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Transcript Excerpts of Star Trek US Press Conference April 27, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Abrams,ST09 Cast,ST09 Creative,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

This past weekend Paramount held their big press days including a multi-part press conference for Star Trek. JJ Abrams and his fellow producers and films stars talked about remaking Trek, shaping their roles, meeting Shatner, and more (including some plot spoilers). See below for excerpts.

 

At the press day yesterday Paramount split the press conferences into three parts, with different people in each panel. Here are the transcripts for key questions.

Excerpts from Press Conference 1: JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci, Bryan Burk
[note Damon Lindelof was at LOST event in Paris]

Question: You are presenting a new face for Star Trek. What was the first thing for you in presenting this new face, what was the challenge and idea?

JJ Abrams: Well from the beginning when these guys and I and Damon Lindelof started working together, we all realized that we wanted to embrace certain tenants of Star Trek and maintain the spirit of the original, but make it relevant for today. So that was the big discussion as to what elements to maintain and which ones to update, and I think what the most exciting thing, and even though this thing was created almost fifty years ago, the ideas were as relevant for today, as if it had been created today. It didn’t take a lot to make it relevant. All the design decisions — there were eighty million small decisions — that was just everything was a choice. But, if you are doing Star Trek, do Star Trek. The silhouette of the Enterprise needs to be the Enterprise. I wanted at a glace for you to think ‘oh look it is the wardrobe, I get it’ but if you actually look at it, it had to work at a higher resolution, not just because of IMAX, but because the audience is very sophisticated now.

Question: How long did you search for someone to play Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock…was it pretty hard figuring out who you wanted?

JJ Abrams: The casting of the movie, and we knew this from the beginning, it was maybe the most important thing. Once we had the idea for the story and when I read the script, it was such an exciting read and I was thrilled to accept the challenge and try and take it on, but I was never worried about the visual effects, never worried about the design, what I was worried about was finding actors who would make this feel real, because the model that we all had, one of them, was the Superman that Richard Donner directed. Up until that point Superman had been a comic book, a campy TV show, it had been a cartoon, but the logline for that film was "you will believe a man can fly." And it was all about treating it with believability, with reality. And in my mind, that just hadn’t been done with Star Trek, I never felt it was real. A lot of that had to do with the resources that they had. I thought Spock would be the hardest to be cast, but then Zachary Quinto
walked in and I just gasped, it was so obvious he was born to play this role. Kirk was the last person to be cast. We kept looking, but it was hard. It had to be cocky, and smart and great looking, and quick and he also needed to be funny, and that was the magic ingredient we lucked out with this cast, every single member of this cast is funny. It not only made the shoot much more fun, but it also allowed the movie to have a sense of humor intrinsically so Star Trek, which has been parodied so many times, would not be laughed at.

Alex Kurtzman: There is another funny thing that happened in that process, which is that we saw actors who were — every adjective that JJ just used. But then you would have them read the dialog that the Captain has to read on the ship, the tech dialog, and it was like doooop [gestures down], it was totally unbelievable. And you realized that somebody who can do all those things and feel like they are the captain of starship is an incredibly tall order and when Pine came in he just nailed it.

Question (asked by TrekMovie): Over the last couple of years there has been a bit of a saga between yourself, JJ, and William Shatner, and last night you and Bill had a chance to get together, so can you talk about what it was like for the meeting of the two Kirks and with you and Bill?

Alex: It was awesome!

JJ: It was fun. Everyone was there to support a really good cause. Every year William Shatner has an equestrian event to raise money for children’s charities, it was a wonderful thing to go and support.

Bob Orci: I bid on and won a guitar signed by Willie Nelson. 

JJ: Mr. Shatner obviously has a sharp sense of humor, which is why we needed to find someone like Chris. People said ‘oh so are you making amends?’ There was never a fight. It was all sort of good natured thing. He and I have spoken since the discussions we had online and all that crap, so it is has all been in fun.

Bob: He was a great host and he and Chris were all smiles, patting each other on the back and wishing each other luck and it was nice and warm.

Question: Should we write about this about being a prequel to Star Trek? And then with the space-time thing and Kirk dad being gone, does that preclude all the other films from happening?

Bob: It depends on your audience. If you are talking to fans it is a sequel. It is the continuing adventures of Leonard Nimoy as Spock. If you are a new audience member, it is an introduction to the world. That is part of the fun. We were trying to make a movie that you didn’t need to know anything about it because it was a story that hadn’t been told before, literally the origin story of how the bridge crew comes together for the first time. That is something that is interesting to fans, but it is also the exact right entry point for non fans. 

Bryan Burk: It was kind of like when I was a kid and I saw Star Wars for the first time and obviously there were no films before it, but it came up and "Chapter IV" in the open, and I was like "was there something before this" but you were still able to jump into this brand new story.

JJ: Because of the story that we came up with, it avoids the prequel dilemma of the Star Wars example is a good one. I don’t care how excited and thrilling that sequence is, I know that Ewan McGregor lives because I have seen Alec Guinness play that character later. So you have that built in thing. A prequel can be a really tricky thing, if you see the films that follow, or precede in a linear timeline, it sort of undercuts the drama sometimes. What I thought was genius, was that it was it own sort of parallel universe.

Question: A couple of things came to mind when you were speaking of being true to the canon. I noticed in the crowd last night that the biggest response were to the tips of the hat, like when Bones said "dammit Jim, I am a doctor and not a physicist." Lines like that got a great response. So how precious could you afford to be with those? You could have sprinkled them throughout.

Bob: Yeah we want them to be precious. You expect those moments, but they have to be organic to the story. If they not coming out purposely in a scene where it really matters, then it would feel like they are just being shoehorned in. So we made sure that that was the right place for that line we know we wanted to have somewhere. And some didn’t make the cut.

 

Excerpts from Press Conference 2: Eric Bana, Clifton Collins, John Cho, Chris Pine, Anton Yelchin

Question (asked by TrekMovie): Chris, last night you had the chance to meet William Shatner for the first time. Can you talk about what that was like and would you have liked to work with him like Zach did with Leonard?

Chris Pine: I met him last night and he is a wonderful man and he does wonderful work with these charities that he is involved with. So with my time last night I really wanted to make it less about the kind of diplomatic meeting of Kirk and more about showing support for the work that he does, so our meeting was very brief, but he was very kind, sort like the letter that he wrote me wishing me the best of luck. I kind of hope some time soon to have a chance to sit down with him a bit longer and just kind of shoot the breeze with him. I know how I work and I know that if I had the kind of indomitable presence on set with Mr. Shatner, it would have been difficult for me to carve my own niche, and I felt that was the most important part of my job was to be free enough to do my own work. What Mr. Shatner did will never be copied ever again. It is that specific and that unique and culturally iconic. So the best I can do — really watching the series a lot of help me, just to
pick up little nuances here and there. But having now finished the process, I can’t wait to pick his brain about his experiences. I know that I won’t lie, I am definitely jealous of Zachary’s relationship with Mr. Nimoy. Mr. Nimoy is a fantastic, complicated, interesting kind of sage-like man, and I hope to foster a similar relationship with Mr. Shatner. 

Question: Were you nervous meeting him, and what were his Shatnerisms?

Chris: Sure I was little nervous meeting him. It is one thing to write a letter and a whole other thing entire to just kind of "hey man, nice to meet you, I am that young kid who is playing your part." But again he is a warm wonderful guy, so there was no kind of sizing each other up or more dramatic than shaking hands and saying hello. And Shatnerisms? Well you watch the show, you know what Kirk does. What resonated for me was certain physical things. There is a way he holds his body and moves about the deck of the ship that is very — it is almost theatrical. You can see his theatrical training in his gait and the way he carries his body and sits in the chair. I can sit here and talk to you about little things and probably end up sounding to you like a moron. I picked up on certain things and talked to JJ about them and he agreed with me and we said ‘how can we kind of chart the growth of my character into what Mr. Shatner had done throughout the course of our movie, and
that led to certain inclusions.  

Question (for Cho and Yelchin): How much did you take from George Takei and Walter Koenig.

John Cho: For me it was probably taking less from George and avoiding an imitation, just because he has that voice and he has become an icon as a person and an actor. I flirted with the idea a little bit, but it seemed like a really bad idea to an imitation.

Anton Yelchin: I watched the original series quite a bit and I really thought there is something so special about everything that Walter did and the decisions he made and the natural joy with everything that he did. It came out in the accent and in the physicality. And I tried to adapt that with this interpretation of his character as much as possible. But like John said, I didn’t want it to be an imitation, but I did want it to be that character and have that general sprit. And of course the accent.

Question: In the sixties the series talks about racism and the cold war…what is the thing now with Star Trek in the modern era? What talks Star Trek to us now?

John Cho: On one level it is a group of people who are of different nationalities and ethnicities and even species that are working towards a common peaceful mission. And I think that is a sentiment that is always cool decade after decade. And it seems particularly pertinent today.

Chris Pine: I think, and not to disparage any of these movies, but Dark Knight and Watchmen, they explore the darker side of human psychology and have way more of a nihilistic viewpoint than our story. I think our story has a certain niche in storytelling. I think at the end of this film you will end up smiling. The crew is together and working together. They have overcome the obstacle an they are looking for the future. It can sound cheesy and people can laugh, but I can’t think of a movie that has ended like that in a long time. And why not? Why not have a story that is positive and have people leaving the theater smiling? Especially in today’s age where people are wracked with economic crisis and people are losing their homes and there is war.

Eric Bana: Chris makes a good point. A lot of these movies have got darker and darker and darker over the years and it is hard as an adult to turn around to a ten year old kid and say "you can’t watch Batman and you can’t watch The Hulk and you can’t watch Star Trek." So when I read the script, it was very obvious that wow, this is a movie that those gates can be re-opened again to a portion of the audience…We all felt pretty good that this film was going back in that direction of being a little happier and young person friendly as well as being sophisticated enough and plenty there for adults clearly.
 

Question: Do you think the Trekkies around the world will take to the new movie?

Chris Pine: I think we certainly hope so. If you look at the team JJ assembled. JJ is the self-professed non-fan or started out that way. Then you people like Damon Lindelof and Bob Orci who are huge Trekkies, so I think that kind of balance behind the scenes hopefully showed up on screen. I think there are plenty of details and minutiae of the Trek canon to keep the hardcore fans connected to the material. I think there is new stuff that will hopefully invite a new generation of fans into the fold.

Eric Bana: The one thing I have experienced seeing the film with a massive audience is — there is something very unique about this film that the audience is collectively involved in the spirit of this film that is special. I think it is one of those films that people go out in the first couple of weeks and watch it in a jam packed are just going to have a unique cinema experience. There is this weird kind of positive energy towards the watching of this film and the experience people are getting. The first time I saw it was in Sydney at the world premiere, and there were sixteen hundred people, and I can tell you as an Australian, Australians don’t do standing ovations. And to see sixteen hundred people jump out of their seats at the end of that film and turn around face was seriously one of the most exciting moments in my film career to witness that.


Excerpts from Press Conference 3: Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban

Question (asked by TrekMovie): Karl, more than any of the other actors, you appear to be channeling the original actor, DeForest Kelley. Was that a conscious decision and something you and JJ worked on?

Karl Urban: As a long-term fan of the show, and I watched as a boy, I felt that if I were going to see this film, which I would, I would appreciate seeing some semblance of continuity with the character. So the task for me was to try and identify the spirit and essence of the wonderful work that the late Mr. Kelley gave, which I have such a deep sense of respect for, and really funnel that through my interpretation of what a younger version of that character would be. It was really very challenging and there were many times where I wasn’t sure where the line was, so I was very thankful in that I had a fantastic director in JJ to guide the performance. For me at times it was quite surreal to be on the bridge of the Enterprise and saying some of those truly iconic lines and a dream come true. I am truly thankful.

Question (asked by TrekMovie): As a follow-up for Leonard, what did you think of Karl’s performance and its similarity to that of DeForest?

Leonard Nimoy: Anthony in answer to your question, I think that the dialog for Spock and McCoy in this movie is the most idiosyncratic, because those characters do speak idiosyncratically. There is a certain kind of language they use and certain kind of sentence structure that apply to those two characters more than the others. So I think you would recognize them more in these performances which I think are excellent.

Question: Mr. Nimoy, talking about the Spock character has a resonance in this movie, but like a new way to see this character. Which things that you find out about Spock resonate today?

Leonard Nimoy: I think that Zachary’s performance and my performance bookend the character that was created in the original series and movies. What he is doing in this movie is shows us the origins of the Spock character, the struggle of the Spock character to find his own personal psychological design – the philosophy he is going to live by. And at the end this movie – coming to a point where there is a rather seamless connection to what he is doing and what I was doing in The Original Series. In my case, I am much closer in this movie to my own personal life right now, so it is not that much of a stretch to playing that Spock character in this movie.

As far as the outlook of the film, I think it is very timely. It is a film about hope, about the future, about a group of people who come together to solve problems. I happen to think it coincides wonderfully and excitingly with the current sense of optimism and hope we need in this country as a result of a new administration frankly. I don’t know what your political interests are but I don’t think it makes much difference. I think there is a new energy and hope for a new kind of thinking, a kind of interplanetary [laughs] —  international thinking of coming together to solve problems. This movie for me deals with revenge and how empty and desolate the cycle of revenge can be, that will hopefully be applied to international relations. So I think it is a very timely film.

Question: And Zachary, any thoughts on the resonance of the Spock character?

 Zachary Quinto: I think that the whole movie represents what Leonard is saying — diversity. When we meet this Spock and this Kirk, they are at exist at diametrically opposed ends of a spectrum of thinking. And through the course of this film they begin to soften the edges of resistance to any other way of thinking and in so doing understand that in unity exists advantage. And that is something that entire crew of the Enterprise represents coming from such diverse and disparate backgrounds to unify.

 

EXTRA SPOILERS IN SECTION BELOW

 

EXTRA SPOILERS IN SECTION BELOW

 

 

Question: I wanted to ask Zachary and Zoe about the quietly sexy romance that is happening between the characters. I didn’t know that Spock got that much action.

Zoe: I had so many reactions and they go in different stages. At first I really felt that JJ was out of his mind to do something like that. It was so bold. But after reading the script and having these characters sink in, Spock and Uhura really made sense. Whether you call it a misinterpretation of emotions or a deeper friendship or a simply love, it made sense to me given their personality types. She’s very driven, he’s very logical, he’s excellent at what he does, she strives for perfection, she absolutely hates Kirk so anything that resembles of the opposite of who he is something that she is going to be drawn to. I was very overwhelmed  also with how dear it was for Spock to break in such a way and for her to be loved and her to allow this man to be the only one to call her by her first time let you know there is a bond there that is much bigger and deeper than we can imagine.

Zachary: I think it was one of the bolder reimaginings of the characters as we have known them in the past and for that I think it was a risk. And I think the risk pays off because I think it infuses the story with a certain amount of levity and humor between Kirk and Uhura and Kirk and Spock. But between Spock and Uhura I think it provides a kind of depth and Uhura provides a kind of canvas in a way to which express emotions he cannot otherwise express. And for me through the journey was really valuable.

Zoe: What’s better than a xenolinguist with a talented tongue, right?

Question: And what is your reaction Leonard?

Leonard: [shouts] Jealousy!

 

 

 

Comments

1. n9n3 - April 27, 2009

Leonard Nimoy’s reaction to the Spock/Uhura romance at the end is priceless!

Can’t wait!

2. Render - April 27, 2009

Man, so excited I going to the Candian premier, going to be all over this, I just hope I do not cry.

as for
Spock/Uhura I look forward to seeing it, both the origins, process and its ending ( for the film at least)

3. Rowedogg - April 27, 2009

nice

4. Nathan Tjoa - April 27, 2009

Can’t wait to watch this movie! Indonesia has a one month delay because of the stiff competition (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, etc), I just hope it’s really worth the wait!

5. The Governator - April 27, 2009

Saw Eric Bana on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was really, really funny. Also, they showed the clip “What gives you the Right?”. Awesome marketing.

6. TREKKIE369 - April 27, 2009

I’m in NO way a TOS purist. DS9 and VOY are my two favorite series, but Spock and Uhura?! Come on, when they said that they weren’t messing with canon and doing something like making Uhura an alien, I believed them.

So far I’ve had no problem with the canon of ST09 because the alternate timeline can explain basically anything away, but Spock and Uhura? I DO hope that their relationship is only in the alternative timeline, because there was NO history of that kind in TOS, (just look at the way Uhura looks at Kirk for proof).

7. The Original Spock's Brain - April 27, 2009

Fantasies……

8. spockatatic - April 27, 2009

Still not much for the whole Spock/Uhura thing… I think they’re cute, but whatever. And what’s that about Uhura hating Kirk? She is really drawn to him, because of his strength, remember? Oh, well. Think AU, think AU…

9. Mr. Tricorder - April 27, 2009

All I have to say is that STAR TREK is Back !!!!

And All of it KICKS ASS – ENT, TOS, TAS, TMP, TWOK, TSFS, TVH, TFF, TUC, TNG, GEN, FC, INS, NEM, DS9, VOY – Plus the New Film….

Heck even all of the Behind the Scenes Guides (Tech Manuals, Encycolpedias etc., Novels and Comics and Games are pretty awesome…..the ones that fit should finally be integrated into official canon – look at star wars and their levels of official canon –

Here’s my proposal – (Paramount and the Production Team (aka. The Supreme Court) of the New Movie – yes I am talking to you Orci etc. Take Note:

A Canon: Movies, TV Series, TAS

B Canon: Novels/Comics based on/or expand upon Movies/TV (eg. Countdown), Tech Manuals, Official Guides, Encyclopedias

C Canon: Novels/Comics/Games that fit with the official timeline eg. Khan novel trilogy, Novel/Comic/Game series that continue TV Series (ENT, DS9 etc.), spinoffs (Titan), and the new alternate timeline, the new upcoming star trek online game etc.. Pocket Books came out with a chronology that fits all of the published novels into the official timeline….
Voyages of Imagination: The Definitive Star Trek Fiction Companion

Canon status should also be awarded to the novels that had an influence on this new film…Spocks World etc….

D Canon: Stuff that does not fit…sorry Shatnerverse…Legacy etc….

Continuing with the greatness of everything Star Trek….

I’m tired of hearing negativity….tired of hearing stuff like the Great Turd Fest of 89′ – TFF was far from being a turd fest – pales in comparrison to the crap sci fi these days…tired of hearing bad things about B & B, tired of hearing NEM sucks….that movie IS key to the new one coming out…

So all in all….Star Trek is Awesome !!! So much FUN !!! All of IT !!!

Can’t wait for May 8 – I am so excited…

To Quote the Great and Epic TMP: “The Human Adventure is Just Beginning….

10. The Original Spock's Brain - April 27, 2009

6. TREKKIE369 – April 27, 2009
“So far I’ve had no problem with the canon of ST09 because the alternate timeline can explain basically anything away, but Spock and Uhura? I DO hope that their relationship is only in the alternative timeline, because there was NO history of that kind in TOS, (just look at the way Uhura looks at Kirk for proof).”

Uhura flirted with Spock multiple times.

11. Jovan - April 27, 2009

She did indeed.

Maybe that’s the REAL reason Spock didn’t return any affection for Kalomi…

12. VOODOO - April 27, 2009

#9 Mr Tricorder

Why can’t they all be canon except that they all exist in their own seperate universes?

There are scientific theories that suggest an infinite number of “alternate universes” if you will, really could exist.

I never liked the idea that these books don’t really matter in the S.T. universe. If they don’t matter how are they any different than the fan ficiton that is on the net?

I would suggest that they are all made canon in their own alt universes.

Jesus, I really do sound like a dork tonight don’t I?

13. Anthony - April 27, 2009

# 6

Uhura was pretty flirty with Spock in the TOS. I remember her asking spock why he never tells her that she’s attractive.

14. Marc B. Lee - April 27, 2009

THANKS ANTHONY. Got to see the movie here in Germany last night. Was quite impressed and I have something to be prepared for at this weekend’s FEDCON.

Your reports always help in getting the word out.

This movie was all that I had hoped it would be.

15. Mr. Tricorder - April 27, 2009

12…

Thats a great idea…..all should exist within their own universes….

16. Matt Wright - April 27, 2009

Good stuff from the interviews all around :)

17. Yammer - April 28, 2009

Oh man oh man. Still jacked about seeing it…May 2, heh heh… but am now slightly worried if we can have too much media hype. There’s nothing worse than excessive expectations.

It will be interesting, in a few months, to compare Trek to Watchmen, another film with a rabid fanbase. I thought Watchmen was well-done, but reverent perhaps to a fault. There was so much fidelity to the image on the page that it was hard to actually absorb, but maybe that is a fan’s dilemna no matter what genre — there are probably fans of Atonement or Away From Her who were analyzing every moment.

In a way, I suppose, we are not the best audiences for this show. Every viewer is a judge, but we are prejudiced.

18. Phasers On Stun - April 28, 2009

I think the Spock/Uhura thing sounds great. It kind of meshes Christine and Uhura together since Nurse Chapel isn’t anywhere to be found (or Janice). It also spices things up. Since Uhura is the only female of the main command crew I hope they give her more importance in the next movie. I mean higher visibility – will help with the female demographic after all.

19. Rick - April 28, 2009

Hey JJ, i live in Holland and we havent heard ANYTHING about the new Star Trek movie. No mainstream coverage whatsoever!

20. S. John Ross - April 28, 2009

#12 sez: “There are scientific theories that suggest an infinite number of “alternate universes” if you will, really could exist.”

Really successful, tested ones, no less (which are very tested and successful).

21. Jim Smith - April 28, 2009

@ 10 & 11, Exactly. She gets to play his Vulcan harp in TOS. Fnar.

22. grid - April 28, 2009

the spock/uhura thing is a great idea and i’m interested to see how it plays out.

in TOS spock and uhura had plenty of flirty moments, although things were always lighthearted. more serious was the nurse chapel relationship, which i think the movie will reflect with uhura in something like the chapel role.

anyway, a creative idea that reflects an old theme from the original.

now, uhura hating kirk? that’s a whole different kettle of fish. not sure how that will work out, but i hope it is one of those “origin” issues that will resolve itself as the story plays out.

23. thorsten - April 28, 2009

As Bob said, “You expect those moments, but they have to be organic to the story”.
The Berlin audience I watched the movie with went nuts at all the right places. It was an amazing experience.

24. Bob Tompkins - April 28, 2009

Spock/Uhura?

Won’t work any better that the Scotty/Uhura thingamajig in Final Frontier.

The closer May 8 gets, the more trepidatious I become. The spoilers so far say what we have is a high-stakes action/adventure movie that also just happens to be named Star Trek.

It appears that TOS canon is going to be entirely gutted by the new movie using the alternate timeline excuse. No ‘Conscience of the King, no ‘Balance of Terror’, no ‘Obsession’ unless Kirk and crew are killed by the cloud-creature, no ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ or ‘Menagerie’ in this revised timeline.

Just a movie named Star Trek and some unfamiliar actors portraying the Triad of Kirk, Spock and McCoy…. errrr Uhura.

It might be a little sad for some of us.

I’ve been onboard since day one, but I’m just not so sure now.

25. screaming satellite - April 28, 2009

Dunno if this has come up b4 but Just watched a segment on The Daily 10 on the E! channel where Abrams said Matt Damon was approached to play Kirks father – but said no…

Thatd have been good

26. RTC - April 28, 2009

I’d rather not see the Spock-Uhura romance … but on the other hand, it was certainly hinted at (intentionally or not) in TOS. The scene in the rec room in ‘Charlie X,’ the tender word of encouragement Spock gave Uhura when she was trying to repair the communications system in another episode (name escapes me at the moment) … it was there, no doubt. So I can live with this and still not get ‘canon withdrawal.’

Incidentally, I loved JJ’s description of how the reporters should write about the new movie: ‘If you are talking to fans it is a sequel. It is the continuing adventures of Leonard Nimoy as Spock. If you are a new audience member, it is an introduction to the world.’ Really sums it up.

27. Anthony Thompson - April 28, 2009

Now I understand why there was no adult supervision of the Newsweek article comments! ; )

28. Mee - April 28, 2009

Well DUH Uhura hates Kirk!!!

If Kirk pissed off your boyfriend and had him kicked off the bridge I’m sure you’s hate him too.

29. mscottr - April 28, 2009

You know, I can see how a Spock-Uhura romance could work with the canon of TOS; there was always a sort of connection between the two characters, such as when Uhura and Spock talk about Vulcan’s moons in one of the very early episodes. Perhaps ‘romance’ is not the correct word, but I’ve always felt like those two characters had some kind of deeper connection than was fully explored in TOS.

Also, wasn’t Nimoy, rather than Shatner, supposed to be the one to kiss Nichelle Nichols and deliver the first interracial kiss on television?

30. Alex Aslanidis - April 28, 2009

that’s right on Spock was supposed to be the one to kiss Uhura!
Shatner wouldn’t have any part of that!
Gotta love Mr. Shatner!

31. Alientraveller - April 28, 2009

When I heard about Spock and Uhura’s relationship in this film, I immediately thought about the backstory Nichelle Nichols created for the two she mentioned at http://trekmovie.com/2008/02/14/trek-celebwatch-takei-on-treks-vision-stewart-on-shakespearean-trekkies-more/

Funnily enough, I’m watching ‘Charlie X’ right now with the scene where they make music together (literally).

32. Scott - April 28, 2009

It could have been interesting to see how these characters could have developed if the original series had lasted 7 or 8 seasons. That’s a lot of time to develop characters, and we saw that in TNG especially, comparing those characters in the first episode against the final episode.

Who knows how TOS would have looked in 1974, for instance? Perhaps the Spock/Chapel romance would have developed further, and we would have learned much more about all of the characters than was ever explored afterward in the films.

33. KevinA Melbourne Australia - April 28, 2009

The Aussie push has begun. The Nine TV Network has run it’s 1st ST09 ads in peaktime tonight. It was only the 30secs Bar brawl version but nice to see it on the the home of Star Trek in Australia once more.

The Nine Network here ran TOS in the 60’s, Next Gen in the 80’s and 90’s and all the other series as well. Kerry Packer the then owner and a major media tycoon in this country actually loved Trek.

Can’t wait for next week!

34. TonyD - April 28, 2009

There was definitely a hint of flirtiness between Uhura and Spock in those very early episodes of TOS (the scene in Charlie-X where spock plays the lyrette and Uhura sings as they exchange meaningful glances probably being the most obvious) and its a shame nobody asked Nimoy about that directly as his thoughts on that and why nothing ever came of it in the show would be interesting to hear.

Still, whatever relationship they may have shared in those early episodes was kept in the background and any hints that we got were very subtle. I hope that the movie retains that subltely in their relationship. Its one thing to see Spock and Uhura sharing a moment or giving each other support, but seeing them locked in a passionate embrace, trying to get it on as it were, feels a bit too gratuitous to me.

35. Captain Dunsel - April 28, 2009

Super picky point here.

The transcript has JJ Abrams saying “…we wanted to embrace certain tenants of Star Trek…”

Should be TENETS. “Tenants” are people who live in a given place. “Tenets” are principles, which I assume is what he was actually intending.

36. captain_neill - April 28, 2009

Just got tickets for the Premiere in Northern Ireland on 7th May for Star Trek.

I cannot wait, there is also going to be a fancy dress competition. I cannot wait to see this movie

37. Colin - April 28, 2009

#35 : That could (possibly) be a transcription error. There are several…

38. Bob Bobberson - April 28, 2009

Is there any plan in place for either theaters being closed on May 8 or people being too scared to go because of swine flu? This may seem shallow, but this was lined up to be the top grossing trek of all time and im curious what pandemic might do to it.

39. Victoria Woods - April 28, 2009

Yeah I think it’s reasonable to see why the new Kirk and Uhura wouldn’t get along. Their personality differences seem much more extreme in the new movie than in the old series.(Also I think Uhura and Spock would make a cute couple…… tho theirs kids might look alittle…. different….) LOL

40. Randall - April 28, 2009

C’mon, this Spock/Uhura stuff is easy. People just aren’t thinking.

These are characters who are YOUNGER than the ones we knew from TOS. Spock, at this stage, is still struggling with his emotions–we know that. Uhura’s character is a no-nonsense, energetic woman (unlike the detestable and pathetically limp Nurse Chapel) with a level head and a fairly tough exterior. She’s a pro. It’s not terribly surprising that she and Spock would be drawn to each other… but especially with Spock being in this stage of turmoil regarding who he is and what he is.

Kirk, on the other hand–she meets him when he’s apparently something of a cocky prick. And first impressions can go badly sometimes. Now eventually this guy–Kirk–is supposedly going to grow into a great leader, a strong, mature individual. But for the time being, she’s turned off on him. No surprise there.

Clearly as Spock progresses INTO Spock–i.e., the Spock we know–his emotional turmoil is going to fade, it’s going to be suppressed… and one might assume that the “romance” with Uhura will end then and there. But perhaps not–these are new situations for characters that are defined slightly less rigidly than they were 40+ years ago.

But for the time being, at any rate, these characters are young–and younger people have more tempestuous emotions. Spock is dealing with that, of course, on an entirely different level.

I have much less problem with this than with what they’ve done to Kirk (the whole “troubled teen” thing, which sucks away the drive and professional demeanor the character had originally–it would have been better, I think, to make him SERIOUS and angry, instead of just a directionless, angry punk) and with what they’ve done to the TIMING of these characters meeting—i.e., essentially making all these characters (apparently) the same age. Chekov is of course the worst–he shouldn’t even be there yet… instead of he and Kirk being over 10 years apart in age, they’re now just… what? Well I still don’t get it… it seems, circumstantially, that they’re only a couple years or so apart in age. That’s foolish.

To go off on a tangent here—I’m not even sure why they stuck Chekov IN this movie. Would it really have hurt to have waited to introduce him until the next one? It would have been one less character to write for, so more screen time and character development/exposition time for the others–Sulu, say.

I frankly don’t understand that. It’s as if they looked at Star Trek as it was at the *conclusion* of the series and said, “here’s the cast of characters”–which included Chekov at the time–and that’s where they assumed they had to start. But that undermines the very idea of the hierarchy of these characters—it’s all well and good if they want to show Kirk’s progression from punk to hero in this movie, but he WAS older than his junior officers—and even if you buy all this “timeline” silliness—that shouldn’t have changed WHEN each character was BORN.

Spock and Uhura I can buy—provided it doesn’t fundamentally change the characters—I’d not buy it if it continued into some truly grand romance or anything like that—that’d be undermining Spock’s character. But this messing around with things that didn’t NEED rework is what bugs me.

41. Anthony L. - April 28, 2009

@24 — Your acting like Paramount will come to your door and take you TOS DVDs and destroy them in some sort of effort to conceal the past.

Think Back to the Future. A new time line is spawned, the original still exists, they are just trapped in the alternate. The movie cameras are just gonna stick around in this time line, the old one still exists. This just gives them an excuse to give us more Kirk/Spock/McCoy adventures instead of trying to create new characters which might not go over so easily.

To me it’s a time to be happy if your a Trek fan. I’d rather see Trek this way as opposed to saying “hey remember when Trek was on TV”.

42. D - April 28, 2009

I have to say, I think that there are far too many early relationships going on with these characters…

Having been in the Army, sometimes, you come to a unit and it all just gels into place. The right people are in the right places at the right times. Call it fate, call it luck, call it God’s will, call it a Quantum Mechanics if you want…but it happens.

I don’t see why we have to see all these characters being drawn together at a very early point in their career and just happening to stay together for 50+ years…that, to me, seems even more impropable than them all staying together mostly for the 30 years they appear to have in the Prime Universe.

43. D - April 28, 2009

As for Kirk, I know the source material for this, and if you haven’t read the novel Best Destiny…Spoilers to follow…

Spoilers for Best Destiny

Kirk is a spoiled rotten brat. He’s smart, and knows it, and that makes him even more spoiled. Having lived through the events on Tarsus IV, he’s also basically filled with a kind of rock star, “Live Fast, Die Young” attitude. There is even mention of a teenage suicide in the book where Kirk thinking on it feels that at the time, he understood perfectly, “Best to control your own death if nothing else.” It is only after pirates attack, and he realizes that his father, Captain April and some other Enterprise crew members are going to sacrifice their lives for him, who up to this point has been nothing but a literal knife in their backsides, that he finally straightens out.

44. Spectrum of the Spock - April 28, 2009

I wonder if anyone told Pine that in order to play Kirk he has to get chubby in a few years…

45. CardassiaPrimera - April 28, 2009

The Time is over (faltan 9 días)

46. Andros - April 28, 2009

This is going to be slightly off-topic and only because I was reading about Leonard Nimoy…

Does anyone know what his salary was for this movie? I just hope he didn’t get jipped out of a nice paycheck considering that he’s the link to the older fans. For that matter, what was the rest of the cast’s salary?

47. Andros - April 28, 2009

@38
Pandemic? I guess less than 50 reported cases in the US now qualifies as a pandemic. Did the “bird flu” hurt movie sales? I don’t think so. You’re automatically going into worst case scenario mode in which, funny enough, you’re worried about a disease and its effect on a MOVIE. If you’re going to be worried at least worry about your fellow man, not a form of entertainment.

PS. Not even the Eugenic Wars could stop this movie from being a success.

48. thereare4lights - April 28, 2009

Quite hypnotic.

49. Chris Doohan - April 28, 2009

46

I can’t speak for the cast, but I made $15.00. I think Nimoy made at least $100.00

50. Bob Bobberson - April 28, 2009

Just watched Space Seed again…. the sequel to this should definately involve Kahn and loosely follow that plot. You could call it Star Trek: The Rise of Kahn.

51. captain_neill - April 28, 2009

I am def going to watch some Trek on Blu Ray this week

It looks fantastic on blu ray.

52. Spectrum of the Spock - April 28, 2009

49 – ha! i bet you had to pay more than that to park on Paramount’s lot!

53. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

#49: LOL that’s great Chris!

Hell, I would have done it for free for the love of TREK (if I were an actor, instead, in my case to work on the production crew… and Id still have done it for free).

I just ordered my tickets for the 1900 show next Thursday.. woo! hoo!… a year ago this time I was in Afghanistan and thought this day would not come soon enough!!!

54. Chris Doohan - April 28, 2009

53

I would have done it for free as well, but they insisted on paying me

52. Parking was free. :)

55. Q - April 28, 2009

Seriously, I love everything about this movie- EXCEPT Spock/Uhura. Purely for fangirl reasons, though. If Zach and Zoe were to get toegther, I wouldn’t *too* much, but Spock and Uhura? Yeah, no. She needs to back up off of mah man. Well, all the Spock fangirl’s man. Stuff. Yeah.

Anyway, that’s the only ‘boo’ thing about the new movie. I can’t wait til they break up. Which had better happen or I’m writting a letter, dang it.

lol.

56. frederick - April 28, 2009

This quote made me feel a whole lot better about Pine’s Kirk than I had from the “doing my own thing, not Shatner’s” stuff we heard before.

“Well you watch the show, you know what Kirk does. What resonated for me was certain physical things. There is a way he holds his body and moves about the deck of the ship that is very — it is almost theatrical. You can see his theatrical training in his gait and the way he carries his body and sits in the chair. I can sit here and talk to you about little things and probably end up sounding to you like a moron. I picked up on certain things and talked to JJ about them and he agreed with me and we said ‘how can we kind of chart the growth of my character into what Mr. Shatner had done throughout the course of our movie, and
that led to certain inclusions. ”

”’Certain inclusions…” At LEAST he watched the show to soak in some of Kirk’s moves!!!

57. Spectrum of the Spock - April 28, 2009

56. in one of the trailers where he stands up after climbing out of the escape pod, you see him kind of slumped with his arms swinging. It reminded me of Shatner – maybe Amok Time or something like that…

anyways it does look like he studied some of his movements..

58. Capt. of the USS Anduril - April 28, 2009

Uhura/Spock relationship is as old as the first aired episode of TOS. She tries to flirt with Spock a little, especially with the “Tell me what your world looks like on a moonlit night” to which Spock promptly replies, “Vulcan has no moon.” She obviously keeps trying, and even in TMP there’s a little undertone of it in her reaction to Spock’s arrival on the Enterprise.

And I love Nimoy’s reaction.

59. richpit - April 28, 2009

RE: “Vulcan has no moon”

I”m no scientist, hence this question: is it possible for a “Class M” planet that supports humanoid life to have no moon? I though the moon was a pretty important part of our life on this planet…controlling tides and other stuff. No?

60. MC1 Doug - April 28, 2009

I would surmise that our moon, while important to the development of life on our planet, does not mean that it a requirement for life to form on other worlds.

Life will most assuredly be different on other worlds, so we can assume that the conditions that fostered life there will be exhibited in different ways elsewhere.

For an expert’s opinion, this is surely a Kayla Iacovino question.

61. Christine - April 28, 2009

Spock x Uhura?

This should be really interesting. :)

62. sebimeyer - April 28, 2009

Man, the coming couple of days are going to be awesome…

First a weekend full of FedCon action (in joke: so Marc, did you see Jamie Bamber naked?) to be followed by the first new Star Trek in years.

Today I saw the first posters for the movie all over town here in Aachen, Germany. It was odd to see ST in the mainstream again, but I sure like it. About time for it to be back.

63. Lost All My Money at the Dabo Tables - May 12, 2009

…I have no choice now but to bust out my geekness and put my commemorative “Captains Plate” back on display. Long Live Spock/Uhura.

DS9 Fan Out.

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