In yet another interview (this time with Latino Review) screenwriter Roberto Orci talks about how the new Trek is being made to appeal to fans of the franchise as well as those unfamiliar with it. He also draws a distinction with Tranformers which had a smaller fanbase, saying:
‘Transformers’ is gonna get us nice and ready for the fans on ‘Star Trek.’ We’ve learned a lot, actually, from that. Again we, we’re diligent about, with J.J. Abrams, and with Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, agreeing what we all wanted to see first. And then this one, on ‘Star Trek,’ for example we don’t have the advantage or the luxury of the fact no one has ever seen it. People know what ‘Star Trek’ is. We don’t have the advantage of the fact (that Transformers has) the giant robots or something.
So we are more protective of that story because the intellectual property that is, the surprises of that story are, in a way, the spectacle of it. And so we are a little bit more worried about that getting out. But we feel pretty confident, you know. I was a diehard fan. Damon and I are crazy fans, J.J. and Alex are like mid-level fans and then Bryan Burk doesn’t know anything about it. So it pleases all of us, I think, what we’re doing, and hopefully that’s going to be the litmus test that it’s going to prevail.
Orci also had this exchange on who the film is for and if it is a prequel or not:
Latino Review: What do you want to bring to ‘Star Trek’ that say, like my kids for example, who don’t know ‘Star Trek’…
Orci: That’s exactly what I want to bring. I want it to be an introduction to that world and I want to take it for granted. I don’t want it to, no colons on the ‘Star Trek, Five and a Half.’ It fits in between this and that, you know, it’s ‘Star Trek.’ If you’ve never seen ‘Star Trek’ or anything about ‘Star Trek,’ this is for you. And if you’re a fan, you’re going to see a different movie because you’re absolutely going to see references and you’re absolutely going to see a different movie if you’re a fan. It’s actually very interesting to us, and I can’t wait for that to come out because it literally is two movies in one.
Latino Review: So is it more like a prequel or not?
Orci: Sort of.
It slices, it dices!
I know the word parsers are going to go nuts on this so here is my view. Orci is saying that the film is a prequel for us fans and an introduction for others. In a technical sense the film is undeniably a prequel because it takes place before TOS and includes known characters from that universe. However, it is important for Paramount (and for the budget that the producers want) to be able to sell the movie (both internally and externally) as a film you do not need to know about Trek to enjoy. This may be hard for some Trek fans to deal with, but it is an economic reality. However as he mentions here and as I reported from my conversations with him last week there is plenty in the script for the fans…you just don’t need to be a fan to enjoy the film. Of course the same could be said of other Trek films as well, especially STII, STIV and to some extend STFC.
Read the full interview at Latino Review