INTERVIEW: Star Trek Writers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci | TrekMovie.com
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INTERVIEW: Star Trek Writers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci April 30, 2009

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,Orci/Kurtzman,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

The history of the new Star Trek movie really started with the writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci over three years ago. In our most in-depth interview yet, I talked to the writers about taking on the task of reviving Star Trek, and also get into some detail on the plot of the new movie and how it all ties into the Star Trek that we know. We also talk about the sequel!
[SPOILERS BELOW]

 

INTERVIEW w/ ALEX KURTZMAN & ROBERTO ORCI
This interview is an extended version of my interview in the May issue of Geek Monthly Magazine.

 

You guys have been a hot property in Hollywood, with your names seemingly mentioned with every new big high-profile project. Star Trek was on a downturn and yet has this persnickety fan base. Why did you guys take on the monumental task of satisfying those fans while also saving Star Trek by bringing in new fans?

Alex Kurtzman: Initially we were very skeptical about it and part of it has to do with us being enormous fans ourselves. Obviously the idea of inheriting something that we loved as kids is both really frightening and incredibly tempting.

Orci: Frankly we had an idea and we thought ‘man, this actually might work.’ We actually locked into it once we had an idea of what we wanted to do. Once you have an idea, it is hard to ignore it. It stays in your mind and you think ‘wow if we don’t do it, then someone might come in and ruin it.’ It was both defensive and inspired by an idea of what we thought Star Trek needed.  

Did you guys have an idea of what you wanted to do with Trek before that first phone call from Paramount?

Orci: We talked about it in general before, but not as specific before the phone calls came in. But we had discussions about what to do and about going back to the youth of some of the characters we knew. That was rattling around in our brains.

Alex Kurtzman: The immediate problem that we faced was, for us, there was no version of going and doing some new iteration of Star Trek which was, as Bob calls it, the Next Next Generation. That didn’t hold any appeal to us. It was always about going back to The Original Series, but the problem becomes that we know the fate of the characters from The Original Series. So if you are going to breathe new life into Trek, how do you do it while making it unpredictable? If you know how they die, you can never put them into real jeopardy. That led us to where if we altered the timeline we can tell a whole new set of stories with our characters.


Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci didn’t want to do the ‘Next Next Generation’

Back when the film was first announced, much of the speculation revolved around whether or not this film would be a total reboot, like "Batman Begins," or a traditional prequel, like "Revenge of the Sith." By using an alternative timeline, have you done both?

Orci: Yes. We always felt that Star Trek fans can handle paradoxes and multiple interesting thoughts. Yeah, that is why we couldn’t say ‘no’ once we hit upon the idea of it being both a prequel and a sequel. It is literally a film for two audiences. If you know Trek, then you understand where it all comes from. If you aren’t, it acts very much as a prequel.

The fact that you are using an altered timeline has some fans wondering if this is still our crew, or is this some alternative crew?

Alex Kurtzman: The characters have not changed as characters. They still have all the personality traits that we know of the original bridge crew. I think the gravest mistake would have been to try and reinvent the characters. That would have made everybody, including ourselves, very unhappy. It would have felt like violating sacred ground. This was a way to stay true to canon, and to take the stories in a new direction

Orci: Their souls are intact. And we would argue that we would have settled on some of the same character introductions, with or without the incursion from the future. In our minds some of the events overlap completely in both timelines.

Even though things are different in this timeline, like Kirk coming aboard the Enterprise first as a cadet, by the end of the movie every one of the original bridge crew end up where they are supposed to be. Is there some kind of notion that it is their destiny to be on that bridge, regardless of what timeline you are on?

Kurtzman: Yes. In fact there was one version of the script where Kirk points out that it is incredibly odd that they all sort of turned as they would have. Nimoy Spock tells Kirk ‘I knew this character as this person and that character as that person’ and Kirk says ‘wow, those characters are exactly the same ones that I know’ and Spock says something like ‘Fascinating, that must be the timestream’s way of trying to mend itself.’

Orci: It is a nod to destiny. And there is still something like that in the film.


It is their destiny to be on that bridge

So the time travel and the original timeline is discussed in the movie?

Kurtzman: It is the whole plot. It is acknowledged and embraced as an inevitable part of this story. You could not tell this story without it. We are not dancing around it and pretending it doesn’t exist. The whole story is about how their lives have been changed.

Time travel is well established within Star Trek, but I understand you still did a lot of research into real world scientific theory related to it and quantum mechanics. Do you feel that, unlike Star Wars, there is something about Star Trek that requires a scientific approach?

Orci: Absolutely. Star Wars is self-acknowledged fantasy and Star Trek is a possible extrapolation of our future based on what is known now scientifically. That has always been part of the fun of Star Trek. And Mr. Spock has always been the moral soul of Star Trek, and what was he? He was the science officer.

Time travel has been a staple of Star Trek, including many favorite movies and episodes. Did you use time travel again because it had worked in the past?

Orci: Actually the opposite. We hesitated to use time travel, because it was so used. However, it was such an important reason to use it — to have both a prequel and a sequel — to maintain canon, yet free us up. Despite its overuse, we thought ‘let’s use it one more time before we put it away, and then not use it again.’ It was also the only way to justify the level of involvement that we felt for Nimoy to be a genuinely active participant in the movie. And that was worth it and specific enough that it didn’t feel like a gimmick. So we allowed ourselves to use it to jump off.

Nimoy’s Spock is the constant from that original timeline. What is his role in the film?

Orci: He does not simply exist in flashback. He is one of the pivotal turning points that causes the events of the film to happen. In a sense, he is the reason for the events of much of the film.

Kurtzman: And he carries the burden of that throughout the film.


Nimoy’s role is pivotal in ‘Star Trek’

There has been a lot of talk about this film being for future fans of Star Trek, but what is in it for the current fans of Star Trek?

Roberto Orci: It was designed for both. That is the way we pitched our approach from day one — it has to be two movies in one. It is a continuation of continuity and the idea of not giving it up completely, even having bought ourselves some freedom thanks to an altered timeline. What is there for fans going forward is the fact that the universe as it was is not going to be completely ignored as long as we are around.

In addition to the main crew, this film also has a number of other familiar Trek characters. So we see Pike and Sarek and Amanda, but not say Nurse Chapel. How did you make the cut?

Kurtzman: Actually Nurse Chapel was in the first draft. She was in a fun scene early, but I can’t remember why she didn’t end up in it.

Orci: It is just space. You start to eat up real estate. Unlike some other properties, Star Trek already has an ensemble cast that has to be serviced. One of the things we wanted to make sure of is that at the very least our core group of characters had to have a real reason to be in the movie and have their moment to shine. But we tried to make sure that nothing is precluded. So even if we don’t see him, there is nothing in the movie that precludes the existence of Gary Mitchell. Just like Chekov was never technically seen by Khan in The Original Series, but is recognized by Khan in Star Trek II. Why? Because if you had turned left in "Space Seed," you would have run into Chekov.

For the Trek fans, this film includes many little references. For example you have Kirk dropped off on the planet Delta Vega, which was seen in second Star Trek pilot. It is a cool reference, but didn’t you also fudge canon by ignoring that Delta Vega was way out next to the galactic barrier.

Orci: True. Yeah we did. We moved the planet to suit our purposes. The familiarity of the name seemed more important as an Easter egg, than a new name with no importance.


Delta Vega — not as we remember it

There has been a lot of talk about this film bringing a little Star Wars into Star Trek. I believe you guys referred to it as bringing in a little ‘Rock and Roll.’ Can you get specific as to how you are bringing some Star Wars into this movie?

Kurtzman: I think in its simplest form "Star Trek" has been about naval battles, essentially submarine battles in space, so everything was a bit slow, which is great. It is a wonderful staple of Trek because that forced storytellers to come up with amazing ways for the bridge crew to deal with these problems. Star Wars was about World War II dogfights. As a kid, I loved Trek for the characters, but I loved Star Wars for the speed. But there is no reason why those things should be mutually exclusive. Also, at a practical level, if we going to be introducing Star Trek to a new generation of kids, and given what kids are used to now with Star Wars and Transformers and Iron Man and the speed of those movies, it was going to be very hard to bring them back to a slow naval battle. So we thought must be respectful to the naval battle aspect of the franchise, and yet we can bring something else to it.

Orci: Also I think in later Star Trek incarnations, as a result of the adherence to one of the more fascinating aspect of Star Trek, which is the chain of command — it got a little stiff. So saying that ‘it needed a little Rock and Roll’ was also a way of saying that it needed to loosen up a bit.

Part of that loosening up can be seen in that this film has a lot of humor, including broad slapstick humor. Do you feel that is part of Star Trek or something you are bringing in?

Orci: Humor was always part of "Star Trek." You cannot sit in a pile of tribbles and lay your flag into humor, the way the original series did. I think it got a little sidetracked and it was our intention to try and reintroduce it. We tried to find the exact right formula that was achieved by some of the best episodes of the original series, that had a mix of everything.


Simon Pegg’s Scotty – seen stuck in water pipes – delivers much of Star Trek’s humor

Alex, you once said that one of your goals was to have a memorable villain akin to the ultimate Trek bad guy, Khan. So how did you go about creating Nero, and what makes him different than Khan?

Kurtzman: The best bad guys are those that, when you finally understand their story, you sympathize with and you can relate in some way. You may not agree with what they are doing, but you can connect with them emotionally. That is why Khan was so great. Once he tells that story about losing his wife, you get why he is so mad. That was a kind of compass for us in figuring out who Nero was. But as for what is different, as much as you sympathize with Khan, he seems to be a character without a conscience and I can’t say that about Nero.

Orci: Khan was royalty; Nero is working class. Khan was from the distant past; Nero is from the distant future. And I think the focus of their obsession also defines them. For Khan it was Kirk, but for Nero…well we will find out what the focus of his obsession is.

This film is very much a back to basics approach with Kirk, Spock and the original crew. So why then did you go with the Romulans, instead of the more traditional original bad guys, the Klingons?

Orci: We wanted to do a mix, with some classic stuff, but with a twist. And the battle had already been won by fans of Mr. Worf to accept Klingons. So it seems to be going backwards into demonizing a race we had already made friends with on The Next Generation. Whereas the last time we see Nimoy’s Spock, he is in a tenuous sort of cold war with the Romulans. That was the last place where we left that character and we wanted to continue from his point of view.

How are Nero and his crew of Romulans different than the Romulans we have met before, like in "Balance of Terror" or in the Next Generation era?

Orci: The main difference is that they are loyal to each other, but they are not a diplomatic or military arm of the Romulan Empire. They are working-class, normal Romulans, who dreamt of a life in peace on their home planet with their families. They are not people who begin their journey as imperialists. Nero and his crew are not Empire builders.

Like Spock, Nero and his crew of Romulans have traveled back from the 24th century. Will we be seeing other Romulans besides Nero’s crew, maybe even some 23rd century Romulans?

Orci: No. Just like Khan is a singular villain, so too is Nero, and his crew.


Nero — a different kind Romulan

With all the change involved with this movie, what is the fundamental thing you need to still be a true Star Trek movie and not just a big sci-fi action movie with the name Star Trek.

Kurtzman: Two things. One is optimism. I think Star Trek is defined by optimism, even though it goes to very dark places, it is always ultimately a hopeful vision of the future. And the second is the sense of family. The bridge crew as family was always a staple of Trek.

Orci: I would add a third thing — you need a spaceship. I think this bodes poorly for a Deep Space Nine movie, but in my mind Star Trek means a beautiful ship that is your home.

Coming to the end of this three year process and having seen the film, what has been the most surprising thing in the final result?

Orci: So many things had to go right, it is a long list. For every single one of the cast members, when you see them you think ‘I can’t believe that worked.’ But for a headline from me, I would say I was surprised at how emotional it turned out. Especially for something that is considered a big action and sci-fi movie, the emotion is last word that comes to mind, but it really is emotional. Because again it was important to make it about the characters and the people not just make it about spectacle.

Kurtman: I agree with that.

You talked about how there was trepidation when you took on the project, but now after the film is done and fans have seen clips and trailers, are you now more relaxed?

Kurtzman: We have all been living in this world for the last three years. So the idea that it is finally going to be exposed to everybody is daunting, but at the same time very exciting. Inevitably there is going to be a group of people that don’t like what we did, but hopefully there will be more that do. The one thing I can say for sure is that we all did our homework — not just the two of us but Damon [Lindelof], JJ [Abrams], and Bryan [Burk] all really saturated ourselves in the world so that we knew that whatever choices we are making, we were informed. For that reason we are feeling confident, but nervous because it is such a big thing we are putting out there.

How much thought have you put into the sequel?

Kurtzman: A little bit.

Orci: Not a whole lot. We are superstitious about counting our chickens before they hatch.

Does your alternate timeline approach make anything possible in a sequel? So could Kirk and crew run into Khan, but have it play out totally differently than it did the first time?

Orci: Without a doubt. The benefit of doing it this way is that the universe is not entirely changed, but it is not entirely predictable anymore. So the same characters can encounter the same situations, but have different outcomes.


Buckle up for the sequel to Star Trek — where anything can happen

 

This and more in May’s Geek
To see a version of this interview, plus an interview with JJ Abrams and much more full coverage of Star Trek, pick up the May issue of Geek Magazine, on newsstands now.  

Comments

1. MORN SPEAKS - April 30, 2009

I want to know about the sequel before I even see the first movie!

2. Sean4000 - April 30, 2009

Hey guys! Congratulations on your bold new vision for Trek! It looks fantastic. The FX are top-notch!

3. Joe - April 30, 2009

This is gonna be good. I already have my tickets for the 7th and 8th.

4. Mee - May 1, 2009

As spock would say….Interesting. There always are….possibilities

5. Mee - May 1, 2009

ANYONe else sick of there ARCO gas station popups on this site?

6. Creed - May 1, 2009

Great interview, thanks very much.

7. Jordan - May 1, 2009

I still don’t really like the alternate timeline talk. I think its just a scapegoat they used as an excuse to do what they want.

8. Sean4000 - May 1, 2009

5, add the “adblock plus” add-on to your firefox browser if you’re using FF. Popups and ads begone!

9. Christopher Mulrooney - May 1, 2009

THE MOVIE IS AWLSOME> YOUR OUT OF YOUR VULCAN MIND IF YOU DON”T GO AND WATCH IT> I Was there at the premier and saw the screening it was AWLSOME . J.J. Abrams came in and announced the show before the start and everyone apploded at the finish.

A NEW AND GREAT TREK into the Star Trek Universe.

10. Deus - May 1, 2009

Already seen the movie this Wednesday on Czech preview screening and there are no words I can describe how brilliant the script is. So much humor and old Trek references. I almost laughed my guts out during Kobayashi Maru scene and over a reason why Scotty is on Delta Vega. Great work guys!!!

Can’t wait to see the movie for second, third and fourth time next week.

11. Pete359 - May 1, 2009

They certainly know their Trek, and I’m glad they aren’t making a film which is just for fans… because really that would be incredibly boring and I say that as a fan.

This movie is gonna be so awesome, I’ll be seeing it on opening night, I’ll be buying the DVD and Extended DVD which they *will* be release right Bob? ;)

And I’ll be just as excited and optimistic about the sequel.

12. Sogh Ho'neH jorDe' taI-VamPyr - May 1, 2009

Wow!! Makes you wonder what can happen? Even though we have TOS in the cxan.

13. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

9.
I was there too and agree completely. The only thing is Ive found that whether something got lost in editing or what that the prequel comics (Countdown) do not flow seamlessly in to this movie. There are a few lines that made me go ‘huh’?
I wont discuss those until everyone has seen the movie. Several things were cut from the movie so Im hoping for them to be in the DVD release.
Do NOT miss this movie. Yes, there were some things design wise I didnt like but those things are more then made up for with the story.

14. Charliehorse43 - May 1, 2009

It all sounds good to me.

15. fred - May 1, 2009

wow good interview just one thing i feel ds9 would make a great movie and it dose have a ship and if it was made right would be fabo

16. Chris Dawson - May 1, 2009

Got my ticket to ride!
Can’t wait . . .
Even though I work in the movie industry and have worked on three Trek films, I feel like I did waiting in line for ST-TMP and Empire Strikes Back when I was a kid . . . .!!!!

17. Ted - May 1, 2009

Woohoo got my ticket 7pm on the 7th

18. NTH - May 1, 2009

AT +0 S = D O x C2

Alternate Timeline + Original Storyline = Different Outcomes x constant squared (i.e. Canon)

A delicate balance offering a richness of possibilities for the future……… a winning formular. Perhaps the crewmembers futures have allready been changed in this alternate timeline,….I can’t wait to find out and share their new journeys and adventures with them.

19. captain_neill - May 1, 2009

As long as the orignal timeline is still intact somewhere then I am all for this movie.

What i hated at first when I heard the altered timeline was “Crap they are erasing 43 years of history just to make their version of Trek.” I have now mellowed as I know this will be an alternative to what we know and love and I for one am now really looking forward to the film.

Now I can treat this as mirror universe or one of the myriad universes they have now in the books.

Orci quantum Mechanics statement works for me and at least it allows for the original timeline to still be intact, where Kirk was on the Farragut and April was the first captain and Pike had his encounter at Talos IV. At least this can now still exist.

20. captain_neill - May 1, 2009

7- It is a scapegoat to allow them to get around canon inconsistencies.

I am looking forward to the new film but I am accepting it as new canon since we are now in an alternative timeline.

As long as the original timeline still exists I can live with the changes.

Not happy with all that Abrams has changed but as long as the film is Star trek then I can still enjoy it.

21. shadow - May 1, 2009

Am I the only one threatened by this new timeline? So much Trek just thrown away… I don’t know what’s real anymore!

Yes a week away form the new movie!!!

22. Star Trek XI: Fakten, Gerchte, Infos - Seite 275 - SciFi-Forum - May 1, 2009

[…] of the name seemed more important as an Easter egg, than a new name with no importance. INTERVIEW: Star Trek Writers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci | TrekMovie.com Was fr ein Vollidiot. __________________ Krieg ist die Fortsetzung der Diplomatie mit anderen […]

23. Page 2 | /Film - May 1, 2009

[…] TrekMovie has an indepth interview with Star Trek screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. […]

24. cagmar - May 1, 2009

WOW, great interview Anthony. Thank you!

But now I have a couple nits to pick:

(1) “Kurtzman: Once he tells that story about losing his wife, you get why he is so mad.”

Um. Why does everyone miss that Khan’s motivations were SO much more complex than just having his wife die? TWOK was more so, about Purpose in life. It was about closure. It was about relating to the universe and your place in it. Yes, there was revenge and it was a big part of the film – but revenge is such a complex thing, really…. Way to over simplify, Kurtzman. =P

(2) “Orci: I would add a third thing — you need a spaceship. I think this bodes poorly for a Deep Space Nine movie, but in my mind Star Trek means a beautiful ship that is your home.”

No, dude. A ‘star trek’ is ultimately just an exploration of humanity in the guise of a different planet each week. You can totally do that on Deep Space Nine and I think they did. Orci’s forgetting the much much much much more important exploration elements, the curiosity, new ideas, questions, and just finding innovative ways to understand the human race we see every single day. Here I was, so excited that Roberto was going to add to Kutzman’s decent answers and he blows it. Argh! This is very depressing for me, as a fan of Star Trek’s wonderment – and yet, its unending familiarity.

(3) “We moved the planet to suit our purposes. The familiarity of the name seemed more important as an Easter egg”

I really hope you didn’t just say this, Mr. Orci. if you keep up such an attitude of blind, narrative teasing it’s going to make problems . It is already a problem with Fringe, too — shows shouldn’t be so damn self-conscious. I don’t want a movie to tell me it’s trying to be cool, I just want to go, “Coool” on my own! This is a shocking and disappointing decision. Leave your Easter Eggs in the basket. You’re trying too hard!

25. Paulaner - May 1, 2009

These guys know what they are doing. They have a deep knowledge of Trek universe and every choice they make is there for a reason. I’m really optimistic about the future of our beloved franchise.

26. Enc - May 1, 2009

I too dont like this timeline/alt-vers talk

try this for a sec. remember that thundercats trailer ;)
do that to this trek. the entire film. rotoscope them out of the i-bridge and onto a tos and edit the film and dialogue to fit the prime universe.

im a bad boy. I shouldnt think things like that.

27. Enc - May 1, 2009

question

none of the footage ive seen made space look real (is that not what this movie is suppost to do. have a realism to its look/feel. for new audiance to relate to insted of a fantciful scifi geek movie). wheres the real llok to outer space.

Where is Porco’s work. this was her job in all this right?
or do i just not see it ’cause i have a didderant definition of this. of what it should be?

oh and im still not over losing the trailer from lost thread.

28. Admiral_BlackCat - May 1, 2009

“…so that we knew that whatever choices we are making, we were informed.”
That alone is reassuring. I believe that EVERY decision with this movie was a conscious one and nothing was left to chance.

29. ucdom - May 1, 2009

#27
Hi Enc

I’m a planetary scientist in London and I’m gonna be watching like a hawk for the planetary stuff – I know Carolyn Porco a little, and I’m keen to see what she might have contributed.
Will report my thoughts after watching the movie this Thursday (squeals like a girl)

30. RedShirtWalking - May 1, 2009

I use Chrome and I don’t see pop-ups.

Perhaps you need a good spyware remover?

31. xizro345 - May 1, 2009

“Alex Kurtzman: The characters have not changed as characters. They still have all the personality traits that we know of the original bridge crew.”

Spin, spin, spin. I actually don’t mind since I’ll rate the movie on its own, anyway I don’t understand why they have to PR spin instead of actually defending their choices.

32. New Horizon - May 1, 2009

Bought my advance tickets last week. :) Looking forward to seeing the movie.

Congrats to the writers and the entire team.

33. Holger - May 1, 2009

The time of guessing and interpreting limited information is over. This Wednesday I’ll watch the movie wearing my blue science uniform. Then I’ll see for myself if the movie is for me (a longstanding fan), too, or not.

34. mscottr - May 1, 2009

I love that they are simultaneously respectful of the original series and aware of what may be necessary to revitalize the franchise for the twenty-first century. I won’t be sorry to see time travel go. I’ll be seeing the movie on Thursday night. I sincerely hope this movie succeeds the way it seems like it will; these two are just the people we need to write Trek into a new century. Good luck, gentlemen.

35. C.S. Lewis - May 1, 2009

Saith the Orci:

“… given what kids are used to now with Star Wars and Transformers and Iron Man and the speed of those movies, it was going to be very hard to bring them back to a slow naval battle. …”

There is always electroshock therapy… Just kidding. A little less juvenile (i.e., youthful) excitement would be a good thing for our country.

Sincerely
C.S. Lewis

36. Kirk - May 1, 2009

“Alex Kurtzman: The characters have not changed as characters. They still have all the personality traits that we know of the original bridge crew. I think the gravest mistake would have been to try and reinvent the characters. That would have made everybody, including ourselves, very unhappy. It would have felt like violating sacred ground. This was a way to stay true to canon, and to take the stories in a new direction”

Ooookay, but you missed the point of canon. The point of canon isn’t is “keep the same personality of the characters”, but to keep same characters, on the same timeline, not alternate timeline. OK?

37. New Horizon - May 1, 2009

36. Kirk – May 1, 2009

Well, one could say you missed the point too.

Using elder Spock as the launching point, we will have traveled with him from his original timeline into the past. Spock’s journey from the original timeline into the altered timeline is canon. I’m sure it can be argued one way or the other from now until the end of time itself, but they have not violated canon. Elder Spock is simply our gateway into this timeline, and we’re there with him. The original universe still exists, we’re simply not going to be playing in it.

38. Weerd1 - May 1, 2009

One week until I can judge the film. I certainly hope my biggest complaint as a Canonite will be that they should have used Psi 2000 instead of Delta Vega. Established ice planet with a small Starfleet contingent. Then it’s even funnier when you have Scotty come out of the pipes on Enterprise talking about how he never takes a shower with his clothes on. If that turns out to be my biggest gripe, I’ll be good.

39. EM - May 1, 2009

I don’t care for this canon debate, so I’ll participate in it anyway.
Canon sucks! I won’t take this movie as an “alternate” anything.
Spock comes back in time, things get changed and the Enterprise
kids get to grow up all over again. End of story. No, wait……beginning
of story!!
I can’t wait to see this!

40. bwrvt94 - May 1, 2009

Please do not mess up Khan. That is the ultimate TREK. There are so many other story line to do than Khan.

So again pleaaaase do not do a Khan story.

41. Dennis Bailey - May 1, 2009

“Orci: I would add a third thing — you need a spaceship. I think this bodes poorly for a Deep Space Nine movie, but in my mind Star Trek means a beautiful ship that is your home.”

Good.

42. LordCheeseCakeBreath - May 1, 2009

Where did the LOST clip go? The one with the evil ice monster?

43. Walley - May 1, 2009

#38…
Orci and Kurtzman are shooting themselves right now for missing out on your brilliant idea! Fantastic!

44. AJ - May 1, 2009

36:

“The point of canon isn’t is “keep the same personality of the characters”, but to keep same characters, on the same timeline, not alternate timeline. OK?”

Canon refers to an accepted set of rules, or norms. Your definition takes it to massive extremes. It’s like saying the new actors ‘violate canon’ as they look different than the old ones did in 1966.

One omission of choice has to be Gary Mitchell, Kirk’s best friend, and a student of his at the Academy. He was never meant in Trek to last beyond pilot #2, and his presence in the ‘best friend’ capacity would have perhaps diluted the Kirk/Spock relationship. We’re not yet on our 5-year mission, so he could still show up, as could Chapel and even Rand. The new timeline allows all the elements we know and love in “Trek” to show up in sequels, but without a known outcome. I am looking forward to seeing what these guys will come up with.

45. Locke for President - May 1, 2009

It is best to go and watch this movie as any other movie, and judge it on its own merits.

It’s like being the youngest of 11 children, and everyone is judging you on your older siblings. It’s not fair.

The original Star Trek had its time. It’s glorious, long period of time. But those actors are dead or old. You can still watch them on DVD.

I just finished rewatching all the old movies to get ready for this one. And seeing them on my large Hi-Def TV was a treat. They were like watching new movies.

However, it also made me sad. Because one by one, the actors in these movies are going or gone.

McCoy. Scotty. Illia. Kahn. Capt. Terrell. Carol and David Marcus. Sarek. The Vulcan High Priestess. Adm. Cartright. I’m sure I’ve missed a few. As I watched each movie in progression, the dead people kept showing up on screen.

And it made me sad.

So I’m ready for a new crew, with new adventures. Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young.

46. CJS - May 1, 2009

The best episodes of the last season of Enterprise (and I use the term ‘best’ loosely) were those set in an alternate reality, the Empire reality of TOS’ Mirror, Mirror. One of the Best Episodes of TNG was set in an alternate reality (Yesterday’s Enterprise). Any Star Trek fan who rejects an alternate reality hasn’t really been paying attention for the last 40 years.

Now there’s your possibility for a Shatner role in the sequel, either a cross universe adventure that brings future Kirk into the new alternate reality or alternate reality Kirk who doesn’t die on Enterprise B does some time traveling of his own (or as a framing device he is used telling the story that will unroll as the film).

47. Blowback - May 1, 2009

I agree with the need for a spaceship…

Not that DS9 wasn’t a decent series but even they had to explore from time to time. I think Babylon 5 had a similar issue. While good stories could play out on the station sometimes you need to go looking for trouble! :-)

48. Jorg Sacul - May 1, 2009

Bob Orci: If you do bring in the character of Yeoman Rand for the sequel, I only have one suggestion: Hayden Panettiere. Get her agent on the phone TODAY!

just a thought. :)

LL&P

49. AJ - May 1, 2009

I think DS9 early on had to compensate for the station’s inability to move. The runabouts were just ferry-boats, so the Defiant gave the crew some mobility. They quickly disposed of that snarky Romulan who was in charge of the cloaking device, and voila, a ship.

50. Dalek - May 1, 2009

Delta vega was just a reference for us geeks to show these guys are hardcore Trekkies like us. It doesn’t have to be the same identical planet as the one by the great barrier.

51. Weerd1 - May 1, 2009

I am the first to admit “canon” is a tern thrown around too casually, and perhaps gives too much gravitas to what we really mean- fidelity of your story. It has to make sense. If I did a two hour movie, and every time the hero drove his car it was a different make or model, without explanation, it would detract from the movie. Inconsistencies in a standard narrative stand out, pull you as the reader/watcher out of the story, and are generally indicative of poor writing. I am also the first to admit as a fan it must be INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to write Star Trek. We’re not just talking about 2 hours of consistency, but something like 700. I am very intrigued by the solution the writers have gone for here, provided they are consistent with their own solution! That’s why I can forgive Delta Vega, but am disappointed. The planet being in a different location is inconsistent with the explanation of why Mitchell is gone, and Kirk is a snotnosed townie, etc. If they want this to be a continuation of the original timeline, just altered, I can get on board, but I have to see the movie and see how consistent that explanation is in this portrayal. Otherwise, the movie may not only violate established Trek canon (i.e. consistency) but its own canon/consistency as well!

I look forward to finding out. Now, excuse me. I am going to go take a shower with my clothes on.

52. 750 Mang - May 1, 2009

It must take a hell of a time disruption to move a planet like Delta Vega half way across the quadrant. Maybe Delta Vega is actually the island from Lost.

JK folks.

Looking forward to it.

LL&P

53. Jamjumetley - May 1, 2009

They are right about the ship! You simply need one!

I am not sure what to think about this time travel and alterative timeline. What happens if they want to go back to the old one? There will be a huge mess… After I see the movie please let me decide on my own how should I treat it.

54. Alex - May 1, 2009

I think it would be fun if Star Trek XII incorporated the idea of the Morror Universe. The ISS Enterpise could still look like the Classic ship, Kirk et al could be donw with computer animation (they did the same thing with young McKellen and Stewart for X3 and Schwarzenegger for Terminator Salvation). That way, you could have the new Trek and the old Trek up against each other, plus voice cameos by the entire TOS cast. Woohoo… :-)

55. opcode - May 1, 2009

It seems like a lot of this movie ended on the cutting room floor. It’s too bad, the movie seems to have a lot of stuff going on, and perhaps a little more movie time would have helped. The decision of keeping it 120min sounds like a studio decision to me. In a time where every major summer movie seems to be 3 hours long, why not ST? The Dark Knight has almost 1 hour of useless material, with a second villain showing up in the third act of the movie, and a subplot about people in a boat, so why couldn’t Paramount give ST some extra 30min? As long as there is a relevant story to be told, I don’t have a problem with long movies.

56. 750 Mang - May 1, 2009

A side note on DS9, they too realized that they needed a ship and therefore the Defiant was created. I’m watching Season Seven of DS9 now. It really became an extraordinary show.

Also combing through Season Six of Voyager now. For every interesting episode there are three that are unwatchable. So sad.

LL&P

57. Weerd1 - May 1, 2009

51- that’s “term” of course, not “tern.” No one is throwing around seagulls I hope.

43- Thank you Walley.

58. 750 Mang - May 1, 2009

55. opcode – May 1, 2009

I agree. If it’s a good movie, it can be can be fifteen hours long.

However, JJ has said recently in interviews that he’s sick of all these long movies and that if you can’t get it done in 120 minutes then something’s wrong.

I can see his point too.

It would be super-cool to have a longer cut with the Klingon stuff released on DVD. Unless they suck! lol.

LL&P

59. Jorg Sacul - May 1, 2009

It was the Moody Blues album, “Days of Future Passed” that made me buy a CD player– now it looks like TOS Remastered will bring me into the Blu-Ray world. From all I’m hearing about special inclusions on the ST09 release in November, I’ll be just in time. If it contains an extra disk, that’s fine with me. MORE!! MORE!! MORE!!

I like Star Trek, it’s exciting!!

60. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

#59 Jorg … I like the Moodies too. I even interviewed Hayward & Lodge awhile back. But then, I’m a pretty big music geek in general.

61. TrekDude - May 1, 2009

“Does your alternate timeline approach make anything possible in a sequel? So could Kirk and crew run into Khan, but have it play out totally differently than it did the first time?

Orci: Without a doubt. The benefit of doing it this way is that the universe is not entirely changed, but it is not entirely predictable anymore. So the same characters can encounter the same situations, but have different outcomes.”

As a long term Trekker I must admit that it makes me really really sad to read this. Even if most people don’t care I have to let my opinion out somewhere. I know some of you guys will be able to relate.

Kudos to the writers of the new movie though… I have to say it’s very clever to create a reboot and to stay within canon at the same time. The explanation how things happen so that it comes to this movie is nothing less than brilliant.

Yet my enthusiasm for this new movie has reached a new low. I will go watch it and I will probably like it… still it’ll leave me with a bad aftertaste, because my whole emotional investment into the movie is gone.

I don’t like that the “prime” (a.k.a. old) universe of Trek gets pushed aside by the one in the new timeline just like that where anything can happen again. In my opinion the old universe as we knew it had a lot to offer, new things could easily be created in it. In my opinion it would have been even possible to create a new series/movie in it that would have had the same premisses. Nobody would require any kind of knowledge of what came before, we’d just be all introduced to a new group of people or faction, like let’s say settlers for example, and they would have gone out and would have had their own adventures. Sadly it’s not going to happen that way.

Now, I do understand as well why it’s important to use characters that are known, it’s basically done to have an anchor so that even non-fans of Trek can relate and know who this movie is about. Known characters attract a bigger audience. It’s a clever business decision.

Still, in a way the Star Trek I grew up with has been replaced. All what remains is the shell of what came before. I’ll keep an open mind towards it… always have. It doesn’t ruin my world that things turned out like they did and I’m not mad at anyone, but my sadness about what I feel is a waste of opportunities will remain.

Thanks for reading, if you did. :)

62. Julio - May 1, 2009

Fantastic interview!

You know, the whole realization that these characters are in an alternate timeline could’ve really led to some introspective and emotional scenes. Scenes which unfortunately – from the reviews I’ve read – don’t happen.

63. Craig - May 1, 2009

These guys should be ashamed of themselves I hope the budget is at least halfed for the sequel spend less on flashy graphics on more on the story. Apparently if you want to know what motivates Nero the main villain you have to read a bloody comic. Here’s a thought put your films story in the actual movie and spend less time wasting money and screen time on CGI.

64. Nathan - May 1, 2009

I am…ambivalent about the whole “alternate timeline” thing. But so long as the movie itself is good, I could care less.

Can’t wait to see it!

65. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#21—“Am I the only one threatened by this new timeline? So much Trek just thrown away… I don’t know what’s real anymore!”

Well….none of it was real.

But I don’t get the notion that anything is “thrown away”. Everything we know as canon (ENT-NEM) is still very much intact as part of the Star Trek mythos. In fact, it is the events depicted in those 5 live-action series and 10 previous films which form the timeline that leads the story to this point.

The story in ST09 not only “honors” what we know as canon (by beginning in the post-Nemesis era and delivering two important characters who are products of that timeline as catalysts for the timline alterations), but is absolutely dependant upon it.

If you look at Star Trek as a much broader story, it is clear that everything which transpires prior to the timeline incursion is still very much an essential part of that braoder story.

The “altered timeline” cannot exist without the old one.

It is easy for me to view this film as a “sequel” to all of the Trek stories I have loved for decades. I cannot imagine ever feeling “threatened” by it at all.

I think that Bob Orci explains it well: ” We always felt that Star Trek fans can handle paradoxes and multiple interesting thoughts. Yeah, that is why we couldn’t say ‘no’ once we hit upon the idea of it being both a prequel and a sequel. It is literally a film for two audiences. If you know Trek, then you understand where it all comes from. If you aren’t, it acts very much as a prequel.”

For old guard fans (and potential newcomers who wish to go back and look at what came before), it is a sequel.

For newcomers who do not wish to go back and look at what came before, it can simply be a prequel.

Judging by the reactions of those who have seen the film (both old and new fans alike), it seems that the goal of “two movies in one” has been effectively attained. Even the most critical of reviews I have read thusfar have still been generally positive. I have yet to read a review in which the author does not suggest (or at least imply) that he/she is anxious to see it again. And even though I expect the “reviews” to come down to Earth at some point, I am thoroughly amazed at the overwhelmingly positive reaction so far across the board.

66. xizro345 - May 1, 2009

#61

Actually it’s a reboot, point and simple. THey’re keep throwing excuses instead of holding their ground, and that annoyes me a lot. It’s puzzling that they fear the “old guard” so much they simply refuse to say they rebooted the whole thing on a pure commercial base – after all movies are done to make money – and their vision (if successful) will become the only one – I’m not saying it in a negative term, but simply stating a fact (I don’t care particularly about it as TOS is the least favorite series for me). I’ll judge for myself when I’ll see the movie. And no, I don’t believe anything they say, in the movie section no one speaks the truth ever.

67. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#66—-By definition, it isn’t.

A reboot (as applied to a fiction series) requires that previously established continuity is either ignored or discarded.

Since previously established continuity is essential to the story in ST09, it simply doesn’t meet that criteria.

68. xizro345 - May 1, 2009

Well, they SAY the continuity is the same, but again, that’s a minor nitpick for a minority that has since long ceased to be the focus of this movie. Again, I’m not saying this on a moral ground, simply stating a fact.
The fact that Spock Prime and Nero are present doesn’t mean anything – everything that comes after this movie will be set there, and not in the old one, despite different claims.

69. TrekDude - May 1, 2009

#66

I agree, it’s a reboot, but one explained by canon… and that we all should honor, because I guess it has never been done this way with any other franchise before. It means a lot that they’ve been doing that for Trek. It shows how much they honestly value it, but fact remains… the old universe gets pushed aside and in my opinion that’s an unnecessary evil.

You can start a new series from scratch, even in this dated and old universe. It was kind of done in the Countdown comics and it was done well. Think only about the possibilities what could be done with the universe now that Romulus and Remus are gone. There are endless new possibilities for new developments.

TNG, DS9, VOY and heck even ENT showed what was possible to do with that universe. They were all based off of TOS, each time it was a new crew… new characters we needed to learn about who they were and what they were up to.

I understand why the production crew and the studio decided to start anew after all this, simply because Trekfans started fighting over their beloved continuity and over their views what they thought was right. Inconsiestencies are normal after such a long time of story telling, so in a way maybe this movie was the only right way to go if you want to keep Trek alive, but… sigh… it doesn’t feel fair for that what has come before. Cause it just leaves it all out of the picture.

It’s as if you would recreate something like let’s say the Mona Lisa painting… only to make it hip and cool today and everyone would then go and say how the new painting is so much better than the old and they’d forget the original that it was based off. Plain and simple, it is not the original anymore.

I’m sad that the industry just has given up like that about the original Star Trek that easily.

70. Anthony Pascale - May 1, 2009

I don’t get this whole need to pin down what word we can label this as…the truth is out there now so you know what it is.

It is an alternative timeline that kicks off from the continuity following the events of Star Trek from TOS to NEMESIS.

Reboot is a word that has many meanings TMP was a reboot, TNG was a reboot, TWOK was a reboot…all in terms of a studio attempt to bring a new approach to the franchise. But if you want to say this film is a total canon reboot like BSG or even Batman Begins, well that is just not accurate.

The fact is the film somewhat defies traditional labels. It truly is a prequel, a sequel, and a reboot to an extent all in one. JJ joked at the press conference about how it needs its own new label.

but i suggest just try and enjoy it and not pigeonhole it

71. pd18 - May 1, 2009

I saw it last night! First screening in Canada… and let me tell you, they NAILED it! It was everything I was expecting/hoping it to be. The epic scale, cast, VFX all were to a level unparalleled in Trek before. But it was the story, the humor and the performances of these characters that really blew me away. Is it different? Sure, but it was unmistakeably Star Trek as well. Chris Pine, in particular really impressed me. Like Harrison Ford in Episode IV, he is about to become a huge movie star… Next week, you all are in for a real treat! I can’t wait to see it again, to soak in all the little details…

72. TrekDude - May 1, 2009

#70

Anthony, to make one thing very clear here, I’m not against redesigns, changes or whatever done to Trek to keep it alive. In fact I welcome them with open arms. The word reboot never bothered me, because it is as you say, all Star Trek shows have been some sort of reboot.

What makes me sad though is that basically with the alternate timeline idea Star Trek history can be rewritten and everything what this new movie honors today will then soon be forgotten and entirely replaced by the new history this movie creates.

In my opinion that is just not fair to the old creators of the show, the old fans and everybody else who was involved in it.

73. Colonel West - May 1, 2009

great interview Anthony and you can tell from Bob and Alex’s answers that we’re in good hands. As Scotty said in “Relics”:

“Here’s to ye lads…”

Bob if your reading you could have thrown us Niners a bone and not specifically mentioned the chances of a DS9 movie being non existent! [/joke]

also i loved that they didn’t definitely rule out some more prime universe Trek (all depending on circumstance of course!) even though understandably the concentration will obviously and rightly be on the new one.

By the way, what are we calling the new universe?! (yes I know that’s an oymoron ;) ) We have the prime universe, the mirror universe, heck even the shatnerverse…

JJverse?
Orciverse?
Neroverse as he’s the reason things are the way they are?

answers on a postcard…

5 days till the previews over here and I can’t wait!

74. xizro345 - May 1, 2009

Anthony – I simply think Orci & Kurtzman have chosen the easy way out to support their choices. Instead of saying it was “needed” in their (and JJ’s) opinion, they go into a big circular discussion to try and justify them by setting a “ST vision” so to speak. They don’t need to reassure old fans, because that’s a minority. ST will be “saved” if the movie goes well (big word, as it’s simply movie/television entertainment) by the new public, not the old one. So, why trying pointless (IMO) justifications like the “quantum theory” thing? Why not telling the truth, that a movie like the old ones, including the successful ones, would have tanked today?
If you want to nitpick, then it’s an “alternative” timeline, but in the end nothing changes, it’s not, and never will be, what has been before.
As for the movie, again I say I’ll judge it on its own, though the trailers showed a way of directing I totally dislike, but I hope I’m wrong.

75. The Original Spock's Brain - May 1, 2009

On Friday, May 8, 2009, a group of us (fans and newbies) is going to see the it at the Edwards Marq*e IMAX, 7620 Katy Freeway, HOUSTON, TX (the 9:55 p.m. show on IMAX). You’re welcome to joins us.

I’ll have “Trekmovie: Houston Chapter” sign or something to help you find our group. You can contact me through my website.

76. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#68—-“The fact that Spock Prime and Nero are present doesn’t mean anything – everything that comes after this movie will be set there, and not in the old one, despite different claims.”

I absolutely agree that, going forward, future stories are most likely going to take place in the altered timeline.

But what I am suggesting is that the very notion that the timeline (within the fictional Star Trek Universe) is subject to being altered by interference with the past is *part* of that continuity (and/or “canon”). The timeline is indeed altered, but it is done quite canonically. This is an element of Trek continuity nearly as old as the Original Series itself (dating back to the first season of TOS).

And that, in my opinion, is what separates this film from a “traditional” reboot (like “Batman Begins”, for example).

“They don’t need to reassure old fans, because that’s a minority. ST will be “saved” if the movie goes well…by the new public, not the old one. So, why (try) pointless (IMO) justifications like the “quantum theory” thing?…If you want to nitpick, then it’s an “alternative” timeline, but in the end nothing changes, it’s not, and never will be, what has been before.”

In that respect, you might call it a “functional” reboot—but one which does not violate established continuity (since the method itself is a part of that continuity). As to the reason for what you refer to as “justifications”, all that I can say is that fans like me appreciate that, so it’s hardly pointless.

It may not matter to you and some other fans, but I (and I am certainly not alone) appreciate it. Just because you find no value in it does not render it pointless. The perspectives of others (like myself) are equally valuable.

The existing fanbase is quite diverse. Many will likely appreciate this film, and still others may reject it because they disagree with the creative decision to vacate the original timeline or any one of a thousand different reasons.

In truth, I fail to see any difference between that and the fact that I didn’t like the creative direction of TNG. Even that did not please everyone, nor should this film have been expected to do so—alternate timeline and original characters or not.

I hope you like the film. I really do. But should you not, it won’t be the first time an existing fan has been disappointed with the outcome of a new Trek production. I have been largely disappointed (with a few exceptions) for the last 20 years!

77. Daoud - May 1, 2009

#73 IF you take O&K’s “Star Trek Zero” title, you can call this the “Zeroverse” :)

#0 Delta Vega doesn’t really present any problems, because the “Energy Barrier” could have been rather close to Earth and Vulcan. The USS Valiant went there soon after Cochrane launched in the Phoenix. Ergo, since Valiant was destroyed, it’s no wonder no one would go on a mission there until 2265 under the direction of Kirk’s Enterprise.

I agree Psi 2000 would have worked, but that’s a mouthful. Delta is a familiar greek letter, and Vega is a bright star. It’s clearly a “somewhere out there”. Psi 2000 sounds like a bad show on SyFy, paired up with Cleopatra 2525 (in joke on purpose!!). Hey, they could call a planet Cleopatra 2525 in the sequel! ;)

78. Pat Payne - May 1, 2009

@70: Anthony, how bout this label:

“A movie.” And hopefully ” a damn good movie.” :)

79. Windsor Bear - May 1, 2009

“The fact is the film somewhat defies traditional labels. It truly is a prequel, a sequel, and a reboot to an extent all in one. JJ joked at the press conference about how it needs its own new label.”

In other words, it is “New Coke”. Somewhat like original Coke, familiar name, but very different taste. New can, new look, and formulated to fit “today’s generation”, as original Coke was just too old to appeal to anyone anymore.

Wonder if it will last as long as “New Coke” did. And will the original come back as “Star Trek Classic”?

80. Pat Payne - May 1, 2009

@72: While I understand your concern, it’s not really valid. Gamers go through the same angst every time a new edition fo their favorite game comes out (in the D&D community, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the recently-released 4th Edition, a game I find to be somewhat anathemical to the spirit of D&D). However, people who say “it’s ruined” or “it’s the end of the that I know and love” forget one thing.

Black-shirted goons are not taking your, or my, TOS DVDs away, in the same way nobody’s coming to try and pry my 1st Edition AD&D books out of my hands. Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley, Stewart, Spiner, McFadden, Brooks, Farrell, Siddig, Mulgrew, Russ, Picardo and Bakula, Blalock and Billingsley are not going away, their contributions to disappear. Old School Trek, granted, may not be produced again as a professional production (even if they did, it’s granted it would be recast, as Nimoy and Shatner are too old, and De Kelley’s sadly no longer with us), but it’s hardly going to be submerged and subsumed by the new Trek.

81. Pat Payne - May 1, 2009

@80: The “not realy valid” I just realized may come off as unintentionally dismissive. That’s not my intent. I meant the argument is not quite valid, for the reasons I laid out, but not the sentiment.

82. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#79—-The thing about it is, for every “New Coke”, there is a “Superman: The Movie”, or a “Batman Begins”.

While changing up something isn’t always positive in the result, it certainly isn’t always negative either.

But pessimists always have the flawed “New Coke” analogy to fall back on, don’t they?

83. Robert Gillis - May 1, 2009

I have always believed that the “buckle up line” with Kirk in the in the gold shirt is the final scene in the film as it warps off to new adventures.

What makes me happy is that with the alternate timeline, the canon arguments are rendered moot. And I think in many of our minds, when we see the film, we will say, ‘yes, that is exactly how it all began”

Still not sure how they are going to explain why Saavik looked so different between Star Trek II and III. {grins}

GREAT INTERVIEW!

84. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

Fortunately, this movie is a lot more like Casino Royale or Batman Begins than New Coke. This is going to work.

85. Robert Gillis - May 1, 2009

What I would LOVE to see is Spock Prime telling Kirk not to go to the commissioning of the Enterprise-B. Of even better, telling Kirk, “When you meet Picard in the Nexus, tell him to go back to when Soren is in 10-forward and arrest him then, not four minutes before he blows up Veridian III.”

I would love any reference that Kirk is still alive in the 24th century.

86. RD - May 1, 2009

ORCI – “What is there for fans going forward is the fact that the universe as it was is not going to be completely ignored as long as we are around.”

YES – 99% NEW, 1% PRESERVED MEANINGLESS TRVIA (Naming a planet Delta Vega despite it not being Delat Vega just because it’s familiar from canon). You don’t “completely” ignore canon, just mostly.

KURTZMAN – “So we thought must be respectful to the naval battle aspect of the franchise, and yet we can bring something else to it.”

NAVAL BATTLES HAVE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SEQUEL WHEN THEY DECIDE IT’S OK TO ADD SPACE FIGHTERS TO THE ENTERPRISE LIKE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA OR STAR WARS?

Seriously, the way these guys pay lip-service to Trek and then do whatever they damn well please, it’s possible. I can justify this without blinking an eye, imagine what they can do? All you need is a good reason, like the Klingons in this alternate universe have developed a lot of “raptor” like fighter crafts to get in under a “battleship’s” guns to disable key systems. From there it is only a hop-skip-and-a-jump to Millennium Falcon-type manned deck guns spaced throughout the Enterprise and then – you guessed it, space fighters shooting out of the launch bays like Stargate SG-1.

DO I CARE? NOT REALLY. BUT SOME FANS WHO HAVE DRUNK THE COOL AIDE DO CARE. All I’m saying is be careful what you sign up for by standing behind Orci & Kurtzman as the new torch bearers. It’s going to keep changing.

FINALLY, WHO CARES IF THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE STILL EXISTS? It’s not like they were going to burn TOS and eradicate 80 episodes and 6 films from the Earth. However, don’t expect to ever go back to that universe during your lifetime. I mean what would they do, have an OLD PINE/KIRK go back in time to the original universe to rescue “PRIME” KIRK from certain death on Tarsus IV and recast the original universe?

ALL I KNOW IS THIS IS GOING TO WREAK HAVOK WITH CANON SITES LIKE MEMORY ALPHA. Every entry is going to have to have two completely different histories. There are now three Kirks: PRIME KIRK, MIRROR PRIME KIRK and ALTERNATE KIRK – and then there’s MIRROR ALTERNATE KIRK. I would hate to be that site’s web master!

In the end the only question I have is REALLY!? Really you had to throw out everything we know and not just use existing canon to tell more stories?

KURTZMAN – ” If you know how they die, you can never put them into real jeopardy.”

REALLY!? The series is about Kirk and Spock. PERIOD. Can you really ever believe they would be killed? How does knowing they will survive diminish the excitement of the ride, or integrity of how they deal with each new problem? I think Start Trek can be summed up quickly by the Kobayashi Maru test. The point of the test is NOT whether you live or die, but how you handle it. It is a test of character and that’s what is really at the heart of Star Trek, learning from these classic characters about what is truly important in every situation we face in life. Not whether they survive themselves.

Yes, I have to agree with many others, I think Orci & Kurtzman have totally missed the point.

87. Robert Gillis - May 1, 2009

With thanks to Austin powers, best quote ever regarding canon / prequel / reboot / sequel / alternate timeline:

Austin: Wait a tick. Basil, if I travel back to 1969 and I was frozen in 1967, presumeably, I could go back and visit my frozen self. But, if I’m still frozen in 1967, how could I have been unthawed in the ’90s and traveled back to…

[goes cross-eyed]

Austin: Oh, no, I’ve gone cross-eyed.

Basil: I suggest you don’t worry about those things and just enjoy yourself.

[to camera]

Basil: That goes for you all, too.

Austin: Yes.

88. DavidJ - May 1, 2009

No worries about there not being a DS9 movie. I absolutely LOVED the series (and it irritates me that it still doesn’t get the respect it deserves), but it’s story has been told already.

A movie would likely avoid all the Dominion/Founders stuff anyway, in which case what would be the point? A standalone adventure wouldn’t fit the character of the show at all.

89. Windsor Bear - May 1, 2009

82 – “But pessimists always have the flawed “New Coke” analogy to fall back on, don’t they?”

I guess “New Coke” didn’t have the luxury of an alternate timeline to explain the changes.

90. Spock's Uncle - May 1, 2009

“There are always possibilities…” and by opening up a new timeline, and dramatic frame in which to delve into the characters we love. And hearing an affirmation that the characters are at their core OUR beloved characters is a good thing. We also know that in the Prime Timeline, Kirk & crew continue as they have before (and sadly Kirk dies a nearly meaningless death after leaving the Nexus–silly). If anything, this timeline gives us the opportunity to correct some dramatic failures from previous Trek incarnations. And it gives us a whole new 5 year mission to explore. Love it! (if I had emotions, that is).

91. AJ - May 1, 2009

What I still find strange is that Paramount is still using ‘old Star Trek’ as a whipping boy for ‘new Star Trek.’

OK, we get that Trek essentially fizzled out somewhere in and around DS9, and that the last two films were useless. It’s all over the growing gaggle of reviews and articles. Trek needs a break, it was ‘getting tired,’ etc. It’s all true.

So how does that get new fans to go buy the existing product? An ongoing series of blockbuster Trek films should be a way to boost sales of TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT products and the whole film back-catalog. From a marketing perspective, CBS is shooting itself in the foot by saying “our Trek back-catalog mostly sucks. Please buy it anyway.” That’s the message out there right now.

Now, Paramount/CBS has to pull it all together and reverse-engineer the message. The crowd of Trek newbies expected by summer’s end will be looking for more product. TOS-R is out there, but TNG through ENT have to be re-launched and re-packaged, and maybe re-priced to appeal to the new, younger content-seeking consumer. Cheap sample packs have been tried with eps across all series. Do it again. Stream exemplary eps on the Internet for free, and get the newbs in to Star Trek, not just Star Trek XI.

What I fear is that when the DVD is released, the website will close, and the merch will disappear, and Paramount will hang a sign “see you in two years” as it’s been with prior film launches.

This time around, I hope there is money to keep active interest alive, as Star Wars does on their site, or LOTR did for the course of the Trilogy and beyond (it’s still up now).

92. Jorg Sacul - May 1, 2009

In the future, there will be a term used to describe the recreation/revisualization of a cherished production by a new generation of artists. . We won’t have to wade through “reboot” or “reimagined” anymore.

They will say it’s been “Trekked”.

I hope that will be considered a good term.

93. TrekDude - May 1, 2009

#80

Thank you for understanding, and yes, you’re right. Old Trek is not going away and will remain in the form we have now. On DVDs and all of that.

Mind you, I was never against the recasting of the old characters in the first place. To me the imagined characters are important and Kirk, Spock, McCoy and all the others aren’t bound to their actors that much like it might be the case for some other fans. The sad thing is though, and you put that very nicely as well, that nothing new will be created in the old universe that we know and that to me is an unnecessary evil.

We don’t need a Star Trek 2.0, just Star Trek would have been enough, this imagined universe and the imagined characters that live in it provide everything you need to tell exciting and new stories. In my opinion it’s just not fair to everyone who came before, Berman and Braga included, and all the fans who cared for this.

And just so you know, I am in my mid-twenties, and not one of the “really old” Trekkers/Trekkies out there. I grew mostly up with TNG in the first place, but none the less I value TOS. I care for the entire universe and the imagination and creativity that has been put into it to make it possible.

With that said, I do not want to insult any of that what the new production crew has created, they have a right to do what they’ve done and I think they did it well, but to me it feels like as if the old people have done their stuff and now we bring in somebody new. Guess it’s part of the current zeitgeist that things aren’t lasting longer than a couple of years anymore and then they get recreated/reimagined… and whatever else.

The really sad thing about this is that nothing else will probably happen to the current production crew when they aren’t selling anymore.

94. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#91—I get what you’re saying, AJ. But in all fairness, there is probably good reason for TPTB to believe that the benefits of distancing ST09 (and potential sequels) from the Star Trek of the recent past will outweigh any possibility that new and younger fans were somehow going to start purchasing old dvd sets.

They probably stand to make a whole lot more money selling not only theater tickets to ST09 and any followup films, but dvd’s, bluray discs, special edition sets, director’s cut sets, toys, etc. than they were ever going to by trying to entice new buyers toward the older stuff.

You can afford to take one step back, so long as you take two or three steps forward in the long run.

And after all, people like us (like me, anyway) are still willing to spend money on things like Blu-Ray TOS and possibly Blu-Ray Original Movies, etc. No one (at least not in significant numbers) outside of our niche was going to do that anyway.

As long as, in the end, they entice more people to buy/spend money on their new stuff with the “distancing” strategy than they might have otherwise, then the strategy is sound. There will never be a frame of reference with which to prove that one way or another, but I would bet that if this film and next bring in substantial returns, they’ll feel quite comfortable about it.

I would.

95. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

38, 51, 52. As 50 mentioned, the Delta Vega in the film does not have to be the same identical planet as the one by the great barrier. The discoverer of the Delta Vega in the second pilot may have decided to designate a closer, colder planet by that name, and the farther, warmer planet in the pilot by an another name, perhaps Epsilon (or a later letter in the Greek alphabet, or even a number) Vega (the discoverer might have been an Earth colonist from the Vega Colony and just preferred to name his discoveries after his home colony, presumably with the approval of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) or its successors).

Incidentally, Vega is the common name of the real star Alpha Lyrae, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the harp.

96. shadow - May 1, 2009

#65 (Closettrekker)

Haha, yeah thanks, of course none of its real.

Thanks for calming my nerves. And of course I’m going to love this movie, seeing those characters I love on the big screen again and seeing this series have new life breathed into it. I actually just wrote this long elaborate thing about how yes the Star Trek mythos and universe we know is what leads up to this movie, butt once that’s done and over with, we’re forced to start fresh. But as I wrote that, I began to understand that this is a different crew, the spirits or character may be the same, but it is a new crew with new adventures to go on and that’s what I was having trouble accepting because I know and love the TOS characters and the TNG characters and want them to still have a chance to exist in this new universe, but that’s not what this is about.

This is brilliant, taking the old characters and finding a plausible way within the broad story to write new stories for them and that’s great. Just as long as I remember that they are not the old. I guess I was just confused because usually when Trek goes into the past, it is assumed that whatever meddling they do, it is apart of the same timeline they return to. Just this time, there is nothing to return to, except for the MMORPG.

As a second generation Trekker, I guess I never had to experience that switch in the movies, like in Generations where TOS fans just had to let the TNG crew take over and try to give you decent stories, and almost completely retiring the old cast. Now I have to let TNG go and embrace this new crew with the spirit of the old.

97. AJ - May 1, 2009

RD:

“NAVAL BATTLES HAVE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SEQUEL WHEN THEY DECIDE IT’S OK TO ADD SPACE FIGHTERS TO THE ENTERPRISE LIKE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA OR STAR WARS?”

Recommended viewing: ‘ST II: The Wrath of Khan.’

And you are making things up which do not exist in the film, or in the as yet unwritten sequel. And there are no Klingons in the film, either.

“YES – 99% NEW, 1% PRESERVED MEANINGLESS TRVIA” (sic)

In that 1%:

* The entire crew of the USS Enterprise, including the Enterprise
* Captain Pike
* Starfleet Command/Academy and the Federation. Based in SF, CA.
* Spock’s parents and upbringing. Vulcan.
* Kirk’s parents, George and Winona
* The Romulan Empire
* Phasers, transporters, warp drive, communicators and tricorders
* Ambassador Spock (Prime)
* Mention of Cardassians
* Mention of Admiral Archer (still canon, BTW)
* Mention of Andorians
* Shuttlecrafts
* Delta Vega
* Admiral Komack
* Tribbles
* Red Shirts

And when I see the film, I’ll add to the list.

These guys have been extremely careful in their treatment of Star Trek, so I am at odds with you sense of alarm.

98. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

52. That’s really funny.

99. RD - May 1, 2009

#67 Closettrekker, I know what you are saying here and as always I respectfully disagree.

Officially this is NOT a “reboot”. Technically it is.

Your entire argument hinges on the fact that this movie cannot exist without the connection to the “Prime” universe, bridged by a comic book (THE FIRST EVER TO BE CONSIDERED CANON – LOL!!!), and the inclusion of Leonard Nimoy reprising his “Prime” Spock in the new alternate universe.

However, my argument would go something like this: if you can cut out the Nimoy material and maintain a cohesive story (i.e. bad guy comes back in time to destroy worlds to seek his revenge and new cadets come together to defeat him) will a new audience miss a beat? Doubtful. I think this is the whole premise behind Parmount and the Triumvirate’s decision to do this to the franchise. We’ll have to wait and see the movie to know for sure.

Either way, this movie fulfills the basic premise of a Reboot by your definition: they have discarded or ignored all established continuity in favor of creating all new continuity. Let me re-phrase: for all practical purposes they have ignored significant continuity on a going forward basis.

I could care less how Paramount wants to spin it, but by Orci’s own admission in this interview, they are free to do anything they want now. And just like Battlestar Galactica which is an unarguable reboot, everything in this universe has changed too, though the key characters remain intact and generally have the same “souls”. Heck they could have even made Sulu an openly gay man in homage to Takei, or even made Checkov a woman (a lusty Russian woman stereo-type LOL). I mean why not? Everything else has changed.

And respectfully to Anthony Pascale, whom I thank for this site and tireless efforts and generous contributions to the Trek community, I completely disagree that this movie is anything like the minor cosmetic changes made to STTMP, TWOK, TNG, ENT, etc. This is more than updating the look of this franchise and injecting a little more action, this is wiping the slate clean, whether under the guise of canon or otherwise, something those franchises never did. They never changed Kirk’s history, they built on it.

I think this movie os going to be a lot of fun. I think it’s going to do well. I think it is going to attract a lot of new fans and breath life back into a dying franchise. I think every Star Trek fan will eventually embrace this “reboot” of the franchise even if they are skeptical now, because in the end it is Trek in some form and that’s all that is important. But the thing that has upset me from the beginning is this deception, this bait-and-switch methodology employed by the powers-that-be. That is what’s caused all of this confusion among the “core” fans. And frankly who cares?

Since I heard about this movie, I was among the first who applauded going back to the original characters and recasting them. I am even on board with rebooting it. What I am not on board with is how they chose to reveal the extent of what they’ve done. Whether I like all of the changes or not, they could have been upfront about them. And I still maintain that this would have been a much more interesting story if they had just flat out openly rebooted it with a more realistic origin story. Pandering to the fans is usually never a good idea, because the fans don’t really know what they want, and what they want is not always in the best interest of the story and the franchise.

100. Enc - May 1, 2009

29
i like what TPTB are doing in looking for a ‘real’ look.
and am glad that they whent fore someone who would know.
And am waiting to see the fruits of their labor.
i cant recall but i think some one said that it does (comercial/trailer etc) but i dont see it. maybe its too many fast passed cuts and the screen is filled with too much else for me to see it.

I dont know porco.
I and i beleive other were intro’d to her wshen we got news of her involvement. and as would happen her work was looked up and posted. That work included the movie Contact for similar work. I remeber seeing in the theatre. Myself and many others there commented that the nebula was backward. I question WHY. was it her mistake, a choice on her part or did some one else make it so.

And this is the person they chose to be their technical advisor. Has she matured in this work. will JJ et all even listen to her when shes right. or will we get ..

Orci: True. Yeah we did. We moved the planet to suit our purposes.

kind of an aditute.

101. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#96—-I think you have a healthy way of looking at it.

102. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

.62
Have no fear there are some poignant references to the Prime Timeline in the dialog but those, I believe are moments to be experienced at the movie and not spoiled. I was actually touched by them.

103. RD - May 1, 2009

#97. I’m going to skip making an identical list for BattleStar Galactica, but believe me it would be just as long. Would you still consider the recent reboot a different animal from the original incarnation? All of that stuff is meaningless when the so-called “Cylons” show up in human form and infiltrate the humans themselves. Or perhaps that is the trial stuff and the mere naming of people, places and things is really what the series is about.

Also thank you for inferring that I am alarmed about anything having to do with this movie. Granted there appear to be folks on this forum whose lives will be altered by this film, but I assure you I am not one of them. I simply point out that writing Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams a blank check now opens the door for anything for those who do care. So, of course I am speculating to make a point.

FYI, There were Klingons in this film and were in fact shot for it and will be on the DVD outakes. We can debate whether they constitute canon at that time. As for your cryptic reference to STII: TWOK, I’m afraid I miss your point. It is one of the few films I know well (sitting on my DVR as we speak) and I fail to see how it contradicts anything I have said.

Lastly, are you on Parmount’s payroll? LOL

104. Daoud - May 1, 2009

#99 This is, to borrow Trek parlance… a “refit”.

We all handled 1979 pretty well with that “refit”. It got us back this (insert image of Kirk holding Spock’s hand). Kirk and Spock, together again.

We’ll all handle 2009 pretty well too, because at the end of the movie…. Kirk and Spock, together again. And a very good actor in the role of Kirk, and a very good actor in the role of Spock, both signed for two more films. Let’s see where this ship can go first, and complain later, k?

Kirk and Spock’s friendship is the heart and soul of all Trek. Everything else… is rather inconsequential in comparison.

#100 Attitude from Orci? Bob is the most down-to-Earth, thoughtful person who’s had the writing reins since… erm, probably Gene L. Coon and Dorothy Fontana.

As he gets a chance to read, I’d love to convince him to stop saying he had to move Delta Vega. I think he needs to just point out that the “Energy Barrier” keeping us in our galaxy could be rather close to Earth and Vulcan, as we’re not exactly in the thick of the galaxy. It’s created by some other intelligence (The Q continuum in the novels), and so it’s not a natural phenomenon. Delta Vega’s near it, no problem. I think they just needed a few more “canon-fitters” on the Supreme Court. Here’s hoping they consider hiring Mike Okuda to help them “adjust” the universe as needed in the next two films. He has an uncanny ability to make things work out.

As to the general issues, the universe ought to have a lot of “unchanged” things scattered around. I think Urban’s McCoy and Cho’s Sulu seem to be right on target for making that case.

Oh, such fun this will be looking back in ten years.

105. earthclanbootstrap - May 1, 2009

As I’ve tried tried to analyze my gut reactions to their approach to this movie, I think I’ve settled on this: No matter how much I may enjoy certain aspects of it (and I certainly DON’T like others), it’s essentially, in my heart of hearts, a diminished and bastardized version of something that I’ve loved since I was about six years old. It will ALWAYS be “that other trek”. And the fact of the matter is that unless this thing is an absolute and utter failure it WILL completely replace the Prime or (God, I can’t believe I’m saying this) Classic universe from here on out. That automatically predisposes me to resent it a little bit. And quite frankly, since Trek is at heart escapist entertainment for me, I see no reason to follow something that in the back of my mind I’m always going to be a little irritated with. I guess I wish them luck, but I just can’t see investing in this the way I have invested in “the one true continuity” for the past thirty years. Of course I will go see the film out of curiosity and hope I enjoy it, but it’s basically going to be just another sci-fi flick for me, and is more than likely to never garner the love and loyalty that I have held the vast majority of my life for the real stuff.

106. Daoud - May 1, 2009

#103 Guess you didn’t watch all of the original Galactica. There were humanoid Cylons. And a fully human one in 1980, named Andromus. Might want to know a bit more next time! :)

107. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

Ill add that although I really loved this film it does have some weak points in the story and I dont know if this was as a result of editing. There is a gap in Nero’s storyline that I think edited out which left a lot of unanswered questions. The movie is paced in such a way that you really arent given much time to think about it but in reflection it’s like, “Huh…well what did he do to keep himself busy?”
Spock’s connection to Nero in the countdown miniseries is shown as a working relationship/friendship whereas Spock refers to him almost like a stranger in the movie, that he knows OF him but does not know him personally. Honestly this movie moved so quickly that it COULD have been longer and explained things a little better. As it is in the movie (if you havent read the miniseries) you have no idea of who Nero is, why he’s SOOO pissed off, or how he obtained the Narada. If this movie has a major weakness it’s having to rely on a comic book to fill plot holes. If this movie is to appeal to ‘non fans’ this isnt IMHO a good tact to take because how many ‘non fans’ would even KNOW they had to get a comic book to fill in the missing info. I say this as someone who enjoyed the film but I believe this was a weakness in the story.
With the comparisons to Khan we had an established backstory with Khan. Fans knew who he was. Nero doesnt have that benefit unless you buy the comic books and subsequently his motivations don’t feel as ‘real’. If this film suffers from anything it is in running over Nero’s story and motivations and it all happens so fast that its not until after youre coming down from the ‘buzz’ that you say, “Hey…wait a minute’…
Oh, and the Delta Vega thing bugged me…

108. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#99—“…this movie fulfills the basic premise of a Reboot by your definition: they have discarded or ignored all established continuity in favor of creating all new continuity. Let me re-phrase: for all practical purposes they have ignored significant continuity on a going forward basis. ”

That’s too many qualifications for me.

IMO, “Batman Begins” is a traditional reboot.

ST09 is nothing like that. It could have been, but it isn’t. Instead, the events depicted in the original timeline lead to the creation of this one.

“They never changed Kirk’s history, they built on it.”

Not according to purists in the early 80’s. How quickly people forget…

TOS-purists were furious at Nick Meyer’s insistance that Kirk be given a backstory that was in any way “shady”, such as the implication that he was ever anything other than a “stack of books with legs”. Meyer even argued with Bennett (who had taken far more time to familiarize himself with TOS than Meyer) over it.

To this day, some fans refuse to accept that Mitchell’s characterization of young Lt. Kirk can be reconciled with the implications of Carol Marcus’s dialogue with David (Kirk’s illegitimate son)—that “(dismissively)Jim Kirk was *many* things…but he was *never* a boyscout”, and the notion that the great James T. Kirk would have ever lowered himself to cheat on his command test.

Meyer *absolutely* changed audiences’ perspective on how this young man evolved, and just what made him a hero.

“…let me explain my theory of heroism. If a man jumps into a raging torrent to save a drowning child, he performs an heroic act. If the same man jumps into the same torrent to save the same child, but does so with a ball and chain attached to his leg, he’s not less heroic; he’s more heroic… How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life…If you look at the heroes of antiquity and myth, they all have flaws. It’s something that they have to overcome; their flaws are something that they have to act in spite of. The challenge is not to defy your fate, but to endure it. That is heroic.”—Nick Meyer, on his reasoning behind making Kirk a more flawed character in TWOK.

Now, of course, I have always taken the perspective that this was perhaps more philosophically contradictory than challenging to previously established facts about the character, but the effect upon the fan community at the time was quite similar.

Imagine if the internet (and a site like this one) had been available in 1982. The backlash (on an understandably more limted scale) was equally palpable.

I could go on and on with changes in/challenges to continuity in TSFS, TVH, and TFF, but this one came immediately to mind—and doesn’t even touch upon the retconning of timelines, perceived hyper-militarization of Starfleet, etc.

Purists have always been purists, and questionable continuity has always been there. The biggest difference seems to be that this story (ST09) offers direct canonical explanation for it, which is apparently even conveniently laid out for fans/newcomers alike within the film!

109. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

#107 … I agree, anyone who blinks during the movie will miss understanding what the whole Nero story is about. Instead of having the crew mutter a few ‘Wow, we’re duplicates of people in another universe’ type lines – which they do – I think the story might have been better served by having them investigate and expand upon who Nero was and what he wanted.

110. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

Ill mention that in this universe the Romulans are a well known quantity to the Federation which was another plot hole that Nero’s journey back in time doesnt answer. The differences in this timeline just cant all be explained away by Nero and contrary to earlier assurances that all the canonical changes are explained in this movie they arent. I STILL dont know why enterprise is now built in Iowa…that was just a little TOO convenient and unnecessary. Theres absolutely no reason for it in the movie other then to make it ‘convenient’ for Kirk to ride up to it on his motorcycle. This could have been achieved with better writing and it struck me as lazy. With the Academy being in San Francisco there is no credible reason for a bunch of cadets to be hanging out in a bar in Iowa near an incomplete Starship that is little more then a superstructure.
This struck me as lazy and theres no explanation. WHY would cadets who are STILL in the Academy in San Francisco be hanging out in Iowa? Was it a field trip? Pike I can understand as this was going to be HIS ship but why all the cadets? It would have, IMHO, been FAR better writing to find a way to place Kirk in San Francisco (he’s a wandering n’er do well youth…it would have been less of a stretch). This simply made no sense and was a lazy way to advance the story and to no real purpose. This could have been accomplished with better writing.
I enjoyed this film but some of the changes were unnecessary and served no real purpose and there was no explanation as to WHY other then saying, “Hey, we showed IOWA!”.

111. ShawnP - May 1, 2009

How’s that saying go, “Opinions are like…” What was it again? Lol.

112. Captain Presley - May 1, 2009

Perhaps in this timeline, it’s not that the planet that was Delta Vega has moved, but that the planet is no longer called Delta Vega and this Ice planet that is closer to Earth was given the name. Just a thought.

I can’t wait for Thursday!!

113. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

111. Thats what reviews are. Opinions. I think my review of this film has been very even handed. I enjoyed the film but it is not flawless.
1. I dont think you should have to buy a comic book to know whats going on in a movie. Nero is not developed as a character in this movie, his backstory is almost a throw away scene in this movie. TWOK was aimed at fans of Trek and it was taken as a given that fans knew who Khan was. For this movie, supposedly aimed at NON fans, you have to buy a comic book which the non fan audience this is aimed at (by JJs admission) wont know about.
2. We were told that the canonical differences are all explained in this movie.
They arent.
A. I still have no idea how Nero coming back in time made it so the federation knows all about the Romulans, their relationship to the Vulcans, and all three of their major dialects.
B. Enterprise in Iowa (already covered that)
C. The changes in ship and technology design PRIOR to Nero’s arrival.
Its almost as if something ELSE happened prior to Nero showing up.
Again, I enjoyed the movie and I think its a great launch pad but Im hoping that the powers that be tighten it up next time. They will now have a good idea of what we like and of what parts we didnt. They also will know that when they take shortcuts we will notice.

114. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#110—“Ill mention that in this universe the Romulans are a well known quantity to the Federation which was another plot hole that Nero’s journey back in time doesnt answer. ”

How is that a plot hole? Earth and its allies had fought a war a century earlier by the time of the events depicted in “Balance Of Terror”.

As for the “conveniences” you suggest to be prevalent throughout the story, that has always been par for the course in even the best of Star Trek movies. I’ll use my three favorite Trek films as quick examples:

(TMP)— The Enterprise, despite never having even tested its engines at Warp, is (“conveniently”) “the only starship in interception range”, a recurring “convenience” in the film franchise.

(TWOK)— Khan (“conveniently”) just happens to escape Ceti Alpha V and commandeer yet another starship at the same time that Kirk (who is an Admiral now and regularly bound to a desk) ends up in the exact right time and place for Khan to take revenge upon him (and of course, the Enterprise is “the only ship in the quadrant”, and appropriately handicapped with cadets so as to make USS Reliant a match for her).

(TVH)— Despite being aboard a commandeered alien vessel, Kirk and company are (“conveniently”) the only ones who reason that the best way to deal with the alien probe is to analyze its transmissions and reference it with the Federation database (even though any other starship would have probably been better equipped to do so, since all they have is Klingon equipment to begin with).

115. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#113—-“I still have no idea how Nero coming back in time made it so the federation knows all about the Romulans, their relationship to the Vulcans, and all three of their major dialects.”

They should definitely be familiar with their language, since the treaty to end the Earth-Romulan conflict a century earlier was negotiated by subspace radio.
As for knowing about their physical appearance, does no one aboard the Kelvin make visual contact with Nero’s ship? I was under the impression that Nero and Captain Robau have a conversation before Robau leaves the ship.

“Enterprise in Iowa…”

I take it then that SF is not attacked prior to the Enterprise being depicted in Iowa?

“The changes in ship and technology design PRIOR to Nero’s arrival.
Its almost as if something ELSE happened prior to Nero showing up.”

I don’t really have a problem with that, since the 1960’s production designs (and proposed 23rd Century tech) were dated anyway, but one could easily argue that something has changed prior to Nero’s timeline incursion—-since the events depicted FC and ENT can make the case that the timeline we see in ST09 has already been altered, even if only subtly.

116. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

What Happy Klingon refers to is that everyone in the 2260’s seems to be fully up to date on Romulans, including what they look like. The mystery surrounding them in BOT is completely absent.

117. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

#115 “As for knowing about their physical appearance, does no one aboard the Kelvin make visual contact with Nero’s ship?”

That’s true, but the Romulans never identify themselves as such.

118. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#116—“What Happy Klingon refers to is that everyone in the 2260’s seems to be fully up to date on Romulans, including what they look like.”

Should they not be, considering that the attack upon the Kelvin takes place around 3 decades earlier? Only knowing what the spoilers out there tell me, it seems like this is actually reasonable. If only one person sees what a Romulan looks like in 2233 and lives to tell about it—-it doesn’t seem unreasonable that the news of their physical resemblance to Vulcans would spread like wildfire.

119. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#117—“That’s true, but the Romulans never identify themselves as such.”

I see. So, in other words, it’s a matter of how plausible it is that somehow someone is able to put 2 and 2 together in that span of time between the early 2230’s and the 2260’s. Is that about it?

120. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

#119 Exactly. The crew of the Kelvin has no idea who is attacking them.

121. S. John Ross - May 1, 2009

Wow. Ouch.

After months of maintaining genuine hopes that I could regard this film as genuine Star Trek, that’s just gone now. There’s no way.

I now retain hopes that I can, instead, enjoy it as a fun-to-watch space adventure movie.

Here’s (still) hoping that this film rocks … and that other people can see it as Trek, even if I cannot.

122. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

119.
I take it you havent seen the movie? Nero’s interaction with the Kelvin is just long enough to say ‘hi’ and blow it up. without going in to spoilers this leads to another HUGE gap in the story that I believe was partially explained in the now deleted Klingon subplot.
As to your other assertions: To be sure EVERY Trek movie has had its problems and inconsistencies but that doesnt give a new movie a free pass. The forum here, especially with the powers that be following it, gives us the opportunity to say, Hey, we liked this but didnt like that’. Thats called feedback which is WHY they post here and follow what we are saying.
There are things I LOVED about this movie and overall I enjoyed it very much. That being said there are things I didnt like (and my sentiments are shared by pretty much everyone else I know that has seen the movie) would make for movies I enjoy even more. This isnt nitpicking. The things I liked and teh things I didnt like are pretty much in line with other folks like Mark Altman.
This movie rocked. I really enjoyed it. With a couple of tweaks it would have blown my mind.

123. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#121—Has anyone who has seen the movie told you that they were unable to see it as Star Trek?

Just wondering how you came to the conclusion that you cannot, despite not having seen the film.

124. Shatner_Fan_Prime - May 1, 2009

Actually, I can see how the attack on the Kelvin would accelerate the Federation’s knowledge of Romulans. As Closet points out, survivors of the Kelvin did see Nero. And once they described him, it seems likely the Vulcans would’ve broken their silence on the issue, if only to assure everyone they had nothing to do with it.

125. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#122—-Don’t misunderstand, I’m not attacking your opinions or even your criticisms of it.

I have picked apart every Star Trek movie I’ve seen in some form or fashion, even the ones I absolutely adore. I understand completely.

But no, I certainly have not seen it yet. And some of your criticisms seem to be shared with others who have seen it. It’s just that some of it seems (again, without having seen it) to leave some things open to interpretation—like the Federation having figured out things about the Romulans between the initial timeline incursion in 2233 and the 2260’s, for example.

At least for the time being, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to me.

126. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

121.
I had the same fear that you have as has been noted in my posts here leading up to this movie. What I will say is this; In spite of my qualms with this movie it ‘felt’ like Star Trek on a bigger scale. I felt like I was watching, Kirk, Spock and McCoy interacting and I believed it was them. The acting performances in this movie are top notch. Pine is Kirk. Quinto is Spock and Urban is most DEFINITELY McCoy. There will be things that bugged you like there were things that bugged me but I think/HOPE that it will ‘feel’ like Star Trek to you. I still have my Trek on DVD but I am intrigued by the possibilities of this new Trek. Id just like to see them tweak a few things and pay better attention to plot holes and rely less on contrivance.
The overall experience though was marvelous.

127. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#124—-Now that’s thinking like a Star Trek fan! Lol.

:)

128. P Technobabble - May 1, 2009

I think this “alternate timeline” approach by Kurtzman and Orci is a stroke of genius, as a way of revitalizing the franchise.

129. cagmar - May 1, 2009

You’re right #63. Apparently, we must read a comic book to figure out the motivations of Nero.

Here’s the sad part: Even in the comic book, there’s not a whole lot there. His behaviour is actually pretty much without provocation. He has a temper tantrum. I think it’s kind of like the childhood video games debate — Nero must have been born a freako nut-job, capable of killing people he admired and befriended, probably killing neighbourhood small animals in the neighbourhood during the night, before anything else set it off. It seems like he just snapped under pressure in the comic because he’s innately brutal. Nero’s a very sick individual (probably with daddy issues). And that’s it.

130. S. John Ross - May 1, 2009

#123:

I assume Orci has seen the film.

Having not seen the film myself, I can still hope that it’s an awesome movie.

Or, I guess, if I want to stretch it, I can hope that Orci is fibbing or mistaken when he says “And there is still something like that in the film.” Or I can hope that the “something like that” isn’t much like the thing described … that it’s _vague_ enough that the audience is allowed to interpret it differently. If I’m in the mood to cling to hope, that’s where I’d cling.

To be clear: I don’t care what these guys use in their creative process. I’m not concerned overmuch with authorial intent. if they see Leonard McCoy and Spock and Jim Kirk and crew as the puppets of destiny instead of as human beings (or in Spock’s case, half-Human beings), and they can reconcile that with “optimism,” then that’s cool for them. No skin off my nose. Whatever gets them through a working day. Worked for Nick Meyer.

But … if it’s there, on screen, in any _explicit_ form, then that’s my deal-breaker. Pretty much my ONLY deal-breaker. I’m 100% pro-reboot, entirely in favor of wiping the slate clean and opening up the possibilities. I can live with any design for the ship; I can live with the ship being blown up 200 frames in and leaving them with only a shuttle. I could live with the genders of the characters being changed; I could live with all kinds of extreme differences.

Just not that one. That one little dealy-o, is MY dealy-o.

131. S. John Ross - May 1, 2009

#126:

Thank you, and I still maintain high hopes of enjoying it on much the same level (in particular, I still have VERY high hopes for enjoying Karl Urban’s performance as McCoy).

132. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#129—-If sufficient backstory is truly absent from the film, then I am all the more anxious to get my hands upon the novelization (which typically makes the secondary characters much more intriguing).

I disagree about your analysis of his behavior in the comic book though.

Romulans have long been established as passionate, suspicious, and even paranoid creatures. Their xenophobia as a species is a good example of that.

In fact, the only thing which distinguishes their behavior (IMO) from what Spock describes as “barbaric”, pre-Surak Vulcans is their slavish devotions to empire and the martial disciplines (their somewhat less stable alternative to Vulcan disciplines of logic, suppression of emotion, and general pacifism). Romulans and Vulcans have contrasting methods of dealing with the same inherent handicap. Just as a Vulcan would “go mad” if stripped of his discipline, so then would a Romulan if stripped of his.

Nero reacts to the extraordinary events in “Countdown” just about the way in which I would expect him to behave.

While that may not help someone who is a non-traditional fan to understand the root of his behavior, it certainly should not be so surprising, IMO, to one who is steeped in Trek lore.

133. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#130—-I suppose I don’t see what is such a turnoff about that statement.

But to each his own.

It’s always funny to me how the same statement can make one person feel better about it, and another feel worse. Lol.

134. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

77. You make a good point about Delta Vega and the Energy Barrier being rather close to Earth and Vulcan since the 21st century starship SS (though not USS, since the Federation did not exist yet at that time) Valiant went there soon after Cochrane launched the Phoenix. However, by extension, you are arguing that the edge of the Galaxy is also rather close. But this cannot be true if the edge of the Galaxy is analogous to the edge of a disk. In this case, the edge of the Galaxy, and thus Delta Vega and the Energy Barrier, are 20,000 light years away (But how could the Valiant have gotten there? The second pilot said it encountered a magnetic storm that swept it to the edge of the Galaxy and then out of the Galaxy. But then, how did the Enterprise get there, as well as to the center of the Galaxy in Star Trek V, so quickly, when in TNG and VOY, starships must take decades to do the same thing? I guess the ship took advantage of more natural phenomena.)

77. I do not agree that Psi 2000 is a mouthful or sounds like a bad show. Since Star Trek is science fiction, rather than fantasy, Psi 2000 sounds more scientific and would in fact emphasize the “science” in science fiction. Consider the name of the recently-discovered real planet Gliese 581e. It is no less a “somewhere out there” than the star Vega is. I do agree that Delta is a familiar Greek letter, but so is Psi. Kurtzman and Orci could also have instead used Alpha, Beta, or Gamma, which would imply that the planet in the film is closer, and no one would complain that Delta Vega is supposed be at the edge of the Galaxy.

However, one thing none of us on this forum has considered is that the Enterprise of the film really does go to Delta Vega and the edge of the Galaxy.

Yeah, calling a planet Cleopatra 2525 in the sequel is a great idea!

135. S. John Ross - May 1, 2009

#133: “I suppose I don’t see what is such a turnoff about that statement.”

And that’s good. As I said in post #121, I hope – sincerely – that others can enjoy it in a way that I can’t.

136. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

132
I agree with your premise the only problem being is that JJ and crew have reminded us ad nauseum that this inst a film ‘for the fans’ but rather to garner NEW fans and the potential new fans simply arent steeped in the lore nor are they likely to know about the Countdown comics.
Some folks who are just looking for an ooh and awe popcorn experience probably wont notice or mind but a critical fan will notice things as will a critical movie viewer. I suspect the next movie will be even better.

137. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

38. I agree with you.

138. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#136—“…is that JJ and crew have reminded us ad nauseum that this inst a film ‘for the fans’ but rather to garner NEW fans…”

And he has also said on more than a few occasions (as recently as his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night) that he feels beholden to the fans and that it’s for them as well. Moreover, the “isn’t a film for the fans” bit was always JJ’s bit, and never really what the writers have had to say about it. I always took it as meaning that they didn’t want this movie to be as inherently exclusionary as some of the previous ones. But that’s yet another worn-out topic.

It’s true that a non-traditional fan won’t know as much about who the Romulans are as you and I do, and I said as much before. But in the end, as much as I hope that as many people as possible enjoy the film (and I’ve yet to hear of anyone—fan or otherwise— who hasn’t), I really care far more about how I react to it (including its warts) than how anyone else does.

139. The Happy Klingon - May 1, 2009

138.
“I really care far more about how I react to it (including its warts) than how anyone else does”

I agree with this statement 100%

140. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

104. I agree that Orci can just point out Energy Barrier and therefore Delta Vega are rather close, but as I explain in 134, they are actually far away. So as 50, 112, and I, in 95, suggested, the Delta Vega in the film is not the same planet as the Delta Vega in the second pilot.

I agree that Okuda should be hired for the reasons you mention.

141. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#134—-I still like the nod to Delta Vega.

“The second pilot said it encountered a magnetic storm that swept it to the edge of the Galaxy and then out of the Galaxy. But then, how did the Enterprise get there, as well as to the center of the Galaxy in Star Trek V, so quickly, when in TNG and VOY, starships must take decades to do the same thing? I guess the ship took advantage of more natural phenomena.”

It isn’t any more of a stretch to me that the Enterprise can get there so quickly in ST09, than it is that it could in STV, IMO. If you can justify it happening in STV by positing that perhaps they took advantage of “more natural phenomena” to get there, why not suppose the same in ST09?

Orci and Kurtzman are actually upfront about the use of dramatic license in squeezing in a nostalgic nugget with the use of the name “Delta Vega”, and that’s the last thing I would really have any issue with. I think the reference to WNMHGB is rather fun, and that outweighs (IMO) any issues of plausibility that might arise.

It’s really no different than suspending disbelief over the use of transporter-technology as a budgetary problem-solving device in the production of TOS. Star Trek is not, and has never been, hard sci-fi. Such things just go with the territory in Trek.

142. SpocksinnerConflict - May 1, 2009

Orci,

Please find someway to incorporate Chapel in the next one. Watching the original series, Chapel is more fleshed out, and given more screen time than Sulu. Hell, i’d argue that she was given more to do than Everyone but Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty.

Not too many of the og crew got their own “centric” episodes, not like Chapel and “what are little girls made of”.
She had so much to do on the old show, and it seems like the feature films, an her lack of presence in them, are the only reason she is not considered part of the crew proper.

Got to see an early press screening last week and the ONLY thing i thought was lacking (from the point of view that this is a kind of tribute to old trek) was Nurse Chapel.
Screw Gary Mitchell, screw Robert April, screw Carol Marcus.

I missed Chapel.

PS: I can’t remember the last time i had THAT much fun at a movie.
Thanks Orci.

PPS: Come on, think of what Chapel could ad to the Spock (and his relationships with certain crew members) thing.

143. SpocksinnerConflict - May 1, 2009

113–

“it’s almost as if something else happened prior to Nero…”

Yea, something else happened: it’s called Star Trek: Enterprise.

144. Dom - May 1, 2009

70. Anthony Pascale

Agreed. Face it, if the sequel has the crew on their five year mission having some adventure in deep space, who will know it’s in a different timeline, beyond the production values and different cast?

We’ve got a jumping-on point with the new film, then, really, it’s business as usual, with the added bonus that we don’t know who might live or die!

145. AJ - May 1, 2009

113/143:

That is correct. Star Trek: Enterprise remains in full canon status, as does the Zefrem Cochrane warp flight and subsequent first contact which led to that series.

Question is: Who came from the 24th century to make sure the Warp flight happens? Was it the “prime universe” Enterprise E or does it now change to the “new” universe Enterprise E, or something similar?

I doubt O&K will get caught up in this debate, but will stay in their new “here and now,” which is just fine.

It’s funny, though, that ‘Enterprise’ is spared from the change in the timeline. From a production design standpoint, it’s an easy thing to digest. It also gives more of a true backstory to the new Trek for better or for worse. Many of the stories are forgettable, but there is at least a framework within which to work: Birth of the Federation, history of Vulcan, some history with Klingons, Xindi (if necessary), the Orions, augments, etc.

That means that ‘bridge’ novels can be written describing events between Archer’s time and the Kelvin. I am sure we’ll see them.

146. cagmar - May 1, 2009

Hm. 132, I admit I have not seen the movie, so I do hope more of a motivation is extracted from the events therein.

However, I must seriously disagree with your belief that Nero acted accordingly to the events of Countdown. There are probably a lot of people who, say, lost their wives and friends in the tragedy of say, 9/11. (stick with me here…) Now if we look at the conspiracy theories, which primarily suggest that the US government knew what was going to happen and neglected to act on that day, then we should expect a whole lot of people to be bombing the government, killing innocents, and mutilating their friends and comrades.

But nobody is. I think Nero’s reactions are completely unrealistic, extreme and suggestive more of mental and psychological illness than of distress for his lost family. Seriously, it doesn’t make sense. His motivation is beyond me.

147. AJ - May 1, 2009

146:

In deference to your argument, I would expect Nero, having realized he’s in the past, to return to Romulus to get himself and his crew lives back home.

Having seen him in the scene with Robau, it’s clear he’s just a nutcase.

148. ElwoodJD - May 1, 2009

Jeez, this is literally only the second time I have posted to this site (long time reader…especially, the comments. Also, as long as I am doing this, Anthony THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RUNNING THIS SITE, YOU DO A HELL OF A JOB).

To everyone who is complaining that JJ, Bob, and Alex are just B.S.ing us with “movie industry talk” about this not being a reboot to promote the film and keep up feeling better, seriously, just relax. JJ can do his thing, I don’t truly think he is a Trekker but I will say that he has done us all a great favor by bring Trek back to the fore. As for Bob and Alex, they are Trek through and through. Furthermore, why can’t you accept that time travel has altered reality a bit. Like a temporal resonance, minor facts have changed and some of their adventures are a bit different, but overall each character makes its way back to the right spot being the person they are supposed to be (I haven’t seen the film, but most who have say they’ve nailed the characters pretty close). In 10 years from this film in the timeline, these characters will be on their five year mission interacting with Harry Mudd, Khan, the Gorn, General Chang, and all the rest. A hundred and some years later Q, Tomolak, Weyoun, (and unfortunately even baby Q, the Omega particle, and the rest of the crap in Voyager). Yes, the Dominion War will still occur. Yes, even Wesley will go on to join the Traveler. It’s call a mutable time (see Wikipedia, Time Travel Type 2.1 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel#Philosophical_understandings_of_time_travel ). No matter how much you change specific events when you go to the past, the timeline straightens itself out. Sure Alex and Bob are going to write a couple more films about the young Trek crew. In the end, all the stuff on your TOS DVDs will still come true (or you can at least tell yourself that if the idea of a reboot is too painful for you).

I just don’t understand how, utilizing comics to explain how the Spock of the TNG era leads to events which cause the past of the Star Trek timeline to change can bother you when the James Bond franchise literally rebooted and decided to ignore all that came before (and even the die-hard Connery fans recognized the value of the new Bond films). I don’t understand how you can complain that Star Trek and James T. Kirk + Spock + McCoy are back in a big screen movie with a larger budget than ever.

*Also, frankly this kind of timeline change has precedent. Enterprise did it when they had a Borg episode. In fact, despite the episode itself being mediorce, the concept was kinda sweet. We all saw ST: First Contact. The Enterprise went back in time and changed history; dead Borg ended up on Earth and Zefram Cochran experienced all that. It was different than the original ST timeline where the borg had never been encountered. However, in the end it the timeline mended itself, and things in the TNG era were practically not different when Picard returned. However, the people in Enterprise encountered Borg despite the original timeline depicted in TNG saying they never had (also made reference to in Voyager because there was some knowledge of the Borg by 7 of 9’s parents even though the TNG crew had never heard of them the first time around under they went in First Contact and changed the timeline). When you go back in time, things change, and though t he overall scheme of the universe stays the same and certain small facts change, I just don’t understand why it’s such a big deal to see facts that were never depicted on screen, only mentioned in non-canon sources or casually spoken from time to time (like Robert April, Kirk on the Farragut, etc) being a huge deal breaker???

I think the worst part here is you’ve made me sound like a crazy Trekker when all I am is a devout enjoyer. But really, this movie should be great, fits right into the canon that has previously existed (has a time travel event changing factor to explain the differences which are so minor it doesn’t matter), and you can still assume that in a few years even if Robert April wasn’t the first captain of the Enterprise in the new timeline the same events in TOS occur for the most part (and plus, secretly you know things that the new timeline versions of characters don’t know…it’s like your the time police or something monitoring changes in the timeline).

Two final thoughts…

1) Enterprise is still canon in this new universe ***SPOILER ALERT*** There is a reference to Archer in the new film (as far as I have understood, at least) **** END SPOILER and since the time changing event takes place after Enterprise there is no impact to that. Those of you who hated Enteprise may not love that fact, but hence it can’t be considered a total reboot.

2) I have had at least 7 friends either buy or borrow ST Season 1 on blu-ray as well as some of my films on DVD to see the original characters and learn the adventures of the real James T Kirk already in preparation for this film. These are guys who said ST was old as recently as a few years ago, and now that JJ & Co have revitalized it they want to know what the deal was in the first place. 4 of them have bought it on blu-ray for themselves, and the rest have started picking up TNG at my recommendation. Don’t worry, this new film is already helping to keep the great original stories alive. The CANON THAT WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE may have just found a way to engender itself into a brand new group of fans (they age from 14-37). And frankly, that is the most important thing this movie could have done…

149. ElwoodJD - May 1, 2009

@148, myself:

Two more things:

3) DS9 did a similar thing with their Trials and Tribulations…now in the new timeline when Kirk and Spock enter the rec room Sisko and Dax are sitting at the table playing 3D chess. If y ou watch the TOS DVDs its two other guys (also the scene where O’Brien and Bashier are dressed down after the bar fight…etc). Does that make your DVDs broken??? No, it just means the timeline has been altered. The changes there are less drastic, but it’s the same principle.

4) Alex and Bob call it an alternate universe/alternate timeline…I call it a mutable timeline, no difference in the grand scheme of things because it is all the same issue. There is no reason the same events of a mutable timeline don’t occur in the alternative reality either way.

150. sean - May 1, 2009

Guys, wonderful episode that BOT is, it was full of ridiculous plot points and ‘conveniences’ just as bad (if not worse, really) than those supposedly present in this movie.

1)The idea that the Federation had fought a protracted war with Romulus yet never, ever saw a Romulan. Really? REALLY? No troops ever landed on a conquered planet, no ships were ever captured, no prisoners ever taken? You signed a treaty with these people but somehow did so without ever seeing one or talking face to face with them???

2)The idea that subspace visual communications hadn’t been developed (which Enterprise blatantly defied anyway).

3)The idea that Vulcans would not have encountered Romulans, despite apparently having warp technology and exploring the galaxy for over 2000 years before humans.

4)The idea that a ship with only impulse could somehow make it across interstellar distances in any reasonable length of time. Was Romulus ‘across the street’ from the Neutral Zone or what?

There are many, many others. But honestly, having humans know Romulan tech or their appearance only makes sense.

151. boborci - May 1, 2009

Always a great read here!

152. sean - May 1, 2009

#141

And who is to say it’s even the same Delta Vega? In a galaxy 100,000 light years across, with millions of planets, we can’t have 2 Delta Vegas?

153. sean - May 1, 2009

#146

Analogy flat-out doesn’t work for one simple reason – he didn’t just lose his wife and loved ones. HE LOST HIS ENTIRE PLANET. Billions, possibly trillions of lives. Everything and everyone he ever knew. Tell me for one minute that you can even fathom loss on that scale. What is an ‘appropriate’ reaction to that event? I don’t find the idea that Nero’s lost his mind all that difficult to swallow, frankly.

154. John Sullivan - May 1, 2009

This is the first time I am actually confident that someone knows what the fork they are doing with Star Trek. There are still the known fudges like with the illogical presentation of Chekov’s age, the aforementioned misuse of planet Delta Vega and so on, but I’ll also admit that even in “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” Delta Vega is a “planet a few light days from here.” That means that at sublight speed, it would still take a very long time to reach – perhaps years, from where the Enterprise broke down.

Obviously “Q” is the unseen mover and shaker of planets.

Okay, this interview makes me at last feel comfortable with even the crappy redesign of the ship.

155. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#146—-But you’re treating Nero as if he were a human being. He’s not. He is a Romulan. And given that we know that Romulans are basically an offshoot of the ancient Vulcans whose bearing (as a people) is held together not by devotion to peace and logic, but only by their devotion to the martial disciplines, dedication to empire, and a rather rigid structure around the concepts of nationalism (for lack of a better term) and duty. Without such structure and stripped of all which prevents him from completely succumbing to overwhelming emotions, the result is misguided anger, barbarism, paranoia and treachery for Nero.

Again, it may not aid non-traditional fans, but established fans shouldn’t have a difficult time buying this. We’ve seen Vulcans stripped of their logic and ability to control emotions (their alternative to what Romulan society practices, and what it did to Spock just to realize that hundreds of Vulcans had died aboard the USS Intrepid…so why not?

156. sean - May 1, 2009

#154

How is it illogical? He’s 17 when Kirk is roughly 28. That’s exactly where they should be (give or take a year).

157. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

112. 50 and I, in 95, suggested this idea, too.

158. wkiryn - May 1, 2009

@153

See Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for appropriate reaction to home planet destruction.

159. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

141. For the moment, I myself am neutral about the nod to Delta Vega.

I agree that the Enterprise getting there so quickly in ST09 is not too much of a stretch. In 134, I actually did suppose that the Enterprise does this.

Yes, Orci and Kurtzman are upfront about the use of dramatic license with the use of the name “Delta Vega”, but if we can explain the usage, then it can become plausible.

Actually, fiction – not just science fiction – by its nature requires some level of suspension of disbelief. For instance, when we read or watch the Godfather saga, we readily accept the reality of Don Vito Corleone and his family within the confines of the story.

Star Trek is certainly not very hard sci-fi like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it does attempt to remain consistent about its use of fictional technology like artificial gravity, deflectors, phasers, tricorders, warp drive as well as transporters, and its use of scientific concepts and terms like those from astronomy, physics, and medical science, more so than the Lost in Space series did.

160. Closettrekker - May 1, 2009

#159—“Star Trek is certainly not very hard sci-fi like 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it does attempt to remain consistent about its use of fictional technology like artificial gravity, deflectors, phasers, tricorders, warp drive as well as transporters, and its use of scientific concepts and terms like those from astronomy, physics, and medical science, more so than the Lost in Space series did.”

Agreed. It absolutely belongs in the category of science fiction, although TOS was far more dependant upon the strength of its dynamic characters than it ever was upon a devotion to science or sci-fi technobabble.

161. Astrophysicophile - May 1, 2009

152. That’s a good idea. Although the words “delta” and “Vega” are human words, this does not preclude an alien species having homophones of these two words. However, I find the pairing and ordering of these two homophones to form the name “Delta Vega”, and its use as the name of a planet, highly improbable. Though, an alien homophone of the sequence of syllables “Del-ta-ve-ga” seems more probable.

Star Trek has had a situation where two stars have the same name. In the pilot of ENT, we find out that the Klingons have a homophone of the human star name Rigel, which is the common name of the real blue giant star Beta Orionis. By the time of the pilot, humans apparenly no longer used that common name (perhaps, because the star went supernova). The Klingons also used their homophone as a star name, the name of a much closer, Sunlike star. So in Star Trek, we have two Rigels.

162. sean - May 1, 2009

#161

Actually, I believe there was mention all the way up to a Rigel 10. Maybe this is Delta Vega II, but they simply aren’t being that specific.

163. Toben - May 2, 2009

Why was I being censored yesterday? I made two legitimate posts why I thought a proper prequel would have been better than what they actually came up with. And both these posts were deleted shortly after.

Then I asked why my posts had been deleted, but instead of giving me an answer, you deleted these posts, too, and after that I wasn’t able to submit any new message.

What is going on? What did I do wrong? Will anybody answer me to that or are you just going to censor me for no reason again?

Regards,
Toben

164. Astrophysicophile - May 2, 2009

154. 50, 95, 112, 134, 141, and 152 suggest ideas that explain away the misuse of Delta Vega.

In “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, the Enterprise broke down at the edge of the Galaxy. If edge of the Galaxy is like the edge of a disk, the nearest point of the edge of the Galaxy to Earth would be 20,000 light years away. In TMP, the Enterprise traveled from Earth to Jupiter at a minimum of 30% the speed of light on impulse power. If we take a few light days to mean 3 light days, then at 30% the speed of light, the ship actually would not take a very long time to reach Delta Vega, just about 8 days. However, it would definitely take a long time to reach Earth, about 60,000 years (and less time to reach the nearest starbase).

50, 95, 112, 134, 141, and 152 suggest ideas that avoid the invocation of Q to move Delta Vega.

165. Astrophysicophile - May 2, 2009

160. In fact, the TOS writer’s guide told the writers to focus on the stories and the characters, and to avoid explaining how things like phasers work unless it was necessary.

166. Astrophysicophile - May 2, 2009

162. When you say there was mention all the way up to a Rigel 10, do you mean that other episodes mentioned other planets that start with the name Rigel (Rigel II, Rigel III, Rigel IV, Rigel V, Rigel VII, and Rigel XII)? If the star with the human name Rigel had gone supernova (it would then have been renamed to something like Supernova 1987A), then those planets would have belonged to the star with the Klingon name Rigel. That also makes sense astrobiologically, because the first Rigel is a blue supergiant, which outputs too much UV and X-ray radiation, is too bright and hot, has too short a life span, and is just plain unsuitable for humanoid life, so the writers are free to declare the other Rigel a Sun-like star. Also, I find a star possessing seven Earthlike planets highly improbable, so the other Rigel should be a multiple star.

You make a good point about the possibility that the Delta Vega in the alternate timeline is Delta Vega II, but the film just was that specific. The discoverer of the two Delta Vegas could have named the two planets according to an astronomical catalog called Delta Vega (The Psi in Psi 2000 could be another catalog. In 134, I mention the real planet Gliese 581e – the Gliese in the name is a real catalog.)

167. sean - May 2, 2009

#166

I believe the opening episode of Enterprise mentioned Rigel 10. The Cage mentioned Rigel 7. And I believe Lawaxana Troi referenced Rigel 4 as the location of an astronomer who named a star after her. But I don’t think it was ever made 100% clear that all those planets were in the same system. So again, i think the possibility of 2 Delta Vegas is not outside the realm of believability.

168. Astrophysicophile - May 3, 2009

150. “1)The idea that the Federation had fought a protracted war with Romulus yet never, ever saw a Romulan. Really? REALLY? No troops ever landed on a conquered planet, no ships were ever captured, no prisoners ever taken? You signed a treaty with these people but somehow did so without ever seeing one or talking face to face with them???

2)The idea that subspace visual communications hadn’t been developed (which Enterprise blatantly defied anyway).”

“BOT” and “Minefield” (ENT) provide the answers to your questions:

– The Federation (actually, Earth and its allies) never saw Romulans, because the latter were so paranoid and secretive that they did like being seen by aliens.

– I do not think any troops ever landed on a conquered planet, because the war was fought in space vessels with atomic weapons, which implies that the war was a war of mutual annihilation.

– No Romulan ships and prisoners were ever captured, because Romulan military personnel had a duty to kill themselves when they were defeated in battle and to avoid capture.

– The Federation signed the treaty with the Romulans without ever seeing one or talking face to face with them, because both parties negotiated and signed it via subspace radio.

One point that you did not bring up is that scanners would have revealed the nature of the Romulans. However, Romulan ships reflect scans.

” 3)The idea that Vulcans would not have encountered Romulans, despite apparently having warp technology and exploring the galaxy for over 2000 years before humans.”

According to “The Andorian Incident” (ENT), The Vulcan temple of P’Jem was almost three thousand years old by the time of that episode, so Vulcans had to have been exploring – more like savagely, aggressively colonizing (“BOT”) – the galaxy for at least that far back. However, after Vulcan was devastated and Vulcan civilization nearly destroyed by wars, Vulcans took almost fifteen hundred years to rebuild their world and travel to the stars [“The Forge” (ENT)], and according to “The Awakening” (ENT), the Vulcan Time of the Awakening was eighteen years prior to that episode. All this imply that Vulcans had lost the ability to travel to the stars and did not regain that ability until about a century before humans gained that ability themselves. In any case, Vulcans had encountered Romulans before, because they knew of the name of that species (“Minefield”).

” 4)The idea that a ship with only impulse could somehow make it across interstellar distances in any reasonable length of time. Was Romulus ‘across the street’ from the Neutral Zone or what?”

If the Romulan ship had not discovered the Enterprise was shadowing it, it would have taken about an hour to travel from Earth Outpost 4 to Neutral Zone. If we assume that Romulan impulse engines are similar to Federation ones, then the Romulan ship was traveling at about 32% the speed of light (in TMP, the Enterprise traveled from Earth to Jupiter at at least 32% the speed of light), and the distance between the outpost and the Neutral Zone was about 18 light minutes. On the map of Earth Outpost Sector Z-6, that distance is about 1.1 tic marks, and the distance between Outpost 4 and Romulus is about 5.5 tic marks, or about 90 light minutes. So Romulus would literally be ‘across the street’ from the Neutral Zone (the bulk of the Romulan Star Empire would be away from the Neutral Zone, which implies that the Romulans lost a substantial amount of territory during the war.)

So humans do not have to know Romulan tech or their appearance.

169. Astrophysicophile - May 3, 2009

166. Yes, the opening episode of Enterprise, “Broken Bow”, mentioned Rigel 10. That was the episode to which I was referring in my discussion about the Klingon homonym for Rigel (actually, when Berman and Brannon wrote the script, they thought Rigel was a fictional name from Star Trek canon and did not realize that it was the name of a real star.)

I agree with you other points.

170. Astrophysicophile - May 3, 2009

168. “In any case, Vulcans had encountered Romulans before, because they knew of the name of that species (”Minefield”).”

And because Romulan ships could not be scanned, Vulcans could not even find out that Romulans were their cousins. During the destructive wars on Vulcan, most if not all records of the colonies of Vulcan were apparently lost.

171. sean - May 3, 2009

#169

And none of this addresses the fact Rigel is likely a human translation of an alien word. To assume the Rigel referenced in various episodes is the same star we now call Rigel seems like a stretch. Whether Delta Vega had inhabitants that called the planet Delta Vega or we call it Delta Vega just because we liked that name, who knows.

172. sean - May 3, 2009

#168

Sorry, but I simply don’t buy a lot of those refutations.

“- I do not think any troops ever landed on a conquered planet, because the war was fought in space vessels with atomic weapons, which implies that the war was a war of mutual annihilation.”

There are two problems there – 1)that the Feds were supposedly still using atomic weapons, when ENT clearly showed them using phase cannons and photonic torpedos (I think there may have been mention of Cobalt devices as well, can’t remember clearly) & 2)That the Romulan Star Empire, being made up of conquered worlds, would not attempt to conquer ONE planet, ONE outpost, ONE colony along the way to Earth?

“- No Romulan ships and prisoners were ever captured, because Romulan military personnel had a duty to kill themselves when they were defeated in battle and to avoid capture.”

And they succeeded EVERY time? No ship was ever disabled, no Romulan ever rendered unconscious and unable to off himself? Again, this seems quite a stretch. No bodies were ever found floating in the flotsam? No escape pods?

“- The Federation signed the treaty with the Romulans without ever seeing one or talking face to face with them, because both parties negotiated and signed it via subspace radio.”

I find it once again to be far-fetched that two parties to a lengthy and violent conflict would negotiate peace without ever having seen the other. It just strikes me as rather silly. Interesting dramatically, in terms of BOT certainly, but not very plausible.

As far as the facts as presented in the Vulcan arc of ENT – I’m not saying they didn’t explain any of these issues, but simply that the explanations weren’t very satisfactory. Even if Vulcans had only had warp technology for the last 200 years (assuming your 100 year figure prior to First Contact, and that ENT was roughly 100 years after that), that’s still an awfully long time to never bump into a Romulan (and as you pointed out, they clearly did as they knew the name). Putting that aside, the Vulcan refugees that founded the Romulan Empire clearly had warp tech for at least that long if not longer, because they’d managed to found an empire.

BOT suggests the Neutral Zone was at least a light year across (several TNG episodes suggest a greater distance), and given the map presented in that episode clearly showed the Earth Outposts are in Federation territory, and not even in the Zone, the math still doesn’t work out. A ship traveling at full impulse (supposedly 1/4 the speed of light according to various sources, but most certainly below the speed of light) would take more than a year to cross it. Not only that, but Romulus and Remus are show to be well clear of the Zone (if the Zone is a light year across, Romulus looks to be at least 5 light years away). So no, I still find the idea of a ship with only impulse traveling these distances to be implausible. The Neutral Zone would very nearly need to be IN the Romulan Star System for it to make sense.

None of this addresses the idea that an Empire with cloaking tech and a good 200 – 2000 years of interstellar experience was somehow bested by a Starfleet that had barely been out and about for 8 years, of course.

“So humans do not have to know Romulan tech or their appearance.”

They don’t HAVE to, but it seems pretty silly that they don’t.

It’s not that I’m such a nitpicker that I can’t enjoy the episode. All I was suggesting was that BOT contains some questionable elements that were always a bit difficult to swallow. That ENT tried to solidify those elements with similarly questionable explanations doesn’t really phase me. I simply think that if the new film dismisses a few of the sillier aspects of those episodes, I won’t be offended.

173. MC1 Doug - May 3, 2009

#45: yeah, you forgot one… two actually…

Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett Roddenberry.

174. S. John Ross - May 3, 2009

#171: “To assume the Rigel referenced in various episodes is the same star we now call Rigel seems like a stretch.”

Not to everyone. I mean, sure, Rigel’s a big blue and unlikely to have one — let alone several — inhabitable planets in a realistic universe, but anyone who thinks Star Trek is science fiction in _that_ sense hasn’t been paying attention for the last 40 years. When it comes to astrophysics (and most other kind of physics) Star Trek is fantasy so high as to make Dunsany look mundane.

Adding tested, successful theories which are successful and tested (or making the cool planets in TOS look boring in the Han-Shot-Second versions) can’t take that away.

175. MC1 Doug - May 3, 2009

#88:

I agree! DS9, in my opinion, had the best ensemble piece; the best drama; the most interesting characters, and I for one, would love to see the mystery of DS9’s finale tied up and the remaining questions answered!

If O&K thimk that the fact the show lacked a ship bodes poorly for a movie, I would say, ‘okay, you’re a writer… a good one at that… solve the problems you see and overcome them with a top notch, exciting script!’

I think DS9 deserves it!

176. MC1 Doug - May 3, 2009

#108; “Imagine if the internet (and a site like this one) had been available in 1982. The backlash (on an understandably more limted scale) was equally palpable.”

Agreed!

Remembering when word broke a few months before the film’s release that Mr. Spock was going to die, the fan outrage was immeasurable. I cannot imagine how the movie might have played differently if the net was available back in 1982.

177. indranee - May 3, 2009

DS9 had a ship.

so there.

:p

178. Astrophysicophile - May 3, 2009

171. Actually, in “Broken Bow”, the alien (Klingon) word could not be translated, because it was a proper noun. That is why I concluded that it was a homophone.

Star Trek has many other alien homophones or near homophones of human words. The word Spock is an example, since it is a human surname as well as a Vulcan given name (although in the Vulcan language, the given name is pronounced Spohk.) The word Romulan is another example, since Romulans use the word Romulan in the name of their empire (“Minefield”), which is a near homophone to the human word Romulus (none of the shows or movies indicated whether Romulans call their homeword by the name Romulus, in their language).

I agree with your other comments.

179. Astrophysicophile - May 4, 2009

174. I agree that assuming the Rigel mentioned in various episodes is the same star we now call Rigel would not seem like a stretch to everyone. According to the “Making of Star Trek”, the TOS scientific consultant Harvey P. Lynn advised the TOS production team against using a giant star as a location of a habitable planet in “The Cage”, but the team decided to use it anyway for artistic reasons. Presumably, Lynn advised against using giant stars on other occasions, but the team used them anyway. In that respect, Star Trek is fantasy. However, I think that when it comes to physics, Star Trek is for the most part science fiction rather than fantasy, because the production team sometimes did heed Lynn’s advice: its science fictional technology – like artificial gravity, deflectors, phasers, scanners, subspace radios, transporters, tricorders, and warp drives – are fictional extrapolations of physics, and most of the time, the show used some basic scientific facts correctly, unlike the Lost in Space series – for instance, it never confused the astronomical terms planetary, solar, or star system with the term galaxy, and it never had rockets traveling at the speed of light, or faster.

Forty plus years hence, Star Trek is in production again, and the new team said they will follow canon. At some point, they may use Rigel and other giant stars mentioned in the canon, especially Rigel, since it is the most densely populated section of the galaxy and the heart of the galaxy (“Doomsday Machine”), but as more and more people become more scientific literate, they will wonder how these stars can support Earthlike planets. Once upon a time, children who read H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” wondered about life on Mars. One of them was Robert Goddard, who grew up to invent the liquid fueled rocket. Perhaps, one day in the future, a little child watching Star Trek may wonder about life on the planets orbiting Rigel and grow up to invent a real warp drive.

By Han-Shot-Second versions, do you mean the remastered versions?

180. Astrophysicophile - May 4, 2009

172. My refutations were based on dialogue from the episodes that I cited.

” “- I do not think any troops ever landed on a conquered planet, because the war was fought in space vessels with atomic weapons, which implies that the war was a war of mutual annihilation.”

There are two problems there – 1)that the Feds were supposedly still using atomic weapons, when ENT clearly showed them using phase cannons and photonic torpedos (I think there may have been mention of Cobalt devices as well, can’t remember clearly) & 2)That the Romulan Star Empire, being made up of conquered worlds, would not attempt to conquer ONE planet, ONE outpost, ONE colony along the way to Earth?”

Atomic (or nuclear) weapons are weapons of mass destruction, so the Feds (actually Earth and its allies) and the Romulans fought a war of mutual annihilation, rather than a war with conventional weapons like phase cannons and photonic torpedoes. Cobalt devices are also nuclear weapons, but nuclear weapons that produce intensely radioactive Cobalt 60 fallout that could destroy all life on Earth. Perhaps, you mean tricobalt devices (“Minefield”), which are more powerful explosives in terms of blast and can create a tear in subspace or interphasic rift [VOY: “The Voyager Conspiracy”, ENT: “In A Mirror, Darkly – part 1″]. If the Romulans launched thousands of tricobalt missiles at an allied fleet, base, or colony, I doubt that conventional weapons can stop them all. The allies would have to counterattack with similar weapons.

I agree that the Romulan Star Empire was made of conquered worlds – they were savage, aggressive colonizers with a martial philosophy, cruel, trecherous (“BOT”), violent beyond description, and their belief in their own superiority was beyond arrogance (TNG: “The Neutral Zone”) – but since the war was fought with WMDs, I doubt the Romulans wanted to conquer the allies. I think they just wanted to annihilate them. To be sure, they were more advanced than humans and could have conquered Earth long ago, but they did not. I think they noticed a number of things that made them paranoid about and arrogant toward humans: they saw that humans:
– Had rebuilt their world in less than a hundred years after a devastating world war
– Were colonizing the galaxy as aggressively as themselves
– Were intruding into their territory (“Minefield”)
– Had formed an alliance with other, older starfaring species that had previously despised and even fought each other (ENT: “These Are The Voyages”)
So the Romulans, driven by their paranoia and arrogance, decided to annihilate humanity before it became too powerful.

” “- No Romulan ships and prisoners were ever captured, because Romulan military personnel had a duty to kill themselves when they were defeated in battle and to avoid capture.”

And they succeeded EVERY time? No ship was ever disabled, no Romulan ever rendered unconscious and unable to off himself? Again, this seems quite a stretch. No bodies were ever found floating in the flotsam? No escape pods?”

Perhaps, Romulan ships disabled during the war automatically self-destructed. And nuclear weapons for both self-destruct and attack would have vaporized the their bodies.

” “- The Federation signed the treaty with the Romulans without ever seeing one or talking face to face with them, because both parties negotiated and signed it via subspace radio.”

I find it once again to be far-fetched that two parties to a lengthy and violent conflict would negotiate peace without ever having seen the other. It just strikes me as rather silly. Interesting dramatically, in terms of BOT certainly, but not very plausible.”

The Romulans were probably characteristically too paranoid for face-to-face negotiations. And the allies were probably just too shellshocked from the WMDs to do the same.

” As far as the facts as presented in the Vulcan arc of ENT – I’m not saying they didn’t explain any of these issues, but simply that the explanations weren’t very satisfactory. Even if Vulcans had only had warp technology for the last 200 years (assuming your 100 year figure prior to First Contact, and that ENT was roughly 100 years after that), that’s still an awfully long time to never bump into a Romulan (and as you pointed out, they clearly did as they knew the name). Putting that aside, the Vulcan refugees that founded the Romulan Empire clearly had warp tech for at least that long if not longer, because they’d managed to found an empire.”

Actually, I implied that Vulcans during ENT only had warp technology for 300 years (eighteen hundred years since the Time of the Awakening minus fifteen hundred years to rebuild their world and return to the stars) which increases the chance of bumping into a Romulan, but the Vulcan High Command had never made direct contact with them (“Minefield”). I do not know if the Vulcans who founded the Romulan Star Empire were refugees, but yes, I think they had warp tech, but only because Vulcan was going through a savage, aggressive colonizing period like that of modern Romulans (“BOT”), and because the Debrune, an offshoot of the Romulans, also had their own outposts (TNG: “Gambit part 1″). However, eighteen hundred years ago (two thousand years ago by TNG reckoning), Vulcan and several Romulan and Debrune worlds fell into ruin (“The Forge”, “Gambit”). Apparently, the devastation on Vulcan also occurred on several other worlds in Vulcan’s colonial space. Perhaps, this was due to the war between Surak’s followers and those who marched beneath the Raptor’s wings and wanted to return to the savage ways (“The Forge”), the hundred-year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans (VOY: “Death Wish”), and the Vulcan separation (TNG: “Unification part 1″). After the war, the Romulans may also have lost warp tech and then degenerated into a bunch of thugs (STIX). Like the Vulcans, they probably took centuries to rebuild their own world and regain warp drive. With the regaining of warp drive, they transformed themselves into an empire (STIX).

” BOT suggests the Neutral Zone was at least a light year across (several TNG episodes suggest a greater distance), and given the map presented in that episode clearly showed the Earth Outposts are in Federation territory, and not even in the Zone, the math still doesn’t work out. A ship traveling at full impulse (supposedly 1/4 the speed of light according to various sources, but most certainly below the speed of light) would take more than a year to cross it. Not only that, but Romulus and Remus are show to be well clear of the Zone (if the Zone is a light year across, Romulus looks to be at least 5 light years away). So no, I still find the idea of a ship with only impulse traveling these distances to be implausible. The Neutral Zone would very nearly need to be IN the Romulan Star System for it to make sense.”

I cannot find the dialogue or map legend that suggests the Neutral Zone was at least one light year across. Can you point it out to me? Thanks. In any case, I did find dialogue in TNG: “The Enemy” that suggests that the Neutral Zone was between much less than a light year to 2.5 light years wide, depending on a Romulan ship’s angle of entry through the Neutral Zone – from crossing the Neutral Zone diagonally to crossing it straight across (The ship was on a mission to planet Galorndon Core, which is about 0.5 light years from the Neutral Zone. When it entered the Neutral Zone, it would reach the planet in 6 hours and would be at the Federation border of the Neutral Zone in roughly 5 hours.)

In my original math based on “BOT”: the Earth Outposts are in Federation territory. After the Romulan ship destroyed Outpost 4 and changed to a leisurely maneuver, and the Enterprise began paralleling its course, Stiles said the they would enter the Neutral Zone in less than an hour. Let’s assume that was 59 minutes. I cannot find any reference to full impulse being 1/4 the speed of light. Can you point me to it? Thanks. I calculated the Enterprise’s speed of 32% the speed of light from Earth to Jupiter by dividing the minimum distance between Earth and Jupiter of 4.2 A.U.s by the travel time of 1.8 hours. But let’s use 1/4 the speed of light. Now the distance between Outpost 4 and the Neutral Zone would be 15 light minutes. On the map, that distance is about 1.1 tic marks, and the distance between Outpost 4 and Romulus is about 5.5 tic marks, or about 75 light minutes. So, the Neutral Zone would indeed be inside the Romulan star system. It literally was between the planets Romulus and Remus and the rest of the galaxy. However, the Romulan commander and centurion had seen a hundred campaigns together. This implies that the Romulans had been fighting other species. All this in turn imply that the Romulan Star Empire was very large, but lopsided, with the bulk of it be away from the Neutral Zone. The location of the Neutral Zone inside the Romulan star system and the lopsided shape of the empire in turn imply that during the war, the allies pushed deep into the empire and forced the Romulans to cede almost all of its territory between Earth and Romulus during the war.

” None of this addresses the idea that an Empire with cloaking tech and a good 200 – 2000 years of interstellar experience was somehow bested by a Starfleet that had barely been out and about for 8 years, of course.”

As I suggested above, the Romulans, driven by paranoia and arrogance, decided to annihilate humanity before it became too powerful. Apparently, they were too late.

” “So humans do not have to know Romulan tech or their appearance.”

They don’t HAVE to, but it seems pretty silly that they don’t.”

Yes, it is pretty silly, but if the Romulans launched thousands of tricobalt missiles at allied worlds, humans would stop worrying about Romulan tech and appearance, and the allies would launch a counterstrike from multiple directions towards the Romulans.

” It’s not that I’m such a nitpicker that I can’t enjoy the episode. All I was suggesting was that BOT contains some questionable elements that were always a bit difficult to swallow. That ENT tried to solidify those elements with similarly questionable explanations doesn’t really phase me. I simply think that if the new film dismisses a few of the sillier aspects of those episodes, I won’t be offended.”

I used to be bothered by these questionable elements, but after thinking about them on this forum, I think these elements can be addressed.

181. sean - May 5, 2009

#180

“My refutations were based on dialogue from the episodes that I cited.”

Never questioned it. But my issue was WITH the dialog in those stories, so using the dialog to justify the dialog isn’t very persuasive.

My original point was BOT contained some credibility-stretching elements that, if ignored by the new writers, would not bother me one little bit. Star Trek has ignored plenty of elements in its own backstory when it so desired, so I don’t have an issue with this new movie continuing in this tradition.

And regardless of the exact size of the Neutral Zone (let’s face it – it changed depending on who was writing a given episode, clearly), the idea that an interstellar empire was still running on impulse with their primary star/homeworld less than 75 light minutes from Federation space is pretty daffy. Could it be true? Yes. But it’s daffy. And ultimately, that was my point.

182. Astrophysicophile - May 6, 2009

168. ” – The Federation (actually, Earth and its allies) never saw Romulans, because the latter were so paranoid and secretive that they did like being seen by aliens.”

Oops, I meant “…they did not like being seen by aliens”.

183. Astrophysicophile - May 6, 2009

168. “…and according to “The Awakening” (ENT), the Vulcan Time of the Awakening was eighteen years prior to that episode.”

I meant “…eighteen hundred years prior to that episode”.

“All this imply that Vulcans had lost the ability to travel to the stars and did not regain that ability until about a century before humans gained that ability themselves.”

I meant “…about two centuries before humans gained that ability themselves (and one century before they achieved spaceflight)”.

184. Astrophysicophile - May 6, 2009

181. ” “My refutations were based on dialogue from the episodes that I cited.”

Never questioned it. But my issue was WITH the dialog in those stories, so using the dialog to justify the dialog isn’t very persuasive.”

Actually, you said you do not buy a lot my refutations, but that is okay :) I used dialog to justify dialog, because I wanted to demonstrate how “BOT” is internally consistent and consistent with the other episodes and movies that I had cited. However, I did draw on concepts external to Star Trek, concepts such as the purpose of nuclear weapons and the nature of cobalt devices.

” My original point was BOT contained some credibility-stretching elements that, if ignored by the new writers, would not bother me one little bit. Star Trek has ignored plenty of elements in its own backstory when it so desired, so I don’t have an issue with this new movie continuing in this tradition.”

I myself think the credibility-stretching elements can be credible if one can accept that the Romulans in their paranoia and arrogance wanted to annihilate the allies, and that in order to survive, the allies had to drive the Romulans all the way back to their capital, the Romulan Star System (I can imagine the retreating Romulans carrying out a scorched earth policy, vaporizing facilities and bodies, a la Nazi Germany and Russia during World War II.)

Yes, Star Trek ignored plenty of backstory elements: episodes and movies produced after 1992 have ignored the Eugenics Wars having occurred between 1992 to 1996 (I guess that these wars were the same as the World War III, and that the Augments imposed a new calendar on nations they had conquered, a la Orwell’s “1984”.)

” And regardless of the exact size of the Neutral Zone (let’s face it – it changed depending on who was writing a given episode, clearly), the idea that an interstellar empire was still running on impulse with their primary star/homeworld less than 75 light minutes from Federation space is pretty daffy. Could it be true? Yes. But it’s daffy. And ultimately, that was my point.”

I think the only other episode that hinted at the exact width of the Neutral Zone was “The Enemy”. As I mentioned previously, if the Romulan ship in that episode crossed the the Neutral Zone straight across, the width would be 2.5 light years, but if the ship crossed diagonally, the width could be less than a light years (maybe even 75 light minutes.)

Since the Romulan empire used subspace radios and fired enveloping high-energy plasma that can travel at warp speeds (“BOT”), then they probably run on warp. And since their cloaking system consumed much power and the plasma weapon took all the energy of the Romulan ship in “BOT”, that one ship had to sacrifice warp speed and resort to impulse power (stealth and firepower vs. speed).

Based on my calculations, their primary star/homeworld is at least 75 light minutes from Federation space. If one can accept that the allies had no choice but to drive the Romulans back to their homeworld, and that Earth had to negotiate the installation of outposts literally on top of Romulus because of the treacherous nature of the enemy (the Romulans got to keep the remainder of their empire and their homeworld from being obliterated), perhaps the idea of a thin Neutral Zone would not sound that daffy (But why did the allies stop short of conquering Romulus itself? Perhaps, they achieved their goals, a la George H.W. Bush, did not want to fight a bloody ground war with a race of suicdal warriors at best, and did not want to commit genocide at worst.)

185. Holger - May 7, 2009

Hello Astrophysicophile. I like astrophysics, too. But you know what I don’t like so much, and I’m certain I’m not alone? Essay-length posts in here. Seriously, almost no one will ever read through these monster-posts.

186. Astrophysicophile - May 7, 2009

185. Sorry, I was just having too much fun ;) Probably, because I can’t wait until the movie comes out.

187. mjmjr91 - May 8, 2009

if they redo Wrath of Khan they should totally see if they can get Javier Bardem from No Country For Old Men

188. Steven Armstrong - May 8, 2009

Sorry,

Kurtzman and Orci, I just don’t buy it. I have watched everything Star Trek since the first episode of TOS. Of course there have been occasional slips in continuity and timeline. The new movie plot has nothing to do with the intricacies of time travel stories or quantum physics. You — with malice aforethought — just blew up Vulcan! Now every story based on Vulcan in the various Series, Movies, etc., is, what, gone? And for what? You could have blown up the Andorians if you wanted to be showy. I think you just wanted to be edgy and show how you could do something shocking.

Let’s see if you really are good writers: For the sequel, 29th century refugees from a Dominion and/or Borg dominated future manage to get back to Kirk and Spock, and they are forced to find a way to undo your first movie’s timeline, saving both 23rd century Vulcan and 24th century Romulus, because both are vital to save the future. You can have my idea free of charge.

189. Mike Orrell - November 23, 2009

Great movie with superb dialogue and special effects. In San Diego a real alien story has made front page news. One accidental UFO photo has provided the Rosetta Stone to successfully link UFOs with each other as well as ancient artifacts, crop circles and the Nazca Lines in Peru. The Los Angeles Times broke the story and labeled the evidence “UNSETTLING” which you can see for yourself by Googling my name or “Inaja UFO Photo”. This event has been documented by CBS News and recently an on-line interview in the United Kingdom. One day historians will look back and pinpoint this groundbreaking discovery as the event that led to that moment of contact.

190. Bradford Kinzel - September 6, 2011

There is nothing touches our imagination so much as a beautiful woman in a plain dress. -Joseph Addison

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