Tonight Paramount pulled off one of the coolest stunts in fan history. Promoted as just a 10 minute preview of the new Star Trek to show along with The Wrath of Khan, tonight fans in Austin, TX were actually shown the entire new Star Trek movie. The event included surprise guests, including the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. [UPDATE: A number of reviews are already in – we have a summary of those below]
According to our man on the scene, the evening started off normally at the Fantastic Fest Star Trek event at the Alamo Draughthouse Theater in Austin, Texas on Monday night. Star Trek filmmakers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof kicked things off by telling the crowd of around 200, that they would be seeing the Star Trek preview after Wrath of Khan. Two minutes in to the showing of TWOK, the film appeared to have ‘melted’ and the guys came back out on the stage and appeared to be stalling for time while the film was fixed…and then, wearing a ball cap, Leonard Nimoy came out in front of the audience holding a film can.
Nimoy noted to the crowd that it just didn’t seem fair that people in Australia were the fist to see the film and asked them "wouldn’t you rather see the new movie?" And apparently the crowd went wild. After that they showed the entire new Star Trek movie. Nimoy stayed for the entire event as did Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof.
According to a friend who called in to TrekMovie after the event, the audience reaction was very positive. There were "genuine laughs" at the jokes and "quiet moments" with the serious character stuff. And apparently the crowd applauded at the introduction to each character. The film ended with a standing ovation.
(l-r), Nimoy, OrciKurtzman, & Lindelof on stage in Austin (David Hilton)
[UPDATE: Click for new photos and video]
UPDATE: Review Tweets
Insta-reviews are starting to come up on Twitter, here are a few notables (some strong language used):
holy fuck! the new Star Trek fucking rules the universe
– Harry Knowles, AICN
ust got super secret clearance to tell you that yes, I saw JJ’s Star Trek. And I was blown away. it is super accessible, in the right ways. Fans at my screening also dug it, so that bodes well.
– Niel Miller, FilmSchoolRejects
Yeah, that Star Trek 2 screening turned out to be the premiere of JJ Abram’s Star Trek. Seriously, I cannot believe how good it was.
– Rodney Perkins, Film, esq.
The cast is superb, the story is compelling, the action is exciting, and Abrams even avoids any blatant cheesy “winks” about his reboot. If Star Trek is the bluebird of the summer movie season, then we are in for a great ride.
– Johnny Rollerfeet
UPDATE 2: First Reviews – very positive
The first reviews from Austin are already out on a number of geeky/film websites. Below are summary paragraphs from each. Click links for full reviews but beware of spoilers (nothing too major).
STAR TREK isn’t just a successful reboot, but a genuinely fun and exciting science fiction action adventure. My biggest complaint is that it feels like they just got started up when the film ended. I want more! I want to see the further adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew aboard the USS Enterprise.
Neil at Film School Rejects :
The overwhelming sentiment that I have about this film is that J.J. Abrams, with the help of a few incredibly talented people, has created a very accessible, fun Star Trek film that is perfect for a new generation of sci-fi fans. Sure, it plays to the fan base a little bit, but its real strength is in the fact that it is delivered with a ton of energy, it presents a story that is easily grasped by fans and newbies alike and is a big, kick-ass ride. My hope is not only that this sort of film will inspire young people to go out and check out some of the older Trek movies and series, but that it also helps usher in a new era of space science fiction filmmaking.
Josh Tyler at Cinemabland:
The runtime flies by with very few lulls in the pacing, reinvigorating characters and a universe that had, lets be honest, grown stale and tired. More than anything else, the movie just feels so much more fun than any previous entry. There’s more humor, more thrills, far more energy and a much better movie here than anything I’ve seen from Star Trek since the 80’s. I admit I was skeptical- I was not prepared to care about this universe and these characters again, after the crushing mediocrity that they had become. I can be skeptical no more, though. This is a fantastic movie it’s own right, one I would definitely recommend to Trekkie and new fan alike.
Devin Faraci at CHUD
Tonight Paramount pulled off one of the coolest stunts in fan history. Promoted as just a 10 minute preview of the new Star Trek to show along with The Wrath of Khan, tonight fans in Austin, TX were actually shown the entire new Star Trek movie (hours ahead of the gala world premiere in Sydney, Australia). The event included surprise guests, including the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.
UPDATE 3: Photos and Videos
TrekMovie has a new article with video and photos from the event