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Abrams, Saldana and Quinto Talk Trek On TVGuide Channel December 17, 2008

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Abrams,Celebrity,ST09 Cast,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

This week the TV Guide Channel’s "Hollywood 411" show did a brief segment on the new Star Trek movie, including some comments from director JJ Abrams, Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Zachary Quinto (Spock). Not much is new, but the segment shows how the film is being positioned in the mainstream media. video below plus more photos from a recent event with Abrams and his stars.


 

VIDEO: Abrams, Quinto & Saldana pitch Trek

 

IMAGES
Much of the above video was shot at the recent Children’s Defense Fund "Beat the Odds" Awards in Los Angeles attended by Abrams, Saldana, Quinto as well as the new Kirk, Chris Pine (who is not in the video). Here are more pics of JJ and his crew from the event.

NOTE: Some fans have wondered where Karl Urban is in these shots, however this is not an official Paramount publicity shoot, just a charity event attended by Abrams and some available cast members. Bear in mind that not all cast members even live in the Los Angeles area, Karl Urban (McCoy) lives in New Zealand and Simon Pegg (Scotty) lives in the UK…so chill.

[WireImages]

 

Comments

1. Jordan - December 17, 2008

ugh. Enough about courting audiences that aren’t fans, already.

2. Xai - December 17, 2008

here we go with the new fan/old fan line of gripes and bickering again.

oneth!

3. MikeJones - December 17, 2008

ok

4. Tiberius Kirk - December 17, 2008

Too Cool!

5. TrekMadeMeWonder - December 17, 2008

So Zoe makes it a trio?

Not your father’s triumphrat. But I like.

6. Xai - December 17, 2008

Urban was probably in New Zealand or something… what does it matter?

7. Bob Tompkins - December 17, 2008

The last photo in the group is a very odd looking picture. it looks like the 3 heads were badly pasted on 3 bodies- just a trick of the light, I’m sure.

8. Anthony Pascale - December 17, 2008

Guys don’t get hung up about the ‘trio’…bear in mind that Karl Urban lives in New Zealand

9. Blake powers - December 17, 2008

That’s awesome. I hope they understand that them getting along is part of what makes a good cast. On a side note star trek is now streaming instantly on netflix and it plays on Xbox. P.s. It’s the remastered ones. Just first season though.

10. Sean - December 17, 2008

“ugh. Enough about courting audiences that aren’t fans, already.”

Seriously. It just makes it sound like Trek fans aren’t gonna like it, and I’m really trying to be optimistic here.

11. Blake powers - December 17, 2008

I’ll be waiting outside the movie with warp nacelles mounted to my tent. Seriously I’ll call the local news and get this on tv. I’m stoked about this movie. Anyone else going to be in little rock for the opening?

12. MikeJones - December 17, 2008

10: the canonites are the ones who aren’t gonna like it, a small annoying minority…;)

13. Charlie - December 17, 2008

Look where Pine has his hand. hink he’s been tappin’ that? I WOULD!!!

14. SirMartman - December 17, 2008

If your interested,,,

Karl Urban is from ,,(and is),,,in Wellington, New Zealand, and was recently on a channel 3 morning show to promote a Christmas chairty.

Re this link,,

http://trekmovie.com/2008/12/01/karl-urban-on-trek-spocks-and-charity/

From SirMartman

Another proud Kiwi !!!!

15. Radioactive Spock - December 17, 2008

Jeez Zoe Saldana is hot. Worth a post just to say it.

16. Jordan - December 17, 2008

#12: aren’t there canonites or fans of that ilk in every fan-base? The purists, so to speak? I’m totally optimistic about the new fan and have nothing but faith in JJ Abrams obviously great work with the franchise, I just get sick of hearing the PR line about the film appealing to the non-fan (we’ve heard that line many times before.) But, arguably, this film will truly live up to that kind of talk and indeed win over previously skeptical “non-fans,” and that’s a great thing. It ensures Trek’s survival in the generation to come. But even if it doesn’t, pop culture has a way of recycling itself… sooner or later.

17. Jordan - December 17, 2008

I meant to type: “I’m totally optimistic about the new film.”

18. David (Flaming Wings Forever) - December 17, 2008

Agree. Enough with the wait. Enough with the ‘Entertainment Tonight’ build to the excitement. I want my TREK!

Did I mention that I’m willing to see it multiple times?

DAMN YOU PARAMOUNT!

SHOW ME NOW!!!!!

19. Tango - December 17, 2008

Can’t I be both a new and old audiance?

20. The Last Maquis - December 17, 2008

Yea!! Zoe.

21. cd - December 18, 2008

“It’s really made for future fans of Star Trek, not existing ones.”
That pretty much says it all. >|>{

22. cellojammer - December 18, 2008

Well, this existing fan is ready for a new interpretation of Trek. Bring it on!

23. MattTheTrekkie - December 18, 2008

Whatever… I am still excited for this movie no matter what. I have complete faith in the cast, crew, and the supreme court.

One thing that has been bugging me is this. If this movie does take off, then I hope these actors and actresses don’t flush their lives down the tube, as many have in the past. Please, I love Quinto on Heroes, I liked Zoe in the terminal and hope to see what she does in Avatar.

Don’t let Star Trek ruin these talents! :( Be kind :)

24. (The much more real) McCoy - December 18, 2008

10 Xai “here we go with the new fan/old fan line of gripes and bickering again.”

It’s a discussion thread…discussions will be threaded. The direction JJ’s team went film and they way they continue to sell it, is divisive.

12 “the canonites are the ones who aren’t gonna like it, a small annoying minority…;)”

Well, I’m not a canonite…more of a moderate continuitist and I’m not liking what I hear either. From JJ’s mouth once again, that this movie is not for the existing fans.

25. CMX54 - December 18, 2008

So once again, JJ gives the verbal half-a-peace-sign to the “existing fans” who have made Star Trek the cultural phenomenon and success story that it has been since 1966.

26. MrLirpa - December 18, 2008

Of course this film is not made for fans, it’s made for every member of the general public to see, if Batman was made only for the “Fans” who read the comic books each month you’d be lucky to get 200,000 people into the cinema!

I getting so tired of the childish moaning on this site, It seems pretty obvious from the amount of time that Bob Orci spends on this site that he is a huge Star Trek fan and from his point of view he’s tried his best to write a film that will appeal (and unfortunately, appease) to the “hardcore” fan, but JJ and the studio are in the business of making money too, and seeing as the budget for this film is as much as the most successful Star trek movie has made($150million – First contact) there is also a massive amount of pressure to make this movie a Blockbuster.
So yes, this movie is not made for fans, but please read through the lines people, the movie was ALSO made with the fans right at the front of the writers minds too.

Stop being so black and white about every little comment that’s made, think about it a bit.

27. AJ - December 18, 2008

25/CMX54

As this debate once again gets under way, let’s do an analogy.

IJ4/Crystal Skull: Fans got pre-production info, set photos, and to see Karen Allen via satellie at a con, It was a wonderful moment. And then they shat out a dumbed-down clunker (which still made a billion). The “fans” got shafted in the end.

STXI: We had a webchat with Abrams & Co. from the set, we get visits here from the screenwriter Bob Orci constantly.We have a teaser and a trailer, and some press interest picking-up.

If Abrams had said “this film is for the fans,” would that have made it a better film? No. Is Nimoy flying back in time after a Romulan, who sprung himself from Rura Penthe to kill Kirk’s dad and/or destroy Vulcan, and which has Captain Pike, Sarek and Amanda, a middle-finger to the fans? Definitely not. Do those plot points make it a good film?

Who knows?

28. Crewman Darnell - December 18, 2008

“It’s really made for future fans of Star Trek, not existing ones.”

As a 30 + year Trek fan, I’m confident that I’ll enjoy the movie (to some extent) no matter what and I hope it’s a big success, but that comment sounds pretty much like an overall mission statement from JJ. I’m glad he’s being honest and upfront on that, but it comes across as being a bit callous, or like a disclaimer intended for the “existing fans.” I suppose if I leave the theater feeling as if I’d just watched some sort of TOS parody with awesome FX, at least I’ll know I was forewarned that it was made to appeal primarily to a different fan-base.

29. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

I want to tlike this film. The alternate timeline idea seems to be a cop out to explain canon inconsistencies.

Star Trek did need a kick to get it back oon track but I don’t thick redoing the origianl Star Trek is the answer.

To me JJ lost my faith when he said he was not making this for the fans, now I know we need new fans to get Star Trek popular again, but I don’t think the ones who supported Trek in its time of need deserve to be shafted. Being shafted is how I feel here.

Besides everything JJ Abrams does is mediocre, it is never exciting to me. Then again I hate the direction of TV and cinema these days. Our favs are being ruined

30. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

Yes we fans are being shafted by JJ Abrams

Those future not getting proper Star Trek, he is making sure they dont watch TOS .

I hate todays generation. I still feel this is a travisty to the hardcore fans,

I am getting sick of reboots and reimaginings, The Day the Earth Stood Still is oone remake I wish Holly wood did not do.

31. robert april - December 18, 2008

spread that hate for todays generation go on we need more hate around the place

32. commander K, USS Sovereign - December 18, 2008

If Nimoy believes in it…

then so should…

33. Gen - December 18, 2008

This is a summary of what ‘true’ hardcore fans want at this point.

They want exclusive access to the sets , with the ability to glue pieces of 60′s tat to them at will. They want the script to be replaced with their fan script, they want the original cast used but made young through the TOS art of slightly out of focus plus smear the camera lens with lots o goop. They want The fx and enterprise to look like they were done for some guys youtube video. They want to avoid all attempts at publicity or bringing the movie into the public eye and condemn the cast when they do. And of course it has to have values from 40 years ago, because afterall when TOS came out it didn’t embrace the current 60′s social ideas at all?? right right? It was made to appeal to the 1920′s demographic. Thats why everyone in startrek had beards of some kind.

34. Devon - December 18, 2008

#29 – “but I don’t think the ones who supported Trek in its time of need deserve to be shafted. Being shafted is how I feel here.”

That’s something you came up with on your own. He has also been on record saying that this movie is both for fans of Star Trek and new Star Trek fans…. don’t let your head explode taking this all in now. How about YOU decide who this is made for.

35. Devon - December 18, 2008

#30 – “Yes we fans are being shafted by JJ Abrams”

That’s a very selfish thing to say.

“Those future not getting proper Star Trek, he is making sure they dont watch TOS .”

That’s a very idiotic thing to say. What is your reasoning behind this? Has he given interviews in which he says “I really hope no one watches the old stuff, in fact i am ordering that the DVDs be recalled and CBS pull the remastered stuff off the air?” As I mention in my post above, it seems your misgivings are coming from your own mind and nothing else.

“I hate todays generation. I still feel this is a travisty to the hardcore fans,”

That’s a very ignorant thing to say.

36. afterace - December 18, 2008

Zoe’s hotttttttttt

37. Orb - December 18, 2008

Star Trek has had a good many variations to it with multiples series some more successful than others. But it it got to a point where even fans started not watching the series or films enough for them to keep it going. But it’s great the fans kept it alive as long as they did. The direction had to be changed offcourse, there is no getting away from that, even to spike the interest of old fans and get new fans on board. I’m an old fan, but that won’t mean I have to adore everything Hollywood throws my way regardind Star Trek, but my interest is spiked and will hope the film will be a great to watch experience. If this direction does not work for Paramount then we still have decades of material that can never be taken away.

38. SciFiMetalGirl - December 18, 2008

I like to see the gang hanging around together! Neat!

39. jon1701 - December 18, 2008

Shafted?

Jesus, this movie is for all fans.

If the movie required 40+ years of indepth technical knowledge (as well as an encylopedic recollection of all episodes) the movie wouldn’t make a penny.

Mas as well release the thing on DVD and get it over with.

There will be enough bones thrown for the fans, i’m sure of that.

This spoilt “waaaaa, this isn’t for the fans” attitude needs to stop. He’s trying to toe a very difficult line here, and for me, he’s doing a good job.

A very good job.

40. Crewman Darnell - December 18, 2008

Y’know.. It’s not cool or fair to cast all of us who express some doubts in this movie as “Whiners” and “Canonistas.” I can’t speak for other people but I really want this film to be a success. I’m damn grateful that a talented Trek fan (Bob Orci) was hired to write the story and I’m sure he put his heart & soul into the writing. However, I’m getting tired of the “Apologistas” who are comparing Star Trek to Batman. Last time I checked, Batman originated from the pages of a DC comic book. Re-casting the characters of TOS,with the iBridge and all of that is bound to to bring out some skepticism among us fans; those of which JJ regularly admits he isn’t catering to.

41. A. .S.F.33 - December 18, 2008

The insulting way jj refers to existing fans is one the reason I wouldn’t spend one cent on this movie. Wake up folks, he doesn’t care about Trek fans or the way we see things. If you need proof just watch EACH and EVERY interview the man does. Yeah I know…. who’s gonna miss my one ticket sale? But you know what? NOT paying to support this movie, is the only vote I have, and I plan to use it.

42. (The much more real) McCoy - December 18, 2008

If this debate keeps raging, it’s not because of the fans. JJ never had to say “it’s not for the existing fans”. They’re his words and he’s said something along those lines more than once.

The Trek fans are in the clear here. All of them. 40 years of Trek. There is naturally going to be many who think the story, the bridge and the big E should have been much closer to the original.

It’s really hard to compare this to Indy IV. Just because Speilberg said it was “for the fans” doesn’t automatically mean that making Star Trek for “non-fans” will be an awesome experience. They are clearly not related. But one thing that does concern me about Trek, that Indy also suffered from, is the appearance that they are trying to make two or more opposing forces happy. In the end, things begin to look like they don’t go together. Design by committee. For Indy, it was Speilberg vs Lucas (archeology vs aliens). For Trek, the uniforms seem out of place on that bridge (classic vs new) and the saucer seems out of place on the primary hull (although there may be script reasons for that, the fact remains).

They may try and also blame the mish-mash on trying to appease fans, but we are not hearing that they went down that road. There are two other directions they could have gone: everything new or everything the same.

43. Falvoant - December 18, 2008

I could swear I heard someone say “Reboot”

44. thorsten - December 18, 2008

There were only two options after the failure of EnterpriseNemesis…
The end of Trek, or a serious restart.
What we get is a go for option two,
made by folks who know how to create success on TV and the box office.

I like it.

45. EM - December 18, 2008

Can’t we all just get along?

46. Alec - December 18, 2008

Do we actually have the original triumvirate in this film? Or is that being rewritten too? The original triumvirate was at the heart of TOS. I suppose, in this alternative timeline, for all we know, Uhura could be Captain of the Enterprise. After all, these characters are not ‘our’ beloved characters, despite the same genetics and names. None of what we know about our beloved characters necessarily applies to these characters in their timeline.

PS. May we please have a ‘JJ warning’ put on certain articles, like the spoiler warning, because I’m getting really sick of hearing him say his Star Trek is not for the existing fans. For I hope to enjoy it, even though I am a fan; and I am over the age of 14.

47. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Did they wake Quinto up from a nap before taking his photo, or is he just back from the “bog”?

For crying out loud, man, buckle up!

And can’t these rich celebrities afford razors? ;)

48. Crewman Darnell - December 18, 2008

42:

“They may try and also blame the mish-mash on trying to appease fans, but we are not hearing that they went down that road. There are two other directions they could have gone: everything new or everything the same.”

I think what could be lacking here is Option C. It’s perplexing when the “Apologistas” (not meaning you) keep saying this is going to be great simply because it’s new. (I withhold ultimate judgment until I’ve seen the entire film) but why wasn’t the script written to appeal to *both* fan-bases, old and new? Every time I read: “It’s really made for future fans of Star Trek, not existing ones.” I feel excluded. Gods bless those who feel inlcuded. Again, I hope this movie is a hit but JJ has already prepared me to feel like an outsider. I was 16 when MTV made its debut and I thought it sucked even back then. One good thing is if nu Trek makes the bucks, maybe it will breath new life into the “franchise.”

49. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

I want to love this film but just hate it when he says this is not for the fans.

Its not a prequel as its ana alternate timeline, Kirk is different than in original timeline due to change in timeline so not a prequel to our Trek.

Its a imagining to fit their idea

50. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

I hope to love this film when it comes out, because of the alternate timeline I don’t think I will be accepting it as canon. Things will prob change when the film hits but truth is he has changed too much with the bridge and the eneterprise.

51. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“Y’know.. It’s not cool or fair to cast all of us who express some doubts in this movie as “Whiners” and “Canonistas.” I can’t speak for other people but I really want this film to be a success”

Exactly. And I have to admit I’m tired of JJ attempting to distance himself from Trek of old silmply to sell the film. It’s not necessary. The new movie should be able to stand on its own merits.

52. S. John Ross - December 18, 2008

#43: I just think it’s kind of sad that only the smarmy used-car-salesmen they have hosting these entertainment programs are the ones with the cojones to admit it :)

53. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

I do want to love this film, its just JJ’s comments which annoy me. I just let them get to me too much.

If I dont like this movie I do have all Trek on DVD to relive but I do want to like this movie and add it to it.

I guess I love Trek too much.

54. Xai - December 18, 2008

24. (The much more real) McCoy – December 18, 2008
10 Xai “here we go with the new fan/old fan line of gripes and bickering again.”

“It’s a discussion thread…discussions will be threaded. The direction JJ’s team went film and they way they continue to sell it, is divisive”

Thanks, I understand the forum. I threw my two cents in. Let me add a third penny. It’s only divisive when people dissect every word out of a sentence and attempt to apply their own opinion to it. This wasn’t an interview aimed at current fans… it’s an invite for new, ADDITIONAL fans and viewers. If fans were not important, the likes of Bob Orci would not be in here consistently.

55. Trek Nerd Central - December 18, 2008

#26. Excellent analogy. I’m not a comix fan per se but I loved the last two Batman movies. . and the earlier ones with Michael Keaton.

A good movie is a good movie is a good movie, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein.

Also, I’m just wondering. If JJ Abrams had come out and said, “Lookee here, folks, this movie is for HARDCORE WINGNUT TREKKIES ONLY, so if you don’t happen to be a HARDCORE WINGNUT TREKKIE, you’re going to think it sucks!! Go away!!! I don’t want you at my movie! Shoo!!” — then what do you suppose would happen?

Do you suppose the film would make any — what’s it called — money? Would it create new fans? Stir up demand for a sequel? I don’t theenk so.

I say this as a hardcore wingnut Trekkie myself. And a proud one at that!

56. Kirk, James T. - December 18, 2008

Does anyone else think that JJ Abrams looks like Leonard from The Big Bang Theory.

57. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

Every film I have been skeptical ofI end up loving when it comes out.
This will prob be no different

Just scary when things change. These new actors will never take the place of the originals.

58. JP Saylor - December 18, 2008

56- OMG!!!! You’re right!!!! hahaha I think they might have done that on purpose though. Cause it’s uncanny lol

59. New Horizon - December 18, 2008

Some of you who get so upset with JJ’s words need to learn the difference between ‘absolute fact’ and ‘publicity spin’. He’s trying to get some non-hardcore folks to fill these seats. God, so many Trek Fans are like possessive mothers who won’t let their 40 year old kids leave the basement. That kind of obsessive behavior just leads to stunted growth….the kind we’ve been subjected to all these years. This is the first time Trek has broken out of the basement. Let it run barefoot through the flowers, for goodness sake. Let it breathe and blossom into something new.

60. YARN - December 18, 2008

“This is the first time Trek has broken out of the basement. Let it run barefoot through the flowers, for goodness sake.”

The first time?

61. Dennis Bailey - December 18, 2008

Still looking great. :-)

62. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“That kind of obsessive behavior just leads to stunted growth….the kind we’ve been subjected to all these years. ”

Stunted? Hmm, 40+ years, 10 films, TNG, DS9, Voyager and ENT. Again, JJ should be able to play to the masses without having to act like the cool kid talking about the classroom nerds. He wouldn’t be doing a new film if not for the fact that Trek has endured — thanks to the fans — for so long.

63. Scotty's Moustache - December 18, 2008

I enjoy the mythos and characters as much as anyone … I really do, I have my opinions and concerns…but at the end of the day, it’s a story …one I love, but it’s not real….I ..don’t know…it’s just that some people, not all, but some are getting too worked up about a work of fiction…..WOW….Shatner was right all those years ago on SNL….

64. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

64 – Krikzil — Bingo!

65. Scotty's Moustache - December 18, 2008

62
He has said nothing about the classroom nerds….if you are addressing his “not for the fans” comments…please that has been explained…and a totality of comments would show he is not shafting anyone …he is trying to break from the perception that Trek is a club and you have to have the bylaws and history memorized in order to enjoy the experience….Trek has a stigma…simple as that…and. THAT is what he is trying to get away from and tell an interesting story at the same time. … it’s been said time and again what his intent was and is…..

66. BaronByng - December 18, 2008

here we go again…

Just to repeat something I mentioned near the end of an earlier thread, the financial demands for success on this film are much, much higher. The $150M budget is the largest ever for a Trek film – up in the territory of The Dark Knight which had $158M.

The Dark Knight did $500M domestically and looks like it will reach around one billion worldwide, not even counting all the licensed merchandise, pay-TV, rental and DVD sales. The pressure is on JJ and company to deliver something up in that range for Paramount.

While I’m a fan who can quote episodes chapter and verse and knows just a little too much about treknology, I’m also aware that movies don’t exist in a vacuum. The hermetically sealed world of a TV-movie franchise like Trek (or Stargate, or Firefly, etc.) counts on you coming to the theatre with at least some degree of prior knowlege. Most other films do not. (Serenity, at least, graciously included a lot of backstory for people who hadn’t seen the series). As far as I have seen, franchise films exist in a kind of ghetto; the most they can expect to achieve is Oscars for makeup and special visual effects.

But for the first time, a Bond film — Casino Royale, the ‘reboot’ — was taken seriously enough as a movie in its own right, to be nominated for nine British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) including Best Actor, Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, music, cinematography, and more. The reasons why are obvious to anyone who’s seen it. It’s not just another entry in a franchise series with an indestructible hero. It changed what we know and what we thought we knew. It re-grounded the story and character in an identifiably human way.

Whatever internal debates the fans have about the merits of one Trek film versus another, the public at large simply don’t care. In fact most of them have no idea that this progressive-versus-traditionalist debate is even happening, nor do they care (nor should they, really). The film’s done, so it’s not like we can change it.

I have a feeling that, regardless of anyone’s feelings about canon, it will objectively be a really good movie-with-a-capital-M, and as such, I want as many people to see it as possible ;)

67. krikzil - December 18, 2008

#65 — Perhaps it’s been explained to your satisfaction. His comments just seem unnecessary to me. Especially after the 1.5 years of lovely comments he made before he started rolling out the movie. I just do not think you have to be dismissive of the past to promote the future. I’m also not one who accepts the negative connotation of “We are Nerds” perception of fans. It’s been my experience that star trek fans (and sci fi fans in general) are a pretty intelligent lot.

I also refuse to dismiss those that DO get into the minutiae because, again, where would Trek be without dedicated fans? It would be a simple little show that ran for 3 years and died a nature death.

Now I freely admit that I’m more into characters in Trek than all the bells and whistles, ships and whatnot but I understand and can sympathize with the fans that are upset with what they see as some pretty major changes. I am concerned at what I see as some pretty significant changes to characters I’ve loved for more than 30 years. And you know what? I’m entitled to express this and shouldn’t have to be dismissed out of hand as some sort of unbending zealot. It’s just depressing to hear that the movie “isn’t being made for fans” because no one wants Trek to go on more than I.

68. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

@64- I meant 62. Now wonder I always lose at Bingo.

69. YARN - December 18, 2008

krikzil,

Look nerd – stop living in the past and embrace the future. There is no such thing as polite disagreement. You are either with us or against us, on the wrong side of history or the right side of history. Drink the Kool Aid.

The filmmakers are in a quandary because they simultaneously want to embrace and reject the past.

The fear is plain enough for anyone to see. Trek is not cool/relevant anymore. The film could tank like Nemesis. How do you capture the positive vibe of the orginal series without also taking on negative connotations with a stalled franchise? You make it different, but the same. You change everything, but offer a fig leaf to canon. You tell the world its not for fans, but tell the fans it is for fans.

I don’t envy the task.

70. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

67 – Hi Krikzil — I think one of the main criteria that most “normies” have of nerds for defining them is that we ARE highly intelligent. More intelligent than most of them. That “Big Bang Theory” bases the majority of its jokes on this long-established premise.

And the stigma and the name-calling is because this fact scares the hell out of them.

Ain’t it great!

Nerds will rule, normies! Run for your lives! (;D)

71. Scotty's Moustache - December 18, 2008

66-
Here Here
67
” Espcially after the 1.5 eyars of lovely comments he made before starting”…how can you NOT factor in the statement you just made into your thinking and let it shape the overall context? Next, no one has ever questioned intelligence, I haven’t heard anything at least and in my mind it is a moot point to any argument and may arise only from insecurities of a few. No one called you a zealot, nor dismissed you, rather I pointed out that your perception does not reflect the totality of what has been said, which ironically you mention other comments of his that are positive. Of course you can express your opinion, I never said or implied otherwise. However your opinion was not taking into account everything that has been said. No offense meant, sorry it was taken. Look at the statement this way, NOT FOR FANS should be seen as “not only for hardcore fans, but for everyone, a far reaching story with action and characters you will love,” I mean no offense, bu I just don’t see how that is so hard (by anyone not you specifically) to understand or comprehend…..agree to disagree I suppose.

72. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Hey Krikzil,

Do you know this YARN mug, or should I send over a coupla my boys — Cracko and Teppo — for a piece of the action? ;)

73. YARN - December 18, 2008

#72

Is your irony sensor defective or is mine? Hmmm……

74. Jason P Hunt - director of "Burned" - December 18, 2008

Folks, you have to remember something about marketing:

If you have a core audience (or customer base), you don’t need to spend a lot of time/money on keeping them. You do enough to maintain that group and keep them loyal to the product.

The real effort comes from trying to expand that base. You want more customers? You have to deliver a message that appeals to them. You can’t say the same thing the same way.

When Abrams says this movie wasn’t made for “just the fans”, I’m sure he means it’s not a geek-movie. It’s not made just for those people who know Spock’s blood type or the number of times Kirk’s violated the Prime Directive…

And when you have a new message, you have to repeat it over and over. For every time the message actually registers in the brain, you have to see it three times. For it to stay in their brains, it has to register 7 times. So that’s 21 exposures, at minimum.

We’re going to be hearing this same thing from Abrams & Co. all the way to May and after. I’m pretty sure they know most of the core fan base will see the movie at least once. Some will go because they’re excited about seeing it, and some will go because they’re excited about trashing it.

Either way, the Trekkers will be in line already.

75. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#51—”… I’m tired of JJ attempting to distance himself from Trek of old silmply to sell the film. It’s not necessary. The new movie should be able to stand on its own merits.”

I think it’s absolutely necessary, given the goal of appealing to a wider audience.

The problem is the existing preconceived notions about Star Trek and its fans in the general public. Those are barriers to mainstream appeal, and barriers which must be overcome if the film is to justify its enormous budget. The film cannot very well stand on its own merits if the average moviegoer stays home, as he/she usually does when a Star Trek movie comes out.

Make no mistake. Peddling Star Trek to a mainstream audience is no small task. His strategy is very clear to me. He identifies himself with potential moviegoers who would otherwise have not taken Star Trek seriously, then tries to convince them that his is a version they are going to want to see.

Let’s face it. There are alot of people out there who cannot get past the campy set designs and laughable props (McCoy’s salt shakers, anyone?) of the Original Series to discover its wonderful characters. Abrams, for all this talk in the mainstream press, is at least able to recognize that the characters are what made the show great to begin with.

76. Holger - December 18, 2008

I find JJ’s interviews annoying.

77. YARN - December 18, 2008

#76

“Uh yeah, she’s great… A genius!”

78. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Seems to me JJ and company would have made their lives and their jobs a whole lot easier if they had SIMPLY stated from the get-go: “this new Star Trek is a film for everyone — old fans and new. Old fans will recognize our respect for the roots of Star Trek and new fans will not have to know the original series to enjoy this new film.”

So, now people are going to barrage me that they did say that. Well, their problem was that they did not do so as simply as this from the outset, but instead chose to do so in an overly convoluted and equivocal manner. Perhaps it is not too late for them to apply Occam’s Razor to the situation. Or perhaps his scalpel.

79. YARN - December 18, 2008

#78

If they made a great star trek movie (with the understanding that a Trek movie might not be great and that a great movie might not be Trek) for us, who cares how they market it?

80. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

73 – I meant it as a little joke between Krikzil and me based on an earlier and similar incident with another poster. It wasn’t meant to offend you at all. Please pardon me if it did.

But yes, perhaps my irony sensor is defective. Again, sorry if I offended you. It was not my intent at all.

81. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“Look nerd – stop living in the past and embrace the future. There is no such thing as polite disagreement. You are either with us or against us, on the wrong side of history or the right side of history. Drink the Kool Aid. ”

#69–I think you’ve been drinking too much of the coolaid. It’s made you cranky. And sorry but there is such a thing as manners and polite disagreement…. among adults.

“How do you capture the positive vibe of the orginal series without also taking on negative connotations with a stalled franchise? You make it different, but the same. You change everything, but offer a fig leaf to canon. You tell the world its not for fans, but tell the fans it is for fans. ”

All you have to do is talk about your current movie and that it is updating a franchise with more money and better effects. You don’t have to denigrate or mock its origins. All things have lulls, it’s no indictment of Trek that after so much product, it needed a rest and that there was fan fatigue. (Personally I tend to think this movie came too soon and that the field should have lain fallow for a little longer.) .

“Nerds will rule, normies! Run for your lives! (;D)”

Hi Brett! Yes, recent history has shown that those perceived as “nerds” have been quite successful in life. Bill Gates etc. Heck, JJ is a fanboy and therefore might be perceived as a nerd and he is extremely successful.

“how can you NOT factor in the statement you just made into your thinking and let it shape the overall context?”

My problem is the contradictory nature of what he said before and what he is saying now. (Was the former just lip service so there wouldn’t be a backlash so early? it’s been a problem with other reboots.) All this about honoring what came before….and yet, once he has to start every press conference about how he wasn’t a fan and how this is for new fans, not old. Again, all I am saying is that it just isn’t necessary. I am taking what he says at face value, not adding “hardcore” or any other disclaimer. As a long time fan, while I can be generous and hope it does well and makes lots of new fans and is very successful, it saddens me on a personal level that I might not be welcome to the party.

I will never understand why there was a need to reinvent the wheel of these characters and I’m not even going to go into the whole QM debate. To change established character canon, changes the characters as people (real or fictional) are a sum of their experiences.

82. YARN - December 18, 2008

#80.

Don’t sweat it – I was worried that I may have offended you.

83. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

79 – “[W]ho cares how they market it?”

Apparently a lot of people do. Look how divisive so many fans are getting over the issue and how uncivil it is making a number of their comments.

84. YARN - December 18, 2008

#81

Oops, looks like I offended Krizkil

Irony friend – I’m on your side.

85. thorsten - December 18, 2008

@75…

I am with CT here. As someone who actually got the message in person I am sure it is a line he delivers deapan again and again, to convince Joe Sixpack and the hockeymoms to watch this movie…

86. Holger - December 18, 2008

75: You talk as if Paramount had lost serious money with the previous movies. But that isn’t the case, they simply had a smaller audience than, say, Casino Royale or Transformers.
The less stupid a movie is, the less audience it has. That’s the way it is in cinema. But I prefer a smarter movie – even with a smaller audience if unavoidable.
Of course I don’t know if the new Trek movie is really dumbed-down Trek unless I watch it, but JJ’s continued remarks about mainstream audiences seem to point in that direction.

87. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

82 – No longer sweating. Thanks. Glad you understand that my joke with Krikzil was not meant as a jibe at you.

Meant it mostly as a nod to our love of TOS with the “Piece of the Action” references.

88. YARN - December 18, 2008

83.

Trust me – if they deliver a great trek movie — all will be forgiven and we will all laugh at the pre-launch animosity.

89. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

88 – Let’s hope that this will be the case.

Trek should be for everyone. When I was a little kid watching TOS during its original network run, and was into astronomy and space exploration and things of this ilk, I believed that the series was essentially prophecy of humankind’s future.

As a so-called adult, I’d like to think I still believe this. I hope this movie will re-ignite the optimism for humanity and its future that sprang from TOS, which was hard-fought and hard-won in the time of Vietnam and the Cold War, and will help lead us all to higher visions of hope for our ailing world at the start of this third millennium.

Nice chatting with you, YARN.

90. krikzil - December 18, 2008

HI Closet.

“I think it’s absolutely necessary, given the goal of appealing to a wider audience. ….The problem is the existing preconceived notions about Star Trek and its fans in the general public. Those are barriers to mainstream appeal, and barriers which must be overcome if the film is to justify its enormous budget…[snip]..The film cannot very well stand on its own merits if the average moviegoer stays home, as he/she usually does when a Star Trek movie comes out…..”Make no mistake. Peddling Star Trek to a mainstream audience is no small task. His strategy is very clear to me. ”

It’s clear to me too and that’s the problem. ;) Honestly, I’m not convinced it came overcome the preconceived notions that mainstream folks have. Let’s face it, a lot of people just don’t have any interest and nothing will change that. Kinda like men and chick flicks! ;) They don’t know what they are missing!!!!! Trek rulz.

But repeatedly calling attention to it’s status as some sort of geek fest doesn’t help in my opinion. There are so many positives he can focus on. Of course I believe they spent too much money and have raised the stakes to an impossible level and that worries me. it’s so hard for any movie to succeed today — opening weekend is so critical and so mnay good films lose out. It’s also scary to me because these “new” fans we are aiming for have notoriously short attention spans. It’s not an indictment of them; life is pretty crazy fast nowadays for the young’uns.

91. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#86—”You talk as if Paramount had lost serious money with the previous movies.”

No, I don’t. I never even implied such a thing.

What I am suggesting is the obvious: that established fans alone cannot justify a $150 million budgeted Star Trek film. It’s going to take alot of the very people who harbor those preconceived notions about it.

Even I, a lifelong Star Trek fan (admittedly of the Original Series ilk), didn’t show up to see any of the TNG-era films in the theater. Beyond the people I talk with on this site, I don’t personally know anyone who did. That’s not an exaggeration.
It is not because they are not “smart” people either. It is quite arrogant to imply that people don’t care for Star Trek (as is) because they are somehow less intelligent. In fact, I don’t think there is anything remarkably “smart” about the average Star Trek film to begin with.

I think that Paramount wants to make Star Trek the true tentpole franchise it always had the potential to be. Taking in, hypothetically speaking, $70 million on a $35 million budget will not get that done. Period. That doesn’t mean it isn’t profitable, but then they aren’t doing anything to boost the fanbase either.

92. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“Oops, looks like I offended Krizkil ”

Nah, I was being a smart ass too. Main problem with posting online…we can’t see each other’s expressions!!!

Brett — Piece of the Action! One of my favs for sure.

“75: You talk as if Paramount had lost serious money with the previous movies”

Holger makes a great point. Trek hasn’t exactly being a money loser long term for Paramount and all involved. Sure, some films didn’t do as well but that’s bound to happen in any long running franchise. Trek has been smaller than Star Wars or Batman, etc but it’s made them a Billion $ at the BO and many more Billions in merchandising and tv revenues.

93. New Horizon - December 18, 2008

62. krikzil -

So quantity is equal to quality? The quantity of Trek doesn’t qualify anything. Trek ‘has’ been trapped within itself for years now, don’t quote 40+ years…10 movies, TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise to me, I’ve been around since close to the very beginning….back when there was only one Star Trek. With the exception of TMP, Trek has been produced on the cheap. This is the first time since The Motion Picture that a Trek Film has been given such a large stage to play on.

Obviously, I can’t speak for the ‘actual’ quality of the script or story in this film, but as far as production values go…this film is on top.

94. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

92 – Hi Krikzil!

I love the whole Spock and Kirk “check” and “right” interchange, plus Spock with “I advise ya’s to keep diallin.’” LOL. Priceless.

“Main problem with posting online…we can’t see each other’s expressions!!!”

Well, then, let me describe myself to you. I have a semi-colon for a winking eye and an end paranthesis for a grin. ;) See?

95. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#90—”… repeatedly calling attention to it’s status as some sort of geek fest doesn’t help in my opinion.”

But isn’t he stating the obvious? At least he’s telling those potential viewers that this is something he is aware of, and even identifying himself with them.

“…I’m not convinced it (can) overcome the preconceived notions that mainstream folks have.”

That’s hard to judge, but you do have to admit it seems to have worked to significant degree with some of the critics that went into those presentations of film clips with every intention of ripping it to shreds. The reaction seemed to be one of genuine anticipation for a very entertaining film, if not one of outright surprise that it didn’t look ridiculous to them.

“…I believe they spent too much money and have raised the stakes to an impossible level…”

You may be absolutely right. Perhaps those preconceived notions about Trek in the minds of the mainstream movigoing public are too well-entrenched to be overcome. However, I think that Abrams won’t fail for lack of trying to break down those barriers. The die is cast, and he has no choice (IMO) but to utilize this strategy.

96. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“”So quantity is equal to quality? The quantity of Trek doesn’t qualify anything. Trek ‘has’ been trapped within itself for years now, don’t quote 40+ years…10 movies, TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise to me, I’ve been around since close to the very beginning….back when there was only one Star Trek. With the exception of TMP, Trek has been produced on the cheap. This is the first time since The Motion Picture that a Trek Film has been given such a large stage to play on.”

And I was around when TOS was the only Trek, too. So? I remember the anticipation as we waited for something new, how thrilled I was even with the animated show and then when the movie came out. Oh weren’t those the heady days?

Of course quantity doesn’t trump quality but I really don’t feel that Trek’s quality has been all that bad. Much of it was cutting edge for its time but of course things look unsophisticated decades later. (And while I didn’t like every incarnation we got — I didn’t discount its popularity or quality.)

For me Trek’s held up because of great story-telling. Sure, it will be nice to see good special effects but to me that’s never been what Trek was about.

97. AdamTrek - December 18, 2008

Shatner was just plain unwilling to lose 75 pounds to reprise his role as Kirk. That is the true story. Instead, we get youngsters playing on the iBridge pretending to be the iconic characters we all know and love.
Like it or leave it. It’s your choice.

=A=

98. AdamTrek - December 18, 2008

#97 AdamTrek

Best dry-sarcasm post I’ve heard all day.

All of you die-hard Trekkies, Trekkers, and sci-fi fans alike will probably be blown away by this film. I’m going into it with a full plate of optimism with a big glass of Romulan Ale just in case.

There is a lot of overthinking from Star Trek fans. I’ve been one since 1987 and I can’t wait for this movie.

99. thorsten - December 18, 2008

@97, 98…

So you are commenting on your own post?
Fascinating!

100. krikzil - December 18, 2008

“But isn’t he stating the obvious? At least he’s telling those potential viewers that this is something he is aware of, and even identifying himself with them.”

Maybe it’s just me but just because I don’t like something, I don’t automatically think there is something wrong with it. I honestly don’t get sports but far be it from me to mock those who do. And to a certain extent, I think Trek fans have enabled this negative “geek” label. Given that JJ is very familiar with the fanboy world, I just think he would know how some of his comments could be taken by some fans.

As for the Critics — well, it’s just another person’s opinion. I don’t always agree with what they’ve got to say about movies and tv shows, trek and otherwise. Sometimes I do.

101. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

99 – Too funny!

102. Jordan - December 18, 2008

We cannot forget the significance of Leonard Nimoy’s presence in the film. You could get no greater endorsement, in my opinion.

103. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Although #97 didn’t read as dry sarcasm to me as much as just plain mean. And unfounded. Plus, let’s see how the rest of us look as we push eighty years old.

104. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

102 – I’m looking forward to seeing Nimoy in this film as much as any other TOS die-hard, but I doubt he’s going to have much more than five or ten minutes of screen-time, sadly.

105. krikzil - December 18, 2008

#104–Oh Brett, I hope he has more than that! I love Spock/Nimoy and I want to see a lot of him. Greedy!

106. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

105 – Me too, Krikzil. But I have a sad feeling it will mostly be a “pass-the-baton” cameo. We’ll see… We’ll HOPE and see…

107. krikzil - December 18, 2008

Hopefully it’s more than the 1/2 hour Shatner got — and a better storyline — in the dreadful Generations!

108. Izbot - December 18, 2008

12. MikeJones – December 17, 2008
“10: the canonites are the ones who aren’t gonna like it, a small annoying minority…;)”

I gotta chime in here (as an avowed canonite) and say I disagree with your assessment. I love the rich backstory that Trek has developed over the decades but I am quite open to its’ alteration. Episodes like “Parallels” make alternate timelines canon and it can be debated that much of ENT took place in an altered timeline (and I loved ENT). What we know about the new movie is that an alternate timeline is branching off from the known timeline. Will it be ‘repaired’ or will it go off and live its own life? That’s the movie’s hook. And I’ll roll along with either outcome. I’m just happy someone I trust is bringing Trek back to us.

109. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

107 – Yes. I sure wish they would rectify that lousy death he got in that. Killed by a bomb, so to speak.

110. boborci - December 18, 2008

JJ is making this for fans. He just doesn’t know it!

111. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

Good one, Mr. Orci! Thanks for stopping by.

112. Fred - December 18, 2008

He’s making it for the fans and doesn’t want the general crowd to know it, I think.

113. krikzil - December 18, 2008

#109– Even though I wasn’t really a huge TNG fan, I liked the whole 2 Captains thing in Generations but you are right. What a lousy death. Kirk deserved better, like Spock’s. That STILL makes me tear up. Heck, I got a copy of the TWOK script while they were still filming and I was sitting up in a hotel room at a con with tears running down my face just reading it. The power of good writing! And I knew Shatner and Nimoy would just tear it up with their performances.

#110 — Mr Orci! I sure hope so. And, did we scare you from Chat the other day? ;)

114. Fred - December 18, 2008

Zoe is cute but as skinny as a rail. Nowhere near the curvy babe that Nichelle was back in the day, in my book.

115. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#100—”Given that JJ is very familiar with the fanboy world, I just think he would know how some of his comments could be taken by some fans.”

I’m sure he does. But given the same circumstances (being in a position of having to sell the idea of a Star Trek movie to people with those preconceived notions about it), I would absolutely sacrifice the feelings of a small minority of overly-sensitive fanboys.

What’s the alternative? Praying for a miracle? There is no chance that established Star Trek fans will see this movie enough times on opening weekend for it to have a showing worthy of a $150 million feature film. That was never going to happen. You know it and I know it.

We all know that JJ has to convince a significant amount of these people that the movie is not the Star Trek they’ve made fun of for all these years. It’s just common sense. So, why be offended? I’m not. I’m not naive enough to think that my next door neighbor would pay to see this film without reason to believe it’s not going to be the same old Star Trek.

Should Paramount have not bothered to give Star Trek the budget treatment it’s getting and recruit more fans, just because the promotion campaign necessary to justify such a budget might offend a portion of its dwindling existing fanbase?

To me, the tradeoff is a no-brainer. Nothing is lost, IMO. People have been saying much worse about Star Trek and Star Trek fans for years than anything taken as the least bit derogatory from the comments made by JJ Abrams to TV Guide and other mainstream media outlets.

I love Star Trek in spite of its campiness, not because I am under the illusion that it isn’t that way at all.

116. AdamTrek - December 18, 2008

#110 boborci – December 18, 2008
JJ is making this for fans. He just doesn’t know it!
————————————–
Exactly. This type of blockbuster is for the masses, not just Trek fans.

I understood the underlying meaning, and I even had half of my hu-mon brain tied behind my back.

=A=

117. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

113 – Who can ever watch that scene dry-eyed? Superb performances from both those veteran thesps.

And then Kirk’s eulogy afterwards. A superb performance by Shatner. He choked on the word “most” perfectly — almost losing it but still keeping it together as Kirk would do. Best performance of Kirk facing grief since his slumping against the wall after stopping Bones from rescuing Edith Keeler in “CotEoF.” Anyone who ever questions Shatner’s talents as an actor, needs to watch all of these scenes.

118. krikzil - December 18, 2008

#117–CotEoF. Oh yes, Shatner played that so well. That entire episode is one of the best.

” I would absolutely sacrifice the feelings of a small minority of overly-sensitive fanboys. ”

Don’t see myself as being overly sensitive; just feel there’s nothing wrong with a little respect.

“What’s the alternative? Praying for a miracle? There is no chance that established Star Trek fans will see this movie enough times on opening weekend for it to have a showing worthy of a $150 million feature film. That was never going to happen. You know it and I know it.”

Again, I feel that if the movie is great, it should be able to stand on its own merits without having to step on the past’s death body. JJ & Co are a very talented group after all.

“Should Paramount have not bothered to give Star Trek the budget treatment it’s getting and recruit more fans, just because the promotion campaign necessary to justify such a budget might offend a portion of its dwindling existing fanbase?”

Well, you know I think the budget is scary. And I’m also from the camp that I never thought Trek needed to be a huge blockbuster; or really even had the potential. I love it but it didn’t have that broad Star Wars appeal (and that’s not a bad thing in my mind!). It perked along and made Paramount money for decades. I don’t delude myself into thinking that Trek is anything but a business for Paramount, plain and simple. Fans and fanbases are the flies in the ointment for all studios. ;)

“To me, the tradeoff is a no-brainer. Nothing is lost, IMO.”

Well, you a lucky. I just don’t think we need the tradeoff. That’s all.

119. krikzil - December 18, 2008

DEAD body….sorry. Damn typonians running amok.

120. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

118 – Certainly one of the best, if not the best, of so many great stories from TOS.

Although please don’t let Harlan Ellison know we think that way. It won’t do much to reduce his hat size. ; )

121. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

119 – Perhaps it’s fon parr for typonians if they’re running amok.

D’oh! I meant pon farr! DAMN typonians! (They don’t even capitalize their race!) ; )

122. Brett Campbell - December 18, 2008

I meant fon parr TIME.

Now those damn typonians are stealing time from me!

123. McCoy - December 18, 2008

Sorry to continue to get into the “what-if” or “should-have”, but…if the preconceived notions against Trek are so strong with newbies that you have to alienate the base, perhaps you shouldn’t be spending so much money on the film. Make a smaller film…make the base happy. Make it true to classic Trek. What would that budget number have been? 100 million?

I don’t see how or why you increase the budget then modify the product to move it to a mystical new place. I don’t personally like the direction the new film is going, but the newbies won’t know the difference, which means they’ll have whatever bad thoughts they started with. Either way, it’s an assumed marketing challenge to get them to the theater.

I still doubt the premise. I think it would have been bold and brave to have a much more retro film.

124. DancesWithKlingons - December 18, 2008

Lame TV guide article. Just get on with the movie for God’s sake!

125. Trekee - December 18, 2008

I’m very sorry, but what IS JJ meant to say?

“Yeah, we made this for die hard fans and you’ll get so much more out of it if you can get the joke about the BUSS-Hard Collectors and like, scene #376 (take 4) whereas to be honest, most casual film goers should just AVOID this as the audiences are going to consist ENTIRELY of people dressed up in uniforms who will be nit picking the whole temporal paradox we set up in scene #3. But, you know, you should still GO and stuff, you’ll probably like it even if you DO think he’s called Dr Spock. I mean, we just blew a gigantic budget making the whole thing elitist and so TOTALLY dependant on explaining all the backstory and the new colour of Kirk’s eyes that well, causal viewers really ought to read the technical manual first”.

Something like that may not lead to the Return On Investment that Paramount would ideally wish for.

It’s not JUST for the fans but that doesn’t mean it’s NOT for fans… do I have to draw you a frikkin Venn frikking diagram?

:-)

126. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#123—-As someone who was never a big fan of the direction Star Trek took in Roddenberry’s later years, I welcome the return to the 23rd Century.

TOS was sexy, adventurous, ripe with action and human drama, and its characters were legendary, larger-than-life heroes.

Everything I have learned so far about the film indicates to me that we are seeing a return to those roots.

“Make a smaller film…make the base happy.”

Given that the “base” is so split to begin with, that seems like an impossible goal. Even the most heralded Star Trek feature film (TWOK) had its detractors among the “base”, including the franchise’s creator himself.

“Make it true to classic Trek. ”

What is that, exactly? That, to me, is precisely what fans haven’t seemed to be able to agree upon.

” I think it would have been bold and brave to have a much more retro film.”

Bold and brave? Sure. But that doesn’t equate to good, successful, or even what would have made a fractured “base” happy. The goal at Paramount should be to appeal to the largest audience possible. I think that the goal of the self-proclaimed “Supreme Court” is to adhere to that standard, without forsaking Star Trek’s original vision of an optimistic future for Mankind.

“Spicing it up” in order to reach a wider audience with the message of that vision is an admirable goal, IMO, and one that fans of that vision should embrace. Has that vision become something we believe, as a fanbase, is only worthy of the “geeks-only club”??

127. Harsh - December 18, 2008

Poor Bob Orci.
Every time JJ opens his mouth BO has to go on damage control.

128. OneBuckFilms - December 18, 2008

It’s funny, a lot of people seem hung up on the fact that JJ Abrams was “never a fan of Star Trek”, but they forget that Nicholas Meyer, who arguably saved the Star Trek movie franchise after Star Trek: TMP and delivered an absolute classic, was also not a big fan.

He was barely aware of Spock, and simply thought of him as “The guy with the ears” when he was told by a friend to meet up with Harve Bennet.

A non-fan’s view of a Star Trek film may well be what we needed.

In addition, fandom is represented in a way by Kurtzman and Orci, who know their trek intimately, and the fandom level runs the gamut from hardcore to non-fan on the “Supreme Court” making the key decisions on the film.

I have no problem with JJ Abrams not being a fan at the start, and becoming a fan as the project moved forward.

That tells me that he’s being honest about where he came from, and it is a way to emphasize how great Trek really is. He’s saying “I’ve been converted while making this film. Try it. You might like it.” in effect.

He also saw the optimism, the action-adventure and the core characters as the great parts of the movie, and also recognized that the crew are very much archetypes.

He got it. He understands and sees what WE see as fans and followers of Roddenberry’s basic ideals.

Let him say what he thinks will get buts in seats for the movie, and see how the movie turns out.

Let us give him a chance to show us his movie. If it sucks, then we have lost the price of a movie ticket and 2 hours.

If it works, then we have gained a large number of new fans, and they are going to need a guide to the universe of Star Trek.

They are going to need to see us in our positive, fun, thoughtful and optimistic.

Not argumentative about details that don’t match our perceptions of things, or intolerant of something new and different.

Lets implement IDIC in a real, honest way when making judgement calls about this movie and it’s makers.

129. Canon Father - December 18, 2008

Based on the whining and invective that seems to be rampant here, I’d say Trek definitely needs new fans.

I’ve lived with Trek since the very beginning, but I’m totally excited about this new version. TOS and TNG had become so stale and horrible! I just tried to watch Nemesis last night and GOOD LORD! it was awful. Insurrection wasn’t much better. I sure hope the new movie doesn’t have singing.

It’s tragic how so many of you aren’t willing to give it a chance. And sad. For you. Well, sad for us, too, because we have to “listen” to your pre-judgments and immature bitching.

130. Denise de Arman - December 18, 2008

Liz#113- I scared Mr. Bob away from Chat – remember my special script request? …hehe…

131. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#129—-”I sure hope the new movie doesn’t have singing.”

You and I both, at least in that goofy context.

It seems that nothing was learned from the horrific “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat” experience in STV:TGTTO89.

132. Commodore Lurker - December 18, 2008

130
Decloaking . . .
Denise, show him your Mirror photos, he’ll come back. I did. };-]>
Recloaking.

133. Denise de Arman - December 18, 2008

Closet#131- I reach, brother.

Commodore#132- Why thank you…le giggle.

134. Christine - December 18, 2008

#6; Xai: “Urban was probably in New Zealand or something… what does it matter?”

Yeah, he probably was… Maybe it’s just the fact that McCoy is one of the best loved characters in the (TOS) franchise? ^^; But you’re right. :3

Nice to see more stuff! 8D

135. Commodore Lurker - December 18, 2008

131 Closett, my brother . . .
See the end of the Chat tread, I’m reposting a message I think you’ll want to see that I think you missed several moons again.

And, all despise TGTT089.

136. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#127—-”Poor Bob Orci.
Every time JJ opens his mouth BO has to go on damage control”

Two things:

1) Bob doesn’t have to. I tend to believe he comes here as a fan, with the purpose of interacting with other fans.

2) Does it amount to “damage control” because of what JJ says, or because of how some fans perceive what he says?

137. AJ - December 18, 2008

131/Closet:

Are you kidding? Star Trek had some great musical numbers.

I believe Charles Napier is credited somewhere as the guy who invented rap:

“I’m gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy!
Got a clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy!”

Shame it never went anywhere.

138. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#137—Don’t get me wrong….”The Way To Eden” is near the top of my list of things I love to hate. It wouldn’t be the same without the singing.

And yes, Charles Napier gets the shaft on that one…

I think you and I have had the discussion before about certain episodes being so bad—- they’re fantastic!

:)

139. JKRC - December 18, 2008

Majel Barrett passed away today. Let’s pause a moment.

140. johnconner - December 18, 2008

Lord have mercy.

He’s putting his energy in trying to appeal to the non-fan base, not insult existing fans.

It IS possible to do both, you know.

141. AJ - December 18, 2008

139.

What?

142. Denise de Arman - December 18, 2008

#139- WHAT? Anthony, is this true?

143. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#141, #142—I have been unable to confirm this with any online news source. Perhaps it’s a mistake.

144. JKRC - December 18, 2008

http://www.accesshollywood.com/star-trek-creators-widow-passes-away_article_12706

145. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

Terrible news.

146. johnconner - December 18, 2008

Well, that sucks.

RIP, Number One.

147. AJ - December 18, 2008

Awwww, man!

I wish her family strength at this time, and we all know just how much she meant to all of us from “The Cage” through to next May. RIP

148. Harsh - December 18, 2008

#136:

When it comes to PR, I’m a little more cynical than that.
I wouldn’t put it past JJ & BO that this is completely coordinated.
Something along the lines of:

“Okay, I’ll go fish for new fans, you hold the old ones together.”

I would hope Bob’s primary concern is for a successful film.
Keeping the troops massed along the border is ultimately part of that equation.

—————————-

Very sad about Majel.
But glad she completed her voiceover work.
There will be a nice round of applause for her on opening day.

149. AJ - December 18, 2008

I hope Abrams dedicates the film to her.

Last time we saw Spock, “Unification” was dedicated to GR.

Let’s do it for Majel.

150. Denise de Arman - December 18, 2008

So, so sad. I hope Majel was able to see the rough cut of the movie.

151. Floydhead Max! - December 18, 2008

God this is really getting old.

Look people, you have NO movie without a script.
The script WAS written by people who are hardcore fans.
The writers strike prevented JJ from substantially altering the script (for good or bad).
JJ IS a incredible action/adventure director. Alias/Lost/MI-3. Do I really have to say more?
Have Faith People!!!
And stop getting your shorts in a knot over every little interview somebody does because it “offends” you. Sheesh…..

Lastly,
139. JKRC:
Is that info really true. I sure hope not.
If true RIP Majel……

FM

152. Closettrekker - December 18, 2008

#150—Even if she didn’t, I’m sure it meant alot to her that she was able to participate in it. I think it makes her participation all the more special for the fans as well.

153. boborci - December 18, 2008

140. johnconner – December 18, 2008
“Lord have mercy.

He’s putting his energy in trying to appeal to the non-fan base, not insult existing fans.

It IS possible to do both, you know.”

Especially with Quantum Mechanics :)

154. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

JJ Abrams needs better tact, he seems to unintenetionally piss off us true Star Trek fans by saying the film is not for us, This comment and talking about how this will not be like Galaxy Quest are really annoying me. H is not doing himself any favours.

I love Star Trek but I am still worried about the direction of this new movie, it seems such a departure. its nnot an origin story for the simple reason that is in an alternate timeline so its void as canon of what has gone before.

Is it just me or has JJ changd his tack since footage came out, while filming he sauid he is not just making the films for the fans but fans of movies (a pretty crap statement if you ask me) and now he is insisting its noy for the fans. Why the change to now exclude us fans. I feel like I am a Star Trek fan who has not been invited to the party of the new movie. Anyone else getting this feeling.

That is why I feel annoyed by this. All I know is that I want Rick Beman back pronto

155. Anthony Thompson - December 18, 2008

Where were the “secrets”? Ha! Zoe is SO cute!!!

156. captain_neill - December 18, 2008

I have no problem with JJ Abrams not being a fanm the best movies where done by non fans, the only thing getting me wound up is his comments that this is not being made for the fans.

157. Jason P Hunt - director of "Burned" - December 18, 2008

Mr. Orci:
You know, according to Quantum Mechanics, in some alternate timeline, you’d be serving up all sorts of inside information on the new movie.

And in some other universe, the movie came out in December 2008…

And in some other universe…

158. XAi - December 18, 2008

#154

not every comment made is directed toward the fans… relax. It seems you get po’d every time he breathes

159. Canon Father - December 18, 2008

Anthony needs to start another web site called TrekMovieWhiners.Com, where those who are pre-disposed to condemning something before they ever see it can go and vent their bile.

160. S. John Ross - December 19, 2008

#159: As long as there’s a corresponding site called TrekMovieFaithful.Com, where those fans pre-disposed to praising something before they ever see it can go to express their faith (and their gentle sorrow for those fans not pure and righteous enough to share in it) :)

161. Dom - December 19, 2008

Why are people being so naive? Of course they’re selling the movie to non-fans! We’re all a given. There’s hardly a person here who won’t see the film, even if they’re against it on a chromosonal level!

When we know that the team has to market the film at a wider audience, why are people still getting pissy? It doesn’t make sense! We’re in ‘the know!’ Bob Orci posts here and is a big fan.

Cut these guys some slack and let them do what they need to do!

162. Canon Father - December 19, 2008

160. S. John Ross – I’m not praising the film without having seen it. I AM choosing to give it a chance beforehand, but I’m not saying it’s going to be great.

163. thorsten - December 19, 2008

@153…
Like every year around christmas, one of my favorite QM/Many Worlds movies comes back, Frank Capras “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Jimmy Stewarts George Bailey is transported by an angel into an alternate timeline, in which he never was born…

“It’s a Wonderful Life” continues through Tuesday at the IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, at West Third Street, Greenwich Village; (212) 924-7771; ifccenter.com.

164. S. John Ross - December 19, 2008

#160: I never said or implied you were; I was building on your commentary about the kinds of nonsense we see here, which includes _both_ kinds of fannish insanity, the inexplicable declarations of “THIS MOVIE WILL SUKKK THE BALLZZZ” right next to the equally-inexplicable (and equally inexcusable) declarations of “THIS MOVIE WILL BE ***OSSUM!*** [sign of the devil, head-bang, head-bang]“.

Both groups are equally tedious, equally rude, and (as near as I can tell) equally insane.

165. krikzil - December 19, 2008

“TOS was sexy, adventurous, ripe with action and human drama, and its characters were legendary, larger-than-life heroes.”

A perfect Mission Statement. ;)

“It’s funny, a lot of people seem hung up on the fact that JJ Abrams was “never a fan of Star Trek”, but they forget that Nicholas Meyer, who arguably saved the Star Trek movie franchise after Star Trek: TMP and delivered an absolute classic, was also not a big fan.”

It’s not the being a fan or not that is my issue. A talented writer or director can make a good film regardless of being a fan of a franchise. It happens all the time. Now I’m not familiar with JJ’s work other than LOST (not his fault, I’m just not a big tv watcher and I don’t like Tom Cruise so MI3 was out). But I’ve had the good fortune of seeing JJ’s panels at Comic Con several times. I found him to be charming and funny, and one of us “geeks”. I never expected the genre mainstreamers (like Harve Bennett) to “get” the fans, but JJ is aware and a self-professed genre fan himself, so that’s why his latest comments are so puzzling to me. That’s all.

166. Dom - December 19, 2008

165. krikzil: ‘I never expected the genre mainstreamers (like Harve Bennett) to “get” the fans, but JJ is aware and a self-professed genre fan himself, so that’s why his latest comments are so puzzling to me. That’s all.’

He’s doing what he needs to to sell the film to the non-fanboy audience. Don’t take it personally.

167. New Horizon - December 19, 2008

“96. krikzil – December 18, 2008
For me Trek’s held up because of great story-telling. Sure, it will be nice to see good special effects but to me that’s never been what Trek was about.”

I didn’t intend to suggest that Trek be judged upon special effects. Quality vs. quantity to me is more a reference to how the quality of the writing dipped as the years went by. Trek became trapped within the TNG format of story telling. The number of series produced says nothing more to me than the fact the studio wanted to wring another buck out of Star Trek but not put anything into it. As far as writing, Voyager was pretty atrocious.

168. Holger - December 19, 2008

91 Closettrekker: “It is quite arrogant to imply that people don’t care for Star Trek (as is) because they are somehow less intelligent.”

But that’s something I haven’t said or implied. I only said that less intelligent *movies* attract larger audiences. (That needn’t even reflect the intelligence of the audience – perhaps some people prefer dumb movies simply because they want to relax after a demanding work day.)
But what I wanted to say is that I don’t need a $150 million budget if that requires the producers to dumb the movie down in order to get a larger audience in order to get something out of the $150 million investment.
I’d prefer a movie which is more intelligent and more for the fans (the two points needn’t be connected), even if that means a budget of $50 million only, and smaller returns. Obviously, Paramount disagrees here.

169. Holger - December 19, 2008

154 captain_neill: “I feel like I am a Star Trek fan who has not been invited to the party of the new movie. Anyone else getting this feeling.”

I am getting this feeling.

170. New Horizon - December 19, 2008

“169. Holger – December 19, 2008
154 captain_neill: “I feel like I am a Star Trek fan who has not been invited to the party of the new movie. Anyone else getting this feeling.”

I am getting this feeling.”

I think a lot of fans are locking themselves out of the party. I think the point of this movie is that everyone is welcome, not just fans.

171. krikzil - December 19, 2008

“The number of series produced says nothing more to me than the fact the studio wanted to wring another buck out of Star Trek but not put anything into it. As far as writing, Voyager was pretty atrocious.”

New Horizon — Yeah, cash cow to Paramount sadly, huh?! I didn’t hate TNG but never really warmed to it althought I do acknowledge some of its writing was pretty good. I really did like DS9, did you? Voyager was ho hum, I just liked it because we women finally got a female captain. ;) Now, ENT was the first Trek I actually stopped watching even though I really like Scott as an actor. What did you think of ENT?

#169/Holger — me.

172. Databrain - December 19, 2008

’12. MikeJones – December 17, 2008
10: the canonites are the ones who aren’t gonna like it, a small annoying minority…;)’

When the film fails as a result of 1-not appealing the average audience JJ so optimistically believes it will (the reason being it has star treks label on it) and 2-Most of the ‘canonites’ hate it thus fail to support it, you will see how much of a minority we are. Clearly JJ and paramount are money hungry, which is why the financial success of a project apparently overshadows its appeal to its ‘geek’ fans.

173. Databrain - December 19, 2008

And the people who keep repeating the lie that TNG aimed Trek toward a precipituous downslope need to remember that it garnered more viewership and increased its niche audience by making the show more cerebral than the original. Not by sucking up to mass audiences. This is something that cannot be contested. Every attempt to dumb trek down has failed thus far for several reasons. One of the main being trying to turn it into everything else.

174. AJ - December 19, 2008

173:

TNG actually proved that the mass audience was in fact more intelligent than previously thought, and had enough of interest for casual viewers to tune in regularly for the stories and memorable characters.

DS9 was the tipping point downward, when it became all about space battles with drug-addicted monsters led by evil blob people. They had to bring in Worf to get back lost TNG viewers, but it was too late.

By the time VOY was flailing, they brought in the Borg (a la First Contact, a successful mass movie) and bashed us over the head with it.

ENT was clearly meant to bring the masses back via Scott Bakula, and it was mostly BAD.

TV Trek has been all about appealing to the masses, but just doing it unsuccessfully by misreading what they want to see on the show.

175. Databrain - December 19, 2008

174. AJ – December 19, 2008
173:

‘TNG actually proved that the mass audience was in fact more intelligent than previously thought, and had enough of interest for casual viewers to tune in regularly for the stories and memorable characters.’

The next generation writers did little to make the show more appealing to ‘mass audiences’. In fact they geekified it to the extreme, consciously and intently in order to appeal to the niche market, but the unforeseen benefit of this was that they expanded that niche market. As I stated earlier, you have only two choices with trek, either expand its niche market or alienate its primary supporters, the ‘canonites’ or ‘trekkies’ or ‘geeks’ or whatever other condescending term JJ fans like to throw at us.

176. DFG333 - December 19, 2008

If this movie is anything like the movie of Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy we’ve had it as fans.

They should of got Russell T Davis to make the movie, as he’s made an excellent job of revamping Dr Who but not loosing anything about it.

177. New Horizon - December 19, 2008

173. Databrain – December 19, 2008
“And the people who keep repeating the lie that TNG aimed Trek toward a precipituous downslope need to remember that it garnered more viewership and increased its niche audience by making the show more cerebral than the original. ”

I would never say TNG aimed Trek into the downslope, it was the series that followed using the same TNG formula. TNG was quite different from TOS, but the series that followed just got stuck in a rut. Enterprise was ‘supposed’ to harken back to the TOS spirit, but it missed the mark there too. Season 4 of Enterprise was actually quite good though, and finally showed us what the series could have been.

178. Brett Campbell - December 19, 2008

I caught enough episodes of TNG to question seriously that it was more cerebral than the original.

Like the other spin-offs, it was a coat-tail ride on the belated success (owing to the fact that IT was so intelligently scripted compared with other TV fare at the time) of “Star Trek.”

The spin-offs alienated fans of the original and potential new fans, IMHO, for two significant reasons:

1. Too much technobabble, especially in key plot points to serve as sci-fi deus ex machina, instead of solid denouement, and

2. It reduced much of the story line to soap opera in space.

Finally, most of the episodes’ plots were simply variations of stories told in the original series.

There was a lot more polish and gloss, but nothing at all that was truly new.

179. Closettrekker - December 19, 2008

—#154 (captain_neill) “I feel like I am a Star Trek fan who has not been invited to the party of the new movie. Anyone else getting this feeling.”

–#169 (Holger)”I am getting this feeling.”

I guess I’ve never felt that sense of entitlement. I suppose that if I had, I would have felt that TNG didn’t invite me to “it’s party”, simply because it wasn’t anything like the Star Trek I grew up with.

Everyone is invited to this party…whether you will enjoy yourself or not is another issue, I suppose. If you go into it hoping to be entertained for two hours, the chance of that is much greater than if you go into it with a list of things the movie must do in order for it to conform to what your idea of Star Trek is.

For example, the 24th Century brand of Trek certainly didn’t do for me what its predecessor had, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating DS9, for instance, based upon its own merits as a television show. On the contrary, once I got around to watching it in syndication, the last couple of seasons in particular were quite entertaining to me. At least I found the characters a bit more intriguing and certainly less bland than Picard and company (Avery Brooks’ Cmdr./Capt. Sisko was, IMO, the closest thing to JTK in the Berman era).

If you’re getting the feeling that you are not invited, then I submit that you are creating that feeling on your own.

It’s very simple. Temper your judgement with the understanding of who is being spoken to at a given time, and why. It is not as if JJ Abrams came to this site and told you that he doesn’t care what you think and you’re not invited to go see this film. On the contrary, his visit here with us indicated quite the opposite. If you need a reminder, then simply go back and revisit what he did say to you—the Star Trek fan who frequents this site.

180. Devon - December 19, 2008

Bob, be honest.. you got a free subscription to Popular Quantum Mechanics didn’t you?

181. Closettrekker - December 19, 2008

#175—”The next generation writers did little to make the show more appealing to ‘mass audiences’. In fact they geekified it to the extreme…”

Which is a good portion of what I did not like about it. TOS was not for the “geeks only” club. Its characters’ appeal always went beyond that.

It was adventurous, sexy, dramatic, humorous, and the show’s producers were not afraid to throw in a good bare-knuckle fight scene just about every other episode.

The characters weren’t just geek icons. They remain popular, “larger-than-life” icons today.

I was watching an episode of “NFL Total Access” (NFLN) earlier this year, and one of the analysts was talking about the impact a dissenting voice on a particular team might have upon the locker room. His suggestion to that player included a quote from a “wise man” (whom he later admitted was “Mr. Spock”)—”The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

Its great that you and many others in that exclusionary “club” had a wonderful time in the 24th Century. But even amongst the “geeks only” bunch, that kind of Star Trek still ran out of steam. Blame it on whomever you choose. It doesn’t matter.

The self-proclaimed “Supreme Court” (4 out of 5 were established fans to various degree) is intent upon making Star Trek “sexy” again, just as it was when I was a kid.

It’s about time…

182. Closettrekker - December 19, 2008

#168—”I only said that less intelligent *movies* attract larger audiences. (That needn’t even reflect the intelligence of the audience – perhaps some people prefer dumb movies simply because they want to relax after a demanding work day.)”

I get that.

But again—-where does this notion that Star Trek movies have ever been somehow more “intelligent” than the average film come from? What Star Trek movie would you compare this one to in order to make the determination that it has or has not been, as you put it, “dumbed down”?

That, I don’t get.

183. captain_neill - December 19, 2008

I wat to love this film and I hope to like it.

I believe in time I will get use to the changes. I hope these future fans will watch the originals. I also hope he keeps the intelligence of Star Trek as well. With its huge budget it runs the risk of being style over substance. Please JJ don’t over do the effects, make sure the story works.

Star Trek movies always had great effects and the smaller budgets helped keep them from going into unnecessary effects.

I want this film to be a hit but I dont want people to forget the originals.

184. databrain - December 19, 2008

181:
‘Which is a good portion of what I did not like about it.’

It’s not about what you like or do not like, but what the niche market trek fans like or do not like. If in fact you are base your assertions on financial gains, TNG gained more than any trek before or since. That was the formula to expand on and try to surpass, it was Genes shining vision of the future. The one he did not get to portray in TOS due to network constraints. Which is why it ever so slightly beats TOS in terms of my favorite trek series.

185. databrain - December 19, 2008

For those who complain of technobabble, the number one reason I have observed for this disdain is not comprehending it. Once you read through trek tech manuals and basic physics/quantum dynamics the ‘technobabble’ aspect of it is quite exciting. Even if much of it is theoretical, it is still mind opening if you can think outside of conventional knowledge about things.

An episode such as ’cause and effect’ comes to mind not only as one which pushed the envelope of imagination but one that went further than any TOS episode did. But let is not make this about TOS versus the next generation, as Gene and Majel would not have wanted this. What I am saying is that the vision is what is important, and if that vision is not honored then whoever the property holder is is doing a major disservice to its creator.

Now for those talking about trek needing to be ‘sexy’ or whatever, I do not recall it ever being asexual to begin with. It was just tastefully and interestingly sexual (one recalls Datas sexual encounters during TNG for example). Why portray a set of conventional sexual relationships in the 24th century? Isn’t it boring to show the obvious human activity? I know people have sex, it’s not a revelation to me or anyone else here, let alone to other people in my age group (18-25). There is no reason to treat us like we’re going to get a testosterone burst after watching pine-kirk engage in sexual intercourse with any number of females. It’s actually quite lame in trek terms.

186. krikzil - December 19, 2008

“If in fact you are base your assertions on financial gains, TNG gained more than any trek before or since. ”

Very true. I’ve being doing cons for 30+ years and fandom literally exploded during TNG. Cons were standing room only and packed. While I wasn’t a fan of TNG per se (but I didn’t hate it), it did really energize fandom. A lot of people came into the fold. I love con going so it worked for me too.

187. databrain - December 19, 2008

I want to add that it not only energized Domestic fandom but foreign as well. I don’t think the other shows had as much foreign appeal as TNG did, with the arguable exception of TOS, but only years after it originally aired.

188. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

185 – “For those who complain of technobabble, the number one reason I have observed for this disdain is not comprehending it. Once you read through trek tech manuals and basic physics/quantum dynamics the ‘technobabble’ aspect of it is quite exciting. Even if much of it is theoretical, it is still mind opening if you can think outside of conventional knowledge about things.”

This only serves to back up my point as to why the spin-offs weren’t generally enjoyed as much by mainstream audiences as the original. The average TV viewer is never going to enjoy a show where they have to read such instruction manuals and how-to books to comprehend what’s being said and done in a TV show.

Scotty liked to relax looking at his “technical manuals” but most non-geeks (I mean the term affectionately not derisively) do not. Most people are never going to work that hard at trying to comprehend what is supposed to be entertaining them during time they wish to relax and enjoy a good story.

Please note that I say MOST people, not all. But that is why most people can sit through and enjoy episodes of “Star Trek” more than the spin-offs.

Gene Roddenberry used to edit scripts back then that threw in too much jargon or proto-technobabble that would most likely only serve to confuse or alienate the average viewer. He would call for rewrites that instead concentrated on items of dramatic substance that would entice the average viewer to stick with the show after each commercial break.

Stephen Whitfield provides examples of this in his book, “The Making of Star Trek.” That’s about how much and what type of outside reading I do for all things Trek. Reading Scotty’s technical journals never appealed to me that much. But to each is own, right? And vive la difference.

Of course, this was how television programs were generally done back in the days when “Star Trek” started out simply as a network TV show, in a far different climate and era. But it is also one of the main reasons why it has endured to this day, as many of its elements were based upon timeless elements of good drama — and comedy, too, when the plot warranted it.

189. Holger - December 20, 2008

182 Closettrekker: I don’t know if the new movie is actually “dumbed-down”. But the trailer and JJ’s mainstream audience remarks suggest that, or so I believe. But most importantly, I’m looking at some of the blockbusters of our day and I find most of them pretty dumb, for example: QoS, Transformers, AvP 1&2, Iron Man. (This is not to say that some of them aren’t entertaining and I didn’t enjoy some of them, Iron Man for example.) I expect that STXI will overall resemble such movies, because these are the blockblusters and moviemakers will usually stick to established success formulas.

I find movies totally dumb when they are
- pointless sequences of explosions, fighting, car racing, violence, interspersed with “cool” remarks by the characters
- displays of violence purely for its own sake (because it’s considered cool or fun)
- featuring a plot following the schema: villain wants to destroy heroes because villain is plain evil -> heroes fight back and destroy villain -> end movie

Now I don’t believe STXI will be completely like that, I only expect that it will feature lots and lots of such elements in order to appeal to as many people as possible.
Maybe it’s going to be like “The Island” which had a good SF story at its core and which was executed like a good SF story in large portions, but then there were also very long sequences of totally pointless car racing and violence (during which I almost fell asleep in the cinema because that was so utterly boring), which spoiled the movie for me to a large extent. The Terminator movies do the same, IMO: a sound basic SF premise is spoiled by an over-abundance of “cool” violence.
I hope STXI will be more like “I,Robot”, where, IMO, a very good balance between action and a classic SF story was found (except for that totally over the top action sequence in the USR building at the end of the movie). And what’s very important to me: the action in “I,Robot” had a purpose in the fabric of the story, it wasn’t the purpose of the story.

And here are some SF movies which I’d call intelligent SF, or at least solid SF: 2001, Forbidden Planet, Gattaca, The Bicentennial Man, The Day The Earth Stood Still (Original, but also the remake), Star Trek TMP (which is my favorite among the Trek movies)
These are somewhat brainy, of course, and I do not oppose to more action than these movies feature.

I can’t really give you very definite criteria of dumb and intelligent movies, but these examples may illustrate what I mean by it.

And here’s why I always found Star Trek and TNG to be, well, let’s say: non-dumb, and good sound SF: There were usually no plainly evil villains, but antagonists whose motives were explained; the protagonists had real characters, weren’t one-dimensional; the protagonists encountered strange situations, strange new worlds, strange lifeforms, strange cultures; perils and conflicts were usually NOT overcome by blowing them up; ethical dilemmas; space was explored by the protagonists, and not conquered or controlled; extrapolations of science; typical SF issues were taken up, like: androids, sentient computers, time travel, genetic engineering, PSI abilities; energy beings, the perils of spaceflight.
This is the stuff I love so much about Star Trek, and I’m curious how much of it I’ll see in STXI. So far, JJ has not made the impression on me that he’s willing or able to keep up very much of that.

Based on all the criteria and comparisons mentioned above, I *will make* the determination if the new movie is dumbed down, and if it’s dumbed down compared with the TOS movies. (See, after reading through this long post, you finally get an answer to your question ;-)
For now, I can only suspect and worry that it’s been dumbed down, of course. I’m not the pessimistic type, generally, I only look at other successful movies of our days, and so I think my worries are realistic.

190. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#185—”Now for those talking about trek needing to be ’sexy’ or whatever, I do not recall it ever being asexual to begin with. ”

‘To begin with’—-it wasn’t asexual at all. TOS was very sexy. In fact, sexuality was a huge part of its appeal. I’m not suggesting that Star Trek needs to be sexy in a way it has never been before, just that it should ‘return’ to that.

TNG was never sexy. Don’t kid yourself. Data? There is absolutely nothing sexy about Data or his ‘scientific’ approach to sexual encounters. TNG’s depictions of sexuality were confined within the boundaries of late-80′s-early 90′s conservative social values. Boring.

“There is no reason to treat us like we’re going to get a testosterone burst after watching pine-kirk engage in sexual intercourse with any number of females. It’s actually quite lame in trek terms.”

I didn’t find it to be lame in TOS. Shatner’s Kirk was quite the ladies’ man. It’s part of who the character is. I would be extremely disappointed if that, of all things, was left out of this creative team’s approach to James Tiberius Kirk.

And when I describe the need for Star Trek to become “sexy” again, I’m not confining that to overt sexuality (although that’s part of it). I also think of that as encompassing a much broader spectrum. Star Trek (in the TOS-era) was colorful and romantic, something that the spinoffs were sorely lacking, IMO.

” Why portray a set of conventional sexual relationships in the 24th century? Isn’t it boring to show the obvious human activity?”

If sexual relationships are “boring” in the 24th Century, I’d just as soon not go there. That’s an awful prospect, to me at least.

It wasn’t at all boring in 23rd Century Star Trek, and it appears as if that’s still true. And since when is a sexy encounter between a human male and an Orion female anywhere near the definition of “conventional”?

191. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#189—” There were usually no plainly evil villains, but antagonists whose motives were explained…”

Like Nero, the Romulan patriot who descends into villainry? If I’m not mistaken, the comic prequel is intended to delve deeply into Nero’s backstory and uncover those motives.

” It’s a very poignant character piece tracing the steps of Nero, who descends from a proud Romulan patriot to a murderous arch villain.”—Tim Jones, writer

Villains may indeed have their motives explained (Khan’s blaming of JTK for the death of his wife, for example), but that doesn’t mean that possession of a motive equates to absence of plain evil. Most villains do not consider themselves to be villains at all. It is, in fact, those motives (rational or otherwise) which drive them to “evil” in the first place.

“Star Trek TMP (which is my favorite among the Trek movies)…”

A close second in my book (I definitely find myself in a TMP mood from time to time), but I see where you’re coming from. I love TMP, and I would agree that it is by far the most intelligent of the feature film series.

I don’t expect this film to be quite that cerebral, nor do I expect it to be dumbed down by mindless action.

I’m hoping to be entertained by the return of my favorite Star Trek characters.

192. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

The second “elements” (after “dramatic”) in my post #188 should have read “principles.”

It was late; I was tired; I’m awake enough now to pick nits — especially my own.

193. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

Closettrekker — Very valid points in both #190 and #191.

I’m in complete agreement with you in your observations on both sexuality and villainy.

I watched “Planet of the Apes” as a kid with my Dad — about a decade before he died. He explained to me at my young age that Dr. Zaius wasn’t a bad guy for the sake of being bad, but that the orangutan politico actually viewed himself as a hero, trying to protect the society he knew from a “mutant” human invader — he was a “defender of the faith” as Heston’s character calls him at one point near the film’s climax. Darth Vader is cast from a very similar die. That is why they are believable as “villains.”

I have to chuckle when I see Chris Pine’s Kirk making love to an Orion woman in the trailer. It reminds me of an Eddie Murphy monologue from years back when the comedian implied that Kirk would “bed” any woman — even a green one. Of course, Mr. Murphy did not “couch” his phraseology in quite so euphemistic terms!

194. Holger - December 20, 2008

191 Closettrekker: I think the right mixture of action and dialogue/ideas is important. TWOK certainly had a lot of action. But it also had, for example, that extended philosophical dispute between Bones and Spock about the Genesis project. I would be surprised to see a dialogue of that kind (and length) in the upcoming Trek. I guess something like that is supposed to put off the wider audiences nowadays.

About sex: Let’s not forget that the sexiness in Star Trek was extremely bold measured against 1960s TV standards! Many of the female costumes are still bold today, I think. And what about such lines as Spock’s warning in The Immunity Syndrome, when entering the Space Amoeba: “Brace yourselves! The area of penetration will no doubt be sensitive.”
I always thought of TOS as the sexiest of all the TV shows, T’Pol’s bare aft section in Harbinger nonwithstanding.
TNG may have many virtues, but sexiness is certainly not among them!

195. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#194—”I would be surprised to see a dialogue of that kind (and length) in the upcoming Trek.”

See, I wouldn’t be at all suprised, nor would I be surprised to see a respectable theme (whether primary or secondary). That’s precisely the kind of thing I would expect to have intrigued Nimoy so much about the script.

196. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#194—”“Brace yourselves! The area of penetration will no doubt be sensitive.”–Spock (“The Immunity Syndrome”)

Classic.

:)

197. Databrain - December 20, 2008

194 said:
‘I always thought of TOS as the sexiest of all the TV shows’

Or the most sexist. Having women walk around flaunting their bodies for the sake of male audiences was indeed a demand of the network, which is why the suits of female officers changed from the pilot to the rest of the show. Something that was corrected in TNG. It is debatable how sexual either show was, but TNG did it more tastefully, without demeaning and objectifying females the entire time in the process.

198. Databrain - December 20, 2008

190 said:
‘TNG’s depictions of sexuality were confined within the boundaries of late-80’s-early 90’s conservative social values.’

Wrong. If that were the case there would have been an emphasis on overt abstinence in the message put forth pertaining to male/female relations. There was plenty of relationships being pursued in the program, both sexual and casual. They simply did them tastefully, without the need to demean females by making them all wear extremely short skirts in the process.

They even encouraged young wesley crusher to pursue relationships as early as the second season. Not very conservative minded. The only time you see a person younger than 20 attempting to involve himself in TOS in any such relationship was in charlie x and he was ostracized for it. There’s a difference between being asexual and anti-sexist. TNG did a fine job of portraying a more evolved sort of sexual relationship between male and female, for a more evolved time period. The obvious is boring and used up.

‘Shatner’s Kirk was quite the ladies’ man.’

Their portrayal of that aspect of it was tasteful, not obvious, which made it more enticing actually. If you overtly show a startrek character having sex it is just a waste of time and space. We know characters are sexually active. StarTrek was never about the need to show the obvious (another case in point being, taking showers) and always about the need to show what’s relevant. Insomuch as it was relevant, star trek showed sexual relations in all of its series. Especially Voyager, i which Tom Paris and Be’lana torres were involved in a passionate, but still within the bounds of tasteful trek portrayals, relationship. SHowing the obvious beyond this has always been considered superfluous within trekdom.

‘If sexual relationships are “boring” in the 24th Century, I’d just as soon not go there. That’s an awful prospect, to me at least.’

Now you are twisting my words and you know it. I said that it was boring to portray an ‘obvious human activity’ on a show that encompasses so much more than this. Stop acting like an adolescent.

‘It wasn’t at all boring in 23rd Century Star Trek, and it appears as if that’s still true. And since when is a sexy encounter between a human male and an Orion female anywhere near the definition of “conventional”?’

TNG episode ‘the outcast’. Not only does riker fall in love with an androgynous alien (something, goodness forbid they would show in TOS) but it tackled the social quandary of what many condescending human beings refer to as ‘alternative relationships’. A very bold move in the early 90s, considering there is still problem passing laws allowing homosexuals to marry. Basically The Outcast was the closest trek ever came to dealing with a socio-sexual issue like this. You’d have never seen it in TOS.

199. stiff arsed brit - December 20, 2008

154 – i agree 100%

i’m 34, and I feel like i’m too old to watch this film, it feels like JJ only wants 15 to 20 year olds to watch this.
lets see how much money this film makes with just non fans watching the movie once.

200. Databrain - December 20, 2008

188 said:

‘This only serves to back up my point as to why the spin-offs weren’t generally enjoyed as much by mainstream audiences as the original. ‘

Yes but this doesn’t matter since TNG had still garnered many more viewers than TOS, it doesn’t matter that these viewers were not average audiences, because what TNG successfully did was expand startreks niche audience. In terms of what many of you claim makes something a success (finance success) it definitely excelled at that.

‘Scotty liked to relax looking at his “technical manuals” but most non-geeks (I mean the term affectionately not derisively) do not. Most people are never going to work that hard at trying to comprehend what is supposed to be entertaining them during time they wish to relax and enjoy a good story.’

Then they should watch any number of films and television shows designed specifically for that purpose. There seems to be an army of non-trek fans or fringe trek fans out there posing as trekkies for the purpose of trying to promote the notion that Star Trek should be like everyone else. My question is why? If you want to ‘relax’ your mind whilst watching a television program surely there are hundreds of options for you to choose from? Why continually drag out the notion that Trek need not be thought provoking and must first and foremost be entertainment for the silent, thumb sucking masses? Why? Why Trek? Why not every other thing designed to do that out on the market? Answer that before I take anything further you people say seriously.

‘Gene Roddenberry used to edit scripts back then that threw in too much jargon or proto-technobabble that would most likely only serve to confuse or alienate the average viewer.’

And apparently he decided the technobabble was important when TNG came through. He decided that it enhanced the mind set of the niche viewer and that this was indeed more important than dumbing it down and appealing to those who would just as soon watch 90120. That is commendable.

‘But it is also one of the main reasons why it has endured to this day, as many of its elements were based upon timeless elements of good drama — and comedy, too, when the plot warranted it.’

TNG had MORE VIEWERS while becoming invariably more cerebral than TOS. Period.

201. Holger - December 20, 2008

195 Closettrekker: “That’s precisely the kind of thing I would expect to have intrigued Nimoy so much about the script.”
Nimoy – yes, agreed, that’s a good point.

197 Databrain: In my opinion, what we can observe in Western societies today demonstrates that short skirts and other sexy female clothing are in no way demeaning, tasteless or objectifying females. I personally know a number of strong, self-sufficient and successful women who choose to wear short skirts and to look sexy (among them university professors, lawyers and businesswomen) – nobody forces them to, they simply like it. I think it’s a mistake to assume that equal rights implies some kind of obligation to equal outfits.
1960s TV companies may have seen beautiful actresses and short skirts merely as a means to attract viewers, but on the other hand I don’t think any actress was ever forced into a supporting role or extra job on TOS. And we’d have to ask some female Trek veterans if they actually felt demeaned by their work in TOS – I don’t think this is obvious. But still, women’s rights was certainly a serious issue back then – agreed.
On the other hand, seen from an in-universe perspective, it seems believable to me that women officers in the 23rd century would wear short dresses simply because they like them. We have seen women in black pants and tunic on three occasions in the first season of TOS (excluding the pilot). This suggests that female officers may choose between different uniform styles.

202. Databrain - December 20, 2008

201 said:

‘I personally know a number of strong, self-sufficient and successful women who choose to wear short skirts and to look sexy (among them university professors, lawyers and businesswomen) – nobody forces them to, they simply like it.’

Always the anectodal ‘i personally know’ statement. Okay, let’s play that line of reasoning for a moment. I personally now several females who feel they must dress this way to succeed in a still largely male dominated business world, they feel it is one of the many ways to accelerate them forward in a community hostile toward females for being anything other than sexual objects. They say they pretend it is their own choice to offset the fact that they feel embarrassed and uncomfortable for having to dress this way, they say they wish men would stop treating them like meat on a meat hook. But they proceed with it because it is the only way they can manipulate themselves through american society. Of course this is merely what ‘I personally know’. So until someone conducts a vast study on this what anyone personally knows might not be adequate to state a valid argument.

‘On the other hand, seen from an in-universe perspective, it seems believable to me that women officers in the 23rd century would wear short dresses simply because they like them.’

I can use the same line of reasoning to suggest that they dress that way because they think it might help to excel them through the rigors of starfleet faster. Sexism was apparently no stranger to TOS (turnabout intruder being the most overt example, sad sad example of how many men still think of women as emotional wrecks incapable of performing complex jobs due to reproductive disposition).

‘We have seen women in black pants and tunic on three occasions in the first season of TOS (excluding the pilot). This suggests that female officers may choose between different uniform styles.’

Or it could be an indication of what happened when a network exec saw the pilot and basically said ‘no, I do not want women to be strong and intelligent ever, you need to dumb them down and make them wear sexually provokative outfits and basically say nothing other than ‘hailing frequencies opened’.

I always thought it was shameful how little they used Uhura, and how they relegated her to a few lines of dialogue pertaining to her official function aboard the ship. She was, after all, a senior officer with a much grander role than the average filler actor. Any time you did see a woman holding her own with Kirk it was a non-crew member who was visiting the ship for a diplomatic reason, and even then they almost always seemed to succumb to Kirks male prowess. In retrospect it is just silly. TOS was definitely before its time in many ways, but the portrayal of human sexual/gender relations was not one of them.

203. Databrain - December 20, 2008

Actually I cannot say ‘in retrospect’ because I was not even born when it was originally airing, but what I meant is that, collectively as a species, looking back at this curious historical document known as Star Trek The original series, we all ought to observe the overt aspects that made it a product of an extremely sexist time period.

204. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#198—”If that were the case there would have been an emphasis on overt abstinence in the message put forth pertaining to male/female relations.”

That’s not what I was referring to when I said late-80′s-early 90′s conservative social values.

Where TOS was bold, TNG was restrained. Once again—boring.

“Basically The Outcast was the closest trek ever came to dealing with a socio-sexual issue like this. You’d have never seen it in TOS.”

I would argue that the socio-sexual relevance of “The Outcast” is hardly significant.

In fact, DS9 (some years later) did a more effective job in dealing with socio-sexual issues, simply by way of approaching homosexuality as a non-issue. When Jadzia Dax started up again with the wife of her former host, the only issue for anyone was that those kinds of relationships were taboo in Trill society. The fact that both parties were female wasn’t an issue to anyone. No one thought twice about a lesbian affair being of any significance whatsoever. I think that was the closest Star Trek ever came to being proactive in addressing that type of socio-sexual issue.

But, of course, TNG and Berman-era Trek were always late-comers to the party when it came to bold social statements. By the time that episode aired, addressing homosexuality on television was already commonplace.

Both shows are products of their time. The bold efforts in TOS are relative to its time, as are TNG’s efforts decades later. And in those terms, TNG falls short. TOS pioneered television in many ways with regard to social progress, while TNG failed to do so as compared to many of its contemporary brethren.

“Stop acting like an adolescent.”

Don’t do that. It isn’t ‘adolescent’ to appreciate that the virality of James Kirk as being part of who he is. You talk as if it wasn’t already there…that Kirk being depicted as sexually pursuing attractive females is a new concept. It’s over 40 years old.

“Their portrayal of that aspect of it was tasteful, not obvious, which made it more enticing actually. If you overtly show a startrek character having sex it is just a waste of time and space.”

I suppose that “obvious” is a relative term. Showing Kirk putting his boots back on was quite ‘racy’ over 40 years ago. Even as a kid, I knew exactly what had just happened. Depicting him in bed with an alien female (like in the trailer) isn’t exactly groundbreaking today.

When Procounsel Claudius tells Kirk that he wanted to “allow him a few more hours as a man” (“Bread And Circuses”), what are we supposed to believe was the point?

Is that not obvious? It sure was to me!

205. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

That’s virility…not virality.

Sorry.

206. Holger - December 20, 2008

202 Databrain: “So until someone conducts a vast study on this what anyone personally knows might not be adequate to state a valid argument.”

Fair enough! But I’d like to remind you that you started off with the quite general statement that short dresses are demeaning and objectifying women. And my personal experience, while not being universally valid, of course, at least demonstrates that your initial statement is not universally valid either. There are counterexamples to it.

“Or it could be an indication of what happened when a network exec saw the pilot and basically said ‘no, I do not want women to be strong and intelligent ever, you need to dumb them down and make them wear sexually provokative outfits and basically say nothing other than ‘hailing frequencies opened’.”

Here again you seem to imply some general connection between dumbness, exploitation and sexy clothes. I simply don’t see this general connection. I certainly don’t deny there was and is sexual exploitation in the world. I only deny that sexy clothes entails sexual exploitation!

As for Uhura’s impact in TOS: The impact of Sulu and Chekov wasn’t any bigger, and not even Scotty said much more than “I’ll see to it, sir!” for the most time.

As for the career situation of American women, I admit I can’t evaluate that, I’m European.

207. Closettrekker - December 20, 2008

#202—”I always thought it was shameful how little they used Uhura, and how they relegated her to a few lines of dialogue pertaining to her official function aboard the ship.”

Shameful? Considering the context of the time period in which the show was produced, it was far from shameful. In fact, it was bold and unprecedented!

Uhura was depicted as a skilled technician, in a time when technical prowess was still very much considered the domain of males in contemporary society.

“I can think of no one better equipped to handle the repairs.”—Spock (“Who Mourns For Adonais”)

As far as having to wear short-skirts in TOS, Nichelle Nichols is quick to point out that such attire was not viewed as “demeaning” in that time by women, but empowering, if not a bit rebellious to the 1950′s-early 60′s mentality about female sexuality forced upon them by a male-dominant society. I think you may benefit from reading up a bit on the “Sexual Revolution” of the mid-late 60′s and 70′s. These types of things are seen now from a completely different perspective from the one taken by women of the period.

I won’t deny that gender equality had a long way to go, even as depicted in futuristic society such as Star Trek’s United Federation Of Planets, but TOS was always on the “cutting edge” of social progress during its time (TNG was never in the forefront during its time).

In “Turnabout Intruder”, Janice Lester asserts that “Your world of starship captains doesn’t admit women”, but this is not legitimized by any “sane” person in Starfleet. I have always took this to mean that this is merely her perception of being persecuted, when she is obviously mentally unqualified for such a role anyway. It is a way of casting blame somewhere else, away from her own shortcomings. This is the opinion of a person with irrational paranoid delusions and emotional instabilities, not Starfleet doctrine. Star Trek ‘canon’ confirms this view. Erika Hernandez commands the ‘Columbia’ over a century before the time period depicted in TOS, and “Number One” is second in command of the Enterprise during the events depicted in “The Menagerie”, and a heartbeat away from the Captain’s chair. “Number One” is a command level officer, and her existence in canon is unquestioned since the events on Talos IV are not only depicted in the original pilot, but in a first season episode as well!

208. Holger - December 20, 2008

207, about Janice Lester: I agree entirely. My understanding of Lester’s comment has always been that she couldn’t cope with her failure and thus was blaming it on a system which supposedly didn’t admit women.

A pet theory of mine is that Number One got her own command of a Constitution Class starship as soon as Pike was relieved by Kirk.

209. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

208 – Holger –

“A pet theory of mine is that Number One got her own command of a Constitution Class starship as soon as Pike was relieved by Kirk.”

An interesting theory, and a strong possible source of new stories!

210. Brett Campbell - December 20, 2008

200 – The original Trek provoked thought and entertained at the same time. Usually in a combination unmatched by the spinoffs.

More technobbable does not make a show more cerebral, just more jargonistic. TOS had true science fiction literati writing scripts for it, which none of the spinoffs ever had.

TNG may have had more viewers; I don’t know the numbers to verify. But that is probably merely a case of a much larger world population and more TV sets than in the ’60s. Box office receipts would confirm that TOS is still the more popular incarnation of the Trek universe between the two.

The success the spinoffs have had is owed, without question, to the equally cerebral and more imaginative original. Don’t mistake the success of Beatlemania as happening without the earlier and ultimately more influential success of the Beatles. The same formula applies to TOS and its spinoffs. Period. Exclamation point. End of sentence. End of story.

211. Devon - December 21, 2008

#199 – i’m 34, and I feel like i’m too old to watch this film, it feels like JJ only wants 15 to 20 year olds to watch this.”

J.J. has never said anything to that affect.

“lets see how much money this film makes with just non fans watching the movie once.”

Which won’t happen, but I bet it would make more with non-fans to be honest.

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