Interview – Orci Answers Questions About New Star Trek Trailer

EXCLUSIVE: The first teaser trailer for Star Trek (showing now with Clovefield) may be the biggest thing to hit Trek in years and has sparked quite a bit of interest and even some controversy. TrekMovie.com has conducted a ‘post game interview’ with Star Trek co-writer and executive producer Roberto Orci to help sort it all out. Orci talks about JFK, Nimoy, Earth vs. space construction, the new Trek ‘Supreme Court,’ and more….read below.

TrekMovie.com: How does it feel to finally see something you have done with Star Trek actually on the big screen:

Roberto Orci: It is both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. There is no going back now.

TrekMovie.com: In my review I noted that the trailer seemed to be trying to make the connection from today to the future of Trek…was that the intention?

Roberto Orci: Absolutely. This is us. This is who we are. This is real. This is maybe not so far off in the future as it used to be. In the 60s the cell phone was a fantasy. Now the communicator that Kirk had is not as advanced as my iPhone. It is a different millennium for God’s sake. We are literally a century closer than we were before.

TrekMovie.com: You bring up the 60s. The trailer contains voices from the 60s space race, including John F. Kennedy. What was the thinking behind that? And is there some kind of JFK-Kirk link you are trying to make?

Roberto Orci: First of all, it has been written about that Kirk was in a way modeled after JFK. Like being the youngest captain ever, like Kennedy was the youngest President ever. Obviously the space race being kicked off by JFK is very much associated with Star Trek. It was also due to what we just discussed and linking it back to today. If we do indeed have a Federation, I think Kennedy’s words will be inscribed in there someplace. He kicked us off. And on a third level it is a slight nod to Star Trek Enterprise, in that we are not blind to the fact that going back to some of the more historical aspects of Star Trek that haven’t been covered in a while…that that is something that Enterprise tended to do as well.

TrekMovie.com: I have to ask…is the trailer actually going to be part of the movie itself?

Roberto Orci: No comment [laughs]

TrekMovie.com: Is that a new recording of Nimoy’s voice?

Roberto Orci: Yes. He recorded that on set just between takes.

TrekMovie.com: How many takes did it take to get it?

Roberto Orci: Not very many [laughs]

TrekMovie.com: Did you guys realize that when you set the construction of the USS Enterprise on Earth that it would spark controversy?

Roberto Orci: Of course.

TrekMovie.com: So what is your guys logic for setting it on land?

Roberto Orci: Besides the thematic stuff we discussed, which is to connect it to today and make it clear. Firstly, there is the notion that there is precedent in the novels, etc that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled here or there. And the second thing is that the Enterprise is not some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled. The idea that things have to be assembled in space has normally been associated with things that don’t have to be in any kind of pressure situation and don’t ever have to ever enter a gravity well. That is not the case with the Enterprise. The Enterprise actually has to sustain warp, which we know is not actually moving but more a warping of space around it. And we know that its decks essentially simulate Earth gravity and so its not the kind of gravity created by centrifugal force, it is not artificially created by spinning it. It is created by an artificial field and so it is
very natural, instead of having to create a fake field in which you are going to have to calibrate everything, to just do it in the exact gravity well in which you are going to be simulating. And the final thing, in order to properly balance warp nacelles, they must be created in a gravity well.

TrekMovie.com: Where did that come from?

Roberto Orci: That comes from our creative license. No one can tell me that it is not possible that in order to create properly balanced warp nacelles they have to be constructed in a gravity well.

TrekMovie.com: Did the dedication plaque [which has ‘San Francisco, Calif. written right on it] factor into your thinking?

Roberto Orci: Yes, that is part of where some of the canon, literary and other sources sparks from.

TrekMovie.com: But this does seem to fall into one of those canon grey areas where you guys made a call.

Roberto Orci: Exactly

TrekMovie.com: Looking at the reaction from this one little thing, are you now thinking about what it will be like for all the other judgment calls you made?

Roberto Orci: Not really. The main judgment call is going to be whether or not the theory of the movie works. And the theory sort of encompasses it…either you buy the movie or you don’t. So we aren’t going to sweat every little detail. We are going to sweat whether or not you buy our interpretation of it. But this is not a surprise. When we were constructing the trailer we knew that many were going to criticize it. We have our eyes wide open I think. But again, of course it is terrifying. I think I said on your site that in those times when canon is fuzzy, then we are ‘The Supreme Court’ right now and the court has to rule one way or the other.

TrekMovie.com: So who sits on the court?

Roberto Orci: It is the five of us: me, Alex [Kurtzman], JJ [Abrams], Bryan [Burk], and Damon [Lindelof]

TrekMovie.com: Can you confirm that it was San Francisco and not Area 51.

Roberto Orci: I can only confirm that it is not Area 51.

TrekMovie.com: What is being conveyed by the "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" thing?

Roberto Orci: Both the literal interpretation that we are putting the movie together, but also to convey the idea that this is something that this is something that could be coming soon. It is the idea that The Federation may exist may exist. The idea that the future is not nearly as far off as it was in the 60s.

TrekMovie.com: And why isn’t the title "Star Trek" in the trailer prominently?

Roberto Orci: No reason, other than it is our M.O. To make people ask ‘what is it.’ And those who know will say "it’s Star Trek."

TrekMovie.com: While we are on end credits, why are Spock’s parents (Ben Cross and Winona Ryder) listed, but Kirk’s parents (Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison) aren’t?

Roberto Orci: I dunno…I guess they must have better agents.? [laughs]

Full TrekMovie.com Coverage of the Star Trek Trailer:

Review – Star Trek Teaser Trailer [w/TRAILER VIDEO]

First Official Image of the USS Entperprise

Review – “Cloverfield”

…and the conversation continues
Mr. Orci has been kind enough to interact with the TrekMovie.com community from time to time (and continues to claim he reads every post). So keep track of the talkback below…you never know who might show up….and maybe some of you lurkers and new visitors could join in too.

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Captainclarkkent
January 19, 2008 2:51 am

yay first comment. There you go people, straight from the horses mouth. It even nods to star trek enterprise. I think we are in safe hands.

OR Coast Trekkie
January 19, 2008 2:53 am

A very “logical” approach here…

I like the choice of not putting Star Trek in the trailer. Most of America has a tendancy to automatically tune out anything Trek if they know it is Trek. Perhaps we, as Trekkies, should keep quiet as to what the trailer is about, so more people go to see it, it makes more money, and actually makes Star Trek “cool.”

Trekee
January 19, 2008 2:55 am

“either you buy the movie or you don’t. So we aren’t going to sweat every little detail. ”

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh God…..

(/ducks and covers)

Excellent interivew Anthony, and sorry all, but I like the fact that they aren’t 100% beholden to us, remember – they’ve shown more care for the fan base than I think *anyone* else would :-)

#1 – well yes, but what did you actually think?

Brady
January 19, 2008 2:56 am

nice. now wait for 900+ posts debating spelling and all other things of manner

Paul
January 19, 2008 2:58 am

Oh my, another of those “my cellphone is more advanced than Kirk’s communicator” we got from Braga all the time. :-/ Should I start doubting their competency after all?

Yes, I admit that Kirk’s communicator may look less advanced. But, well, that’s a matter of design, not a matter of function. Is your iPhone able to talk to any other iPhone worldwide, without any satellite or BBSs? Is it able to emit sonic waves strong enough to break thru rock? I guess not.

More advanced look does not mean more advanced functions. On the contrary. Military AP carriers look the same as they did back in sixties, yet they are most advanced vehicles available today.

AJ
January 19, 2008 2:59 am

Great stuff. I love the fact you have a “Supreme Court!”

Roberto, the fact that you lurk and contribute here means that, in some way, your contributions to the SC discussions must be tinged by our obsessive/compulsive (and sometimes valid) opinions. It’s a different era, and it feels great to know we have a voice.

Mr Phil
January 19, 2008 3:02 am

I’m liking the detail going into the story – sense of scale is superb.
Looking forward to seeing an HD version of the trailer.

roberto orci
January 19, 2008 3:04 am

6 WITHOUT A FRIGGIN’ DOUBT. WHY DO YOU THINK I SPEND SO MUCH TIME HERE?

Stanky McFibberich
January 19, 2008 3:04 am

6th!

Haven’t seen the trailer. I have heard that Nimoy is again doing the “Space, the Final Frontier…” business. As I mentioned in another thread, I didn’t like when he did that in II an III and that they changed some of the words. That should be a Shatner only thing or leave it out.

roberto orci
January 19, 2008 3:05 am

5. Forgive me. My comments should not be taken to mean that Kirk’s cell phone will be either more or less advanced than an Iphone.

AJ
January 19, 2008 3:07 am

#6: I cannot see the JJ’s new Trek Universe having gizmos which differ greatly from what we’re used to. Whether you talk into a box or a badge, you still need a microphone and a speaker. Communicators as tracking points for ship’s sensors is reality now through GPS. So that will most likely go away in the new film.

Phasers, photorps, transporters, tractor beams, warp and impulse. Hope it all makes it to the new film, because we cannot do it yet.

January 19, 2008 3:10 am

Roberto Orci: “No one can tell me that it is not possible that in order to create properly balanced warp nacelles they have to be constructed in a gravity well.”

ROTGLMAO.

Right on.

Devon
January 19, 2008 3:12 am

As long as Kirk’s communicator doesn’t use AT&T, he’ll be fine.

AJ
January 19, 2008 3:13 am

#13 ATT “Amen To That”

jon1701
January 19, 2008 3:16 am

Rob Orci, I just gotta say:

THE VAST MAJORITY OF US ARE BEHIND YOU.

Collectively, we’ve not been this excited in years. I can almost feel the internet straining under the weight of anticipation.

Keep it up. Everything looks great so far.

Mr Phil
January 19, 2008 3:17 am

Question for Mr Orci – what do you think of the leak of the trailer on the internet before the official release?
It does seem impossible these days not to have that – but then, it is extra publicity and creates more buzz…?

Kenny Posey
January 19, 2008 3:20 am

Anthony and Roberto…Do you guys ever sleep? Thanks for all you do Anthony and Roberto your input into this site with the fans is a reflection of youu love for the movie..thanks

Trekee
January 19, 2008 3:20 am

Emmm, I’d like to point out that due to an apparent flux in the space time continuum my comment at the end of my post which addresses Captainclarkkent isn’t actually aimed at him but at someone from an alternate universe. So no offence intended.

And if my iPhone could communicate with a starship travelling at warp half a solar system away without the use of a repeater inbetween, then I’d let it be a little bulkier and have a gold sieve on top too…

AJ
January 19, 2008 3:26 am

Anthony: Good news.

I have noticed many new tags on the site of late, and I can understand that it will be valuable to RO and fellow lurkers to get commentary from the non-obsessed. Good luck!

Also, the trailer made me tear up for sure. For a 43 y.o. fan, it was a TMP “Big E 1st glance” moment.

But a trailer with the Enterprise flying and phasering something might actually get the kids interested. It sounds stupid, but the health of Trek going forward depends on the younger generations. I will go with my kids, but they have to like it!

roberto Orci
January 19, 2008 3:30 am

17 Mr. Phil

It’s love/hate. I think leaks can hurt a movie. Bryan Burk was saying in sci-fi magazine that you just don’t want people to see things before they’re finished because, or in their intended place, because it can ruin the final product for them I always liken it to sneaking into a chef’s kitchen and then complaining that the dishes are undercooked. But we understand it’s a reality and we have chose to deal with it by being as open as we can about process, while trying to be legitimately less open about content until the right time.

You might be right about the buzz thing, but then I’ve never fully assimilated the lesson of Snakes on a Plane. Nothing is truly predictable, it only seems so in retrospect. Doing what you think is right according to your passion and understanding of what makes something work is all you can do. And hopefully, you surround yourself with as many like minded individuals as possible.

Papa Jim
January 19, 2008 3:33 am

I have been a Trek Fan since Day one. I used to watch TOS with my dad when it originally aired. I was involved in the original letter writing campaigns back in the 60’s. I was lucky enough to have met Gene Roddenberry and to see him lecture at Stanford back in 1974.

That being said, I believe this new incarnation of Star Trek could be Gene’s vision of Star Trek come true. Giving it a “Human” element is what it was all about.

January 19, 2008 3:34 am

Well said, Mr. Orci. When canon is fuzzy *you* are in charge and *you* define canon. Let’s keep the Trek going on!

Allister Gourlay
January 19, 2008 3:34 am

Anthony great job man you must be knackered…
do you have a family life? LOL!

“if my iPhone could communicate with a starship travelling at warp half a solar system away” imagine the roaming charges! Ill need to contact 02 here in the UK!

January 19, 2008 3:35 am

I don’t know how often I send my “Thank you” from Germany, but it cannot be done often enough. I’m also thankful to be able do do this now because it’s possible.

Thank you Anthony
Thank you Mr. Orci
Thank you all involved, who takes care of Trek AND of the Fans

This awakening “Trek Internet Nation” dearly needs an discussion board to cherish and come together. Comments are one thing and very cherished, but not the same as real discussions in a Moderated Forum with world wide access.

Any Chance that this will come true one day? Perhaps here or on the official page? It’s a loooooong year to come I fear and by now I’m glued here to refresh “trekmovie” every day, every minute I have time.

It’s a wonderful but also amazing time.

*crossing fingers for all who care for Trek*

jon1701
January 19, 2008 3:35 am

Canon smanon.

Episodes of TOS contridicted themselves week to week. They didnt realise every single line of dialogue would be dissected 40 odd years down the line…

:D

Adam
January 19, 2008 3:40 am

If this Movie has viral marketing we’ll probably see some web pages such as Cloverfield’s http://www.1-18-08.com/ and The Dark Knight’s http://www.whysoserious.com/
We should keep our eyes open for these web pages and post the info here. I havn’t found any yet.

January 19, 2008 3:44 am

I feel that this is a true revolution, guys. Trek is coming back to its own roots, when you could enjoy the *stories*. In the following years Trek has gone geeky, wrapped around a cumbersome canon built on stardates, events, starship specifics, technobabble and so on. All this geeky stuff has somewhat buried the Trek philosophy.
Star Trek is not didascalic knowledge of canon, but stories of men and women.

Darth Quixote
January 19, 2008 3:44 am

#2

I agree that people tend to tune out anything Trek. I saw Cloverfield tonight and after the trailer the girl behind us says, “Is that Star Trek?” to which her boyfriend replied, “Yeah, Star Trek is gay.” I just turned to him with a fist raised in solidarity and said, “You tell those nerds, brother.” I don’t think he understood I was mocking him.

Mr Phil
January 19, 2008 3:45 am

I think the times I’ve enjoyed films the most, are when I’ve seen the least about them before and not been waiting for bits I’d seen in the trailer.
Trouble is, curiosity is a powerful thing, and it’s so easy to get details now – could spoil the enjoyment of the film.
For me, as a fan of primarily the trilogy of films (ST2-4), then “finding” the other series and films, this reincarnation has got me interested in Trek again (after feeling a bit dissapointed at most of the Next Gen films, and Enterprise, especially the theme tune!). Thanks to the supreme court for that!

But on another matter, and I know it’s been said a million times, but a little voiceover from the Shat would bring a smile to the fans watching the film, and you just know, he’s by the phone waiting for the call…

Trekee
January 19, 2008 3:50 am

@21 – RO: I think the lesson on Snakes on a Plane is that you still have to make a good movie, and that the best bit can’t the the one line that the ‘fans’ voted for :-)

Following their model, if you made the film using all the requests that came from here, you’d have a cast of a hundreds, every character ever mentioned would have a cameo and it would all be about resurrecting Kirk from the Nexus.

Following Anthony’s comment about traffic, I think the word-of-mouth buildup that you are doing here and elswhere leading up to this teaser has made the last few days all the more delicious as we finally get to see just enough of the old/new girl to have us wanting more but we got a huge big bang when the teaser hit. No doubt there will be more as the proper trailers come along.

I can’t wait to see the trailer in non-blurovision…. :-D

Shameless Fanboy
January 19, 2008 3:57 am

I like what I see so far!

The trailer actually really reminds me of a time I visited a real shipyard on the River Clyde near Glasgow in Scotland. (The history of which inspired Gene Roddenberry to make the Engineer a Scot). Guys crawling all around this huge thing they were building; welders fixing things, scaffodling everywhere; overwhleming sense of presence coming from the big metal craft they were building. Very atmospheric place and the trailer I think really captures that.

Really hope we get to see the E “launch” and ascend from the ground too!

bugs a la nixon
January 19, 2008 3:58 am

canon could eventually kill trek

BAN CANON!

January 19, 2008 3:58 am

#5

Yes, that’s always been my thoughts whenever the Iphone vs communicator comparison was raised. Trek’s communicator could link from here to the moon without relays and massive infrastructure as a single discreet device, and communicate instantly. I think we’re a few years away from that!

Ali
January 19, 2008 4:02 am

Dear Mr Orci,
I found your comments on the future intriguing, as the thing which surprised me most about the trailer was the use of JFK’s voice. Trek has always been a source of optimism about the future, a lost optimism it has often seemed in recent years. I wonder, are you seeking to put that optimism and faith in a better future back into the collective consciousness? It seems to me to matter now more than ever, given the current fears about climate change, etc.

Devon
January 19, 2008 4:02 am

I was watching Bruce Greenwood give an interview from the Cloverfield to IESB (Roberto is of course there.. hoodie and all ;) and Bruce seemed very much like an authoritive figure, especially around the other actors. Not giving them orders in that sense, but how he handled and everything. But I think he would be the perfect part for a Captain in any Star Trek, glad he found a place as Pike.

Dab
January 19, 2008 4:03 am

I saw Cloverfield here in Toronto last night, and of course, the Trek teaser was a main reason for me going. I loved the trailer – was exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. However, there didn’t seem to be a huge reaction from the audience. A few excited murmurs (me and my group included there), no sarcastic comments from the “anti-Trekkies” – just general quiet. I guess, during these days where every audience seems to have a few jokers who will always try to make a sarcastic comment during films, that is a good thing. No one tried to make fun of the teaser.

On a more positive note, I did get the general feeling that everyone knew it was Star Trek. No one seemed to be wondering what it was, or asking their seat neighbors what they had just seen. Which I guess is a good thing – means Trek is still recognizable, even to the 20-something vapid morons who seemed to be filling this particular theater on this particular night. LOL

Mr. Orci, please pass this on to the whole team – GREAT JOB. In one manner, you have stoked the fires nicely for us seasoned Trek movie fans. And on the other, it seems you have at least piqued the interest of a new generation. Looking forward to the next teaser. ;)

Devon
January 19, 2008 4:06 am

#34 – Yes, but does the communicator allow you watch such GREAT quality videos such as that kid screaming “Leave Britney Alone” on such a terrific carrier such as AT&T? Not at all.

However, debates over Iphones vs. communicators are non-canon therefore I will be boycotting this movie.

AJ
January 19, 2008 4:08 am

#31: I just imagined your 2nd paragraph…sending every ST character and ship after one of the worst plot devices ever conceived for Trek. The fleet is led by Sybok and Lazarus.

SPB
January 19, 2008 4:27 am

I DON’T THINK IT’S UNREASONABLE TO ASSUME…

…that a second teaser, or part of the first full trailer, will feature footage of the Enterprise being ASSEMBLED in Earth orbit. Not only would it make sense in keeping with the “Under Construction” asthetic of the first teaser, but would help appease those (few) fans who somehow felt personally “stung” that they were denied the image of a TMP-esque drydock sequence.

Something you’d care to comment on, Mr. Orci, or maybe we’ll just get a :) out of you?

Adam
January 19, 2008 4:31 am

“TrekMovie.com: Can you confirm that it was San Francisco and not Area 51.
Roberto Orci: I can only confirm that it is not Area 51. ”

Why wouldn’t he be able to tell us it is San Francisco?… Unless it is not?

AJ
January 19, 2008 4:31 am

The 2nd trailer has to say more about the universe of NEWTREK, and show some flesh and blood characters in action without any nostalgia.

Trekkers have been assuaged by the teaser, and now it’s time to turn it up a notch IMHO.

January 19, 2008 4:33 am

I guess I am not the only one to have tried http://www.12-25-08.com … :-)

SPB
January 19, 2008 4:45 am

#14 Anthony-

My own take is that leaving the title “STAR TREK” out of the teaser, this early in the game, is to make non-fans more curious, in an effort to keep them more open-minded and get their butts in the seats for Christmas week in December.

Whether we like to admit it or not, TREK will ALWAYS have that “geek stigma,” and there is a good section of the movie-going public who probably couldn’t be dragged to a TREK film. I would hope that the teaser is enough for more open-minded non-fans to say to themselves, “Was that what I think that was?” And once the buzz starts to build full-force and the general public realizes that TREK XI is a ground zero reboot featuring a young Kirk and Spock, then maybe, just MAYBE, their curiousity will get the best of them and they’ll think, “Sure, I’ll kill two hours to see that on a Saturday night.”

I still have serious doubts that we’ll be looking at BATMAN BEGINS or TRANSFORMERS numbers for TREK XI, but I’m also firmly in the “cautiously optimistic” crowd that thinks it’s possible for the new film to do TMP, KHAN or VOYAGE HOME-type business. We shall see.

nyxtreme
January 19, 2008 4:53 am

28# “Star Trek is not didascalic knowledge of canon, but stories of men and women.”

I agree with you. Star Trek IS about the HUMAN adventure, OUR adventure! And that fact that the Supreme Court is balancing our passions (we being strict constructionists by literally following canon), with reality, is truly a sign that they are respecting our views.

As for the JFK sound bite, I like it. Hopefully, instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars on war, we can truly invest and focus on what really matters…space, the final frontier.

Mütze
January 19, 2008 4:54 am

“Star Trek” may not have been in the trailer typographically, but it sure was in the trailer musically.

Adam Grima (from Sydney)
January 19, 2008 4:58 am

Question for Roberto Oci:

You mentioned that seeing your work with Star Trek on the big screen is, “both wonderful and terrifying…there is no going back now.”

Have you ver ha ay doubts that your work quld no tbe well received, given the clear abundance of talent within the team. Or does that merely contribute to your trepidation (if any)?

Keep up the great work. Congratulations on all you have accomplished so far – creating anything with this franchise must cleary be the most heavily scrutinised work one could ever undertake,

Adam Grima (from Sydney)
January 19, 2008 5:00 am

sorry for the typing errors:

Question for Roberto Oci:

You mentioned that seeing your work with Star Trek on the big screen is, “both wonderful and terrifying…there is no going back now.”

Have you ever had any doubts that your work would no tbe well received, given the clear abundance of talent within the team. Or does that merely contribute to your trepidation (if any)?

Keep up the great work. Congratulations on all you have accomplished so far – creating anything with this franchise must cleary be the most heavily scrutinised work one could ever undertake.

Son of V'ger
January 19, 2008 5:01 am

Without William Shatner as James T. Kirk there is NO human adventure to continue, only JJ Abrams farce! Spock reciting Kirk’s “Space, the final frontier..” was a slap at Shatner, and to us!

Tanner Waterbury
January 19, 2008 5:03 am

If you are the REAL Mr Orci, roberto, then there is a question trekmovie forgot to ask: Why are you using Gabe Koerner’s ship? Please dont play the “No comment” game, cause we all know ita the Koerner design, the question im wondering is, why choose that design and did you guys edited it in some way (Dont reveal too much though!)

wpDiscuz