More Rumored ‘Star Trek’ Plot Details [UPDATED: TOS Writer Reacts] |
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More Rumored ‘Star Trek’ Plot Details [UPDATED: TOS Writer Reacts] November 12, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Rumor,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback are reporting to have nabbed some more plot details.

…warning possible SPOILERS below.
UPDATE: A TOS writer has responded to the latest rumors (below)

Read the full article for their full report, but it can be summarized thusly

This is all fairly plausible and is along the lines of the original AICN plot rumors. had already confirmed that the plot involves time traveling Romulans and that the Kobayashi Maru scenario will be seen. Recently a source told that older Spock (and presumably the Romulans) are ‘post-TNG era.’ Probably the biggest new item in the above story would the inclusion of the Guardian of Forever (the sentient time portal from “City on the Edge of Forever”). One source recently told that something like the GoF was being built on the Paramount lot, but this was dismissed by another source who said that this was more likely the opening to a cave. Perhaps they both were right.

So it looks more and more like the new Star Trek will be akin to what are considered the best episodes of TOS and TNG respectively: “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” It is worth noting that writer Roberto Orci listed “Yesterday’s Enterprise” as one of his favorite episodes and said that it (along with the Romulan-centered “Balance of Terror”) were episodes the team “referred to collectively.”

…but remember all these reports are still officially rumors.

Is the Guardian another star of ‘Star Trek’?

UPDATE: Ellison reacts
Harlan Ellison, the original writer of “City on the Edge of Forever” has not reacted well to the rumors that The Guardian will make an appearance in the new Stare Trek movie. Here is a message on his site.


Would someone go to that site, and suggest to those people there, that “City” and all its elements EXCEPT specific Star Trek characters, belong to Harlan Ellison–author of that much-lauded episode–by terms of the Separation of Rights clause of the Writers Guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), and if Mr. Abrams–with whom I’m currently on strike–or anyone else, at Paramount or elsewhere, thinks they’re going to use MY creations–whether the City, the Guardians, Sister Edith Keeler, or any other elements CREATED BY HARLAN ELLISON…they had damned well better lose the unilateral arrogance, get in touch with me, or my agent, Marty Shapiro, and be prepared to pay for the privilege of mining the lode I own.

Thank you, and thank Peter David, who just called to alert me, as have you, Mark, to yet another gimmegimme grab by Paramount and the Star trek francchise that makes billions, but withholds recognition or recompense to the artists who labored in that vein.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

Of course Ellison is famous for his feud with Roddenberry over COTEOF, but Paramount and Trek aren’t the only ones to feel the sting of Harlan, as this recent clip shows: [warning…Ellison uses many ‘colorful metaphors’]


1. Matt - November 12, 2007


Love the GOF being back. With today’s effects as well.

2. STFAN - November 12, 2007

Nice. But I got the impression that the movie will cover several periods in Kirk’s and Spock’s lives. Will the Romulans be jumping in and out of the guardian? And why would a story about trying to kill Kirk have Spock’s parents. And if we the first time we see Kirk he is taking the Kobiashi Maru test, then how come they casted a 24 year old as Kirk’s dad?

3. cloudsfather - November 12, 2007

does not sound “oh so original” but not bad either. hope they pull it sweetly.

4. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007

Hmm… perhaps the second unit filming in Iceland will be for background plates for the Guardian of Forever planet:

5. Dipling - November 12, 2007

Where is the unknown, boldly go, science stuff?

6. Iowagirl - November 12, 2007

Now they’re usurping the Guardian of Forever. Shudder…

7. Sebi - November 12, 2007

I don’t believe anything until I see it…

This would be excactly the plot all fans expect, I still think that we will all be surprised…

8. Matt - November 12, 2007

Given that the adult Spock has no recollection of meeting his post TNG self, I would think that this represents the “reboot”. The trouser leg of time will result in an “Ultimate” universe opening up, allowing Abrams to make canon changes in sequels.

I reckon.

9. Matt - November 12, 2007

So, given that post-TNG Spock has no recollection of meeting himself like this, I guess this is how the movie will re-boot as well as stick with canon. Abrams open up the trouser leg of time and an “ultimate” Trek universe will be born, allowing Abrams tomake changes in canon should he wish.

Also, in 15 years when the franchise needs another shot in the arm, he can begin to re-cast Jean-Luc and chums.

10. Matt - November 12, 2007

Sorry for the double post. I thought I lost the first one.

11. Tj Trek - November 12, 2007

Once again, I am sick and tired of time travel. I f I never saw any time travel stories ever again, that would make my day. Too Too much of it. Especially in Enterprise. However, I know that JJ abrams has associated his name only with great projects thus far. Let us hope that this story is either really good, or that the detail given are false, something for us to latch onto while they work on the real story behind the scenes

PS. Not first, but closer then I usually get

12. Redshirt - November 12, 2007

re Matt #8,9,10, [tisk tisk]

Who said Spock has no recollection of meeting his former self?!?!
Do you know everything in his awsome Vulcan mind?!?!??
…and what of it?

I think this is a fantastic!

JJ, just give us a solid, exciting, GOOD Trek and I’ll be happy the torch… {or Phaser} was passed on to you!

13. bugs nixon - November 12, 2007

this might be why shat has not been formally cast…

if he were, that might suggest to some that he will be saved and return to life at the end… back to the future style

theyre keeping his involvement a secret – without everyone thinking he is in the movie – then HE IS! big surprise at the end!

if its true, i’ve just ruined it

14. Harry Ballz - November 12, 2007

Ha! I predicted in an earlier post that IF they opened the movie with us seeing a young Kirk (centre seat) in the middle of a space battle, and it turned out to be the Kobayashi Maru test, then they have run out of ideas!

Hmmmm, I’ll forgive them as long as they don’t OPEN the film that way!!

15. R - November 12, 2007

lose any TNG reference. Loses credibility (for lack of a better phrase) to me. I could tolerate a nod or two, but nothing intricate to the plot.

16. The Wild Man of Borneo - November 12, 2007

Why would TNG Romulans want to kill Kirk? In fact, why would the Romulans want to kill Kirk at all? I think he only dealt with them 3 times in the original series (balance of terror, the deadly years, and the Enterprise Incident.) He never even dealt with them in the movies. It’s always been the Klingons that had beef with Kirk. Why the Romulans? They never had beef with Kirk.

And are they going to try to kill Kirk at birth or kill him at a really young age? Maybe just kill his one of his parents before they even meet each other?

No, that would be TOO EASY.

They’re probably going to a time when he’s older and in the academy (or out of it) to go for the kill. And if they do that, that would be really dumb on their part.

This plotting has more holes than the guardian itself. But hey, maybe I am wrong. I really hope I’m wrong though and they have a VERY logical explanation for everything.

17. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 12, 2007

If the Guardian in the City at the Edge of Forever is part of the story I wonder how they will explain it to the general audience that hasn’t seen the TOS episode.
Also, if all know about the Guardian, why is everyone waiting until now to use it? I think there would have been many other (maybe better) occassions to use it to go back in time to change the timeline…

And old Spock talking with young Spock about his friendship with Kirk?
“Hey, you will meet this great guy, who will become your best friend!” Seems cheesy.

Then I at least hope that he says this, too to show how deep their friendship really is: “And by the way, he will bring you back to life, but you won’t do the same for him!” ;)

18. Matt - November 12, 2007

One of the Peter David novels – Imzadi I believe – stated tht the Gauradin was kept in a secure scientific enclosure. Not to be used, only to be studied. It’s possible Abrams will havea similar thing, with the Romulans breaking in.

19. gord - November 12, 2007

Argh, not time travel!! Although I think Abrams & co though are too smart to leak anything as important as this – something smells fishy.

20. Jeffrey S. Nelson - November 12, 2007

I wonder if Bart LaRue is still alive to do the voice of the Guardinan. “Many such journeys are possible…let me be your gateway.”

21. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 12, 2007

There is another thing. If Spock really meets his young self and introduces himself as being old Spock from the future, then young Spock knows that he doesn’t die in Star Trek 2. His question to Kirk in Star Trek 3, why he did it would be pointless.

22. Avi Chapman - November 12, 2007

#21. Not really. Just because knows something’s going to happen doesn’t mean he understands why it’s going to happen.

23. Alex - November 12, 2007

I knew it would be the Guardian. For some reason, I just kew it. The only way time travel can still be cool and SFy in Star Trek. Thank god no more spacial anomalies and warp-10-gimmicks… I think this is going te right way.

24. Matt - November 12, 2007

True #23, I have always been against time travel but instantly the Guardian gives me a happy.

25. GeneRoddenberryFan37421 - November 12, 2007

What if Nero or the TNG Romulans were connected to Future Guy? Nice way to tie in ENT. Maybe Future Guy gave up on Archer’s time period & decided to try Kirk’s time period. Dunno. Just a thought been rolling around in my head for a while. If the whole Future Guy thing was resolved in ENT, I don’t remember – plot got so thick during the Xindi war season & I don’t remember all details.

There’s been a lot of time travel & it can get old, especially when you’re looking for exploration & seeking new life, etc. But First Contact was successful & it had time travel so there’s hope.

26. Jon - November 12, 2007

Time Travel… whatever happened to ‘To boldly go where no one has gone before?’

27. Frank - November 12, 2007

Speaking if time travel…All the producers have to do is have Spock hold his hand up to young Kirks head at some point and say “remember”. It could take two seconds thats all. One world could bring the old Kirk/Shatner back when Spock returns to the future. If that mind meld Spock preformed on Dr. McCoy held all of his spirit and knowledge in TWOK, then it certainly could work as a dire warning for a young Kirk as well. Just my thoughts but I think a pretty simple but effective method for Shatners return….

28. Doug L. - November 12, 2007

re 16

Lets start with it may be too soon to latch on to this idea as fact, but either way I have faith in Abrams strenghts of storytelling and characterization.

What I find really interesting is that in the last movie the TNG era Romulans (Remans) were out to Kill Picard,… Now they’re out to kill Kirk?!?

I think it’s a bit repetetive.

Doug L.

29. chris LaRoche - November 12, 2007

if this is true the movie will be freaken sweet,

30. Jim Smith - November 12, 2007

#21 as I said a couple of days ago, if the Old Spock tells the Young Spock that he’s his cousin Selek, who helped him when he was a child.. there’s no problem. In fact, tying in ‘Yesteryear’ would be the aces.

31. Al - November 12, 2007

So they want to kill young Kirk after Old Kirk is dead? Interesting.

I don’t really like TT, but if it can work. Sounds like Nimoy will have a more active role than some expected too. Will he tell Young Spock that he is Old Spock I wonder?

I wonder if it will allow a “Jim” moment at the very end? I am betting it will.

32. JB Gestl - November 12, 2007

#16 “They never had beef with Kirk.”

I think they had Fruit Salad with him ;)

Old Spock could mindmeld with Young Spock to get him up to speed and/or convince him of the truth about his identity. Then either one of the Spocks could mindmeld with Kirk.

33. Ralph - November 12, 2007

Guardian of Forever? Cool!
I always imagined that the Guardian of Forever would be the most simple argument to time travel.
It s easy to explain the no trekkers. It is misterious, nobody know what it is, who built it, what its porpuse…

Imagine, a Guardian of Forever in CG.

Nothing machine building or sobrenatural and impossible phenomenons (Nexus,wormhole, travel around the sun etc.)

Some people think that it would be a Stargate SG-1 in Star Trek.

34. George Armstrong Custer - November 12, 2007

Obviously this is why Harlin Ellison is upset with Paramount. He was said to be furious.If the guardian in the Movie is a locked down science facility then that would explain the actors scene in 24th century costumes with white lab research clothes. It would also explain the casting calls for people with marching experience because they would need military protection hence the photographs of guys with shorthair and mlitary boots with TNG style turtlenecks under the raincoats.

35. dm - November 12, 2007

Question: Why does young Spock join star fleet instead of attending the Vulcan Science Academy?
Possible answer: Because old Spock assigns him the mission of guarding Kirk, etc. Perhaps this explains why Sarek disapproves, since young Spock must keep his motivation secret.


36. Cugel the Clever - November 12, 2007

This is extremely disappointing. After learning about the casting choices and the obvious affection and respect that the filmakers possess for Star Trek, this brings all my hope and optimism crashing to the earth.

Time travel has totally been done to death in ST films and in all the series’. We’ve seen every possible angle on “fixing” the mistakes of the past, snickering over old hairstyles and uniforms, and miserably failing to explain how time paradoxes are resolved. The Romulans and Klingons have also been done to death. Heck, one of the worst disasters in Star Trek history (Nemesis) involved the Romulans as adversaries. Not only that, but by the post-TNG, post-Dominion, and post-Nemisis era; the Romulans are firmly on the road towards lapdogs of the Federation, just as the Klingons have become. It’s totally non-credible (and worse, BORING) that they would, yet-again, be the major adversaries.

Is this the best they can do? They have an entire universe to work with – let’s have some new ideas and villians!

37. EricAD - November 12, 2007

My opinions based on these tidbits:

1: The Romulans are not going to try to kill Kirk based on personal reasons ( like Shinzon in Nemesis ) Kirk will be seen as a pivotal figure on the development of the Federation, turning it into what it becomes in the TNG time period. That’s why they’ll go after him. I think this Nero character will be a rouge Romulan, who is against any peace treaty with the Federation, which is something Spock was working towards when he was on TNG.

2: The Gaurdian of Forever I think will be like the Area 51 of the Federation; something they don’t really understand and have kept under lock and key since discovering it due to the implications it could have in the Galaxy. Rumors will persist through the quadrant of it’s existence, and the Romulans will discover it to be true. Spock of course knows all about it due to his involvment with it when it was discovered.

I think since the movie will likely begin in the post Nemesis era, it would be nice to see at least one Federation ship during this time frame. The writers have said there will be hints of TNG and even DS9 in this movie…it would be interesting if we see a ship ( the Titan?) with crew members populated from TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Of course I’d love a cameo from Picard and the Enterprise-E, but that’s a long shot.

38. Cugel the Clever - November 12, 2007

The only part of this concept that would save the movie for me is if the past were “corrected”, but not rebooted exactly to match the established canon. This would allow the “current” (i.e. post-VOY) timeline to have subtle but important changes – LIKE A LIVING KIRK! It’s a good way to erase stupid mistakes that certain past ST has done, with killing Kirk in STVII being the worst.

39. Cugel the Clever - November 12, 2007


“Rouge” Romulans????

Hmmmmmm….. I think that it would be going too far to have gay Romulans, transvestite Romulans, or communist Romulans :)

Perhaps you meant “Rogue” ?

40. COMPASSIONATE GOD - November 12, 2007

Time travel….did not see that coming in Star Trek.


41. Cugel the Clever - November 12, 2007

Wait – how about a reboot of Omega Glory – then we can all stand up after the film ends and give a stirring rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance?

42. Cygnus-X1 - November 12, 2007

I didn’t read this article.

I don’t want the party spoiled.

I’m not reading the comments either.

La la la…..I don’t see nothing.

43. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007

I wonder if Orci revealed a bit too much when he singled out “Balance of Terror” as a “touch point” for the creative team behind the movie. Could Nero be the son of the Romulan Commander from the aforementioned episode? Might he blame Kirk for the death of his father (ala Khan blaming Kirk for the death of his wife?)

Maybe Nero is furious that he can’t kill Kirk in his present (since he’s dead post “Generations”) so he finds out about the Guardian and invades the planet with his rouge team of mercenaries. Spock may be there studying the Guardian with other scientists… and he gets caught up in the action.

44. dm - November 12, 2007

43 – I think you’re right that Spock must be on the planet at the time the Romulans utilize the Guardian… I seem to recall that in TOS everything not on the surface of the planet changed (ship vanished, etc) as soon as McCoy went through.

Why’s he there? Scientific study, or maybe watching the Guardian display the past for sentimental reasons.

45. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007


Heh… I misspelled “rogue” the same as EricAD. Well at least I used it in conjunction with the word “mercenaries.” ;)

46. KevinA Melbourne Australia - November 12, 2007

16. The Wild Man of Borneo – I agree…Kirk didn’t really upset them … if anything it’s Captain Sisco they would want to get rif of.

As much as I love all the speculation I’m still worried about the Romulans being the pivital characters. They featured in the “noted” worst ST Movie last time ‘Nemisis” Why go there again? A rouge Romulan called NERO … didn’t we have a rouge Romulan called Schinzon in Nemisis?

I like the prospect of the Guardian of Forever coming back into it…never been done again since “City”. Always hoped Next Gen would go there.
Let’s hope the Romulans are a plot devise and nothing more to get us back into the past….I just can’t wait to see how this crew all comes together.

47. Stanky McFibberich - November 12, 2007

I would like to use the Guardian of Forever to go back in time and lock away those who came up with the idea of doing this project.

48. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007


It would be a cool nod to “Yesteryear” if Spock asks the Guardian to view the events from that animated episode. The other Vulcan scientists might scoff as his emotional request — a perfect opportunity to instruct the general audience as to Spock’s mixed half-human, half-Vulcan ancestry.

Maybe that’s the Winona scene. ;)

49. George Armstrong Custer - November 12, 2007

44and43 I heard that a Temporal Transporter was built on the set awhile back. Spock could use that on Romulus to contact young Spock.

50. Adam Cohen - November 12, 2007


I hope they don’t go in this direction. Romulans, if you want to render the Federation a complete mess, why not go back and SAVE Edith Keeler instead? I really don’t like these narrowly tailored time-travel stories. Kill Kirk, win the war against Earth? That sounds a little too cartoonish to me.

Well, I’ll just have to take Nimoy at his word that this is a great story…

51. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007


A missed opportunity. Elizabeth Hurley as Edith Keeler!

52. George Armstrong Custer - November 12, 2007

#50 how would they even know about Keeler. That was a isolated event unless they did research on Kirks logs. Also if Germans ended up ruling the world then I wouldn’t want to tangle with them in the 23rd century

53. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007


I missed opportunity. Elizabeth Hurley as Edith Keeler!

54. Adam Cohen - November 12, 2007

#52 I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek.

The point being the Romulans could go back to any countless number of points in human history and obliterate humanity to the point where the will never be a Federation. Killing James Kirk is overly simplistic storytelling in my opinion. And way too convenient as well. If you were Nero, why not go back and kill Kirk’s parents as children? Or grandparents? Sure, it would make a less interesting movie, but as far as Nero is concerned, it would a a whole lot easier than facing Kirk head-on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ragging on a movie I haven’t seen yet. All I am doing is discussing this rumored plot point. Time Travel to kill a young Kirk seems kind of silly and unimaginative on the surface. As #26 said above, what ever happened to “where no man has gone before?”

55. Anthony Lewis - November 12, 2007

“Is this the best they can do? They have an entire universe to work with – let’s have some new ideas and villians!”

Yeah cause Insurrection was SO GOOD.

56. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007


But if Nero has a personal grudge against Kirk that goes way back (#43), then it would make sense to kill the man before his actions lead to the death of his father.

Just a thought, anyway.

57. Justin Olson - November 12, 2007

Sorry, I meant #54 — to Adam.

58. JB - November 12, 2007

Well, so much for the final frontier. Abrams is boldly going where every ST series has been before. This plot could have been the premise of that fanboy writing contest held earlier this year.

This is not what the original ST was supposed to be about, and I suspect it was this kind of story that led Roddenberry to prohibit time travel stories when he first launched TNG.

I hate to say it, because I was initially jazzed about going back to TOS, but more and more I find myself agreeing with Stanky – let’s call the whole thing off.

59. Luke Montgomery - November 12, 2007


I love how these guys are taking all the fan fav elements (as they are fans themselves) and merging them together. I knew when it leaked about the time travel plot that the shooting exteriors in Iceland meant that the Guardian would be a part of this…

This is great news!

60. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 12, 2007

It has to be an accident. If Nero (what a stupid name) cannot control when he will “come out of the time-tunnel” and he has to figure out that it is before Kirk is in command of the Enterprise, it would make a bit more sense.

61. JL - November 12, 2007

Wow. The Guardian of Forever, how cool! TCOTEOF… That episode gives me chills every time I watch it ,and I’ve watched it more than a dozen times. They are being smart about reaching back and riffing off of one of the standout TOS episodes… it worked for STII:TWOK (Space Seed)…

I just hope they deliver the right vibe with killer dramatic feel and kick-ass music, etc…

62. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


I guess that this is the challenge for a screenwriter:

What do you do to create a story that

(a) sticks a crowbar into CBS/Paramount/whatever’s pocketbook for up to $150 million, with a high hurdle for recovering its costs after shares for talent, technical staff, distributors by the end of the second/third weekend — when theatergoers find a ‘new shiny object': HP6, a Peter Jackson-produced “Hobbit”, or something else, to spend their $$$ watching…

(b) is interesting/exciting enough to get non-fans (including those spoiled by slam-bam CGI-enhanced alien invasions and space wars) into those “$40-$50 for a family of four for 2-hours of entertainment” theaters,

(c) isn’t Trek in name only — and is redone as something as close to what you and I like as “Starship Troopers” (the movie) was to Heinlien’s book (or, “Sum of All Fears” was to Clancy’s book), OR WORSE, and

(d) hasn’t been used as a plot device in the hundreds of hours of “Trek” productions, to date.

I’ll admit that the time travel plot trick has been used, perhaps, too many times over the course of the past 40 years of “Trek”. If this ‘leak’ is correct, or some version of it is correct, I guess that — speaking only for myself — I will still go. One, face it, I like “Trek”. And, unless it really sucks, I’ve been willing to watch just (at least twice) about every episode of each of the series — even those series where people have pissed about theme music or female captains or “Akira-prises” or “too dark, for Star Trek” (or, “too much like a trip to recovery group”). Two, “City” is one of my favorite episodes of “Trek” of ALL time (no pun). Three, of all of the time travel ‘mechanisms': spatial rifts, ‘light-speed-breakaways’, chroniton particle accumulations, Bajoran “Orb of Time”, it is the one that always sticks out as being interesting because it is an alien device that makes an intriguing, almost deity-like, comment “I am my own beginning, my own ending”, suggesting something even more to the Guardian than meets the eye than a rock doughnut with flashing lights and a fog machine… Four, there’s a chance to give an honest stab at what Harlan (who, despite a reputation for being an angry/ nasty piece of work, has been able to pen a good line) envisioned for the Guardian’s planet in “City”: no “Greek/Roman architectural” movie set pieces scattered on the set, etc..

I’ll admit to being fearful that the challenge is almost too much. I just saw “Transformers” for the first time, last week, when it came out on DVD. I’m hope-filled that the “Trek” we love is in good (screenwriting) hands.

We’ll find out on 25 December at midnight, won’t we? I’m thinking that it may well be much more of a ‘present’ than ‘lump of coal’.

63. Driver - November 12, 2007

The plot as described sounds like fanboy simplistic one line what ifs devoid of any meat and potatoes of a real film’s play time. To muse on an unconfirmed rumor is unproductive at best.

64. lwr - November 12, 2007

as I suggested a few weeks back under the ‘star trek ranks blog”….my comments are this:

I like the idea of the time travel scenario and the alternate timeline.
it’s an age old comic stunt that has worked so well for so many characters. you get to keep the old while you embrace the new. that being said, it must be done right, without some silly made up devise ( this temporal transporter thing??).

my suggestion is this – the guardian of forever (could explain Iceland, eh?!). l

let’s say the events after NEMESIS have Romulus thinking. what if? let’s say they some how stumble on the city on the edge of forever( and let’s assume it is a research facility like in TAS),disguised with a Vulcan research team, this Nero goes back in time and somehow prevents Kirk from passing the leadership in the academy and his life takes a more mollified turn (like Picard in that one Q episode).

let’s say Spock is also part of that team, but stays on the planet of forever ( rememebr, when time changes it does not affect the memories of those on the forever planet),and when they return he notices something is wrong. very wrong.he soon figures out that it has to do with kirk and his role in history, and it is now up to him and his past self to make sure Kirk achieves his place in history .

i can only conclude that spock has to cycle thru the time stream to find the exact era where the “change occured, hence the period that includes Kirks parenst, ans an earlier acadamy appearance that included young spock and his parents. ( both of these must have had nero’s stamp on it and that is what led spock there).

he finally realizes that those mis steps must have been failed attempts by nero and that in fact it is later in kirks acadamy days that the change occurs..and it has to do with the one occurance that had the most dramitic effect on his career path..the kobiashi maru and carol marcus.

somehow they prevent hom from passing the test and achieving a command career path, and his relashonship with marcus keeps him in a more seditary career field/.this is where the kobiashi maru scenario comes in. since the romulans prevented him from passing before, it caused kirk to take a lesser path thru history. now with the technical brilliance of the spocks and with the help of a bright eyed junior cadet named Chekov they reprogram the test to make kirk WIN!) and receives his assignment and is stationed on the USS Farragut.

Let’s say with Nero’s plan now crushed, he sets out to Kill Kirk by commandeering the ENTERPRISE under the command of Christopher pike. he then takes on the Farragut in combat in a hopes of destroying the ship along with Kirk onboard.
Let’s say that Kirk, the Spocks and a few junior officers (Sulu,Uhura) somehow board the Enterprise, team with Scotty to help Pike retrieve command and somehow stop Nero .

Let’s say kirk is injured and back at Starfleet meets up with a feisty country doctor who gives him a tongue lashing or two, but Kirk takes a liking to him.

let’s say Chris pike stops by and has a few kind words to say to the young Kirk, and that he will be keeping an eye on his career.

…. movie ends with spock stepping back thru the guardian, all seems to now be righted through the timeline. all except one thing. JAMES T KIRK now did not die on veridian 6. he is very much alive and is standing waiting for spock as hesteps back thru the guardian.
hand outstreached to meet is freind, he smiles and says.

” the needs of the many, my friend?”…and we fade to the past,sliding to a shot of a little older, a little wiser James T Kirk , (flanked by Spock,Mccoy, Sulu,Uhura,Scotty, and a young Ensign Chekov) shaking the hand of pike as the torch of command is passed.

ans as the screens fads top an exterior shot of the enterprise and then to black…

we here in the words of William shatner….SPACE, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the starship enterprise. it’s 5 year mision,to explore strange new worlds. seek out new life and new civilizations. to boldly go where no man has gone before.

and as to the questions of how was the guardian kept secret ands how does spock communicate with himself?
well YESTERYEAR explains both of those items:

1.the guardian is a top secret research facility manned by the vulcans(because of their logical/non emotion ties to research..they will not try to corrupt the timelines they research).

2. spock will again be his ‘cousin” or something like that when he approaches his younger self.

and as fro shatners flat out denials as to being in the movie… well he has to, beacuse his small cameo IS THE MONEY SHOT OF THE WHOLE FILM.



65. Adam Cohen - November 12, 2007


Unproductive, yes. But fun as well! :)

66. jonboc - November 12, 2007

If there is any hint of truth in these rumors I will be one happy camper! It will be amazing to see the Gaurdian again. I wonder if the same actor who voiced it in TOS is still alive. If so, I hope they grab him to do the voice. And I also hope the Romulans’ “Frankenstein” foreheads and Spock wigs disappear and we go back to the original sister race fo the Vulcans that look LIKE Vulcans, as seen in TOS and STar Trek 6.

67. Stef* - November 12, 2007

About Kirk:
Kirk was the one, who…
… destroyed the Prototype Warbird with cloaking system
… has stolen the cloaking system
… saved earth several times (V’Ger, Whales)
… earned the absolute loyalty of Spock
… brought Spock back from death (ST3).
… more and more
He would surely be a focus for frustrations, and a focus one in well informed about through his outstanding life.

But perhaps it’s not really about “Kill Kirk because of all this” – that would be all to transparent and easy. Perhaps it is more about: “Kill Kirk to get rid of Spock or to break him” – why?
–> we saw in ENT a hidden romulan connection to Vulcan
–> Spock had an interesting connection with this Romulan Commander
–> they captured this Romulan Commander then (where has she gone?)
–> Spock was the one who later worked in underground on Romulus, who in combination with Data destroyed the plans of a Vulcan Invasion (as silly as they were)
–> it is totally unknown, what happend to Spock after “Unification” and especially in the period of Nemesis
–> if there would be a chance for Spock to unite Romulans and Vulcans it would really be after Nemesis, when the council fell victim to this attack in the Senat

Who, by the way, is this NERO??????

Since I write german fanfiction and also have read a lot fanfiction where some plots are very near these simple sentences …

… there really is a vast of possibilities and I’m sure we will all not know before we haven’t seen this movie.

If I would be Mr. Abrams, I would beginn this movie with a running Vulcan Boy in Yesteryear and end this film with an older Spock who takes the liberty after his task is done, to save Kirk in Generations and take him in is own time … *and so on* …

*just my thoughts*

68. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


I think that a number of movies, including those now considered to be among the ‘classics’ (sci-fi, or not), could — if their plots were similarly reduced down to a few sentences — sound pretty silly and unserious.

“Okay. So instead of the evil robot killing people, this Kubrick film has a computer that goes nuts and kills the crew of the ship that it controls.”

“Okay. She loves this scalawag, but can’t admit it to herself.” “So what if it has the burning of Atlanta shown?”

69. Pragmaticus - November 12, 2007

The Guardian! Yes!!!

I’m very excited by this news. If this is why they’re going to Iceland… then wow.

70. raulpetersen - November 12, 2007


as amazing as this movie is going to be the new voyages guardian episode is my fav alternate timeline/ time travel trek episode ever!!!

just for the shot with the FULL SIZED SHUTTLECRAFT PARKED IN A GARAGE!!!

ooh i feel quite faint now i mu

71. raulpetersen - November 12, 2007


as amazing as this movie is going to be the new voyages guardian episode is my fav alternate timeline/ time travel trek episode ever!!!

just for the shot with the FULL SIZED SHUTTLECRAFT PARKED IN A GARAGE!!!

ooh i feel quite faint now i mu

72. ZoomZoom - November 12, 2007

seems fairly formulaic to me. However, as its Spock, Kirk and the other TOS characters I may just be able to live with it. We’ll see. Only slightly disinterested today!

73. George Armstrong Custer - November 12, 2007

You people realize that with the involvement of Captain Pike that this movie is nothing more than a illusion created by the Talosians.

74. CanuckLou - November 12, 2007

I like it. The Guardian of Forever is such a cool construct. Please no Nexus crap. I’d rather see Spock use a star slingshot rather than revisiting that.

75. raulpetersen - November 12, 2007


harlan ellisons always pissed about something!!

the white coats look more reminicent of the medical crew from star treks 1 and 2 to me, i just cant see them changing the post nemesis uniforms to look pre motion picture, but YOU NEVER KNOW

76. raulpetersen - November 12, 2007

carol marcus is going to leave him because he has to be THE GREATEST starship captain ever or trillions will die, and she doesnt want to deal with those implications!

so she takes david and develops the most destructive force in the star trek movie universe!!!!!

77. Ivory - November 12, 2007

If this is true the door is blown wide open for Shatner to appear as Kirk.

78. Chris TROC - November 12, 2007

Time travel? What a great idea. I was hoping Star Trek would do a time travel story one of these days.

79. Mazzer - November 12, 2007

Disappointing if this is really true (the plot). I’d hoped they would go for something fresher than rehashing old ideas.

80. Scott - November 12, 2007

These are just thoughts, not a rant, but I am a little disappointed. It seems most of the Trek movies have been either time travel stories or revenge stories or both. This certainly seems to fit that mold. If I never saw another Trek time travel story (as others above have said) it wouldn’t be too soon. You’d think in a universe where this was possible, every man-jack with a warp-drive would be going back in time messing with stuff. If this movie takes the opportunity to have the Guardian outlaw time travel of any and all means forever, then I’d be one happy Trekster. :-)

That said, I do wish the production team well. But please, along with all the cool familiar characters and tired plot tropes, give us something bold and beefy we never knew we always wanted to see in a Trek film. Please?

Scott B. out.

81. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 12, 2007

Using the Guardian means imho that you can time-travel at will. So, why hasn’t Spock gone back in time to save Kirk before? Why hasn’t everything that has gone “wrong” like the millions of dead people caused by the Dominion-War, the Borg-War etc. simply been fixed by going through the Guardian?
Time-travel should be something that cannot be used at leisure.

82. lwr - November 12, 2007

rehash? fresh ideas?

what are you people talking about.

this is the absolute best thing anyone could hope for.

this is a ploy used by comic book writers for years,with huge success.

take the construst of ” continuity” build a plot around it, toss in a universe altering event,then have the resolution causing it to be tweaked just enough that the result is the same…just a little different.

think about it.
1. we get all new voyages without “losing the old”

2.maybe one of the romulans accidently left something behind during one of their failed visit attempts. this new piece of technology causes the tehcnology of the pre TOS era to be advanced by 50 years or so( this is probably the contruction scene we see during spocks acadamy days)
, and that casued frederation technology to change just a enough that the technology we now see in this movie version of the TOS era can be explained and we can logically ( for sci fi, anyway) have…walla, new style enterprise and bridge set and all
not to drastic, but just enough to justify a change in decor.

3.and at the movies end we get a slighlty tweaked universe that opens the door for a whole new universe without comprimising the old!
it is the only way to go without pissing of everyone in town!!

4.end kirk at the end will do justice for that crappy death in generations…because it was not fun.

and,this is not to even mention that FINALLY we are going to get the first fullblown cinematic adventure that is of motion picture quailty ( not just a tv movie on the big screen) since TMP and STIV.

it will be truly epic!


83. VanEdge - November 12, 2007

Spock already used GoF to visit his younger self in TAS — the only TAS episode considered canon — written by the great D.C. Fontana.

I guess Orci and Kurtzman didn’t watch TAS cause that’s the only way they could pass this (rumored) plot device as an original idea.

I don’t know if I like the idea or not. It feels interesting and weird at the same time.

84. VanEdge - November 12, 2007

Oh, and why the heck would TNG Romulans be interested in killing off Kirk after their post Shinzon crappy lives? First, they create a Picard clone that they forget to kill when they abandon plans for him, then they decide to time travel to kill Kirk? Seems like the Romulans are obsessively jealous of Enterprise Captains.

85. AJ - November 12, 2007

I hope I am the first to ask if old Spock will have a sports almanac with him for young Spock.

I like it.

86. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


Just as long as one of the actors isn’t going to play (a) his usual character, (b) his character’s teenaged son, AND (c) his character’s teenaged DAUGHTER in the same film, please.

87. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007

Or, run the starship into a freighter carrying a sh_pload of horse manure from a colony world.

88. Justin - November 12, 2007

The above plot ideas are problematic for two simple reason:

It assumes that the audience will know and care about the importance of Kirk *as a character* before we are even introduced to him in the film.

Yes, we fans know Kirk and would fear for his life, BUT that fact does not change the fact that as a contained storyline it would be sloppy writing.

Tne TNG movies committed this sin. The writers assumed that becasue we knew and loved Data and Picard, etc, that we would continue to no matter what–therefore they didnt bother writing these characters in new and interesting ways. They assuemd that becasue we love Data we would weep for his death whether his sacrifice made any sense or not.

Why would a member of the general audience become engaged in a plot that begins with a death threat to a character they havent met yet?

Secondly, the general audience will not buy whatever reason the movie throws at them for why the Romulans will want to assassinate a person who is already dead. Im not sure Trek fans will buy it. When did Krik do wrong by the Romulan Empire? What will killing him accomplish for them?

Like with NEMESIS, the villian will commit to a complex rube goldberg plot, while his reasons and motivations are murkey and unreasonable.

If these rumors are true, this is very bad news.

89. Pragmaticus - November 12, 2007

86 – I’d pay money to see Shatner as his own teenaged daughter.

90. CanuckLou - November 12, 2007

@88 – Even general audience members know Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Your concern is unfounded.

91. nick - November 12, 2007

I just have one thing to say… WHY?!?!

I was really hoping for an original idea so people years from now can review other movies and say, “Oh, they did that in Trek 11!” We have not had an original idea in years and that’s why the franchise is in trouble. Throwing $150 mil at it and having your plot be about previous plots is horrible. I’m fine with the whole TOS idea… but with something new.

92. Dr. Image - November 12, 2007

So lets see- they’re ripping concepts from FC, NV, and fkg NEM??!
JJ, time travel???? In a Trek movie, this is now the KISS OF DEATH.
Take heed to all above…and me.

93. Jeff - November 12, 2007

The plot makes no sense.

Why wouldn’t Spock go back into time to Nero’s birth and just shoot the baby.

End of Romulan threat.

End of movie.

If this is the big idea for the film, it’s going to suck donkey balls.

94. CmdrR. - November 12, 2007

I can still hope for a good movie. I really can’t say I’m looking forward to the Spock and Zpock show. I think the image of old Spock talking to young Spock is silly. Why? Because it (so far) lacks something that we as an audience can relate to. IF old Spock shows up in young Spock’s life, shouldn’t he be a mentor, rather than a plot device trying to save Kirk, who young Spock doesn’t even know yet. Shouldn’t old Spock say to Zpock, “Mellow out, logic is only the beginning, get laid more, hey that blonde Leila’s stacked!” Not, “Logic dictates you must save Kirk.” zzzzz.

I really, really, really was hoping this was a more intimate story about the beginnings of the Kirk-Spock relationship. Small scale stakes, on a level we can all relate to. Friendship is a better theme that galactic peril.

My 2 quatloos.

Oh, and WSB Atlanta needs lose its FCC ticket. They truly bite when it comes to floating TOS-R.

95. Ripped shirt Kirk - November 12, 2007

if this plot is true, then my faith in this movie just ended as all hopes for star trek’ having a future.

This plot really resembles more a bad fan fiction story than anything else. I am sad by saying this, but unfortunately I foresee that after xmas 2008, Nemesis will no longer be considered the worst ST film ever made.

96. Andrew - November 12, 2007

With the news that the movie may include Spocks childhood and a young Amanda and Sarek as well as the Guardian of Forever and a time-travelling Spock, is it possible they will incorporate plot-elements from “Yesteryear” (animated series) ? – Spock travels back in time to his childhood through the time portal…

Maybe in the post-TNG period, Spocks resistence/reunification movement has taken power on Romulus and Spock has become the new Praetor… and perhaps that is why Nero travels back in time to eliminate Spock from the timeline and thus stop the reunification movement from taking off.
As we all know it was Spocks arrival on Romulus in “Reunification” that really gave the underground movement organisation/leadership and got it moving…

It would be more plausible than the Romulans traveling back in time to kill Kirk. Why would they do that !?

Kirk is dead in post-TNG period and thus not a threat to them, and he never did anything to seriously screw with the Romulans. What would make the Romulans suddenly decide to go back in time to assasinate him ? what good would it do them ?

97. AJ - November 12, 2007

Let’s give JJ a chance to get it right. We will care for Kirk before the threat as we will see his parents and Carol. Also, Nero could come back and shoot Kirk’s mom, or something, but then revenge will not taste so sweet.

And hopefully old Spock will whisper to young Spock to be on the Enterprise-B in Generations, and when he returns to the 25th Century, Krusty Kirk will be waiting for him with Antonia. Sniff.

98. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Time travel time travel time travel. Is this all the trek writers can come up with? I’m with # 11 here. It’s been used WAY too much, and is silly anyway. Sure, many of the episodes and movies were good, but can’t they write anything great without resorting to this tired premise? Why not just go back to prehistoric times and destroy the earth. Poof! no more Federation. It is a poor plot device. Of course being a long time Trek fan (I was a kid when TOS debuted) I will go see it, but I hope they can do better than time travel again.

99. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - November 12, 2007

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO more time travel!!! Please this must be the last time. I understand that it is prob a neccesary plot devise this time out and if it get’s Leonard in (and hopefully Bill) then I’m all for it especially if it’s the Guardian (very cool!!!)

But this has got to be the last time, It’s been done to death!!!

100. chris LaRoche - November 12, 2007

trekkies and trekkers bitch way to much.

101. Robby13 - November 12, 2007

For pete sake, wait until the movie comes out before you tear down the film. Take a Maylox! Even better take a chill pill!

102. New Horizon - November 12, 2007

Hopefully this is just a rumor. I’m sick of time travel in Star Trek. I might be able to forgive it if the Guardian is involved, but only barely.

103. Robby13 - November 12, 2007

#81 I would imagine it would be forbidden to go back in time by Starfleet. Perhaps Spock being a scientist was there studying the Guardian with some scientists when the Romulans got wind of it. Perhaps, Nero was the grandson of the commander who died in “Balance of Terror”

104. CanuckLou - November 12, 2007

@98 Why the disdain for time travel? If it was ever needed by the franchise this is the episode.

List your favourite episodes from any ST series. How many of them have a time travel element to it?

105. Cervantes - November 12, 2007

If it’s to be a ‘time-travel’ scenario after all ( as has seemed likely for a good while now! ), then AT LEAST we are to get the mysterious construct of the ‘Guardian of Forever’ from a great TOS episode.

I only hope it is not overly ‘reimagined’, but retains it’s basic ‘organic-looking’ misshape…albiet perhaps being a little bigger…

What I’d REALLY like to see is WHO built it coming to scold the races who abuse it…

106. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

I’m cool with all these theories, but I’m interested to know how bringing in TNG era will be accessable to a new audience. Don’t misunderstand me I LOVE all trek, but how is JJ and crew going to explain who Spock is, who the Romulans are, explain the GoF, and that the TNG era is vastly different era than the orignal??

107. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

Certainly the incident shown in “Balance Of Terror” could be seen as a major turning point in the Earth/Romulan competition. As Mark Lenard’s character reflected in that episode, a successful test of their cloak and plasma weapon would have emboldened their government to launch a war against Earth and its allies. Kirk prevented this, and some Romulans a century later might well view that as a pivotal opportunity lost.

108. - November 12, 2007

Why do they have to use time travel….time travel stories are what turns my non-trek fan friends off to Star Trek.

109. GaryS - November 12, 2007

we shouldnt judge the story just yet .
all we have are RUMORED bits and pieces .
nothing is either complete or confirmed.

110. Clinton - November 12, 2007

Just rumors.

I hope that we won’t be dipping into the “time travel” bin again.

111. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

According to and JJ, Jennifer Morrison is NOT Grace Lee Whitney.

112. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

Hahaha I should say Yeoman Rand, actually

113. AJ - November 12, 2007

Maybe those 2 cretins from Temporal Investigations will come and arrest everyone.

Hey, How does old Spock know about Nero heading back? Maybe Spock and Nero are brothers because BOT Romulan Commander and Sarek both looked somehow exactly the same! Maybe the guy behind Romulan Commander is Stonn. Because he somehow looks exactly the same! And after their miraculous escape, Stonn uses his ‘powerful friends’ to get Spock’s girl on Vulcan, and then Spock kills Kirk, and Kirk recovers, Stonn gets slutty T’Pring with dishonor, and says “To hell with all these guys,” and goes back to Romulus to plot with Nero. And then Ambassador Spock does all the stuff from “Unification,” Nero gets angry he didn’t get a mind meld from dad, and he and Stonn get into their ship just before Sybok arrives for a party, and head to get Kirk, without whom none of this would have happened.

I’ve been up straight for 24 hours. Sorry about that.

114. cosmo kid - November 12, 2007

Oh fudge…Rumors I hope indeed!

115. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


NOOOOO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O! Where’s the brain wash?!


Could make this a great start to new characters. Of course, that would make it a potential ‘chick flick’.

Oh. Wait a second… That’d be the ‘dark side of Trek” for some….most….


116. Ivory - November 12, 2007


Someone over at Trektoday claims that he has inside information (posted a week or two ago) that Shatner as Kirk shows up in the 24th century alive and well.

Spock knows his presence means that the timeline has been destroyed.

Spock is then left with the decision to save Kirk or to allow Kirk to die but save the timeline. It is similar to the “City on the Edge of Forever” storlyline with Spock playing the Kirk role.

Makes ya wonder if this guy really does know something?

117. trekmaster - November 12, 2007

Jennifer Morrison is Dr. Carol Marcus…

118. CmdrR. - November 12, 2007

Hey, remember how great that time -travel movie “The Final Countdown” was?

Neither does anyone else.

119. Greg2600 - November 12, 2007

I love the Guardian of Forever idea to connect the time periods (much more believable than that stupid Nexus), and I have never had any problem with the Romulans. However, I think the general public still thinks the only aliens humans ever run into are Klingons. And given the disaster of Nemesis, more Romulans surprise me. However, that movie deals with Remans mostly.

I am in the boat with people who feel that yet another time line saving time travel movie, and yet another Romulan scheme to destroy the Federation might be well over done. However, since I enjoy both kinds of stories, I won’t protest. On the other hand, I still prefer the kind of abstract Star Trek done in ST:TMP over the political stuff. In the end though, this kind of story is probably the most relevant way of getting old Spock into the fold.

Having said all that, this story presents the absolutely perfect way of bringing back Shatner for the end of the film (if he were to agree).

120. JL - November 12, 2007

“If this is the big idea for the film, it’s going to suck donkey balls.”

First of all, we don’t know if it *is* the plot and even if it IS the premise for it, maybe it’ll be a good film once the other 99% of the details are filled in.

GEEZ-us, some of you guys are such friggin’ buzz-kills.

121. JL - November 12, 2007



122. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#116 — That would actually be a really, really cool way to work Shatner into the storyline, although I have some doubts about the veracity of the rumor.

123. Dave - November 12, 2007

I still say Spock should locate and destroy the nexus while he’s in the past… it could coincidentally be floating buy and BLAM! Destroy it. No Nexus= No Kirk’s Death on Enterprise B=No Soran=No change to TNG timeline… No Generations!

124. Shaggy - November 12, 2007

If this is true then I suppose it makes sense as to why Kirk won’t be in the movie. But I agree with those in the comments that have mentioned time travel in Star Trek. I guess I can see the appeal as some of Trek’s most popular movies used time travel (ST IV and First Contact) but we all know that if anyone on the original crew sees a Romulan in this time period, then it’s going to cause the continuity crowd to go insane because of that little problem of no one seeing a Romulan before Balance of Terror. Personally I won’t care, but I know that there are those that do passionately.

125. Sam Belil - November 12, 2007

My 2 cents. I can’t believe that so many of you are down on a time travel story!!!! There is nothing wrong with being “time-travelled to death” as long as it is done the right way. “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise” were two ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC stories, because there were no gmmicks in the plot — it involved painful decisions as well all know and human sacrifice. Even the casual Star Trek fan would acknowledge that. I challenge anyone out there do deny those facts. For me the more I read and hear about the plot, it is only getting more and more excited!!!!! Speaking of which, since well all how VERY LOYAL Spock was to Pike, could this ALSO mean that old Spock warns Pike about his horrifying accident???? LOVE Elizabeth Hurley as Edith Keeler — Angelina Jolie as #1??????????????

126. Dave - November 12, 2007


Guardian of Forever IS the original “Stargate”.

127. Dave - November 12, 2007

cue up the Back to the Future music please.

128. cd - November 12, 2007

#25 – there is NO good way to integrate ENT.
Time travel, again? Why? I am sick of time travel in Star Trek.
If it has to have time travel, using the GoF would be the least bad way to do it, at least no generating chronotons and crap like that. But still time travel has been way overdone. And doesn’t this still sound a lot like that bad Gene Roddenberry idea of having Spock go back in time and kill JFK?

129. Shaggy - November 12, 2007

Just to add on something else:

I am surprised that so many people are surprised by the inclusion of time travel here – I thought it was pretty clear that it would involve time travel since they decided to cast Nimoy to the film. Then again, I suppose some may have thought that the movie would have been nothing more than Kirk and Spock kicking back on Kirk’s patio after retirement reminiscing about the old days.

“Do you recall that time when the Romulans attempted to kill you after your Kobyashi Maru test?”

“Yes I do Spock. Good times.”

130. trekmaster - November 12, 2007

Maybe the “guardian of forever” has something to do with the iconians…!?

131. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#128:”#25 – there is NO good way to integrate ENT.”

Sure, it’s easy. “Enterprise” is as consistent with TOS as one episode of TOS is with another episode of TOS. :)

132. Awdraper - November 12, 2007

I will go to see any trek film, no matter what the early slack is…any Trek on the big screen is just fine with me!

#94 – I second the comments on local TV station WSB.
We now have no showing of TOS-R at all, at anytime slot that I can see. It is now “The Dead Zone”. Write a complaint…I did…

BTW: See all of you at a local cinema for Tuesday’s nights TOS on the big screen show!!!

133. USS SANTA - November 12, 2007

I believe your assesment to be accurate. We know the Federation would never leave such an artifact (GOF) unprotected. But if those extras were TNG defense personel, where does Jennifer Morrison, AKA young Carol Marcus fit into all of this?

Seculation, Speculation, Speculation. Hmm, but what if…?

134. Alex Rosenzweig - November 12, 2007

-82: “3.and at the movies end we get a slighlty tweaked universe that opens the door for a whole new universe without comprimising the old!
it is the only way to go without pissing of everyone in town!!”

Actually, no. The logical way to go is to just take the Trekverse and tell a solid story in it, without falling into the trap of assuming your audience already knows what you’re talking about.

Alternate continuities? Thanks, but no thanks.

(‘Course, note that these plot rumors don’t actually say anything about alternate continuities, just time travel, which has certainly been done plenty of times before in Trek.)

135. trekmaster - November 12, 2007

Does this mean, the star trek spin-offs had never happened at the end of the movie?

136. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 12, 2007

Nothing ever happened at the end of the movie! No TOS missions as we know them, no V’Ger, no Khan, Spock never dies, the whales are never brought to earth, “God” is not found, there is no peace between Klingons and the Federation, Kirk never falls off the bridge, no TNG-missions, no Deep Space 9, no Voyager, no Borg time-travelling to earth, no Ba’ku, no Shinzon, no Nero travelling back in time… wait… if he never existed or went back in time, how does he end up there anyway? I get it! He never time-travelled to the past! The events in the new movie never happen! But then, if all else happens, Nero must travel into the past… ;)

137. Iowagirl - November 12, 2007

– Kirk is dead in post-TNG period and thus not a threat to them, and he never did anything to seriously screw with the Romulans. What would make the Romulans suddenly decide to go back in time to assasinate him ? what good would it do them ? –

Maybe, this film will tell you another story and, thus, give you the answers…

All things considered, I’m very much in favour of time travel. It has always been a vital part of SciFi in general and ST in particular. There’s no repetitive factor in using time travel as a storytelling device – you have countless possibilities to use your imagination and show the audience different directions into which a tale may unfold. However, if they should use the GoF, they should respect it as it was allegorized in City on the Edge; IMO the most outstanding and most poignant episode of all.

138. Kev-1 - November 12, 2007

This sounds very much like a sequel to COTF with Spock now making the choice to kill Kirk. What do they have against Kirk? Killing him once and now reversing the whole ST universe to do it again? It went over so well before. With all due respect to Mr. Greenwood, who said the script was great, and who also said he knew little about ST, he probably never saw COTF. That ‘s what this is. If the choice is Spock’s now it’s just the same story. And Spock must fail because the new crew takes over. That said, it’s just a movie. What was the line; “Never take anything seriously that happens where they sell Jujubees (sic) in the lobby.” Sigh.

139. OneBuckFilms - November 12, 2007

Actually, this seems like an interesting way to introduce Star Trek.

Since this is a Spock-centered story, the time travel is a story device that lets the audience see the Star Trek original series in context of the bigger picture.

It is also a great opportunity to expose an audience to Spock with some depth, and show something as to WHY he’s such a great character.

This seems to be partially an Origin story, and perhaps there’s also an element of nostalgia to this.

Seeing hot it all began, and showing what it was like, so to speak.

Also, Nimoy’s role in this could be to pass the torch of the original crew to the new actors, and continue the story.

The older Spock might impart some advice to the younger spock that expresses the importance of the Enterprise, and Captain Kirk, and the friendships forged, and to history.

If done right, this could be really good.

140. dalek - November 12, 2007

Ive said this before in another thread but I’ll say it again.

Kirk = Pivotal to earth’s survival….

Without Kirk:
a) Earth Would have been destroyed by VGer
b) Earth Would have been a dead world devoid of power by the humpback whale probe

Without earth the Federation is defeated and significanty crippled. The Romulan Empire is free to expand, and no chance of Reunification and Peace.

It’s not simplistic. Kirk’s death has a significant knock on effect for earth. No Kirk; no earth.

It’s also the perfect doorway for Shatner, if Spock passes younger Kirk a message and we see him at the end of the movie. It wouldn’t be a cameo, it would be Shatner’s most significant appearance as Kirk ever.

Also, older Spock can erase younger Spock’s memory with a mind meld after its all over to protect the timeline.

141. Jack the Seasnable Trekkie - November 12, 2007

The ONLY way to have a fresh spin on the franchise w/o sending us geeks into utter rebellion for any violations to the accepted timeline is to set up some sort of time-travel thing. Abrams pretty much has to do something like this.

Unless he just says “ahhh screw it” and reboots w/o any plot devices to smooth the blow.

In other words, this whole time travel business in Trek XI is a pretext to change the Trek universe w/o pissing away the previous shows and movies.

Expect Trek XII to be a whole new ball game- no time line to keep, no continuity to preserve, no worries about Trekkies living in their mother’s basement boycotting because something in movies XII and following contradict some episode from season 2.

So stop your complaining- Abrams is trying to create a new and better Trek universe while preserving all forms of Trek past as an alternative timeline. He’s throwing you a bone to sooth your “fanboi” mania even while he reboots a moribund franchise that has become irrelevant to all but the most hard-core fan.

Or better yet, accept that it is just a freakin’ show and stop being so unbelievably “Comic Book Guy” about the whole thing.

142. sanfranman - November 12, 2007

Spock finding younger Spock plot point from TAS.

143. The Vulcanista - November 12, 2007

#94, #132

WSB airs it at 4:00 a.m. on *Saturday* mornings. It was there this past weekend and on my DVD, albeit they’re a week behind on their episode descriptions.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

144. TerPor - November 12, 2007

Sounds nice but still i think Shatner will be in Trek XI after all :)

145. NCC-73515 - November 12, 2007

i “predicted” that the GoF will be used… it’s in a comment on this site.
maybe the rest of my vision will also be correct? it was about the uss titan (riker) bringing spock to the GoF in the beginning and the enterprise-E (picard) saving spock/kirk/both in the end.

146. Dierna - November 12, 2007

The Guardian of Forever?! SW33T!!!

Spock met his younger self already via the guardian tho. In the only TAS ep that’s canon. Spock DID remember the meeting when he was older as well. I wonder if Older Spock will go by the name of Selek when meeting his younger self?

“Cousin Selek! I haven’t seen you since I was 7 and out in the desert and my pet bear died…and…”

So this is kinda a sequel to “Guardian of Forever” and “Yesteryear”…2 of my fave eps!

147. Dierna - November 12, 2007

The Guardian of Forever?! SW33T!!!

Spock met his younger self already via the guardian tho. In the only TAS ep that’s canon. Spock DID remember the meeting when he was older as well. I wonder if Older Spock will go by the name of Selek when meeting his younger self?

“Cousin Selek! I haven’t seen you since I was 7 and out in the desert and my pet bear died…and…”

So this is kinda a sequel to “City On the Edge of Forever” and “Yesteryear”…2 of my fave eps!

148. Thomas Jensen - November 12, 2007

I must say if this is true that I hope they don’t use the Frankenstein foreheads for the Romulans. I enjoyed the stories just fine with the ‘Vulcan cousin type’ Romulans, without all the goofy make-up confusing the original relationship with the Vulcans and Romulans.

Keep them simple and vulcannoid like they did originally.

149. Iowagirl - November 12, 2007


I like your approach!

150. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

I vote for Romulans and Klingons with BUMPY heads!

151. Spock89 - November 12, 2007

I know that this is kind of off topic, but if you are out there Roberto, it is pretty much common knowledge at this point that you are a fan of the ST novels, and that you have stated that you will try to canonize certain details from the novels in this film (Kirk’s father being named George Samuel Kirk Sr, for example). Because this film will most likely feature a post-TNG Spock, is it possible that there may be a very brief reference to Saavik being Spock’s wife, or, possibly, a cameo by Robin Curtis (NOT Kirstie Alley)? (Spock being married is canon; Jean-Luc stated in “Sarek” that he was @ the wedding. As far as canon is concerned, who Spock’s wife was was never revealed.)

152. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

I thought the wedding was Sarek’s to Perrin???

153. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

If Saavik were to show up it damned well better be Kirstie Alley and not “pseudo-Saavik” Curtis.

154. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

Vulcans aren’t fat Dennis Bailey (except for those wild and crazy Vulcans on one ep of Enterprise). Damn, I’m a dork

155. DavidJ - November 12, 2007

I gotta say, even though I wasn’t crazy about this time travelling Romulan idea at first, knowing the Guardian is involved actually makes it a LOT easier to swallow. It makes the whole idea seem a lot less contrived– because let’s face it, with a device like that out there, you would expect the bad guys to take advantage of it EVENTUALLY, wouldn’t you?

As far as using Romulans, have you people suddenly forgot how freakin COOL these villains were in TOS, TNG, and DS9? I can’t believe all the people dismissing the Romulans solely on the basis of Nemesis. The reason that movie sucked wasn’t because of them, it was because of everything ELSE in the movie!

I doubt audiences are going to be turned off from this new movie simply because of time travel and the Romulans. Once they get a look at all the other bold things Abrams is doing, and see all these different actors and the huge new FX, they’ll be MORE than curious to see it.

156. trekmaster - November 12, 2007

It’s illogical to get fat… ;-)

157. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

I agree David J, Romulans are my favorite villians they had all the best episodes in TNG and DS9 and Enterprise for that matter.

158. DavidJ - November 12, 2007


Wow, a Trek fan who’s actually looking at this in a positive, optimistic way. What a novel idea!

159. shatner must be in it - November 12, 2007

If shatner is not in this im going to kill myself.

im not joking.

160. Awdraper - November 12, 2007

#143 – Thank you for the info…I did not know. I had tracked the time through…

Still not a “watchable” timeslot (I DVR instead)

161. Snake - November 12, 2007

so its a sequel (to Nemesis) then a prequel (going back to the time of TOS) and ultimatly a possible reboot..(of TOS onwards)…

As AP says its taking the best ep of TOS (COTEOF) and TNG (Yes Ent) as a springboard…

COTEOF is frequently cited as the best Trek story ever..(out of all series and movies) and the GoF has never been seen since then (only in that animated episode which was great too)

And so what if its timetravel again? Timetravel has always been a big part of startrek and its only been used twice out of ten movies (or 3 if you count Generations as having used it) and those 2 films were the most popular and successful of the series (TVH was the biggest box office hit for TOS movies and FC was for TNG)….and every time it was used in TOS or TNG they were among the best eps – COTEOF, Tomorrow is Yesterday, Assignment Earth, Yes Ent, All Good Things etc – even Ent had some great Timetravel eps – Twilight and those Mirror Universe ones (which were sorta time travel) and DS9 did the great Tribbles one..(where its timetraveling Klingons who want to kill Kirk)….even non timetravel eps like Patterns of Force, Omega Glory and Bread & Circus’ were among the best eps and they were almost timetravel in their settings…

Besides is timetravel that much of a strech for a film series set in the 23rd/24th century with spaceships travelling about at faster than light speeds ?….When mankind eventually does go all startrek and ventures out into space and sets up a starfleet etc whos to say that when the first ship goes the speed of light it wont end up back or foward in time?…Theory of Relativity and all…

162. Alex - November 12, 2007

I don’t see why everyone assumes that there will be an alternate timeline after the events of STXI. I mean – where’s the problem if there isn’t? Old Spock probably dies, or maybe returns or whatever. (Young) Spock may be the only one remembering what happened (I don’t think it would mess up anything if he knew that he was still alive in the 24th century). So what? XII could just continue from that point. There’s plenty of room for new stories set within the established TOS timeframe.

Or, to put it in other words: Why reintroduce all the TOS characters and the setting and the care for continuity and Trek canon if you’re going to mess it up anyway? You can have that a lot easier. My bet is on “no reset at all”.

And this includes Kirk. By the end of the movie, he’ll still be dead. Or else it gets complicated. You wont see Spock going to Veridian and undo things, you don’t tie up loose ends of other movies or episodes if you don’t have to. That’d just be bad – and contrieved – writing. On a 120-page-script to ressurect the franchise, you certainly have better things to do than that.

163. Heywood Jablomee - November 12, 2007

The only things missing will be a DeLorean and a blue police call box…

164. Joseph Brown - November 12, 2007

#119, you’re absolutely right that Nemesis was far more about the Remans than the Romulans, but I believe that Nemesis is the only movie or episode where the Romulans want to destroy the Federation in an out and out way. For all those who think the Romulans trying to destroy the Federation is just another rehash of an old Trek plot, remember, we’re talking about the Romulans here. They’re subtle and conniving and in most of the episodes and movies they have merely tried to undermine the Federation, not destroy it. Even in Nemesis when the Romulans realized Shinzon wanted to destroy Earth, they got coldfeet and tried to help stop Shinzon.

Honestly, I’m quite optimistic about this film, even though I’m a bit leery of the possible murder of James Kirk by timetraveling Romulans and even more leery about the possible creation of a new Trek universe. However, getting to see Captain Pike and the Guardian of Forever again has me really psyched.

Another thing, in “Yesteryear”, it isn’t explained with certainty what caused the timeline to change which necesitated Spock to go back and save himself. Yes, it was conjectured that somehow Kirk, Spock, and the team of historians somehow caused the change, but it’s quite possible they didn’t. What if somehow these timetravelling Romulans caused the change, maybe just as an aftereffect of them going back in time in the first place?

165. Scott - November 12, 2007

Re: 141. Jack the Seasnable Trekkie

Despite your post making me feel like Jon Lovitz looked like he felt after Shatner asked him if he’d ever kissed a girl, I could get on board with something like you propose.

Besides cleaning the continuity slate, it helps clear the way for sequels. After all, if this story takes place about the time Kirk takes command of the Enterprise, where (when) are sequels going to happen? Before events of WNMHGB? Amongst First Season episodes? Messy.

Better to create a new continuity that doesn’t have anything to do with our collective cherished memories. That’d be fine with me — lazy ol’ time travel (*sigh*) notwithstanding.

Scott B. out.

166. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#164 — And along those lines, I think one of the (many) major problems with Nemesis was the fact that the Remans were not at all developed, either prior to the movie or during it. We don’t even know whether they’re related to the Romulans/Vulcans, whether they’re an alien race that the Romulans subjugated, a group of Romulans genetically engineered for hard labor…etc. It’s actually a little shocking to me that this alien race would get a 2-hour feature film devoted to them, yet we know so very little about them. And while the writers had the opportunity to flush out the characterization of the Remans by drawing on the history and culture of a group we DO know — the Romulans — they really didn’t take it.

This should not be a problem with the Romulans, whom we already know quite well.

167. Pragmaticus - November 12, 2007

Harlan’s not taking this well at all…

168. David - November 12, 2007

#139 Yes, I agree. Fully.

#159 Please don’t commit suicide over the lack of ‘The Shat’ in the movie. Really, when you think of it, the loss of even 1 Shat fan could strain the balance of the very fabric of the universe. Keep this in mind – a new, even sexier Kirk is on the way. If Smokin’ Aces is any indication, we’re in for a wickedly wonderfully Kirk.

As for Harlen – I am sure the script was vetted with legal before it went into production. Seriously, they could not possibly have wanted to create more publicity by pissing off Harlen. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

169. AJ - November 12, 2007

Sybok was fat.

If Kirk is alive when/if Spock returns to the 25th century, then many events resulting from his death on V3, his absence from the timeline from that day, will not come to pass due to his continued alive-ness post Generations. A no-no, if I am not mistaken, especially as JTK will definitely shake things up, probably getting McCoy, Scotty and Spock back on some damn ship to go do stuff.

170. Michael Hall - November 12, 2007

Amazing that some can take a few, unconfirmed hints about what this film might be about and think they now know enough to judge its worthiness as a Trek project. Human brains are notorious for their ability to extrapolate and fill in details where none actually exist, but for anyone not in the know to pass judgement on the film at this stage is akin to Perceival Lowell’s drawings of the canals on Mars, or seeing Jesus’ portrait in a piece of toast. You’re reaching, folks.

Nothing I’ve read about the supposed plot of this film particularly excites me, but the freshness of the talent involved does. Prior to its release, descriptions for the storyline of “The Wrath of Khan” sounded pretty ludicrious. What mattered in the end was not the details of the story per se, but how those details were handled on film. Even if the bare bones of the plot don’t appeal, I think there’s a decent chance that the naysayers in 2008 will be pleasantly surprised. Or not–the point is, we’ll know soon enough. Why write the film off now?

171. AJ - November 12, 2007

Man, Harlan is pissed. I don’t blame him. Did he get any dosh for “Yesteryear?”

172. sean's clone - November 12, 2007

Well, unless Harlan is doing the studio’s bidding (unlikely) and keeping this rumor’s truth under wraps by denying it – then I would say this latest rumor is a dead-end.

Then again, maybe Paramount interprets things a bit differently and is willing to fight Harlan on the use of his creations from the most popular ST TOS episode of all time.

The portal has been referenced many time in novelizations and The Animated Series correct? Did Harlan have to grant rights everytime it was used or is he simply entitled to residuals? If only residuals – then Paramount can use it anyway they want, but need only credit him and write him a check. Right?

173. Valarone - November 12, 2007

The premise is iffy, but if it is written well, with believable characters, and acted well, without campiness, then this movie will bring in the numbers. I predict this will bring in a ton of people who enjoy scifi because it will have the budget, the fresh faces, and easily relatable premise average joes can understand. Every time one of these movies is announced the Trekkies come out with the “whatever happened to boldy going”- yeah, that got cancelled because it was boring. People want to see other people with emotions doing things they can understand and relate to, not a bunch of spandex wearing professors musing about radiation and soil samples.

174. DavidJ - November 12, 2007

I thought he didn’t care about Star Trek anymore? I guess where there’s money involved…

175. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

I’m all for property rights and what not, but I think this might be taking things a bit overboard…did the writer of Balance of Terror get recompense every time a Romulan was mentioned, or cloaking technology was seen? For that matter, I would be surprised if the writer of “The Naked Time” got compensated for “The Naked Now.”

I guess it’s a fine line. With “Trouble with Tribbles”/”Trials and Tribbleations,” I can definitely see where monetary compensation might be in order, but on some of the more concept-related things…I don’t know, I just think it’s an overreaction.

176. DavidJ - November 12, 2007


To be fair, very RARELY did we see the Enterprise crew simply exploring space or “boldly going” somewhere new.

Most of the time they were on routine patrol or responding to distress calls or mediating some dispute somewhere. And frankly for a big budget movie, I wouldn’t EXPECT to see the crew charting space anamolies or conducting scientific missions. There’s not much conflict in those types of stories unfortunately.

177. Ky-Malairn - November 12, 2007

I’m a little confused with Ellison’s statements about ownership rights. Maybe someone here with a little more knowledge of the studio workings could clue me in a bit.

Ellison wrote a script and the Star Trek production offices bought said script. Since they paid for the rights to produce an episode of television from his work don’t they own the material developed from that teleplay? Do they not have ownership rights to the characters and settings portrayed in that episode? Ellison is stomping his feet about his due as the creator of a single episode but what about Paramount’s rights as the owner of that very same material and ultimately the franchise itself?



178. Iowagirl - November 12, 2007

As I said before, all this is about respect in the first place. I just have that many doubts regarding ST XI because I fear that they might not respect the original, the established ST lore. Ellison seems to take the same line and just escalated my apprehension.

179. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


Is there a time when Harlen ISN’T… when he’s awake, anyway?

180. Jeffrey S. Nelson - November 12, 2007

The Guadian is a time portal. Harlan Ellison didn’t invent the concept. Does the family of ship designer Matt Jefferies get a dollar every time the Enterprise appears on screen? Does the family of Bill Theiss’ get a Federation credit when his uniform designs are used? Were there royalities when Khan was brought back?? Did the producers of Trek IV pay for the concept of using the slingshot effect? Seems analagous to public domain to me. Writers introduce establshed concepts that are used throughout a series run without further compensation. Ellison is as greedy as Paramount.

181. Viking - November 12, 2007

If this isn’t another red herring, Harlan might just shut the whole damn thing down until Paramount bows, scrapes, and fawns all over His Mightiness for a few weeks, and hands him a bucket of money, to boot. I can’t believe that Paramount would move forward with this concept without fully vetting it with the legal department, tho. It sounds like there may be some hair-splitting over creative property rights. This could get ugly, ‘cuz Unca Harlan that likes to gouge you in the eyes with his thumbs if you tangle bungholes with him.

182. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007

Funny how he states how he wants them to send him a free copy of the DVD, but, he “doesn’t take a p_ss without getting paid.”

183. Scott McL - November 12, 2007

Could anyone explain, what will change for Romulans principle in TNG-era or post-TNG if Kirk will be killed?

184. Al - November 12, 2007

Harlan Ellison… Harlan Ellison? Has he written anything for years?

185. Trekkie1701D - November 12, 2007

Wow, that’s ridiculous! I’m not all up-to-date on the Hollywood Copyright info, but doesnt COTEOF belong to Paramount?
That would be like Paul Schneider, who wrote Balance of Terror, saying, “Oh, you guys cant use the Romulans in Star Trek anymore, because I created them in that one episode!” (I’m assuming that Mr. Schneider created the Romulans for the episode)

186. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Ellison has been bitching about “City” since the day it aired. He is not in a position to shut anything down. Paramount could be nice and throw him a bone by listing him in the credits as a contributor, but it won’t pay him much. They don’t owe him anything either way.
I still hope that they don’t resort to time travel. Let’s see something fresh.

187. Greg - November 12, 2007

I agree with Dennis Baily. Kirk not only in BOT scewed up the Roms plans for conquest, but stealing a prototype cloaking device was a major event that the Roms could never recover from in terms of lack of surprise, etc. They lost more in terms of military surprise with these two incidents than any pish posh battles with the Klingons anyday. They would be very pissed at Kirk.

188. Luca - November 12, 2007

So maybe the movie begins in a very different universe to the one we have seen before. Perhaps the film begins in a universe completely controlled by the Romulans with no Starfleet and an enslaved human race. It makes sense that the moment the Romulans go through the portal the timeline changes – so perhaps we join Nimoys Spock in this universe after Nero has gone back. How would Spock know? Perhaps only the Vulcans can sense this shift in the timeline?

City On The Edge Of Forever is an amazing episode. It is just so dark. I love that last line from Kirk at the end as they are about to beam back up to the Enterprise and he says something like “lets get the hell out of here”….Awesome!

189. AJ - November 12, 2007


It all depends on the contract.

If I am a chef, and create a great dish for a restaurant, and it becomes that restaurant’s signature dish, and I get fired, I assume the restaurant has the right to keep making it. Unless I was hired specifically for that dish. Then, I would have some leverage before I sign my employment contract.

It’s possible he could be bitching so much because he signed nothing which protects him. If he did, then he should go for it.

Will Harve Bennett, Nick Meyer et al come asking for handouts because of mentions of Carol Marcus and Kobayashi Maru? No. They are the property of Paramount Pictures, as most likely, I would think are the non-“sister” Edith, the GOF and the “City,” which IMHO, refers to NYC in this case.

Wouldn’t Paramount have to admit this was the story after all in this case?

190. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

Unless you guys are experts on the WGA’s agreements with the studios dating back to the 1960s (and I’m certainly not) you’ve got no standing to say what Ellison is and isn’t entitled to.

I’ll be interested to see whether he’s right or wrong about this.

191. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#177 & #185 —

I was curious about this, so I took a look at the Separation of Right’s Clause (Section 16) of the WGA Minimum Basic Agreement. You can find it online (the 2004 version, anyway, but I doubt it’s changed too much) at — the TV rights part starts on page 209. It’s actually a very interesting piece of legalese, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

Anyway, it looks like, as ridiculous as it seems, Ellison is within his rights, if not with the Guardian of Forever (as #180 points out, this was hardly a new concept), with Edith Keeler. I could see things getting nasty about whether TGoF counts, though. In any case, I doubt we’re going to see Miss Edith unless paramount wants to pay some heavy dough, though, because the rights of writers’ compensation for their original supporting TV characters in motion picture sequels (specific, I know) is very carefully delineated in the contract.

As to #178 re: respect — while I understand your apprehension about the movie respecting the original (one of the biggest fears with prequels…) I wouldn’t let Harlan’s gimmick contribute to them…if you recall, he was pretty pissed off about how CoTEoF itself turned out, and I honestly doubt he’d be happy with the movie unless he wrote, directed, produced, and edited it himself.

192. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


I think that the question is answered in this particular tirade of his. It’s “just because the rest of the writers are stupid, doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve those pieces of silver.”

193. Anthony Pascale - November 12, 2007

Paramount, the writers and Bad Robot have lots of lawyers and experts on all this stuff. Does anyone really think they would not look into any issues related to previous IP when making a mega budget franchise movie?

194. Jeff Bond - November 12, 2007

I’m not surprised at Ellison’s reaction and I admit I AM surprised Paramount would open this can of worms–irrespective of TAS episodes like “Mudd’s Passion” and “Yesteryear,” which I believe were done well before writers’ rights regarding merchandise etc. were ironed out, this explains why we haven’t seen a lot of direct sequels and returns of characters from individual TOS episodes because there is a question of who owns the rights to what–take Larry Niven’s “The Slaver Weapon”–adapted from one of his stories with the Trek characters inserted into it. You can’t even reference the Kzin or the Slavers in a Trek story because of Niven’s rights (I know; I tried).

The answers are not always obvious because story details and characters may or may not have been introduced by Trek’s producers or story editors in conferences and then taken on by the writers–I don’t know whether Stephen Kandel “invented” Harry Mudd or not. But the Guardian of Forever is such a famed Trek invention and Ellison is so notoriously protective of his work it just surprises me that they would go ahead with this without consulting him.

All that having been said…what I do like about this is that it brings back the mythic, larger-than-life element that classic Trek always seemed to have but which has been missing from a lot of the later shows and movies. It’s crack for a longtime trekkie like me…but the big question is still whether Abrams & Co. can get all this backstory across to the casual viewer and make them care about it.

195. WombatControl - November 12, 2007

It depends on how the contracts were made. Normally everything used on a show belongs to the studio, but occasionally a writer will negotiate a contract that allows that writer to control certain elements of a production. As an example, the Dalek’s on Dr. Who were “owned” by Terry Nation rather than the BBC, and the BBC had to get his permission to use them in the new series.

Given that Ellison was somewhat well-known at the time of COTEF, it’s quite possible that he retained the rights to those concepts rather than Paramount as part of his contract.

196. Izbot - November 12, 2007

180. Totally agree with you. Ellison is a complete nutjob. Yes, he did write one of the best episodes of both Trek and Outer Limits (“Demon With a Glass Hand”, not “Soldier” which was awful) but he hasn’t produced anything of note in decades. He’s squandered the past thirty plus years litigating against anyone and everyone who even speak his name out loud (watch: I’ll probably get slapped with a libel suit for typing this) sequestered away in his fortress of paranoia. He’s got a good lawyer and he’s notorious for never backing down once he’s picked a legal fight with someone so I’m certain this won’t be the last we’ve heard about this. Personally I think he’s wrong and all the stuff he did in COTEOF is part of what has become Star Trek and is not (nor was it ever) his property. He’s washed up and grubbing for more cash. This is my opinion, Harlan, and I’m entitled to it.

197. Alex - November 12, 2007

Ellison is cool. Somehow. But I fear that he might die of a heart-attack one day… :-)

198. AJ - November 12, 2007

Well, 183 and 187, the Roms handed the Feds a cloaking device for Defiant in early DS9, and that slinky angry Rom girl who was its escort disappeared PDQ.

I think they may be doing it to get at old Spock, somehow, in the 25th Century. Who knows, he may run Romulus at this point, as part of a bicameral Vulcan-Romulan govt. And someone (beside Harlan Ellison) is not so happy about it.

199. FishDS9 - November 12, 2007

TNG Era? I hope that doesn’t mean Riker and Troi make an appearance ala “These are the Voyages”.

200. Alex - November 12, 2007

And dom’t get me wrong. As a writer, I’m completely supporting him. He’s just always so… angry. :-D

201. jonboc - November 12, 2007


What is all this fuss abuot no more time travel from so many around here?? TOS did time travel, what, THREE times? Maybe 4, if you count the ending of The Naked Time. Then the TOS movies go back in time ONCE, for the most successful Trek movie ever. Remember, we’re not counting all the crap from the Bermanverse. This is a TOS story and out of 6 movies and 79 episodes they used time travel, and used it effectively I might add, a total of FOUR times. That’s a far cry from “being done to death.”

And I see Harlan is still being Harlan.

202. AJ - November 12, 2007

I think Neelix has a guest appearance, with Reginald Barclay. And they’ll shut the holodeck down at the end to discuss it.

203. Ivory - November 12, 2007

# 159

With this storyline if he is not in it, it is simply because the writers,director + producer simply never wanted him in it.

With the Guardian as the major plot device of the film there is no excuse not to have Shatner involved.

204. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

202 — Except they won’t be able to shut the holodeck down, because there will be a holodeck malfunction and the safeties will be off, and only Wesley Crusher can fix it.

205. Greg2600 - November 12, 2007

If you ask me, Harlan’s surprise and reaction tells me that the plot rumor is completely false. Either that or Paramount/J.J. actually had no idea about the legal issues. Although you would have to think Paramount would be well aware. I think the plot rumors are totally bogus.

206. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

I’ve been reading the 2004 MBA, and quite honestly…I see why people have to employ lawyers to make sense of what other lawyers write. It looks to me like Ellison has a case but I wouldn’t be shocked if someone else drew the opposite conclusion.

Would a studio proceed with a project without being absolutely sure they were legally in the clear? Probably not, but being “absolutely sure” is not the same as being right at the end of the day. Sometimes the “right” answer to these things only emerges in the courtroom.

207. Logan - November 12, 2007

Without commenting on the merits or demerits of the plot spoilers, because I’d rather just wait and see…. There seems to be some confusion about what Harlan is saying, yet he makes it perfectly clear that under the separation of rights under the minimum basic agreement between the WGA and the studios, he retains the rights to the city, the guardian and Edith Keeler and other elements that were his unique creation. Separated rights is a major principle in screenplays and creations. For example, under separated rights while Universal owns the rights to Battlestar Galactica on television, the original creator Glen Larson owns the movie rights. If they ever want to make a big screen Galactica film they have to deal with him.

That’s just one example of separated rights. If Paramount is going in this direction and is using stuff of Harlan’s, then he has firm ground to make his stand on. In the end they’ll owe him a paycheck and some kind of credit. Anyone remember that Harlan sued James Cameron over Terminator, so that the end of that film has a credit that says, “Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison”

The issue of separated rights for new work presented on the internet, as in webisodes, is a major point of the current WGA strike.

208. Devon - November 12, 2007

Harlan Ellison is an idiot, pure and simple. He’s just wanting to live off the fact he wrote ONE episode of Star Trek.

209. DJT - November 12, 2007

Harlan is a funny guy. He calls it like he sees it.

He has very valid points that get immediately thrown out the window with his colorful delivery.

I wouldn’t be surprise if he were a plant by the studio to make writers feel guilty into doing stuff for free. “Gee, I don’t want to sound that that a–hole. Sure i’ll do it for free.’

Funny stuff.

210. TrekMadeMeWonder - November 12, 2007

This movie is going to take an hour to even get started.
A bad series tv episode is easily overlooked because
you know that there will be a better one on next week.


Harlan should get a $50 million settlement outta this.

Trek Made Me Wonder for so many reasons (Gaurdian included) but it was because all of the ideas WERE SO ORIGINAL. Star Trek was about exploring strange new worlds, new civilizations – TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE!


211. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#206 — “You can use logic to justify almost anything. That’s it’s power, and it’s flaw.” — Capt. Janeway, Voyager

And you can use legalese to justify absolutely anything.

And of course there is also the question as to what, if any of this, applies to people who wrote in the 60s…though Ellison has won a number of similar court cases, IIRC.

212. Unreasonable - November 12, 2007

Re: #141
Wow. Brilliant screed there ‘Jack.’ Did you do humanity a favor and reproduce? Because I think the Earth needs more sarcastic fanboys like you. Thanks!

213. Jon - November 12, 2007

That video if Harlan is fantastic.

214. Greg2600 - November 12, 2007

All I know is, if the plot rumor is true, and Harlan proceeds with a lawsuit, coupled by the likely non-inclusion of Shatner…..This movie will have quite the negative press around it. I still say AICN and IESB and TrekToday are likely concocting their own rumors here.

215. TomBot2007 - November 12, 2007

Hmmm. Interesting news. And, I too agree, that the big Shat fiasco is possibly a smokescreen to drop the bombshell slightly closer to release day… Will the theaters be receiving ST 10 via digital transmission by it’s release? That could keep some potential spoilers a little safer in this era of info-indulgence. ;-) If the bare “bones” details are true, then hopefully, once the “set up” of the new crew is done, we WILL be able to do some damn new exploring of the Universe next time out. Or not. LOL! :-)

216. DJT - November 12, 2007

Re: the Guardian. Isn’t anything sacred anymore?

Also, the name Nero sounds too much like either my burning software or something Samuel Jackson might say, “Sh*t, Nero. That’s all you had to say.”

217. Scott McL - November 12, 2007

If this rumors is truth, knowing nothing about Federeation-Romulan relations it will be very difficult to understand, what is it. I mean viewers not so friendly with Trek. So we get Nemesis situation…

218. Oregon Trek Geek - November 12, 2007

Personally, I love time travel and don’t mind seeing the GoF back. But Harlen Ellison must be quite the dick. If I were JJ and co. I’d simply use a different time travel device. Pick one, they are limitless….

Ellison aside, this all sounds pretty cool.

219. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#208:”Harlan Ellison is an idiot, pure and simple. He’s just wanting to live off the fact he wrote ONE episode of Star Trek.”

You’re mistaken on all counts.

Ellison has certainly never wanted or had to “live off” his single teleplay for the original “Star Trek,” as it’s among the most minor of his accomplishments as a writer. :)

220. Admiraldeem - November 12, 2007

IMO Ellison is an egotist and unhappy person who has carried a grudge for so long it will outlive him. That being said, they were his ideas and he has a right to be compensated for them. I hope it all works out because the concept is pretty cool.

BTW I wonder how Harlan liked the Guardian being used in that New Voyages episode where no one got paid anything?

221. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Did anyone watch the Colts lose last night? I don’t like the Chargers, but it was GREAT to see Peyton & Co. lose 2 in 2 weeks.

I still don’t want time travel. 4 times IS enough.

222. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007

I guess that it hinges on what contract he had with Desilu/Norway Productions back then, and what rights the Bird (and D.C.) might have by virtue of their re-write.

223. Andy Patterson - November 12, 2007

188 Yeah, Ellison probably has many valid points but I, and I think the execs or whoever, have kind of turned a deaf ear to him because of his cranky demeanor. I’ve read his original script and have always thought the re-write was better, despite his assertions to the contrary. Even in the professional world the way you say something some times out weighs logistics and contractual obligations.

179 Kirk says like “lets get the hell out of here”

Yes,…the only time a curse word is uttered in the original series. That’s a little factoid you never hear mentioned.

You see lots of wrongly attributed facts like saying Vic Perrin was the voice of the Gorn when it was clearly Ted Cassidy. At least that’s the kind of thing the G4 channel would get wrong. Never heard the cursing addressed though.

224. Alex Rosenzweig - November 12, 2007

162. –
“I don’t see why everyone assumes that there will be an alternate timeline after the events of STXI.”

That really came in after “Moriarty” wrote his Ain’t-It-Cool-News piece, and all but claimed outright that the film was designed to sidestep the rest of the Trekverse by creating an alternate continuity by the film’s end. Before that, based on what the writers, Mr. Abrams, etc. had said, the assumption was that the film was going to take place entirely within the established Trekverse. (Speaking just for me, creating alternate universes sure doesn’t qualify as “respecting and embracing” the continuity, which is the phrase used in the press release announcing the film!) Note, mind you, that no one tied to the production has said that all of Moriarty’s speculations are right, but the fact that no one has also said, “No, we’re not creating an alternate universe; move on” has kept the argument alive.

“I mean – where’s the problem if there isn’t?”

There’s no problem. The problem is if there is.

“So what? XII could just continue from that point. There’s plenty of room for new stories set within the established TOS timeframe.”

You betcha! A while back, I outlined a multi-year plan which could integrate anywhere from 3-8 feature films woven in between the existing six “Classic Trek” features, and which could tell their stories without any sort of contradiction, given a proper amount of care.

“Or, to put it in other words: Why reintroduce all the TOS characters and the setting and the care for continuity and Trek canon if you’re going to mess it up anyway? You can have that a lot easier. My bet is on ‘no reset at all’.”

It certainly seems that that would be a safer bet. If they were gonna do a reset, why go to all the trouble about it? The fans who want continuity will pillory them anyway, and the fans who don’t care…won’t care. And for the general public, who won’t understand all the “alternate universe” tap-dancing to begin with, it makes the whole thing that much more confusing.

“And this includes Kirk. By the end of the movie, he’ll still be dead. Or else it gets complicated.”

Well, either Kirk is still dead, he’ll be played by Chris Pine in age makeup, or Mr. Shatner is lying through his teeth to a whole lot of people. ;)

“You wont see Spock going to Veridian and undo things, you don’t tie up loose ends of other movies or episodes if you don’t have to. That’d just be bad – and contrieved – writing. On a 120-page-script to ressurect the franchise, you certainly have better things to do than that.”

That would make sense…unless you’re on some obsessive reboot bandwagon, in which case the most expedient way to throw out continuity is probably the best one.

As for me, and admitting my biases, I’m about as anti-reboot as it gets. I’ve yet to see a reboot that properly honored its predecessor outside (maybe) of comic books, but I also quit reading a lot of comic books many years ago, because they couldn’t stay true to their fictional ‘verse. (My view, put simply: Either stay in a fictional world’s continuity, or make a new fictional world, with a new name and new rules.)

I’m still hoping that all this “reboot” stuff is a lot of hot air, but until I see the film, or Mr. Orci (or whoever) says it is, I’ll still worry.


(and we may have the same name, but we’re *not* the same person. ;) )

225. Holo J - November 12, 2007

That video was great. I think Harlan Ellison would make a good Ferengi. He sounds like he knows the Rules of Acquisition well.

226. Diabolik - November 12, 2007

Anyone messing with Harlan gets a new one ripped, that includes YOU online! So watch out or he’ll send the mafia over to break your kneecaps.

But yeah, the radio script writer who introduced Kryptonite to the Superman mythos didn’t get paid every time it was used later. It’s called WORK FOR HIRE, Harlan.

227. acb - November 12, 2007

Don’t know how many of you happened to keep track of the “Kirk vs. Picard” Fan fiction contest this summer, but this article reminded me of a line of dialogue from the first winning script.



Don’t you see, Spock? The risk is just too great. Nevermind what the Klingons, or the Romulans might do if they found this place. Just one ambitious man, driven to change his fortunes, could transform all of history. –

Wonder if the writers for the film were paying attention this summer.

228. Gary - November 12, 2007


If any of Harlan’s characters are used in some other story, he is entitled to residuals.

I read that T’Pau was to be a character in Star Trek: Enterprise, but then Paramount would have to pay Ted Sturgeon’s estate every time this character appeared. So T’Pau became T’Pol.

This all has to do with the contracts have with the various guilds have with producers. Another example, I remember reading a long time ago (early 80s) that Leonard Nimoy wouldn’t even begin to negotiate his return to Star Trek (Phase II, TMP) until they settled the issue of using his image on merchandising first. He claimed that while Paramount,, were making money on his image, he himself wasn’t.

None of the Star Trek actors got residuals past the 13 showing of the show in syndication. So while the producers kept making money, the actors found themselves typecast!

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of this subject can add to it.

229. dm - November 12, 2007

Studios are experts in intellectual property issues. It’s unlikely that they would overlook the fact that certain story elements don’t belong to them. Ellison’s reaction suggests the rumors are not true.

Unless, maybe Ellison is a plant. He’s just trying to kill a true rumor on behalf of the studio. That’s the ticket!

230. Brian - November 12, 2007

#207 I remember reading about a few years ago. I understand Ellison wanting to be paid for his creation but all he needed to do was just get on the phone or have his lawyer call Paramount and find out what is going on. Which im sure that is something that has been done by now. Is it me or does he think that everything he created for COTEF are going to be in the movie? Does anyone know if he ever got paid for “Yesteryear”? Even though he did not write that episode of the orginal series, the Guardian is in it. Which is his creation.

231. Bald is Beautiful - Picard for President! - November 12, 2007

Harlan, YOU DA MAN! Go get ’em, tiger!

Picard/Marcus 2008

232. AJ - November 12, 2007

Chronoton particles, here we come…

I am sure, if he is owed something by Paramount for this film, he’ll get it. Seems like Peter David and others are simply reading the boards and giving him a heads up.

233. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#217 — While I see your point regarding non-Trekk(ie/er)s not knowing much about Federation-Romulan relations, I don’t think this would be so much of a problem, given the general success of Star Trek VI (TUC), which focused pretty completely on Federation-Klingon relations. Granted the Klingons were probably slightly more well known to the general public than Romulans, and there was the nice cold-war analogy everyone could be familiar with, but I still think they could work the Romulan thing pretty well.

As I said in my previous post (#166) I think a lot of the problems with the Remans was that no one — including, as far as I could tell, the writers/directors of the film — really knew what was going on with the Remans. Having a backstory, even if it only peaks out in bits and pieces here and there, is key to creating a believable alien race (or even just a believable character), and I didn’t get any of that when I was watching the Reman characters.

234. acb - November 12, 2007

……………now picture Nimoy reading that last line of dialogue for the trailer with a reveal of Bana at the Guardian of Forever…………………..that would give me cold chills

235. acb - November 12, 2007

234 is a reference to 227 i posted since multiple posts have occurred between the two for those now confused.

236. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

No one saw the game?

237. Vulcan Soul - November 12, 2007

Let the old man have his fit, and turn the “Guardian” into an “Iconian Time Portal” ;)

238. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

It was really pretty good

239. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#226:”But yeah, the radio script writer who introduced Kryptonite to the Superman mythos didn’t get paid every time it was used later. It’s called WORK FOR HIRE, Harlan.”

You don’t know, however, that this is true. The example of the radio writer is probably not at all legally relevant to whether Ellison is entitled to money in this case.

240. Charley W - November 12, 2007

Has anyone suggested that the whole ‘Time-travelling Romulans’ (TTR)story may just be a cover-up for the REAL script? I’m very leary of the idea that Paramount’s lawyers just went ahead and used G of F without ANY attempt to contact Ellison. On the other hand, Ellison’s been known to blow things up when the spotlight’s on him.

Points AGAINST the TTR story:
*The use of the Guardian of F- Ellsion’s rights and also remeber the GofF could only show the viewer’s past- even when Spock was there, it could only show Earth’s past. So, with Romulana, it would only show their past.
*The story as I’ve heard it just sounds crappy and pasted together.
*How would killing Kirk change THEIR past for the better?
*The last movie involved Romulans. Seems like Paramount would avoid ANYTHING that reminded them of THAT stinker. (To the bigwigs, a bomb is ALWAYS the writers’ fault.)
*Time-travel has REALLY been done to death in Star Trek, especially after Voyager and Enterprise. Enterprise had that whole ‘Temporal War’ business, which might have been alright, but NOT after Voyager: “hey, we don’t have a story for this week- let’s do ANOTHER time-travel episode” mentality.

Points FOR the TTR story:
*To many fans, some of the best ST stories have involved time-travel. It makes sense that they might be trying to recap the success of ST 4 and First Contact.
*The villian’s name, ‘Nero’ certainly reminds us of the Romulans. Of course, when last heard from, Spock was on Romulus, so they have to involve them SOMEHOW.
*The whole basic idea of this movie certainly is sounding more and more like time-travel in some way is involved. I was intially hoping it was just flashbacks, but there does seem to be more than that.

241. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

A battle right to the end. sort of like Balance of Terror on the gridiron

242. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


As I recall, Desilu/NBC’s legal and the research company (I’d mangle their name, unless I hunt down a copy of David Gerrold’s book on “Tribbles”) caught the similarity with elements of R.H.’s “The Rolling Stones”, so, I’d be really surprised that, 40 years later, CBS/Viacom/Paramount (whatever) might overlook a potential claim by a breast-grabbing septuagenarian Harlan — especially given Harlan’s litigatory track-record.

243. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Gridiron is a football field

244. Bald is Beautiful - Picard for President! - November 12, 2007

^113 AJ

LMAO! You’ve got the perfect plot line!

Picard/Marcus 2008

245. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

That’s what they were playing last night. Football.
If they really insist on using time travel, then I hope it has nothing to do with the Guardian. Just so Ellison can’t collect a dime.

246. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#242: You do realize, don’t you, that the story about Ellison’s behavior that you allude to is irrelevant to the question of his legal rights (or lack thereof)?

247. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

I think the Cowboys( Americas team – right) are going to clinch the NFC championship. I hope they do, so The Patriots can kick their asses back to Dallas.
I also bet that the movie will bear little resemblence to all this speculation, but we’ll see.

248. Captain Fantastic - November 12, 2007

To be honest, the plot details revealed in this article (Guardian of Forever time travelling Romulans with a grudge etc) do not sound great and involve too many elements which exclude people who know relatively little about Star Trek. I was just looking forward to an old fashioned TOS adventure, which sticks to canon, but which revitalised the franchise with fresh actors and an original direction.

249. Ron - November 12, 2007

“…they had damned well better lose the unilateral arrogance…”

And with that amazingly hypocritical statement, Harlan Ellison — the sci-fi genre’s equivalent of the cranky old coot who refuses to return the neighborhood kids’ frisbee when it lands on his lawn — has officially flushed the last shreds of his relevance and credibility. How sad that a mind so blessed with creativity and brilliance would be so cursed with such unrelenting self-obsession, and how much poorer the rest of us are for it.

#219: Yeah, I think he wrote a couple Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes too ;-)

250. Greg2600 - November 12, 2007

240 – No cover up, they are not the Bush Administration. I’m hedging my bet that the rumors are just hogwash, which is more likely.

251. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#230 — Re: Yesteryear. The Separation of Rights clause is very different for the writer’s rights in movie sequels and tv episode sequels. I don’t know the legal details between 1967-1973, but it’s very possible that the producers were within their rights in using CotEoF in Yeteryear but would not be in Trek XI.

252. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#249: “Yeah, I think he wrote a couple Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes too”

It’s good that Ellison’s influence has been so ubiquitous that even the narrowly television-fed have some idea of who he is. :lol:

253. toddk - November 12, 2007

They are throwing us a fake bone folks..might as well act like we are enjoying it. I believe only that the actors have been signed, icland was chosen for some scenes Nimoy is in it, and that the film will be out in 2008.

re-using the GOF is ludacris and using it in the animated series was pushing it. I accepted it because it was a nice story. I still have this rotten taste in my mouth regarding romulans in Nemesis…..ulp…blaurp..

254. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

#248 I agree completly.
Green bay also has a good shot at the NFC, but I don’t think it will happen. Who cares anyway. The AFC is much stronger. The Colts will battle the Patriots for the Title, and then the Pat’s will stomp whoever shows up in Phoenix this year.

255. Bald is Beautiful - Picard for President! - November 12, 2007


Any reason to kill Kirk is a good reason!

KIRK MUST DIE! Oh wait, now James Blish’s estate will sue me. TOO BAD!!!

Picard/Marcus 2008

256. AJ - November 12, 2007

244: Thanks. I just remember reading some fringe fandom stuff long ago about how to resolve that these guys are all identical. “Maybe some trans-mutation, or a familial relation before Surak and the schism” and all that.

Mark Lenard lectured at my university in 1987. Indeed a wonderful person, even if he was General Urko in Planet of the Apes on TV.

I now actually think Ellison is in the film. McCoy’s pesky grand-dad?

257. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

I spelled completely wrong in my last post. Sorry

258. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

“The War” was run on PBS this past weekend. It was great. Nice seeing it in one shot don’t you think?

259. AJ - November 12, 2007

I still like the Romulans, thanks to Andreas Katsulas and Commander Tomalok.

260. Charley W - November 12, 2007


I didn’t mean ‘cover-up’ in the nefarious way, perhaps it was a poor choice of words on my part. But studios and directors have been known to give out false scripts as part of their secrecy on a project. Lucas in particular was famous for this and it has become more common.

General question: what do we know about non-disclosure clauses in contracts for this movie? What kind of penalties are involved, for instance?

261. dalek - November 12, 2007

Well if he is owed money he’d have to be paid. They cant change the script now even if they wanted to, not with the strike.

262. Ron - November 12, 2007

#252: The “narrowly television-fed”? I’m not sure but I think I was just insulted.

For the record, I’m well aware of Ellison’s impact on the overall sci-fi genre. Doesn’t make his current sorry state any less sad. And yes, I’m using the term “sci-fi” on purpose, in his honor :-)

263. Darren - November 12, 2007

“I don’t take a piss without getting paid for it”

This Ellison fellow is quite the character :P

264. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

I recorded the war with the DVR so I could see Pittsburg scrape bt Cleveland. It’s funn watching Romeo lsoe again. He was supposed to be Clevelands saviour when he left Belecheck. We all know how that turned out – just like Mangini & Weiss. The 3 of them can’t win games to save their lives.
I’m just glad that a new movie is finally in the works. Its been too long.

265. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Wow. I’m typing too fast. I meant scrape BY, and LOSE again on my last post. Sorry. I will try and be more careful.

266. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#263:”This Ellison fellow is quite the character ”

That much is certain. :lol:

267. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

I’m reading some great alternate history stuff by Harry Turtledove. I think he has a better grasp of historic literature than Ellison, but that’s my opinion.

268. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Turtledove has also dabbled in Sci Fi. He won a Hugo award too.
The Sox won the World Series, The Pat’s are on fire, The Celtics are kicking some ass – though I’m really not a big basketball fan anymore, It’s a great time to be a sports fan in New England.

269. TrekMadeMeWonder - November 12, 2007

Star Trek TOS plotlines are so tied to the TV format that it might be interesting to have a cliffhanger in the plot every 15 minutes. That’s one of the things I liked about TOS – the way Kirk always had his closeup with the music building up around him. Who could ever forget the commercial break cliffhangers.

That way (instead of a commercial) they could confinue the non-linear time travel story with Spock (or Nero?) THIS would be the real hook and a nod to the original. Plus we could later see this new Trek (on YouTube?) someday with the needless time travel story edited out. : )


270. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

Yeah, and how about Dustin Pedroia winning Rookie of the year today?

271. juggernaut - November 12, 2007

He had a hell of a year.
I said hell.
Just like Kirk did in COTEOF.
Hell. Hell. Hell. Hell

272. Anthony Pascale - November 12, 2007

stop spamming
final warning

273. AJ - November 12, 2007

Back to topic, I would bet a million quatlloos that “Nero” is a working name based on the “Rom”ulans being associated with ancient Rome, etc.

I guess “Romulan Commander” doesn’t cut it these days as it did in TOS. Mark Lenard, you were great, but Joanne Linville was just perfect.

In fact, let’s make Eric Bana a Centurion and get a needy hot female commander who comes back for young Jim, with Eric being all hot, bothered and pissed off that she is now unhealthily and illegally obsessed with the quarry.

Please send me to the appropriate fanfic section.

274. Tim Handrahan - November 12, 2007

Harlan Ellison have achieved a rank on this post:

MAJOR IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

275. Viking - November 12, 2007

Uh, juggernaut, as a Redskins fan, I don’t want to hear about the Patriots anymore unless Brady’s cast as a redshirt who gets eaten by a mugatu before the opening credits – staying on topic and all that rot, eh? ;-D

276. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#274:”Harlan Ellison have achieved a rank on this post:”

Oh, “have” he now? :lol:

277. Robby13 - November 12, 2007

I don’t recall ever seeing Harlan Ellison in a good mood. You would think the only thing he has done was write a Star Trek episode.

278. Drew - November 12, 2007

Harlan loves to pick fights. Anything to get attention – nothing new with him.
It is my hope he doesn’t ruin this for the filmakers and fans. Its time for all of us to come together and support the new TREK movie which I hope appeals to old and especially NEW viewers.

279. Pete - November 12, 2007

Whether it be the Guardian or a rip in the time-space continuam, or Spock emerges from a shower (ala Dallas), ANY Star Trek movie that creates this much buzz and interest MUST be welcomed with open arms and open minds….

280. Gary Lee - November 12, 2007

Maybe these rumors are to hide the true story no time travel just a simple telling of how Kirk and Spock meet and first voyage together. With the older Spock telling the story in flashbacks when they were young.

281. RDL - November 12, 2007

They could call this film, Star Trek: The Trouble with Time Travel…

If in fact the target is the planet, why pick on a person? If you want to eliminate the Federation, Starfleet, the planet earth from the 24th century, why would anyone conclude they have to travel back to the 23rd century and kill Kirk?

And, how do you know it will work? Go back in time to the 1930s and take out Hitler. Not that that wouldn’t be a good thing, but given the circumstances in the world at the time, specifically in Germany, another, albeit different, dictator might emerge.

How do you know that if you kill Kirk at an earlier age, Gary Mitchell doesn’t become the prototype captain?

There is no way to know what an altered timeline would look like, it would be completely unpredictable.

Even if you went back in time before humans evolved and obliterated the planet earth, a different planet, a different species might become the driving force behind the Federation etc.

Go back to Dallas Texas in 1963 and stop the gunman on the 6th floor of the Book Depository, or the one supposedly behind the grassy knoll. How do you know JFK doesn’t slip in the shower and die two days later?

282. Viking - November 12, 2007

I just noticed that AICN pulled their threads on the latest news. Wonder if they know something we’re not privy to yet……..

283. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


Perhaps. I deal with a number of individuals in my profession and employment who, in their own way, are a little like Harlan… His behavior, and what I’ve read after the incident in question, puts a little additional perspective on the man and the bombast shown in the video clip included in this thread, in this one female’s opinion.

BOT: Regardless of whether the rumor is/isn’t true, he’s (now) going to make someone’s life miserable until it is resolved.

284. Jackson Roykirk - November 12, 2007

Well, here’s my theory about how to integrate the GoF with Kirk’s father, Sarek & Amanda, and Carol Marcus:

1. Nero goes through GoF to try to prevent Kirk’s father’s first date with Kirk’s mother from going well. If they don’t develop a relationship, no James T. Kirk will be born. Nero fails.

2. Old Spock goes through GoF to warn Young Spock about Nero’s plot against Young Kirk. Nero discovers Old Spock’s activities.

3. Nero again goes through GoF to try to prevent Sarek’s first date with Amanda from going well. Same theory: no hook-up means no Spock is born means there will be no Old Spock to tell Young Spock to help Young Kirk. Nero again fails.

4. James T. Kirk is born, joins Starfleet, cheats the Kobayashi Maru test, and falls in love with Carol Marcus.

5. Nero goes through GoF a third time to try and make Carol and Young Kirk’s relationship so strong that Young Kirk won’t leave her. Nope. Nero then tries to make Carol jealous enough to kill Kirk. Nope. They just break up.

6. Nero goes through GoF one last time to brainwash Captain Pike into thinking that Kirk isn’t good enough to command the Enterprise. No dice. Anyone who can cheat the Kobayashi Maru test is good enough to command the Enterprise.

7. Nero gives up and makes himself a sandwich.

8. Closing credits.

285. ThisisTranya - November 12, 2007


If we have to do Time Travel
the post #269 said it all.


286. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#283: “BOT: Regardless of whether the rumor is/isn’t true, he’s (now) going to make someone’s life miserable until it is resolved.”

That’s ridiculous. He’s either going to be paid or not be paid, depending upon how the rights issues are resolved. Ellison doesn’t have the ability to “make someone’s life miserable” in regard to this kind of thing. It’s not going to hold up the filming or release of the film a single day, and it won’t cause a significant change in content.

287. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#284:” Nero gives up and makes himself a sandwich.”

Nero has a beer and cheets on his wife.

(misspelling deliberate)

288. AJ - November 12, 2007

284: I assume you are referring to the GoF as an allegory for the sexual relationship between a man and a woman, much like TMP was interpreted by many people who never ever went outside

In your allegory, high frequency is key, followed by the sandwich.

If Nero simply went back and did an Indiana Jones on young Kirk (I’m tired of fighting Arabs–BOOM!), it solves alot.

JJ must have a much more intricate plot set up, and I am sure his guys have considered all the crap we are talking about because they skim it, and they know it. But why the heck is Nero going back? What happened? Grrrrh. Want to know.

289. ObiWanCon - November 12, 2007

WOW Harlan Ellison is a complete WANKER what an awful person everything that the Star Trek Universe is against

OH and the possibility of using the Guardian of Forever in the movie I say BRILLIANT.

290. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#289: “WOW Harlan Ellison is a complete WANKER what an awful person everything that the Star Trek Universe is against”

Completely untrue.

291. Charley W - November 12, 2007


“Harlan loves to pick fights. Anything to get attention – nothing new with him.”

You betcha. Ask someone sometime about his GoH speech at the 1984 Westercon and the riot that caused.

“#6: Nero goes through GoF one last time to brainwash Captain Pike into thinking that Kirk isn’t good enough to command the Enterprise.”

As I understand miltiatry command, it wouldn’t be Pike’s decision. He could give a recomondation for command, but he wouldn’t make the decision- unless he was on some sort of board/panel/commitee, and then he wouldn’t be Captain of the Enterprise himself (it would be a conflict of interest). Could there be some sort of break with the Enterprise out of commisson between Pike and Kirk? The rumored refit? ANY chance of a interim captain? That might explain JTK’s comment that he had only met Pike once: “when he made Fleet Captan”, NOT when he was ‘handed the keys’ to Enterprise. I would think there would be some sort of ceremony like there is in the modern Navy, which GR patterned Starfleet after.

292. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

BTW, great clip of Ellison from “Dreams With Teeth:”

“I should do a freebie for Warner Bros? Why, what are they, out here with an eyepatch and a tin cup.” :lol:

Gods bless ‘im.

293. AJ - November 12, 2007

Man, this is a mess. Would be nice if the Harlan Ellison thing were separated out.

294. JimJ (hailing frequencies open) - November 12, 2007

I KNEW it…without reading the posts above me, when I read the rumor about the Guardian of Forever I KNEW Harlan would throw a hissy fit. Frankly, it’s kinda sad for one little man to have that much hate, yet I truly can see where he is coming from. On the other hand, does this mean that they will get sued for using the Enterprise (someone created that), the transporter (someone created that), a Romulan (someone created that). Or, maybe the writer who created the Borg should have sued over “First Contact”?

My question is…where is the lawn drawn (“the line must be drawn HERE, no farther!!!!”)?????

295. Charley W - November 12, 2007

Another thing that’s bugging me: if visiting Talos 4 was worth the only death penalty still on the books, what would they think about the (later)discovery of the Guardian?? ANYONE who could get to that planet could screw up Earth’s history!!!!! There MUST have been SOME sort of quarentine put into place considering that planet after the Enterprise’s visit.

BTW, as for the animated episode Yesteryear or ANY other episode involving Kirk returning to the Guardian: pay attention to the end of the episode, when Kirk says “Let’s get the HELL out of here.” The way he says it, there’s NO way he’s EVER coming back!!!

296. JimJ (hailing frequencies open) - November 12, 2007

Lawn drawn???? Yikes, I must be tired….where is the LINE drawn? Sorry for the boo-boo!!!! lol

297. acb - November 12, 2007

Anyone feel that (if the GOF element is true) then perhaps the romulans were attempting to go back in time to alter earth’s history, but it is Nero who chooses to target Kirk specifically for personal reasons.

It would be an interesting angle just because then it is through the flaw of the villian (desire for revenge) that allows Spock the chance to stop him instead of a weakness in the villians quote “plan”.

298. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#294:”My question is…where is the line drawn”

In contracts. Ellison is either entitled to payment or he’s not. The same is true for all the other examples you cited – either the creators of those things are/were contractually entitled to payment or not (and, for the part, visual artists working on TV and films do not receive residuals for their work. Damned shame, I think).

I don’t know that Ellison hates anything except villains and idiots. Being angry and being hateful are different things, and there’s no question that he’s frequently angry.

299. Dierna - November 12, 2007

Hmm…I wonder if Mr. Ellison could be slightly peeved? :P

300. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#296 — If you really want to see where the line is drawn (at least as of now, I don’t know about the 60s), see the link I posted in my #191…turns out that Romulans, the Enterprise, the Borg, etc are NOT subject to the Separation of Rights clause. However, for example, the BoT Romulan commander, Captain Robert April, Hugh, etc ARE subject to the Separation of Rights clause — under certain circumstances.

Under these terms, if we look at things retrospectively (ie, apply 2004 law to 1967 television) Edith Keeler is definitely covered…the Guardian is a bit more iffy (I actually had trouble finding anything about creations other than characters). But Harlan Ellison isn’t exactly new to the whole legal thing, so I have a feeling he knows what he’s talking about.

301. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#300 — Although it also should be noted that this is the WGA MINIMUM basis of agreement — it’s entirely likely that a writer (especially one like Harlan) could have demanded to have more rights written into his contract.

302. Justin - November 12, 2007

Think of all the questions the Exposition of this proposed plot will have to explain:

*Why is Spock on Romulus?
*Who leads the Romulans?
*Why do these leaders want Kirk removed from history?
*Why is Kirk so important to history?–Yes WE know, but the moive
will have to explain it anyway, every episode and movie plot,
which will have no relavence to what is going on in this movie.
*What is so important that these Romulan leaders would tinker with a timeline that will most likely result in them not being leaders in the new timeline? It would be like Iranians going back in time to assassignate Lincoln when he was in lawschool–chances are the Iran might not even exist in the new timeline.
*What is the Guardian? Who knows about the Guardian? How long has this thing been sitting here without every villian in the quadrant using it?
*What is Spock’s relationship with the Guardian?
*Why should we CARE that Romulans are going to change history? We have to be emotionally invested in the outcome. It’s not enough that Nero is evil or crazy. There has to be a good reason that we can relate to, which means the script will have to explain explain explain about the politics of the Romulan Empire, the Federation etc. etc.–meanwhile non-fans are checking their watch, thinking theyve been had.

And those are just the questions the script would have to answer so the audience buys into the basic primise. And as any screenwriter knows you have got to sell the audience on the premise very early in the film.

Think of “Wrath of Kahn.” There was ONE exposition scene, really just a few lines between Kahn and Chekov about what happened in “Space Seed”. After that the story could move full steam ahead. That plot was extremely simple, which allowed for the characters and themes to develop. When a movie has a complex plot–like NEM, and this proposed mismash–the characters cant develop because they are forced to service the needs of the plot.

The more I think about it I cant accept that these rumors are true. They have got to be better than this.

303. Scott - November 12, 2007

I remember coming out of “Nemesis” and saying aloud, “I liked that movie better the first time, when it was called “The Wrath of Khan.”

From the sound of it — assuming these plot leaks are true — I hope I don’t come out of the new movie next year saying, “I liked that movie better the first time, when it was called “First Contact.”

Here’s to false rumors and making money the American way: through litigation! Cheers!

Scott B. out.

304. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#300:”Edith Keeler is definitely covered…the Guardian is a bit more iffy (I actually had trouble finding anything about creations other than characters).”

I found this confusing as well.

Payments are routinely made to writers for the reuse of characters – it’s been an issue of concern in Trek more than once. If Edith Keeler appeared in the script I expect that Ellison would have gotten paid no questions asked.

Now, the Guardian *functions* as a character in the script – they have conversations with it, fer Pete’s sake. But in fact it’s a stage prop combined with a voiceover (Bartel LaRue, I think?) dubbed in post-production. Presumably that makes it something other than a character?

305. JDMac - November 12, 2007

Could Joe Peci play this guy or what?

306. Jordan - November 12, 2007

Wow. Ellison sounds like a jack ass. Someone throw a bag of money at him to shut him up.

He seams very greedy, which is ironic because he thinks the studios are more greedy.

307. Jordan - November 12, 2007

I thought if you wrote something for a series, all its content then belong to the franchise.

308. Dierna - November 12, 2007

Does Ellison get paid for it’s use in the novels as well?? IE: “Federation”, “Imzadi”, “The Devil’s Heart”, “Yesterday’s Son”, “A Time For Yesterday” (I wish more books in the Yesterday saga were made!!!), “Preserver”, ect

Did the ST New Voyages folks pay Ellison for the use of a Guardian?? Not THE Guardian but A Guardian.

See the Guardian of Forever aint the only one. There’s several of em. Does Ellison has the rights to a different variaty (the one in New Voyages is big enough for a ship to fit thru) of Guardian?

309. Etha Williams - November 12, 2007

#304 — I can just imagine the court case now:

Judge: Guardian, are you machine or being?
Guardian: I am both, and neither.
Judge: Would you please just answer the stupid question so I can decide whether to pay Harlan or not?
Guardian: I answer as simply as your level of understanding makes possible.
Judge: Let’s get the hell out of here.

310. sean 212 - November 12, 2007

Why is Joe Pesci so angry at JJ Abrams, lol

311. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


Bartell LaRue is listed as the voice of the Guardian at as well as at Memory Alpha wiki. He’s also given credit for the “role” in the end credits of the episode.

312. Jim J (awesome and DOH!) - November 12, 2007

Does that mean that Majel Barrett’s computer voice, if replaced by another female, is still subject to being covered. I mean, they talk and interact with it, too. This is where I have issues….draw the line, but there isn’t a definite line…..ughhhh!

313. GeneRoddenberryFan37421 - November 12, 2007

Star Trek fans can really bitch. I only read through post 120 something & got fed up. We only have a FEW details, not the full movie story, & some are already proclaiming the movie a dud.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Abrams & crew said f¥@€ you & didn’t release any more details till it’s released. And I wouldn’t blame them.

314. Dierna - November 12, 2007

Bartell LaRue voiced the Guardian in “City at the edge of Forever” but James Doohan voiced it in “Yesteryear”

315. John Trumbull - November 12, 2007

I have doubts about them using the Guardian or starting with the Kobyashi Maru. Not only does it sound like total fan fiction, #2, STFAN makes the excellent point about them casting a 24-year old as Kirk’s dad, which would not be the case if we were first seeing a 17-21-year-old JTK at the Academy. So I’m definitely taking this with a truckload or two of salt.

That said, if Paramount IS using the Guardian, then ABSOLUTELY they should pay Harlan Ellison something. If his idea was good enough to use in your multimillion dollar movie, they have a moral (& as I understand it, legal) obligation to pay him something.

316. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


Or in that episode of Futurama, for that matter. Although would that be considered parody(?)


Just remember. “Many such cases are possible. Let me be your gateway, Harlan.”

317. Rick - November 12, 2007

The Harlan Ellison issue is interesting. There was another little film that upset him and it was was called THE TERMINATOR. He believed the plot line was close enough to a plot of one of his stories that was actually adapted to the OUTER LIMITS episodes. I think it was called THE SOLDIER and was from a short story collection. He ended up getting a credit at the end of THE TERMINATOR. I cannot recall if he got any payment. I have know idea what kind of contract he had for the famous STAR TREK episode he wrote. Some writers may have clauses in their contract that in whatever series they may work on any character/device, etc. they create for that episode, if it is used again in the future they get some royality or such. I am just really guessing here. Similiar type things have happened in the comicbook world with the Howard the Duck character and the writer that created him.

It would be interesting to see if there any comments from Ellison as this film really gets going and if the plot does use the Guardian device. As for some of his rants on being paid I really agree with him there. As someone who does creative work he is spot on in many repects. So many artists/writers etc. are asked to do spec work, work for free and are told it will be good publicity for you. There may be a rare occasion in that this type of work may be the thing to do, but when so many want this work for nothing deal it does get old. Especially if you are more established and a pro with a strong track record. But that is just my 2 cents.;)

As for the possible plot I am on the fence about it. You do just have to know with the casting and bits of real info we have gotten it does seem to jive with a possible story line. It is how it is executed in the end that counts. Funny thing is that time travel stories are really fun and can create some cool story lines with interesting emotional arcs. They can also be so full of plot holes if you get to anal and go over the story with a fine tooth comb.;) They can give one a real headache if you let them. I still say why didn’t the Borg send may ships into the past of earth when we were really primitive and take over humanity? No go we would of been too primitive for the Borg to care. Or why not send many cubes and overwhelm a bit more advanced human society ? Wait there I go again…;)

#287 Dennis you have either been going to AICN too much or are on a roll.;) I am dying of laughter!!!:0

318. Gummy - November 12, 2007

Oh, Harlan!
You never disappoint!

319. Mr Whatever Man - November 12, 2007


What a dick.

Not that he doesn’t have some valid points…but damn…that dude never lets up. He’s got the eternal chip on his shoulder.

I like the idea of having the Guardian in the movie, but not at the expense of having Paramount and the Star Trek team SUED by this JERK!

Nuff said. Harlan’s a dick. Always has been as far as I can tell.

320. Mr Whatever Man - November 12, 2007

I agree with #306! Spot on!!!

Sure that jackass Ellison should be PAID! Because God knows EVERYTHING should be about money, right?

He should be paid. But he doesn’t have to be such a dick about it.

321. TrekMadeMeWonder - November 12, 2007

I like Harlan.
I like B5 too. Better vision and consistency throughout the WHOLE series.

322. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007

Hmmm…. just re-reading Harlan’s comments…

“Guardians”. plural. I read his ‘original’ story book a few years ago, and also seem to recall that there were references in David Gerrold’s book about the original story.

A question of semantics… if Harlan owns the rights to “Guardians”, and the Great Bird/Gene Coon/D.C.F. change it to something different — at the time — as (now) a single machine-being referred to as the “Guardian (singular)” does that H.E. ownership transfer to the new creation?

323. Thorny - November 12, 2007

Did Mr Ellison get residuals from any of the Pocket novels which feature the Guardian of Forever? “Yesterday’s Son” is one. If he didn’t sue for royalties for that, he might have missed his opportunity to get royalties with Star Trek 2008.

Anyway, so Spock goes back in time to his younger self in order to save Kirk’s life? I wonder if it occurs to old Spock to say, “By the way, raise shields whenever you see the USS Reliant. Trust me.”

324. Charley W - November 12, 2007

#323- I wonder if it occurs to old Spock to say, “By the way, raise shields whenever you see the USS Reliant. Trust me.”

Seems to me it would be more helpful to have him say “Avoid a ship called the ‘Botany Bay'”. Or “don’t leave Khan on Ceti Alpha 4/5/OR 6.” Of course, then they probably wouldn’t have gone to get those whales…

325. Paul - November 12, 2007

Hey Juggernaut, Green Bay is goin all the way this year. Favre’s still got one in him. The Patriots are a pack of cheaters, and this guy is pissed off. can’t wait to see the movie, still very excited.

326. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#322: “A question of semantics… if Harlan owns the rights to “Guardians”, and the Great Bird/Gene Coon/D.C.F. change it to something different — at the time — as (now) a single machine-being referred to as the “Guardian (singular)” does that H.E. ownership transfer to the new creation?”

That’s a real good question. I found his remark that he owns “the City” interesting as well, since there’s no City nor any reference to a City (beyond the title) in the finished episode. Only a few pillars onscreen and a dialogue reference to ruins.

#323: Thorny

I believe you’re thinking about the enforcement of trademarks, which is not the case here. There is no requirement for a copyright holder to make efforts to protect the copyright in order for it to remain in force. Ellison’s hypothetical failure to go after earlier uses of his property would have no bearing on this case.

#319, #320:

Ellison is not a dick. Drive-by namecalling directed toward someone one knows virtually nothing about would fall considerably more within the dick-like circle.

#317, Rick:

Too much AICN for sure, thanks. Now if I can just work a reference to one of the Trek people as “sexiest beanpole tomboy on the planet” into a post, I’ll be a virtual AICN Talkbacker. :lol:

327. Classic trek - November 12, 2007

i had a feeling the guardian of forever might come back. it is regarded by many fans as the best episode of the original series. im excited by the news…………..after all…….. ‘many such journeys are possible’!!

just get shatner in it now for the icing on the cake.

united kingdom

328. Kev-1 - November 12, 2007

I went to SF convention in the 80’s and saw Harlan Ellison and he was quite interesting. It would be many years before I actually sat down and read some of his stories. He could write the pants off a lot of people. As for TV, read his scripts for Outer Limits “Demon With A Glass Hand” or “Soldier” or read the City original script. Great stuff. Instead of knocking Ellison, people should be asking why a”new’ fresh movie has to be so much like the original CIty. Maybe they can make this better. STIV didn’t have to use the guardian. This isn’t a new start and chances are it won’t be as good as the episode. In Superman returns, did any of those fancy effects match the comparatively simple helicopter rescue done in 1977? All this talk about Kirk and Spock’s friendship– they freakin’ killed Kirk off. Leave the poor man alone. Let’s boldly go somewhere. It’s gettin’ ugly in here folks. Hold onto yer wallets.

329. steve623 - November 12, 2007

Romulans. Time Travel. Backdoor Reboot. None of these elements are doing very much for me. Whatever the plot, I hope the movie ends up being better than Nemesis, which everyone thought would be great thanks to involvment of that Oscar nominated screenwriter.

And for the record, like him or not, Harlan Ellison is at least 10 times the writer that anyone else posting on this site is, amateur or professional. He may be cranky, but he can back it up with TALENT.

330. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


I’m going to read through my copy of Harlan’s book, and see what he said/wrote about it. I understand that he was hacked-off about the re-write and re-visioning done, which might suggest that (aside from, iirc, the “Jewels of Sound”) the “Guardians” aren’t the same as what eventually ended up as the final script as the “Guardian.”

I would imagine that, in either event (whether bolstering his case, or not), what he, himself — identified as his original work and caused to have published in his book, would be instructive in any complaint to the WGA.

331. Jordan - November 12, 2007

If its so important, why isn’t HE going to Paramount? Just whining to the public is very unprofessional…

332. VOODOO - November 12, 2007

– Harlan Ellison is the man. What’s all the hate about?

– I love the idea of bringing back the “Guardian of Forever”

– I love the idea that Nimoy has a major part. Moriarty at AICN speculates that Nimoy is the star of the film.

– It seems the people over at AICN truly have a mole on this film. This validates most of what they said back in August.

– The Guardian leaves the idea of Shatner’s return as Kirk wide open.

– With or without Shatner older Kirk’s presence will be felt (major plot point) throughout the film.

333. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#331: “If its so important, why isn’t HE going to Paramount? Just whining to the public is very unprofessional…”

Expressing oneself publicly about something that angers you is “unprofessional?”

According to who and what set of rules other than the Internet standard I-Say-So?

334. Captain Amazing!! - November 12, 2007

Ya know, Harlan has been b*tching about the treatment of that particular episode for years and years, but he sure likes to lay claim to it and call attention to himself over the matter. Seems rather amusing to me especially in light of the fact that most writers like to distance themselves from something they aren’t proud of or that didn’t turn out the way they intended. Sounds to me like Harlan wants to milk that as much as possible. “Look at me!! Look at me!!! I wrote the most popular Star Trek episode ever!! Dirty b*st*rds ruined it, it doesn’t resemble my original script at all!!! But I wrote it!!! I wrote the most popular episode!!!”


335. Gary - November 12, 2007

# 20

Bart LaRue died in 1990. :(

336. Captain Amazing!! - November 12, 2007

Dennis, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Harlan has been doing that for the last 40 years. Whining and complaining publicly, all the while claiming responsibility for the fact it’s the most popular episode. H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E.

337. Martin Pollard - November 12, 2007

“- Harlan Ellison is the man. What’s all the hate about?”

The man seems to have plenty of it for Star Trek. We’re just returning the favor. :)

You act like a dick, you get dicked back. So turns the wheel. (And yes, defenders, he IS acting like a dick, no matter how many points may be in his favor. It’s one thing to be right; it’s quite another to be a flaming jackass about it.)

“- The Guardian leaves the idea of Shatner’s return as Kirk wide open.”
“- With or without Shatner older Kirk’s presence will be felt (major plot point) throughout the film.”

Well, that didn’t take long. As soon as I read about this Guardian business, I figured it was only a matter of time before the “bring back Shatner!” crowd began to sound off. :(

338. Charley W - November 12, 2007

Harlan certainly makes the most of his (brief) association with TOS, and most of his complaints involve how they changed his script. I haven’t read the book he wrote on the incident (how much has he made from THAT? and did he pay Paramount for the use of Star Trek?), but I’m sure the blame went both ways. That said, he’s probably one of the most vocal for writers’ rights. Sort of like the dog who barks at the burglar. Of course, he barks at the mailman, the paperboy, any cat walking by, and anyone with red hair…

339. Dennis Bailey - November 12, 2007

#334:”Ya know, Harlan has been b*tching about the treatment of that particular episode for years and years, but he sure likes to lay claim to it and call attention to himself over the matter. ”


He has always attempted to draw attention to *his* version of the script – which won several awards – and has seen to its being published more than once. He’s always made it clear that what was shown was not what he wrote, and that he’s proud of what he wrote.

Parenthetically, it irritated Ellison that for decades Roddenberry publicly told a ridiculous half-assed story about what was objectionable in the original script – basically, that “Harlan had Scotty dealing drugs.” GR had to be corrected on that a couple of times before he finally admitted that he’d misremembered the script (of course, by that time he’d told false tales about it to hundreds of audiences, live and on TV).

Ellison’s right, BTW – his script is head-and-shoulders above the aired version, though IMAO it’d have been way too expensive (and, despite the fact that it departs significantly from the show’s format and characterisations I’d be willing to bet that it was the length and expense that motivated the studio rewrite).

If someone *thinks* Ellison is “being a dick” – well, they’re entitled to express their opinion, and I’m entitled to say that their opinions are narrowminded, ill-informed and embarrassingly defensive for the sake of “Star Trek.”

340. Gary Lee - November 12, 2007

Maybe it’s Spock the Romulans are trying to kill in the past but Kirk is killed instead. So the old Spock travels back in time to stop Kirk from being killed with the help of Captain Pike and the Enterprise.

341. jonboc - November 12, 2007

FYI- AICN has spy pics of Quinto as Spock. Lookin’ reeeal damn good!! Every day something happens that gets me more excited. The Guardian?? Quinto looking the part. Good times to be a TOS fan!

342. VOODOO - November 12, 2007


Lighten up.

Is the money that Ellison may have coming to him coming out of your pocket?

If he is legally entitled to some money from the multi billion dollar Paramount Pictures what do you care?

Ellison is an old curmudgeon, but at least the man is a character. We need more characters in the world. Besides being an old curmudgeon Ellison is quite a good/great writer.

Besides, I don’t think he is “being a dick” as you so articulately put it. Ever think about becoming a poet?

343. Bobby - November 12, 2007

yikes…i would hate to get all of you in a room to figure out a trek episode or movie plot. your ideas are all over the place. and none sound interesting. if you are all so great at coming up with ideas then please do so. write a script, find an agent and shop it around town. many here rant about how lame the plot is, well…make your own movie.

344. Noleuser - November 12, 2007

In the words of Artie Lange “Waaaaaaaaaaa”

345. Magister - November 12, 2007

#333 Isn’t that what you said about Shatner when he complained about not being in the film. Dignity thy name is Ellison?

346. Mr Whatever Man - November 12, 2007

“Ellison is not a dick. Drive-by namecalling directed toward someone one knows virtually nothing about would fall considerably more within the dick-like circle.”

*ahem* Excuse me, Dennis??

I’ve seen FIRST HAND how that guy treats fans…and it’s *not* COOL!!! That’s all I needed to know of the guy. He has walked around with a boulder on his shoulder (I said chip earlier, but that’s not accurate) since the bleeping 60’s!!

He’s a dick. And frankly, so is anyone who stands up for this loser. When all one ever shows of oneself to the public is arrogance, grandstanding, complaining and legal threats this kind of reaction from “those who don’t know him” is to be expected from the reasonable.

I am not going to worship at the alter of Harlan. Frankly, I find his work overrated and he a constant annoyance whenever he goes public and makes comments to fans about Star Trek.

Again, I know FIRST HAND. Take that for what it’s worth.

347. Jim J (interesting) - November 12, 2007

Wow, Harlan…the plot twists…and time travel, oh my!!! We have found a thread that gives “the Shat” a run for his money when it comes to number of comments!!!! Fascinating!

348. Mr Whatever Man - November 12, 2007

“You act like a dick, you get dicked back. So turns the wheel. (And yes, defenders, he IS acting like a dick, no matter how many points may be in his favor. It’s one thing to be right; it’s quite another to be a flaming jackass about it.)”

*claps* You nailed it!

Why does he have to be so condescending towards everyone? That’s the #1 thing I don’t like about him. I don’t dispute his “grievances”. What I dispute is the way he approaches them…making an ass of himself every chance he gets.

349. Jon(30) - November 12, 2007

The Guardian of forever?Nero? Old Spock meeting young Spock? Sounds cheesey. If Spock’s going to save young Kirk and use the guardian why wouldn’t He also save old Kirk before He falls off that scaffold?Dumb.

350. lodownX - November 12, 2007

Harlan Ellison ROCKS. What an awesome diatribe (hissy-fit). Somebody PAY that man. HE EARNED IT. Damn, he should be getting premium rate for every expletive…. talk about language with colour – my speakers GLOWED.

Thank you for posting that… it made my day.

351. Odo19 - November 12, 2007

Jon(30)- Spock can’t save Kirk ,by saving him from falling off some scaffolding, because he does’nt no about that. Picard never told anybody that Kirk died there.

352. Odo19 - November 12, 2007

349 .

Also there is a big difference between saving someone from an assassination that would disrupt the timeline and Kirks natural death.

353. Demode - November 12, 2007

Who says young Spock will know who old Spock is? Perhaps Old Spock ill claim to be someone else? And if he does find out, perhaps Old Spock will perform a vulcan mind meld so he forgets at the end. Who knows???

As for the Romulan connection… I can see the Romulans being pretty ticked off at the end of Nemesis. Their entire Senate was wiped out by a human clone (who they created, but still…), and their empire is left less powerful and more vulnerable. I can see someone wanting to go back in time to restore the strength of the empire.

I can’t help but wonder though… are they really going back to kill Kirk, or are they really after young Spock???

354. seangh - November 12, 2007

Hey Dennis – thanks for trying to keep the conversation civil and level headed.

Harlan is protecting his property bottom line. People need to ask themselves how they would react if someone was trying to TAKE your PROPERTY without permission and possibly compensation?

Harlan is a pro, been in this business a long time and I’ll defer to him as to what he owns rights to or does not. As an aspiring writer earlier in my life, I have tremendous amount of respect fot those people who dare to dream and then write and then present their ideas to the marketplace – it’s a tough gig – and when all you have is your written words, you’ll fight like crazy to protect them, especially against the wolves that run in packs in Hollywood.

355. trektacular - November 12, 2007

I like what Harlan said in that video, but many times I don’t mainly because I hate big mouths.

356. Charley W - November 12, 2007

346- I’ve had personal contact with Mr Ellison myself (on more than one occasion) and can say, on personal observation, that he can be one of the nicest people that you’ll meet. But, like many talented people, he is extremely self-righteous and intolerent of perseved faults in others (bring up any of HIS faults, and you’re dead, though). If you cross him for ANY reason, intended or not, not only are you undeserving of sharing the same planet, but neither is your entire genetic line, and he will proclaim this as loudly, and as often as possible and loaded with obscenities. I have seen this more than once on cseveral individuals for quite minor reasons. I don’t what he’s like nowadys, perhaps he’s mellowed somewhat, if he has, I’ll be the first to applaud him.

357. Mr Whatever Man - November 12, 2007

I hope they put that big talking glowing rock doughnut in this movie and don’t pay Harlan one wooden nickel! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

In fact, they should have a malcontent red shirt in the film and name him Harlan.

358. Lostrod - November 12, 2007

Speaking of reboots …

Has anyone read the proposal that Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski gave to Paramount when they were trying to decide what to do with the franchise?

Fascinating reading of what might have been.

359. Paul - November 12, 2007

anyone know where i can read his version of the script? just curious

360. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007

Until the 2nd revised final draft, the (CotEoF) story treatment includes “Guardians” who are incredibly ancient humanoids, with a separate time vortex (described in one version as a pillar of flame, a shaft of light, a roiling brightness of smoke, wonder you care to make of it’) device, and a separate — visible far off — City glittering on a far peak where the Guardians had, long before, left.

361. seangh - November 12, 2007

#346 & #357

Harlan may be all that you say on a personal level – fine. However, none of this alters the fact that he is entitled to his property.

Just because he’s a “dick” in someone’s wet dream doesn’t disqualify him from his legal rights as an author and member of the WGA.

We all have our “Harlan” stories. I met him back in 93 when he was on the Bab 5 tour promoting the upcoming series. Yeah he ripped Berman and Pillar, and Star Trek in general because they stole the B5 concept and created DS9 – blah blah blah. During a autograph signing (which he didn’t charge for – shocker!) we chatted at length, he ask me to stand to the side and we had a pleasant conversation has he continued to sign. I found him genuine and authentic.

362. trektacular - November 12, 2007

Ellisons script and what was aired are so freaking different from each other I find it hard to see what he could sue over.

363. FlyingTigress - November 12, 2007


He wrote a book in the mid-90s entitled “Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever The Orginal Teleplay That Became the Classic Star Trek Episode”. Published by White Wolf Publishing.

364. nyxtreme007 - November 12, 2007

If the Guardian of Forever scenario will be used as the main plot, then I believe in the end, Captain Kirk would be still alive. It would be so simple for the Old Spock to mind meld with the Young Kirk.Think of the possibilities!!! A new Star Trek timeline can be created by the Young Kirk receiving all the insights by the Old Spock! Or even the Old Spock mind melding with the Young Spock! Hey, if Kirk influenced the Mirror Spock in the Mirror universe, why not the Old Spock influencing the Young Kirk or even Young Spock? Only in Star Trek!

365. Dom - November 12, 2007

206 Dennis Bailey said: ”Would a studio proceed with a project without being absolutely sure they were legally in the clear? Probably not, but being “absolutely sure” is not the same as being right at the end of the day. Sometimes the “right” answer to these things only emerges in the courtroom.’

Ask Clive Cussler about Sahara! :(

People can say what they like about him as a person, but Harlan Ellison is a superb writer whose work in print and on screen is still very much in demand. He believes utterly in what he writes and demands the highest of standards – if he doesn’t like an adaptation of his work, he makes the producers list him as Cordwainer Bird!

The man has an amazing imagination and his work is still in demand for anthology shows and the like. Even now, if you pick up a fantasy, horror, science fiction or thriller anthology book, chances are something of his will be in there!

City on the Edge of Forever, one of many stories of his that has won an award, is something a man as passionate as Ellison feels strongly about. I don’t know if there was any litigation in the 60s about the screenplay, but if I found out that something I’d written 38 years ago in whatever form was the basis of a multi-million dollar franchise movie, I’d expect at least a phonecall!

366. Rick - November 12, 2007

Wow this story is really bouncing around the major pop culture info sites. I met Ellison myself a few years back at one of those storefront writing sessions in SF. Although maybe I should say I witnessed him. I don’t think after all the stuff I had read about him through the years I had the energy to approach and talk to him. Although he seemed pleasant typing away on his story of a plot idea given to him by Robin Williams believe it or not. ;) Not sure if Williams came up with the idea he just handed him the sheet of paper from what I heard. I came in some minutes after the start of the session.

367. Demode - November 12, 2007

Harlan Ellison….

If I am not mistaken, was he not paid for his contribution to TREK 40 years ago? And has he not made money over the years from that contribution, such as Trek conventions, books, etc… ?

He really should just shut the hell up. I’m sorry, but he contributed to “one” Trek story, and over the years, in one form or another, he has profited from it. It certainly helped to introduce his writing to people in the Trek world who otherwise may not have discovered him, gaining him a much larger audience.

368. angry but i'll get over it - November 12, 2007

if you check eric bana’s current projects, he just played a guy named Romulus in a movie and is appearing in another movie about time travel. now if that’s not irony for you, i don’t know what is

369. Jordan - November 12, 2007

I think most people agree that as a writer Ellison should get paid for whatever he as entitled to him, he’s just being such an ass hole about it. Just look at how rude he was in that video!

Its not helping the writers image thats for sure.

370. Ron - November 12, 2007

#326 & 329: Sorry Dennis, but for once you’re quite wrong. Ellison is a dick, plain and simple. Call those who acknowledge this fact “narrowminded” and “ill-informed” all you want, it won’t alter his decades of on-the-public-record condescension, arrogance and egomania one bit.

Don’t confuse an accurate assessment of the man’s well-known persona with a denial of his acknowledged literary brilliance. I’ll be the first to give him all due credit for his considerable contributions to the genre. But he’s also a dick.

371. T2 - November 12, 2007

I never liked Harlan Ellison since I saw him talk on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder and some of the original cast back in the 1970’s. I make it a point to avoid him and anything he appears in. When it comes to him and Star Trek, he’s like a painful headache that won’t go away. Get over it, it belongs to Star Trek now.

372. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - November 13, 2007

Okay, he’s a bit acerbic with his opinions, but I understand his point. Writers do need to be paid for their craft, I would just have hoped that Paramount had sorted this out so that the discussion didn’t have to spill out into the public domain like this, but I guess that’s why there’s a strike going on….

373. the king in shreds and tatters - November 13, 2007

go get ‘im Harlan! teach ’em why they should make everything work-for-hire!

374. Jackson Roykirk - November 13, 2007

340: I like your idea: it’s simpler than my ridiclous “Nero makes a sandwich” plot. Maybe Kirk sacrifices himself to save his family when Nero goes back, and when Old Spock goes back to save JTK, JTK’s father is killed instead. Pathos, drama, and the reason why JTK joins Starfleet. (And an echo of COTEOF with Edith Keeler.)

291: I agree completely. But if Nero is as harebrained as I depicted, he’d try anything to foil JTK’s promotion to captiain of the Enterprise.

288: Yup. Hard, fast, and often, baby! But seriously: three simple words: “bomb from orbit.” No more JTK. Big smoking crater where JTK’s hometown was. Why don’t evil genius aliens use this simple time-honored technique?

I think that if the GoF is indeed being used as a plot device, the Federation Timecop Daniels will need to come back from his century to destroy it (or at least blockade it with Starfleet superweapon-of-the-future technology) to keep people from diddling the timeline.

375. Jackson Roykirk - November 13, 2007

“captain of the Enterprise.” D’oh.

376. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 13, 2007

Hahaha, I love this guy, Harlan Ellison. And he is right. Why should he work for nothing? If he has some rights to the Guardian of Forever, Paramount should pay him.
I don’t work for nothing, no one works for nothing. And if he owns the intellectual property, they better pay him for the work he invested in it.

377. Frank - November 13, 2007

Well, the argument AGAINST of course could be that you wrote 45 minutes of television BACK in the sixties where TODAYS demographic target age is 18 to 30 and they may not have even HEARD of the original series and okay- you got paid and you went on with your life.

The argument FOR of course is that okay—we as a corporation figured this little Lost in Space knockoff would only last two years but it lasted 3 years and then we put it into syndication to make back our investment and BOY did we ever clean up the past 40 years eh?

So yeah in a way he IS correct that Paramount should have at least made a call and offered something to him because they KNOW how he is (EVERYBODY knows how he is) and they could have avoided so much possible bad press for the film which doesnt come out until 2008!!

Personally the whole thing is a bit spoiled for me because I know the plot now (rumored though it may be but then the rumor would explain why Leonard Nimoy is coming out of retirement and agreeing to get up at 5 am for a few weeks and climb into those ears again

(and of course…HE will get a check but Ellisons argument of course is that theres a big possibility that (if true about the rumor) NONE of this would be happening if he hadnt thought up the whole thing in a little 45 minute teleplay over 40 years ago in the first place and that of course IS the whole foundation of the argument of all the writers who are risking their careers (and homes, families) today as they stand outside the gates of their bosses.

378. Ron - November 13, 2007

I wanted to add to my previous comments that Ellison being a dick is completely different from the question of whether or not he is owed compensation for the use of elements from COTEOF, as it is from the artistic merit of his work. He should receive whatever compensation he is owed from those decades-old contracts.

379. EnsignExpendable - November 13, 2007

Harlan *is* a pro, that’s true…but he’s ALWAYS come across as bitter and caring only about the dollar. At this point, he’s sounding like a bitter old guy and…well…he’s just written so much truly great material that seeing stuff like this disappoints me now.

380. Iowagirl - November 13, 2007


Harlan is old, that’s true. And maybe, he’s sounding like a bitter guy because people trying to deny him what he’s entitled to. You never know.

381. Neal - November 13, 2007

Ellison is such a grouchy old fart. Instead of being honored that his ideas have longevity, he gets all pissy that he isn’t getting his cut of the gold. The funny thing is, he never really *got* why “City” was so great. His original script was convoluted and imprecise, whereas the aired version (revised by DC Fontana) was direct and succinct. Yet in all these years, he dumps on the aired show and puts his original script up on a pedestal. He’s just never gotten it.

You have to feel sorry for the man, that he’s never had an ounce of pleasure from his most popular and longest-lasting creation.

382. Kraig - November 13, 2007

Harlan is 100% right. The studios won’t do anything for free, but they constantly try to step on the artisans that actually create the work. There is no one in any other profession that would work for nothing, so I can understand his perspective. Paramount should poney up and give him his fee. G-d knows they have already given J.J. way too much money for the current ST project. A little bit more to H.E. shouldn’t break them.

383. Crewman Seven - November 13, 2007

When will SCI-FI writers especially TREK writers AND PARAMOUNT stop using Time Travel as a way of rescuing the heroes? If an alien race wanted to kill off a particular individual by using time travel, don’t you think they’d just go back before he even existed and destroy his ancestors? If Kirk never existed…well you get the idea!

384. Pragmaticus - November 13, 2007

This is quite possibly the longest thread that isn’t about Shatner.

385. Cervantes - November 13, 2007

Just read that piece above by writer Harlan Ellison…

This could get interesting…

386. Ryan - November 13, 2007

Mr. Ellison should stop perpetuating the stereotype that old people are whiny and upset all of the time. Just give the man some money and move on.

387. Cap'n Calhoun - November 13, 2007

> I read that T’Pau was to be a character in Star Trek: Enterprise, but then
> Paramount would have to pay Ted Sturgeon’s estate every time this
> character appeared. So T’Pau became T’Pol.

388. Cap'n Calhoun - November 13, 2007

> I read that T’Pau was to be a character in Star Trek: Enterprise, but then
> Paramount would have to pay Ted Sturgeon’s estate every time this
> character appeared. So T’Pau became T’Pol.

T’Pau was in Enterprise in Season 4, so I don’t believe this was a residual issue.

Concepts that have popped up from TOS without residuals being paid to the original writers (based on the fact that they aren’t credited) include the Gorn, Tholians, the U.S.S. Defiant, Sarek, Amanda, and many, many others. The only writers that I recall that have definitely received residuals for their concepts (based again on credits) are Roddenberry himself and David Gerrold (for “Trials and Tribble-ations”). Piller/Taylor didn’t even get a credit for creating Janeway in Nemesis. I don’t think Ellison has a leg to stand on, but, if he does, this is a huge can of worms.

389. Scott - November 13, 2007

Re: 363 Flying Tigress —

But isn’t there anyplace online where I can download the book for free?


Scott B. out.

390. OM - November 13, 2007

…You know, the Midget with a Mouth will not shut up until someone admits that *he*, and not Roddenberry, Coon and Justman created Star Trek. He’s become the Britney Spears of Trek – producing nothing of any substance, yet acting like a victim in order to be an attention whore. 99.999% of his whinings are so akin to Bart Simpson’s attempts to reclaim his status as the “kool kid in skool” – as seen in last Sunday’s episode – that just hearing the name “Harlan Ellison” causes nausea.

Harlan, you’ve overstayed your welcome. Next time you have that heart attack, feel free to go into the light. It won’t hurt you, and we’ll be grateful for it.

An Aside Note To TrekMovie.Com’s Editors: Could we *please* stop catering to Harlan’s need to feed his ego? He’s become nothing but a troll in addition to his being an attention whore, and it’s really, REALLY gotten pathetic.

[shakes head in utter dismay]

391. FlyingTigress - November 13, 2007


Ri-i-i-ight….. LOL

I’ll get back to you on that… maybe 20 or so years after Harlan and his immediate heirs shuffle off this mortal coil. Even then….

392. Etha Williams - November 13, 2007

Regarding the pocket books issue — I was reading about CotEoF on wikipedia and came across this tidbit of info:

“The events of City on the Edge of Forever are revisited in the Crucible trilogy, released for Star Trek’s 40th anniversary. Ellison threatened to launch legal action against Pocket Books over this series, claiming his original scriptwriting contract gave him rights to elements of that episode. He demanded a “trailer-truck full of cash”, threatening to sue and prevent publication of the series if not paid.[6] Peter David’s Imzadi was immune from such proceedings due to the author’s close relationship with Ellison and the fact that he requested permission to use elements of the episode.”

Doesn’t mention the many other books that use the Guardian, but there you have it.

#388 — re: T’Pau — Residuals for using a character a few times in one season of a show are bound to be less costly than residuals for using a character as the main character for (a projected) 7 seasons, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was originally a residuals issue. In any case, the use of T’Pau in Season 4 doesn’t preclude the possibility.

393. Bill Cox - November 13, 2007

So, Harlan, what do you REALLY think?

394. section9 - November 13, 2007

People, you are being played.

This is disinformation. This happens in Hollywood all the time. Happened back during the original Star Wars trilogy. Paramount is trying to hype interest in the film. In fact, the actual plot is probably as closely guarded a secret as Paramount has. Paramount needs a big hit right now, like FOX had with Star Wars.

Letting the actual plot leak would be dumb. The Romulans are involved, obviously, but the fact that nobody from Paramount has bothered to settle up with Harlan Ellison leads me to believe that the Guardian won’t be involved to the extent that they say it is in the rumors. If at all, or even obliquely, they will cut him a check later on.

Ellison is no has-been. He is one of the towering science fiction writers of the Postwar era, and he deserves every dime Paramount owes him. “City” was his baby, no one else’s.

395. Randall - November 13, 2007


“This is disinformation. ”

Here you are surely correct. I have no doubt that actual plotpoints from the script will never leak out so easily; whether people are being deliberately “played” or not is another matter.

“Ellison is no has-been. He is one of the towering science fiction writers of the Postwar era, and he deserves every dime Paramount owes him. “City” was his baby, no one else’s.”

This, on the other hand, is rubbish. Harlan Ellison is greatly overrated. In my youth (early to late 70s) I had all his books. I read him voraciously. I still respect his inventiveness and his imagination. But as I grew older and more appreciative of true, quality writing, I came to see how trite, even adolescent he could be. All this is a matter of opinion, though, so let’s leave that aside..

In fact, though–no… “City” is NOT his “baby.” The script he wrote is not what was aired. HE has said it was ruined; others would say it was polished and improved. Read both versions…. the evidence is with the latter view.

396. Starman - November 13, 2007

It’s been a LONG time since I read the book, but the plot sounds like “The Entropy Effect”. Didn’t someone kill Kirk and Spock had to keep going back in time to stop it?

397. Thorny - November 13, 2007

Cap’n Calhoun… “I don’t think Ellison has a leg to stand on, but, if he does, this is a huge can of worms.”

No, it isn’t really. Assuming Paramount has to pay Mr. Ellison, it’s not that big of a deal. The movie has a huge budget (and they’re not paying Mr. Shatner, so there will be plenty leftover — just kidding) and what they’d have to pay Mr. Ellison will not be huge. Mr. Abrams can just issue a simple mea culpa, explaining that all involved thought that the characters and settings in CotEoF were Paramount property (a not unrealistic assumption given the numerous precedents of the Guardian appearing in later Treks, and one that is almost certainly true) and give Mr. Ellison a nice credit at the beginning of the movie, right after “Based on STAR TREK created by Gene Roddenberry.” Everybody’s happy.

398. FlyingTigress - November 13, 2007

As of this morning, over at his blog, H.E. seemed to be trying to lower the tensions a little.

Adds something to the picture, coming from him, but…

399. Superhillbilly - November 13, 2007

In 1931, Haddon Sundblom created Coca Cola’s Santa Claus. That depiction completely changed the way Santa is illustrated in today’s American culture. That illustration has since influenced Santa’s depiction in movies, stories, coloring books, and well, all over the place. Does that mean that Mr. Sundblom is due credit for each and every one of those projects, large and small? I think it’d be safe to assume that he hasn’t been paid for each of these. As an example, I can’t find his name associated with any of the “Miracle on 34th Street” movies. If my observations are correct, then I’d take the answer to my question to be “no”.

I’m no attorney, but I still have to wonder how/whether something like that would have any effect on this.

400. TK - November 13, 2007

#396 I was thinking the same. Entropy effect has exactly the same elements in terms of plot.

401. Steviebaby - November 13, 2007

You realize, of course, that at the end of the movie, Shat’s cameo will be Kirk stepping out of a shower, and it will all have been a dream…..

402. Ron - November 13, 2007

#402: “…Shat’s cameo will be Kirk stepping out of a shower…”


403. Cap'n Calhoun - November 13, 2007

#397 – Cap’n Calhoun… “I don’t think Ellison has a leg to stand on, but, if he does, this is a huge can of worms.” No, it isn’t really. Assuming Paramount has to pay Mr. Ellison, it’s not that big of a deal.

Actually, I was referring to the fact that, if Ellison is correct in saying he has a claim on these concepts, then the writers who came up with the other concepts I mentioned should be getting residuals for TNG, DS9, etc. For example, they would have to pay D.C. Fontana the rights for the use of Sarek in TNG and the movies, Judy Burns and Chet Richards the rights for the use of the Tholians and the Defiant in TNG, DS9, and Enterprise, and Gene Coon and Frederic Brown the rights for the use of the Gorn in Enterprise (or of Cestus III in DS9). If Ellison is within his rights to demand residuals for the Guardian, the precedent would be staggering.

404. kitumbawannabe - November 13, 2007

First off,
#403 Actually, that’s exactly how it works with DOCTOR WHO. When the current incarnation of the show wanted to bring back the Daleks, the Cybermen, or anybody else, yes, they had to go back and re-negotiate with the creators of those characters or their estates. Not only that, but that’s how some independent productions were able to do seemingly DOCTOR WHO-related projects without having to go back to the BBC.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I really don’t buy this time travel plot at all. I don’t care how many people say they know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody at Paramount, it still sounds to me like someone misremembered the plot to OF GODS AND MEN — which, you know, involves a bad guy who goes back and erases Kirk from history — and just attributed it to this. Are you really telling me that TNG Romulans, who would be busy cleaning up the mess Shinzon made of their government, who have to contend with the Reunification movement picking up popular support, who have their own wounds to lick after the Dominion War, who have had problems with the Klingons for decades, sat back and said, “You know who’s responsible for all our problems? That Kirk guy from over a century ago!” Yeah, because the biggest impact Kirk had on the Romulans was stealing their cloaking device…which led to them building better cloaking devices and getting the Federation to agree not to develop their own.
On the other hand, if you were to tell me that the story is some kind of vast political thriller with implications that stretch into TNG era, THAT I could believe.

405. Valarone - November 13, 2007

What a loon. I hope he gets what he deserves.

406. trektacular - November 14, 2007

I love that You Tube video, that shit is funny.

407. Cork Man First - November 14, 2007

How will they get sequals out of this? Will they just stay in the past (from a post TNG persepective). That seems a bit weird to me?

408. Olympus1979 - November 14, 2007

To those who are complaining, you really need to lighten up. The movie isnt out for over a year, and your ALREADY bi******??? Cmon guys, just because YOUUU dont like an idea, doesnt mean that the masses wont. Whats wrong with time travel? I have no problem with it at all. Oh, its been done? Ummm, so what??? Its a different story, told a different way, who CARES if time travel is involved?

And if your already so unhappy, why even bother visiting this page? So you can complain?? You complainers are probably so unhappy with your own life that you have little else to do but try to pick apart a movie over a year before it comes out. Thats sad.

Mr. Orci, you guys wont be able to please everyone, no matter what you write. Ignore the complainers, if this is the actual plot, I see no problems with it, actually I find it very, very interesting.

Complainers, speak for yourself. Just because you dont like it, doesnt mean it wont be good. Your not God, get over yourself.

409. Mike - November 14, 2007

21. Admiral_Bumblebee wrote:
There is another thing. If Spock really meets his young self and introduces himself as being old Spock from the future, then young Spock knows that he doesn’t die in Star Trek 2. His question to Kirk in Star Trek 3, why he did it would be pointless.

This does open a can of worms and not just concerning your point.

I’m willing to bet that old Spock will do a mind meld on young Spock so he will forget all that transpired in the movie. I’m pretty sure.

(He’ll probably just use a rip of the classic TREK phrase, “Forget.”)

410. Mike - November 14, 2007

88. Justin wrote:
The above plot ideas are problematic for two simple reason:

It assumes that the audience will know and care about the importance of Kirk *as a character* before we are even introduced to him in the film….

First Contact turned out OK. We knew very little about Zefram Cocrane, but the story still worked. We know and care ALOT more about Kirk.

Should be OK.

411. Admiral_Bumblebee - November 14, 2007

On the other hand, when you see the young Kirk for the first time you will think: “Damn, this guy will fall off a bridge and die!”

412. Mike - November 14, 2007

Written to:
364. nyxtreme007
13. bugs nixon
27. Frank
81. Admiral_Bumblebee
93. Jeff – November 12, 2007
123. Dave – November 12, 2007
and others wanting Shatner brought back by way of The Guardian of Forever…

Did anyone see DS9s Trials and Tribble-ations? There existed an origination that handled time violations. Not a stretch to believe it existed in TOS time period as well.

Spock can’t simply decide to bring Kirk back by tampering with time.

If time travel and The GOF exist in the TREK universe, it makes sense there has to be laws and rules and a ruling body or policing or military organization that governs the use of it. Happens in any human endeavor. Rules to protect the time line, history, the future, etc., have to be in place.

You can’t just tamper with the time for your own personal reasons. It’s too dangerous.

Spock just can’t lawfully use the Guardian of Forever, nor can he just bring back Kirk like that. It’s too great a gamble and might seriously affect galactic past, present, future!

If Abrams is as smart as people say he is, then he can use this as another reason to keep Shatner out of the film, as he should because it makes sense.

413. Charley W - November 14, 2007

“Did anyone see DS9s Trials and Tribble-ations? There existed an origination that handled time violations. Not a stretch to believe it existed in TOS time period as well.”

I think you mean ‘organization’. The problem with the Time Corps is that there was no sign of them in several major time conumdrums such as: the original G of F episode or ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise'; but for a relatively minor problem they blow their cover in Voyager.

“Spock just can’t lawfully use the Guardian of Forever, nor can he just bring back Kirk like that. It’s too great a gamble and might seriously affect galactic past, present, future!”

But, if you accept ‘Yesteryear’ as Trek canon (which I don’t), that’s EXACTLY what he did!

414. Etha Williams - November 14, 2007

#410 — IMHO, the less you knew about Cochrane (at least in terms of his original portrayal in Metamorphosis) the better for First Contact. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie, but I saw Metamorphosis after I saw First Contact, and it just didn’t make sense. I mean sure, people change…but Metamorphosis!Cochrane was a far cry from FirstContact!Cochrane.

#412 — Perhaps the organization (in some form or another) was created after Kirk et al’s encounter with the GoF…who knows.

#413 — This has always bothered me too, although in VOY they mention that they don’t deem it necessary to modify Janeway et al’s memory engramms about the situation, so maybe in the past events you described they did. Still, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. OTOH, if you really think about time travel, none of it makes sense. I mean, why did the Borg give up after that one attempt? It seems like they could have kept going back in time until the Federation’s defenses against their time travelling madness had worn thin and then assimilate pre-warp earth once and for all. If at first you don’t assimilate, try, try again.

415. AKO - November 14, 2007

The movie opens with the USS Titan in oribit over Romulas, it then pans into the Romulan Senante, where a delegation of Federation Diplomats is meeting with their Romulan counterparts; attempting to broker a peace treaty. As part of the re-unification movement between Vulcan and Romulus, Ambassador Spock is also in attendence. The Meeting is coridal and progress appears to be being made. Suddenly, and surrounded by guards, the new Romulan Preator enters the chamber, without warning he announces the talks are over and that the Romulans are withdrawing from all further discussions.

Shocked and dumbfounded the Federation Delegation returns to the Titan, where the ship immediately sets course back to Federation Space. On board the Titan, Spock receives a secret communication from a contact within his underground movement on Romulus.

Spock is informed that a legendry miltary figure within the Romulan miltary, Nero, has successfully led an assault on a Federation Research Facility, and has stolen a secret device, known only as the “Guardian.” The Guardian is a time portal, which allows a person to literally step back into time.

Nero is a hardliner, and believes that the Romulan Star Empire has become stale and weak, losing power, status and miltary might against the Federation, having suffered devasting losses against the Dominion, Borg incursions and the latest failed political coups.

Having stolen the Guardian, Nero, has launched a bold attempt to alter history, in the process destroying the very heart of the Federation, namely Starfleet. Nero, believes that Key events in history have permanently weakened the Romulan Star Empire and is determined to alter the balance of power once more.

Nero, has seen the Federation’s membership of planets grow, the resources they have available increase, the rate of new and advanced starships and technology excel, whereby the Romulan have remained in the Shadows, allowing the Federation to make peace with the Klingons, and hold a key stragetic post in the form of Deep Space Nine and access to the Gamma Quandrant.

Nero, believes there is one key figure who’s actions over the years have in some way or another allowed these events to occur. That figure, is the legendary Captain, James T Kirk. By going back in time and stopping Kirk from commanding the historic 5 year mission on board the Enterprise, events will take a different path.

Nero blames Kirk for bringing the Romulans out of isolation, stealing a cloaking device, being a vital part of the Khitomer Accord and supporting the Klingon Challoner Gorkon and revealing the Romulans attempt to support General Chang and prevent peace.

On hearing this news, Spock informs Captain Riker, that all costs he must help his old friend, as the needs of the one, as well as the needs of the many are at stake. Spock informs Riker, that there is a second Guardian.

After the decommissioning of the Enterprise A, Spock returned to Vulcan. When the Enterprise B was to be launched, Spock was invited, and was due to attend, seeking passage onboard the USS Excelsior, and his old shipmate, Captain Sulu. Enroute to Earth, Starfleet diverts the Excelsior to a unfound Planet deep within the Beta Quadrant, where the USS Eagle has discovered a new Guardian. However, the Guardian appearless lifeless.

To protect the new Guardian, the discovery is classified, and even to date, few in even the highest levels of Starfleet know of its existence.

Upon hearing the news of the death of his friend onboard the Enterprise B, Spock began work on the Guardian and trying to reactivate the portal. In an uncharacteristic and emotional attempt to go back in time and save his friend. Despite Spocks efforts and years of research, the Guardian remains inactive. Determined to continue to bring peace to the galaxy, Spock goes to Romulus and joins the underground movement, attempting to bring reunification between Vulcan and Romulus.

The Titan takes Spock to the location of the second Guardian. After 90 years, the moment Spock walks into the facility where the Guardian has been held, the Guardian suddenly awakens, and speaks directly to Spock.

Images of Spock’s life, and key moments in Federation History appear before his eyes, but they are not the events that Spock remembers. Spock never joined Starfleet, James T Kirk never became a Captain and never commanded the Enterprise, peace with the Klingons was never achieved, and with both the Federation and Klingon powers at war with each other, depleting resources, the Romulan Star Empire had emerged as the strongest Empire in the galaxy, and in doing so had conquered the Klingon Empire.

The Guardian informs Spock that he must choose moments from his life and ensure time is saved and events unfold as they should.

Spock chooses the moment he decided to join starfleet. Spock had won a scolarship to the prestigious Vulcan Science Institute. Only 1 Vulcan every 10 years was chosen, it was a tremendous honour. However, Spock had declined the offer and instead decided to join Starfleet.

This was expressly against the wishes of his father. They had a heated conversation, whereby Sarek accused his son of being like his emotional and banished half brother Sybok, and allowing his human blood to cloud his judgement. His mother, Amanda, is supportive of Spock’s decision.

The younger Spock is wavering, and does not wish to go against his father. Posing as his cousin Selek, from the future, Spock has a emotional conversation with his self, describing Nero’s plan and how future events have been altered, for the worst. He tells his younger self, of a deep bond and friendship between Spock and Kirk, and that the younger Spock must protect and help Kirk, and ensure events occur as they should. After an emotional conversation, the younger Spock agrees and joins starfleet.

416. Charley W - November 14, 2007


Best guess is that the Time Corps may have been formed in RESPONSE to the events in ‘CotEoF’. Kirk & Spock managed to salvage the situation, without help , and changing it would void the organization’s origin.

Still doesn’t help with ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’, though. Most of Trek’s other time incursions can be explained away, but that one CAN”T.

417. Tim Handrahan - November 14, 2007

McCoy: “You realize if we give him the formula, we’re altering the future.”

Scotty: “Why? How do we know he didn’t invent the thing?”

Didn’t see no time corps then!

418. Dennis - November 14, 2007

Hmm… What would I do to prevent Kirk from being a pain if I had a time machine? Maybe go back a million years, establish a Romulan colony or two, and make hunting anything that looks a little apish mandatory.

Yeah, time travel just to kill Kirk is bad. How about “Preator Spock” being the target, and young Kirk saves HIS life. A little more reason for specific action.

419. Mike - November 14, 2007

#413 wrote:
…The problem with the Time Corps is that there was no sign of them in several major time conumdrums such as: the original G of F episode or ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’; but for a relatively minor problem they blow their cover in Voyager…

Screenwriting was once described to me as a shorthand form of storytelling. Characters and actions–major or minor–that happen off camera still exist in context to the story, even though we don’t see them or they aren’t mentioned. Just because we don’t see the Time Corps or they are not mentioned, or they appear in a story with a minor violation and not a major one doesn’t mean they don’t exist or didn’t appear later. Don’t see this as contradictory.

#413 wrote:
But, if you accept ‘Yesteryear’ as Trek canon (which I don’t), that’s EXACTLY what he did!

I don’t either.

I feel each medium that TREK appears in, exist in it’s own universe whether comic books, novels, TV, movies, etc. I’ve always looked at the cartoon series as a universe unto itself. Movies and TV have a little bit more “kinship.”

Off camera, we don’t know what happened to Spock and the story itself, or events after the fact in ‘Yesteryear’. He could have been punished. His parents might have reported the incident to The Time Corps or a Vulcan equivalent. They would have sent officers, through time to correct what he did.

This would be exactly what the Time Corps would do, if Spock tried to change time and save Kirk or even warn him of his impending death. Their function being to prevent and correct possible contamination. That’s why it would be illogical for Spock to attempt such a thing. as a Federation rep, he probably took an oath not to interfere, unless absolutely necessary.

420. trektacular - November 14, 2007

415 just posted the plot sounds good

421. The Vulcanista - November 14, 2007


“Off camera, we don’t know what happened to Spock and the story itself, or events after the fact in ‘Yesteryear’. He could have been punished. His parents might have reported the incident to The Time Corps or a Vulcan equivalent. They would have sent officers, through time to correct what he did.”
You bring up some very interesting points.

Logic would dictate that probably nothing happened to Spock. The shuttle accident never happened after the timeline was repaired; therefore, the folks in the “real” timeline should have no memories of anything other than their pasts in the “correct” timeline.

That is what has always bugged me about “CotEoF” and that episode of Enterprise where they met their descendants, in which T’Pol rightly pointed out, “Then why do we remember them?” Did the memories just fade over time?

Time travel: It’s a conundrum, I tell you, a conundrum, and an especially tricky one at that!

And I’m telling y’all, there is WATER coming from the sky in ATL!! Swear to Vulcan!! WTF izzat?

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

422. crazybeach - November 15, 2007

For what it’s worth, guys

I Googled Bart LaRue. he sadly passed away in 1990.

If the GoF IS used, I have a suggestion for a voice.
Did anyone see Heavy Metal (The cartoon)? The guys that did the opening VO (and several characters in the film as well) was named August Schellenberg. I think he would be a worthy replacement for Mr. LaRue to voice the Gaurdian. (Assuming HE’s still kicking, that is! lol)

As to whomever said to just make it an Iconian Portal and not a GoF, think of it this way. The iconian portals were portrayed as being primarily technological, i.e., as being built by someone’s hand. The portals were also not portrayed as TIME TRAVEL devices, merely as an alternate means of Point-A-to-Point-B transportation.
The GoF is ALIVE, as far as being a sentient, albeit immobile, being, if perhaps an artificial one…

423. Cap'n Calhoun - November 15, 2007

As far as the Department of Temporal Investigations (the “time corps” from “Trials and Tribble-ations”) are concerned, keep a few things in mind:

#1: They shouldn’t have existed until at least 2366. Enterprise aside, “The Naked Now” was when they discovered time travel was possible.

#2: They don’t come until *after* a problem has already occurred to investigate it after the fact. They wouldn’t have appeared in any episode unless they specifically wanted to show them.

As far as the other “time corps” is concerned (I assume that #413 is referring to “Future’s End”), they appeared when, as far as they were concerned, Voyager had *already* caused a major catastrophe in the 30th Century. Hardly a minor mission.

424. will - November 16, 2007

does anyone know if Gary Mitchell will be in the plot

425. Closet Trekker - November 17, 2007

#424 How about Finney (“Court Martial”)?

426. DrTaylor - November 17, 2007

Personally, I’m all for the time-travel concept. Or at least willing to watch it. And I’ll even give a reason.

First Contact.

Right. Does anyone else remember that First Contact was a time travel movie? Who didn’t love First Contact? It had a great plot. And you know what made it great? The time travel was secondary. They were all about stopping the Borg, not anything else. (Funny historical sidebar – it’s also the last time the Borg were actually still scary.)

So, while it’s risky, I’d just like to toss out that the time travel actually adds an element of hope that I was missing.

Also, I’d like to react to the “Spock’s on the Guardian’s planet doing scentific research” theory. Have we gone stark raving mad? Where was Spock when we last saw him? Romulus. With who? The Romulans. In what capacity? Diplomat. He’s not a science officer anymore, people.

So more likely, Spock will be walking down a street and he’ll see a couple of guys talking. And his advanced Vulcan hearing (leaving out for the moment that Leonard Nimoy is actually wearing hearing aids now) will pick up “that will be the end of Kirk!” and some maniacal laughter. “Huh,” he’ll think, “that’s weird.”

But because he really loves Kirk (nature of that love to be debated at another time please) he’ll follow them anyway, all the way to the Guardian. Presto.

Just my two cents.

427. Closet Trekker - November 17, 2007

I don’t mind the time travel angle, if it is done correctly. Maybe”the Guardian” angle, though, is just rumor. It is hard to imagine that Abrams would be this far into the project and not have obtained permission to use it. And thank God that this is “Shatless”! I do not need another Lazarus-like ressurection, and Star Fleet does not need officers built like Santa Clauss! Let the young Kirk fornicate and fist fight his way across the cosmos. It has been along time since we’ve seen the Shat really bring it. Uh, 1982? (“Khaaaaaaaaaan!”)

428. PatrickG - November 21, 2007

Shatner learned about “Trials and Tribble-ations” from TV Guide, if memory serves. He was never consulted and when he complained, he was quietly given increased royalties on merchandise as a non-settlement settlement.

Studios don’t inform someone they think might sue them, I suspect. They consult with their OWN lawyers and if they decide they have a case, they move forward WITHOUT consulting someone who MIGHT have grounds to sue them.

I seem to recall Peter David using the Guardian of Forever in Imzadi. I wonder if he or other Star Trek novelists (including Shatner and his team) had permission. Or if the animated series had permission to use the GoF. Or the video games.

It seems to me that the studio may well have thought that if Ellison was going to contest use of the Guardian of Forever, he would have done it one of the last ten or twenty times it was used without his permission.

429. Tibs - December 6, 2007

Harlan Ellison is such a #@##@ primadonna! The man whines much better than he writes. Justman made his script workable and all he has done in the meantime is bitch and complain about how Star Trek made him marketable. His ego is astonishing.

430. Chris - January 25, 2008

I wonder if the “STARGATE” is an illegitimate child of the Guardian of Forever… ?

431. Queen Traphagen - April 21, 2011

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