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Report From JJ Abrams’ German Star Trek Presentation + more movie details

As noted before by this site, Germans love Star Trek (or as TOS was first referred to, "Raumschiff Enterprise"). Earlier today JJ Abrams brought his travelling show to Cologne Germany. Below we have an exclusive first hand report on the event as well as some additional notes not brought up in our UK report yesterday. [Spoilers of course]

 

Germany is excited about Star Trek
The audience in Cologne’s Cinedom, a mix of movie people and journalists with a couple of fans thrown in for good measure, was thrilled, and JJ got lots of applause before and after every scene intro. He told us twice that it were the first time that he saw the trailer on such a huge screen (I wonder where they went in London yesterday?). The German fans will give the movie two thumbs up, and everybody I talked to was amazed by what JJ, Bob and the rest of the gang achieved.

The organizers of Germany’s biggest Trek Convention, FedCon were  invited, too, and they loved what they saw, and these folks know their Trek canon. Susanne Doepke from FedCon told me she was a bit afraid, but after she saw the footage she was giddily happy. The German TV station RTL shot an interview with her and Con chief organizer Dirk Bartholomae that will be aired next Tuesday.

I talked to Paramount International vice president Rob Moore, and he told me how happy the execs were with JJ’s work. The German head of Paramount, Sven Sturm, asked us to spread the word if we liked what we saw today. And the message from Cologne is clear, Star Trek is back with a big bang. As Nero says in the new trailer: "The wait is over."

Thoughts on the trailer and scenes.
First of all, it is a fantastic movie. Fast paced and funny, and Trek, too. It really speaks to everybody, not just the geeks… it works like Dark Knight and Bond. The Cologne event started at 9 AM with soft drinks and snacks, the lobby was filled with plasma displays showcasing artwork of the film, lots of stills and JJ and company in action shooting the movie, on the Kelvin and Enterprise bridge sets.

Notes on the displays

  • The concept drawing of Kirks bike sported a huge BMW logo (which I did not see in the footage)
  • The new Phaser pistol is silver and looks like a fusion of the TOS model and the ST V Assault Phaser
  • Lots of different shuttles were shown, the Enterprise has its own Medic Evac shuttle for example… In the hangar scene were everybody is rushed on board the shuttles to board the Enterprise because of the Vulcan crisis, one of them is called "Gilliam".
  • Artwork showed a guy in a space suit entering a chamber with something that looked like an enclosed, trapped black hole…
  • Lots of drawings from Vulcan with small ships fleeing from an ocean of lava, like Mustafar (from Star Wars Episode III)
  • The Kelvin Uniforms, while obviously older, appear to be all blue and the shirt has some strange thicker part from the back around the neck, looks a bit dated and fits nicely.

Much has already been covered yesterday from the UK event, here are some additional details

On the Bar scene

  • Jim Kirk lies on a table, says to entering Pike who saved him from the cadets fists "You have a great whistle"
  • Pike was on the Kelvin to finish his dissertation. Big fan of George Kirk. Saved 800 people, and your mother, and You. (So I guess Mrs. Kirk was pregnant while serving on the Kelvin…)
  • Pike has grey sideburns, and they are not pointed.
  • You love Pike from the moment he saves Kirk in the bar. He is the father figure in the movie and does a great job.

On the Kirk gets smuggled onto Enterprise by McCoy scene

  • JJ explains that when all hell breaks lose on Vulcan, and Starfleet puts together a hasty rescue mission UN style
  • Kirk, while in bad shape and half carried by Bones (due to ruse of getting him on as a patient), stumbles to a nurse and says "Hi Honey". Jim Kirk all the way.
  • The Turbo lifts sport two doors now, an inner transparent and an outer metal one.
  • Emergency mission appears to be maiden voyage, so Captain Pike is not sure about Chekov’s name…
  • Montage with Chekov explaining emergency to ship nicely done because we get a sense of the hugeness of the Enterprise, lots of different , busy departments are shown, always with Chekov talking on the various screens across the ship
  • Karl Urban is dead on McCoy
  • The Enterprise is very fast, Vulcan is reached very quickly and entering orbit shot has a strong reminder of the Millennium Falcon arriving at Alderaan.
  • Again, the space shots feel very real, great work from ILM.

On the scene with Kirk, Spock and Scotty on the ‘frozen planet’

  • This part must be later than the drill scene, because Spock as acting captain threw Kirk from the ship.
  • Old Spock knows that and awaits him down there (I guess)
  • Its an forgotten Star Fleet outpost anyway, and Scotty hangs out down there in a workshop with a small but funny alien.
  • It is a very warm and special moment between Old Spock and young Kirk, totally convincing. Pegg is just priceless.
  • Spock delivers the Star Fleet code to relieve his younger self to Kirk, reminded me of the Decker situation in "The Doomsday Machine"
  • Very nice Live Long and Prosper from Nimoy

On the scene with Kirk, and Sulu on the drill rig

  • Nero’s ship is really huge, and looks like a cross between an Christmas tree and a Shadow ship from Babylon 5
  • Nero asked for Pike to visit him, the transporters are down, so Pike takes a shuttle and uses this for the secret attack on the drill…
  • Enterprise Shuttlebay is huge, and full of shuttles.
  • Part of the Enterprise looks (guessing Engineer) where Pike, Kirk and Spock are walking looks like a factory (clearly shot on location)
  • Very funny moment when Pike makes Spock acting Captain, but Kirk first officer. They really don’t like each other.
  • Great visual sequence when the shuttle leaves the Enterprise, feels real as promised.
  • Olsen, the Chief Engineer in the red drop suit with the charges to blow up the drill platform, miscalculates the right time to open his chute, bounces off the platform and gets grilled in the drill beam.
  • Fighting Sulu is amazing, the sequence with his unfolding Katana is awesomely well choreographed.
  • When Sulu falls off and Kirk jumps after him, we hear the classical Communicator chime from Kirks wrist while he tries desperately to get beamed up.
  • Transporter effect great, gleaming and swirling.


German invite to the future of Trek

More from TrekNews.de
The folks at TrekNews.de also sent in a translation of their report with some additional notes on the production stills and concept art shown.

Stills:

  • Uhura in front of a console while Abrams directing her
  • Large Starfleet Auditorium
  • Captain Pike with Abrams on the Bridge
  • The Romulan Bridge which is *very* dark, cold and sharp
  • Interior of maybe the Engineering section or the Enterprise Construction Site (reminds of the engineering stuff in archers enterprise)

Concept art:

  • Kirks motorbike showing that it’s green with a HUGE BMW logo on it – in the movie the logo is gone and the bike is black but its still a BMW bike
  • Shuttle Hangar that reminds of the one from Battlestar Galactica
  • A red “Starfleet orbital Drop Suit” showing what you’d expect of such a suit
  • A Medical Shuttle that looks like how you would expect it too look
  • A very TOS-like Transporter room
  • Interior of a non specified space station?? with zero gravity and a guy in a space suit in it

Also here is a link to their full report (in German), which includes a video review (again in German)
 

Thorsten Wulff is Photojournalist and Graphic Designer, a total Mac head and so he feels right at home on the iBridge… He discovered Star Trek at the age of five and followed the prime directive (beam down and kiss the girl) since then…check out some of his stuff at thorstenwulff.com, (English version in the works…)

Sort by:   newest | oldest
The Wild Man of Borneo
November 13, 2008 1:31 am

wow amazing, fantastic! wicked cool! These guys are doing everything right! I am eating up everything they do. OMG I think this movie is going to be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. I love that nothing resembles anything to Star Trek (except the uniforms). They’re massacring my child hood and it’s soooooo cool!

Enterprise
November 13, 2008 1:31 am

Man, this is going to be a fantastic Trek movie!

November 13, 2008 1:36 am

Wow.

Ensign Ruiter
November 13, 2008 1:38 am

Wrist communicators and glass turboshaft doors…is this all tied to Spock’s kicking Kirk out on the frozen planet and old Spock’s intervention? Is this for certain an alternate timeline? If it was would al the canon people be happy? It would be very convenient and would explain a great deal.

Commodore Redshirt
November 13, 2008 1:39 am

I’m getting more excited almost by the minute!
I LOVE THESE SPOILERS!

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 1:40 am

Mixed feelings. Great to see so many planets – Mustafar and Hoth were my favourites in terms of atmosphere from Star Wars, so it is good Trek also has a volcanoes on Vulcan and an ice world now.

BMW logo – I detest product placement. Suppose that I will just have to live with it, this being a Hollywood film.

Still VERY concerned that this will be too much of a military/space battle film. I want something about exploration and philosophy, suitable for the family. We are bombarded with enough killing and military images on the nightly news.

Brad
November 13, 2008 1:40 am

Pics or it didn’t happen!

devon Richards
November 13, 2008 1:40 am

Funny things is, we hear all this great stuff, and half the people who read it are going to go straight to the IMDB boards and start screaming sacrilage. The more I hear about this movie, the more I can’t wait to see it.
Whether we want to admit it or not, Trek needed saving – and this movie might just do the trick. And then some!!
( ps – Anthony, any thoughts on the personal e-mail I sent you a while back?)

Enterprise
November 13, 2008 1:42 am

The part about the Trapped black hole sounds wicked.

Kirk, James T.
November 13, 2008 1:49 am

This sound’s absolutely amazing, seriously if this film doesn’t do well then i’ll eat my Star Trek action figures, sounds absolutely amazing and this is from only 20 random minutes from a 2 hour movie, wow!

JJ Abrams might just become the new Steven Spielberg or George Lucas or Christopher Nolan – or all three! with this movie and put Star Trek back right up there kicking Star Wars’ arse haha :P

Brad
November 13, 2008 1:51 am

There is no doubt that JJ is going to become the next Spielburg. Lucas? Ummm, did you see any of the new Star Wars movies??

FishHead
November 13, 2008 1:51 am

wow….. its fantastic

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 1:52 am

Re: 9. Very prescient, given the public hysteria about the Large Hadron Collider! :-)

Kirk, James T.
November 13, 2008 1:53 am

one thing, what is Nero doing? i mean what are his motives now? seems to me he’s just a nasty piece of work going round destroying planets?

I thought he was sent back in time to assassinate Kirk? or did he try to do that on the Kelvin?

Devon
November 13, 2008 1:57 am

Well this certainly does help lift me back up!

Thanks for the report Thorsten!

BTW, a couple of more people have seen the new Trek Trailer. Word is AMAZING and this movie is going to be huge!

Devon
November 13, 2008 1:58 am

“I thought he was sent back in time to assassinate Kirk? ”

Fan speculation it seems.

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 2:04 am

Slightly off-topic: Amongst the pictures/screen captures for the new film, have any of you looked at that picture of Spock standing in front of a viewscreen/porthole closely? You will find a reference to a certain infamous android from the last Trek film in that picture.

OR Coast Trekkie
November 13, 2008 2:05 am

Come on Friday… get here…
Come on May… get here…

Danya Romulus
November 13, 2008 2:07 am

14/16

What I gleaned from the previous reports was this (please correct me if wrong): it seems like Nero is drilling a huge hole thing into Vulcan in order to simultaneously destroy Vulcan and create a black hole he could travel through to kill young Kirk. The second part of that I am deducing from the fact that in one of the writeups they said that Kirk makes some remark about how the environment around Nero’s drill site is reminiscent of a huge bizarre storm he saw in Iowa as a child. Did others interpret it this way too?

Devon
November 13, 2008 2:09 am

6 – “BMW logo – I detest product placement. Suppose that I will just have to live with it, this being a Hollywood film.”

Perhaps you should re-read the post. It says that the BMW logo was only in the concept art, but not in the final footage (which do you think counts?)

As far the Space Battles vs. Philosophy thing.. please, I don’t want to see a 2 Hour episode of Frasier on the big screen ;) Maybe enough that it isn’t boring, but it should tell a good story first and foremost.

Devon
November 13, 2008 2:14 am

19 – “What I gleaned from the previous reports was this (please correct me if wrong): it seems like Nero is drilling a huge hole thing into Vulcan in order to simultaneously destroy Vulcan”

Sounds likely.

“and create a black hole he could travel through to kill young Kirk”

MOST definitely not. For one, not sure if you know how Black Holes work but Black Holes absorb all light and everything else as it basically destroys anything in it’s path because it’s gravity is so strong. Nero can’t travel through a black hole because he would just be stretched to a 10 mile long spaghetti string! Not sure how you deduced that. If Nero was fixated on killing Kirk.. then he should just destroy the Enterprise I’m assuming. It sounds like his fixation is Vulcan for whatever reason.

Smike van Dyke
November 13, 2008 2:15 am

Kelvin uniforms are all blue ? Cool. Nice homage to the ENT era…

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 2:19 am

“As far the Space Battles vs. Philosophy thing.. please, I don’t want to see a 2 Hour episode of Frasier on the big screen ;) Maybe enough that it isn’t boring, but it should tell a good story first and foremost.”

Understand your concerns but it doesn’t have to be that way. Tarkovsky was certainly able to make philosophical science fiction films that were not like Frasier or preachy in the slightest. I agree, we need a good story and a series of space battles is NOT a good story either.

Devon
November 13, 2008 2:20 am

“space battles is NOT a good story either.”

Maybe it is if there is something else underlying going on. The Wrath of Khan proved this!

Devon
November 13, 2008 2:22 am

19 – Go to Wikipedia and read up on Black Holes for fun. I may have slightly botched my explanation for Black Holes.

Smike van Dyke
November 13, 2008 2:25 am

#21: The fixation is Vulcan because Nero seems to be obsessed with depriving his ancestors of their homeworld and maybe forcing them into becoming volatile like the Romulans…he definitely belongs to an Anti-Surak-Cult of some sort…

One thing’s for sure: the destruction of Vulcan is the second-largest rupture in the known Star Trek universe (next to destroying Earth)…If successful, the entire shape of the future will change…Imagine hundreds of Vulcan ships galavanting around the galaxy in search of a new home or a large Vulcan minority on Earth and other Federation planets…

James
November 13, 2008 2:33 am

A lot of this movie sounds very cool, but in light of this glut of spoilers, I am starting to develop some reservations.

I don’t like the new Enterprise, for one – and it doesn’t appear that I’m alone.

The references to Star Wars also worry me. I know it has to appeal to a mainstream audience, but the last thing anyone wants of this is an imitation of Star Wars.

Ah, I don’t know. Guess I’ll just have to wait to see the trailer. Roll on!

November 13, 2008 2:42 am

How do you say “SWEET!” in German?

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 2:44 am

re 24. The literary references give Wrath of Khan some added depth as does the fact that he has very genuine grievances against Kirk (as does David.)

Nonetheless, I do not like the military emphasis in this film and I actually prefer its predecessor.

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 2:44 am

re 24. The literary references give Wrath of Khan some added depth as does the fact that he (Khan) has very genuine grievances against Kirk (as does David.)

Nonetheless, I do not like the military emphasis in this film and I actually prefer its predecessor in many ways.

Admiral_Bumblebee
November 13, 2008 2:53 am

If Vulcan gets blown up, there is no Mount Seleya for Spock. So he was never resurrected. But if he was never resurrected, how could he travel back in time in Star Trek IX?

Even more Life Like
November 13, 2008 2:56 am

Let me guess what the sequel will have…. Klingons!

Ashley
November 13, 2008 3:03 am

I think #1 pretty much summed it up xD …I can’t wait, I think the acting, characters, story, look, feel, sound, and most everything else are going to be spectacular. :)

November 13, 2008 3:09 am

#4
I think the wrist communicator in that scene is due to Kirk wearing a spacesuit. I’m assuming they would normally have the flip style communicators.

TheCap
November 13, 2008 3:17 am

Cool….

Can’t Wait….

The Enterprise will be great in full action, just wait and see!

Mike D
November 13, 2008 3:24 am

#26 – I wonder, what if it’s not about taking out the second most important planet in the Federation, or the Federation at all, but just Vulcan itself? Think about it – last we saw Spock, he’s leading the reunification movement on Romulus. There’s a signifigant passage of time, as he’s apparently older in the new movie. And although it would be nice to forget that Nemesis happened, it does establish that Romulus is in some pretty deep political chaos. What if Spock uses this, and the reunification movement surges forward, becomes mainstream, and reunification actually happens? Surely there would be some kind of backlash from Romulan traditionalists…. maybe the sort of crazy Romulan traditionalists that might get all tattoo happy and just try to destroy Vulcan (or Spock) completely, back before it could become a threat?

Screwing up the timeline might just be an unintended consequence, or a happy bonus.

Hans
November 13, 2008 3:45 am

This film just sounds better and better with every update, it sounds like they are doing a wonderful job. You know, the product placement doesn’t worry me, I mean are we to assume that the Earth of the Federation becomes a sterile land of state monopolies in which there is no product variation, where everyone wears the same clothes, does the same thing? Bring it on.

This truly sounds Star Trek brought kicking and screaming up to date and I love it.

Sebi
November 13, 2008 3:51 am

@28

Echt stark!

siridi
November 13, 2008 4:05 am

i get to watch the original sulu on i’m a celebrity get me out of here, i wonder if he’ll bitch about shatner. as long as this new film gives me a tall ship and stars to steer it by then i think i may enjoy this. sometimes different can be good.

Red-Shirted Monkey
November 13, 2008 4:27 am

“You love Pike from the moment he saves Kirk in the bar. He is the father figure in the movie and does a great job.” Really? Really? So much for “I met him when he was promoted to fleet captain.”

“Did you guys ever WATCH the show?!?””
– Guy Fleegman in Galaxy Quest

Jeffrey S. Nelson
November 13, 2008 4:27 am

It bothers me that all the crew are together at once. Chekov shouldn’t show up until much later. Spock never met Kirk until years after his his service under Pike. The Menagerie imples this. Where No Man Goes Before obviously introduces Spock to Kirk for the first time. Likely Kirk never met McCoy until Kirk got his first five year command. The movie plot just takes too many liberties…with CANON!!
And that new Enterprise design just sucks!

Kerr Avon
November 13, 2008 4:27 am

It IS good to read how positive all the comments on this particular thread are.

I was absolutely disgusted by the negative, utterly juvenile and downright abusive comments directed at the designer of the “new-look” Enterprise by some people in the previous thread. Glad things are much more civilised here now.

November 13, 2008 4:38 am

A bit off topic, but… George Takei to win I’m A Celebrity:
http://celebrity.itv.com/TheCelebrities/george-takei/

:)

Hans
November 13, 2008 4:38 am

Well I’m glad we almost got to 50 posts before the canon bores started crying.

November 13, 2008 4:43 am

Nice to hear Fedcon mentioned. Wish I could have been there but since I’m here in Florida, I’ll wait to see the trailer tomorrow during QOS.

I’m curious to see if the Kirk/Spock chemistry is as evident as it is in the original. It’s time for TREK to make a comeback!! I’m ready.

Come overseas my fellow Americans. We Rock!!!

Marc B. Lee
American Business Manager
FedCon GmbH

cugel the clever
November 13, 2008 4:47 am

#31. Admiral_Bumblebee – November 13, 2008
“If Vulcan gets blown up, there is no Mount Seleya for Spock. So he was never resurrected. But if he was never resurrected, how could he travel back in time in Star Trek IX?”

This type of classic paradox was explained nicely in TNG episode “Parallels”. The idea is that there are multiple possible parallel universes, each different because of differing actions, decisions, etc that were taken at a crucial point. For example there are universes where the Borg defeat the Federation and control the galaxy, there is the “mirror universe”, etc. In this scenario, it is possible for the old Spock to exist in a universe where he was never “born” – all that is happening is that the old Spock is from one universe (of the multiverse) and he is going back to an earlier time period of a different universe.

Simple.

Captain Cannon
November 13, 2008 5:06 am

Looks like we have another “Phantom Menace” here guys! I won’t bother going to the cinema to see this film, I will get a “pirate” copy and watch it at home!

Admiral_Bumblebee
November 13, 2008 5:12 am

#46
But then why would it be so difficult to include William Shatner as old Kirk?

November 13, 2008 5:33 am

42. Jeffrey S. Nelson – November 13, 2008
“Chekov shouldn’t show up until much later.”

We have never been told that he isn’t a superclever kid who worked in the enterprise before TOS. Never.

“Spock never met Kirk until years after his his service under Pike. The Menagerie imples this. Where No Man Goes Before obviously introduces Spock to Kirk for the first time.”

I fully disagree. There is absolutely anything in the episode implying such a thing. It is an interpretation you make of the episode, but it doesn’t say so explicitly.

“Likely Kirk never met McCoy until Kirk got his first five year command.”

They are all good friends by the time TOS begins. It has never been explicitly said that they didin’t know each other for years before TOS, nor is there anything at all in this issue needing an explanation diferent than “it is your interpretation of the series, but the series neves explicitly said so”

“The movie plot just takes too many liberties…with CANON!!”

Yes, it takes some, all of them due to the bad guy travelling back in time to mess up with history and explained because of the actual plot of the movie, but not any of the ones you just complained about.

“And that new Enterprise design just sucks!”

That’s a matter of oppinion. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry.

November 13, 2008 5:38 am

I thought that this movie was going to be Spock centric. But from what we’ve “seen” it’s all about Kirk.

But then again this 20 minutes could mean nothing in terms of story.

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