EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Bruce Greenwood | TrekMovie.com
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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Bruce Greenwood May 6, 2009

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

One of the surprises in the new Star Trek movie is the importance of the role of Christopher Pike, the Captain of the Enterprise. And for this key part, JJ Abrams chose veteran actor Bruce Greenwood, who is no stranger to portraying strong leaders. In our exclusive interview, the actor talks about how his Pike is different, his relationship with Kirk, life on the set, and a particularly uncomfortable scene, and more. [interview contains spoilers]


Interview with Bruce Greenwood

TrekMovie: What is interesting about your character is that even though it was originated by another actor, there was only the one episode. So did you find it was a little easier for you compared to the other guys, as you had a lot more freedom to work with?

Greenwood: There is less of Hunter’s Pike in the history, but having said that, and you know this better than anybody, once part of Star Trek, it is indelible. Whatever imprint you make can’t be undone. I went back and looked at Pikes dilemma as face by Hunter and then I realized it is very different than the dilemma that my Pike faces. Having said that, they are both tremendously passionate people. The risk I was taking was with Kirk and not with my own future per se.

TrekMovie: What I was most impressed with, in regards to both your portrayal, and the script, is that in the past when you have Kirk in a film, other Captains seem weak so that Kirk would look cool. In this film, your character was the quintessential leader and Captain and Kirk was really only headed into that. Did you talk about that and how you were setting the standard?

Greenwood: Yeah. To make preceding captains less capable only diminishes Kirk at the end of the day, right? To speak of his father in these glowing terms and to be less myself would not make sense either. And I am not the first captain you see in the movie, and that captain [Robau] is phenomenally powerful. There is so much gravitas to Faran [Tahir]’s performance. They didn’t shy away from any of that.

Pike in command of the Enterprise in "Star Trek"

TrekMovie: You said you looked back. Obviously you made this role your own. But what were some of the things you decided to carry over from Hunter’s portrayal? Maybe some nuances?

Greenwood: It is more informed a sensibility, an impassioned sensibility, then picking behaviors. So for me to reveal ticks that I borrowed would first not be the truth, but I wouldn’t want to do it even if I had because I wouldn’t want to be judged for poor appropriation. So I didn’t go back with the eye to take some mannerisms an export them into my take. It was more a broader kind of view of the passion with which he approached his dilemma, and the single mindedness of that passion.  

TrekMovie: In the last decade or so, you have played a lot of leaders – sub commander, the President…

Greenwood: A couple of times. [laughs]

TrekMovie: It is sort of becoming your thing…

Greenwood: We’ll see. I have done a fistful of those — so got to be careful now.

Greenwood as JFK in "Thirteen Days" and the President in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets"

TrekMovie: But while you are playing Pike, does suddenly a little Kennedy slips in? Are these roles informing each other?

Greenwood: Perhaps I am more comfortable than I might have been five years ago. Because some of the territory is familiar, in terms of belief in oneself.

TrekMovie: So is that you? In this film Pike seems to always know what to do right away and never thinks about things…

Greenwood: I don’t think that is fair. He makes the decision. He is not afraid to make the decision, but it is not that he doesn’t think. He thinks very very carefully and then makes the decision, because he has to.

TrekMovie: Fair enough. There is one decision he makes in the film that still has me scratching my head and this is probably a question for Bob [Orci], but when Pike makes Kirk first officer and Spock is like ‘are you joking?’ Did you ask Bob or JJ why is he doing this? Did it make sense to you?

Greenwood: It made sense to me. What I intuit about Kirk’s ability to command can hardly be put into words. It is just that sense that the kid is incredibly rough and has a terrible bedside manner and can be abusive as with the scenario. I was not happy with the scenario [Kobayashi Maru]. We shot something in which I said to him as we are walking away after we get the emergency call, we shot something where I say "cheating is not winning." I had a long conversation with JJ About that and because I felt it was important for Pike to let Kirk know that this was not evidence of a perfect mind — this was not particularly impressive. On a technical level yes, but in terms of the lesson that he was meant to learn, it was more like what Spock says. Having said that, he has a sense of what it is going to take to prevail that is informed by his gene pool.

Clip: Greenwood’s Pike sees potential in young Kirk and asks him to enlist in Starfleet

TrekMovie: You have described this role as a father figure and some of these actors are quite young, like Anton is a teenager. What was the environment like on the set? Did the father/son thing flow over, or when the cameras turned off you stopped being Captain and you were just one of the guys snapping towels with the rest of them.

Greenwood: I think it is easier for an older guy to think he is one of the guys snapping towels [laughs] and it felt that was as we were just a bunch of guys, and a girl, and we had a great time together. We played a lot of chess, played a lot of guitar, sang a lot, hung out at my house. So for me it felt that way. You will have to ask the kids if there was any sense of ‘this old cat is alright, but he still is an old cat.’

TrekMovie: You were playing the guitar?

Greenwood: A lot of people were. Anton, me, Pine.

TrekMovie: You were one of the few to work and hang out with the Romulans…

Greenwood: Well I spent a few days flat on my back with a scorpion being forced down my neck, so you can’t really call that hanging out.

TrekMovie: Eric [Bana] said that when he was doing those scenes he passed out one time, were you there for that?

Greenwood: I was so slarred on that table, that if he was hyperventilating or needed some oxygen, I was so zoned out, I might have not have noticed. It was painful on that table. We were there for two days.

TrekMovie: So when you read the script and you see how you are Captain and throwing commands around, and then you get to the….

Greenwood: Lying on a table having an earwig shoved down your throat part? You think ‘ah that will change.’ It’ll be sushi and a conversation, that you end up losing. But it is not going to be a scorpion and you are not going to get whipped, but no. It was hideously uncomfortable.

TrekMovie: So that thing wasn’t done with CGI?

Greenwood: It is a real thing and they dropped it down my throat…it was horrendous. It was a creature that they created, and it had a solenoid in it so it would wiggle and twist and writhe and it was sharp and pokey. And they did it a bunch of times and would yell ‘cut’ and pull it away from my mouth and I felt that we were getting to the end of the coverage and I said to JJ "you are not going to drop it down my mouth?" and he was like "really?" and I was "f–k yeah – let it drop, it’s not going to kill me"…It f–king near killed me. But I would do it again in a heartbeat.

TrekMovie: So people are already talk about the sequel…

Greenwood: I am ready to throw down. I am open to it and gather they are as well.

TrekMovie: They are?

Greenwood: I am encouraged to think Pike will be returning.

Greenwood looks forward to playing Pike again in a sequel


Up Next – JJ Abrams
For Thursday, the day of the early premiere, we will present the JJ Abrams chat in our TrekMovie’s weeklong interview series. We talk about the buzz, deleted scenes and more…including Shatner. Stay tuned .

Other final pre-movie exclusive interviews at TrekMovie:





1. Hentziphan - May 7, 2009

ROTFL, does anyone who works on this site ever sleep? Wait…I should be sleeping also! xD

Nice job on keeping us all informed! Kudos! One more day to go and I can see the movie!

2. SChaos1701 - May 7, 2009

Wow…I loved Thirteen Days.

3. Sci-Fi Bri - May 7, 2009

i chose not to read this one. what happens to pike it one of the only mysteries left for me.

but i will say that i’m impressed with what he brings to the role of pike.

4. S. John Ross - May 7, 2009

Cool. Another guy who clearly cares about his character and gives it some real thought. This old cat is alright.

5. Section 31 - May 7, 2009

Should Pike end up in the famous beeping chair in the sequel?

6. Edward Duddy - May 7, 2009

“We shot something in which I said to him as we are walking away after we get the emergency call, we shot something where I say “cheating is not winning.”

This is the 4th or 5th time I have heard of something being shot that probably won’t make the final cut.

Anthony or anyone, any word yet on if these will be in a Special Edition DVD release? I mean, a Director’s Cut would be superb, but just something that assures us we aren’t hearing about all these great scenes that we’ll not see for 10 years.

Ha, anyone else notice the number of cut-scenes we are hearing about?

7. Van Banoovong - May 7, 2009

I see potential in Captain Pike. Having Kirk as First Officer is something that can be explored in the sequel.

8. Devon Richards - May 7, 2009

Maybe the second one could depict the events that put Pike in the chair.


9. I am not Herbert - May 7, 2009

…Pike will be returning. .. EXCELLENT!!! =D

…This is getin’ Exci-tin’!!! ;-)

10. Picard's Barber - May 7, 2009


Speaking of that chair, do you remember the South Park episode “Preschool”? The kids kindergarten teacher is burned in a fire that Stan Kyle Kenny and Cartman started and she gets put into the same chair that Pike had in the Menagerie. Then the chair’s battery dies while she’s crossing the street. Funny as hell.

11. Harry Ballz - May 7, 2009

Greenwood is slicker than whale poo on an ice flow!

12. Captain Quail Hunter - May 7, 2009

^10 Yes I remember that episode. At the end she is asked a question “who caused the commotion, the bully”? by the cop and she beeped twice ( which meant no)and the cop replied Yes, Yes and took the bully kid back to jail. It was hillarious. Anyway It will be fun tonight seeing a scorpion being shoved down Pikes throat. I can see Kirk in the sequel being his first officer as Spock is his science officer. In other words a story arc like Star Trek 2 thru 4 with Kirk comming Captain in the 3rd film.

13. Harry Ballz - May 7, 2009


Um, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I was under the distinct impression that Kirk becomes Captain at the end of THIS film….

14. Knut - May 7, 2009

This is not Star Trek – its No Trek. Ive seen the movie yesterday and it is terrible. No canon, no story, no message and completly action-overloaded. The film is exactly this, what i expect to get by the siamese scrapwriter Orcikurtzman and Lord of Action JJ Abrams. Abrams an his team ignored almost everthing they could ignore beginning with the USS Kelvin, which ist already a part of the new Abramsversum with boiler room und Star Wars laserblaster and therefore non-canon. There are so many minconsistencies (Delta Vega, Orcis Stardate for the 24th Century, enterprise insignia on Kelvin, Klingon “Warbirds”………..) that cannot be explained with a new timeline. The Story is fast, stupid and very illogical, the homur is officiouce and feels like a skit. Star Trek died in 2005 with “These are the Voyages”. Abrams Trek is an ordinary sf-action, that could also take place into the new star wars episodes, the transforer universe or cloverfield. I can`t understand, why Mr Nimoy was involved in this crime. It must be the money.

15. The Last Maquis - May 7, 2009

Come on JJ throw us a Bone here, a picture of the Ship, or what the Bridge will look like, the uniforms Something!!………Oh wait I was Caught in a time warp from last Year, Sorry.

So how long until this movie comes out??
……………………………….Oh Really???
Huh…….well okay then.

16. thorsten - May 7, 2009

Bruce Greenwood is amazing as Pike, it would be great to have him back in XII…

17. Captain Hackett - May 7, 2009

Excellent interview! I would love to see more of Pike as long as Bruce, one of my favorite actors, keeps this character for a sequel.

Great work, Anthony!

18. Holger - May 7, 2009

Interesting interview, thanks Anthony!
I watched the movie yesterday and Bruce Greenwood’s performance and the new Pike is one of the not so many things I like about the movie.

19. Konar - May 7, 2009

14–should ignore you but you used the word Siamese which is no longer a country but still, your intent is racist. And “officiouce” — you might mean officious — but even if you do there is no definition for it that could possibly apply…

One more thing. Why knock an actor for doing a role for money. This isn’t community theater.

20. Red Shirt crew member - May 7, 2009

IMAX tonight!!! 7:00 edt. F***ing can’t wait!!!!

21. Chris Fawkes - May 7, 2009

Loved the film when i saw it this afternoon but loved it more the second time when i saw it this evening.

22. mscottr - May 7, 2009

Anthony, these interviews have been excellent, and I must say that they’ve given me a deeper appreciation for the new cast. Well done!

23. Knut - May 7, 2009

@19: I meant this with “siamese”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjoined_twins, because Orci and Kurtzman write every script together as would they be one person.

24. Gary - May 7, 2009

Captains seem week –> captains seem weak

25. Gary - May 7, 2009

I should also add thanks for a great site Anthony.

26. Jorg Sacul - May 7, 2009

KNut, don’t take this too personally, but you are completely in the wrong. You don’t know Star Trek from Little House on the Prairie. Go troll somewhere else, sir.

Anthony, I will echo the above, your efforts at bringing us factual news, items of interest and interviews are better than anything else out there. When is the next issue of Nacelles magazine coming out, by the way?

27. Jeff Cope - May 7, 2009

I’ve been a fan of Greenwood’s since his short-lived UPN series “Nowhere Man”. He’s a terrific actor that brings a sense of nobility to his roles. Can’t wait to see him tonight @ 7pm! It’s almost here!

28. Jim - May 7, 2009

Sometimes I wish we could ban people like Knut. I dont mind people with differing views, but racists who are trolling and making crap up piss me off.

29. Duncan MacLeod - May 7, 2009

19. Konar.

Apparently this film is a 0 or 1 in this case (Binars!) there is no room for bending. And being racist?? Besides, nothing besides something like this will revive Trek. Batman Begins was no masterpiece, but look what we got in the second installment?

30. Duncan MacLeod - May 7, 2009

His grammar and punctuation is bad AT BEST. That doesnt lead a lot of credibility to the argument.

31. cpelc - May 7, 2009

Hey guys – made the story in my newspaper about the movie!
That’s me with malf-my face covered up…haha!


32. Jorg Sacul - May 7, 2009

Not to defend a troll, but I don’t think he was attempting to be racist. Please see the following article regarding the most famous pair of conjoined twins.


Jumping the “racist” gun is a bit reactionary, and should be saved for those true morons who are racist. Not to say Knut isn’t a true moron after reading his review of the movie, but a true moron of a different facet.

33. Daoud - May 7, 2009

#32 No, he’s just trying to insult the writers, by describing them in terms used to describe handicapped or disabled people.

Surely there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure next time he’ll refer to them as crippled, peglegged, brain-damaged, etc. (sarcasm)

It may not be racist to make fun of the handicapped, or to use them to make fun of others; but it is equally immoral.

But he’s just trolling.

#on Bruce. Captain Pike in XII? But… (jaw drops)… how?? Well, it is science fiction, so I’m sure there’s a way. I too would like to see him save that ship of cadets while they’re boarding a class-J shuttle (off or onto the recently staffed Enterprise?) and in the process when a baffle plate is about to go…. oh no!!! heavy dose of nuclear reaction generated electrons (delta rays! a real phenomenon)… and you know… the rest of the story.

34. NX01 - May 7, 2009

I have to agree with # 22 I don’t comment alot, I mainly just read. But I just want to bring a few things up. To #14 Gene Later said after the original series came to an end that he regretted not having all of the people in Star Fleet have the famous delta shield.
Every one in Star Fleet had the delta shield in the movies. I also read an interview with Nichelle Nichols years ago where she said that she played it as if her character had and attraction to Spock, go back and look at the first episode they appeared in she is clearly flirting with him. Take a look for yourself in the episode “Man Trap”.

Once again I just want to say thank you to everyone that works on this site.
I come here everyday to get my Star Trek info, I have it linked on my I Phone. I love having a place to come to talk Star Trek.

In closing if you are not coming to this site to have a good time and enjoy Star Trek , you probably should not be coming.

Peace and Long Life to everybody

35. 750 Mang - May 7, 2009

Great interview. Skimmed past some spoilers.

Ten more hours.


36. Olley Olley Olley - May 7, 2009

perhaps a boring offering from berman and braga would have suited you better.
but the days of bland trek are gone thank god

37. Jorg Sacul - May 7, 2009

If you remember in the episode “Court Martial”, officers from other starships were wearing the delta shield also.

38. Redwolf_1701 - May 7, 2009

Just been to see the film and I was very impressed with Greenwood as Pike. He (And Fahir) have done a great job of eradicating that whole “Every other captain apart from Kirk/Picard/Sisko/Janeway/Archer is an imcompetent fool” curse. I have always wanted to see more of Pike, and now we get to. I could not be happier.

Just to say the film is not PERFECT, there are a few flaws in certain places, but these have all been covered by other, more competent reviewers. But it is a great ride, fun, funny, exhillerating and there were a few true “goosebump” moments.

And for the “Big-E” herself, I was pleasantly surprised at how good she looks. She is not an exact replica of the one from TOS, but I have to be honest, if they did that, it wouid look out of place.

I went with my gf and a friend and she is so not into “Star Track”, but afterwards she was very impressed with what she saw. Now we need to see if the rest of the movie going public feel the same.

Viewing number two is tonight in Liverpool! YAHOO.

39. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 7, 2009

That was a great interview. Trek Minus 9 hours and 25 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

40. Dave in RI - May 7, 2009

Slightly OT, but I had to share this…

I listen to sports radio WEEI out of Boston every morning while getting ready for work. In one of the segments, they talk about stuff happening in the news. Well, imagine my surprise when they mention the opening of Star Trek tonight and they quote “Mr. Anthony Pascale of trekmovie.com” regarding some fans’ concern about canon.
Of course, being a sports radio station, they had to call us trek fans “losers” which made me roll my eyes.
But hearing Anthony’s name and trekmovie.com mentioned on the radio made me smile :-)

41. Bud - May 7, 2009

Read this: You’ll love it, explains everything.


42. Megg - May 7, 2009

Dude, this movie comes out like today!

Thanks so much for everything guys!

43. CaptainRickover - May 7, 2009

Means that Pike survives?


44. Green-Blooded-Bastard - May 7, 2009

I am seeing it tonight during an HP/Intel convention/party starting at 10pm where they give away new processors and boards and laptops and ending at 2-3am after being treated to Star Trek. It’s called Star Trek ’09 and I am f**ing PSYCHED!!!

45. MC1 Doug - May 7, 2009

#14: well KNUT, this is your opinion… and I thank you for it… I’ll be seeing the film tonight and expect to disagree with you…

we’ll see!

It’s nice to know Pike survives.. I wonder if the movie is a pre-Talos IV story?

… and if Kirk is not THE captain of the Enterprise in the film, perhaps this will be his jumpboard serving aboard the Farragut as he was intended.

so I guess I’ll find out if Kirk is just “acting” captain in this film. again, we shall see.

46. The TOS Purist aka The Purolator - May 7, 2009

I guess it wouldn’t be a true Star Trek movie / Wrath of Khan rip-off without some horrific creature being dropped down a bodily orifice for cheap thrills and gross-out factor. I’m disappointed.

Going to see the film tonight, though. IMAX tickets and all that.

47. Jefferies Tuber - May 7, 2009

Everyone has their canon obsession. I’m curious to know how or why the Enterprise’s arrowhead mission patch became the Starfleet logo without Kirk’s historic five year mission.

The mission patches of other ships, starbases, Memory Alpha, etc., were etched in stone canon. Bob Orci mentioned on this board that he was a fan of these, but the whole element seems to have been written out.

Any ideas? Bob?

48. Paulaner - May 7, 2009

Friday evening is booked: Star Trek with a lot of *non-trekker* friends, and then some true italian pizza. Now, thank you Mr. Abrams, Orci and crew for the thrills. Trek means optimism, open mindness and acceptance of new, different things.

49. nephronial - May 7, 2009


You’re not the only one who feels that way.



50. Paulaner - May 7, 2009

As for the delta symbol, in my opinion every artist has the right to “bend” the rules in favor of his own vision. Having the delta as the Starfleet logo is much more iconic from an artistic point of view. I like the idea very much, it’s not an issue for me.

51. Tiberious100 - May 7, 2009

The countdown is up iam from Austria and i an goimg to see the movie yet. The future for star trek beginns now!!!

52. Trekker chick - May 7, 2009


I know that was the rationale used to justify the decision, it (IMHO) made more sense – and seems a little more consistent with current uniform practices – to have all elements of one organization use the same insignia.

Visually, I’ll concede that using different insignia for each ship allowed the viewer to determine crew of different ships within the episode, and serve as a more readily-identifiable surrogate for a mission patch/unit patch/ship’s seal.

I haven’t seen the film yet. Perhaps in this newly-created timeline/branch universe, it was done to honor the heroism of the crew of the U.S.S. Kelvin?

53. Pragmaticus - May 7, 2009

9 hours and 50 minutes until I see Star Trek (I can’t make the 7:00 showing because of a exam, so I’m going at 10:00). I’m going to be listening to the soundtrack non-stop until then!!!

54. Pragmaticus - May 7, 2009

47, 50 – Not an issue for me either. It’s a beautiful lady and we love her!

55. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009

Greenwood’s portrayal as JFK is still the best I have every seen. IMO

56. Trekker chick - May 7, 2009


Although some seem to think that she’s now a wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad.

57. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009


I think washing away the canon of individualized mission patches is as bad as the previous movies portraying other Federation Captains as idiots. When Captains are portrayed as imbeciles, it only lowers Kirk’s greatness, not elevate it. Think of the Jedi’s. They are a group of powerful studs, then when you see Anakin and Obi Wan as the best, it really makes them look elite. Same concept here. I like the idea of this movie showing other Captains as elite professionals, it only makes Kirk look even better because he is supposed to be better than them. The same goes for the patches. If every ship and starbase has their own insignia, when you see that famous Enterprise patch, you know the elite of the elite have now entered the fray.

58. Mot - May 7, 2009

#14 You are a miniscule, a very small piece, in the amount of reviews that absolutely love the new movie. I plan on seeing it, despite your negative review.

59. Paulaner - May 7, 2009


Every review is welcome, even negative ones, thank you Knut. Just one thing: when expressing your disappointment, please try to be more calm and moderate.

60. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#47—-The obvious answer is that the Delta insignia is recognizable as a universal symbol for Starfleet/Star Trek, hence the reason that it was adopted as such after TOS.

We (as fans) have been creating such solutions to seemingly contradictory tidbits for decades. Why not do it again?

(dips into the fanon bucket)The Delta Shield is originally the insignia for the USS Kelvin, which—in the original timeline—was passed along to the NCC-1701 upon the Kelvin’s decommissioning and later adopted as universal.
However, in the alternate timeline, Starfleet adopts the Delta Shield as universal quite a bit earlier—in recognition of, and as a tribute to, the brave actions of the officers and crew of the USS Kelvin in 2233.

It’s not that difficult to reconcile.

61. T'Leisha - May 7, 2009

We had our first showing at 1 pm today. Greenwood’s performance was one of the best things in the movie. There are a lot of other great things too, and I enjoyed it, and a lot of people walked out of the cinema talking about it, and they had a lot of good things to say. I was a little disappointed because I think I expected it to be the best movie i’d ever seen, after all the hype, and it simply wasn’t that. Regardless, it was a pretty darned impressive Star Trek movie, and an absolutely perfect beginning. I wish we’d seen more of pike though, Greenwood really made the role his own.

62. Daoud - May 7, 2009

The simple explanation for the delta symbol badge is… that it’s the default for Starfleet, but certain ships and missions are allowed to substitute an equivalent patch.

As others have noted, *during* TOS we saw other Starfleet wearing the delta, such as in Court Martial, Tribbles, etc.

I still like the theory that it’s Henry or Jonathan Archer’s way of signing the A in his name… reminiscent of the NASA arrow, and the UESPA arrow devices…

Does Pike survive XI? I know it’s a spoiler, so someone who’s already seen the movie give a *spoiler* warning and answer! :)

63. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#57—“The same goes for the patches. If every ship and starbase has their own insignia, when you see that famous Enterprise patch, you know the elite of the elite have now entered the fray.”

That logic didn’t keep the people in creative charge of the spinoffs from making the choice to adopt the Delta symbol as universal throughout Starfleet.

Just put your ‘fanon’ hat on and don’t be afraid to get creative. If I can explain it with very little effort in #56, then surely someone who puts alot of thought into it can do even better. If it is important to some fans, then I have no doubt that those fans will find a way to canonically reconcile it.

64. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#62—-Greenwood seems to believe he did!

65. Trekker chick - May 7, 2009


So, would your argument be that the Enterprise crew – to use a contemporary example – is equivalent to the position of the Navy’s SEALs (or other military branch special forces) – who **still** wear the same dress and duty uniforms (aside from specialized for missions) and Service branch uniforms, covers and insignia…but, have some distinctive team/qualification badge that supplements the uniform insignia?

66. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#65—-That is actually pretty much standard today for units like the 1st Infantry Division, 82nd and 101st Airborne Dvisions, etc.

On their service uniforms, such distinguishing insignia (a patch) is displayed on the shoulder.

The treatment of insignia for Starfleet personnel in TOS was as inconsistent as the Century they were supposed to be in. By the time of the original films, the Delta symbol was the unquestioned universal symbol of Starfleet—–just as the 23rd Century was finally pinned down as the time period in which the events depicted in TOS and the original films take place.

67. S. John Ross - May 7, 2009

#45, #59:

Thank you for being here. Sometimes this place gets really, really scary.

So, will anyone be tracking this site’s traffic to see if it takes a HUGE dip right around 6:30 PM across each U.S. time zone? :)

68. Devon Richards - May 7, 2009

One thing I’ll say for us all…
With the movie being released tonight, our period of anticipation ends. I’d just like to thank Anthony, on behalf of us all, for keeping us appraised, posted and up to date from the production announcement onwards.

Spectacular job!


69. Paul B. - May 7, 2009

The use of the Enterprise delta symbol doesn’t bug me. The utter lack of rank insignia on the women’s uniforms DOES bug me.

TOS was inconsistent about the ship’s insignias, as has been pointed out, but at least the women officers had rank. In this Trek, they’re rankless…that’s an egregious goof, in my opinion.

Still, I won’t be bashing the film for insignia issues–if it’s actually fun. I’m expecting “Starship Troopers” at best–fun while it lasts, but idiotic when you think about it.

Sadly, with my current schedule, I might not get to see it until early next week… Oh, the pain…the pain!

70. Gary Seven of Nine - May 7, 2009


In case you haven’t been keeping-up, Mr. Nimoy himself said this in his interview with Trekmovie.com: “If you go to see it to find fault and to point out the things you think are inconsistencies, chances are you won’t have a good time and you would have wasted your time and money so why bother?”

I looks like you bothered, then went trolling.

There are many folks here who have been opposed to this film since it was first announced and many of them have managed to voice their concerns without being total jerks.

Canon? Sorry to tell you, but this film is part of canon now.

Warbirds? Klingon Warbirds were mentioned in ENT: Broken Bow and BOTH Romulans and Klingons have Birds of Prey, so why not Warbirds? In fact, you seem to ignore that In the original series, at least three starships of the Klingon D-7 class were used by the Romulans.

Inconsistencies? You like every other hater out there use inconsistencies as a crutch to discredit this film. Guess what: Star Trek has been riddled with inconsistencies since the beginning and you seem to have completely ignored them.

Humor? Again, you like to ignore the fact that Trek has always been loaded with successful and unsuccessful attempts at humor through skit and, dare I say it, slapstick: Sulu and Chekov drooling over a Klingon woman…Scotty knocking himself out after proclaiming how well he knows the ship…McCoy giving a 20th century woman a pill that regrows kidneys to add comic relief…Vulcan neck pinch on a bus…the list goes on.

Message? Story? They were there, but you decided long before entering the theater that you were going to hate the movie didn’t you? That’s why you were so consumed by what was different that you missed a couple of important messages that were embedded in the story: The crew of the Enterprise belongs together and that no matter how gifted and capable individuals may be, in the case of Kirk and his crew, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. You also seemed to miss the exploration of the Human Condition that was told through Spock’s internal conflict. Besides, who ever said that EVERY installment of Star Trek has to smack you over the head with a message. Since the get go, The Supreme Court has asserted that this is an origin story. I, for one, am happy to have watched an origin story, without a blatant message about a societal issue hidden within. C’mon, haven’t we all had enough of Berman-Trek for a while?

This film is different, and that seems to threaten you. Perhaps you can find comfort in the screen adaptation of “The Changeling”, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where there is more than enough anti-action to balance-out the action in the new film. Or maybe you’ll find comfort in trying to find the message in “The Search for Spock” and get a good dose two middle-aged men leaping off of styrofoam rocks. You don’t have to like this movie. And you have right to feel that way and to express it. Just don’t come around here, looking for a place to dump your anger and personally attack the people who contributed to the creation of a film that, thus far, have been enjoyed by many people, with more to come, including a new generation of Trek fans.

Take a look at the Star Trek piece on The Onion; there is a reason why Trekkies are the butt of so many jokes, and you did a good job of reinforcing that reason.

71. Donn - May 7, 2009

5. Using the sequel to put Pike in the beeping chair would make the canonista uproar over this film seem like a polite tea party. I don’t actually care, but then, my feeling is that Pike was in the chair for one story, and then we never see him again. It’s just not that important an event in terms of who this crew is and what Star Trek is to feel like you have to show it happening.

The thing about TOS is, it’s so episodic, with little connection between episodes, there aren’t any singular recurring characters or villains to introduce, other than Rand and Chapel I suppose. Engineer Kyle? Riley?

I think they’re going to have to come up with some original stories. I do think they are going to have to trot out the Klingons for the next one, given that they have already done the design work. (Though it’s unclear to me whether the Klingon designs were from the future era or the TOS era.)

72. Bill Peters - May 7, 2009

Only A few more hours and I get to see this film! Can’t wait, Going in costume!

73. S. John Ross - May 7, 2009

#70: “In case you haven’t been keeping-up, Mr. Nimoy himself said this in his interview with Trekmovie.com: “If you go to see it to find fault […]”

Nowhere in post #14 does he indicate that he went to see it to find fault.

74. Gary Seven of Nine - May 7, 2009

I’m with you; great Trek film, but it will take something more to unseat TWOK from the top of my best Trek movie list.


61. T’Leisha – May 7, 2009

We had our first showing at 1 pm today. Greenwood’s performance was one of the best things in the movie. There are a lot of other great things too, and I enjoyed it, and a lot of people walked out of the cinema talking about it, and they had a lot of good things to say. I was a little disappointed because I think I expected it to be the best movie i’d ever seen, after all the hype, and it simply wasn’t that. Regardless, it was a pretty darned impressive Star Trek movie, and an absolutely perfect beginning. I wish we’d seen more of pike though, Greenwood really made the role his own.

75. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#73—-“Nowhere in post #14 does he indicate that he went to see it to find fault.”

Have you read any of Knut’s posts (over many months) prior to seeing the film?

I have. He went into it looking to find reason to hate it. There is no doubt about that.

76. Ryan - May 7, 2009

#68 – We’ve hopefully got a sequel in the works, so Anthony’s job doesn’t end tonight. :)

77. S. John Ross - May 7, 2009

#71 says: “I do think they are going to have to trot out the Klingons for the next one, given that they have already done the design work.”

My personal hope is that they explore strange new worlds … seek out new life and new civilizations. Something along those lines.

78. Duncan MacLeod - May 7, 2009

70. Gary Seven of Nine

Great Post! A lot of the detractors seem to miss the wholesale inconsistincies in all series of trek, the biggest offender was TOS with the occasional inconsistancy within the same episode!

79. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009


My argument isn’t that the crew of the Enterprise are special ops, but the Enterprise is the flagship of the Federation.

80. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009

Why is it everytime someone doesn’t like something about the creative decision of the new movie, an imbecile says “well the original series had a plethora of inconsistencies.”?The mission patches are not an oversight by the creative team, it was a decision that was made. All canon inconsistencies in this movie are not oversights, they are results of decisions being made. I am not here to argue how they happened. I like the idea of every starship and starbase having their own insignia for the reasons I gave in my post above.

81. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#80—-It was a decision made by the creative team, but long before Bad Robot came aboard.

The only time the insignia was ever specific to certain ships, etc. was in TOS (and even then, somewhat inconsistently so). That “decision” (to make the Delta Shield universal for Starfleet personnel) was made long ago.

It is fine that you prefer it the other way, but where I disagree is that this decision is somehow on the creative team behind the new film. You’re talking about a change that was made long ago, only reconciled in fanon (which still never explained why sometimes the personnel on other ships had distinct insignia, and other times they had the Delta Shield).

82. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009

And as far as the trouble with Tribbles, every Federation crewman you see in that episode with the Delta shield is an Enterprise crewman. The other guys were Klingons or the space station employees that weren’t wearing Starfleet uniforms. I also watched the Menagerie again, and no one on the Starbase were wearing Delta shield other than the Enterprise crew. Commodore Mendez and his assistant both had unique insignias. I am still waiting on which episodes someone can provide me with an example from TOS where this wasn’t the case.

83. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009


Wrong. Since this movie is a prequel to TOS, then the decision to go with the universal Delta shield was Bad Robots. The universal shield wasn’t supposed to happen until after Kirk’s 5 year mission.

84. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009

#83—-Then why do we see the DS on other personnel prior to the end of the five year mission in some instances? Most of the time they had distinct insignia, but other times they did not.

The notion that Starfleet adopted it after the 5 year mission is but a flawed concoction of fanon, since it doesn’t explain why it was inconsistent in TOS. The issue was never, to my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong), dealt with canonically. The Delta Shield simply appeared on everyone in the film era and beyond.

85. Knut - May 7, 2009

It `s incredible how many people (not everybody) here are not capable to except another opinion. This says a lot about abrams new audience!

86. Tony2448 - May 7, 2009

Let’s hope the whole Talos IV thing and the wheelchair thing never happens in the new series of movies. I hope Pike stays around in some superior officer role Admiral or something and still serves as a montor to Kirk

87. Tony2448 - May 7, 2009


88. Trekker chick - May 7, 2009

The only thing that is important is that we’ve got a Trek movie, with someone’s take on the concept with some “young minds, fresh ideas” behind it, and rather than continuing to wail and bemoan the cancellation of Trek and an attempt at consistency with the often-inconsistent, we give it a chance.

I’m going to…again, as I did 30 years (OK..29 years, 7 months) ago.

ROLL THE FILM!!! 6.5 Hours!!!

89. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009

I am opposed to a hive mind that all believe everyone must think the same thoughts, in this case, accept everything that’s in the new movie. Even Anthony Pascale has some nitpick things to say about the new movie. I am going to see the new movie, tonight and am very excited to see it. I hope it’s the best yet. I am just saying, since this is a fan site for fans to talk about Star Trek, there are a couple of things (different insignias, Kirk’s backstory, Engineering, Bridge) that I would’ve done differently. I am not here to bash anyone, for God’s sakes, it is this new creative team that’s going to make Star Trek relevant again. It is a difference of opinion, not bashing, not hoping the movie fails. That is where some on this site fail.

90. Anthony Pascale - May 7, 2009

there is no rule that says you have to like this movie…there should be no hive mind. when i have been interviewed i have always made clear there is a diversity of opinions among fans, and that no one opinion is ‘right’ even my own. I do believe there is a majority of fans who will love this film, but i do not think there should be ‘majority rule’

all opinions are welcome, as long as you are civil to each other

91. Trekker chick - May 7, 2009


And I specifically mean “cancellation of **TOS**”.

92. Closettrekker - May 7, 2009


A difference of opinon does not, and should not, result in “bashing” by either side.

Most here are capable of civil debate and discussion.

93. zoomnbyu - May 7, 2009

Bruce Greenwood is one of my favorite actors and should serve this part well! I love the part about the scorpion. Bring it on!!!

94. zoomnbyu - May 7, 2009

“70. Gary Seven of Nine – May 7, 2009 ”

Amen. I posted elsewhere the fact that Star Trek was dead. There appeared to be no future. Trekkies are reading too much and yet not enough into this! First, this is fantasy!!! The best Star Trek movies(box office wise) were the ones that played up on the fantasy/action/humor angles. Movies have to make money so that there can be more of them. Period. You have to play to the masses to get the gross dollars to make the case to make more movies. This movie should do that and breathe new life into a dying franchise.

So, amen! See you at the sequel!!!

95. Tiberius1000 - May 7, 2009

Well i know its off the topic and maybe you will hate me fo this but i just saw the new film and i must give a rewiev. So lets start it in that way. Bruce Greenwood did a terrific job he crates a astonishing Captain i liked his perfoments very much. I would put ihim in the same row like Ben Sisko and Jean Luc Picard and their actors. Well and Chris Pine, there was not much to act for him properly at least at the last scene he portreyed Kirk very well. This leads us also to the main problem of this film, dont get me wrong i liked this film and i loved Star Trek since i was a small child. But this film is mising they slidly differnt Star Trek expieriance, unfortunately maybe because off that i will perform well at the box office. This film not communicate any moral values and that is what for me is star trek all about. So after all was this a good film? yes it was, was it a good Trek Film? maybe we musst admit that there are also examples of good Trek Films that are bad Films for a wider audience. In conclusion i think J. J. Abrams did a good job of balancing Star trek with the requirements of a blockbuster but i must say that the screenplay was horrible and Alex Kurtzman Damon Lindelof faild to catch the esence of trek. All in all it was an enjoyible evening. I would give this movie 7 from 10 Stars. Their is a lot room for inprovement but hey1, did Gene Roddenberry not always tried to say usthat we should think positive about the future!

96. Ian B - May 7, 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope there’s an extended cut (particularly, Nero needs more screen time, and so far as I can tell Scotty’s reason for becoming chief engineer fell onto the cutting room floor). But overall, great stuff.

I now start looking forward to the sequel.

Oh yes, just one thing of many; the Enterprise in the debris field around Vulcan is f***ing gorgeous.

97. John from Cincinnati - May 7, 2009


Anthony- I truly respect your opinion and I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to some who post on here that take it too far and are disrespectful.

98. Ian B - May 7, 2009

Also, relevant to this thread specifically, Greenwood is superb as Pike and, crossed fingers that the movie does well and spawns a sequel, they’d be mad not to give him a significant role in that sequel.

99. Captain Hackett - May 7, 2009


Bruce Greenwood will be on CBC’s talk show ‘The Hour’ tonight!!! Check your local listings!

100. Colonel West - May 7, 2009

ok, just skimmed the comments so forgive me….

I’m just home from seeing the film and as Anthony and a few others have mentioned it definitely needs more than one viewing for those of us in the know so to speak…

I’ll do up a review in the morning when I let things sink in….

With regard to Mr. Greenwood’s performance (and the writing of his character), I’m trying not to to be too fanboyish and to actually be constructive and use my training, studies and qualifications here but damn, Bruce is the man.

He is Captain Pike. That’s it. He owns it. He brings such, i don’t know how to put it into words, gravitas? seriousness? hell you know what i mean, to the role. He is a mo’fo’in badass who knows his sh*t.

People have been talking about Capt. Robeau facts the past 2 years….. well as good as Faran Tahir is, Bruce Greenwood damn sure owns Capt. Robeau and deserves some facts of his own.

Mr. Greenwood, if by chance you read this, thank you and here’s hoping to see you in the sequel.

Amazing. Trek is back.

101. Andrew - May 7, 2009

Looks like I was wrong with my workplace prediction that Pike is going to die in the movie!
Long live Captain “Nowhere Man” PIke!

102. John Sullivan - May 8, 2009

Just between you, me, and the four walls of the Universe, Greenwood was the strongest and most dynamic actor in this movie, and he is the glue who allows us to suspend disbelief in what we are seeing. As I have stated before, he comes across as a formidable central figure just the same way Jetro Gibbs is such an effective leader on “N.C.I.S.” Take any familiarity of Star Trek away, and the novice viewer is immediately convinced that this Captain Pike guy is the key figure holding this film together. All we seem to see in Kirk’s characterization is someone who hope to someday grow up to be half the man George Kirk or Chris Pike are. I think if any Oscars are to be handed out for this film, they should clearly go to Greenwood first, with crumbs but nice ones to go out to all of the other actors, including Nimoy – who all did a remarable job. I honestly can’t say I actually saw a single bad performance in this film, but Greenwood’s presence towers so far above the rest that he clearly deserves first grab at that award.

103. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - May 9, 2009

As to the insignia. I admit I always liked the diff insignias for the other ships. But didn’t have a cow when TMP changed it. These things happen. However I must admit this movie has the best possible in built reason for it after all this time. With the way Pike talked about George Kirk and the Kelvin and the Kelvin salt shaker and such…I get a real “Remember the Alamo. Remember the Maine” sort of vibe from it. So it would make perfect sense if Starfleet adopted the Kelvin delta shield. In fact, I really dig that idea.

As for TOS examples of the delta shield on non Enterprise personnel, I already answered you once on that John. Look closer at Menagerie. I didn’t mean the girl who greets Kirk and et al. I meant the one girl in the inner office who stands at attention. And you skipped right over Court Martial.

Remember the Kelvin!

104. mada101 - May 10, 2009

81. Closettrekker – May 7, 2009:

“The only time the insignia was ever specific to certain ships, etc. was in TOS (and even then, somewhat inconsistently so).”

Not quite true.

All the ships/stations in ENT also had their own unique insignia. The inconsistencies in TOS was purely a costume issue: they didn’t have the cash nor the time to keep coming up with new patches for minor roles (the Commodore’s adjutant in ‘The Menagerie’ and those bar room blokes in ‘Court Martial’). The actors/extras were just given whatever costumes fit them. However, in the book ‘The Making of Star Trek’, printed office memos from the filming of TOS clearly show that it was the production team’s intention for all the different Starfleet stuff to have their own badges, just as (I assume) Abram’s team made the decision not to bother in order to use the more recognised delta shield as the Star Trek brand logo.

Just saying, is all.

105. Ozwitch - May 11, 2009

All performances by the principles were good, but Bruce Greenwood really stole the show in my opinion for the short scenes he had. He was the most believable and the most likeable of all. Just the sort of grizzled vet captain you expect to see on a bridge, and his wry humour was delightful to see. The way he delivered the line “is the parking brake on?” could have been cheesy but it was hilarious and charming the way he said it.

Truly hope the producers bring him back for a mentor/fleet commander type role in future movies. They need a Starfleet heavy, he’s the guy.

106. Dam Ruiz-her - July 14, 2009

Bruce Greenwood is a good actor, and the interpretation of the captain Pike is much good.
Mr. Greenwood, your are a powerful actor, I´m mexican, and please, read this message and write to my email your view of my criticism. my email is dlrh_12@hotmail.com
and please… which your email? I´m 14 years old, but, i love your movies

107. Ibolya - July 25, 2009

I like it all your film.I love you Bruce Greenwood

108. Shirley A Wolfe - July 26, 2009

I agree. Greenwood was awesome as Pike, just as in JFK. He’s the reason I went to see the movie.

I have written two screenplays with Greenwood in mind as the star. The plots are strong, the roles heroic, and no one but Bruce would do.

I just need an agent or producer or Bruce to contact me for copies of the

109. Ibolya - August 13, 2009

Me, too to write a script Bruce character to set about him i many of his films for him And inspired me.not to see his old films :(unfortunately not to see i into a life,when to play my homeland Bein Julia. :(No to know about him.to ask i when to get into our little homeland again to get to know you in more.And there to give a script to you.to wait makes a choice the http://brucegreenwood.gportal.hu on a side that i to prepare from him.

110. shannon smith - August 18, 2009

Why would captain Pike be in the sequal first like he’s in a wheel chair what much can he do in a wheel chair instead of just sitting their. Nothing much. Besides Pike wont have nothing to do in the film like would I want my commander to be put in a wheel chair and still try and fight sometimes unless you make him heal faster.

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