SciFiNow Star Trek Issue Excerpts: Abrams On Film’s End + Orci & Kurtzman On Differences w/ Past | TrekMovie.com
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SciFiNow Star Trek Issue Excerpts: Abrams On Film’s End + Orci & Kurtzman On Differences w/ Past April 16, 2009

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Abrams,Orci/Kurtzman,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The new issue of SciFiNow magazine (#27), going on sale this week in the UK, has an extensive feature all about the new Star Trek movie, complete with interviews from most of the main cast and many of the filmmakers and crew. The mag also comes with a few DVD and more Star Trek promo offers. We have details below, plus SFN have provided TrekMovie with some excerpts from the interviews with Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman.

 

JJ Abrams on bringing audiences together and the ending of the movie
Star Trek director JJ Abrams is quoted in the main cover story and also has a separate interview in SciFiNow.  Here is a portion of a comment from Abrams in the main feature story on how he wanted the new Star Trek to work for long-time fans as well as two other groups (those unfamiliar with Trek and those who had seen past Trek, but had trouble relating to it):

So for me, it was a way to take three groups of people, who represent the whole audience, and say, ‘Let’s bring everyone together and tell a story that starts at the beginning, when Kirk is unformed. When you meet him and he’s an aimless punk who goes to bars, drinks, picks up women, starts fights. Yet you know, and even the neophytes to Trek will watch and say, ‘Kirk? Isn’t he Captain Kirk? How does he go from here to there?’ So for me, it’s giving people a way in to this world in a way it’s never been done. By doing this film with the kind of resources that certainly a Trek film has never been allowed to have before. By delivering on a level of visceral fast-paced action that Trek has never really had at its signature. I think what we’ll take is a story of incredible characters, of incredible potential, of real optimism and wonder, and treat it in a way that provides a kind of emotional connection, visceral excitement, visual spectacle that Trek has never seen before.

Abrams also talked about how the film ends and what could come next [minor spoilers]:

Yes, the five year mission begins at the end of this film. Not literally; I’m saying that at the end of the movie they’re ready for their five year mission, because this group, when they first come together in this film, is a disparate group. They don’t know each other, they’re just meeting for the first time. Kirk and Spock have a rather contentious beginning to their relationship, and by the end of this experience together, they have become this family. Each of them has put their lives in each other’s hands. By the end of the film, they are now this group that is ready to begin their adventure.

Kurtzman and Orci on how the new Star Trek is different
Star Trek screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman also have quotes in the main story and in a separate interview. One of the more intersting questions, regarding how this new movie is different than previous films in order to appeal to the mainstream of today:

ORCI: We go back to the origins of the characters, and because it’s an introduction to a world you don’t need to know anything about, is a part of it. The other part of it is that we tell a good human story without using scifi to cover anything up. J.J. has said we made this movie to be a good movie, not a good scifi movie. Just a very appealing adventure. And if that was the goal, we’ll see if we succeeded. That was the intention, not to rely on any crutches of science fiction. When you’re a fan of science fiction, you can rely on things that are fascinating to you, but they might not be as appealing to a mass audience. That can’t be the whole game, there has to be something extra.

KURTZMAN: We are in an entirely different millennium than when Star Trek originated. It was the 20th century when the show began. Cell phones didn’t exist. The future we’re presenting in this movie is much closer to the reality that currently exists than has ever been the case. As a result, it isn’t so much a fantasy, it could be humans traveling in space and accomplishing things. That’s a given now, even on a street level, and because that’s a given now, you have to ask, what is the story?

Much more in new issue of SciFiNow + giveaway promotions
There is so much in the new issue you really should pick it up. It is just showing up on newsstands in the UK and should be available at some newsstands in the US later in April. Tomorrow TrekMovie will provide excerpts from some of the actor interviews.

In addition to all the Star Trek interviews and articles, SciFiNow is giving away a completely free Star Trek DVD with every copy of its latest issue, tying in with the upcoming release of the highly-anticipated movie. Containing interviews, exclusive clips, an interactive quiz, trailers and more. In addition to the DVD, SciFiNow will also be giving every reader the chance to claim a free Limited Edition Star Trek USB flash drives loaded with additional content. There is also a free Star Trek poster promotion in the magazine.

For more on the magazine, visit scifinow.co.uk


Cover of May issue of SciFiNow

Most of the excellent Star Trek coverage in the new issue of SFN was written by our friend Ed Gross. To see what he is working on new visit his site all about the return of the scifi show ‘V’ at VisitorsAmongUs.com.

Comments

1. Charliebob - April 16, 2009

Looks good. Not long till the movie now!

2. freddy - April 16, 2009

Hurry up May 8th – I can’t stand the wait much longer !!!!

3. josh kean - April 16, 2009

nice

4. Hoggzman - April 16, 2009

Tickets booked for the 7th…can’t wait!

5. spockatatic - April 16, 2009

less than a month!!! This is driving me crazy. Murphey’s law says I’ll be mortally injured on the way to the theatre and will die before being able to watch the dang thing, LOL.

6. silverplated - April 16, 2009

tickets booked for the 6th… can’t wait, too!

7. Nodar08 - April 16, 2009

sweet…can’t wait

8. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 16, 2009

“The Biggest Sci-Fi Film of 2009″

Now THAT I like. Welcome back, Trek. :-)

9. Star TRackie - April 16, 2009

..I wonder if the DVD is PAL exclusive or if it is US friendly for those of us not in the UK?

10. John from Cincinnati - April 16, 2009

So we jettisoned Kirk’s original past because…it was boring? He was an overachiever who often succeeded, even in no win scenarios. Now he’s reduced to a punk who needs to overcome a lot to be a starship Captain?

Well, I contend that a young man who needed to survive a massacre on a little planet named Tarsus IV would be a great roadblock for him to overcome. The psychological trauma he would have to deal with to bridge from there to being a starship Captain would be great.

Also, if the writers wanted to stick with the “Kirk is a young punk” theme, couldn’t they have used Tarsus IV as the trigger event that set Kirk out on that path? I mean, a total disrespect for authority could be the result of a person surviving a massacre at the hands of the military Governor.

All in all, I am glad Star Trek is being given this treatment. I have always known Star Trek’s great potential if given a big budget and good writing. This could be the Star Trek trekkers have been waiting their whole lives to see.

See, I’m not a hater.

11. Jarod - April 16, 2009

10. I agree 100% with you.

12. S. John Ross - April 16, 2009

I am very gratified to know that this film doesn’t doesn’t rely on “the crutches of science fiction,” presumably including some of the more remedial ones like revenge-motivated villains displaced from their own times, alternate universes, spatial coincidence on a cosmic scale, teleportation, faster-than-light travel and psychic powers. :)

13. PF - April 16, 2009

Kurtzman’s line about the future of manned space travel being somehow more imminent now is particularly ironic. The original series began airing two years before NASA sent Apollo to the Moon, and this movie is screening a year before NASA is grounding its shuttle fleet, with any future manned missions uncertain at best. Forty three years later, the closest to a bright future is the aspirations of a few other nations to be able to duplicate what the US did in 1969.

But, hey, cell phones! Who needs science fiction?

14. DanTHEmaN - April 16, 2009

#10 John from Cinci

I got a very “Maverick pulls up to watch Tomcat land at Mirimar” vibe from the very first trailer.

I think the time travel element will play a large part in why some stories are different. Not matter what like you I am also glad to see positive buzz about Trek as well.

15. Valar1 - April 16, 2009

10.

Dude, in twenty years, when this group’s popularity dies down, someone will write a movie to restore the timeline, then we can go through this debate all over again. Me, I’ve started exercising and eating my vitamins so I live long enough to see a return of the original Kirk.

16. Steve - April 16, 2009

Biggest Sci-Fi film of 2009?

Hell, I think it may be the biggest FILM of 2009, period. (Though I’m sure some Transfomers fanboys might dispute that.)

17. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 16, 2009

#16 … I doubt Trek can take Transformers. Transformers is just too popular with kids. But I’d be happy if Trek were able to do as well as, or better than, Wolverine and Terminator.

18. S. John Ross - April 16, 2009

#10: “Now he’s reduced to a punk who needs to overcome a lot to be a starship Captain?”

My own concern is that he’s reduced to something far pettier … a Campbellian hero, a less-than-human tool, a felt-and-googly-eyes sock puppet with fate’s fist shoved up his ass.

If he’s _honestly_ a punk who needs to overcome a lot, I can totally accept that as an [alternate] origin for an [alternate but recognizeable] Captain Kirk, because that’s the kind of thing a real man sometimes is in his youth. If they keep it rooted in the human adventure (and or the Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite adventure), then I’m along for the ride.

Here’s hoping.

19. C.S. Lewis - April 16, 2009

10. John from Cincinnati – April 16, 2009

This bothers me too, John. I know several men that were selected for a service academy. None were punks. My college fraternity was founded at VMI so I have known a very lot of VMI cadets. None were punks. Even the boys at nearby Valley Forge Military Academy (alma mater to Norman Schwarzkopf, whose cousin was a Star Trek babe) are polite, gentlemanly, helpful — and I’ve never heard of one getting into trouble in nearby Wayne village where they hangout, in uniform, on weekends.

I admit there may be transformational stories amongst the officer corps, but those stories, at least as far as the servicemen I’ve met go, tend to be the enlisted men who experience discipline and high standards, often for the first time. “The Navy/Army/Marine Corps saved my life” is something I’ve heard not just once, but several times from friends and colleagues who went to college after their hitch expired.

So it is incongruous and somewhat jarring to have a highly respected officer come from punksville. Not impossible, but unlikely. The second half of “officer” is “gentleman” and that is something that requires a lifetime of training, not simply eight semesters of study, PT and summer camps. Of course, if the Kirk character was an ROTC from a party school like Penn State or something, well that would make perfect sense: “Send Kirk – he’s expendable but cocky!!!”. I’d also believe this more from a mustang wh ocame up through the ranks to Master Chief but commissioned for an act of heroism or such. It just doesn’t ring true for Annapolis West.

Having said that, it would appear the conceit will require suspension of disbelief and, given it is in service of presenting ultimately the Kirk character as an officer and a gentleman, rather than a miscreant or rogue, I’m prepared to accept it. So long as it’s in Imax ;-)

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

20. BlueWaterDreamer - April 16, 2009

If/when they make wax figures of Pine and/or Quinto, we’ll at least have a perfect idea of what they’ll look like. (See ALL photoshopped-to-hell promo images of those two).

21. Scott - April 16, 2009

I have high hopes this version of Kirk will be great. I do think there was a missed opportunity in portraying him as a ‘stack of books with legs’ as alluded to in The Cage, a book-smart strategist who is suddenly thrust into real-world danger. In any case, I won’t bring my pre-conceived ideas of what the characters should be like prior to what we know in TOS. I’m 38, and I am LOT different than I was at 23 (or however old Kirk is supposed to be in this film). The best Star Trek episodes were about the human adventure, so hopefully all us hardcore TOS fans will keep this in mind…

22. marvin - April 16, 2009

few more in addition to 17.

Batsphinx: Star trek movie is so good i practically wept.

thejimsmith: has seen Star Trek. Approves.

timothy_lock: Star Trek made me cum!!!!

bendobie: New star trek movie is awesome!

23. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 16, 2009

“timothy_lock: Star Trek made me cum!!!!”

Would somebody get Timothy a towel?

24. S. John Ross - April 16, 2009

#15: “Dude, in twenty years, when this group’s popularity dies down [...]”

I have no doubt that Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof and company appreciate your unbridled optomism on that point :)

25. Randy H. - April 16, 2009

18. S. John Ross – “My own concern is that he’s reduced to something far pettier … a Campbellian hero . . . .”

Kirk is already a hero of the Campbell monomyth. So are each of the other Captains, too. “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” In the case of Trek, the “boons” are primarily knowledge. There’s nothing petty in that. It depends on how you structure it as to whether it is interesting and artistic.

And the series has already established that fate is firmly up the behind of many people. From Edith Keeler, to the Mirror universe, to “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, indeed to any of the time travel stories, we see over and over again that the currents and eddies of time *push* certain events to happen no matter what gets in their way. Cynically that’s to tell stories using the same actors, but from another point of view that’s an indication that some outcomes are so strongly imprinted on the universe that they MUST happen. One of those is that there is a ship named Enterprise with a Captain Kirk. So call it what you will, the Trek universe – both in canon and by Paramount fiat – will do whatever it takes to have Capt. Kirk in command of the Big-E.

26. P Technobabble - April 16, 2009

I continue to feel confident in the ultimate legitimacy of this film. This movie is going to be Star Trek the way it always should have been done on the big screen. Most Trekkies are in agreement, TMP is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a truly “cinematic” Trek, even while everyone’s favorite TWOK was a blown-up tv movie. The trailers I’ve seen convince me the look is gonna be there, and the interviews I’ve read lead me to believe these guys have done their homework. The only thing I await in greater anticipation is the Beatles Remastered Catalogue… c’mon, it’s the Beatles…

27. Holger - April 16, 2009

I’m tired of hearing from various people that we’re sooo close to the Star Trek universe now because of those darn cellphones. What’s so exciting about those things? Warp drive, beaming and androids – those would be breakthroughs which would make me say: yup, the future is now.

28. Closettrekker - April 16, 2009

#19—-“I admit there may be transformational stories amongst the officer corps…”

I can tell you from experience (as a former Marine officer) that it is absolutely true. I didn’t attend the USNA (and the overwhelming majority of Navy/Marine Corps officers do not), but young males are young males. Period.

“I know several men that were selected for a service academy. None were punks. ”

And yet there are even cases of sexual abuse, assault, and other far worse things than a little bit of “rowdiness” documented among the cadets in those institutions. When I think of a group of male cadets gang-raping a female cadet—-far worse characterizations than “punk” come to mind…

I’m not inclined to disbelieve that a young man who is capable of having a few too many one night and getting into a typical “boys will be boys” fistfight (provided he isn’t actually arrested and convicted of a crime) could enter Star Fleet Academy.

Of course, direct ascension from cadet to the Captain’s chair is altogether another issue.

Historically, battlefield promotions do occur—but they are almost always temporary and rarely anything but task specific.

From what I’ve heard about how this issue is treated in the film, you’d really have to go back to the American Civil War in order to find a precedent.

That is really the only issue I have with what I know of the story thusfar. It just lacks a certain credibility, IMO.

29. Donn - April 16, 2009

13. Hang on a minute. Yes, NASA is about to ground the shuttle (about time really, but that’s a different topic), and the replacement workhorse has yet to be finalized, let alone built and launched, but NASA is no longer the only game in town.

First, you’ve still got manned missions launching from Russia. Second, you’ve got Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and a slew of other private space ventures not that far away from putting people in space en mass. I think now is a great time to be optimistic about the future of human space exploration.

30. Izbot - April 16, 2009

ORCI: “The other part of it is that we tell a good human story without using scifi to cover anything up.”

This is a wonderful & and encouraging statement from our now good ol’ buddy Mr Orci. Many (lame) episodes of later Trek (TNG onwards) wrapped up their individual conundrums with a bit of sci-fi-ish fakery, resolving the story with a bunch of technobabble nonsense. I always hated those episodes. VOY in particular used the formula of anomoly-confusion of the crew by the anomoly-technobabble ‘resolution’ to problem formula/combined with a personal issue for some character to work through. Actually, TNG perfected that formula and VOY just furthered it. regardless, it’s a storytelling formula that’s decades out of date. Just about everyone (well, everyone interested in Star Trek) knows enough about computers and technology to know that this formula is pretty lame. If every problem’s solution in Star Trek is to essentially call the IT guy to come fix it, well, that’s pretty pedestrian. Trek is supposed to be about the human element providing the solution. TOS Kirk always came up with his solutions from the gut — an illogical human element that somehow seemed the most logical way to come to the episode’s resolution. TNG and VOY etc too often had someone say “But wait! If we reverse the spin of the tachyons and power up the zoltan we can repolarize the plasma injectors thus negating the inverse curve of the warp field!” Is that compelling writing? Compelling drama? No! It’s total b.s. I’m glad Orci & company realize that.

31. Benjamin Adams - April 16, 2009

#9 It’ll be PAL format, but probably region-free. It’s not cost-effective for the publisher to do a NTSC version for US distribution.

32. Izbot - April 16, 2009

P.S., Closettrekker, I wish I could attend the premiere with you! We’d have a lot to talk about afterwards.

33. Closettrekker - April 16, 2009

#32—-I guess we’ll just have to do it here at TM….

34. Lancelot Narayan - April 16, 2009

Just came back from the London Multi Media screening. The film is wonderful. I had my worries, but they have ALL been dispelled. Thank you guys. I had tears in my eyes at the end. Everybody was terrific. I DID have a couple of issues, but hey! I’m 40 now and life’s too short.

THANK YOU FOR A GREAT MOVIE! MORE NOW!!!!!

35. Locke for President - April 16, 2009

So what they are saying is, the ending of the movie won’t be about rerouting the deflector beam to emit a reverse tachyon pulse at 1.21 gigwatts, thereby causing a cascading spatial anomoly that will disrupt the Romulan’s lateral flux capacitors.

Because anybody with half a brain knows that this just won’t work. You need to adjust the sine wave of a magnetic envelope so that anti-neutrons can pass through it but anti-gravitons cannot.

Then it JUST MIGHT WORK!

36. Derf - April 16, 2009

You got some advertising on this site that keeps refreshing the entire page ‘and’ resets my zoom settings. It’s rather annoying.

37. Izbot - April 16, 2009

33. Closettrekker

Well I guess that’ll have to do!

38. Spock's Uncle - April 16, 2009

As a member of the Vulcan Science Academy, I can assure you: It WILL work.

Trust me, I’m a Vulcan!

39. PF - April 16, 2009

Donn #29, agreed that there seems to be a multitude of options cropping up on the horizon for orbital vehicles, but is any of that the “space travel” that we all envisioned in the late 1960s? Thirteen men walked on the moon from1969-1975, and now people don’t venture above low earth orbit.

All the most mind-bending space exploration is being done by machines or else mathematically, to extrapolate the existence of other solar systems through calculation done on the ground. Go back and watch old Trek episodes, with talk of interplanetary travel in the 1990s, colonization of other worlds in the early 21st century, and the future we ended up in is pretty lame by comparison.

40. fred - April 16, 2009

Here’s a voice of reason on the canon issues, which I think applies: Rick Sternbach. Excerpted from an interview here:
http://www.trekplace.com/ricksternbach.html

Sternbach: … I’ve given up on the term “canon,” since even the series and feature writers have contradicted themselves and earlier material, either from not researching, not remembering, or simply ignoring potential conflicts in favor of making a dramatic point. I learned early on that this is not something to get upset about, since you can get so caught up in rationalizing and revising and trying to make sense of it, that you lose sight of the fact that this is just a TV show or a movie. Entertainment companies make these things to entertain. The side effects of creating the Star Trek universe do expand to encompass serious thoughts about the future, about how to attempt interstellar flight, how to make our world better, no doubt about it. All folks like me can do, if I decide to try at all, is to offer the best scientific and technical knowledge I have, or point the writers at people who know what I don’t, and hope it makes a difference. As far as the fan- and insider-produced tech info goes, I’ve attempted to keep things accurate, plausible, and evolved, and have tried to catch the major “errors.” I don’t want to say “get a life,” but would rather tell folks to learn, understand, and discuss, and have fun with it all. Within Star Trek and without; there’s a huge world of science and technology going on around us, and you might be surprised how much of it doesn’t end up on television because the folks in charge don’t know about it.

41. 750 Mang - April 16, 2009

10. John from Cincinnati – April 16, 2009

You are exactly correct.

There are always other possibilities.

42. DavidJ - April 16, 2009

10 and 21

I know this has been argued to death already… but canon or no, for me the Tarsus massacre and “stack of books with legs” thing have just NEVER felt consistent with Shatner’s overall portrayal of Kirk in the series.

Except for that one episode, he’s never seemed particularly haunted by some dark past, and his c0cky, ultra-confident attitude and rule-breaking don’t suggest someone who grew up as a nerdy bookworm at all (loosening up over the years is one thing, but come on!). No matter how much Roddenberry tried to graft his own personality onto the character, it just didn’t fit with what Shatner himself was doing.

Kirk starting out as a jock and popular ladies man, and gradually becoming the confident and hard-nosed captain we know on TOS, feels MUCH more consistent to me.

43. Bradford_matt - April 16, 2009

ur father was the captain of a starship for 12 minuets… He saved 800 lives… I dear u to better

is my new facebook status. I can’t wait nomore. Bob O I hope this film does wonders

44. Izbot - April 16, 2009

40. Sternbach via Fred:
“Within Star Trek and without; there’s a huge world of science and technology going on around us, and you might be surprised how much of it doesn’t end up on television because the folks in charge don’t know about it.”

Actaully, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.

45. jim - April 16, 2009

wait a minute… the biggest scifi film og 2009? That will be James Cameron’s AVATAR…

46. Xai - April 16, 2009

41. 750 Mang – April 16, 2009

“There are always other possibilities.”

Yes there are, such Trek extending into an alt universe where the events of Tarsus IV don’t impinge on James Kirk’s life but other things do. Loss of a father, an abusive uncle…
People and events can change on the pivot of an event. Over the weekend I met a couple that I thought would be my in-laws after 30 years time. They told me about the girl I loved, how her family was, who she married. Through that information I was able to find a recent picture of the woman I thought I was marrying 30 years ago.
Things like that make you think… what if? Experiences flavor our soul. I learned about a past love and some things about myself from it.
Because this particular version of Kirk may not experience the same turning points in his life as Shatner’s Kirk does not mean either is superior to the other. It seems they are both heroic, end up on the right ship and become what they should become… Captain Kirk. The writer’s played a little “What if” with Kirk and company but ultimately end up where things belong.

47. Primogen - April 16, 2009

43. Bradford_matt – April 16, 2009

“ur father was the captain of a starship for 12 minuets”??? What the hell was he doing dancing on the bridge during a crisis?

“I dear u to better” indeed!

:)

48. Captain Kathryn - April 16, 2009

Well , this is one captain that will be looking forward to getting back on the bridge. Instead of trying to piece together all the trailers, and bits of info, I think I’ll just wait till May 8 and see what the movie has to offer me. After all, Enterprise did open the door for me to captain Voyager! And what an experience that was!

49. Bradford_matt - April 16, 2009

47. Primogen

i do apoloise for my lapse in the english laguage.

One 2 many romulan ales me thinks : )

50. Dunsel Report - April 16, 2009

42:

Yeah, I mean does anyone really think of Kirk as a Tasha Yar-esque survivor shaped by life in a Stalinist dictatorship on Tarsus IV? The “stack of books” thing always seemed more appropriate for Jeffrey Hunter’s uptight Captain Pike or Leslie Nielsen’s J.J. Adams (no relation) in “Forbidden Planet,” the generic 1950s-style space professional.

51. McCoy - April 16, 2009

Orci: “We go back to the origins of the characters, and because it’s an introduction to a world you don’t need to know anything about, is a part of it.”

No…as you have stated, these characters are not “the” characters. They are now alternate characters.

Kurtzman: “The future we’re presenting in this movie is much closer to the reality that currently exists than has ever been the case.”

Translation: the set designs were meant to look like 2008. We are only 40 years closer to the 23rd century. There was much less effort here to interpret what the 23rd century might look like than any other Trek endeavor—unless of course the point is that their 23rd century looks a lot like 2008. This removes a big part of the escapism I have enjoyed with (most) Trek.

There is no escape! LOL.

The world was different when the Space Race was on and it would have been an intelligent underlying comment to design the film (visually) with 60’s vision for the modern audience. We’ve been without that feeling for so many years and it would have been a wonderful starting point to say ‘we’re here again”. For those old enough to know, it would still have been escapism…for those too young—it would have looked like the future (well, as long as there were no classic Corvettes driving by).

52. Doesn't anyone in the 23rd century pee? - April 16, 2009

Looking forward to standing in line for hours…

53. DavidJ - April 16, 2009

51

That’s because our CURRENT technology is already much more advanced than anything in previous Trek.

Short of having the captain run the ship telepathically, there’s not much more they COULD have done to make the ship look high-tech and futuristic.

And you’re kidding yourself is you don’t think TOS looks like something that was made and designed in the 1960s. Just like TNG looks like something made and designed in the 80s and 90s. It’s just unavoidable in scifi.

54. Simon - April 16, 2009

#51 – 60’s vision? Cheesy? Garishly colored to sell color TVs and un-detailed because those TVs couldn’t resolve them? Low budget? Hell, why not go Lost In Space then?

55. Matias47 - April 16, 2009

Re: “10. John from Cincinnati – April 16, 2009
So we jettisoned Kirk’s original past because…it was boring? He was an overachiever who often succeeded, even in no win scenarios. Now he’s reduced to a punk who needs to overcome a lot to be a starship Captain?

Well, I contend that a young man who needed to survive a massacre on a little planet named Tarsus IV would be a great roadblock for him to overcome. The psychological trauma he would have to deal with to bridge from there to being a starship Captain would be great.

Also, if the writers wanted to stick with the “Kirk is a young punk” theme, couldn’t they have used Tarsus IV as the trigger event that set Kirk out on that path? I mean, a total disrespect for authority could be the result of a person surviving a massacre at the hands of the military Governor.

All in all, I am glad Star Trek is being given this treatment. I have always known Star Trek’s great potential if given a big budget and good writing. This could be the Star Trek trekkers have been waiting their whole lives to see.

See, I’m not a hater.”

Yup.

56. Primogen - April 16, 2009

51. McCoy

I think the idea is that they are the same characters, but with a different past.

10. John from Cincinnati

I also think the idea was that changing his past from being a traumatized kid who witnessed a massacre on an alien planet to being a fatherless rebel who grew up on Earth, would make a character that the audience could better identify with.

57. JML9999 - April 16, 2009

The Creative folks post Roddenberry keep using the Cell Phone meme. They’re not Cell Phones They’re Satellite Phones. The Communication while functioning locally can be considered a cell phone, it’s supposed to be reaching a ship in orbit with a tiny antenna. Current Satellite Phone technology is about where cell phones were in the 1980’s.

58. Rastaman - April 16, 2009

JML9999 – Hey that’s a really good point. I never thought about that.

Look like a good issue. I enjoy reading Orci’s quips.

59. falcon - April 16, 2009

@51 – Remember, too, that the original episodes had a budget of around $186,000. The movie has a budget of over $150 MILLION dollars. So yeah, you can do a lot with more money. If Roddenberry had had that kind of cash to work with, Star Trek would have probably owned NBC. And Desilu/Paramount. Or maybe he’d have just taken the money and bought Bermuda.

Also, about all this talk of Kirk jumping from cadet to captain – let’s remember, time passes in this movie, and Kirk has gone from hayseed punk (in the bar) to cadet (via Pike’s “dare”) to – what? What is he, exactly, on the Enterprise? When cadets graduate from the Academy (regardless of which academy), do they not attain the rank of 2nd Lieutenant/ensign/whatever? The lowest officer rank, O-1?

Also, although we are told that McCoy has to sneak Kirk aboard the Enterprise because Kirk has not been given a ship assignment, that does not tell us what Kirk’s rank is at that time. Also, we don’t know whether Kirk might not have served on other ships. It’s possible that JJ and company have compressed many events (which would have taken many years) into a shorter amount of time to tell a faster-paced story, but the end result is the same – Kirk is not a raw cadet without experience when he assumes command of the Enterprise.

60. cagmar - April 16, 2009

I don’t know… I seriously need to thank Orci and Kurtzman for doing their best to hang onto Star Trek… But it sounds to me like they’ll have their hands full with Abrams. He really really didn’t like Trek at all, thought it was lame and boring, and it gives me a kind of sad feeling. (Mind you, J.J., no bridge in 40+ years was EVER as lame as the new one!)

#12. S. John Ross – April 16, 2009 –
you are so right. A villain that isn’t just a “bad guy” with “revenge” on his mind would be a massive leap forward in not using crutches.

And Star Trek is science fiction– the BEST science fiction there has ever been because for all these years, it kept its science as a tool for exploring humanity. Get used to it, JJ. Lost is not sci-fi, it’s fantasy at best. So is Star Wars. Those sci-fit “crutches” you guys hate so much are the genre of the show. We aren’t making Cloverfield here. Stop shaking the camera and throwing camera flares at us, and make a freakin’ Star Trek.

Whew. Needed to get that out. I am so bored out of my wits by Fringe, I can’t tell you how afraid I am of a new ST series from this crew.

61. BP - April 16, 2009

“Mind you, J.J., no bridge in 40+ years was EVER as lame as the new one!”

lol #60, I love it when people use their opinion as fact

62. Weerd1 - April 16, 2009

59- Assuming Kirk is O1 out of the Academy, there’d have to be quite a bit of time for him to make it to O6 without something pretty extraordinary. I can buy quantum matter transportation better than I can buy that… Of course, George Custer went from Lieutenant to General in one promotion thanks to the Civil War- hopefully Kirk fares better than General Custer.

I am holding out hope for the film, but I would love to see James Cawley show us Prime Kirk’s origin in a Phase II episode. Then we can dare to compare!

You know- I actually considered watching a bad bootleg of the new film before going to see it in the theater. I first saw TOS on a 13″ B&W tv in reruns in the 70s. If it could draw me in with story then, I wonder if I should judge the new film’s story and performances without the benefits of digital surround and modern special effects?

63. John Sullivan - April 16, 2009

I have to wonder if the 23rd Century Press will treat Kirk like “The Messiah” and the freedom-loving individualists who believe in individual rights and freedom will and who will lose out to the one-world United Earth will just call Kirk “The Messiah” in utmost but appropriate sarcasm. And JJ – what’s wrong with “aimless punks” who go to bars, drink, pick up women, and start fights?” Men who go to bars who don’t drink, or pick up women, or don’t start fights to defend what’s right are what Mick Jagger and Ace Freley once called the “2000 Man,” or as we now know them, Metrosexuals. Kirk is many things, but he has never been a Boy Scout, or a Metrosexual.

64. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 16, 2009

62. Weerd1

“I am holding out hope for the film, but I would love to see James Cawley show us Prime Kirk’s origin in a Phase II episode. Then we can dare to compare!”

I am onboard for that!

But where is B&F II already?

Someone tell Caws to drop the Flash Gordon stuff for a while!
We need some new TOS Trek quick!

65. cagmar - April 16, 2009

#61 BP … ooh, the grammar police. I like it. Thanks for your opinion, but you’re wrong. For me to say, It is my opinion , or I think that, no bridge was EVER as lame as the new one, would be redundant. The fact that I’m writing it already suggests it is my opinion. Keep that in mind.

66. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 16, 2009

I guess we not meant to ever have it all.

I’ll take story this time.

67. Captain Spock - April 16, 2009

I think the point of the movie is to explore the nature vs. nurture debate. What it is that makes Kirk, Kirk? Is it his upbringing? Is their some undefinable aspect of his personality? Is it some combination? It’s questions like that that have always drawn me to science fiction.

68. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 16, 2009

#59 … Kirk assumes command of the Starfleet flagship DAYS after leaving the academy. I still can’t believe they did that!

69. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 16, 2009

If Kirk makes Captain within weeks (I certainly hope not), then Captain Spock, what does that say about Nurture?

70. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 16, 2009

68. Shatner_Fan_Prime

Good Call!

71. Blackmore fan - April 16, 2009

i would not call myself a Trekker but a fan of the Original Series, action, and scifi. I was a little bothered when they did not follow the standard of the sets and costumes of the OS but I have learned that maybe all of this will eventually flow together even if it is an alternate timeline.

I have not seen the movie yet and I’ll bet most of everyone on here has not either. Until then I am going to reserve judgment on picky things. I am sure there is enough time for the Tarsus IV scenario, the command of Captain Pike, the friendship with Gary Mitchell in a teacher student relationship, Dr. Carol Marcus and other canonical issues. I am not sure if Tarsus IV is possible but as I said I have not seen the movie. My guess is that Captain April has been removed from Trek in this alternate timeline unless it was a different Enterprise and not NCC 1701. Perhaps the ship will be refitted and uniforms will be altered to fit the original timeline for coming sequals. Who knows and who really cares but us?

Enough already!! I am glad that the OS crew is back. I am also glad that the Kirk, Spock, and McCoy relationship is intact because that is the heart and humor of Star Trek. Trek is once agian a thought provoking fun space opera again!

72. mr. mugato - April 16, 2009

OK. It’s not science fiction. Science fiction is a crutch you use to plug plot holes. It’s action adventure. Something Star Trek has never been.

At the end they are ready for their five year mission – oh not really – but sort of, maybe. They’ll be some missions, probably.

Oh boy. This is really starting to smell.

73. Iowagirl - April 16, 2009

- By delivering on a level of visceral fast-paced action that Trek has never really had at its signature. –

That’s definitely true – saw the TV trailer for the first time on one of the German channels yesterday, and got so dizzy from its fast-pace action that I’m still suffering from nausea…:D

#68
Well, they said they wanted to make it…fast. :))

74. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

>> I have not seen the movie yet and I’ll bet most of everyone on here has >> not either.

Saw it last night at the UK press screening. I’m proper hardcore when it comes to a lot of fannish issues and I thought it was, broadly, terrific. If anything it makes too many concessions to the likes us, not too few.

75. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

22 – Eek! I’m being quoted before I even get here now.

76. P Technobabble - April 17, 2009

60. “But it sounds to me like they’ll have their hands full with Abrams. He really really didn’t like Trek at all, thought it was lame and boring, and it gives me a kind of sad feeling…”

I have not read any quotes from JJ saying such things, and if you can find the actual quotes you should post them here. I do recall JJ saying he was not a huge Trek fan, but that is not the same thing as “… he really didn’t like Trek at all…” I found this quote on CTV.CA: “While he enjoyed the TV show about Capt. Kirk, First Officer Spock and their Enterprise crew mates, Abrams said he was not a rabid fan….” So, JJ wasn’t a hardcore Trekkie. It appears he is one now.

72. “Oh boy. This is really starting to smell…”

Yeh, I’m smelling $$$$$$$$ at the Box Office, I’m smelling the fragrance of rave reviews, the aroma of success… Star Trek has a future once again…

77. The Dude - April 17, 2009

What if a Trek fan had directed this script?

78. P Technobabble - April 17, 2009

JJ Abrams is doing for Star Trek what Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer did for it when they took on TWOK. Seems clear to me…

And really, does it make that much of a difference if JJ wasn’t a hardcore Trekkie? Harve Bennett wasn’t either. Nor was Nick Meyer. Some fans found plenty to pick on prior to the release of TWOK, but today that film is still regarded as the best of.

I do not think one MUST be a fan of something in order to make something GOOD. JJ is a film-maker first, not a fan of things. He knows all the ins and outs of getting a movie made. Once the movie is released, then the public decides whether or not they like it (and I don’t think I need to remind anyone that those who have been fortunate enough to already see it are raving about it…). JJ also surrounded himself with a good range of Trek-fans and non-fans. Is anyone gonna be bold enough to tell Bob Orci that he is not a Trek-fan? I suspect if he didn’t like the way the script was going, he’d have bowed out, or substituted his name with something like “Orcster Bird,” eh?

I think some are just making too much out of this “JJ doesn’t like Star Trek-thing” to the point they are taking his comments out of context, or simply exaggerating, or just looking for an adolescent argument.

79. mr. mugato - April 17, 2009

#78

JJ Abrams is doing for Star Trek what Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer did for it when they took on TWOK. Seems clear to me…

I could not agree more. Simply ignore the basic Roddenbury tenets, eschew science fiction and make it action adventure. Whatever you do don’t challenge on an intellectual level.

80. Closettrekker - April 17, 2009

#62—“Of course, George Custer went from Lieutenant to General in one promotion thanks to the Civil War”

But if you remember—after the end of the war and the immediate downsizing of the Union Army, Custer (like alot of others) had his inflated status brought down to Earth. He was demoted to Colonel.

Although “battlefield promotions” have always occurred, there are usually temporary and rarely anything but task specific.

However, also during the American Civil War, prominent citizens *were* in many cases given direct commissions to the rank of Colonel and command of an entire regiment. Some of them had prior military experience as junior officers in the Mexican War, but that was about it.

This is about the closest thing I can come up with to a ‘modern’ precedent for the way in which Kirk’s ascension to the Captain’s chair is apparently dealt with within the story.

Talk about a stretch!

81. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 17, 2009

#80 … I can accept the fact that a lot of Kirk’s known backstory (Kodos, Carol, etc.) was left out of the film. I’m fine with that, it’s a new timeline.

But I always like the idea that Kirk worked his way up through the ranks, serving on the Farragut and such. It makes his staus as Captain something he really earned through years of dedicated service. Going from cadet to Captain (of the fleet’s most powerful vessel, no less!) … yeesh. :-( When did Starfleet become American Idol – you get up there, you wow the judges, you win! That is without douby my biggest issue with the story.

82. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

In answer to 80

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS, RIGHT? SPOILERS. GOT THAT? BIG FREAKIN SPOILERS. DO NOT SAY I DID NOT WARN YOU OKAY?

80 – In the movie Kirk is about to graduate from the academy as a command officer (in record time, he is, after all, a stack of books with legs) when the Nero crisis kicks off. He then saves the day during the Nero crisis, specifically by demonstrating that he’s amazing when in command of a ship, has astonishing instincts and insight – he is, as a consequence, given command of a ship permanently shortly afterwards. It’s entirely logical.

83. Closettrekker - April 17, 2009

#82—What would be “enitrely logical” is that, after proving himself so worthy, he is placed on the “fast track”.

Giving a young man who is but days out of the Academy command of the flagship of Star Fleet is anything but logical, regardless of how well he performed during a single crisis. There would be far more to commanding a starship than just outdueling a villain. There is understanding and experience needed in personnel management, the logistics of starship operations under more than just training scenarios, etc., etc.

If Kirk’s battles with Khan teach us anything—intelligence and natural talent is no substitute for experience. That goes for a 20-something Kirk too.

In the end, it’s just a movie—and it’s probably no worse than 2 captains and 5 commanders assigned to the same ship (STV), but as much as I’m sure I will enjoy this movie, the direct ascension from cadet to command is an issue. It lacks credibility.

84. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

83 – if you want to e-mail me, I’ll tell you the other issues that make it work (for me). I don’t want to spoil out loud for others.

85. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

83 – Oh, it’s actually three Captains (Kirk, Spock and Scotty) on the one ship in Star Trek V, btw! : )

86. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

Sorry, I thought you could e-mail by clicking the link. Och, I don’t mind, I’m thejimsmith@gmail.com, if anyone cares. I got a thick skin.

87. pinky - April 17, 2009

#77 –
I’m not sure. But it would probably be simple changes, mostly to do with design. We would have gotten simple, seemingly unimportant choices made that were a whole lot more respectful of what ST has been…. We could see what a fan of Trek might do with – “should we keep this baby Sci-Fi or should we turn it into an action adventure?…” hahaha… NO question. Or try, “If I put the saucer back a little more, would anybody object?” Or how about, “The image isn’t busy enough with the new flashy lamps and the scattered consoles, what would you think about making the viewscreen reflect all the busy items in front of it over top of the talking heads? hm? sound good?” Or, and probably best of all, “I really want the camera to constantly be shaking and moving, you know, so people feel they’re really on a space ship built by Apple…”

If a fan had directed, I’m not sure the story would change much, but it would FEEL a lot more like Star Trek.

88. Closettrekker - April 17, 2009

#85—“… it’s actually three Captains (Kirk, Spock and Scotty) on the one ship in Star Trek V, btw!”

That’s assuming that Scotty was actually promoted to “Captain of Engineering”, despite what transpired afterward.

I never saw that as being “consumated”, since it was clearly tied to his service aboard USS Excelsior (which of course, he willfully sabotaged en route to aiding Kirk’s theft of the Enterprise). I also don’t recall seeing Captain’s insignia on his uniform at any point during the events portrayed in TFF (but then again, that movie is not exactly on my list of “rewatchables”).

Of course, if I were to have readily accepted that Scotty was actually officially promoted to Captain as well—-it would have only served to make the notion that Starfleet would so grossly misappropriate valuable personnel resources even that much more unbearable.

:)

89. Closettrekker - April 17, 2009

#87—“If a fan had directed, I’m not sure the story would change much, but it would FEEL a lot more like Star Trek.”

But that’s leaving out something very important to this entire venture.

What “Star Trek fan” is an up and coming (or even accomplished) director whose name alone would draw mainstream credibility to something which, at least in the last two decades, has been a “geeks only” club?

Whether you personally like his work (or whether it is critically deserved) or not—-that is something which JJ Abrams and Bad Robot bring to the table at this point in time. I don’t believe that the significance of even that alone can be underestimated.

Star Trek hasn’t had an “A-list” Hollywood name in the director’s chair in 30 years. And while JJ Abrams is not— by any stretch of the imagination—as accomplished as Robert Wise was then, there is no question that he *is* most certainly an “A-list name”.

90. GaryS - April 17, 2009

It could have been worse .
Imagine,
Star Trek directed by Quentin Tarentino!

91. tranchera - April 17, 2009

Or Kevin Smith.

92. Jim Smith - April 17, 2009

88 – Scotty wears a Captain’s rank insignia in III, IV, V and VI, although not for the trial scene in IV, for some reason

So, yes, it was a gross misappropriation of personnel! : )

93. Closettrekker - April 17, 2009

#92—“So, yes, it was a gross misappropriation of personnel! : )”

I think it was *that* either way. Scotty wearing Captain’s insignia just makes “The Great Trek Turd Of ’89” that much worse!

94. P Technobabble - April 17, 2009

79. “… Simply ignore the basic Roddenbury tenets, eschew science fiction and make it action adventure. Whatever you do don’t challenge on an intellectual level.”

Sure, we could get into a whole thing about Star Trek’s intellectual qualities, but even Mr. Roddenberry realized he was making a product in order to generate $$$, something clearly stated in one of the original Star Trek Writer’s Guides… Without making concessions toward the action/adventure demands of entertaining people, Trek would not have been able to stay on the air (and, originally, it didn’t). You can debate art vs. business all day long. Movie studios MUST make $$$, and if Star Trek is a way of doing that, so be it. I have not seen anything yet about the new film that indicates there is nothing at all here to satisfy a more intellectual viewer, and to presume there’s nothing at all intellectual about it is to jump to a rather quick conclusion, hm? I really do not believe Paramount, or the Supreme Court want to make a cult film that has a limited appeal… You know what’s happening to all those poor businesses that aren’t attracting customers… they’re closing the doors.
Were it not for Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer, we might not even be having this conversation on this website, which might not even exist… talk about your alternate worlds…..

95. weerd1 - April 17, 2009

Some speculation here some might consider spoilery about Kirk, so please be forewarned…

I am worried about “Lion King” syndrome. In that movie, Simba spends years doing nothing but loafing and being all Hakuna Matata, and then gets a guilty conscious from the monkey, and heads back to go just take over again basically after one fight with an uncle who couldn’t fight, and had to con his way to the throne anyway. I always felt it was a bad moral for kids- just be the rightfully born king and it’s all yours. Simba gets king, and really doesn’t work for anything.

I don’t want this Kirk to be a guy who flakes off, but because a single crisis awakens his potential, can suddenly take over an be Captain without a few years of earning the position. Kirk got to be youngest Captain in the prime timeline because he worked his impulse drive off for several years and earned it. This Kirk gets a battlefield promotion without even having graduated because he handles one crisis well? How does that qualify you for five years of dealing with the unknown? Maybe it all makes sense in the film when I see it, but that’s one of my big sticking points right now. I don’t want to see “Destined to be Captain” because his name is Kirk, but I want to see “Destined to be Captain” because he frakkin’ earns it.

96. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#95—“Maybe it all makes sense in the film when I see it, but that’s one of my big sticking points right now.”

I have some similar concerns, and one of the questions I have is how they make this alternate ascension to command work within the story.

Their intention is most certainly that it comes off as credible, and I hope it does.

97. McCoy - April 19, 2009

It’s a sad time for Classic Trek. We were faced with new actors in order to tell a story about how the original crew came together. Had to accept that one. Then most of the other things which identified TOS were also removed.

Like the moment after I saw the new ‘Lost in Space’ and the new ‘Planet of the Apes’—I move further from my past. Erasure takes place. Whether this is prime or alternate, life will be different for Trekies moving forward.

98. rocdoctor - April 28, 2009

I have read through this discussion as a Trekker and find it fascinating. I can’t imagine what many of you will say after you’ve seen the movie. (I have not seen it yet.) But I always thought Star Trek had the potential to be entertaining — but I, alas, agreed with my twin that Trek never carried the punch of Star Trek because it always seemed as if it was never to be unleashed. One of the reasons I really liked DS9 was for the Dominion War, which gave the series an out to be punchy and moving at the same time. I just don’t see how action in a good film keeps it from being good Trek. And in the end, I think it’s critical for the franchise to be reborn with some touch stones, but not necessarily in a way that keeps it from getting beyond the problems that killed Enterprise (which was canon-heavy) and Insurrection and Nemesis, which both seemed to get lost in their own self-conscious odes to the original idea.

Movies should be entertaining. And it would be really nice if the Tarsus IV experience of Kirk was part of the origin story. But if Abrams can breath life into what is a dead franchise, then 20 years from now, maybe we can all look back and see how action and entertainment could be combined with the mythos and beauty of Gene Roddenbury’s vision.

An aside: I really thought Batman Begins was dull. And I really loved Tim Burton’s Batman. But once we got Batman Begins out of the way, we could get back to the original mythos and beauty of Bob Kane’s Batman in “Dark Knight.” I’m hoping we won’t have to talk about Star Trek in the same vein as Batman Begins — “got out of the way” — but I’d rather see a big name big budget production reinvigorate the series, then move closer to canon. ‘Cause without JJ, the thing looks as dead as Julius Caesar to me.

And that’s from a guy who though Nemesis was okay — please, don’t throw stones. I, appropriately, hated Star Trek V. I thought Shatner had killed the franchise then.

99. rocdoctor - April 28, 2009

Dang it, I meant that Star Trek never carried the punch of Star Wars.

100. Nostalgic G - May 26, 2009

When is this hitting U.S. newstands?
Haven’t seen it yet anywhere here or the Titan souvenir movie magazine.

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