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JJ Abrams Guest-Edited WIRED Mag Preview – w/ Star Trek Mini-comic April 17, 2009

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

The nice people at Wired Magazine sent TrekMovie their May issue which has a very special ‘guest editor’…the director of the new Star Trek movie, JJ Abrams. The issue is filled with the stuff JJ loves, especially mysterious puzzles. Abrams also writes an essay about mysteries and spoilers. Plus the issue contains a Star Trek mini-comic written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and also ‘production notes’ from ST09 the DP . See our Abrams WIRED preview below.

 

The Abrams mystery
JJ Abrams loves a good mystery His favorite show is The Twilight Zone and since he was a child he has kept a ‘Mystery Box’ which he has never opened (and it graces the cover of his issue of WIRED). The issue itself is full of puzzles and riddles to be solved, making the mag almost like a game in itself.

Abrams also has an essay titled ‘The Magic of Mystery’ in which he talks about how wonderful mysteries are, and how they are ageless from the question of God, to the Loch Ness monster to McDonald’s Special Sauce. But this leads the director to go on a bit of a self-described ‘rant’ on how today mystery is disappearing. That the information and and spoiler demanding cuture have ‘demystified’ everything. This is no surprise coming from the man who co-created Lost and the man who demanded that everyone in his Star Trek cast wear hooded cloaks any time they ventured anywhere where a camera could spot them.

Here is one of the points Abrams tries to make for the case of keeping spoilers away from fans:

Spoilers give fans the answers they want, the resolution they crave. As an avid fan of movies and TV myself, I completely understand the desire to find out behind-the-scenes details in a nanosecond. Which, given technology, is often how long it takes–to the frustration of storytellers. Efforts to gather this intel and the attempts to plug leaks create an ongoing battle between filmmakers and the very fans they are dying to entertain and impress. But the real damage isn’t so much that the secret gets out. It’s that the experience is destroyed.


JJ’s Mystery Box on the covered of his WIRED

"When Worlds Collide" mini-comic
What may be the coolest thing in the new JJ Abrams guest-edited WIRED is a six page long mini-comic tied into the new Star Trek movie. The "When Worlds Collide" comic was written by Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, with old school art by Eisner-winning comic artist Paul Pope. The story centers on the elder Spock, reminiscing about the old days, with imagery coming from his childhood and his time on TOS (both the show and the movie era). This short little comic also ties into the movie and is worth the price of the issue itself. Here are just a handful of panels.


6-page Trek comic in Wired spans Trek eras

Nokia promo/Production notes from Daniel Mindel – talks ‘lens flare’
Another Star Trek-related component for the new WIRED is a two-page ad from Star Trek promotional partners Nokia & Verizon. One page of the ad is actually more like an article, with production notes from Star Trek director of photography Daniel Mindel. He goves over his approach to 3 scenes in the film: the ice planet, Nero’s ship, and the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

There has been much said about the ‘lens flare’ scene in the Star Trek clips and trailers. Mindel discusses this when writing about shooting on the Bridge:

Here on the Enterprise set, little pinpoints of light are facing the camera. Without them, contrast levels in this scene would be virtually flat. To liven things up, every time the camera moves around, the lights halate to give us this great halo effect. In fact, you can see the halation from the lamps here under Spock’s nose on the edge of the set. We felt that gave us a very realistic feel to an otherwise static scene. We have this motif working throughout the movie and if you’re looking for it, you’ll see it. It adds a lot to of kineticism. 


Mindel thinks the light ‘halo effect’ adds to the realism

Pick it up
The new WIRED is a must for any fan of Trek or fan of puzzles. It is available on select newsstands already, and should be available wide by next week.

Comments

1. Harry Ballz - April 17, 2009

Ooooh, wrinkled Spock! Eeeerie!

2. Gibnerd - April 17, 2009

that comic looks insane awesome.

3. PF - April 17, 2009

For more on J.J.’s mystery box concept, here he is, explaining it himself:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html

4. jotin - April 17, 2009

dont care, lights still can go *$(@#$!! the graphics on the back screens woudl have been enough.

5. Admiral_BlackCat - April 17, 2009

Sounds like a pretty sweet issue.

6. S. John Ross - April 17, 2009

Spoilers can only damage cheap, gimmicky film experiences. The experience of a great movie is entirely immune to damage from spoilers.

That said, it’s fun to see Abrams indulge his fetish.

7. brokenbacktango - April 17, 2009

#4 is a bit pushy about it but generally I agree: The lens flare effect was subtle enough in the Kirk/McCoy clip but ridiculously distracting in the Kirk/Spock/Scotty clip. It’s a silly thing to get worked up over but if it’s that overt throughout the ENTIRE movie it’s only going to give me a headache.

8. spockatatic - April 17, 2009

not sure about the lens flares, but the comic sounds great!

9. SciFiMetalGirl - April 17, 2009

Cool! Cuz I am already a subscriber!

10. Robert Saint John - April 17, 2009

SJR, I think the world of you and your work, but that’s crazy talk, man!

“No, Luke. *I* am your father” is just one example of something that shouldn’t have been spoiled before seeing TESB to experience it in full, wouldn’t you agree? You can’t really think that was a cheap, gimmicky film experience, can you?

And wouldn’t knowing the ending of every story before you read it break the drama? Most conclusions are spoilers. Knowing the ending in advance impacts the dramatic experience. That doesn’t make most endings cheap or gimmicky.

Am I completely missing your point?

11. JACathcart - April 17, 2009

Quote from #6: “Spoilers can only damage cheap, gimmicky film experiences. The experience of a great movie is entirely immune to damage from spoilers.”

Not so Mr. Ross. Spoilers do have a damaging effect on the element of surprise, even for “great movies”. It is true for many aspects of life, whether it be peeking at Christmas presents by tearing away a piece of the wrapping paper, or friends telling you that Vader is Luke’s father before you saw the movie, and it’s true when you read the novel before you see the film.

I don’t mean to imply that you can’t enjoy Star Trek without the element of surprise, but the sheer joy of discovering something exactly how and when the artist wishes you to will be gone from those who are spoiler-hunters.

Me? I’m not against a few spoilers at all, but I do love the thrill of seeing some mysteries revealed in the theater, with full picture, sounds and musical score.

12. Green ink - April 17, 2009

Now that’s a well drawn comic, from the inking to the colouring, that’s what Countdown should have looked like.
Each of the panels is splendid on its own, the linework is great, it’s vibrant and makes the pictures come alive.
The colours give it a marvelously classic feel too.

As for spoilers, they can ruin the first time you watch something. But if something is good you can watch it again and still enjoy it.
Spoilers satisfy and afterwards ruin that craving for wanting to know what is going to happen. But the best films don’t need plot to be great.

13. Sid - April 17, 2009

That Enterprise doesn’t look right, disaster etc

14. I am not Herbert - April 17, 2009

“Here on the Enterprise set, little pinpoints of light are facing the camera. Without them, contrast levels in this scene would be virtually flat. To liven things up, every time the camera moves around, the lights halate to give us this great halo effect.”

I wish they had solved this “problem” differently… I really don’t like the spot lights.

15. DGill - April 17, 2009

So, I’m assuming that the comic takes place from Spock Prime’s point of view when he’s on Delta Vega?

16. PF - April 17, 2009

@15, the Delta Vega setting is the framing part for the rest of the comic, which is told in snippets of flashback. Spock remembers learning nerve pinch techniques as a kid, surviving the test of manhood in the desert, playing chess with Jim Kirk, playing music for Uhura, helping Kirk outwit Khan with a callback to his 3D chess strategy and so on, then back to Delta Vega again, as he looks up to see the Enterprise from this movie, presumably shooting Kirk in that escape pod toward the surface…

17. Chris Fawkes - April 17, 2009

All of star wars was a cheap experience. The latter films just took it to a whole new level.

18. Gabriel Bell - April 18, 2009

6. (Written with all due respect to SJR)

To say the experience of a great film is “entirely immune” to the affects of spoilers is way too specific. Sure many great films are unaffected by spoilers, but there are just as many that are completely altered by spoilers. I could name a ton, but two that spring to mind are “The Crying Game” and “The Sixth Sense.” If I knew the twists of these movies as I was watching them for the first time, my experience and feelings toward these films would be forever diminished.

Me no like spoilers. Even for crappy movies.

19. InSaint - April 18, 2009

Those light being more realistic? Riiiiight. The bridge of a space battleship and the crewmen go: “I can’t see! I can’t see! It blinded me again, damn it”. Suuuuure, realistic.

20. Senya - April 18, 2009

The Paul Pope drawn comic is the most beautiful thing to come out of the marketing of this Trek!

As far as the lens flares go I hope they won’t be strong enough to trigger an epileptic seizure.

21. Magicdan - April 18, 2009

#3:
Just watched that whole video and gained a new perspective on just how this movie is going to be.

#19:
Lense flares are only for lenses, real people don’t see them usually. Very realistic unless Jordi is on board, then yeah, he could be blinded.

22. Forrest - April 18, 2009

Bringing back optimism turned out to be as as simple as overlighting the ship interiors. The future’s so bright even Vulcans with third eyelids gotta wear shades.

Brilliant!

23. thorsten - April 18, 2009

The movie is shot on film with anamorphic lenses. They create this flares all the time. After I saw the whole movie, and being a photographer, I can say the flares add to the realism of the movie. Everything feels like it is happening right now in front of you. They do not distract you from what happens on the screen, the movie is so intense that you really do not care about flares.

24. Jim - April 18, 2009

Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.

25. screaming satellite - April 18, 2009

anyone know if Wired mag avaiable in UK? like in newsagents etc or will it be an eBay import job?

26. darrksan - April 18, 2009

@#%# the halo effect
also I’m sick of JJ Abrams Riddler bull@#$%!
WIRED Magazine! It SEEMS JJ Abrams is still trapped in the early 1990’s like this movie seems to be.
Hey JJ! Don’t have a cow, MAN!

27. lukas - April 18, 2009

There showed up a new Spot on Facebook. Don’t know whether this has been reported here, but it’s slightly different than the previous ones…

28. darrksan - April 18, 2009

Jim – April 18, 2009

Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.
—————————–
Yes, you are right.
When I studied film and was taught the same thing.

29. screaming satellite - April 18, 2009

someone posted i really bad Wolverine spoiler in the comments of the Trek v Wolverine box office thread..i was so annoyed when i read it…it wouldve been a great surprise…what an ahole – he didnt HAVE to do it..but he did it

ive been avoiding reading the comments on TM.com ever since the new film premiered as theres BOUND to be people posting spoilers even in the non Spoiler threads – …in fact im feeling abit jittery about reading this one too – all it takes its one dumbass to ruin it…

im with JJ on this one – i HATE spoilers

30. Ciarán - April 18, 2009

Wehn it comes to spoilers and information about a movie being given during production, I love it all. It makes me MORE excited because I know what I want to see. When I know nothing about it, then my excitement is built up so much that the movie in question almost never comes close to the hype and excitement I have built up and I am therefore usually disappointed. This is what I am afraid for in this movie. With knowing NOTHING for so long, and even now, the story of the movie is still quite vague, I am afraid the movie will not live up to the expectations that JJ Abrams and the rest of his buddies have made me build up. And the extra FIVE MONTHS of waiting didn’t help either. I actually get quite frustrated thinking about the movie because I literally can’t wait another nanosecond to see it. It’s like, I just want to get it over and done with. LOL!!

31. screaming satellite - April 18, 2009

For those wondering about Uk – From wiki

“Wired launched a UK edition with Wired UK 1.01 for May 1995, ceasing publication with issue 3.03 in March 2007. The relaunch issue is dated May 2009.”

So shouldn’t be too much trouble tracking one down

32. Geoffers - April 18, 2009

You can get Wired here in the UK, in WH Smiths stores.

Hope that helps.

33. thorsten - April 18, 2009

@30…

Don’t worry, you will not be disappointed.

34. RTC - April 18, 2009

The ‘rightness’ of spoilers depends on what’s being spoiled. If the spoiler is — and I’m ENTIRELY making these up — ‘Scotty uses his idle time on Delta Vega to develop his own wormhole star drive to replace the matter-antimatter engine on the Enterprise,’ some people will be annoyed by this but it won’t ruin the movie for them, and it may indeed spark greater curiosity about how and why. But if the spoiler is, ‘Nero is stopped just as he takes aim at Earth when Scotty opens a wormhole, grabs Nero and jumps into it with him, killing them both,’ people will be honked AND have no need to see the movie. It comes down to mere detail vs. major plot element.

35. Montreal Paul - April 18, 2009

28. darrksan – April 18, 2009
Jim – April 18, 2009
“Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.
—————————–
Yes, you are right.
When I studied film and was taught the same thing.”

Funny, I have been in television and film production for 22 years.. we use lens flares all the time. Even when I was in school, they taught us how to do lens flares properly so you don’t blow out the camera.

36. ety3 - April 18, 2009

Is it because the public is conditioned to believe that pros don’t have lens flares that lens flares (when used correctly) add to the realism?

37. jonboc - April 18, 2009

I like the use of lens flares artistically, doesn’t bother me in the least.

38. thorsten - April 18, 2009

Funny Spoiler:
————————–
The sequence with “Scotty in the pipes” was shot in a Budweiser brewery in Van Nuys. Hence that oldskool look with all the tubes, tanks and valves.
————————–
Spoiler end.

39. The Dude - April 18, 2009

“Even when I was in school, they taught us how to do lens flares properly so you don’t blow out the camera.”

That is the point they were trying to make, Montreal Paul.

40. BesterGirl - April 18, 2009

Well, time to pick up a copy of the new “Wired” magazine. They definitely love Star Trek there. That mag actually once published a feature on the fan made “New Voyages” episode featuring an elderly Pavel Chekov.

41. luke montgomery - April 18, 2009

I LOVE THE FLARES!

42. fred - April 18, 2009

Wow, Spock looks ancient in the drawing.

43. ThePhaige - April 18, 2009

I like the way its being implemented so far. The lens flare that is…I am not concerned about it.

I was kinda impressed with the bridge scene just after Kirk and Scotty come off the turbo lift and the camera moves to Spock with a slight wooosh! I thought that little movement was very cool.

44. thorsten - April 18, 2009

The flares are part of the movie, they are really beautiful…

45. C.S. Lewis - April 18, 2009

Thus spake the Scribes,

“Abrams also has an essay titled ‘The Magic of Mystery’ in which he talks about how wonderful mysteries are, and how they are ageless from the question of God, to the Loch Ness monster to McDonald’s Special Sauce. But this leads the director to go on a bit of a self-described ‘rant’ on how today mystery is disappearing.”

Intriguing. Of course, it will be a net good for spoiled, ADD-riddled Western man if Abrams can capture the imagination of a generation or two lacking an attention span. It will also explain quite a lot about his adaptive story telling techniques – and why certain young people today hurl nasty (and unimaginative) epithets at Star Trek: they don’t understand it and they do not have the wherewithal to take it all in, as Star Trek was about story telling first, last and always. Indeed, it might have taken 50 minutes of air time to prepare the listener for the moral of the story.

(Make no mistake about it – Star Trek was written to be heard; visuals were always a distant second priority in the scheme of things. Star Trek was the last chapter in the oral story tradition, by way of stage, radio and teleplays. Its language was stately, memorable, and designed to be recited. The tradition, at least in the SF genre, was effectively killed by Star Wars which was intended as a feast for the eyes, rather than as a spectacular enhancement of the spoken word. And please, don’t bother quoting one of the rare, clunking exceptinos that prove the rule. Even “Brain and brain, what is brain!!!?? is MEMORABLE and DELIGHTFUL to the ears and is quoted regularly 40 years after it was written. Q.E.D!)

Sincerely,
C.S. Lewis

46. Stan Winstone - April 18, 2009

When does this guy sleep???

47. Captain Dunsel - April 18, 2009

Sent into tips the other day… reposting here:

On Page 129, there is a continuance of an article from PAGE 508 (there IS no Page 508) which talks about STAR TREK’S GREATEST PUZZLE ((in the case of the article, the Kobayashi Maru)). The article doesn’t seem to reference real world sources, but talks about ways to solve the problem.

All the ads on the page that have websites redirect to the WIRED website.

One ad has to do with puzzles and has a long string of numbers that may mean something, but I am not sure.

I suggest checking it out.

48. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - April 18, 2009

Cool, a Wired about JJ Abrams?
Must buy!

49. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - April 18, 2009

7Pm May 7th just can’t get here fast enough.

50. Kirk's Girdle - April 18, 2009

Why does that look like Nimoy Spock and Saldana Uhura?
Wrinkly Spock not too flattering. And the La’Matia too!

51. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - April 18, 2009

#47. When does this guy sleep) I do not think he sleeps very much. He just might be a Vulcan in Disguise.

52. Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources - Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Paul Pope draws butt-kicking, panther-fighting young Spock - April 18, 2009

[...] to TrekMovie.com, the comic features an aged Spock remembering the days of his youth, both his panther-fighting days [...]

53. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#45—” …Star Trek was written to be heard; visuals were always a distant second priority in the scheme of things. Star Trek was the last chapter in the oral story tradition, by way of stage, radio and teleplays. Its language was stately, memorable, and designed to be recited. The tradition, at least in the SF genre, was effectively killed by Star Wars which was intended as a feast for the eyes, rather than as a spectacular enhancement of the spoken word. And please, don’t bother quoting one of the rare, clunking exceptinos that prove the rule. Even “Brain and brain, what is brain!!!?? is MEMORABLE and DELIGHTFUL to the ears and is quoted regularly 40 years after it was written.”

As much as I love TOS, I find it difficult to allow what is, IMO, an inflated and historically revisionist review of the original 79 episodes go unchallenged.

Only less than 1/3 of those entries are truly notable, IMO. I can think of only around 20-25 of the 79 episodes in which I would classify the writing as very good to “spectacular”. The rest of the writing ranges from decent to just plain poor.

Now—to be fair and clear—I would place those 20-25 superior episodes above just about anything in the history of television, and (with all due to respect to fans of the more recent spinoffs) I would be hard pressed to name that many episodes of “Berman-era” Trek that I would even be willing to sit and rewatch.

But for every gem like “The City On The Edge Of Forever” —-there is also a “Spock’s Brain” or “Plato’s Stepchildren”.

For every fantastic tale like “The Doomsday Machine” or “Balance Of Terror”—there is a dud like “Spectre Of The Gun”, “A Piece Of The Action”, or “Miri”.

Of course, “spectacular” and “memorable” are too very different things.

Some of “Classic Trek” is so bad….it’s fantastic!

“Gonna crack my knuckles and jump for joy,
Gotta clean bill of health from Dr. McCoy!”

But let’s not get carried away with the nostalgic revisionism. TOS was hit and miss. It’s just that when it *did* hit—-the ball was sometimes out of the park by a country mile….

54. Harry Ballz - April 18, 2009

Perhaps the lens flares are JJ’s way of illustrating mankind’s bright future?

55. Paulaner - April 18, 2009

#53

Totally agreed. There is no absolute good or bad, imo. There is no absolute “right way” to write Trek. Keep the basic principles of optimism and friendship, and you can have a lot of good (or bad) different flavors.

56. Ryan T. Riddle - April 18, 2009

The art by Paul Pope is awesome. If the editor to IDW is lurking around, I hope that he considers getting some alt-press artists to do more Trek.

57. sean - April 18, 2009

#6

“Spoilers can only damage cheap, gimmicky film experiences. The experience of a great movie is entirely immune to damage from spoilers.

That said, it’s fun to see Abrams indulge his fetish.”

What a load of nonsense! Nothing compares to seeing a reveal within a film firsthand, experiencing it directly and through your own filter. Spoilers take that away, and inevitably taint your perception of the experience. Sure, it could still be a great movie, but you’ll never feel the same way as if you’d felt genuine suspense at the narrative.

I completely agree with Abrams – we live in a society on information overload, and sometimes that means the simple pleasures are lost.

58. sean - April 18, 2009

#45

“Even “Brain and brain, what is brain!!!?? is MEMORABLE and DELIGHTFUL to the ears and is quoted regularly 40 years after it was written.”

Hmmm…memorable, perhaps. But delightful? That’s a stretch my friend! :)

59. G.Prich - April 18, 2009

One other thing in this issue: On p. 60-61 there is an article about how Neville Page designed the Delta Vega snow monster as seen in the trailers. Pretty cool.

60. RD - April 18, 2009

Lens flares are a trendy fad. Period. 99% of all the movies ever made avoid them like the plague.

I just finished watching an HD copy of ST II and I can tell you I believed the events happening on that bridge were 100% happening “now”. I did not need to have the scene artificially hyped to make me feel more “in-the-moment”.

I suspect that Trek ’09 will look dated in a very few years as this current infatuation with lens flares will begin to look dumb and drop out of fashion. The same is true for desaturated films like Minority Report, which I also recently saw and it looks dated. Thankfully the intense use of colored filters and loose hand-helds has begun to ebb which has begun to date a decade of films as well. After century of filmaking one thing remains constant – the films that stand the test of time are the ones that give us good clear images that allow the story to evolve without the distractions of visual tricks or gimmickry, but complementary shots that give us depth and dimension for the tale being told.

61. DavidJ - April 18, 2009

Wow, absolutely LOVE the Pope art! Too bad they can’t get him to draw the regular Trek comics– I’d buy every freakin one.

And I have no problem with the lense flares. It’s not about making it look “realistic,” but about adding to the IMMEDIACY of the scene. Trek in the past was often so structured and overly-choreographed that it was like you were watching a stage play.

Now in this movie, you have the feel of someone with a camera tagging along with Kirk and his crew and capturing events AS THEY HAPPEN. And if the shot isn’t perfectly framed, or the lighting doesn’t always cooperate, so be it.

Yeah it’s a huge shift in style, but I think it’s LONG overdue. The Trek filmmaking style has been stuck in the past for way too long, and finally someone’s trying something new.

62. RD - April 18, 2009

JJ’s Mystery Box argument makes many valid points. However, his solution is not always the correct one. It is one thing to protect the secrets of a film before it is released, but another to flat out lie to protect them.

Once upon a time, filmmakers would simply say they would not comment on a question that attempted to unravel the mystery they were crafting. Abrams, simply lies about it and intentionally misleads. I suspect this is due in part from gross arrogance in which he thinks he has come up with something so spectacular that nobody could guess what he’s up to and runs around freely debunking off-based theories posited by the fans until somebody hits the nail on the head and he is left with no choice but to lie.

Ultimately, his application of the big mystery over the course of a series dooms that series future syndication, except for those who have all but been hiding under a rock when the phenomenon was the subject of daily water-cooler discussions. In particular I find that LOST is almost unwatchable once the mystery is unraveled. Each installment of that series tends to string the audience along with that mystery, but does little to tell a stand-alone story. Once you have the answer the mystery is just an exercise in frustration. The point is, spoilers in Lost would kill it. However, in The Empire Strikes Back, knowing that Vader is Luke’s father is but a small part of that story, which is infinitely watchable, whether you know the surprises or not.

63. DavidJ - April 18, 2009

60

I’m a huge fan of TWOK, but I don’t exactly get that immediate, “you are there” feel that you seem to get. Not like I get from modern shows like Rescue Me or The Shield.

In any case, what worked then isn’t necessarily going to work now. I know fans want to believe the only problem with Trek the past 10 years was the writing, but it’s also the whole visual STYLE of the franchise that had gotten tired and stale (at least in the mind of the public), and needed to be revamped.

And more than anything, it’s that dramatic new style coming through all the ads and trailers that has really grabbed people’s attention and gotten the general public excited again. So I’d say Abrams knew exactly what he was doing.

64. Daoud - April 18, 2009

#10, 62. But some of us knew from the beginning with Star Wars that Darth Vader was his father. Darth Vader literally means “Hidden Father” in dialectical Low German. So, there wasn’t any surprise, period. Not if you were paying attention. After all, the whole “he killed your father” sequence with Obi Wan made it clear the only hidden father would be Luke’s, since dart(h) means hidden. Star Wars was patently obvious.

“Soylent Green is people” would be a better example, or “You blew it up” from the end of Planet of the Apes. THOSE are things that weren’t telegraphed.

65. Netgic - April 18, 2009

http://www.hulu.com/watch/64995/family-guy-not-all-dogs-go-to-heaven

66. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#60—-“I suspect that Trek ‘09 will look dated in a very few years as this current infatuation with lens flares will begin to look dumb and drop out of fashion. ”

You mean like dressing up Ricardo Montalban to look like an early 1980’s rockstar, big hair and all?

#62—“It is one thing to protect the secrets of a film before it is released, but another to flat out lie to protect them.”

I’m not so sure that would be anything but a clever ruse designed to accomplish the same thing in itself—but in any case—Abrams hasn’t told any “flat-out lies” that I’m aware of. But it’s been awhile since you’ve called someone a liar—-so I guess it was due.

67. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#63—Agreed.

TWOK is a fantastic “B-movie”, but there is nothing notable at all about the cinematography, IMO, and it should by no means be the template for how a big-budget film should be shot more than 25 years later.

68. Anon - April 18, 2009

‘It adds a lot to of kineticism. ‘

Is it impossible for an audience to simply see a scene play out without the camera and lighting distracting the audience from the storytelling? Style has its place but story comes first, unless you don’t have a story to offer.

69. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#64—-“But some of us knew from the beginning with Star Wars that Darth Vader was his father. Darth Vader literally means “Hidden Father” in dialectical Low German. So, there wasn’t any surprise, period. Not if you were paying attention.”

If you were paying attention?

Lmao!

Don’t you mean if you *happened* to be familiar with “dialetical low German”?

Give me a break. For the overwhelming majority of moviegoers, it was a dramatic surprise.

I can see it now….

“Come on…how could you possibly not have seen that coming? I mean, everyone knows that ‘Darth Vader’ means ‘hidden father’ in dialectical low German!’—-Lol!

70. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#68—-“Style has its place but story comes first, unless you don’t have a story to offer.”

Why must people assume that a change in style from the way in which the average Star Trek movie is filmed means that the priority of “story” was somehow placed in the background?

Such an assertion makes no sense, especially when the director is not—in this case—one of the scriptwriters. Moreover, the addition (or in this case, alteration) of one element does not automatically equate to the subtraction of another.

Now if JJ Abrams “final cut” piviledges result in cutting away some of the more crucial elements of Orci/Kurtzman’s story in favor of some rather unnecessarily drawn out visual sequences, then I suppose you could say that he sacrificed some of it. But without knowing which elements of the script (if any) didn’t make it into the finished film for those kinds of reasons, there is really no support for such a case—-nor will there be anytime soon.

71. boborci - April 18, 2009

70. Closettrekker – April 18, 2009

You have been such an articulate ambassador for your point of view (which happens to often defend us) so THANKS CLOSETTREKKER!

72. Spock's Uncle - April 18, 2009

uhh, wait a minute, the TRAILER for Empire included Vader saying “Luke, I am your father…”

So it wasn’t a surprise in the film, it was revealed by Lucas himself in the trailers leading up to the movie. Not a spoiler. Not a leak. A TEASER. Designed to make you go “No way! Now I have to see the movie to figure out how the hell that happened…”

Spoilers are specifically bits of information, dialogue, or scenes that the filmmaker does NOT want revealed prior to seeing the film. Be definition, if it’s used in promotional materials/trailers/commercials… it AIN’T a spoiler. Sorry kids, but “I am your father” be it low German dialect or not, wasn’t a spoiler.

73. Spock's Uncle - April 18, 2009

“by definition”… sorry. Thinking fast, typing slow.

74. Odradek - April 18, 2009

@ boborci

Mister Orci

Will this fantastic looking 6 page comic only be available through WIRED.
Or can we hope it will be published after that elsewhere?
I’m not sure if I will be able to purchase WIRED where I live

75. boborci - April 18, 2009

No idea, actually. I figure it should end up someplace else, no?

76. Odradek - April 18, 2009

I hope so.
Would be great if we could see more work from you in the comic field.
Paul Pore is an extraordinary artist. Wonderful choice

77. P Technobabble - April 18, 2009

I’m one of those who read the movie novelizations of Treks I – VI before seeing the movies, so the idea of a spoiler doesn’t rattle me too much. I’m gonna dig this film, spoilers or not… And we’ll be doing this all over again anyway, come Star Trek Sequel.

78. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#71—-You’re always welcome!

And thanks to you, not only for all your efforts to bring Star Trek back to the big screen bigger and better than ever, but as always—for taking the time to check in on our thoughts here at TM.

All of you have a fan here in Houston, and I’ll be in a nice comfortable seat ready to enjoy your work at 7pm CST on May 7th.

Hook ‘em, Bob.

79. Daoud - April 18, 2009

#69 Well, there’s always the Yiddish, too. “Hello Mudder, hello Vadder…” anyhoo… #72 nailed it better. My longer point would be that after Star Wars came out… back before we had internet and bbs, and we had just fanzines and conventions, plenty of people were certain Darth was Luke’s father Anakin that Obi Wan spoke of.

*Leia* being a child of Darth… now that was weird and unexpected, for sure.

#BO How’s the sequel comin’ along? :) Will we find out that Nero was his own grandpaw? Will Spock endorse Koka-Kolinahr? And will Pike be in a wheelchair with a blinkie light?

80. Thomas - April 18, 2009

38. thorsten

That’s what was filmed at the brewery? I lived less than half a mile from there.

81. boborci - April 18, 2009

78. Closettrekker – April 18, 2009

A Houstonian, huh? I lived there in my formative years from 11-16! and I then attended UT. Still have uncle in Houston and I visit often. See ya around some time!

82. boborci - April 18, 2009

79. Daoud – April 18, 2009

LOL. Waiting to see what you all think before we embark on sequel.

83. Harry Ballz - April 18, 2009

Bob

you lived in Houston AND North York??

Boy, you get around!

84. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#81—-I grew up in Odessa, but my wife, kids, and I have lived here for the past four years and love it. My business is located in “Old Houston” (Washington Ave) and that’s where I spend most of my time, but my family and I actually live in Katy.

85. Thomas - April 18, 2009

64. Daoud

Have you ever read the original Planet of the Apes novel by Pierre Boulle? Great double-twist at the end of that book.

86. boborci - April 18, 2009

83. Harry Ballz – April 18, 2009

Yup. North York from 9-11.

87. Odradek - April 18, 2009

@ 85

I read the novel
For my taste the ending of the Movie beats the ending of the book by far.

88. Thomas - April 18, 2009

87. Odradek

I can see your point. Seeing an iconic symbol likethe statue of Liberty torn down makes for a greater visual impact onscreen, and audiences could better associate with it.

89. Daoud - April 18, 2009

#85 Yes! It has the classic Twilight Zone type ending, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t read it. :) Then again, a human could never learn how to read, so what’s the chance? ;)

#BO Well, a few thousand people have seen it by now, so don’t wait too long! ;)

Seriously though… have a great weekend. And to Clos too. I’ll have to send you my Plattdeutsch dictionaries :)

90. Odradek - April 18, 2009

88.Thomas

very well put !

“Planet of the apes” is a very good example hoe a transition from one media to an other can benefit from change. Like in the case of Rod Serling, who was a genius.
(I hope the new Star Trek will follow in that tradition.)

But it can also show us how it could fail ( Tim Burton version)

91. John Sullivan - April 18, 2009

A halo around the head of a guy with pointed ears and Satanic eyebrows … that’s new.

92. Odradek - April 18, 2009

@89. Daoud

Can I ask you where you from ?
I never heard a german dialect in which “dart” meant “verborgen”

93. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#89—“And to Clos too. I’ll have to send you my Plattdeutsch dictionaries :)”

Lol! I look forward to it!

94. Adam - April 18, 2009

28. is that a joke? It’s an effect which can be removed and mostly is, but you’re really saying deliberate use hasn’t occurred? One word: KUBRICK.

Really? You haven’t noticed Leone’s use of lens flare in the Westerns? You haven’t noticed Janusz Kaminski’s use of lens flares during his partnership with Spielberg? (perhaps most noticable in AI and Minority Report).

95. sean - April 18, 2009

#72

Sorry Spock’s Uncle, but I think you’re mistaken. Lucas was desperate to keep that a secret. In fact, only 5 people besides himself were even aware of that dialog. They actually recorded it as ‘Obi-Wan killed your father’ and only overdubbed ‘No, I am your father’ in post. I don’t remember that being revealed in the trailers, and a quick internet search hasn’t turned up any original Empire trailers that include that line. It may have been included in the Special Editions trailer, but that’s another story.

96. Closettrekker - April 18, 2009

#95—I didn’t recall that either, but it has been almost 30 years since those trailers were running. I know that *I* was pleasantly surprised to see that twist in the story.

I admire JJ’s love of mystery, and I think that plot secrets in Hollywood are difficult to keep, but his efforts to keep as much of them close to the vest as he can for the longest he can are rather endearing, IMO.

I like spoilers, but I have also purposely avoided watching most of the available clips online and avoided all of the score clips as well. After all, some things need to be new for me when I first watch the film. There is plenty of time for repeat viewings to catch everything else. I’ll see it the night of the 7th, and probably again sometime over the weekend. If it’s good enough—I may even catch it one more time before its run in theaters is over!

I haven’t done anything like that in a long (long) time, but after all of this buildup—I don’t see how I couldn’t.

:)

97. screaming satellite - April 18, 2009

bob are you attending all the premieres? whats it been like so far? i imagine theres been quite a few ‘Countdowns’ thurst at you to sign

will you be at the London one? that should be a good one…might even be some royalty there

98. ENGON - April 18, 2009

Well, I’ll just say that the lighting in the Combat Information Center (CIC) of a real US warship – the part of the ship that is most analogous to the bridge of a starship – is deliberately kept quite dim for the specific purpose of reducing distractions and focusing attention on the displays.

There are several episodes of TOS which adopt this very dramatic look, including “Day of the Dove.”

The design of the original bridge was, as I recall, based on that of a naval CIC.

99. AJ - April 18, 2009

Closet:

After the Royal Exec treatment from Mr. Orci, you must be on Cloud 9!

100. MC1 Doug - April 18, 2009

Wnen Worlds Collide??? argh!!!!!

I WANT the remake for the When Worlds Collide movie to start production, something Steven Spielberg announced four years ago!

101. ChiefDiplomaticOfficer - April 18, 2009

@ 81 boborci

Bob went to UT? Pure win. Hook ‘em, Horns!

102. marvin - April 18, 2009

its a shame bob isnt around here more often, you all act civilized while hes here

103. The Dude - April 18, 2009

BOBORCI: “LOL. Waiting to see what you all think before we embark on sequel.”

Well, here’s what I think:

DO A TNG MOVIE!

104. Darkzodac - April 18, 2009

I concure… we need a TNG movie!

105. boborci - April 18, 2009

97. screaming satellite – April 18, 2009

No, sadly, Alex and I do not have time to travel the world with JJ. We did the Austin screening and we’ll do the LA premiere, but other than that I have just been reading about it like everyone else.

106. Robert Saint John - April 18, 2009

#64 – “Darth Vader literally means “Hidden Father” in dialectical Low German. So, there wasn’t any surprise, period. Not if you were paying attention.”

That’s so much rubbish. Don’t you feel silly when you type such things?

““Soylent Green is people” would be a better example, or “You blew it up” from the end of Planet of the Apes. THOSE are things that weren’t telegraphed.”

I saw (and figured out) both of those so-called “twists” at an earlier age (11?) than when I saw TESB (15). I’m not touting that as an achievement, btw. If you didn’t think those surprises were telegraphed early on in each film, you simply weren’t paying attention. Either that or you don’t know enough high dialectical Welsh to have figured it out. ;)

Either way, that’s not the point. The point is — contrary to what some would say — that knowing the twists in advance of any of these films would lessen the dramatic impact of the reveal, and that does not cheapen them. It helped immortalize them. The real challenge is for the work to hold up in subsequent viewing(s) as a great experience. If not, *then* the mystery was a cheap and gimmicky device.

107. Chris Doohan - April 18, 2009

105 Bob

Well, they’ve saved the best for last. The LA premiere will be HUGE!! Have fun.

108. Spock's Uncle - April 18, 2009

#95: It was in the trailers, trust me on this. And how, pray tell, could only 5 people know about that dialog? That may have been true prior to filming “Empire”, but it certainly wasn’t the case once post was finished on the film.

#103. TNG has become a bastard child of this proud TOS franchise. Let it rest with the unsold DVDs of Nemesis.

Thanks to Abrams, Orci & crew, we have a new “E”, with a young crew, let’s explore the galaxy with them for a while.

109. st-midway - April 18, 2009

there is a new tv spot on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztlmRb8gQH0

110. Forrest - April 18, 2009

“DO A TNG MOVIE!”

Or Lost In Space II.
Or a remake of This Island Earth.

You know, deriving from source material that could actually be improved.

111. sean - April 18, 2009

#108

Could you maybe provide a link to a trailer where that was included or some other proof? I’m not trying to nag about it, but I have no recollection of that and I’ve yet to find a trailer that backs you up. That line is considered one of the best ‘twists’ in cinema history, and it wouldn’t have been much of one had it been included in the trailer. I’m reminded of Harve Bennett’s horror upon seeing the Enterprise explode in the trailer for TSFS when they’d hoped to keep it a surprise. I can’t imagine Lucas letting that one go.

And no, obviously only 5 people couldn’t have known at that point. I was simply pointing out the fact that Lucas was extremely secretive about that plot point during filming.

112. sean - April 18, 2009

#111

And actually, according to IMDB, Wikipedia and numerous other SW websites:

“During production, great secrecy surrounded the fact that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Like the rest of the crew, David Prowse, who spoke all of Vader’s lines during filming, was given a false page that contained dialogue which the revelatory line being “Obi-Wan killed your father.”[19][20] Until the film premiered, only George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Mark Hamill, and James Earl Jones knew what would really be said. ”

So that pretty much eliminates the line being used in the trailer.

113. TheKirk - April 18, 2009

Hey BobOrci!

How about telling your cinematographers to NOT include so much lens flare in this otherwise sure-to-be-great movie?? Was your cameraman an uneducated jackass or something?

114. redshirt96 - April 18, 2009

113 –

Wow. Pot, meet kettle…

115. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 18, 2009

I just got back from a coffee shop where the Wired mag was. Read the Spock comic. Pretty cool.

116. Anthony Pascale - April 18, 2009

TheKirk
warning for just being flaming

you can comment without being rude and personal

117. Captain Joe - April 18, 2009

Spoiler Warning

Adding to what #47 Captain Dunsel wrote: Page 508 is almost certainly a reference to May 8th, which is Federation Day and more importantly, the nation-wide theatrical debut of Star Trek. Also, the article is said to be authored by one Don E. Veeger. E seems to be referring to Enterprise. Veeger is another way of writing V’Ger. These references seem to suggest that this article is a puzzle and possibly if the clues in it can be figured out, they will give info on the movie.

118. Original Trekkie - April 18, 2009

Gimme lots and lots of Star Trek!

…oh, and a new Logan’s Run movie!

119. S. John Ross - April 18, 2009

#6 sez: “SJR, I think the world of you and your work, but that’s crazy talk, man!”

People know me here? Eek, now I’ll be self-conscious :( But hey, come on out to A-Kon, I’ll sign some crap. We’ll game. Or bring your DS and we’ll Mario Kart :)

““No, Luke. *I* am your father” is just one example of something that shouldn’t have been spoiled before seeing TESB to experience it in full, wouldn’t you agree?”

I watched The Empire Strikes Back just a few weeks ago and I found the experience complete and undiminished. I consider it one of the greatest genre flicks out there. Does it contain surprises? Sure. Would spoilers spoil them? Yep. Would that so much as scuff the chrome on the film’s quality? Insert your own answer here; we already know mine …

To pick an example in the franchise closer to home: I saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan months after all the other boys & girls down at the local comic shop had already seen it and picked it apart surgically in front of me over games of Talisman, Junta and MERC. When I finally saw it myself … it still kicked my heart through the back of the fifteenth row (and I always – ALWAYS – sit right in front). I bawled my eyes out, and I still do. If anything, knowing it was coming had the lump in my throat building well in advance and enhanced the depth of the drama for me (kind of like Wash’s “leaf on the wind” scene in Serenity, which, for contrast, I did see “unspoiled” when it opened … the first time had me in shock, but in every subsequent viewing the experience has been richer, emotionally and dramatically, than it was when it was a mere shock element).

The important moral lesson here? That the second film in the franchise is frequently the rock-out awesome one people will use in examples (see also X-Men 2, Spider-Man 2, Aliens, etc).

In short, and in sum, and in my opinion: spoilers can only spoil the surprise, and while a great film can certainly _include_ surprise, a great film doesn’t _depend_ on it.

Also, when throwing around plainly subjective terms like “a great film,” it should be obvious we’re talking personal taste here, so let that guide our perspective.

#11 sez: “Me? I’m not against a few spoilers at all, but I do love the thrill of seeing some mysteries revealed in the theater, with full picture, sounds and musical score.”

So do I. And then, if the film is great – I enjoy it all again, even once the surprise is gone.

But … if it’s a film where surprise was all it had going for it, it doesn’t get a second time around, and I don’t consider it a great film.

#18 sez: “To say the experience of a great film is “entirely immune” to the affects of spoilers is way too specific.”

My apologies; I meant it very generally (abstractly, even).

And so on to anyone else who commented on my obviously very controversial view ;) YMMV, awright? Awright. Peace out, live long, prosper, buy a few of these IDIC pendants, willya?

120. S. John Ross - April 18, 2009

#106 sez: “The real challenge is for the work to hold up in subsequent viewing(s) as a great experience. If not, *then* the mystery was a cheap and gimmicky device.”

Hell yeah. Man, had I just read down a bit further I could have just quoted you and saved myself a lot of typing :(

121. Robert Saint John - April 18, 2009

#120 – SJR, you’ve obviously have missed my slavish worship of “Among the Clans” and your LUG Narrator’s Toolkit over at my Trek RPG blog (click my name, do it, you know you like hero worship). You’ve got your own tag there! ;) If I ever get the chance, I’ll take you up on the autograph!

122. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 19, 2009

#78 ……

Closet, I see you’ve now been officially been endorsed as Texas Representative of the new movie. Good for you! You better show up at my party, so I can advertise that a “Trek expert” will be in attendance!!

123. P Technobabble - April 19, 2009

The experience of seeing a movie for the first time certainly can be a momentous occasion, especially without any prior knowledge of the film. I remember seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” without knowing anything about the film, other than it had the guy who played Han Solo in it. This was really the extent of the info I had about the film when I got talked into seeing it. Of course, it turned out to be 2 of the best hours I ever spent in a theater.
The real “spoiler” about Star Trek is that it has such a huge communication network surrounding it, a huge fan-base. And, thanks to the internet, this network can be in constant communication. As soon as our friend Anthony gets some tidbit of news, we all know about it almost instantaneously.
I remember hanging out in a friend’s dorm one night in 1979-ish, listening to the radio, and the announcer said something like, “… and shooting has just finished on the new Star Trek movie…” and that was pretty much the extent of coverage and information we got on TMP at that time. Today, we know what the Supreme Court had for breakfast within minutes after it happens! What a difference 30 years makes, huh?
I think all of this pre-release hype is a good thing. It fuels the fire of our enthusiasm, like foreplay… (ok, sort of…). As for the details about the film, we usually get some sort of warning. Peeking at the spoilers is like checking out your gifts before Christmas morning. Whether one peeks or not is dependent upon how much discipline one has.
I confess, I have no discipline whatsoever… lovin’ every minute of it!

124. thorsten - April 19, 2009

Congrats, CT.
You deserved it.

125. thorsten - April 19, 2009

@123…

Regarding the spoilers, and I will add none here, P Technobabble, that was not really important for me when I watched the movie. Much more important was the total trekness that it provides, in it’s moving character moments and in it’s jaw dropping action sequences. You will really see Kirk, Spock and McCoy together again. I had a lot of goosebump moments, and the opening sequence is some of the best I ever watched in any movie.

126. The Dude - April 19, 2009

Screw you TNG haters!

Bastard child of TOS. What the heck is going on here? All the hardcore TOS lovers, who always hated everything but TOS, are now getting their chance to bitch about what they’ve always hated. That’s sad.

127. Kmart - April 19, 2009

#94 ADAM

There’s a huge dif between breaking the rule on occasion for specific effect and just showing blatant disregard for image quality. The occasional lens flare, (like Kubrick’s 2001 with walking down toward TMA-1) grounds the shot in reality, and the deliberate use of lens flare to highlight a moment (McTiernan in DIE HARD, when the vault opens, when the police tanks shows) is smart filmmaking.

This PseudoTREK lens flare stuff is more akin to a jr. high school kid in 1967 discovering a zoom lens and using it like a water hose or abusing it like a body part.

The idea that the trek dp found the set flat and used the flares to give depth calls the prod design into further question, and also calls the aesthetic sensibilities of all these folks into question. If your set doesn’t work, rework it, don’t tart it up by spraying a whorehouse full of fragrance on it. It isn’t like they didn’t have time and cash to do it right — they chose do it this way.

128. Jarod - April 19, 2009

Without TNG, there would be only 3 seasons and six movies, and it would have ended in 1991.

129. Middleman - April 19, 2009

Yeah, why does everybody think that only TOS can be revived with a bigger budget and more action, but TNG can’t? TNG wouldn’t even need a reboot, it just needed a big boost with stronger scripts and visionary director who isn’t as lame as an action movie editor like Stuart Baird.

130. Kmart - April 19, 2009

They tried more action in TNG and found these guys in front and behind camera didn’t do it well.

131. Middleman - April 19, 2009

No, they found that the script for the more action packed movie sucked.

132. Middleman - April 19, 2009

Get a better script and a better director (which they did for this movie), and it works.

Let John Logan write the script for a sequel to this reboot, and let Stuart Baird direct it, and then see how much this new reboot movie will suck.

133. sean - April 19, 2009

#129

As an avid TNG fan, I disagree. Too much action killed TNG in the movies. TNG was never about action, and Picard was never an action hero. That’s the chief mistake they made when making FC, INS & NEM. TNG was truly an ensemble show, whereas TOS was really about Kirk, Spock and McCoy. That’s why it lost something on the big screen – too much focus on Data & Picard. TOS has always translated better because it was already about those 3 characters, so you didn’t feel cheated when the plot focused on them. It’s difficult to focus a story on 7 different people in a 2 hour span. I think that’s why TNG was destined to fail on the silver screen.

134. Jim Smith - April 19, 2009

126 – I’m a hardcore TOS lover. I love TNG too.

135. Middleman - April 19, 2009

So too much focus on Data & Picard killed those movies? So if that’s the problem, why don’t we simply change that in the next movie? Too much action that doesn’t fit the TNG characters? Well, that’s again a script problem. And then again, I personally found the action in First Contact and Insurrection to be pretty nice. everything Picard did was climbing and shooting, that’s not really out of character, he did that in the series, too.

Nemesis sucked badly, though. The script simply sucked. Lame dialogue, lame action, the worst and most contrived plot points I’ve ever seen/read, the lamest villain ever.

That’s nothing a good script couldn’t fix.

And if you don’t want to see Patrick Stewart anymore, well, fine. Why don’t we just introduce a new crew? Where’s the problem in that? Will the audience dismiss them because they are not Picard & Co? Hell no, they won’t. They will hate them and the movie if the scripts/characters suck, and they will dig them otherwise.

I know it’s easy to say “Do a script that doesn’t suck.” But I know that Orci & Kurtzman and other script writers could pull that off. It’s the fact that nobody even wants to try that freaks me out.

Bryan Singer wanted to do it, before the reboot was announced. That fact saddens me even more.

136. Middleman - April 19, 2009

Some of you act like “It’s impossible, it’s impossible, pssssst, don’t even think about it or the lightning strikes you down.”. That’s funny.

137. kmart - April 19, 2009

MIDDLEMAN,

Folks seem to remember FC as action too (even though there is precious little of it in there), so there is yet another example of how TNG doesn’t work for action. Trouble is, it doesn’t work like TNG either. When you do a somewhat true TNG movie, like INS (after you cut the really really stupid stuff), you have something that won’t play for even a medium-sized audience, because the treatment is blase and ethical issues don’t go over well for MOST decent-sized budget features.

I don’t see the Abrams thing as being ‘true’ to TOS in the slightest, though I think parts of the score sound like they can help the audience along in buying into the movie (like Horner’s score for SFS hypes the non-action, such as the BOP attack.)

138. Middleman - April 19, 2009

First Contact was the second best Trek movie at the Box Office. So TNG works just as much as TOS. The most successful TOS movie is The Voyage Home, and that is funnily enough the most unTrek Star Trek movie. No Enterprise, no strange new world in the future but 1986 in San Francisco, etc…

So TOS’s appeal to the mainstream audience is just as big as TNG’s.

This will change with this movie. Or not. We’ll see. But what happens to TOS with this movie could have as well happened to TNG with a script written by Orci/Kurtzman, directed by Abrams, or a movie directed by Bryan Singer, or a movie directed by WhoDoIKnow.

139. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

Sorry if it makes me a “hater”, but the TNG characters never endeared themselves to me. I could never become invested in them in the same way as with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

I’ve never paid to see a TNG movie, nor would I be interested in another one—big budget or not.

Even the best of the TNG film series falls well short of the “crossover” potential necessary to justify a big budget endeavor, IMO, as evidenced by the fact that TVH did $109 million in domestic box-office—-yet 10 years later, FC still did only what? $96 million?

K/S/M (and Scotty too) simply have more crossover value than Picard, Pinnocchio, and the crew of the USS Hilton, with their holodecks, children on the bridge and ship’s counselors. TNG was just better suited for the small screen, IMO, where it did quite well with a solid fanbase.

It just never really worked for me in movies. I can’t believe that people are complaining that Bad Robot isn’t doing a TNG movie instead. That’s crazy to me!

140. Middleman - April 19, 2009

And what about a new crew, new characters in a big budget spin off? Which would be a fresh start, just as a reboot like this one?

Why do you watch a movie (non Trek) in theaters? Because the trailers make you interested? It must be that, because you don’t know the characters before you watch a new movie, don’t you? So why would you never want to give that chance to a TNG movie? Just because it’s labeled “TNG movie”?

So your decision not to watch/pay for a TNG movie, ever, regardless of what happens in that movie, regardless of the trailers blowing you away, is pretty funny, actually. In my opinion. Why that TOS-fanboyish behaviour (I’m sorry, it sounds offensive, I know, but I don’t mean it that way) of “TNG? Naah, not interested.”?

That’s crazy to ME! ;-)

141. Middleman - April 19, 2009

Does that mean you’d watch this movie/pay for it, even if it just was a 10 million straight to DVD film with very cheap effects and stuff, just because the characters are called Kirk, Spock, McCoy. But you would never give a 200 million TNG movie a chance that blew the Star Wars prequels and Lord of the Rings out of the water (that hypothetical TNG wonder movie ;-) )?

142. kmart - April 19, 2009

I’d more happily watch an E-B movie than any 24th cen trek myself.

As for FC’s success, take inflation into account and the film’s cost to profit and you’ll see it was successful, but not hugely so.

Singer isn’t always gold, he walked away from his GALACTICA revival, and we all probably profited from that inaction.

143. Middleman - April 19, 2009

Hey, a movie about the Ent-B or Ent-C would rock, too. But again, why not a new crew in the 24th century, even though you’d accept a new crew in the 23rd century?

144. thorsten - April 19, 2009

While it made total sense to go back to the beginning of TOS to kick start Trek into the new millenium, there is always a place for TNG in my heart.
But that is not the point here. Bob, JJ, Zach, Karl and Chris (and everybody else of course) captured the essence of Genes vision from the sixties and turned it into a really great movie.

It is nothing less than the rebirth of Trek we will witness in 18 days.

145. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#141—-I just don’t feel that the characters in TNG were as appealing. I also just prefer the more romantic 23rd Century to the more sterile TNG-era.

TOS-era Trek was sexy, adventurous, humorous, dramatic, and unafraid of a good old fashioned fistfight. The characters were more endearing and colorful as well.

And I cannot say that I found some of the direction of the TNGverse very appealing at all.
–holodecks
–ship’s counselors
–howling Klingons who eat live food, prefer swords to modern weapons, sing “opera”, routinely partake in ridiculous rituals, and obsess over “honor”
–children on starships (and in the case of the USS Hilton itself—at the helm)
–android pinnochios
–Earl Grey tea
–etc.

I don’t pretend to speak for fans in general, but for my own money—give me a swashbuckling captain who is equally comfortable solving problems with his fists as he is with his mind or his “you know what”, a snarky humanist doctor, a half breed science officer whose all too human characteristics are masked only by a thin facade of Vulcan stoicism, and a two-fisted, hard drinking “miracle worker” in engineering. Give me half-naked alien females, monsters, and sinister villains like Kor, Kang, and Khan.

What has me excited again about Star Trek (after years of watching with no more than casual interest) is not the budget—but the return to the characters I loved as a kid. If this were yet another TNG movie, I wouldn’t give a second thought to skipping it in theaters. Just like the rest of them—I wouldn’t see it until it was free.

On the other hand—I’m likely to see this one over and over again with my sons.

146. Mr. X - April 19, 2009

“And I cannot say that I found some of the direction of the TNGverse very appealing at all.
–holodecks
–ship’s counselors
–howling Klingons who eat live food, prefer swords to modern weapons, sing “opera”, routinely partake in ridiculous rituals, and obsess over “honor”
–children on starships (and in the case of the USS Hilton itself—at the helm)
–android pinnochios
–Earl Grey tea
–etc.

Who says a TNG movie needs any of these?

147. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#146—-I’ve yet to see one that didn’t have a good bit of that, but the real sticking point is the lack of crossover appeal inherent in the characters. The TOS-era crew had some of that (as evidenced in the box-office performance of TVH, for example), while the only people really invested in the TNG characters were members of the “geeks only club” to which the spinoff series openly pandered.

To this day, the original characters are routinely referenced throughout popular culture—in off genre films, sports shows, etc.

I saw an analyst on NFL Total Access quote Spock (“The needs of the many…”) when talking about the effect of a certain player upon a certain team’s locker room this past season.

I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine the same being done for Data.

When Denzel Washington gives Lilo Branccato the speech about “what Scotty would do” in the film “Crimson Tide”—-I cannot help but wonder why he wasn’t referencing Geordi….not really. It isn’t any wonder at all!

When it comes to mainstream influence upon popular culture—-there is no contest.

TOS characters vs. “Technobabble Inc.”….Hmmm.

I’ll take the former, anyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

Paramount can make another TNG-era film if it wants to. But I won’t be bothered to pay good money for it. I’ll watch it on HBO.

148. thorsten - April 19, 2009

@147…
You will love Pike, CT!

149. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#148—I’m already a Greenwood fan, so I have no doubt about that. He’s one of those classic actors whose face is far more recognizable than his name.

150. LordCheeseCakeBreaath - April 19, 2009

So those bright spot lights were put there for contrast? That seems kind of dumb. Im a trek apologist…I can say a red jelley bean on the console fires torpedoes but spot lights that serve no function other than to produce lens flares? I would hate to work on that bridge. Why would you want those lights in your face. Man it’s just so silly. Im hoping they worry less about lens flares next time and more on a functional bridge. It would be a pretty cool bridge if there were no barcode scanners, no plastic panels, no rope lights, and no mini flood lights every where. Oh well, Im still hoping for the best. A buddy of mine who’s in film school says that they really abused the s#!t out of this. Horribly annoying.

151. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#150—I don’t have much of an opinion on the use of “lens flares”, but….

Buddy of yours who is in film school versus JJ Abrams???

I’ve yet to read any review of the film that so much as even mentions them, so it’s probably not a problem for most.

152. thorsten - April 19, 2009

@150…
The movie is shot with anamorphic lenses. Because of that it has an epic look that no Trek film had before. And yes, anamorphic lenses create these horizontal flares around light sources. And this is a part of the movies optical language. These flares are beautiful, and no distraction. The bridge works just fine if you see it in the context of the film.

There is no time to count light bulbs…

153. Jarod - April 19, 2009

There’s a difference between using anamorphic lenses and using them in a fashion where you catch every lens flare possible. That may be artistic license, but it still destroys the image. Like the shaky cam of BSG or Bourne or Quantum of Solace. I think that stinks, others think it’s the best thing ever happened to mankind.

154. Captain Joe - April 19, 2009

#147

Have you ever any of the Star Trek: New Frontier books? If you haven’t, I recommend you read the first four. Though they are set in the 24th century, they have more of the romantic feel of the 23rd. Hopefully one day, The Powers That Be will make New Frontier into a tv series. I think such a series would have great appeal to you and others like yourself.

155. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#153—-Again, I’ve yet to read a review which claims that the use of lens flares in this film is any kind of distraction, much less destroys anything.

I’m no filmmaker. I am, however, a former military officer. Conventional schooling teaches ground commanders never to divide their forces—and yet it is done again and again with striking success in many of history’s pivotal battles.

However unconventional Mr. Abrams’ method seems to be, the result so far seems to be overwhelmingly favorable.

Do you believe that the use of the ‘shaky cam’ stinks in “Saving Private Ryan”?

156. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#147—If they were to do so, I would give it a chance on television, just as I have for all previous spinoffs. I think that the TNG-era stuff is fine on television. I really do. None of the characters from the technobabble era have yet endeared themselves to me in any way near the way their TOS-era predecessors did, but I did watch with casual interest.

I don’t hate TNG or the other spinoffs. I just don’t love them.

On the other hand, I *love* TOS and most of the films featuring those characters.

But no. I haven’t read them, and have never really read any of the novels in a very long time. When I did read them, they were always those based upon the TOS era and those characters.

My favorites were always the Vonda McIntyre novelizations of TWOK, TSFS, and TVH—but I did frequently read the many novels of the early to mid 80’s. They were hit and miss for me.

157. Mr. X - April 19, 2009

Captain Joe, I think that won’t work. Closettrekker seems to be a very hardcore TOS fanboy. He himself said that he has no interest at all in what comes after TOS.

158. cagmar - April 19, 2009

Yes, #28, 24 me too.

And they’re basically saying it was done to cover up poor set design choices. So that makes sense to me. But better than adding flaring lights to your poorly contrasted set, how about build a decent set next time? =P

159. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#157—No I didn’t. I said I have never watched with anything more than “casual interest”.

And that’s not the same thing.

#158—“And they’re basically saying it was done to cover up poor set design choices.”

No they’re not. You just made that up. Period.

160. ENGON - April 19, 2009

152
“The movie is shot with anamorphic lenses. Because of that it has an epic look that no Trek film had before.”

With just these few exceptions…

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Panavision.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Panavision.
Star Trek III: The Seach for Spock – Panavision.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – Panavision.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – Panavision.
Star Trek: Generations – Panavision.
Star Trek: First Contact – Panaivision.
Star Trek: Insurrectiuon – Panavision.
Star Trek: Nemesis – Panavision.

According to IMDb, the only Star Trek film that didn’t use anamorphic lenses was Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It was shot for widescreen in Super35 using spherical lenses. The prints were then rendered in anamorphic format to project widescreen. The result being that the ST:VI image used less of 35mm frame than if it were short with anamorphic lenses. It thus has a somewhat lower resolution than if it were shot in Panavision.

161. S. John Ross - April 19, 2009

#121 sez” “#120 – SJR, you’ve obviously have missed my slavish worship of “Among the Clans” and your LUG Narrator’s Toolkit over at my Trek RPG blog (click my name, do it, you know you like hero worship). You’ve got your own tag there! ;) If I ever get the chance, I’ll take you up on the autograph!”

Oh, you’re that guy! No, dude, I’ve been tuning into your blog already (I’m a FASATrek junkie big-time, so I get a real buzz seeing the stuff you do about the FASA line and the old minis and whatnot).

And I like hero worship as long as the hero isn’t Campbellian ;) You hear that Abrams??? He’s gotta EARN it!

And thanks for the nice words on ATC. Oh LUG, we hardly knew ye …

162. Closettrekker - April 19, 2009

#161—I used to love the old FASA game. I still have that stuff in my closet (well, the basic stuff, the film update books and a few adventures, anyway)!

I remember being saddened when that stuff disappeared with the onset of TNG on television.

:(

163. S. John Ross - April 19, 2009

#162: Yeah, they did one TNG book, I think (? – Robert Saint John will know better than I do) … based on scant first-season preview material, so wildly out of synch with where the show ended up heading … and then poof :(

It was a grand game, for its time or any time (and don’t get me wrong; I’m very proud of some of the source material we did at LUG, and hey, it got me referenced on a Trek show I wasn’t even watching [d'oh!], but FASA’s got my heart) :)

164. screaming satellite - April 19, 2009

Closettrekker as much as im a fan of TNG and love First Contact etc i have to agree with you…

TNG – like the dinosaur…youve had your time…the future is TOS world…the future is TOS time…

165. LordCheeseCakeBreaath - April 19, 2009

151. I agree. We live in a post reality tv show world. Jerky camera’s are the norm. It’s s style thing. I’m a musician. I was told perfect fourths are evil. In reality there’s a time and a place for everything. I just want to find and excuse for those blinding lights. Why are they there? What purpose do they serve? If they are only there for lens flares than that’s dopey to me. My friend in film school is does not have the portfolio or wallet that JJ has for sure. His opinion is valid nevertheless. For some the lens flares are distracting. Whats more distracting to me is that those bright lights are there just for lens flares. Someone please let me know why else they are there. Even in Red Alert mode they are on. Why would that be? Only for lens flares I think. Just cheesy to me. It makes it look less real to me. It seems like a fake post production thing even if they really are real flares. Anyway 151 I only brought up my buddy because he had such a strong opinion on it. He’s not a Star Trek fan by the way. I just brought it to his attention.

Thanks!

166. Robert Saint John - April 19, 2009

#162, 163 – Other than some magazine stuff aimed at TNG , FASA only got as far as the “TNG Officer’s Manual” in 1988 and the “TNG First Year Sourcebook” in 1989. Paramount was apparently unhappy with the former, and this was near the end of the license. FASA was slated to do a 2nd and 3rd season Sourcebook, and apparently had 1701-D deckplans done but never released (found here tinyurl.com/bs522). I don’t think Paramount killed the FASA game, I think it had simply run its cycle at that point, though they had a boatload more planned. **sigh ** I miss having a current Trek RPG on the shelf, but I’m still happy with LUG’s!

167. LordCheeseCakeBreaath - April 19, 2009

Mr. Orci, Can you give you opinion of the function of the lights beyond their lens flare supposed purpose?

Thanks brother! I really love you as a fellow Trekker!

168. BaronByng - April 19, 2009

Maybe those lights are actually the inertial damping field emitters? ;)

I have to agree with Closettrekker that the TNG era, taken as a whole, isn’t nearly as compelling or exciting as TOS, although there were many more ‘cerebral’ sci-fi concepts explored and, especially later in the series, some quite impressive production design work.

Did we ever really get a consistent characterization of Picard? Every other episode seemed to contradict something we’ve seen previously. (He was a rebel and a hellraiser? Or a Captain Von Trapp-style martinet? Was he a scientist, a diplomat, or a philosopher?) It might have partly been the writing, which especially in season 1 was all over the map… but I have a suspicion that Patrick Stewart, as fantastic as he is on stage, isn’t quite good at acting to the camera.

Watching TNG episodes today, particularly the first seasons, it comes off a bit like “Dynasty In Space” – the way it was lit, the late-80s-retirement-home colour palettes, the straight-outta-TOS sparkly fabrics that aliens would wear…and teased, feathered haircuts.

Plots usually had an element of ABC Afterschool Special about them: “Tonight, on a very special Wesley, we find out that drugs are bad. Hmkay?”

I hate to say it, but a lot of the acting on TNG was fairly stiff or weak. It didn’t live or breathe, and as such, it hindered the ability of the audience to buy into the idea that this was a unified crew with a bold leader. In retrospect, Picard’s characterization, either through direction, writing or acting, was all over the map (to point out one example); it only really started to gel towards the end of the series, but then it was handled unevenly through the various TNG movies.

Compared to the TOS era, the TNG crew were just a little too perfect, and as a consequence, not a little bit dull…You never doubted that McCoy was a doctor, but I had serious misgivings about the very flaky-airy-fairy performance of Gates McFadden!

169. kmart - April 19, 2009

143,

Mainly because century 23 is something I can slightly relate to … they don’t have tons of magic box tech like TNG, and there is a frontier sensibility.

An E-b show would be like WILD BUNCH or THE PROFESSIONALS or BITE THE BULLET, a western set in the dawn of that era, the coming of a new century. That end of era kind of thing is always compelling to me, so it is a natural to want to explore it.

And 160, thanks for letting THORSTEN know the facts about Trek and panavision.

170. S. John Ross - April 19, 2009

#166 sez: “[...] though they had a boatload more planned.”

Boy howdy, I know how THAT goes. We had a truckload of Trek projects in various stages of completeion when LUG died (I think Memory Alpha has a pretty complete list of them). Some of them were very near to being complete, cover-to-cover drafts – entire books just lost to the dustbin of the company’s collapse (including the Movie-Era Sourcebook I was assembling as editor, the big Klingon boxed set, etc).

For quite some time I was a regular correspondent with FASATrek’s own Guy McLimore (he even contributed three critters to the third edition of my farcical “Pokethulhu” RPG), but oddly we seldom discussed Star Trek (he had some very generous things to say about what we were doing at LUG, though) … I really should pester him someday with some lingering questions I have :)

171. Page 2 | /Film - April 20, 2009

[...] of mystery in story and web spoilers. The article is not yet online. Covershot above thanks to TrekMovie. Thanks to /Film reader Bill M for the [...]

172. The J.J. Abrams' Edited Issue of Wired is Out This Week! « FirstShowing.net - April 20, 2009

[...] 20, 2009Source: TrekMovieby Alex [...]

173. The J.J. Abrams' Edited Issue of Wired is Out This Week! « FirstShowing.net - April 20, 2009

[...] 20, 2009Source: TrekMovieby Alex [...]

174. The J.J. Abrams' Edited Issue of Wired is Out This Week! « FirstShowing.net - April 20, 2009

[...] 20, 2009Source: TrekMovieby Alex [...]

175. The J.J. Abrams' Edited Issue of Wired is Out This Week! « FirstShowing.net - April 20, 2009

[...] 20, 2009Source: TrekMovieby Alex [...]

176. thorsten - April 20, 2009

@169…

haha, thanks kmart!
;))

177. sean - April 20, 2009

#143

The point, Middleman, is that you can play the ‘what if’ game ’till your blue in the face, but it won’t change anything. TNG blew its chance on the big screen, period. It blew it, and it blew it hard.

And again, I’m not like Closet (even though I respect his view). I was a MASSIVE TNG fan. I think they ruled the Trek school from 1990-1993. Seasons 3 & 4 are some of the best Trek, ever. But even the best TNG movie (First Contact) was still sloppy, ruined a perfectly good villain and tried to make Picard into Rambo and Data into the Terminator.

If I were a studio exec, I would not touch a TNG movie property with a ten foot pole. And to ask them to put up money on a completely new setting with characters no one has ever heard of? Not going to happen. TOS was the safest bet.

178. Star Trek’s Snow Planet Monster and Panoramic Photos of the Enterprise | Fused Film - April 21, 2009

[...] friends at TrekMovie and FirstShowing have reminded us that “hitting shelves this week is the newest issue of [...]

179. screaming satellite - April 21, 2009

The UK may issue of Wired has no Trek article?? (and it dosnt look like the June issue will either as there was no mention of Trek on the ‘coming next issue’ page)

Anyone know what the deal is in the UK or will we have to get the US version from eBay?

180. Tom - April 24, 2009

RE: 160
Panavision is the name of the camera rental/manufacturer, not the process. Panavision makes both anamorphic and spherical lenses, both branded “Panavision.” While the anamorphic process uses more of the 35mm negative than a traditional 1.85 aspect spherical negative, super35 uses MORE actual negative than even anamorphic (Super35 includes the area of a negative reserved for the optical soundtrack, but anamorphic still protects this area). BUT…it’s all about intent. Many theaters do not have anamorphic projection lenses so they must project an UNSQUEEZED print struck from the anamorphic interpositive. This is an optical process that can introduce grain into the final projection. Anamorphic lenses also create horizontal streak-y lens-flares, which some find objectionable. Anamorphic lenses also tend to be slower (maximum apature/f-stop/t-stop) and heavier (more glass to carry around). The ST:VI cinematographer wanted a faster-paced, hand-held vibe for the production and so chose the smaller, faster spherical lenses for that production. Now…super35 uses about all the negative you could possibly use on a 35mm negative, but to make normal prints also involves a similar optical process as anamorphic with the same trade offs. Which is better? Often it is just a matter of taste. James Cameron is an early believer in super35. He had special viewfinders made for the cameras called “common top-line” to improve the framing of a shot. All his wide-screen “anamorphic” release prints of his movies were all made from spherical negatives.

The current state of digital technologies likely makes all of this quite moot, however. Films released into “digital theaters” are likely projecting really good HD. Nowhere near film res. Yet, most people might not notice. Shame. Years ago I saw a test print of a feature film struck from the original negative printed on a normal speed (versus high speed) contact printer. OW. What a difference. Audiences in a theater see prints that are 3 generations removed from the original negative. Each generation adds contrast and grain and a loss of clarity and resolution. It really was a sight to behold. A bit like a nacho cheese Dorito fresh off the production line (another story…).

181. Wired: Paul Pope y Warren Ellis (ACTUALIZADA) « Comicopia - April 27, 2009

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182. "vader killed your father" "no luke obi-wan killed your father" - May 13, 2009

> “No, Luke. *I* am your father” is just one example of something that shouldn’t
> have been spoiled before seeing TESB to experience it in full, wouldn’t you agree?

I’m old enough to have seen TESB when it came out, in a theater, and I can tell you we just assumed Vader was lying. It wasn’t even really a controversy. The real surprise was three years later when the next film came out and we were all wrong.

183. Shannon Mocco - April 21, 2011

Yo, That latest post was a little pitchy. Not your most effective effort. You know I am 1 of your biggest fans, but now is when you have to to bring each and every time. Time to show America what you got…

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