”

Isn’t he the guy saying that the movie would NOT be directed by Abrams?

Gosh I wonder what Richard and Lenord talk about all the time?

17. Driver - April 14, 2007

I was surprised that DS9 was not darker. I had expected much darker from the promos at the time.
ST XI would have to be one heck of turd for me not like it. I’ve enjoyed all the films.

18. The Gospel Truth - April 14, 2007

#2 “Do people even believe in the possiblity of living in a “Roddenberry World” anymore?”

No I don’t, unless we try harder. The human race will be extinct within 300 years IMO.

19. Mike T. - April 14, 2007

#14

First off, there are more than eight DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise fans, there are at least 10 (just kidding!).
Secondly, no one is saying the movie has to be changed to accomidate the later series, just don’t do a Battlestar Galactica and wipe out everything that has already been done. I can’t speak for fans of Voyager or Enterprise but fans of DS9 mainly enjoyed the show due to the well written characters, something you would think Abrams would have liked based on his shows like LOST (that’s right, he doesn’t write the stories anymore).

20. stallion - April 14, 2007

# 14 is just bitter because the movie Trekkie made him look like a loser.

I have faith that the movie will turn out good. If they do decide to make another Trek series JJ shouldn’t ingore the other great one.

21. Jeffrey S. Nelson - April 14, 2007

Just don’t cast Matt Damon as Kirk. Give me a “fake Kirk” that looks and sounds like the original as much as possible. I’m stealing from Stanky.

22. Dennis Bailey - April 14, 2007

In terms of what Abrams likes and dislikes and what his exact intentions are regarding how faithful in detail the movie is to past Trek productions, I think people draw a great many conclusions from a few brief and general statements. We’ll only really get an idea of what some of those phrases mean to him when we see it begin to take shape.

23. Redshirt - April 14, 2007

 I feel sorry for the die hard rabid fans of DS9, VOY and ENT that they are getting shafted. Expecting to see their favorite characters from those shows again. I cant speak for those fans because it took me three years to finish watching the last three shows after their run.

I agree as fans we really shouldn\’t have a say of wiping out anything Trek. Everybody enjoys their version of Trek for certain reasons. I\’m not going to stop people from enjoying them.

The Interviews with Abrams make me feel more optimistic about the film( hasn\’t completely sold me yet though.) He sounds intelligent, caring and articulate. For some reason at first I thought of Pollyanna the book then the meaning as the film being more optimistic. lol

Seeing the earth attacked and wars going on tells the viewer who are not familiar with Star Trek that the future sucks and not a future worth living in that\’s not the message IMO it should convey.

24. Josh T. (The phantom Shatners smirking grimace) Kirk Esquire' - April 14, 2007

#20

Are you kidding?? I embrace and relish in my inner-geek, having long ago welcomed and nourished it, fermented it even.

I am King-geek. Head Geek. Lord Nerd. All wannabe geeks bow before me in homage to my utter nerdishness. I Grok Spock even.

Maybe next time you should try an actualy INSULT??

Kinda like, “you obtuse peice of flotsam , unworthy to swim in the same toilet as my stools”, you know, something like that.

25. SPOCKBOY - April 14, 2007

#5
“How sick does it make me, that I know such a thing? :lolL ”
-Relax Dennis, your excellent artwork should make that pill alot easier to swallow.

#14
“I agree wholeheartedly, all Eight DS9,Voyager, and Enterprise fans will boycott the film resulting in the net loss of $72.00″
-That was too funny.

Personally I have a good feeling about Mr. Abrams.
#1) He’s a confirmed Trek Geek.
#2) He seems to have a substantial amount of depth and talent.

I think everything will be fine if we just click our heels together 3 times and say:
“There’s no show like Trek”
“There’s no show like Trek”

: )

26. Anthony Pascale - April 14, 2007

Dennis is correct. These statements from Abrams are ambiguous for a reason. He does not want to get too specific yet, so it would be wrong to read anything specific from them. Take from them what they are

27. Anthony Pascale - April 14, 2007

oh and guys….do we really need this thread to turn into another ‘my favorite trek show is better than your favorite trek show’ thing?

28. Josh T. (The phantom Shatners smirking grimace) Kirk Esquire' - April 14, 2007

#25

Sometimes I’ve been known to come up with a Jim Dandy ;)

29. Josh T. (The phantom Shatners smirking grimace) Kirk Esquire' - April 14, 2007

But, but, Anthony, my favorite trek show IS truly better than…..

:)

30. Stanklin T. McFibberich - April 14, 2007

re: 21. Jeffrey S. Nelson
“…I’m stealing from Stanky.”

I will not be pressing charges at this time. ;)

31. Miguel - April 14, 2007

A. No matter how Abrams makes XI, there will be people who dont like it.

B. This is very interesting that Abrams has sent a message to the fans. That shows he cares. Berman and Braga isulted the fans so many times, and still do.

C. Abrams is a fan of early trek. This is very good because he’ll try and keep things in line with that. The older shows were good, but some were vastly over-rated. (IMO)

(If anyone disagrees, fine. If anyone has to lower themselves to personal insults, I simply won’t respond to them. It should be assumed that every post is someone’s opinion, and to disagree with something doesn’t merit personal attack. Any sign of which is usually considered to be immature.)

32. secondbassman - April 14, 2007

No, we don’t need a fight… and besides, why do we enjoy passing judgment against Abrams when we have yet to see what he and his team produce? He deserves a fair and honest shot, and I think he’ll do many of us rabid zealots well.

33. THEETrekMaster - April 14, 2007

Impressive that Abrams put forth this message…it does show that he cares about the fans.

34. Captain Pike - April 14, 2007

I’m not somebody who embraces “Roddenberry’s Vision”. It was something he invented to have something talk about during his college tours in the 70s – it’s not something that was integral to TOS. The “Vision” is what gave us the slop mess that was TMP and the angsty moralistic hand wringing in season one of TNG.

But JJ is talking the talk. “Roddenberry’s Vision” is what most people want to hear. I’d prefer to hear he was embracing Matt Jefferies’ Production Designs, Wah Chang’s prop and model designs, and Martin Theiss’ costume genius. But that’s just me.

35. Demode - April 14, 2007

Glad hear JJ is a fan of TNG. Wonder if that would help get a TNG movie made or not if this TOS movie is successful???

36. Jon - April 14, 2007

Roddenberry’s vision is just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz wanting to escape the ills of her ordinary life in Kansas and drift into a fantasy world.To indeed make this world a better place one has to deal squarely with reality.Good entertainment ,but it’s a big mistake building a world view around fantasy.I get the impression that Roddenberry was bombarded with questions about what made Trek so successful and had to distill some kind of message about optimism.but in the end,Trek is just a TV show.I see this happen alot in the fantasy genre.People get a little lost in it.Star Wars fans are another example.Fantasy and escape.

37. Cranston - April 14, 2007

#34 – re: “Roddenberry’s Vision”

Absolutely. Ignoring for the moment the fact that Star Trek was the vision of more than just Roddenbery, the sanitized, “we are all one big happy fleet” vision of TNG makes me wonder if Gene really remembered the original show all that much. Yes, it showed a future with a degree of social equality that just didn’t exist in the ’60s, and posited a united Earth that had joined with other planets to form a US (or UN)-writ-large, but there was always conflict even in that structure (“Journey to Babel” just one case in point).

Anyway, no use retreading the same tired rant. But I do respectfully disagree with Roddenberry over what “his vision” was. :)

(And I actually did and do like TNG quite a lot, but I never understood the “we’ve moved beyond conflict” thing. Talk about Pollyannaish!)

38. stallion - April 15, 2007

#29 I didn’t realize how easy it is to make you mad. I guess I should quit messing around with a little boy.

JJ can’t wait to see what you come up with.

39. xizro345 - April 15, 2007

More useless PR comments. I think Trekmovie should stop reporting this stuff until real, objective details of the movie come out.

40. Trevok - April 15, 2007

Well I’m happy to read ‘useless PR comments’. Simple if you don’t like them, don’t read them. Why is it some people think their opinions are so much more important than anyone elses. Ofcoarse I know mine are, just a little joke keptin. Lets face it this far out there is very little information that is going to be released. But it is nice to know JJ and co care enough about us fans to throw us a few bread crumbs.
Oh by the way I was going to make a comment about Josh T’ s post but like the say about pollititions don’t vote for them, it only encouages them…
LLAP

41. Trevok - April 15, 2007

that should read don’t vote, it only encourages them

42. Big E - April 15, 2007

Am I the only one who found the tidbit about Abrams talking to Nimoy again interesting?
I wonder if they are finalizing the deal…

43. Sleeper Agent X - April 15, 2007

Well, Nimoy and Shatner are also consultants for the new movie, as I understand it. So the fact Abrams and Nimoy are talking doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll appear in the picture.

I think the best approach to adopt is to assume neither Shatner or Nimoy will appear in the film. Then if they actually do show up in XI, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

I certainly wouldn’t expect them to be in the movie, anway.

44. Lord Garth Formerly of Izor - April 15, 2007

Hail Hail Fire and Snow.. call the Abrams we will go … far away.. far to see.. friendly Abrams come to me

45. Jordan - April 15, 2007

All i want is some reference to Enterprise in the movie. Isn’t it said that Johnathan Archer died the day after the Enterprise was launched?

46. CmdrR - April 15, 2007

Wow, you miss a day, you miss a lot.

OK — on the subject of Roddenberry’s optimistic vision of the future. He never says there won’t be lousy days. He just says that we’ll triumph brilliantly. I think the ‘pollyana’ comment from Berman (if that’s not out of context) is inappropriate. I think Roddenberry knew (and it shows in his other projects) that there will always be problems… just not the same ones. He was very much speaking to a 60′s America when he wrote about conquering race prejudice, hunger, and war (at least wars on Earth.) But, we saw in TOS many new challenges, including other wars. SOOOO… there must be a shining light in STXI, but there will be a thrill-ride of challenges, too. Personally, I can’t wait.

47. Woulfe - April 15, 2007

J.J. at least knows we’re out here and sends us a message….

Not like ol’ what’shisface who didn’t give a darn about us yanno….

- W -
* You know, that guy, who gave us that valentine, can’t recall his name *

48. Dennis Bailey - April 15, 2007

#27: “oh and guys….do we really need this thread to turn into another ‘my favorite trek show is better than your favorite trek show’ thing?”

Agreed. If we want to play “my dick’s less inadequate than yours” we can certainly do so in a less sublimated fashion. :lol:

49. THEETrekMaster - April 15, 2007

“Hail Hail Fire and Snow.. call the Abrams we will go … far away.. far to see.. friendly Abrams come to me”

Since few here seems to have a sense of humour…allow me, Lord Garth — BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Good one!

My compliments on your fine humourous prose!

50. Lord Garth Formerly of Izor - April 15, 2007

Thanks THEE

51. urseus - April 15, 2007

Man…why keep on with the Roddenberry vision. Gene had an awesome idea that was Star Trek, but everytime he had a large hand in the exicution it was rubbish eg The Motion Picture, TNG men wearing skirts.

Every time someone else took his vision and made it more real ie Star Trek 2, Deep Space Nine, it was insanly popular. Shows like 24, Lost, Prison Break, gritty dark shows are what the current audience will gravitate to.

I dont care. All i want to see is Pike and the Enterprise in Spacedock anyway.

52. urseus - April 15, 2007

Man…why keep on with the Roddenberry vision. Gene had an awesome idea that was Star Trek, but everytime he had a large hand in the exicution it was rubbish eg The Motion Picture, TNG men wearing skirts.

Every time someone else took his vision and made it more real ie Star Trek 2, Deep Space Nine, it was insanly popular. Shows like 24, Lost, Prison Break, gritty dark shows are what the current audience will gravitate to.

I dont care. All i want to see is Pike and the Enterprise in Spacedock anyway.

53. Whinger - April 15, 2007

Give us some real news will you…..

54. Robert Bernardo - April 15, 2007

Darn! I missed the Okuda speaking about TOS Remastered at the Creation Con. His talk was on Saturday morning, and I got to the convention at 1:30 p.m.

55. Sithmenace - April 15, 2007

I’ve been saying it since April of last year, Abrams will be remembered as the best thing to happen to Trek since Meyer. He just has all of the right ingredients, including the most important one, enthusiasm.

56. gbuy2001 - April 16, 2007

I think JJ Abrahms has an interesting job ahead of him.

Kirk as introduced in TOS is a flawed individual by modern standards. He is salivating over his Yeomen, describing to his friends how he hopes during R&R to find something to lie atop (as he leers over his female employees), and has a view of new life forms as sacred yet doesn’t mind blowing them away if he feels any sense of threat..

This contrasts with TNG which is antiseptic/neutered in contrast with characters turning inwards since we overllook each others flaws in the modern age–conflict between people is always a misunderstanding.

I think what makes good drama is conflict and story. Doesn’t matter where it is. There is in TOS alot of conflict, however McCoy and Kirk and Spock and Kirk are friends throughput the series.

I assume Abrahms and his wunderkinds realize that moving back in time to the events when Kirk takes over the Enterprise from Pike introduces a wonderful story opportunity. Why would Spock using logic and McCoy relying on folksy wisdom learn to trust and love such a horribly flawed frat boy as Kirk.

If they instead focus on introspection like TNG they will fail as badly as Enterprise. Having seem MI3 I think Abrahms is right guy to realize this.

Hopefully they also realize that the ship design of the new series did not have the elegance that epitomized TOS. The characters in TOS were flawed, but the universe they inhabited (ships, weapons, transportation) were idealistic, beautiful. I hope they get a boat designer to design their enterprise, rather than a graphic artist with busy hands…

57. Stanklin T. McFibberich - April 16, 2007

Can’t wait to see the fake Kirk in his fake shirt flying around in his fake ship.

Sorry, I just needed to start out my Monday right. :)

58. Cervantes - April 16, 2007

#34 Captain Pike

I’m with you…and don’t forget to reference some of the fantastic TOS music either J.J.
This Movie will be great if it ALSO has some likeable new actors, some good action, and an interesting story.

59. Michael Appleton - April 16, 2007

#57 “can’t wait to see the fake Kirk in his fake shirt flying around in his fake ship”
Sounds like someone has become well accustomed to having somebody “fake it” for them! As we say on Earth, “c’est la vie!”

60. Xai (gives peas a chance..) - April 16, 2007

#38 Stallion,
I don’t know what your problem is with Josh, and it’s not my business. He is what he is. I don’t like some of what he says either, but I think you need to let up on baiting him. This needs to be a good site, where people can discuss ideas and the ST news without the personal insult crap.

I like that JJ has sent out word that things look good and acknowledges the fans interest. Maybe we will be celebrating a good story come Christmas ’08

61. Xai (gives peas a chance..) - April 16, 2007

#57 Stank
I might take up a collection just to pay you to NOT go to the movie. It’s my prayer now that JJ gives us a hell of a movie, just so we can tell you….”told ya so”

;-)

X

62. ozy - April 19, 2007

He is not the fan of DS9, VOY and ENT!!!
he must accept all star trek series. All star trek series are great ( they are the same canon ). Every star trek series have bright moments.

63. Cervantes - April 20, 2007

I know which one I personally think had the BRIGHTEST moments in lots of different areas… ;)

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