Star Trek Magazine #17 Preview + Scott Chambliss Interview Extract |
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Star Trek Magazine #17 Preview + Scott Chambliss Interview Extract March 20, 2009

by Staff , Filed under: Merchandise,ST09 Creative,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The new issue of the official Star Trek Magazine (#17) goes on sale next week and it has a big focus on the new Star Trek movie, including an interview with production designer Scott Chambliss. TrekMovie has been given an interesting excerpt of that interview, plus the first look at the cover (see below).


Star Trek production designer in STM #17
Extract from an interview with Scott Chambliss, production designer on J.J.
Abrams new Star Trek movie ­ featuring in issue #17 of Star Trek Magazine.

[minor spoilers]

Chambliss on working with J.J. Abrams:

J.J. often uses the word ‘accessible’ when we work together. No matter how crazy ­ Star Trek, outer space, future ­ he wants it to be accessible to the audience so it makes sense. Things like military transport shuttles, you believe that¹s a military bus taking you some place. It¹s got the textures, it¹s got a little bit of peeling paint, the safety bars and the seatbelts that you just know makes sense in the world now, so will makes sense 200 years from now. I loved doing those little sets because they were so small, like little jewel boxes.

On his favorite sets from the movie:

I was really happy with the way the Bridge turned out. I guess I have three favorite sets: the Bridge, the whole Narada interior, which is minimalist, with excessive detail, and brutalist, and the Jellyfish, Nimoy’s little ship [the ‘Jellyfish’]. That has a wonderful inside thing from J.J. and my years of working together. In the containment field in the ship is a big red ball. The ‘big red ball’ has a lot of resonance for J.J. and I: we have one in virtually everything we do. It started with the Alias pilot. I always look at a script and wonder what the big red ball is going to be this time.

…more from Chambliss in Star Trek Magazine #17, on sale March 24 (USA) & April 9 (UK)

Star Trek Mag # 17 – first of three movie-themed issues
Star Trek Magazine has increased its frequency from six issues per year to eight, and the next three issues will have a special focus on the new Star Trek movie — with exclusive new information and images from Star Trek. The first of these is issue #17 which goes on sale next week. In addition to the Chambliss interview there is more exclusive movie coverage. Here is the cover for #17.

Cover for STM #17

There will be two more Star Trek movie-focused issues (#18 on sale in May and #19 on sale in June). Issue #18 will include an exclusive set visit and cast interviews. CLICK HERE to subscribe to get all those issues and more.


Pre-order STM #17 & STM #18
The first two movie-themed issues can be pre-ordered at You can get the regular newsstand version or the variant ‘Previews exclusive’ cover version.
[note some of the below covers are ‘dummy covers’, final covers will have new movie imagery]

STM #17
(newsstand edition)

STM #17
(Previews Exclusive)
[not final cover]

(Pre-order -March 24)

(Pre-order – March 24)

STM #18
(newsstand edition)
[not final cover]

STM #18
(Previews Exclusive)
[not final cover]

(Pre-order -May)

(Pre-order – May)

Or just Subscribe to get all the upcoming issues of Star Trek Magazine.



1. thorsten - March 20, 2009

A ‘big red ball’…

2. captain hamster - March 20, 2009

first? awesome!!!!!!!!!!! must buy that now

3. Sean - March 20, 2009

Stop that “first” garbage, no one cares!

On to the story: Looks cool!!!

4. Kaiser The Great - March 20, 2009

Seatbelts are so last century!

5. ss - March 20, 2009

First to nitpick the quality of that black wig… and first not to care because the new movie will rock.

6. Krik Semaj - March 20, 2009

#2 “Captain Hamster”
I guess we know how you spend your free time.
Whatever turns you on man. I’m not judging.

7. Selor - March 20, 2009

Can’t wait… can’t wait… want to see the Big red ball…. ^^

8. Daoud - March 20, 2009

Here ya go:

Perhaps we see Winona moving into Uncle Frank’s farmhouse using Red Ball movers, eh?

9. thorsten - March 20, 2009


Star Trek, writer’s room.

J.J.: Bob, we need something… red.
A red globe…

Kurtzman: We could give Nero a huge battlestation, like a small red moon…

Lindelof: Ahh… No.

Orci: Hmm… what about “Red Matter”?

10. Hat Rick - March 20, 2009

I’m trying to recall if the Original Series ever depicted a future in which there was peeling paint on Starfleet vehicles, and I’m not sure it did.

The Wrath of Khan started a trend toward a grittier future, yes, but before that ST had always had a certain gleam in it everywhere you looked. Take The Motion Picture, for example. Everything was sparkling clean, regardless of how new or old it was.

Other than that, I don’t have too many reactions to Mr. Chambliss’ comments.

11. Andros - March 20, 2009

They need to stop airbrushing Quinto, he’s becoming plastic looking.

12. John from Cincinnati - March 20, 2009

Seatbelts are needed! TOS was harpooned often for the lack thereof.

Big Red ball. hmmm. Sounds interesting.

TOS had a great 60’s mentality to it’s designs. Which is why I think many TOS fans such as myself love it so much, for nostalgia. They were practical, futuristic, functional, sleek and clean and not dark.

13. Hat Rick - March 20, 2009

One more thing: The “grittiness” or “old and worn down look” can be taken too far. Yes, it’s true that things will be worn down and out in the future, but if we look at what counts as “worn down” today versus what counts as such two hundred years ago, we’d be likely to see that things that were worn down or out in the early 1800’s were considerably grittier than are today. A worn down sailing ship in the 1800’s was a disaster compared to, say, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise today, even though the Enterprise is the oldest carrier in the U.S. Navy at more than 47 years old.

A literalistic interpretation of the future can present potential pitfalls. What is “gritty” today is not necessarily what is “gritty” tomorrow. Tomorrow, it could be deemed decrepit, and decrepit is not what we want in a Star Trek movie.

14. Scott Xavier - March 20, 2009

Im seeing kirk and spock in them more and more.

15. Capt.Stabbin - March 20, 2009

10# the only reason they didn’t was they basically never thought about it & technically it probably wouldn’t have been visible on TV screens in 1960s.
Things have moved on from then and people demand realism, even if it became possible to develop a material that kept itself pristine forever, it’d never look “right” if everything looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.
It MAY be possible but to our 20th/21st century eyes it’d look fake, plastic if everything in the Trek world showed NO SIGNS of weathering.

3# I concur, no one cares who’s first I hate those AICN idiots

16. NC Trekker - March 20, 2009

TOS was supposed to be space travel perfected. I would think they would have paint that doesn’t peel in the 23rd century. Are they still working with polymers?

Also, Spock looks like a girl on that cover.

17. SirMartman - March 20, 2009

Sweet,, now wheres the offical poster for ST :TFB

18. Capt.Stabbin - March 20, 2009

13# you make absolutely no sense. None of vehicles in Star Trek are hundreds of years old. But you can bet a transport shuttle thats seeing heavy duty in space and possible multiple atmospheric re-entrys is gonna look weathered.
Have you every seen one of the old Nasa command modules after its come back from ONE trip, it outer skin looks like its a hundred years old, weathered and dirty.


19. Capt.Stabbin - March 20, 2009

16# as I said, they probably do but everything would look so perfect and FAKE to OUR eyes, people like you would still complain.

Theres a balance of realism and suspension of disbelief. Why dont you make a YouTube video like that other tool who thought the shot of SF bay wasn’t accurate. I dare you.

20. BP - March 20, 2009

this magazine is already on sale where I live.
I stood in an aisle at a book store yesterday and read the whole thing.

21. Mr. AtoZ - March 20, 2009

#3 Sean,

I agree with the first stuff, but for some it’s all they have. I think everyone should say first. Even if they’re not first…lol

22. Oh No, Odo - March 20, 2009

Ummm, since when is StarFleet “Military?” This is starting to sound more like Starship Troopers than Star Trek. Unless of course this a MACO transport. That would be cool. StarFleet is usually about scientific exploration not military operations.

23. mikey_pikey (Ireland) - March 20, 2009

as for the grittiness idea, it’s logical to assume that in the future it would be unlikely to see scratched surfaces, paint chips etc., these little touches are only for dramatic effect for “today’s audience, c’mon it’s a movie!! :)

24. Liz - March 20, 2009

I prefer the black and white photos of the new cast to the color photos. For some reason, the color ones look fake. Airbrushed or something. The black and white photos convey a level of seriousness and respect.

25. Hat Rick - March 20, 2009

“None of vehicles in Star Trek are hundreds of years old.”

You misunderstand me. Things change — what is “old and weathered” today may not be considered such two hundred years in the future. Trek takes place in the 23d Century, after all. Compare what is “old and weathered” in the 1800’s with what is “old and weathered” today. Because of construction materials and techniques, ships that were 50 or so years old in the 1800’s looked in horrible shape. By comparison, ships that are about 50 years old today — witness the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier — look nothing nearly as weathered as 50-year-old ships did in the 1800’s.

Two centuries of advancement should result in construction materials and techniques that do not show the level of wear and tear that one would expect of today’s vehicles.

The weathering in the case of the space shuttles and Apollo capsules is inapposite. More appropriate would be a comparison to commercial or even military transport aircraft today, since this is technology that would be considered mature, the same way that shuttles would be considered mature in the 23d Century. Few commercial or even military aircraft show substantial wear that is nearly as evident as those in shuttles or capsules. The wear and tear that does exist should be attenuated by the fact that construction materials and techniques have been improved over the course of 200 years and we should NOT see the same level of wear and tear that would be evident from hard use in 20th Century vehicles.

26. garen - March 20, 2009

capt stabbin…

on behalf of everyone here….stop trolling and just have fun.

or at least let the rest of us have fun.

27. Dr. Image - March 20, 2009

All of the portraits are seriously lackluster with unflattering lighting and are over processed.
Their photographer dosen’t seem to get it at all.
In this case, yes, I could have done better.

28. Just Wonderin' - March 20, 2009

Wow. I guess Vulcans are vain in the new alternative timeline and use Botox, since Quinto has absolutely no lines on his face!

29. ety3 - March 20, 2009

I’ll just say it one more time: for the sequels, Quinto needs to take all of his promo photos while he’s still filming the movie so he doesn’t have to wear that damned horrible wig any more.

30. Jim Durdan - March 20, 2009

#22, StarFleet has always been Military. Yes, part of their purview is scientific exploration, but their first job is military.

Watch any Trek, from TOS to Voyager, StarFleet is a military organization, with Military ranks. A prime example was seen in DS9 with the war with the Jem’Hadar and the founders. StarFleet was military all the way.

31. screaming satellite - March 20, 2009

Question to

do you know if theres going to be an official film magazine (like Starlog did for Treks 1-6 and Titan did for the TNG films) or if these 3 magazines will be the ‘official’ magazine spread over 3 issues?

32. BrF - March 20, 2009

Some of these Spock photos are so bad — just plain weird bad — that I wonder if they’re not really just Photoshopped treatments of what they figured Quinto was going to look like once they got him through makeup. I mean, could he look any more plastic and strangely delicate? Pretty far from how I think of the character.

33. Anthony Pascale - March 20, 2009

guys, yes it is possible that some stores have STM17 now…we are just going on what they send to us and the ‘official’ date is the 24th.

RE: official movie mag
As far as i can tell STM 18 is the ‘movie mag’ if you notice, it has a higher price than the regular issues.

34. captain shroom - March 20, 2009

Oddly enough, when I think of all the things I would have changed it would have been those multi-coloured uniforms. Yet that’s the thing that remains as true to the original as anything else.

It works though, in a funky kind of way.

35. DavidJ - March 20, 2009


Ha ha, yeah. They remind me of the horrible and cheap-looking promo shots that were done for Superman Returns.

All these new franchise movies really need to take a page from the TDK and Spidey campaigns. Now THEY really knew how to make their characters look good.

36. BewareOfBeeStings - March 20, 2009

Pine looks like a bee stung his lips.

37. Lazar - March 20, 2009

@22: Star Trek is definitely military: they have military ranks, they have powerful weapons, and in all of the incarnations of ST, they’ve always been fighting the Federation’s external enemies.

38. screaming satellite - March 20, 2009

33 – cool thanks anthony…

i have the previous movie magazine from Starlog (Treks 2-6) and Titan (7-10)…(plus use a program as the magazine for TMP) and was getting a bit concerned there wouldnt be one for ST09 beyond various articles in stuff like ST mag

39. Poroto Parker - March 20, 2009

The Narada interior is “minimalist, with excessive detail”

Well, that´s… interesting. And the exact opposite of the reman ship in Nemesis. Which is always good.

40. Jefferies Tuber - March 20, 2009

The red ball probably contains the Red Matter to diffuse the supernova.

And to those who think we’ve witnessed Spock’s death in the trailer, Countdown makes it pretty clear that the Jellyfish is a super-armored flying missile–capable of withstanding far more stress than a starship.

41. thorsten - March 20, 2009

“You understand what the federation is. It’s important, it’s a peace-keeping armada.”

Captain Pike to Jim Kirk.
Iowa Bar Fight.

42. Newman - March 20, 2009

Why do we need seatbelts when we have inertial dampeners???

43. Closettrekker - March 20, 2009

#42—If they were present on the NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C or D), it didn’t show…or they were completely ineffective.


44. Closettrekker - March 20, 2009

#40—“….to those who think we’ve witnessed Spock’s death in the trailer…”

Doubtful, since Leonard Nimoy has already made it clear that nothing in the film’s story would preclude him from appearing in a sequel (although prior to that, it is precisely what I would have expected).

45. Closettrekker - March 20, 2009

#22–“…since when is StarFleet Military?”

One of Starfleet’s major functions (along with exploration, scientific discovery, diplomacy, etc.) is defense. There is no question about that.

See “Balance Of Terror”, “Errand Of Mercy”, “Arena”, “The Ultimate Computer”, etc.

I think you just have to see beyond what defines a modern military service. 23rd Century Starfleet is more akin to the old European navies of the 15th-18th Century—which had far more autonomous and diverse functions similar to those of Starfleet.

46. Oh No, Odo - March 20, 2009


They have Naval ranks, not military (Army) ranks.

Go watch some Trek, it ain’t “General Kirk” and “Colonel Spock.”

StarFleet is NOT a military organization. They have defenses sure, but they’re not Klingons for God’s sake.

47. Lt. Atkins - March 20, 2009

In regards to looking fake if the productions are too clean vs. looking gritty I would direct you to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Probably the most realistic space adventure film ever made and not a speck of dust to be seen. Except for the opening scene with the proto human apes. Therefore I feel that grittyness does not automatticaly equate realism. It can often be over done to a point where it is a distraction. I remeber a scene in Alien (A film I love) where the audience thinks those storage boxes are covered in blood. It’s just supposed to be grease.
I think Alien was the first film to introduce dirt to outer space.
And another thing, having served in the military I can state categorically that the military absolutely abhors dirt and disrepair. Equipment is maintained continuosly.

48. Lt. Atkins - March 20, 2009

The Navy IS military!

49. Lt. Atkins - March 20, 2009

“We’re a combined service” – Capt. Kirk

StarFleet is an Earth based military organization which serves the United Federation of Planets in the areas of defense and scientific exploration.

50. Closettrekker - March 20, 2009

#47—“They have Naval ranks, not military (Army) ranks.”

Since when is the Navy not a part of the military?

“StarFleet is NOT a military organization.”

Sure it is. Everything about its structure, discipline, terminology, and much of its function suggests precisely that.

You simply must get beyond the narrow definition you afford to the term “military”. As I said above (#46), Starfleet is simply more akin to the old European navies of the 15th-18th Centuries, as opposed to modern ones. Their functions are nearly the same in every way—only in a different environment.

51. thorsten - March 20, 2009


Right, CT!
And isn’t Kirk the Hornblower of space?

52. Closettrekker - March 20, 2009

#51—Explorer, soldier, diplomat…


53. OldTrekFart - March 20, 2009


“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” made it completely clear that Starfleet was the military. They used those words. No equivocation.

That being said, what kind of civilian organization has:

An admiralty?
Combat training?
An academy that sounds very much like a military training program? (We’re not talking TNG, here; we’re talking TOS, which is relevant to this discussion.)

Seriously, if it’s not the military, then it’s one scary civilian group.

54. MvRojo - March 20, 2009

By the way, there’s what I believe to be a new picture of the Enterprise in this issue. It’s a head-on picture and from that angle, it doesn’t look too different from the movie refit Enterprise.

55. Oh No, Odo - March 20, 2009


I guess I always looked at StarFleet more like NASA and less like the Army. Go ahead and refernece Khan if you must, but it is well known Roddenberry didn’t like those aspects of that film.

“We are explorers” – Every Star Trek Captain, EVER!

56. Lt. Bailey - March 20, 2009

A line of dialog is made in a episode ot ENTERPRISE (3rd season) about having military aboard the ship. Meaning the MACOs or Military Assault Command where Army and or Marine Corps ranks titles are used. There is a distinction between Starfleet and Military – MACOs based on that.

Just as people have asked why is Lt Savik refered to as Mr Savik? She is a female Vulcan after all. Starfleet has its traditions based on Navy service and terminology. All junior naval officers (Ensign to Lt Cmdr) are refered to as MISTER. Only Commander and Captain are called by these titles when it is their actual rank. But when an officer is in command of a vessel regardless if he/she is a LT J.G. or Ensign, etc, they are called ” Captain” as that is what their position is aboard ship, not their rank.

So they had to come up with some rank system. This was the thought at the time the show (TOS) was created but I like to think it is a homage to the US Navy and its traditions.

57. DGill - March 20, 2009


Yeah, that’s really starting to piss me off. Chris Pine looks fine in just about every publicity photo he’s in…but for some reason they want Quinto’s Spock to look like a ten year-old boy?? I really want to know what their logic is behind the airbrushing.

58. thorsten - March 20, 2009


Quintos face is just Jill Greenbergs style, Devan…

59. Jason - March 20, 2009

I want to see a picture of Spock where he doesn’t look gay.

60. DGill - March 20, 2009


Ahh, that explains it. I still think this Jill Greenberg laid it on a little too thick, though. I’m not against airbrushing mind you; I think it can lend a given photograph that extra touch of glamour it needs, but it can also be abused. I don’t know if it’s because Quinto’s make-up reacted harshly to the lighting, but like I said before, Spock looks like a ten-year old boy in nearly every publicity photo. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s irritating because Nimoy’s Spock didn’t need that. With that out of the way, thank you for the link, Thorsten.

61. Carlg - March 20, 2009

@58: Yeah, all her shots look awfully plastic-y…

@55: Actually, I did some hunting around on Wikipedia, and there’s this branch of the US armed forces that’s dedicated to surveying and research:

That’s probably the closest approximation of the Starfleet model that exists today.

62. Richard Daystrom - March 20, 2009

If Starfleet isn’t military why would they they have ranks, serial numbers, medals on uniforms, rank insignias on sleeve, weapons (Defense only my ass!} Those of you that have never been in service don’t have a clue!

63. tman - March 20, 2009

Military is simply defined as of or relating to armed forces. Star Fleet is certainly the armed force of the Federation. That is not to say that it is a militaristic or purely military in it’s responsibilities, but it’s accurate to characterize it as military. TWOK makes this apparently clear (look at the prejudices of the purely scientific community) and many of the missions of TOS had military objectives and many of the prejudices Kirk had to overcome were those he developed as a soldier. That said, the more Chambliss talks the more I cringe.

64. Dom - March 20, 2009

‘Forgive me gentlemen, I’m a soldier, not a diplomat!’

James Kirk, Errand of Mercy. Starfleet not a military organisation? Pish posh!

Production design-wise, I’m sure that any shuttle that zips in and out of planetary atmospheres will pick up dirt and weathering from the the high temperatures of atmospheric re-entry!

The new team want functionality to be part of believability in their film. While I admire 2001’s stark look, it’s not a particularly believable view of human beings. Kubrick was brilliant at composition, but his films are invariably misanthropic and cold.

Gene Roddenberry’s slavish attempts at imitating it managed to dehumanise Star Trek too. TMP claimed the human adventure was just beginning, but the characters seemed to have lost their humanity in that film.

65. Devon Richards - March 20, 2009

Whatever it looks like, it is the story that counts in the long run.
( Now with more sex!)

66. armalarm - March 20, 2009


67. Steezo - March 21, 2009

The thing about Quinto as Spock is that for these publicity photos, they’ve given him human skin tones. Nimoy always had a bit of a grey or even slightly greenish tint to his makeup.

68. ucdom - March 21, 2009

I agree with the Hornblower analogy. Actually I’ve never read any Hornblower (only seen it on TV), but I have read almost all of the Aubrey-Maturin books, which are the basis for the film Master and Commander.
Star Trek and the 18th-19th century Royal Navy share a lot in common (for me). You have Navy ships sent on commissions lasting many years, often involved in exploratory and scientific roles (think Captain Cook and Joseph Banks…. or indeed Captain Aubrey and Stephen Maturin!) with the odd bit of fighting, disaster and shipwreck, and womanising, sodomising (and whatever the equivalent is with goats and chickens) thrown in.

Then you have the young cadets in STII:TWOK, which might be viewed as an equivalent to the midshipmen, the sqeakers, who would learn their trade on the job. One of the best aspects of the Aubrey-Maturin books is getting to follow the squeakers all the way through to Post Captain (Babbington, for example), or the heartbreak when they snuff it early; think Peter Calamy in the Master and Commander = Peter Preston in TWOK, although Calamy doesn’t die in the books, there are others.

69. Paul Simpson - March 21, 2009

As Anthony says above, issue 18 will be the Movie Souvenir Issue, a cast interview-packed issue that will hopefully be the one-stop print place for the movie. Issue 19 will include a lot more of the behind-the-scenes folks and we’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve for later in the year to coincide with the DVD release.
We couldn’t have got everything into one issue (and I’d’ve gone further insane trying to interview everyone for one deadline!!), hence why it’s spread over the three. #17 concentrates on setting the movie up – Marc Evans explains why J.J. was chosen, and why the movie was moved into the May position; casting director April Webster talks about why each of the principal cast was chosen (except Leonard Nimoy…!); Scott Chambliss talks about the Enterprise Bridge and the Engine Room, as well as the Narada; and Bryan Burk talks about the Supreme Court, and just why everything has been kept so secret.

70. Paul Simpson - March 21, 2009

Oh – and if you’re a 23rd Century TrekLit fan, #17 also includes a terrific excerpt from Dayton Ward’s new Vanguard novel, Open Secrets, as well as reviews of the latest Titan and Voyager books…

71. screaming satellite - March 21, 2009

69 – sounds great – i was always a big movie magazine collector (starlog were the main guys throughout the 80s and early 90s) but havent got any for a good many years (lack of interest in collecting now…but ill make the exception for this movie)

this movie a far cry from Nemesis which only got a 10 page or so pull out supplement in ST Magazine!

72. Mr. X - March 21, 2009

Is that how J.J. Abrams creates his movie’s?
“… and then we need a big red ball in the story, because we already had a big red ball in most of my works, like Alias.”

And then he never really varies his creative staff. I know it’s easy to work with people you already know, but that doesn’t help the movie you’re doing.
No wonder why everything he does feels always the same. Mission Impossible 3 was virtually a 90% Alias clone with Tom Cruise in the lead, from the look of the sets to the story to the characters. It had neither anything to do with the previous two movies nor with the original series.

And this new Trek movie will be the same. It won’t have anything in common with the movies, and it will totally ignore the TV show. And then it will be just as good as typical Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman creations are: in my opinion bad. Not really bad, I’ve seen worse indeed, but still not good.

The dialogue is most of the time really stupid, and the characters act pretty stupid just to get from one contrived plot point to the next.

Mission Impossible 3 was a special blunder in that regard. Ethan Hunt is supposed to be this super professional top agent. At least the agents in the original show were super professional, and that was the fun about that particular show. But in M:I:3 we get someone who could be upset by some little annoying arms dealer who was already tied to his chair. Then he threatens him with throwing him out of the airplane, and his other collegues are so professional to start panicking and shout his name. So the weapons dealer now knows Ethan Hunts name. And it’s of course very professional to live your private life and work for a top secret agency with your real name.

I could go on, that movie was full with stuff like that. Contrived and sometimes really stupid stuff like this makes me cringe.

All I can say is: if you do a Mission Impossible movie, then DO a Mission Impossible movie. Not an Alias clone, not a James Bond clone, do a Mission Impossible movie.

Same goes for Star Trek. Now still don’t know how that movie turns out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it a) had nothing to do with the previous movies in terms of style and feel, and b) the characters would act pretty stupid to get from one contrived plot point to the next.

73. thorsten - March 21, 2009


I read the Hornblower books while I was in my teens, and always liked the Gregory Peck movie. But you are right, Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin share a lot with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

Jack and Stephen behave quite like Kirk and Spock when they first meet, with the string quartet incident…

74. Jim - March 21, 2009

Someone in this forum, I can’t recall who, once pointed out that the best ST movie made in several years was actually “Master and Commander”. I couldn’t agree more.

#72 – you have nailed my biggest fear for this movie.

75. fred - March 21, 2009

I wonder why the replaced Quinto in that picture with a CGI version. Reminds me of Superman returns where Routh’s every single flying scene was replaced with CGI and it suffered for it.

76. Paul Simpson - March 21, 2009

71 – Magazines on movies can only be as good as the access that they’re given, and Paramount Publicity have been terrific setting up interviews regarding this movie for Star Trek Magazine – not just for these issues, but over the last 2 years!

77. Closettrekker - March 21, 2009

#72—It is a foregone conclusion that this movie will feel somewhat different from the previous films. But then again, the films (at least the good ones) had a different feel from the series.

I would be disappointed if, given a $150 million budget, all we got was just a run-of-the-mill Star Trek movie.

I am a huge fan of the Original Series—with all of its action, adventure, human drama, humor, and sexuality. Quite frankly, it’s about time we got a feature film that puts those elements back in the forefront.

For my money, I haven’t seen a *good* Star Trek movie in theaters since the mid 1980’s (and none of them ever felt like the series)—and I haven’t bothered to pay to see one at all since 1991(having seen them since, I don’t particularly feel that I missed out on anything).

For me, a more modern storytelling style is absolutely welcome.

I *do* like what Abrams and Lindelof created on “Lost”, and the show was certainly at its best when they have been most directly involved.

Say what you will, but Abrams and Lindelof have a much better track record than either Harve Bennett or Nick Meyer had when they took over the film franchise—and they have writers on board (Orci and Kurtzman) who have a genuine affection for Star Trek, in addition to Lindelof’s own admiration.

“Mission Impossible 3 was virtually a 90% Alias clone with Tom Cruise in the lead, from the look of the sets to the story to the characters. It had neither anything to do with the previous two movies nor with the original series.”

The previous two movies (which I didn’t care for at all) had nothing to do with the feel of the tv series, and MI3 was–from the beginning–a sequel to those films. I think that MI3 was much more entertaining than its two predecessors. I think it is fair to say that Abrams did alot to salvage that trilogy.

I have never seen “Alias”, so I know nothing of the similarities—nor would it make any difference to me. Who cares?

As far as “contrived plot points” go, I seem to recall that being pretty much the formula for the MI series!

As for Orci and Kurtzman, ‘Transformers’ was certainly a big hit—and it was exactly what it was supposed to be. I certainly wasn’t expecting The Godfather, Part II from a feature film based upon a toy and a 1980’s cartoon. My kids love it—and surprisingly (to me), I found it mildly entertaining. I’m looking forward to taking them to see the sequel.

78. John Trumbull - March 21, 2009

Is anyone else concerned that they hired a production designer who doesn’t seem to know that TOS is 300 years in the future?

79. jim - March 21, 2009

big red ball? uh, sounds like a job for a doctor: McCooooooy!!

80. fred - March 21, 2009

As far as weathered, you would expect some in real-life situations, esp. the military. I’m fine with making the world more realistic.

81. Eric Cheung - March 21, 2009

78. At this point, TOS is about 256 years in the future, with much of the movie’s action taking place several years sooner. So, it’s no less correct to say that it’s 200 years in the future than 300, especially since it would make sense to refer to stuff happening in the 23rd century as two centuries before stuff happening in the 21st.

82. Captain Kathryn - March 21, 2009

Big , red, ball. Anyone else remember the big red balls in the engineering room of TOS. I believe there were 3 of them.

83. sean - March 21, 2009


So in the universe you live in the Navy isn’t part of the military? Yeesh. Starfleet always had military elements. TWOK didn’t invent that aspect. TOS made it painfully clear that Starfleet had a military function, even if their primary mission was exploration. They were the first line of defense for the UFP.

84. sean - March 21, 2009


I’d say he’s just keeping with the tradition of TOS itself, which had a very hard time making up its mind about the time period it was taking place in. :)

85. sean - March 21, 2009


“Mission Impossible 3 was a special blunder in that regard. Ethan Hunt is supposed to be this super professional top agent. At least the agents in the original show were super professional, and that was the fun about that particular show. But in M:I:3 we get someone who could be upset by some little annoying arms dealer who was already tied to his chair. Then he threatens him with throwing him out of the airplane, and his other collegues are so professional to start panicking and shout his name. So the weapons dealer now knows Ethan Hunts name. And it’s of course very professional to live your private life and work for a top secret agency with your real name.”

With regard to that specific plot point – this is the man that killed his protege, and has now just threatened to kill his wife. It’s called a boiling point, and we all have them, spies included. Also, his associates say his first name, not his last name. Damian knew who he was and tracked down his wife because of the mole inside IMF, not because of the other team member saying his first name aloud.

Movies are not meant to be exact reflections of real life – not the Mission Impossible series, especially. Though I would argue that we don’t employ robots in espionage, so yes, even a professional spy could likely be provoked. Besides, they had to fit that movie within the existing framework established by MI & MI2, neither of which were terribly logical or absent of plot holes. MI3 was at least fun, and felt more like the TV show than either of its predecessors.

86. MC1 Doug - March 21, 2009

um, this issue is already out.. now… not next week.

87. MC1 Doug - March 22, 2009

#22: “since when is Star Fleet military?” You know, Gene Roddenberry stated (in his revisionist phase) that Star Fleet is not military. I say phooey to that.

I find it offensive that any mention of military conjures up negative connotations. Let’s examine this noton:

1) Crewmembers have rank (Captain, Ensign, Chief (as in O’Brien), etc.
2) Starships are armed to the hilt with defensive and offensive armament.
3) All crew members are trained in combat scenarios.
4) All crew members are trained extensively on armament (phasers, photo torpedoes).
5) hmmm, does the words Romulan War, Dominion War or Borg War have any meaning? You do not send in civilians into combat.
6) Military officers such as Picad, Kirk, Sisko, Janeway, Archer, etc. were surely all trained in military diplomacy.

I know that Gene was a humanist with beliefs that probaby would not look kindly on military leanings, but there is no way in hell that Star Fleet does not have some tenants that are military-based, whether it is a chartered member of the UFP’s exploratory branch or not, it would be irresponsible to send out crews into the depths of spce without some form of military organization, training and skillsets.

Our heroes are explorers, all, but this does not preclude or elimante the need for military organization.

The freedoms we enjoy (and will continue to enjoy) are all too often created by the presence of a strong military. This does not mean Star Fleet is an aggressor, but merely a protector…

As they say… freedom is not free.”

88. MC1 Doug - March 22, 2009

#53: your thesis was exactly the problem that Gene Roddenberry had with ST: TWOK.

89. MC1 Doug - March 22, 2009

#59: “I want to see a picture of Spock where he doesn’t look gay.”

I’ve said this before.. what exactly does gay look like? Please stop being so damned homophobic… and offensive. Please.

90. Chris Pike - March 22, 2009

47. Lt. Atkins – March 20, 2009

Absolutely! 2001 hit the very highest watermark in Earth future hardware design. Nothing ever has or will be able to come close in a depiction of the future. But then the deep thought and research in the approach to 2001’s space hardware art design was far ahead of anything that would be done today, and sadly badly lacking for me in what I’ve seen so far of the new film. Peeling paint, oh my!

91. Joe - March 22, 2009

Federation = United Nations (more than that actually, since they have a President elected by the public).
Starfleet = NATO (more centralized, with their own fleets and ships).

92. Paulaner - March 22, 2009

#87 “You know, Gene Roddenberry stated (in his revisionist phase) that Star Fleet is not military”

Yes, there are two phases for Star Trek: TOS was more “western movie in space”, Starfleet was clearly the military branch of the UFP and they had money. In TNG, Roddenberry switched for a more utopian future. When quoting Roddenberry, one must keep in mind if he’s talking about TOS or TNG.

93. kmart - March 22, 2009


I finally tried to watch MI3 last week, and I had to give up (primarily due to the crappy photography hurting my eyes.) But in what I saw, I did not get a good feel of original MI at all (the first stretch of the DePalma film is probably as close as anybody came, and that wasn’t too close either.) But the other poster has a point about how unprofessional these guys came off with the saying ‘ethan’ thing around the baddie. Very affected and contrived and undercutting what little cred they had going in.

94. Joe - March 22, 2009

Seeing how this movie probably goes, with a Cadet in command of a starship just because Captain and XO are gone, it probably won’t be any less ridiculous than M:I:3 or Transformer…

95. Rocket Scientist - March 22, 2009


Seeing how this movie probably goes, with a Cadet in command of a starship just because Captain and XO are gone, it probably won’t be any less ridiculous than M:I:3 or Transformer…


I’m optimistic that these writers, seasoned Trekkers that they are, didn’t think something as simplistic as that would fly. If it sounds ridiculous to us, I would think it would strike them the same way. Let’s see how it unfolds first, shall we?

96. FSL - March 22, 2009

The “Big Red Ball”…

I hope he’s not making it the warp core. Or half of Engineering will be flooded in containment breach…


97. Paul Simpson - March 23, 2009

82 & 96 – Where in the extract does Scott say that it’s on the Enterprise? It’s clearly stated it’s on the Jellyfish!

98. Closettrekker - March 23, 2009

#78—“Is anyone else concerned that they hired a production designer who doesn’t seem to know that TOS is 300 years in the future?”

Actually, the fictional 5 year mission begins about 256 years from now, and the film’s story takes place even before that.

He said 200—you said 300.

He’s no more wrong than you are.

99. Closettrekker - March 23, 2009

#94—“Seeing how this movie probably goes, with a Cadet in command of a starship just because Captain and XO are gone…”

It is not as simple as that. Perhaps you have not read the reviews of the 20-minute preview.

(spoiler alert)

Pike has to leave the ship, and before doing so, names Kirk as second-in-command to Spock in his absence.

If Kirk, as suspected, is to benefit from the rare (but certainly not unheard of) “battlefield promotion”, it is of significant note that such commissions are usually temporary and almost always mission specific.

If Kirk has proven (as suggested in the preview) that he has something unique to offer with regard to this particular threat—then it is not all that ridiculous. The chain of command succession would then be a result of the crew following Pike’s orders.

And given the time travel nature of this story, by the first time we see Kirk in actual Captain’s insignia aboard the Enterprise, there may have been significant passage of time at that point.

100. kmart - March 23, 2009

Chambliss is being paid to know what he is doing, so it is a lot more ‘wrong’ of him than the poster, and you’re splitting hairs and you gotta know it.

101. Paul Simpson - March 23, 2009

100 – As the guy who Scott Chambliss was talking to, I know full well he meant the difference between us in the 21st Century and Kirk and Co in the 23rd… two centuries, 200 years. He wasn’t tying anything down to a specific year – and even if he had been, that would be a spoiler for the film, so it wouldn’t have gone in print!

102. Christine - March 23, 2009

Very cool! Haha, homegirl needs to subscribe to this Magazine A-S-A-P. ;3

103. kmart - March 23, 2009


I interviewed Chambliss too, just a few weeks ago.

Right after the mag I was doing it for, HD VIDEO PRO, gave up on Paramount PR cooperation and cancelled the piece, I had an email conversation with you or your mag about the Chambliss part, which was the only interview that took place.

In that interview, he admitted to near-total unfamiliarity with science fiction and space movies, then said he went for lots of reflective surfaces because they hadn’t done that in space pictures (guess he didn’t see 2001 or 2010 or any number of other pics in his research.)

He gave high marks to the guy who redid the props and to his set dresser, and yet those areas seem to be among the most dubious to my eyes.

As for your earlier post — #71 — about Paramount PR and cooperation …. gotta say, it looks a LOT different on the outside looking in. Paramount has shown very little regard for genre and tech mags in my experience, and that is probably most true with respect to TREK.

I had horrendous times covering TUC, GEN and FC, not just in terms of getting interviews and images, but just getting calls returned within a month. INS was better, as was EVENT HORIZON (on the latter, because we bypassed the PR dept entirely), and TOMB RAIDER was okay because they had me sign Non-Disclosures, but this TREK has been tons worse than BENJAMIN BUTTON, another problem Par show where they forgot to mention vfx folks couldn’t be interviewed.

ILM has been surprisingly uncooperative as well, something I have never before experienced (and I’ve covered LOTS of their shows … I did 43 interviews in three days at ILM for PHANTOM MENACE, which is a record I hope I never again approach.) In addition to stalling, ILM also wouldn’t discuss scheduling interviews without Paramount PR okays, and the lady there held us up for a whole month (basically the time I was supposed to have to write the piece) before telling ILM it was okay. ILM then stalled another week before saying (within hours of when my piece was DUE) that they wouldn’t be doing interviews till after the Oscars.

This recalls the 90s mindset of Paramount PR, which seemed to be unless you were a magazine flack for the franchise or Entertainment Tonight, that you were just a second class citizen. Hardly inviting.

104. Paul Simpson - March 25, 2009

#101 Maybe the difference is purely and simply that we’re official and licensed? Over the years, when I was working for unofficial magazines, I’ve experienced the same sorts of problems but on this there has been a constant positive dialogue with Paramount publicity since the summer of 2007.

105. kmart - March 25, 2009

Yeah, I’m sure that makes a world (maybe a galaxy) of difference.

It is just that with most studios, there isn’t any consistency … I had an excruciating time on the first H Potter flick with warner, but that is practically the only bad experience I had with them (45 singlespaced pages of email as I recall.)

It seems odd that regardless of who owns or operates Paramount, that there is more often than not a huge block in the way of a lot of publications. I helped Ross Plessett prep a piece on the transition from Phase II through IN THY IMAGE to TMP for FILMFAX magazine a few years ago. Now FILMFAX pays something like 3cents a word, it is about equivalent to what children get paid for making shoes in unregulated countries, just horrible, so you gotta know the guy is writing this because he wants to, not because he was getting rich. While a lot of his material was okay to very good, he had one golden nugget — actual pages of Jon Povill correspondence to Katzenberg that had never been published anywhere (don’t bother looking for the back issue — the publisher didn’t think it was important and cut it.)

But Paramount wouldn’t give up any photos to illustrate the article until they had read the manuscript (and even after reading it, they simply replied that they had no images of the kind requested in their files, which is like Richard Avedon saying, “I have no film in my camera.”) And I believe we’re talking almost two years between the interviews being done and the mag giving up on images and just running the stock stuff they had inherited from FANTASTIC FILMS. It was a shitty way to treat a dedicated researcher, somebody who wasn’t muckraking (Ross did some great stuff for CFQ as well, though not on Paramount shows.)

Someday I hope Povill gives somebody else the okay to publish that memo of his … I think it does a lot to illuminate the dubious intellectual prowess of those to whom TMP was entrusted at the highest executive level (and Povill’s own committment to trying to keep TMP on the up and up, even though I strongly disagree with his view about Robert Collins’ unused ending for IN THY IMAGE.)

106. kmart - March 26, 2009

104 Paul,

Ross should be giving you a holler about the Povill material real soon. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.