Report From JJ Abrams New York City Star Trek Presentation

JJ Abrams has finally brought his world tour previewing the Star Trek movie to the US of A. On Tuesday he stopped in New York City and showed the same set of clips he showed in Europe to local press and film industry folks. TrekMovie has a first hand report along with links to additional media reports. [SPOILERS ahead]

 

JJ In The Big Apple
by Vincent Gregg

JJ Abrams came to New York Monday night to hold his Star Trek preview at the AMC LOEWS on 34th Street. Like with the European stops, there were six to eight plasma displays with posters in the lobby, but unfortunately there were no Trek-themed cupcakes. The audience was packed and very receptive to the clips. The largest applause was after the Older Spock Clip. JJ was brief and repeated much of what’s already been covered here at TrekMovie.com.

JJ opened saying he wasn’t a Trek fan when he was young and said that he was drawn to the fact that that Star Trek is "our future" as opposed to Star Wars is "long time ago in a galaxy far away." But he also noted that he originally thought he would just produce the film and didn’t think directing it would "fit into his body of work" However he was "sold" after reading Orci and Kurtzman’s script and being encouraged by his wife, so he decided to direct it. And now he calls himself a "huge" Trek fan, mostly due to the characters

Regarding the villain Nero played by Eric Bana, Abrams retold a story about showing the movie to a director friend and the director wanted to know who played Nero because he didn’t recognize him. JJ said it was Eric Bana. The other director said, "NO WAY, THAT’S BANA!" He said that Bana doesn’t play the typical sci fi bad guy and brings a special realism to Nero.

He also echoed how unbelievable it was to work with Leonard Nimoy and that one day he wanted to give some "notes" to Nimoy on a certain scene. Then he started to realize, how can he give notes on how to play Spock to Leonard Nimoy. But Nimoy wanted JJ to be open with him and give him notes and feedback. JJ kept emphasizing how great it was to work with him.

Closing remarks were brief. Loud applause. Event was over. Wasn’t longer that 40 minutes total.

Scene with Spock, Kirk and Scotty rife with Trek homages
As for the clips, it has all been reported before, but there is some interesting Trek-angles on the scene with Kirk and elder Spock meeting Scotty. Older Spock gives Scotty his formula on Trans Warp Beaming. After seeing the formula, Scotty says "of course, it never occurred to me that it was actually space that was moving". It was noted that he could be breaking some rule giving Scotty a formula from the future and the scene was reminiscent of when Scotty gave the formula for transparent aluminum to someone from the past in Star Trek IV.  The ‘Trans Warp’ beaming is necessary to get Kirk back to the Enterprise after Spock sends him to the Ice Planet. Also Young Kirk asks older Spock why he cant come back with him. Spock says its not his destiny. Spock tells "Jim" that he can never tell his younger self about their meeting. Spock advises Kirk to relieve young Spock of his duties as Captain by emotionally compromising him (like in "This Side of Paradise") then using regulation 619 (like Decker in “Doomsday Machine”) to relieve him as being unfit for duty. Spock assures Kirk (knowing how he is feeling as younger man) that this will work. As Kirk is ready to beam back to the Enterprise, he reminds Spock that going back in time to change history is cheating. Old Spock says, yes, I learned it from an old friend. Tells Kirk to Live long and prosper." All in all, it is an amazing sequence.

Also the scene on the drill includes a moment when Spock calls for the chief medical officer. McCoy answers to tell Spock that the chief medical officer is dead on deck 6. Spock matter-of-factly tells McCoy that he is now the chief medical officer. An overwhelmed McCoy sarcastically tells Spock, "Yea, tell me something I don’t know". This was a beautiful classic McCoy / Spock banter moment.

Final thoughts
Quick thoughts as Trek fan for over 30 years is:

  • Karl Urban is McCoy. Dead on. Steals the show!! De Kelley would really be proud.
  • Anton Yelchin plays a better Chekov (as an actor) than Walter Koenig. He is the same Chekov. The accent is perfect and so is his dialogue. Just well done!
  • Chris Pine is Kirk. He holds the screen. He is not Shatner, but he is a leader and you see him grow as a man in these 4 clips alone.
  • Bruce Greenwood is the new Pike. Plain and simple. What an actor. I know his performance would make Gene Roddenberry proud.
  • Quinto is Spock. Didn’t see enough of him in these clips to really make a determination. I liked what I saw though.
  • Zoe and John Cho are fine as their characters. Uhura is a tough woman but didn’t get much from their performance other than that
  • I found Simon Pegg to be slightly disappointing in his take on Scotty, but again, not enough to make a real judgment call. He has Scotty’s spirit but delivers him in a different way. Might take some getting used to.
  • Finally, the Enterprise is awesome. The exterior looks nothing like that still shot Paramount released. Fans need to relax.

JJ ruffles some feathers?
Friend-of-the-site, and fellow Trekkie, Jordan Hoffman of UGO was also at the event (see his full report). While impressed with the footage, he took some umbrage at Abrams ‘I’m not a fan’ routine. From Jordan’s report:

J.J. Abrams struts up like the smartest kid in Hebrew school.  The first thing out of his mouth – the very motherloving first thing out of his mouth – is “I’ve never been a fan of Star Trek.”

WTF?!??!  Not only is this insulting and lame, it is rehearsed.  He’s said this in interviews fifteen times already.  Maybe he thinks it is cute, but I just find it rude.

Jordan’s point about being ‘rehearsed’ is well made. JJ just came off his Euro tour and he has been repeating the "I was not a fan" line everywhere he went. In Europe, especially where Trek has not played well, this is actually a smart move in order to bond with the crowd and send the message this is not the Trek they thought of, but a new thing. To put this in Trek perspective, JJ is acting like Riker in "A Matter of Honor" when he is acting like a Klingon to get respect when aboard the Klingon ship. However, here in the States he is far more likely to have true-believers in his audiences and he should maybe pull back on the ‘not a fan’ thing. 

More media reports
The event in NYC has been reported on by a multitude of other organizations. Here are links to the reports [NOTE:  contain the same spoilers as the reports from Europe]:

More TrekMovie Abrams Tour coverage
TrekMovie has been following Abrams around the globe, and we have provided first hand reports from each of his stops (except Rome, and we are still working on that one). See below for each city report:

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest
November 18, 2008 12:22 pm

Dear Sir JJ™,

You’re the best! Star Trek comes back in 2009!!!

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

Keith H
November 18, 2008 12:22 pm

So excited for this film!

the_law
November 18, 2008 12:25 pm

interesting

Noga
November 18, 2008 12:27 pm

sounds awesome

Kirk, James T.
November 18, 2008 12:28 pm

that hoffman guy can seriously take a step back and be quiet – you know, who cares if Abrams didn’t like Trek – not everyone does.

Jon S.
November 18, 2008 12:29 pm

Trans Warp Beaming?

Methinks the technobabble is getting a bit silly.

the_law
November 18, 2008 12:30 pm

@ 6 Jon S.

I think it just means transporting while a ship is traveling at warp speed. Not like Borg trans warp.

I'm dead Jim
November 18, 2008 12:31 pm

I wish I hadn’t read the spoilers. BUT IT SOUNDS GREAT!!!!! Second?

I'm dead Jim
November 18, 2008 12:32 pm

D’oh! 8th!

the_law
November 18, 2008 12:33 pm

so…………………..when’s the next trailer come out?

Terence T
November 18, 2008 12:34 pm

It’s good to hear that Kirk pissed off Spock for a real reason.

Greg
November 18, 2008 12:34 pm

YouTube video’s from that 20 minutes?

November 18, 2008 12:35 pm

I can’t wait for May 2009. I loved the trailer and can’t wait for the film. Everyone who is so worried is basing it off of trailers and pictures. I personally can’t wait to see how the story plays out.

CmdrR
November 18, 2008 12:36 pm

I can cut and paste, you know. Soon I’ll have the entire script.
Jeez. 6 more months? Enough spoilers. Serve the movie up pipin’ hot!

CmdrR
November 18, 2008 12:37 pm

Eeeeeeew. Grunberg showed his belly on Heroes! Now I must gouge out my eyes!

Mateo NYC
November 18, 2008 12:37 pm

Christ, we still have like six months left…

Chris H
November 18, 2008 12:40 pm

I’m very very satisfied with that report.

‘Awesome’ makes me want to weep again.

.”I am my own beginning, my own ending.”

Flake
November 18, 2008 12:41 pm

Ok I just had a vision that after the end credits we will see Spock returning to the future and bumping into ShatnerKirk.

You heard it here first.

Sorry I just had to share that :P

Commodore Redshirt
November 18, 2008 12:41 pm

I think it’s a good thing JJ keeps on reminding us he’s “not a fan”…
And now, after getting to know Spock, Kirk, Scotty, and the rest…
he is now a HUGE fan.
I hope all the many non-Trek fans in the States relate to him.

November 18, 2008 12:42 pm

I’m really happy you finnaly got to see those scenes yourself, Anthony.

When we talked on the phone the other day, I was dying to talk with you about them.

None of our reports have talked much about the acting itself and the character moments in those scenes, have they?

I’m sure we are all going to enjoy this movie (and the next ones)

RTC
November 18, 2008 12:42 pm

My memory cells might be failing me, but wasn’t there something like transwarp beaming in James Blish’s Trek novel, “Spock Must Die”? Orci and Kurtzman did say they looked at many of the novels as part of their research…..

Flake
November 18, 2008 12:42 pm

I think we need a round-up of all these articles and whether or not they where positive or negative about the scenes they saw, and pick out some of the superlatives too. I mean the guy at IESB pretty much thought it was the best thing he had ever saw! That must count for something.

CompaniaHill
November 18, 2008 12:43 pm

Can we PLEASE have J.J. personally hunt down and bitch-slap whatever marketing moron decided it would okay to use flipped images in both the TOS-Remastered promos AND the new movie trailer? It’s unbelievably sloppy, and shows poor respect for the material as well as for all the incredible work and attention to detail that has been paid by the rest of the production crew.

Jon S.
November 18, 2008 12:43 pm

@7

Well, as I recall TNG had both near-warp transport and warp transport, but in order for the latter to work the two ships had to match their velocity. Maybe Kirk’s trying to beam to the Enterprise as it’s entering warp?

Donn
November 18, 2008 12:45 pm

Trans = across

Warp = the field that allows faster than light travel

Beaming = transference of matter via an energy beam

As technobabble goes, Trans Warp Beaming is not a terribly difficult phrase to wrap your brain around, as long as you’ve watched enough Star Trek to have heard of “Warp” and “Beaming.”

DarthLowBudget
November 18, 2008 12:45 pm

23:

Actually, flipped images in trailers is nothing new. Happens all the time, for a lot of movies. It’s usually done, like it was in the trailer, to maintain a continuity of motion. For instance, in the trailer most things at the end sequence move from left to right, so they flipped that Spock shot so it wouldn’t be jarring for the audience.

HMS Enterprise
November 18, 2008 12:46 pm

I am loving what I’ve seen so far. I just hope it all holds up when I can watch the film in its entirety and that its a success.

November 18, 2008 12:49 pm

RE: Anthony’s view

I have yet to have my viewing, the above report was from our man in NYC.

It looks like us folks in LA are the last stop

LostonNCC1701
November 18, 2008 12:49 pm

I think it’s a good move to admit he was never a Trek Fan. However, he should be more careful about the terms. I mean, he should make it clear he never had anything AGAINST Star Trek, just that he never got into it.

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
November 18, 2008 12:50 pm
Pike also tells Spock something to the effect of “The ship is brand new don’t break it” This validates my brillian theory from yesterday I am right on target. If you want to be dazzled, impressed and shocked by my genius, read my post originally seen and revered in the big trailer release posting from yesterday. Her it is my children , you know I am right!!!!!, Discuss: notice the older TOS style constitution class secondary hulls when the E warps into the big space battle Notice the Klingons apparently returned to their wonderful TOS human fiendish Ottoman-Commie- Mogol looks and the ridges are only a part of the decorative headpiece armor they wear. At the very least the ridges will be more subtle ala General Chiang. In one of the earlier spy photos it appears Sulu is fighting a baddie with very subtle riges so maybe some Klingons are allied with Nero as well. – NICE Notice Nero is a prisoner of the Klingons Notice big grand canyon like bluffs in the background as young Ani-Kirk dupms Pappy’s vette into the chasim. I suspect this is the grand Canyon and young Jim tore ass out of Iowa to drive to Starfleet Command for some reason. The Robocop catches up with him somewhere in Utah, Colorado?? Notice the Kelvin not only gets pummled but Rams it’s advesarry as well and will be destroyed Here’s my take after patiently sipping up all the inuendo and bits and pieces we have been… Read more »
Holger
November 18, 2008 12:50 pm

The Big E doesn’t look like on that picture, yep, this is good to hear. I’d be glad if I owed an apology to Ryan Church.

Dr. Image
November 18, 2008 12:51 pm

The more one reads, the more one can’t help to think that Abrams may just create a lot of other “non-fans” with his movie.

Donn
November 18, 2008 12:53 pm

24. There was the instance in TNG (“Schizoid Man,” I believe) of beaming _down_ to a planet from a ship at warp, possibly using the same technique, in reverse, that Scotty “developed.” But then, that was nearly a century later.

Peter
November 18, 2008 12:54 pm

JJ’s “I’m not a fan” is code for “This movie isn’t some piece of crap Fanfic”

November 18, 2008 12:55 pm

28.

I really hope he has more than one of these events planned for USA and you have your chance too.

TonyD
November 18, 2008 12:55 pm

Thanks for posting that summary Anthony, great stuff and I can’t wait to see Nimoy’s Spock on screen again.

When Urban was cast as McCoy I smiled inwardly as I knew he’d do a great job; nice to see that coming true as well.

BTW, I think the TOS episode where Kirk emotionally compromises Spock is This Side of Paradise, not The Paradise Syndrome. Just showing a little Trek cred… :)

Jeffries Tuber
November 18, 2008 1:00 pm

before the Trolls show up, I just want to share a moment of bliss with everyone:

137 INT. RELIANT BRIDGE 137

KIRK’S VOICE

But like a poor marksman, you keep

missing the target.

KHAN

(ironic)

Perhaps I no longer need to try.

He punches several buttons.

138 INT. ROCKY CAVERN – REGULA 138

In the rocky cavern the transporter beam locks on to the

Genesis torpedo and it’s arming control box.

As Kirk and the other watch, horrified, Khan beam sup

the materials. David tries to reach the torpedo, but

Saavik holds him fast –

DAVID

No – he can’t take it – !

The beam disappears and Genesis with it, leaving them

alone.

KIRK

(desperate)

Khan, Khan, you’ve got Genesis…

139 INT. RELIANT BRIDGE 139

KIRK’S VOICE

… but you don’t have me! you

were going to kill me, Khan!

You’re going to have to come down

here! You’re going to have to

come down here!

KHAN

I’ve done far worse than kill you.

I’ve hurt you. And I wish to go on

hurting you. I shall leave you,

as you left me –

76.

140 INT. ROCKY CAVERN -REGULA 140

KHAN’S VOICE

… as you left her. Marooned for

all eternity in the center of a dead

planet –

141 INT. RELIANT BRIDGE 141

KHAN

Buried alive!

142 INT. ROCKY CAVERN – REGULA 142

KHAN’S VOICE

Buried alive!

KIRK

Khan!

Brian
November 18, 2008 1:02 pm

The clips sound cool, but I thought that old Spock telling Kirk to never mention to young Spock that Kirk had met his future self is a bit silly. It sort of makes Spock’s sacrifice in TWOK irrelevant since Kirk knows that Spock will live to be an old man.

I’m looking forward to this film, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that this story is going to be in an alternate timeline(perhaps due to Nero’s interference), which will give the filmmakers more breathing room for future stories.

Vincent Gregg
November 18, 2008 1:04 pm

Very good TonyD. It was late when I sent Anthony the report.

For someone who stresses accuracy, feel pretty embarrassed by that.

I had Immunity Syndrome on the brain.

ety3
November 18, 2008 1:08 pm

Two points about the “not a fan” thing that fans should take into consideration:

1) Since he’s not a fan, the fact that he has been converted is supposed to convey the impression that the story and the final product are just that good.

2) He’s reiterating that — unlike a substantial number of the previous films and series — this movie is something that non-fans can enjoy.

joel
November 18, 2008 1:08 pm

I’m incredibly pumped forb this now. I can’t wait!!!

Seriuously, if all reports are true, those who are screaming bloody murder about the movie not being canon should step back and take a chill pill. having seen the trailer and read the descriptions, I cannot for the life of me see how this movie WON’T rock.They may notr be the original cast, but they sound like they have the atmosphere and the interplay between the charectors down pat!

Melissa
November 18, 2008 1:10 pm

Wow from what I read.

Why doesn’t Old Spock go back in time and save Old Kirk from death in Generations?

sean
November 18, 2008 1:11 pm

Why does everyone get bent out of shape about the ‘I’m not a fan’ line? It’s just a way of communicating how significant it is that he is one now. Everyone is so very sensitive.

YARN
November 18, 2008 1:12 pm

YARN is pacified for now and will desist from griping about Spock’s behavior for the immediate and foreseeable future, unless and until new information is released which prompts a new tirade.

sean
November 18, 2008 1:12 pm

#42

Because that had nothing to do with Romulans traveling back in time to destroy the timelline, maybe?

joel
November 18, 2008 1:13 pm

“I’m looking forward to this film, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that this story is going to be in an alternate timeline(perhaps due to Nero’s interference),”

To make it any more obvious, they’d have to print the fact on the bottom of the scfreen in big bold italic capitals with double underlining :)

Closettrekker
November 18, 2008 1:13 pm
“WTF?!??! Not only is this insulting and lame, it is rehearsed. He’s said this in interviews fifteen times already. Maybe he thinks it is cute, but I just find it rude.”—Jordan Hoffman of UGO ” Jordan’s point about being ‘rehearsed’ is well made. JJ just came off his Euro tour and he has been repeating the “I was not a fan” line everywhere he went. In Europe, especially where Trek has not played well, this is actually a smart move in order to bond with the crowd and send the message this is not the Trek they thought of, but a new thing…However, here in the States he is far more likely to have true-believers in his audiences and he should maybe pull back on the ‘not a fan’ thing.”—- Trekmovie.com staff I disagree. “…if Mr. Abrams’s “Star Trek” is going to justify its estimated $150 million budget, it had better reach beyond the die-hard fans of Vulcans, Tribbles and dilithium crystals.”—Dave Itzkoff, NY Times That is why Abrams prefaces his showings of the clips they way he does. It shouldn’t be “insulting”, knowing that there is a valid purpose behind it. It doesn’t make any difference whether he is in Europe or the U.S. There are large portions of the average moviegoing audience who have ignored or even ridiculed Star Trek and Star Trek fans for decades now. Whether the film is good or bad, general audiences will not see it unless they are convinced that it is “not… Read more »
Orb of the Emissary
November 18, 2008 1:14 pm

Still cautiously optimistic about the whole thing, but I’m glad that “Older Spock”, a.k.a. Leonard Nimoy is there! I think that will help me out. Oh and seeing Chris Pine in his underwear in that trailer will help out too! ;-)

DarthLowBudget
November 18, 2008 1:14 pm

Furthermore how would he do it exactly? Show up on Veridian 3 and shoot Soren in the head?

jondh
November 18, 2008 1:14 pm

Lord Garth-

I’m not picking up what you’re putting down vis a vis the old style constitution class secondary hulls in the battle scene. From where I’m sitting, they are no indistinguishable from the secondary hulls on the Kelvin.

wpDiscuz