EXCLUSIVE: As the creator of the independent fan production Star Trek New Voyages, James Cawley has sought to recreate an exact replica of Star Trek The Original Series, right down to the braid on Kirk’s sleeve and the color of the bridge railing. So it is not surprising that he has been on the skeptical side with regards to JJ Abrams’ Star Trek ‘re-invigoration.’ But a chance encounter on the Paramount lot has turned the purist Calwey around…so much so that he is now literally ‘on board.’ In an exclusive video interview (below) Cawley tells TrekMovie.com all about his new Trek adventure and what he now thinks of Abrams and his new Enterprise.
Below is a summary of the interview with some select quotes from Cawley regarding his time at Paramount with director JJ Abrams and his new crew.
Cawley on his chance encounter with JJ Abrams on the Paramount lot
As we walked past the entrance to [stages] eight and nine, it was like the hand of fate. There was JJ Abrams walking out. He looked at me and I looked at him….as I turned to say hello he instantly said to "I know you, you are James Cawley."
After running into Abrams, Cawley was invited to visit the set where they are currently shooting scenes on the bridge of the Enterprise. Cawley offers his thoughts on his visit.
He is such a normal down to Earth nice man. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but to experience his generosity and his humor was the best of it all.
Does Abrams get Star Trek?
One of the conversations with JJ I had was about his feelings about Star Trek. And that’s what absolutely sold me on JJ Abrams. He said how much he believes in the philosophy of Gene Roddenberry, the humanity, and the message that The Original Series delivered. That ‘s his focus. That put everything in perspective for me. I thought ‘things don’t have to look the same as long as the message and the heart is there.’ And he’s got it
On the sets and the bridge
I like the set. The bridge is spectacular, absolutely stunning, but it is not what I would have done. But I think the fans are going to go ‘woah’ I think people are going to be genuinely stunned. I think people are going to be impressed. It is a beautiful set.
On the costumes and uniforms
The uniforms are perfect, spot on perfect. I wouldn’t have done anything any different. When I saw the look of what he was going for, he’s got it.
On actors’ performances
Brilliant. I think these people I the characters. And I think these peole have a handle on these characters and keep them familiar to all of us…These guys are going to be very well respected and I think they are going to shock a lot of people. When they come out people are going to say ‘why did we ever think nobody else could play these parts.’
After James’ visit at the Star Trek set last week he was offered a role in the film. He has been fitted for a costume and has to report for work on the set today (Wednesday Jan 23rd). All he knows is that he will be playing a Starfleet officer on the Enterprise.
James still considers himself ‘a purist,’ and admits that he would have done things differently, but rejects the notion that he has been ‘assimilated’ by the offer of a role. Cawley explains
No two people are going to share the same ideas. I can like aspects of it, even though they are not my choices…If I had been in his position I would have done things a little differently because I am not JJ Abrams. He has an idea and is going to follow that to the end, just like we do with New Voyages…We can have differences of opinions and still enjoy each other’s work. Would I have made some design changes? Sure! Would I have made a red button, blue? Ya! Are his sets spectacular? You better believe it!
TrekMovie.com thanks James for sharing his adventure with us and wishes him the best on his exciting day today on board a different Enterprise.
Cawley (seated) on the set of “Star Trek New Voyages”
For more on James Cawley and Star Trek New Voyages, visit startreknewvoyages.com