Orci and Kurtzman Reveal Star Trek Details In TrekMovie Fan Q&A | TrekMovie.com
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Orci and Kurtzman Reveal Star Trek Details In TrekMovie Fan Q&A May 22, 2009

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

Earlier this week Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman conducted another online Q&A with fans here at TrekMovie. There were hundreds of submissions and they got to dozens of questions and even addressed a few nitpicks. To make it easier for you instead of slogging through the hundreds of comments, the Q&A is presented below in an easy to ready Q&A format, along with highlights.  


Highlights of Orci & Kurtzman May 18-20 Q&A

After answering dozens of questions, Bob and Alex finished the Q&A with the following message:

Dear Trekmovie.com,

We want to thank you for hosting a truly great Star Trek destination. Your team, and all who have interacted here on this board have been a voice on our shoulder from the beginning of this process. We thank you all for caring enough to bother to nitpick us to death, Nobody does it like a Trekkie!

Bob and Alex

Note: all responses are from ‘BobOrci’ but come from both Bob and Alex who share an office together.


Jerry: Engineering? What’s the deal?

BobOrci: The deal is that we were pursuing the aesthetic of trying to shoot as many things practically as possible to contribute to the feeling of reality. The analog feel was also part of the ethic of having the future we are presenting seem right around the corner. Also, the location we used gave us a production value that would’ve cost millions if we merely tried to build it.

Data: Do you think of bring some characters from TNG era in future Star Trek?

BobOrci: If we can do it organically, perhaps.

Thasc: The Enterprise jettisoned a lot of little pods when its ‘core’ was ejected. We’ve been wondering what these are. Does the Enterprise now have multiple cores, with the singular ‘core’ term just being a, for lack of a better term a traditional name? Are the pods we see just antimatter storage pods? What’s the dealey-o?

BobOrci: We think of those as being the matter/anti-matter chambers of the reactor assembly. Just like a battery compartment can have multiple batteries.

TREKKIE369: I see a lot of talk of ‘alternate reality’, yet this seems like it’s an alternate timeline, vs an alternate reality like the mirror universe. What is your take on this?

BobOrci: In our minds, the terms are interchangeable.

Pragmaticus: Is Admiral Christopher Pike now a paraplegic? Is he permanently paralyzed or temporarily affected by the Centurian slug?

BobOrci: Who can say? We’ll find out together, I hope!

TREKKIE369 : Have you guys ever considered bringing Vulcan and Romulus back? And if not, how many survivors are there from both planets?

BobOrci: Recall that in this new Universe, Romulus is still out there, as Captain Pike indicates. As for Vulcan, Spock, in his Captain’s Log, estimates that there are approximately 10,000 survivors.

That Nutty Fanboy: What happened to off-world Vulcans? The lines in the movie indicate 10.000 survivors overall, which seems rather low for a space-faring species – especially that very likely have off-world colonies.. or was the 10.000-line pointed towards survivors escaping Vulcan itself?

BobOrci: True. Let’s just say then that the 10,000 does not count off worlders!

Thasc: A lot of future toys have made their way into 23rd century. We’ve been assuming that scans of the Narada made by the Kelvin allowed Federation science to progress more rapidly than in the prime timeline. Transwarp beaming would allow an almost Stargate-style transporter network to exist, bridging star systems upon which the system is established. And Spock Prime would be a wealth of information, assuming he’s willing to talk. So my question is, will we see this rapid technological growth continue in Star Trek XII, and should we expect to see the new timeline substantially diverge from the prime timeline as a result?

BobOrci: The timeline may diverge dramatically, but we imagined that Spock Prime would adhere to some for of temporal Prime Directive in which he tries to minimize knowledge of the future from affecting his new present.

Gorn Captain: Do you plan to use Admiral Pike again? And what did the Klingons in the movie look like before they were left on the cutting room floor?

BobOrci: Same answer to both. We’ll see!

ucdom: I like the idea that you came up for Bones’ nickname – but was it really necessary? I mean, it isn’t a stretch for a ship’s surgeon to be nicknamed ‘Ol’ sawbones’ is it? And why oh why oh why does the book completely fluff this line by saying “only left me with my skeleton” leaving the otherwise ill educated reader bemused as to why Kirk suddenly calls him Bones?????

BobOrci: We wanted to hear the word “BONES” and we figured a surgeon would not use that word organically in a scene, as in “I’m a surgeon, and they call us “sawbone’s” sometimes.

ucdom: The Transamerica Pyramid has moved suspiciously close to the Exploratorium – was this your doing??

BobOrci: Not my doing.

ucdom: Can you explain why a Red Matter induced wormhole or black hole (whatever) allows time travel for the Narada once, but crushes it at the end of the movie?

BobOrci: It is the technology of the interstellar ship (the Narada) that allows one to survive crossing through a black hole. At the end, the Narada is damaged and compromised by Kirk’s attack. Like a ship, it sinks when it’s damaged.

ucdom: Why, when Titan orbits in the same plane as Saturn’s rings, do we see the rings at a high angle when the Enterprise emerges from the top of Titan’s ludicrously thick atmospheric haze (PORCOOOOOOOOOO!!) ? And don’t give me that artistic license shenanigans – hire a science consultant or don’t.

BobOrci: Director’s discretion.

[editor’s note: ucdom, besides not being concise the tone was quite rude]

Robert Saint John: Can you provide us one definitive answer on the size specifications of the Enterprise and the Kelvin? Length, width, height, tonnage, crew members, ship class, etc. There have already been 5 conflicting answers. One from Bad Robot, three from ILM and one from the Enterprise Experience site. It would be great to be able to put these questions to rest with a ruling from the Supreme Court. Thanks!

BobOrci: I have no idea….We’ll hear the case very soon!

Joshua: What are the ‘fates’ of other canon Vulcans such as Tuvok, T’Pol, Saavik, and Spock’s half-brother Sybok?

BobOrci: Undetermined by current canon. We’ll see!

NC Trekker: In the Foster novelization, Spock Prime told young Spock that he planned to freely share his knowledge of the future. This line was not in the movie. What is your thinking on this and how do you see the future role of Spock Prime in the new universe? It seems that with his technical knowledge, he would be a valuable resource for Starfleet or someone else perhaps?

BobOrci: We won’t be discussing much about the future at this point, but the idea of sharing info was a lovely embellishment by Alan Dean Foster.

opcode: Perhaps it’s more of a question about production, but anyway I am curious…I read somewhere in this website that Marc Okrand is listed in the movie credits as a Vulcan and Romulan consultant. However I didn’t hear a single line in alien language during the movie (unless I miss something). IMHO that’s too bad because I always thought that the use of alien languages in ST movies increased realism, and even Star Wars used alien language a lot (though I understand that some dramatic moments are better left in English). Anyway, what happened? Were the alien lines recorded but never used (I understand that most ST movies inserted them during post-production). And in case they were recorded, any chance of adding them to the movies when it is finally released on Bluray?

BobOrci: You will see some deleted scenes on bluray. Not sure which yet.

Spocks Left Ear: I miss the Star Trek 2 style ship phasers. Do you think we will ever see that style again? Or do you think the new future direction of space combat is too fast for this kind of effect. Thank you!

BobOrci: We’ll see! I know what you mean about missing those phasers.

Capt Krunch: 1. Vulcan…red sky or not?

BobOrci: Red sky is seasonal.

Capt Krunch: I believe, based on the Star Trek Chronology and episodes, that this is the right time frame…In the Deadly Years 1967…or 2267 Kirk states he is 34 years old…if he was born in 2233 when the Kelvin is destroyed…this would be correct timeframe…Can we assume that the Enterprise is being built 2245..the established launch date? since we see her in action for the first time in 2258?

BobOrci: A good assumption

Capt Krunch: And lastly….why in Iowa and on the ground?

BobOrci: The behind the camera reason related to our goal to connect a general audience to the idea that Star Trek is real and grounded (literally). The idea was based on a fan made picture we found on the internet depicting the USS ENTERPRISE in a shipyard. Alex and I showed this image to JJ, and he locked in on its value immediately.

From an in world story perspective, the idea is that George Kirk’s death caused Starfleet to commemorate his sacrifice with the Riverside Shipyards. We’ve heard the complaint that it is inefficient to build a space ship on the ground, but we figured that any ship that can literally cross the galaxy by warping space and moving faster than light is surely able to what the space shuttle can do — and that is, get into space easily.

Cap’n Kirk: Was there a line or scene that was cut that explained why the Enterprise was being built on Earth rather than in space, or was it just for the dramatic effect of having Kirk gaze at her while contemplating his future?

BobOrci: No line was cut, but above mentioned thought process went into decision.

Gallifrey1983: I don’t want to stir up the Shatner issue again (though I would have loved to see him in this movie or the sequel), but I was interested in the MTV account of the scripted but unfilmed Shatner scene. You once mentioned that you might post the scripted dialogue after the film was released, is that still possible? If not, anything else you can say about that scene? Also, it might be my imagination but some places in the film seemed to echo Generations (like Pike saying to Kirk your dad leaped before he looked and saved 800 people – see if you can do better, Kirk hanging onto edges about 4 times and not falling, Spock saying “Captains can’t cheat death”). Was any of that an intentional reference to Kirk in Generations?

BobOrci: We’ll release the scene one of these days. As for the Generations reference, you can’t talk about Kirk cheating death without in some way having his death at the forefront of our minds!

Reign1701A: While I definitely understand why you guys had to essentially reboot the franchise, aren’t you still bound my canon in many ways? The events of the movie should have no bearing on the Fesarius, the Doomsday Machine, the vampire cloud, V’Ger, and so on…all arguably major events. Won’t you be forced to acknowledge these threats as they appear in the timeline in future stories (and therefore retreading)?

BobOrci: We are bound in many ways, yes. Although those exact stories may fall under the jurisdiction of a future court since our the latest mission of exploration takes place many years before the events you just listed.

Smike van Dyke: How can Spock observe the destruction of his homeworld from the surface of Delta Vega. Even if Delta Vega wasn’t near the edge of the galaxy, you couldn’t watch the implosion from a neighboring planet. You couldn’t see Earth from Mars either. Is Delta Vega a Vulcan moon or what?

BobOrci: I prefer to think of Delta Vega as being in close orbit (although it could be a moon), but nonetheless, we like to think of that sequence as impressionistic for a general audience. In other words, Nero could’ve beamed Spock prime down to Delta Vega with a telescope or some other type of measuring device to allow Spock to experience the pain of perceiving the destruction of his home world, but that simply isn’t very cinematic.

Shaun Bryer: Where did the idea of giving Scotty a little alien companion come from? Keenser looks similar to the aliens in Star Trek Nemesis who chase Picard and Co. while they’re in the Argo on Kolarus. Was there meant to be a similar look. Does it really make sense to have this alien on the Enterprise in the end?

BobOrci: I believe that was JJ’s idea which he came up with very last minute. I don’t think JJ saw Nemesis, so I doubt any similarities is intentional. I like the idea of Scotty having a helper in engineering!

Captain Jack Bauer: What’s the deal with Chekov’s age change? I’m totally willing to buy that Nero’s interference could have moved his birth four years earlier I’m just wondering what your reasoning for that change (in terms of an in-universe explanation).

BobOrci: According to Memory Alpha, Chekov was born in 2245 (vs 2233 for Kirk). He was always thought of as the youngest, and we read somewhere that he was inspired by the youngest of the Monkees, Davy Jones. So the idea that he was young naturally lead to the idea that he was perhaps also a prodigy, to justify his youth.

Roberto Suarez: What did Nero and the other Romulans do during the 25 years that passed between Kirk’s birth and Spock Prime’s arrival? Did they just wait for Spock to arrive? I’d be pretty pissed at Nero if I was one of his colleagues and he just forced me to wait around for 25 years doing nothing.

BobOrci: Canon does not say. This should be a rich area for fan fiction!

Shaun Bryer: In the Kelvin scenes, Captain Robau first is seen wearing a Starfleet insignia on his uniform. Then when he sits down in his command chair, does not have one on his shirt. When he leaves the bridge to head to the shuttle bay, it’s there again. Why wasn’t this caught? Did you, as writer, have the opportunity to participate in the post-production process as “another set of eyes” to make sure that something like this didn’t occur?

BobOrci: Hmm. Never noticed. It maybe because we might have reversed (or flopped) one of the shots, but I can’t be sure.

ML31: How do you explain the fantastic range of the transporter on Delta Vega? The Enterprise was way way way way way out of range of any planet side transporter by the time Kirk and Scotty were beamed back.

BobOrci: Spock Prime (Nimoy) arrives with advanced knowledge from the future which allows something which was impossible previously. As to the “TREK SCIENCE” behind it, I would have to think about it for a while, but I’m sure many of us here could come up with a good explanation.

Sarek: Is the “Admiral Archer” mentioned in the film intended to be Johnathan Archer from Enterprise? If so, he would be over a hundred years old Does the Enterprise timeline exist in this new reality?

BobOrci: yes, it is Admiral Archer is a reference to the Archer we all know and love, and yes he would be over 100, which is a likely life expectancy in a futuristic space faring race of humans (as depicted by McCoy’s (Deforest Kelley) in THE NEXT GENERATION.

Sarek: Are there any plans for Spock and Uhura to get married?

BobOrci: I haven’t asked them!

Sarek: If Khan were to be included in the next film, would you use the Eugenics Wars novels as an influence for the story? Would we see Gary Seven?

BobOrci: IF we went that way, anything that’s been written about K would be an influence.

New Horizon: Was there ever any thought put into developing something more along the lines of a Pike era movie series. There were years of unexplored territory…Spock and Pike served together for something like…ten years maybe? Bruce Greenwood was such an amazing force in this film…and in the end, I found myself wishing for more adventures with him in charge of the Enterprise. Wouldn’t have required the reboot…and feels a bit like a missed opportunity.

BobOrci: I loved PIKE in the movie. We knew he would have to be a big part of the story, but we never considered doing anything that didn’t involve the original crew s well.

SpocksinnerConflict: Was there a reason you had Spock and Uhura show their affection in a traditional human way, as opposed to the Sarek and Amanda Vulcan finger touching usually associated with Vulcan love?

BobOrci: We actually debated that very thing, wondering if the finger ceremony would be better in the elevator, but JJ correctly pointed out that a new audience would have no idea what was going on.

Desiree: While star trek was progressive for it’s time, there’s still only a single woman in the original cast, and she worked the phones. I loved the way BSG was pretty much beyond sexism and conversely am resentful of the token female presence in Star Wars. I know it’s difficult to squeeze enough time in for the entire ensemble, but are there any plans to introduce new characters, specifically females?

BobOrci: It is certainly on our minds.

MoPo: I understand it was a movie, but wasn’t giving a 3rd year cadet a promotion to Captain (one rank below Rear Admiral) after one mission a little rushed and forced just to get Kirk in the captain’s chair?

BobOrci: Yes it would be if there were no other extenuating circumstances (like saving the world, or the recommendations of Spock Prime and Captain Pike). People said the same about about a one term senator who jumped to the Presidency, (JFK, an inspiration for Kirk, as well as Obama).

cdom: In the novelization, Spock Prime says to Kirk, in the ice cave on Delta Wherever, that the Kirk he knew was born *on a farm in Iowa* Kirk/Pine counters that *he* was born on a spaceship. You’re doing or ADF’s?? If it’s you, then does this mean that the timeline was different PRIOR to the arrival of the Narada??

BobOrci: This came form one of our early drafts. No, it doesn’t mean things were different, it means that things changed at the moment of his birth. If not for the attack from the Narada, the Kelvin would’ve reached earth and Kirk would’ve been born in Iowa. The attack made Winona Kirk go into labor early.

Kirk1701: Is Kirk’s origin completely governed by FATE? Doesn’t that dehumanize him — make him more of a ‘tool of the gods’, rather than the blue-eyed humanist hero?

BobOrci: Question of fate has been touched on in article. In my mind, no, we are not relying on fate. Spock Prime pushing to place Kirk in the Captain’s chair is not based on the notion of fate, but on the proven empirical evidence ( from Nimoy’s past) that Kirk has an ability that others don’t.

Dennis Bailey: Leaving aside the story…as one of the producers, was there any decision made on the movie in terms of visual design, approach etc that gave you pause or worried you at the time it was made – as in “I really don’t know how people who have expectations about ‘Star Trek’ are going to react to this?”

BobOrci: Once we committed to the sacrilege of what we were attempting, there was not having pause, however, we knew many things would be scrutinized and difficult for some fans, like the ship on earth, Spock Uhura, Kirk becoming Captain quickly, and a million other things. But we went into it with our eyes open, and we made sure that no decision was made out of ignorance of what came before. All deviations were deliberate.

cugel the clever: In “Countdown”, the Narada effortlessly destroyed an armada of 24th century Klingon warships and disabled the Enterprise-E with one volley. However, in the film, the Kelvin (and early 23rd century ship) actually managed to exchange fire and survive for at least several minutes. It even managed to damage the Narada by ramming it. Logically, this makes no sense…. it should have been destroyed immediately (and Kirk&mother killed) given the firepower possessed by the Narada. This is like the Merrimac surviving a firefight with the Bismark. Care to explain this inconsistency?

BobOrci: Easy. The comic is not canon?

Enterprise: Was the assistant alien [Keenser] that was a friend to Scotty a member of Starfleet too, or was he just at Delta Vega when Scotty got there?

BobOrci: Starfleet.

George Matthias: Are you guys going to release the script? As an aspiring screenwriter I’d love to get my hands on it!

BobOrci: I think Paramount does intend to release it. Will find out.

Red-Shirted Monkey: If Spock Prime was so aware he was in an alternate timeline, why would he imply the saying “live long and prosper” would be self-serving?

BobOrci: Good bit of nitpicking there! He is still talking to himself.

Wes: First off, Nero goes back in time destroys the Kelvin, which was some tiny ship on the edge of the frontier, 800 lives are saved which, is most of the crew, Kirk’s dad is killed. But, how much affect does this truly have on the timeline? regarding the technology, look of the Enterprise, etc.? All that should have changed was Kirk’s life. How can you explain all of the discontinuity between stuff we saw in TOS and this film, it should not be that much different considering many things would have already been on the drawing board around the time of the Kelvin.

BobOrci: You’ll have to get more specific. The short answer is to google the “butterfly effect.”

Wes: ‘The Cage’ to the time of ‘The Menagerie’ was 18 years, obviously Pike only commanded the Enterprise in the film for what, 2 days? So, now with Kirk in command, is the timeline pushed back? are things 18 years before they should take place in the ‘prime’ timeline? Kirk at this point should only be 16 and Chekov should be around 2, during the timeline in your film.

BobOrci: Can’t speak to that.

Wes: Is Kirk’s elder brother alive and well? Since the prime timeline existed until Nero came through, Kirk’s elder brother should be out there? Or was that the kid he drove by in the Corvette?

BobOrci: Canon is ambiguous on the matter. The kid on the road was originally meant to be his brother, and still could be, I suppose.

Wes: It seems like the timeline is now relatively unaffected, Kirk is in command, everyone is where they should be, etc. So, how much different will this timeline be?

BobOrci: We’ll see! Some things the same, some different.

Bart: You cited the novel “Prime Directive” as something that you read and were influenced by. I read and loved that book. Is there anything particular, plot or character development in the movie that is a “tip of the hat” to that story?

BobOrci: The inner monologue of the characters in that book inspired our characterizations and descriptions in the script, but nothing specifically story-wise was referenced.

Kyle: Do you see the new direction of the franchise allowing for more moral and ethical discussions in future movies? Such as the Genesis device in Wrath of Khan? Surely the new Battlestar Galactica has shown that realistic character drama can be combined with a sci-fi social commentary and be enjoyed by a wide audience, including people who say they don’t like science fiction.

BobOrci: There is indeed much room to tackle meaty ethical or moral dilemmas!

Kyle: I was amazed at how you balanced the new timeline scenario while also making it feel like these characters will grow to be the people we know. Part of what I feel makes the film enjoyable is that we do know who these characters become later, that Kirk mentions his solution to the Kobayashi Maru during Star Trek II, etc, that they become the family we know. Do you agree? Where do you think the balance is between the happy nostalgia of knowing who these characters are and what’s ahead for them, and keeping them in honest peril?

BobOrci: The balance you speak of is the hardest part. It just has to feel organic to the story, and not just including details from a list that don’t fit.

Kyle: Last geeky question that you’ve probably been asked already….one can assume that the star that destroyed Romulus is still headed for that fate some years later, no events in the new universe seemingly changed that….did Nero destroy Vulcan in vain? It also held the technology to save Romulus.

BobOrci: They have a lot of time to deal with it, and now they know. Presumably, the technology will be available again in time.

Adam: Vulcans, their culture and their planet have obviously had a huge influence on the Federation since it’s inception. From science, to art, to mysticism, Vulcan has always been as much apart of Federation culture as Earth. With Vulcan destroyed in this parallel timeline, will the Federation unfold in a way that it should, or will it become something completely different, completely… Human? And don’t say “you’ll have to wait and see.” I want to know your opinion on the matter.

BobOrc: I would say that their influence will absolutely still be felt, perhaps more so as the Federation rallies around the remaining Vulcan colony to assure they are safe going forward.

sean: Since they appear to be very similar, was there any point where you considered simply using Ceti Eels instead of Centauran Slugs?

BobOrci: Yes, we considered it, but we wanted ‘homage’ instead of a direct lift.

sean: Was the Spock/Uhura romance something you came up with off the top of your heads, or was this based on the few subtle allusions to Uhura’s crush on Spock from TOS?

BobOrci: It was off the top of our heads, although after the fact, we looked back at some episodes and noticed a moment or two of flirtation that we’d never noticed between Spock and Uhura.

Red-Shirted Monkey: Was it logical for Spock Prime to risk the existence of Earth in order to nurture the friendship of young Spock and Kirk, and if your answer includes the phrase “needs of the one” don’t you think that’s a stretch?

BobOrci: I assume Spock also believed his plan had the best chance of success. And did you just advise me not to quote Trek philosophy as an answer?!;)

lawmanjcl: As compared with Spock Prime, Amanda’s premature death triggering an earlier resolution of Young Spock’s estrangement with Sarek (an estrangement which Spock Prime arguably never quite fully resolved given the “Sarek” and “Unification” TNG episodes), and the earlier resolution of Young Spock’s struggle with logic and emotion perhaps triggered by the same event (a struggle which Spock Prime only began to resolve after his encounter with V’ger) — were these intentional decisions made when first setting out to craft the movie’s story outline?

BobOrci: we didn’t start with those conclusions as endpoints, but they were the logical and natural progression given where the story took us. Half intentional up front, half finding it as we go.

Catie: What inspired you to put Spock and Uhura together?

BobOrci: The death of Spock’s mother inspired us to accelerate Spock’s emotional development, including his acceptance of a human relationship (the way his father accepted one).

Just another German trekker: Some passages in the movie seem to indicate that there’s still some kind of monetary economy in the Star Trek Universe. How else could, for example, McCoy have “nowhere else to go” after his divorce?
Have you been aware of the fact that mainly this plot point (along with other, less crucial, ones) couldn’t withstand close examination given the fact that there is no money in the Star Trek Universe? (I mean: He’s a [physician]  – how could he NOT be of service on earth?)

BobOrci: And Kirk offers to pay for Uhura’s drink at the bar, There’s money, or some kind of credit system in this universe.

Doug L: For me, the main characters, Kirk, Spcck & Nero (as antagonist) are largely fleshed out with cut scenes and cliche’s…. ie Kirk is a badboy because he gets into car fights, wrecks cars and has no father… I feel there is a lack of both clear motivation and emotional impact as a result. Do you think this is a result of script, editing, directing, or do you disagree?

BobOrci: Obviously I disagree, however as the writers, we always take full responsibility for any dissatisfaction.

TerokNor: Why was there a lightning storm in space both near Vulcan (mentioned by Chekov, I think) and near the Klingon prison planet (the transmission Uhura decoded)? The original lightning storm (mentioned by Kirk) was apparently caused by the temporal rift the Narada passed through. When the Jellyfish came through 25 years later, a similar storm was seen. So how could such a storm be at those other two locations when there was no Red Matter-induced time travel anywhere nearby?

BobOrci: The second lightning storm is the one caused by Spock’s (Nimoy) arrival. Spock went through the black hole later, which is why he appeared later from falling into the same, original, red matter created black hole.

Unbel1ever: Kirk says to Nero, that the Narada is too close to the singularity to survive without help, which he is “willing to provide”. Why does he fire on the Narada after Nero refuses his help and risks his ship and crew by remaining there ?

BobOrci: He can’t risk Nero traveling through time again.

PA: I understand why destroying Vulcan on the alternate timeline was ‘necessary’ for the movie. Did you also consider the effect of destroying Romulus in the Prime timeline or was it entirely secondary to what you wanted to achieve in the movie?
Was it ever an issue to consider to effects of the movie on the Prime timeline?
Do you think there should ever be a return to the Prime timeline and the post TOS characters?

BobOrci: The Countdown comic shows that the TNG timeline continues on after Spock’s death/disappearance. I would love to see another TNG movie.

Docor Pulaski: I wondered. Since everything before Nero changed the timeline is as it was. Does that mean that Star Trek: Enterprise still happened in this new Star Trek universe? So Archer, T’Pol, Trip etc. and all their adventures happened?

BobOrci: Sounds logical.

Cousin Itt: Question: Many of the problems I have with the film involve actions that seem to be very out of character. How do you justify young Spock leaving the Enterprise to try and save his parents, despite the fact that Captain Pike is gone, and he is in command during a battle situation. Spock’s devotion to duty has been demonstrated over and over again, and this is something that this character simply would not do.

BobOrci: Unless he is the only one who knows what to do to SAVE HIS DYING CULTURE. Certainly there must be some provisions in the regulations for that. In fact, I believe in TNG, such a thing is spelled out, but I can’t remember the episode. Also, Spock is not as fully formed in this moment as when you first met him.

DaggerScribe: Is the mind-meld as complete as canon always told us, i.e. a complete transfer of experiences? If so, young Kirk would know all about the Prime timeline as old Spock lived it. Any plans to show him using that knowledge?
Or is this a new, more selective type of mind-meld that contained only the transfer seen in the movie?

BobOrci: In our minds, Spock is only passing on the narrative he describes and the feelings associated with it. Nothing more.

Mike Ten: Why does Starfleet in this universe use windows instead of viewscreens on the bridge? In the prequel series Enterprise the NX-01 had viewscreens and the TOS Enterprise had a viewscreen not a window.

BobOrci: In our movie, it is BOTH. I believe it was based on the odd fact that, although the bridge didn’t usually have a window, it was nonetheless situated, much like a naval ship, at a high look out vantage point (which, by the way, seems unnecessarily vulnerable to attack). Rather than move the bridge, we added a window to justify it’s location.

Mike Ten: What was the Starfleet doing gathered in another solar system while Nero was headed to Earth?

BobOrci: Undetermined.

andrew: How much did Damon Lindelof contribute to the story?

BobOrci: A lot!

Drew: I think its a shame that we as the audience didnt get to see a little more development on the characters particularly Jim Kirk. I’m fully aware that there is so much you can do within a 2 hour movie. He (Jim Kirk) becomes cadet then First Officer then Captain. Yes this is an alternate timeline but lets also be a little realistic to the character. Show Kirk as a leader at the academy, teach, win awards and show that he is not just any typical cadet in Starfleet Academy but someone who is special and will become the beloved starship captain that he is destined to be.

BobOrci: We skipped over his time at the academy. But I like to think what you describe is what happened there.

Ran: As a fan, what were you thinking by destroying Vulcan, Romulus and killing Spock’s mother? Was it really necessary?

BobOrci: We knew it would be controversial for sure, but we wanted to make it clear that the rules had changed, and that we were DEFINITELY in a new time line. As for Spock’s mother… we haven’t mentioned this too much, but one of the inspirations for the Kirk/Spock relationship was the friendship between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. In a way, they were opposites, but they bonded early in life because they both suffered through the loss of A PARENT in childhood.

RTC: The TOS episode ‘Amok Time’ establishes that Vulcan’s atmosphere is thin. But in the film, Kirk and Sulu do some serious Romulan smackdown on the drill platform above Vulcan with very little heavy breathing — despite being miles in the sky. How did you resolve this one as you developed the story?

BobOrci: High altitude, time release oxygen capsules?

oby: Don’t the Nokia and Budweiser product placements contradict the post-capitalist Trek Federation envisioned by Gene Roddenberry?

BobOrci: Not if those companies have been nationalized!

Crabtree: Was there something you really wanted to get in the movie, some scene, reference, joke, or other that you couldn’t?

BobOrci: Wanted to mention Prime Directive, Pohn Far, Carol Marcus, Mudd, Gary M, time on the Farragut… list is endless.

Kaizer: When the Enterprise first encounters Nero at Vulcan, Captain Pike makes a comment about contacting Romulus in order to negotiate a ceasefire, etc. Nero responds that he does not speak for the Empire. My question is, assuming the timelines between the two realities were the same up to the point that Nero arrived, how would the Federation have had relations with the Romulans, given that in TOS they had had no contact with the Romulans, and didn’t even know what they looked like, until Balance of Terror.

BobOrci: Survivors and telemetry from the Kelvin exposed the federation to Romulans earlier than would’ve occurred otherwise.

Charliehorse43: In the scene where Kirk and Scotty beam onto the Enterprise what was the water turbine for. I just can not get a handle on how it fits into a starship engine room.

BobOrci: Its not water.

Ryan: What is the reasoning behind bringing Damon Lindelof on board as co-writer of the sequel (instead of his previous role as Producer)? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and respect Mr. Lindelof’s work (especially on Lost), but it seems to me that you guys did an excellent job on your own. Why mix it up? Does he have some bad-ass idea for a sequel, and all of you guys are just acting coy?

BobOrci: Damon will be breaking the story with us and Alex and I will write the screenplay. The logic is that he is a A GENIUS and we’ll take all the help we can get to make sure the next movie is as good as it can be.

Vrenir: The mind-meld flashback was a nice plot device, but I wonder how you decided on the content of the recap. A supernova threatening the galaxy? It makes sense knowing the uniqueness of the situation from Countdown, but why no mention of the mass-into-energy growth in the movie? Similarly, the backstory of Nero in the comic is so detailed and enhances his character so much; why does Spock make no mention of working with him to try and prevent Romulus’ destruction? Something along the lines of, “Together we pled our case before the Vulcan Science Ministry, but they refused to help, believing that the Romulans could not be trusted with their technology. Eventually, I was able to convince them to let me use the Red Matter, but Nero had already returned home in frustration.”

BobOrci: We played around with various things like that, but it’s amazing watching various cuts of the movie what works and what doesn’t and how much is overload or unnecessary extrapolation. Also, the Countdown story was created after we shot the movie, so we lacked some of the footage we would’ve needed to execute.

TyrannicalFascist: My question is regarding naming. So the original universe is called the “Prime” timeline or universe. Have you guys come up with a name for the new reality, other than “Alternate Universe” as it’s being called on Memory Alpha? Perhaps something shorter and less likely to get confused with other universes?

BobOrci: No. It is not for us to label.

Andrew C: When you were writing the movie, did you picture a young Shatner when you wrote scenes for Kirk, a young Nimoy for Spock, etc? Or did you have casting ideas in mind that might have influenced your writing?

BobOrci: Good question. Honestly, this is where the books where extremely helpful, because reading a much more detailed inner life of our heroes really helped us think of them simply as CHARACTERS from the inside out instead of from the outside in. Hope that makes sense.

EFFeX: Although you have clearly explained that we are dealing with an alternate time line, would you admit that the notion of restoring the Universe in later stories is still an interesting concept to toy with?

BobOrci: Sure. Reboot the reboot!

Jörg: Kudos for the inclusion of small dialogue references to previous shows (Melvaran mud fleas appeared in Enterprise, Klabnian eels, here fire tea, appeared in TNG). Are we right in assuming that Memory Alpha was used to research those snippets (not implying that you don’t know all 700+ episodes by heart) ;-)

BobOrci: Absolutely. Memory Alpha was an invaluable source. I’m hardly a whiz with Trek Trivia.

Logan: How does the Stardate work in the new Star Trek-Movie? It’s shown quite diffierent in the ways seen in the past films and series.

BobOrci: The year, as in 2233, with the month and day expressed as a decimal point from .1 to .365 (as in the 365 days of the year).

MC1 Doug: It is accepted throughout TREK history that when a transporter beams a person up/down that the position they were dematerialized is the position in which they rematerialize. Yes, there have been a few instances of this inconsistency in the past. (which still does not explain it) … for example, USAF pilot Captain Christopher in “Tomorrow Is Yesterday.” So, why was Spock, who was seated in the jellyfish, beamed to the Enterprise standing up?

BobOrci: You got us!

Cap: What significance does the villain’s name being Nero have in relation to the Emperor Nero, of Rome? What is the specific or general reference to be derived here?

BobOrci: A nod to the Romans that inspired Romulans.


And that is it for now, but don’t worry, Bob and Alex will be around


TrekMovie would like to thank Bob and Alex for taking so much of their time to do this, and also thank the TrekMovie community members who participated and came up with so many interesting quesitons




1. LCDR Arch - May 22, 2009

I would have prefered if Kirk was a LT when he gets promoted to first officer and then to Captain. I have trouble believing the Cadet to Captain idea. At least LT Steven Decatur was a LT when was promoted to Captain. (Decatur was also a CO of the Enterprise!)

2. Paulaner - May 22, 2009

“There’s money, or some kind of credit system in this universe”

Some sense, at last.

3. Valar1 - May 22, 2009

I was wondering, the cut sequence with Nero being captured and held at Rura Penthe by the Klingons, does that mean that the Narada was available to the Klingons for study/reverse engineering. If so, then the Klingons would have a lot of technological advancements over their Federation counterparts.

But then again, 47 of their ships got wiped out at Rura Penthe trying to defeat the Narada.

4. Sci-Fi Bri - May 22, 2009

Great movie. lets hope its legs last long and we put Terminator 4 down next weekend.

5. Valar1 - May 22, 2009

2- that stuff about money being eliminated- I believe that was in TNG, not TOS.

6. Paulaner - May 22, 2009


I know, but it was a terrible gap, having money in TOS and not having it in TNG. Different philosophy between the series, ok, but the thing was honestly unbelievable.

7. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


I actually asked, that question in the Q&A and they answered by saying, that it’s only part of canon, if it’s on the screen.

8. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


Scratch that “,”.

9. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 22, 2009

Bob Orci. Who is going to write the next Trek Movie or are you already Writing it. It is so kool that you have droped in and answered all of our Questions. It says a lot about you and how much you care enough about Trek to come to the Best site for all things Trek and blog with us crazy Trek types. I think Gene Roddenberry would be very proud to know that Trek is in very Good hands and with people who realy care about Star Trek.

10. DaiMonRon - May 22, 2009

I can’t recall money being mentioned in TOS, but in ST IV, Kirk tells marine biologist that the don’t use money in the 23rd century.

11. DaiMonRon - May 22, 2009

THEY don’t use……….(oops)

12. Remington Steele - May 22, 2009

The Vulcan Sky isn’t seasonal!!!

I don’t care what the lads say!!

Although fair play to them for taking so much time to answer the hundreds of questions…not a lot of writers would take time to do that.

So fair play to ye lads.

The Vulcan sky is red though.


13. Anthony Pascale - May 22, 2009


your question is answered in both the highlights above and in the QA transcript.

I everyone should go over the last couple of QA sessions with the guys, there are a lot of repeated questions, I think they have covered quite a lot of ground in the last week

14. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


Well, in the timeline the guys care about the Vulcan sky is gone.

15. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 22, 2009

In Mirror Mirror Terran Empire Kirk says to our Spock that if you want Credits ill give them to you. In Trek 4 Kirk says to the rest of the crew while in the 20th century that they are still using Money. He says to Dr Gillian Taylor at the restraunt that in the 23rd century they do not use Money. So with that said they use the Credit System and i bet in 20 years or so we will be the same way here in the 21st century.

16. Paulaner - May 22, 2009

#10 “I can’t recall money being mentioned in TOS”

In a TOS episode Kirk talked about Starfleet “paying” for the training of personnel. In my opinion we may assume that the no-money thing is part of the revisionist utopian TNG era.

17. Capt. Robau Is Kirk's Father - May 22, 2009

Yeah, the only logical conclusion is that TNG is a reboot.

18. Paulaner - May 22, 2009

#15 “So with that said they use the Credit System and i bet in 20 years or so we will be the same way here in the 21st century.”

Agreed. Yet, a credit system involves the concept of earning and spending. In First Contact, Picard clearly talks about a utopian society where these activities are irrelevant.

19. section9 - May 22, 2009


Did Gaila survive the destruction of the Hood? Methinks fan consensus is that it would be nice to see her back as a computer specialist or something, just to tweak the Captain now and again.

20. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 22, 2009

Sorry Anthony. I did not see that. Well. Im very glad they are writing the next Movie as well. I feel realy great about Bob and Alex writing the Next one. Should be one hell of a ride on the next movie as well.I know ill be on here everyday again for the next couple of years like all of the rest and giving my take on the next movie.

21. 750 Mang - May 22, 2009

“Inconsistencies between film and “Countdown” can be explained that the comic is not canon.”

Then why bother?

If you can’t even follow your own rules…

22. Sean4000 - May 22, 2009

I loved Countdown and am sad that it is not canon.

23. Capt Mike of the Terran Empire - May 22, 2009

Bob Orci. Question. What was your first reaction when you were asked to write Star Trek.

24. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


I think she might be. She’s happy with her assignment, when the cadets are dismissed and she faces Uhura. So we might assume, that she got her favoured ship. As the Enterprise is the new flag ship, one also might assume, that this is the ship everyone wants to be on.

25. Craiger - May 22, 2009

Cool Q&A! Anthony, just curious now that the new movie has premiered didn’t you say that after that TrekMovie would become TrekHQ? I could be wrong on that. Is this still happening and when would that take place? Or are you going to keep the TrekMovie name? Thanks, Craig.

26. AJ - May 22, 2009

“No money” issue was referred to in TVH when Kirk has to sell his glasses, and when he doesn’t pick up the check

27. Craiger - May 22, 2009

Mr. Orci and Kurtzman, great movie. I liked it. Any plans with J.J. Abrams to do a Trek TV series or is Trek just going to be a movie franchise?

28. mcmannes - May 22, 2009

I hope we go on new ‘missions’ with cool references to the ‘old’ timeline. That’s my preference. Overall, a FUN…FUN movie! Thanks for it!

29. David (Loving the new Nacelles) - May 22, 2009

Thanks for all of the answers gentlemen. Having Spock Prime see the death of Vulcan bothered me for the technical reasons, but it didn’t affect my overall thrill factor.

I am looking forward to the technical specs for the new enterprise.

Make it So!

30. AJ - May 22, 2009


UGO seems to have taken the ‘Trek HQ’ name.


31. alphaquad20 - May 22, 2009

Ah, shoot, I missed out on the Q&A. I wanted to ask Bob Orci about changes to the script. I know he mentioned that Paramount might release the screenplay, but I was wondering what kind of changes JJ Abrams made once he started principal photography. Has Mr. Orci mentioned anything about specific changes made after the script was locked? I know the writers strike probably affected the process, but there must’ve been one or two things that JJ Abrams contributed. He seems like too creative a person to not to insert an idea or two, but I can’t remember hearing anything specific. Mr. Orci? Anthony?

32. Mike Ten - May 22, 2009

Mr. Orci, Thank you for taking the time to answer mine and the other questions. I’ve been a fan of Star Trek since the early 1970’s and never dreamed of being able to ask let alone get a sincere answer to a fan question short of going to a convention.

I find it incredible that a person who is responsible for making a major motion picture with a $150 million dollar budget would take the time to reply to the many questions submitted to you. Thanks

33. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

I’m surprised that the Kelvin elevator question did not get answered….

It was coming down into the shuttle bay in the film….or did Robau have to take 2 elevators to get to the actual shuttle deck ? Bridge to the top of the engineering section in one elevator, then going to another elevator and takingn it down to the actual deck…. Remember in TOS, there was an observation deck above the actual shuttle deck…hmmm

Thats my explanation and theory….

Other than that Enterprise being accepted into the canon of this film and a part of this timeline is a little confusing….does that make First Contact canon and the only TNG adventure a part of this timeline now ??? Is First Contact now only viewed as a standalone film in this new canon ???

Without the events of FC we would not have the Borg in Regeneration, mentions of Zephram Cochrane, the Phoenix being featured in the opening credits…. Other inconsistencies are the Enterprise J (however that was an alternate possible future) and of course In a Mirror Darkly had a Prime Universe ship enter the Mirror Universe….

Are there still Augment Klingons in this new reality too (ENT Affliction and Divergence) ???

Orci and Kurtzman, Anthony – where does the film Star Trek: First Contact fit into this new reality ???….without it things in Enterprise would not exist… However FC can be ignored and the jumping off point can be ENT Broken Bow….and take things from there and see things for face value I guess….

34. Jordan from UGO - May 22, 2009

This is AWESOME!

Orci & Kurtzman really do care about us.

35. Anthony Pascale - May 22, 2009


the Q&A is over. Although Bob may still pop in as he does, we are no longer organizing a Q&A and so this thread should not fill up with new questions. The guys have answered a ton of questions in the last week, look through those threads you questions may have been answered already.

36. Ben - May 22, 2009

Thanks for responding so many questions, keep it up !

Star Trek is back, largely thanks to you folks.

37. Jordan from UGO - May 22, 2009

#30 –
Mike –

UGO has a lot of mini HQs for big movies – Terminator Salvation HQ, Incredible Hulk HQ, heck we even have a Max Payne HQ from last year . . . it’s just a name we’ve been using to consolidate lots of the cool content we have about the specific movies as they are released.

It’s not quite the daily stream of news and community that Anthony has put together here.

38. Anthony Pascale - May 22, 2009

RE: TrekHQ.com

I still own that URL and may still rename the site that. UGO is running a subsite right now with that name and we may work something out with them, or may chose a new name

but TrekMovie will be renamed this summer regardless, as was always planned.

39. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

The Engineering Section and Shuttle bay were located above the saucer section on the Kelvin…..

Now I am retracing Robaus steps….he exits the bridge, enters the turbo shaft (or did he just take a laterall turbo lift like in TOS)….then what happens next ??? I am assuming he walks through engineering – because it would be located at the rear of the saucer section contecting the 2 struts… goes up a flight of stairs (or was it down – remind me) and finally takes a lift up to the top of the ship that houses the shuttle bay and takes one down to the deck ?

Can someone help me re-trace Robaus steps to unmuddle this mystery…

Anthony ?? Orci ? Kurtzman ?

40. BrF - May 22, 2009

I know we’re done but if Bob Orci lingers still I have one more


I was sure that Nero’s drill rig was going to take out the Golden Gate Bridge when it was cut loose and fell. Was that considered, and by any chance was the bridge spared for budget reasons?

Thanks again —

41. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

Who wants to help me solve the mystery of Robaus trip to the Shuttle deck…the mystery of the elevator coming down into the deck ???

Any takers ? Anthony ? This could be a fun Trek Movie activity ?

Now that O and K have confirmed ENT as canon and as a true prequel to this film….Archer reference etc… Does FC still exist or is it now totally ignored…??? That is another mystery we can solve ? I still say FC is relevant in this new timeline because they return to the 24th century…

I see FC as a standalone one time event adventure now….a prequel to ENT and this film…. ENT is now a prequel to the Prime and Alt Realities….

To me FC is canon and significant !!!! The start of the Trek Adventure !!!

42. screaming satellite - May 22, 2009

Anthony – TM.com was mentioned in the Guardian (UK newspaper) last week as one of the top Trek sites on the web….

“linking to everything connected to the new movie from Box office recepits and magazine inteviews to nitpicking astronomists”

43. Rick - May 22, 2009

Anthony I think you posted everything twice

44. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


With regard to that, I wonder, wether it’s a wise choice to change the name of the site. I mean, it’s well known with this name now. Does anyone really care wether it isn’t strictly about the “Trek Movie” anymore ? Feels a bit like “Syfy”, if you know what I mean. Just my opinion.

45. BrF - May 22, 2009

Saw 35 after posting 40, Anthony. I was typing a question while you were asking us not to. Sorry about that.

As for no. 41, I’d say that Kubrick provides a lot of ways to turn upside down and right side up again in space. Just rent 2001 and take your pick.

46. alphaquad20 - May 22, 2009

@30 – Sorry Anthony. I enjoyed reading all of Mr. Orci’s responses – thanks to him, and kudos to TrekMovie for doing the work to sift through and organize all those questions and answers. This site continues to amaze me and I look forward to the rebranding!

47. mike - May 22, 2009

Just another German trekker: Some passages in the movie seem to indicate that there’s still some kind of monetary economy in the Star Trek Universe. How else could, for example, McCoy have “nowhere else to go” after his divorce?
Have you been aware of the fact that mainly this plot point (along with other, less crucial, ones) couldn’t withstand close examination given the fact that there is no money in the Star Trek Universe? (I mean: He’s a [physician] – how could he NOT be of service on earth?)

there has always been money in the star trek universe. MANY episodes contradict the idea that there is no money in star trek. The earliest being credits being used in the trouble with tribbles. On Youtube search “Star Trek Movie Mistakes” and you will see the countless times it is implied they have currency in the 23rd and 24th century… even though kirk said they didn’t in The Voyage Home, and Picard said they didn’t in First Contact. Star Trek has always had currency… depending on the writer.

48. Valar1 - May 22, 2009

“Star Trek is back, largely thanks to you folks”

Amen to that!

49. Just another German trekker - May 22, 2009

Whew – my question has been answered – cool – well, unfortunately the whole money-thing still is quite an issue to me. On Memory Alpha one can find half a dozen of quotes which canonize the abolition of monetary economy in the Trek Universe – but well, Star Trek has always been full of inconsistencies regarding that matter (yup – on the other hand, in the very same MA entry, there are eight quotes which contradict the facts mentioned above) and I won’t let that spoil all the fun I had by watching the new movie…

50. Valar1 - May 22, 2009

I think the simple way to solve the money issue is for Orci to coopt the standard money used in DS9- Gold Pressed Latinum. I’m sure we’ll see someone in a future Trek movie talking about them not having enough latinum to afford this or that, and then the cannonistas will cry foul and then the alternative universe people will come to cry it’s simple it’s another universe they moved to latinum before the TNG era of the prime universe etc etc rinse repeat.

51. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

WOW – FC Changed everything……It is a part of this new reality in my mind…this new universe, timeline and continuity….a standalone adventure that is very vital…

The events of that film changed the past (twice – asssimilated earth and EE crew members helping out with first warp flight) and fixed the future (assimilated earth), yet the future in the Prime 24th century was the same when the EE came back to its own time.

Yet the EE exposing Cochrane and Lily to high tech stuff leading into ENT and its advanced tech…..plus the events of FC and some of its consequences popped up in ENT….. Then we had ENT (which is a part of the new canon) and its events unfold…..

However the Narada changed everything in a BIG way and ITS arrival is the now the most significant event in galactic history – it is almost like Kirk and the Kelvin were very significant that changing outcomes and destinies completely created a completley new reality – changing the past permanently that it cannot be fixed now….thus Prime spock coming from the Prime reality post NEM 24th Century, same with Nero and the Narada….

So the way I see it now is FC – ENT – ST09….

52. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

Who wants to help me solve the mystery of Robaus trip to the Shuttle deck on the USS Kelvin…the mystery of the elevator coming down onto the shuttle deck after leaving the bridge ??? With the deck actually being located above the saucer section ?

Any takers ? Anthony ? This could be a fun Trek Movie activity ?

53. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

Any thoughts on my theory from my previous post ?

54. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009

I love the movie (seen it twice and will see it many times more) and I am forever grateful to JJ, Bob, and others for their fresh and creative view of Star Trek.

However, I’m disappointed by the flippant responses to some of the questions (LOL – especially mine!). If he made a mistake in logic in the screenplay, he should just admit it, most people including me won’t blame him for a few mistakes. However, he chose to answer the embarassing questions with a silly answer. Example:

In response to my question about the anomaly of the Kelvin faring better in a firefight with the Narad than the Ent-E and a fleet of 24th century Klingon warships, Bob simply responds that “Countdown is not canon”.

Then what was the point of writing Countdown and marketing it to thousands of fans as the backstory to Nero? Are you now saying that it was all a farce (like Bobby’s death in Dallas being a season-long dream)? Are you saying that you wrote Countdown simply to squeeze a few more bucks out of your most faithful fans? Of course Star Trek is a fantasy, but one of it’s most admirable characteristics is that it at least tries to be logical and consistent to its own basic assumptions.

I was hoping and expecting an answer such as:
– the Narada was damaged by its trip through the black hole, or
– the crew were incapacitated after just emerging from the black hole, or
– there was some material used in the construction of 23rd century starships, later abandoned in the 24th century, which provided greater resistance to the Narada’s weapons

I would have appreciated a serious and thoughtful answer or at least a “sorry, i guess we goofed on that one”.

55. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

I loved it how Spock Prime and others (Nero eg.) mentioned how the Prime Reality and its events are still signifcant and relevant in the new film, how Kirk was different in the Prime reality…..FC (21st cent) and ENT are now prequels to both realities… Both realtites are intertwined – both significant…

Plus Spock Prime and Nero were from the Prime 24th Century !!!

I love this film and new reality…and it makes the 21st century events of FC and even ENT more exciting to watch and significant too !!!

56. Magic_Al - May 22, 2009

I completely disagree that Spock Prime should observe the Temporal Prime Directive in his new circumstances. The Temporal Prime Directive makes sense when you are traveling in the past with an intent to protect and be able to return to the same future you began in. That’s farthest from the case here.

Spock Prime’s version of the future is irretrievably disconnected from where and when he is now. He is now a citizen of his new reality. Spock Prime can and should use his knowledge of impending external events (Botany Bay, V’Ger) for the benefit of those he cares about. WIthholding information can lead only to a different arbitrary outcome that cannot resemble what Spock remembers from his old timeline. Without his former future in the balance, is no rationale why present outcomes determined without his help are “better” than outcomes resulting from his help.

With the destruction of Vulcan, Spock is morally obligated not only to give Romulus advance warning of the supernova, but also to strive even harder for Vulcan-Romulan reunification, as Romulus now represents the largest group of descendants of shared Vulcan prehistory.

On the other hand, it would be ethical for Spock Prime to avoid interfering in matters which he can conclude were minimally affected by Nero and his own time travels. It’s a big galaxy. For example, Spock Prime would be generally aware of future histories of some societies on the fringe or outside of Federation influence. If the Federation wasn’t going to have much to do those places anyway, there’s no good reason to go mess with them now. The Temporal Prime Directive applies to anything whose original future is still intact.

57. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

The post mentioning my 2 elevator theory on Robau’s trip to the shuttle bay ???

58. RTC - May 22, 2009

Excellent Q&A! It’s really heartening to see how much thought and consideration Bob and Alex and JJ gave to Trek history … not to mention the amazing patience Bob has for some of us nitpickers. (Yeah, like the Vulcan thin atmosphere question….) (It was a tri-ox shot, Bob, just like in ‘Amok Time’!) Sincere thanks for taking the time. It’s been said before, and it’s true – ‘Star Trek’ is in the best of hands!

59. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

Stop the complaining about Countdown…comics have never been canon….

Now for something fun, enlightening…..a little mystery for the fans of this film and Trek Movie :)

Would anyone like to help me solve the mystery of the Kelvin elevator trip taken by Robau to the shuttle bay ???

Why is the elevator coming down ??? Hmmm…I think he took 2 elevators….

Any other theories ???

This is a team building puzzle for all fans :)

60. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009

……. and, in another answer, Bob says that the TNG universe carries on in the original timeline “as established in Countdown”.

Does this mean that Bob rules that some parts of Countdown are canon but other parts are not?

Then, please tell us which are canon and which we can forget?

61. Clinton - May 22, 2009

Okay, I’m happy to throw out a suggestion for the new alternate timeline…

The Divergent Trek Universe

62. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009

59. Alt Realities

Stop pushing a question that nobody is interested in.

And I don’t agree with you about the comics and canon thing. This is the first comic which was written by the same writers as the movie, which was originally advertised by them as being a prequel to the movie, and parts of which they themselves are using to explain some of the events of the film.

63. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009


First when Robau says “you are now the captain mr. kirk” Robau enters a turbo lift…

Now remember….the shuttle bay is located above the bridge and saucer.

The next scene shows an elevator coming down and robau exiting and possibly walking along a catwalk and then up or down some stairs (dont remember which). Then he walks along the shuttle deck and enters a shuttle…..

I am trying to also think when Winona Kirk gets evacuated and enters the shuttle bay….does it show what direction the elevator is coming from ???

That would be a helpful piece of the puzzle to ???

Sounds fun eh ?

64. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009


I am just trying to lighten things up and you know have someting called fun…..stop being stuffy…..

65. Rick - May 22, 2009

Off Topic : Terminator Salvation opened with $13,372,491. It doesn’t seem that impressive.

66. Valar1 - May 22, 2009

Hey Alt Realities, I got you covered.

Gravity on the Engineering deck of the Kelvin is upside down.

67. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

62….Cugel the Cleaver….you sir are quite rude….

59. Alt Realities

“Stop pushing a question that nobody is interested in.”

Check this out Cugel….this very question was brought up in Orci and Kurtzmans earlier chat from May 18th….



martin: When Robou (sp) goes to the shuttle bay, why does his very construction site looking elevator come down to the floor instead of coming up? Isn’t the shuttle bay at the top of the ship?

BobOrci: Oh-oh! Let me go study the matter and get back to you!:) I can’t remember now since the Kelvin is introduced mid-rotation — I can’t remember which way is up! Nice.

Seems like Orci and martin are quite interested in solving the puzzle…it was one of the top questions !!!

68. Spectre_7 - May 22, 2009

BIG Applause to Bob for having such ENDLESS PATIENCE and COURTESY.

Some questions were very interesting and constructive. Loved the one about the fate of Vulcan. It had also occured to me that Starfleet would now constantly wrap around “New Vulcan” and be over-protective of it. that’s something we need to see in the next one!

But dear god, the correct answers to a bunch of these other questions, which Bob kindly refrained from saying, were:
“I don’t know / It really, really doesn’t matter / Who the hell cares?”

Then there’s the guy that said: “Get a science consultant or Dont, arrgh!”…. LOL what a looser jerk

Really appreciate the attention you give us lunatic fans, Roberto!
Already standing in line for the next movie :)

69. Unbel1ever - May 22, 2009


Well, Trek made around $7m on Thursday…

70. Rick - May 22, 2009


Terminator Salvation made only $3M from midnight showings.
$13,372,491 included those $3M

71. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

66…Valar 1…that is a pretty cool theory…..

Cugel is just being rude tho….I am trying to have a little fun here…create a neat puzzle….and solve a mystery….something for the fans to theorize about with some original answers….

A brain teaser….

72. Alt Realties - May 22, 2009

Reverse Gravity in shuttle bay…hmmmm

Anyone else ?

73. Peter Parker - May 22, 2009

The money thing as far as I know was first mentioned in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Kirk was having dinner with the woman who helps him and his crew get two whales back to the future and he told her they didn’t have money in the future, so she paid for dinner.

74. Peter Parker - May 22, 2009

Her name was Dr. Gillian Taylor.

75. Veni Vidi Vulcan - May 22, 2009

“There’s money, or some kind of credit system in this universe”

I agree with #2!

I have always considered it naive and ridiculous that money would not exist in the future. It’s a communist idea.

76. sean - May 22, 2009


The problem with what you’re proposing is that it makes Spock play god, something I don’t see the character being comfortable with. Additionally, it’s dramatically weak, in terms of future installments (oh don’t go to the Mutara System, there’s a nutjob from the 20th Century waiting there! Gee, thanks future Spock!).


With all respect, if you post that again I imagine Anthony is going to warn you. Once or twice is one thing, but you’ve re-posted the same point over and over and over again. It gets frustrating for folks who might be interested in something, anything else.

But to answer your question – Bob clearly admitted it was a goof. If you want to justify it, you could say the turbolift system had to route him around the battle damage, and that’s why he’s forced to go up before going down.

77. Magic_Al - May 22, 2009

The money thing could be rationalized a few ways. First thing that comes to mind is that Star Trek IV referred strictly to currency issued by competing national governments which are gone in the post-Cochrane united Earth. Certainly there are no United States Dollars in Kirk’s time. Picard said in FC, “The economics of the future are somewhat different,” but on DS9 we saw that non-Federation cultures still money. It could be citizens of the Federation simply give and get everything within their society for free, on the assumption everything has become so efficient that there is conservation of wealth (like conservation of energy) assumed in every transaction.

The “money” used in the Riverside bar may be used ritualistically, or it may have a record-keeping or tracking function. Kirk may have replicated the money at home and it doesn’t actually mean anything outside of observing the tradition of paying for service at dining and entertainment establishments. Maybe a person’s money contains personally identifiable information. There’s probably not much privacy in a society with no hang-ups and no need to protect oneself from material loss.

78. sean - May 22, 2009

I don’t see why the ‘money’ couldn’t be the credits referred to in TOS. And clearly the rest of the universe was dealing in some kind of monetary system in DS9, because the Ferengi were still using gold-pressed latinum, and the Federation officers that came to Quark’s had to pay him in something.

79. dep1701 - May 22, 2009

Re: Robau’s elevator going down into the shuttle bay;

I think there’s a very obvious and satisfactory answer that’s been overlooked ( besides the fact that it’s simply an error…perhaps the ship design changed before the shots were finalized ).

How about the fact that the Kelvin had already taken damage from the first Narada attacks… the direct route to the shuttlecraft bay was too damaged to go through, and Robau had to take an alternate route.

Simple answer, and easy to swallow ( IMHO )

80. SciFiFan - May 22, 2009

I keep seeing things like why does TNG not have money and then werid responses like its a reboot which it isn’t…

The reason TNG doesn’t have money? Simple and that is because of Replicators! Why the heck should I pay for something when I can thrown in a rock, dirt, etc and out comes a new whatever I need?


Inc some odd reason why everyday humans wouldn’t not have access to something like a replicator..

81. Thomas Jensen - May 22, 2009


Your answers are hilarious! I crack-up when I read them. You know your Star Trek by design and by accident. It seems it’s the same show I knew in my youth. (Okay, with some exceptions).

You’ve recreated my Star Trek. I was there watching when it started. I was 10.5 years into life when it came to my TV on September. 8, 1966 at 8:30 (pdt) on NBC. And I watched it by accident.

I was mesmerized with it.

I was there for other Star Trek things, too! Many were much too much fun.
I loved the show. It inspired me.

Good work, I loved your movie. Please make another one. It made me happy again.

P.S. Please do mention the prime directive.
P.P. S. Lennon/McCarthy &Kirk/Spock? Parental loss? Wonderful.

82. Hawaiowa - May 22, 2009

Nice elaboration and very kind of the writing team to respond to questions, both sophisticated and mundane. I’ll still stick with my theory that Spock’s visualization of Vulcan’s destruction, presented during the mind-meld sequence with Kirk, was a mental perception (ie, when people say 9-11, the ‘picture’ that comes to mind is the Twin Towers) rather than an actual physical visual perspective. Canon Trek has Spock wincing in pain as he experiences the deaths of a Vulcan-manned starship many light-years away in Infinity Syndrome…multiply that death toll of 400 into 6 billion and the mental anguish/imagery he experienced would be exponentially much more intense. This explanation allows for the ‘impressionistic’ comment by Orci & Kurtzman about Spock Prime’s watching Vulcan be destroyed, and not only justifies the cinematic license, but explains how it was possible that he ‘saw’ Vulcan implode while on Delta Vega (regardless of where it is located in relation to Vulcan). It could also justify one component of Nero’s derangement, assuming Romulan’s have the same empathic capacity. Nero ‘felt’ the deaths when Romulus was destroyed and went nuts.

I hope this brief restatement of a theory I wrote in an earlier thread addressing Spock’s ‘seeing’ of Vulcan’s destruction doesn’t qualify as spamming, as it is OnTop and only the 2nd time I have mentioned it on the site. I think it might be a fair candidate for Alpha Mem Prime to explain the sequence in ‘Treknik’ terms, and thus offered to repeat it. If it is considered spamming, plz let me know Anthony.

83. NC Trekker - May 22, 2009

Magic_Al is right. Boborci and team should dispense with the “Temporal Prime Directive” idea. It made sense to have that when the timeline was linear and time travel affected the one true timestream. Now that time travel creates alternate realities, there is no need for it. There is no such thing as protecting the integrity of future events and thus no need for such a rule. The interpretation of time travel that makes the movie possible does away with the need for a “temporal prime directive.” Spock Prime will figure this out very quickly.

To use another example, Spock Prime already intervened to save Earth once in the movie. Is he just going to sit around and allow Vger to convert the planet into data patterns, allow the whale probe to do its thing, or not warn about the Borg? Of course not. He is going to tell what he knows, that includes details on probably hundreds of planets and races, threats such as the those shown above, the existence of Trelane and Q, plus lots more. The good thing is that he doesn’t need to write it out, he can just mind meld to pass along the info.

This opens up a lot of story potential. In the Q&A, Boborci hinted that Spock Prime influenced the Kirk’s quick promotion. That, along with his work on the Vulcan colony world, means he revealed himself to Starfleet. Do you think Starfleet is just going to allow this tremendous source of information to keep it all to himself? It would give the Federation a tremendous advantage over its rivals and change the balance of power in all kinds of interesting ways. It is something worth pursuing, even though the focus of the next movie is obviously going to be on the young crew. This would provide a means to avoid repeating stories and adventures from the prime universe. Seeing as Starfleet already knows to deal with most of those situations there would be no need to even show them. For example, you could say that Starfleet sent some other starship out to deal with Vger thanks to the warning by Spock Prime. That would free up the Enterprise crew for a series of movies about fresh new adventures.

My advice is to forget about the Temporal Prime Directive. That is “linear time thinking” in a parallel reality. Anyway, it is something to think about.

Thanks very much for answering the questions for us.

84. NCC-73515 - May 22, 2009

“The year, as in 2233, with the month and day expressed as a decimal point from .1 to .365 (as in the 365 days of the year).”

Hmm… so what day is .04? ;)

85. Merrill - May 22, 2009

The engine room of the TOS was the place I dreamed of working. I know it must have contributed to me actually becoming an electronics engineer in real life.

I hated the engine room in the new movie. It left me uninspired and bummed out…..

I got my TOS season one bluray disks from Amazon this week, so now I’m reinspired again! Thank goodness…..

86. Jeyl - May 22, 2009

“Easy. The comic is not canon?”

Next time you aim to waste my time, patience and money, have the decency to tell that to the writers, artists and crew behind the comic. And if you did, I would like to hear what they would think if they were told that. Because I myself who bought both the four countdown comics and paperback edition would love to hear your reaction if I was the head chief of Paramount telling you that your work is not canon and therefore doesn’t matter.

87. Johnny Ice - May 22, 2009

Here is another question to Bob & Orco.
Why didn’t Spock lock Kirk in the brick rather then drop out of warp and throws(wasting life-pod in the progress) Kirk into barren Ice planet. with no weapons or shelter. Kirk is then almost eaten by 2 monster aliens but with unbelievable luck finds a cave where he marvelously finds Spock Prime(wtf)

88. DavidJ - May 22, 2009

Great Q&A. To be honest though, the only issue I really had watching the movie was the beaming aboard the Enteprise at warp.

Everything else I can easily live with, but the beaming thing defies not only everything we’ve seen before in Trek, but just basic COMMON SENSE. lol

89. S. John Ross - May 22, 2009

#78 sez “I don’t see why the ‘money’ couldn’t be the credits referred to in TOS.”

I agree. “Credits” worked for TOS (I can recall two instances off the top of my head; I’m sure the hardcores know of more) and there’s no reason to change it. IMO.

#00: Site-Running Folk:

Sad to see my own Q omitted, though BobOrci did answer it in post 482 of the original megathread … Was it not considered juicy enough to be included in the compact transcript?

90. Wes W. - May 22, 2009

Thanks for answering my questions about the timeline and years considering Pike and crew, Kirk’s bro, and the Kelvin!

91. DavidJ - May 22, 2009


I’m sure the comic can be taken as canon on SOME level, just not at the higher level of the various movies and TV series.

It’s still a comic book, after all.

92. Magic_Al - May 22, 2009

A practical justification for Spock Prime telling all he knows is to explain why we’re not necessarily going to see the Enterprise deal with the same old threats in future movies. With Spock Prime’s information, Starfleet can send out any old ships to intercept V’Ger, Khan, the Whale Probe, etc. We already know what they want! The Enterprise is free to deal with new unknowns.

If we see Khan again, it should be with a big twist: some other Federation ship was sent to welcome him, and using Spock Prime’s advice, they avoided conflict and successfully integrated Khan and his people into contemporary society… or so it seems. Khan charms the galaxy and gets elected president of the Federation, and THEN reveals himself as a tyrant. Ha!

93. Kirk's Girdle - May 22, 2009

If they wanted to keep “Johnny” as Kirk’s brother than why the hell is he Johnny? They could have had him yell, “Hey Sam” and have Sam staring slack-jawed or shaking his head in disbelief. It would have been a nice Easter egg – better than not-Delta Vega.

94. NC Trekker - May 22, 2009

Exactly Magic_al.

That device allows for more creative use of the existing elements of the alternate reality, rather than repeating stories of the past.

Given Spock Primes knowledge, the new crew will not have to rediscover the mysteries of the galaxy that the prime crew already dealt with. It frees them for new things.

95. Poroto Parker - May 22, 2009

And for any other question, the answer is: “A wizard did it”.

96. Valar1 - May 22, 2009


“So what I am thinking – my final answer is that the elevator went up into the section of the ship housing the shuttlebay……….More on my theory later…”

Perhaps Robau realized it was a one way mission, was overcome with fear, stopped by his cabin to change his underwear, then took another lift up above and then down to Engineering.

97. S. John Ross - May 22, 2009

#92: Well, that’s the way Star Was does it (various “levels” of canon, where nearly everything counts to _some_ extent provided the on-screen material doesn’t contradict it … as opposed to Star Trek’s approach of “it is or it isn’t, full stop”) … If they’re going to change their approach to how canon is dealt with, now _would_ be the perfect time, while the paint is still drying on the new universe. Frankly, that’s the one Star Wars element I’d be happy to see ported over to Trek, even if it would become more of a nightmare for writers of tie-in material (having written licensed gaming crapola for both franchises, I know what I speak when I speak of this nightmare …)

98. braxus - May 22, 2009

#5. Not quite Next Gen. It was first mentioned in Star Trek 4 where they are back in time in San Fransisco and Kirk mentions they’ll need money. He also mentions it in the restaraunt scene later in the film where Gillian Taylor asks Kirk about paying the bill and she says “I guess they don’t .have money in the 23rd century” and Kirk goes- “Well they don’t”

99. S. John Ross - May 22, 2009

#87: Printed matter has never been canon in Trek (even things like the Encylopedia and Timeline are simply official records of what the canon is, rather than being canon themselves). Any writer working the franchise that doesn’t know that going in, is _seriously_ underprepared.

That said, as noted above, this might be the perfect time to change the rules, as long as things are being shaken up anyway.

100. NC Trekker - May 22, 2009

Speaking of Robau, where is the tribute to him? They built a shipyard to honor George Kirk and I know Starfleet has heroes other than the Enterprise crew and their relatives.

101. Qcjoe - May 22, 2009

Now this is why I come to this site. Very well done guys

102. Dr. Image - May 22, 2009

Hmmm… some of the answers are flippant enough to border on Braga-ism.
The difference is that the product in this case- the movie they wrote- is a top-notch hit, greater than the sum of its parts.
Still, I can see that they would have NOT dug themselves into holes quite as deep as they did if they would have done a LITTLE more homework.

103. C.S. Lewis - May 22, 2009

Oh yeah, we see how well those two amateurs did…

BobOrci: Yes it would be if there were no other extenuating circumstances (like saving the world, or the recommendations of Spock Prime and Captain Pike). People said the same about about a one term senator who jumped to the Presidency, (JFK, an inspiration for Kirk, as well as Obama).

104. Adrick - May 22, 2009

Two questions *I* can answer…

“Wes: ‘The Cage’ to the time of ‘The Menagerie’ was 18 years, obviously Pike only commanded the Enterprise in the film for what, 2 days? So, now with Kirk in command, is the timeline pushed back? are things 18 years before they should take place in the ‘prime’ timeline? Kirk at this point should only be 16 and Chekov should be around 2, during the timeline in your film.”

Not exactly–in this timeline the Enterprise was launched much later than in the Prime timeline–2258 as opposed to 2245, IIRC. So in the film Pike was assuming command of a ship he had been commanding for many years already in the Prime universe.

>I read somewhere in this website that Marc Okrand is listed in the movie credits as a Vulcan and Romulan consultant. However I didn’t hear a single line in alien language during the movie (unless I miss something).<

Spoken Romulan is heard very briefly when Robau boards the Narada at the beginning of the film.

Hope that helps.

105. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009

“Easy. The comic is not canon?”

All of the propeller-heads who defend this comment and trot-out the same old “printed material is not canon” are missing many points which are unique to this particular comic:

#1 the comic was written specifically as a prequel to the film
#2 the film was marketed by paramount and the “supreme court” as a prequel to the film
#3 co-publisher is Paramount Pictures
#4 orci and kurtzman are credited as creators of the story
#5 the comic was very carefully released immediately prior to the movie and was part of the entire marketing campaign of the movie

Check out this interview with Orci and the comic writers. They clearly imply that the comic is an authoritative backstory which bridges the gap between TNG and the film.


I’d like to hear a clear statement from the entire “supreme court”…. is it canon or not? And if not, why did you lie to and mislead your fans into thinking it was?

If they tell me its not canon then I’ll be pissed because I would not have bought it and would instead have used the money to see the film two more times.

106. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009

#2 the comic was marketed by paramount and the “supreme court” as a prequel to the film

107. cugel the clever - May 22, 2009


Who cares? Drop it.

108. Admiral Waugh - May 22, 2009

I just want to point out, re this whole “nationalization” thing… and the sadly pedantic and constant references that only Democrats like JFK and Obama can be inspirations for characters like Kirk…

You don’t have to go overboard.

Roddenberry didn’t have some explicit post-capitalistic everything-is-nationalized view without money until well after the original series. It was further developed when Nimoy got a hold of the franchise and Roddenberry started buying all the stuff people were forcing on Trek by the time of TNG — that it was a harmonious utopia with no conflict. DS9, Trek canon, wrenched itself hard away from this with great success because it makes so much sense.

In most Trek canon, there is no devotion to the absence of companies. Ben Sisko’s father isn’t working for the government, but he has his own brand. Saying that there is no freedom in the future is more absurd than anything about warp speed or phasers. Also, check out “Mudd’s Women” — Kirk is writing checks. They mention credits all the time.

My point is that this “no money” / nationalization BS occurred much after TOS and it seems like it would make more sense to explain both as being true. Conceivably, money would be defined in the future as being paper / coinage, when actually it’s all 0s and 1s — credits, as it were. Plus this works with the new movie much better too.

109. DengarX - May 22, 2009

Anyone notice the “disruptor” inconsistencies at the end of the movie? Kirk has it in the Narada “sewer” tunnel……..seconds later, confronting Nero, he has a phaser……then BANG…….it is on the platform after his jump, before it’s supposed to be there. Nice editing. This is coming from one who loves ST and movies in general. Once again, all-in-all…….great job, guys.

110. Spock's Uncle - May 22, 2009

Agreed: Couple of points, it was TNG that indicated there was no money in the Trek universe… In trouble with Tribbles, there was money, which is why Cyrano Jones was working to pay off his debt (and bar tab)…

Transporter position: Changes with each iteration of Trek… Stationary in TOS & TMP, then they move AND talk in TWOK… beaming up from Genesis planetoid… Saavik is TALKING to Kirk while beaming… there is no canon on this issue. Hence, there is no real canon on any issue, really.

111. Kurtzman And Orci Answer Fan Questions - May 22, 2009

[…] read more, head to the article located here.             This entry was posted in Meme and tagged Alex […]

112. drij - May 22, 2009

The Admiral Archer mentioned by Scotty is the same Jonathan Archer from Enterprise (and Enterprise is part of new timeline)

# 2169: Becomes Federation Ambassador to Andoria
# 2184: Is elected Federation President
# 2192: Steps down as Federation President

So Archer goes from being the President of UFP back to a crappy Admiral ?
nice cannon screw up.

113. drij - May 22, 2009

# Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha was an ‘invaluable resource’
Check it over again and again, for the next movie.

114. Saykred Cow - May 22, 2009

To Mr. Bob Orci,

As a Star Trek fan who was literally born the same year TNG went on the air and went on to grow up on it I have to say you have my immense gratitude for creating this amazing movie. Thank you along with the rest of the ‘supreme court’ for making Trek relevant again… especially towards people in their twenties or younger who never had the opportunity to get into it when they were kids while watching Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers like I did. It was an amazing experience watching Trek with good friends of mine who didn’t know Trek, be introduced to it, and see them love it.


Khan has been a rumored potential future storyline. Back when the TOS ‘Space Seed’ episode aired Ricardo Montalban did an amazing job portraying the East Indian character of Khan Noonien Singh. Of course, back then there was a short supply of talented Indian actors in the U.S. If you guys chose to go the Khan route, would you consider casting an Indian actor for the part? One neat thing I hope you guys would kick around is a major bollywood star. Amitabh Bachchan is a name well known throughout most of Asia and would increase viewers of Trek immensely throughout the entire region. His presence in advertisements alone in India is profound itself. The man is simply a legend in Asia.

Check out this video with him in it:


Doesn’t that just scream Khan to you? Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amitabh_Bacchan

It could be Trek’s Heath Ledger to the Joker.

Back to the simple question though, Are you guys open to consider Indian actors? I think it would work out better than attempting to recast Ricardo Montalban.

115. Buzz Cagney - May 22, 2009

Oh how my hear sank at that first line ‘open to TNG character’.
For the love of god why? Move on- give these new kids a change- I do believe that they can steer!

116. Buzz Cagney - May 22, 2009

MY TNG whinge aside, thanks for spending the time to discuss these points guys. Has certainly cleared up a few things.
And good luck with the next movie- you have a BIG task to better this movie on your hands and I don’t envy you the job one bit! lol

117. Paulaner - May 22, 2009

As I said, having credits instead of money is the same thing. It keeps implying an economic structure. In FC, Picard talks about a money-less society. People don’t work to get money/credits. Money/credits are not earned. Money/credits are not spent. No economic structure. And this is frankly unbelievable since, in my opinion, economy is a form of human evolution. We see this utopian idea in communism/true socialism, as opposed to capitalism but, come on, do you really think that it will work?

118. Patrick gerard - May 22, 2009

Regarding the money/lack of money…

My take is that they use credits, which are referenced various times in every series.

However, it would seem to me that everyone is also provided for by society and that the harshness of scarcity has been lessened by technological advances made.

So no one has to struggle to stay warm/healthy/fed/educated.

But if you want more, you have credits you can earn to advance beyond your needs towards property or higher pursuits.

I think credits as a digital currency is pretty logical in and of itself but I might go one further and suggest that Star Trek credits are distinct from modern credit in that there is no debt. There is a baseline, a safety net to which all Federation citizens are entitled and enjoy freely. This is why it isn’t money, per se, because it isn’t necessary for survival or basic self-betterment but is instead a reward for ambition, a perk, disposable income, a boon, a credit, always in the plus column but without the stigma and control of traditional currency because it isn’t essential to standard of living; just an option.

In my mind, when Bones says he had nowhere else to go, it isn’t so much that he’s destitute in the sense we’d imagine so much as that he’s at square one (which is still quite good by modern standards) but that he has no special purpose or place, much the way any of us might feel without a function or a purpose. I don’t think he was in danger of starving or anything so much as he’d simply be assigned public housing and no particular role or place to go… and he wanted purpose, which Starfleet offered.

119. Paulaner - May 22, 2009

#116 “So Archer goes from being the President of UFP back to a crappy Admiral ? nice cannon screw up.”

As much as I know, Archer becoming President of UFP is not seen on screen, so it’s no canon. Am I wrong?

120. S. John Ross - May 22, 2009

#106: “All of the propeller-heads who defend this comment and trot-out the same old “printed material is not canon” are missing many points which are unique to this particular comic”

It’s a bit like “trotting out” the old bit about gravitational pull being reduced inversely by the square of the distance. Calling people names doesn’t make it go away.

“#1 the comic was written specifically as a prequel to the film”

Many of the film novelizations have similarly included deep backstory not present in the film, and they’re not canon, either.

“#2 the film was marketed by paramount and the “supreme court” as a prequel to the film”

That’s because it is.

“#3 co-publisher is Paramount Pictures”

Paramount have been involved in lots of Trek books (hell, even the ones I wrote had a Paramount logo on them). Doesn’t make them canon.

“#4 orci and kurtzman are credited as creators of the story”

Gene Roddenberry is credited as the author of the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion picture. It isn’t canon.

“#5 the comic was very carefully released immediately prior to the movie and was part of the entire marketing campaign of the movie”

Again, the same goes for novelizations. The comic is essentially the backstory portion we’d often see in those, but presented in comic-book form.

“Check out this interview with Orci and the comic writers. They clearly imply that the comic is an authoritative backstory which bridges the gap between TNG and the film.”

I don’t think there’s any question that the comic represents authorial intent for the backstory and TNG connections. The same can be said for many of the things Roddenberry wrote, said, co-wrote, or claimed to write.

“I’d like to hear a clear statement from the entire “supreme court”…. is it canon or not?”

I’d be interested in seeing the rules changed, too, and only a clear statement of that sort would do that … But until then, why call people names? It doesn’t achieve anything and it doesn’t make your points any stronger.

“And if not, why did you lie to and mislead your fans into thinking it was?”

As long as we’re chatting so pleasantly about clear statements, have you actually seen a clear statement from the “court” saying that the comic IS canon? Because if you haven’t, it’s foolish and rude to blame others for what you’ve inferred.

121. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 22, 2009

117, agreed.

“BobOrci: The Countdown comic shows that the TNG timeline continues on after Spock’s death/disappearance. I would love to see another TNG movie.”

So would I as TNG is my favorite series. However, with the success of the new film, I highly doubt that we’ll ever see anything from the 24th century again.

Two questions for BobOrci,

Despite this being an alternate timeline several things are similar. Therefore, is it conceivable that in this new timeline that a similar yet different TNG, DS9, and VOY happen or has too much been changed for them to ever happen in this alternate timeline?

Second question: Why did you think that it was so important to do a reboot (alternate reality) in order to do the origin story of the TOS crew? Star Trek has always been at it’s best when canon was fully embraced as in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the Fourth Season of Star Trek: Enterprise, among others. This film could have been used to enrich TOS and made the audience look at TOS in a whole new way while still being a jumping on point for new fans. In short, I think that you guys missed a golden opportunity as the new film now has no impact whatsoever on TOS. Did you discuss the idea of doing a prequel (a much better one than Star Wars, of course) or was a reboot your intention all along?

122. silverplated - May 23, 2009

why creating a new timeline and then insisting in staying canon to “balance of terror”? i thought everything is rewritten? it bothers me, that some things will be kept and some will be new…

123. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 23, 2009

Oh, and before anyone attacks me for daring to use the word “canon” while discussing anything STAR TREK and claiming that I’m just a nerd, nut, or some other insult and that I’m just trying to rain on anyone’s parade, do keep in mind that I gave the new film a 7.5 out of 10. I’m saying this so hopefully people won’t start throwing venomous attacks as people do so readily on this site.

124. cagmar - May 23, 2009

Here’s just hoping the next installment can explain itself.

125. speed24601 - May 23, 2009

ARRRRGHHH!!! Orci’s answers were less than stellar on a lot of these questions. How can someone help write a movie and not know what they’re talking about?

Also, I agree with LoyalStarTrekFan. Canon is Trek at it’s best. My question to Bob Orci and the other writers is this:

If you’re a big-time Hollywood Writer that gets paid the big bucks, is it too much to ask to do some research and write a film that fits into canon so we can see how our favorite characters came together in the canon version of Trek History?

In my opinion, Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzmann were lazy. With as much money as they made from this movie, they could’ve taken some time, researched every character’s backstory, and come up with a spectacular movie that told the origins of “OUR” Enterprise crew! Not some “throw-away” story about different people with the same name in some Alternate Reality.

I don’t understand why I should become emotionally invested in these characters. It’s not the Jim Kirk I know. It’s not Spock. It’s not Leonard McCoy. Not Scotty, Not Uhura, ETC. These characters are not from the timeline I’ve watched my entire life. I just don’t care about them. Sure, it was a fun ride, and the visuals were great, but ultimately, I was watching a crew of strangers who sometimes exhibit the same behavioral patterns as characters I know and love. When the Narada reared it’s ugly head and opened fire on the Kelvin, the timeline I grew up on, ceased to exist. I think this was a cop-out by a group of lazy writers who were afraid to put in a little time and effort and give Trek fans what they really deserved: The story of how the REAL Jim Kirk and crew made it to the Enterprise and started their historic Five Year Mission.

Flame me if you want. I just feel extremely let down and betrayed. Don’t think I made this decision lightly, either. I was a big supporter of this film since it was announced in 2006. I couldn’t wait to see it, and when I finally did, I felt it was a slap in the face. I’ve seen it 3 times just to make sure I’m not going nuts. The visuals were spectacular, the acting was really great, but the story just let me down. Too bad James Cawley and the crew of “Star Trek: New Voyages/Phase II” weren’t in charge of this film.

126. Paulaner - May 23, 2009


No need to flame you, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, you are welcome. As a hard-core TOS fan I see your point, but I suggest you to try seeing this new movie (and all subsequent movies and, hopefully, series) as some kind of new Star Trek. Don’t you like something different from time to time? Might be fun :)

127. shadow - May 23, 2009

Didn’t they promote Countdown as a canonized prequel to the movie? I mean he wrote the bloody movie before writing Countdown, how can you have that much inconsistencies? Then dismiss it as non-canon? Then say the TNG timeline continues in this non-canon comic series, there could possibly be another TNG movie? I loved the movie, I loved Countdown, and I love throwing my money at you guys as much as you enjoy receiving it, but if you’re going to say that the money I’m so freely giving away to you isn’t canon, I’m just going to sit her disappointed… and complain… sigh.

128. speed24601 - May 23, 2009

I appreciate the tolerance. I really wanted to like this film, and visually, as well as performance-wise, I did. As far as the story goes, I just felt it was a slap in the face. Ever since I first watched TOS, I’ve always wondered how the Enterprise crew got to be such a tight-knit family. I really wanted to see that story on the big screen, and I went into this film expecting that. The alternate reality blind-sided me, and I guess I just expected something that “really mattered.”

I’ll go see the sequel, even if it is a continuation of this storyline, simply because I love Star Trek in all it’s forms. I just wasn’t expecting them to come out with a story like this and it honestly shocked and surprised me.

129. Johnny-O - May 23, 2009

@ Alt realities:

I think I finally found a way to shut you up, pal, lol!

As a dedicated (but not fannatical) adherent of the Starfleet ASDB (Advanced Starship Design Bureau) for over, excuse me? – FORTY YEARS! – I believe I can solve the mystery of the ‘wayward turbolift’ (the proper designation fro what everyone seems to think is an elevator – turbolifts move horizontally, too, U know!); I could not help but notice this disparity as well, figured they merely shot the internal scenes before they ‘nailed down’ the final design of the Kelvin, and ghat they just assumed it would have the shuttlebay located BELOW the command saucer, probably a common configuration (Although the Enterprise was not yet off the boards, there were presumably others, right?).

However, I no longer believe this; if you consider that the structural, load-bearing mambers’ attaching the upper, secondary hull to the saucer would be shear-weakened and thereby compromised by anything more than a relatively small, circular turbolift pass-through (as opposed to a long, possibly fatal, lateral, horizontal trench), it makes sense, when you think about it, that all Captain Robau would have to do is board a single ‘lift car off the bridge, travel horizontally back along the spine (notice, there is a lot of connective structure back there), and then go UP, once past the Navigational Deflector mechanics area, then horizontally again back to the shuttlebay area over the TOP, then come down right in front of the ‘bay area (or better yet, off to the side, it’s safer in case of a crash due to a malfunctioning tractor beam), just as we all saw in the film.

Does this answer your question? I swear, you’re like a dog with a bone! That’s not a put-down, bud; hell, you remind me of ME!

As for the no-money-in-the23rd-Century question, I have one question for you all:


Seriously, I can’t believe such thick-headedness, people!

Shatner’s Kirk may’ve meant, in ST-II, “we don’t use any money in the 23rd Century”, but I think, between the Ferengi love for gold-pressed latinum in, HELLOOOO, the 24th Century (ST/DS9), and the fact that the Federation’s taxpayers (somebody out there has to pay for Starfleet!) would number in the tens of billions (at least), we may assume two things:

1) Things still have to be paid for, by someone. Obviously, even in a post-Sweden, egalitarian, totally socialistic global, indeed, INTERSTELLAR utopian society, people still have possessions, hopes, dreams, and credit accounts (“Earth is paradise”, Cap’n Sisko said in DS9, once); and

2) it would simply not make any sense, especially for Starfleet personnel, to carry paper money! In order to more easily facilitate transactions, whether for tribbles on Space Station K-9, or in a dark alternative ‘mirror’ universe, market systems of all kinds would necessarally HAVE to use some kind of pure, foolproof credit system, and EVEN TODAY, it is possible – and workable – to use either an Iris reader (no two are alike, even on the same person), or a Retinal Scanner (Kirk had to use one in STII just to see Carol Marcus’ presentation).

Hence, no money.

BUT – you can still pay for a lady’s drinks…or your uncle’s red Corvette’s Nokia cellphone bill. Probably with the same phone.

Now, was that so hard???

I will happily answer ALL of your questions, I know everything about ST’s universe, and what I do NOT know, I make up – and I defy even the Okudas to trip me up, as to what sounds good enough to make proper sense.

One more time, for the challenged (hahaha, just kidding):

The ‘galaxy-threatening supernova’ was likely a randomly wobbling, deadly Gamma Ray Burster, absolutely lethal even thousands of light years away, watch the Science Channel, you young geniuses;

Spock was on a planet named ‘Delta Vega’ in Vulcan lingo, NOT necessarally the one we know (it IS 400 years in the future, after all);

and Spock said VERY CLEARLY to Scotty that he knew the claculations to (wait for it…drum roll, please) TRANSWARP BEAMING, which WOULD have made teleportation, even to a ship at warp, even lightyears away, possible.

As to why a babe like Nyota Uhura (Kudos to Abrams for FINALLY giving her a first name, f’Chrissakes, btw) would go for a cold fish like Spock instead of a handsome young bad boy like Jim Kirk, I have no idea.

Maybe the name Tiberius was a turn-off, I dunno…



130. Valar1 - May 23, 2009


“RRRRGHHH!!! Orci’s answers were less than stellar on a lot of these questions. How can someone help write a movie and not know what they’re talking about?”

I think it might be because every line written by him/them doesn’t make it on screen. Most of what is seen on screen is up to the director, who can alter lines of dialogue, cut parts out, change things to better suit his vision, better suit his vision of the actors, etc. So justifications, clarifications, exposition may be altered by the time we actually sit down in the theater, and as Orci points out, only the stuff on screen is what they consider to be “canon” , not what Orci researched, wrote in a comic, navel grazed about in the months preceeding the filming.

And it wouldn’t be very helpful to rail against Abrams either. He gets a pass because it’s not his job to justify everything. It’s not his job to know Trek. What he needs to know is how to make an exciting movie by using the storyline presented to him in the script, to entice a magnificent performance out of the actors, to motivate the crew to shoot a great film, to pump up the whole production. We’ve seen plenty of movies where the director knows the source material but winds up making a boring lackluster film that no one cares about. I for one, would rather piss and moan about the defects of a movie I intensely enjoyed rather than wax poetic about a flawless movie I care nothing about.

131. Johnny-O - May 23, 2009

@ All:

I understand the pain (let’s call it what it is) that many loyal, canon-conscious fans feel over this new film (and, presumably, it’s many sequels), I feel that too; do NOT get me started on the design of the new Enterprise (inside or out)!

But there are just two things I want to say to all of you, a sort of reality check on the ‘real’ universe:

1) Gene Roddenberry did not know, himself, in 1964 (when he first concieved of Star Trek as a ‘Wagon Train’ to the stars), what he wanted the series to be, what direction it should take, or certainly not where it might all end, and as history hath shewn, even over the dispensations and dismissals of counless Luddites, clueless NBC studio heads, and ham-fisted, talentless writers (I am NOT talking fan fiction writers – anybody here actually LIKE Nemesis? It was almost the nemesis of the Franchise! Or STV???), the powerful effect of this anthology over global society – from cell phones, to CAT scans, PET scans, & MRIs, to the LifeBed, to, well, Barack Obama – and I think we should be glad that people who never cared for Sci Fi before, LET ALONE Trek, are talking very excitedly about it now, just over this movie;

2) The non-fans had a point: We can often be pedantic, intransigent, and even dictatorial, concerning our precious ‘canon’. Let’s cut Abrams a break, he scored a big hit right in the ol’ Main Engineering hull – and it is a GOOD thing, any way you slice it.

Let us count our blessings, shall we? ST-FC was where all this started, let’s be realistic.

I can’t believe I said that…realistic, over science fiction.

But it’s true, Saying something is ‘only science fiction’, nowadays, is like saying something is ‘only an H-bomb’ – and we have Star Trek to thank for that, for the most part.

Do not troubel your spirits over the changes, after all, the original timeline[s] has been there all along, just in…another reality…I know, it gives me a headache too, like that blonde Romulan b**** Sela from ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise (TNG)…but it’s fun, too, because its where no one has ever gone before, to coin a phrase.

Live long, and (now that you have a new franchise to write/design starships/produce/direct/even ACT for) prosper.


132. Lord Tribble - May 23, 2009

“BobOrci: Easy. The comic is not canon?
BobOrci: The Countdown comic shows that the TNG timeline continues on after Spock’s death/disappearance. I would love to see another TNG movie.”

Make your mind up! =P

Though i don’t remember much that contradicted the comic in any significant way. I just put the strength of the narada down to it being damaged by the black hole/or wanting it disabled to find out the date etc. Remember it, decimated a fleet of klingon ships when kirk was at the academy too

133. Johnny-O - May 23, 2009

@ Valar1:

Well spoken, V, well said – couldn’t have said it better m’self! To wit:

” We’ve seen plenty of movies where the director knows the source material but winds up making a boring, lackluster film that no one cares about. I, for one, would rather piss and moan about the defects of a movie I intensely enjoyed rather than wax poetic about a flawless movie I care nothing about.”


Good for you, my friend, we seem to be kindred spirits.


134. Adrick - May 23, 2009

“I think this was a cop-out by a group of lazy writers who were afraid to put in a little time and effort and give Trek fans what they really deserved: The story of how the REAL Jim Kirk and crew made it to the Enterprise and started their historic Five Year Mission.”

I don’t think that would have flown with the fans or the general public. If they really stuck hard to canon, we’d be forced into a situation where you’d have to have silly, confusing pilot-era uniforms, no McCoy, no Chekov, Sulu as an physicist instead of a navigator, sixties-era sets, a bunch of obscure characters (Gary Mitchell?), and no time for Chris Pine to magically age into William Shatner. It would look ridiculous on the big screen. Paramount wouldn’t have spent a dime financing or marketing such a movie, and no one except the aging die-hard Star Trek fan base would see it.

So instead the writers come up with a storyline that manages to be a chronological sequel to all the previous Star Treks through the character of Spock, a reboot via an alternate timeline created on screen so that new fans can jump right in and we can get spiffy new sets and effects, and a prequel in that some of the events (Spock’s dissing of the Vulcan council, Kirk’s Kobyashi Maru test, etc) could well have occured almost as they did in the Prime universe. All in the same movie.

This doesn’t sound lazy to me–it sounds like the writers were working overtime. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the original crew are so iconic and accessible that a Star Trek movie *needs* them to be as successful as it was. Let’s leave the Prime timeline to future television shows, while somewhere, in some universe, Kirk and Spock and the Enterprise crew are forever exploring the unknown. Sounds like a happy ending–or beginning–to me.

135. Buzz Cagney - May 23, 2009

Well, surely the basics of the characters are intact enough?
Its understandable they wanted to feel free to push off into new directions whilst keeping the heart of the subject matter faithful.
I don’t envy them the task- as I said above- of coming up with something new and exciting next time now that the novelty value has gone a little.
As long as they keep the core values there (and I know that they will) then they can, for my money, take us pretty much where they wish now.
After real misgivings early on I am now right behind this talented team.
For me its a second bite of the apple to be able to see Kirk and crew back in action. And bigger and bolder than ever.

136. Holger - May 23, 2009

What a shame that such nifty details were not dramatized in the movie.

BobOrci on Engineering: “The analog feel was also part of the ethic of having the future we are presenting seem right around the corner.”

I don’t get it. The 23rd century is not around the corner.

137. Buzz Cagney - May 23, 2009

#136 yeh, I sypmathise somewhat- I really wasn’t happy with engineering but I just came to circle it like this- what the hell! It doesn’t detract too much when all is said and done, does it.

138. Holger - May 23, 2009

137: When it comes to SF I’m pretty sensitive to such details, so yes, for me it detracted a lot.
I hope they’ll redesign Engineering for a sequel movie. It seems that most people didn’t like the set.

139. Paulaner - May 23, 2009

#137 “I really wasn’t happy with engineering but I just came to circle it like this”

You know, all my non-trekker friends accepted the industrial engineering without any complaint. When I asked them about it, they simply said that, in their opinion, the director wanted a more gritty setting. Period. Do you see my point? Fresh eyes see things in a different way.

140. Holger - May 23, 2009

139: “Do you see my point?”
Not quite.
I am well aware the director obviously wanted a gritty look. And I thought this was unplausible as a depiction of the 23rd century.

141. Holger - May 23, 2009

Oh, sorry Paulaner. I got the numbers mixed up, #137 wasn’t my post but Buzz’s.

142. Buzz Cagney - May 23, 2009

Holger, yes, I entirely see where you are coming from my friend. It was messy to the eye after the more clean design we’ve become used to over the years.
It was a decision the guys made and I feel they managed to get away with it because the rest of the film was so darned good. ;)
It will be interesting indeed to see if they stick with it next time though.

143. ety3 - May 23, 2009

I actually liked engineering, and I didn’t mind the “coolant” turbine, either. But I thought the sensor array (or whatever room) where Kirk found Uhura was too much — the giant beer tanks being a tad inexplicable.

144. afterace - May 23, 2009

#125..sorry if I offend anyone, but if the Cawley and co were in the charge of this movie, it would be nowhere near the success of the actual one. And then, we probably would never see anything called Star Trek again from Paramount.

145. Paulaner - May 23, 2009


Cawley is doing a wonderful job, he is to be commended. But fan fiction is clearly for fans only. Paramount cannot afford to keep Trek as a niche show.

146. Paulaner - May 23, 2009

#143 “the giant beer tanks being a tad inexplicable.”

In my humble opinion the “beer tanks” are what they are supposed to be in a sensor array room: big, huge, enormous sensor devices. It fits perfectly with the “future things are big” look that JJ Abrams was trying to achieve. It’s a matter of style, not plausibility.

147. T'Cal - May 23, 2009

In the sequel, when they show TNG characters, I can’t wait to see who plays young Picard! Just tell me it won’t be Orlando Bloom.

148. Pierce - May 23, 2009

I appreciate them taking the time to go into all this detail. One thing that did bother me. What is the deal with Countdown? In one place, they state it is not canon. In other places they seem to indicate that it is. So, which is it? The comic says it is a story by the two of them. So, why isn’t it canon? I read it assuming it was and was taking what was in it as gospel since they were the ones who provided the story. So, how does it fit in? Is that all really Nero’s background, did all that happen or not?

149. cugel the clever - May 23, 2009

127. shadow – May 23, 2009
148. Pierce – May 23, 2009

Totally agree. I’d like to see Orci explain why he uses some parts of Countdown to explain canon events in the ST universe (like the continuance of the NG universe) and yet dismisses the comic as non-canon in other ways. Make up your mind.

Let’s have some consistency.

And despite Ross’s comments, the bottom-line of Countdown is that Orci and Paramount clearly and obviously attached it to this movie in a way that was far closer than any other previous comic, book, or animated series. It is reasonable to make a clear statement:

Either it is canon, or
Ignore every event that occurs in it – it has nothing to do with the film.

(if the later, then i plan to toss it into my paper shredder)

150. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#56—-I think what they meant was more along the lines that you will not see more 24th Century technology in this altered timeline just beacuse Spock Prime has knowledge of it.

And thanks be to that, since I would scream if I saw Kirk and company in some ridiculous holodeck adventure!

The horror…the horror…the horror…

151. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#78—“I don’t see why the ‘money’ couldn’t be the credits referred to in TOS. ”

I think it is obvious that it is. The term “credits” was explicitly used as a reference to currency in TOS.

And Kirk’s line of dialogue in TVH, “Well, we don’t”, could have just been an embellishment to justify why he didn’t have any at the restaraunt. Far too much has been based upon the punchline of a joke, IMO.

152. kirch prime - May 23, 2009

GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it’s just a TV show!…. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME! — William Shatner on Saturday Night Live (1986)

153. Gavvo - May 23, 2009

It would be great to see Scott Bakula in the next movie as an older Archer!

154. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#94—-“That device allows for more creative use of the existing elements of the alternate reality, rather than repeating stories of the past.”

Who says that past stories must be repeated?

Just because there are events and occurences common to both timelines does not mean that those rehashes must be covered in onscreen productions.

There is no doubt in my mind that Spock Prime would be extremely discretionary in reagrd to what knowledge of the future he would choose to empart to another individual. The notion that he would suddenly feel justified in abusing that knowledge is absurd to me. There are certain events which he would recognize as being crucial to his own development and that of the people he cares about. Why would he deprive his younger self of such experiences? Or those of his friends? He wouldn’t necessarily be doing them any favors by making the resolutions to certain problems any easier.

I would liken that to giving your own child everything he asks for or needs without ever requiring him to work for it. Such a strategy would ultimately retard his growth as an individual, not benefit it.

155. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#112—“So Archer goes from being the President of UFP back to a crappy Admiral ?…nice (canon) screw up.”

The two are not mutually exclusive. Archer may simply prefer to call himself “Admiral” in his retirement. U.S. Grant famously preferred the title “General” over “Mr. President” when he left office.

I don’t see any difference.

156. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#105—“I’d like to hear a clear statement from the entire “supreme court”…. is it canon or not? And if not, why did you lie to and mislead your fans into thinking it was?”

Actually, long before the movie was released, Orci suggested that he did not feel it was up to him to decide that their comic should suddenly be considered canon—especially when the fans had always maintained that only what is depicted onscreen should be afforded such status.

Bob explicitly stated that he did not feel it was within his authority to declare “Countdown” to be canon. And he is correct.

If Gene Roddenberry’s novelization of TMP is not canon—how could Bob Orci’s comic be?

157. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#149—“Paramount clearly and obviously attached it to this movie in a way that was far closer than any other previous comic, book, or animated series.”

That doesn’t change the fact that it would still be superceded by what is depicted onscreen. You want consistency? The consistent treatment of material in the fan community has always been this:

On screen=canon

All other materials=not canon.

That IS consistent.

158. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#136—-“I don’t get it. The 23rd century is not around the corner.”

In fairness, it is about 43 years closer to being “around the corner” than it was when engineering was first depicted in TOS.

159. sean - May 23, 2009

With regard to the comic, I’m sure part of the difficulty is that it’s ultimately up to JJ as to whether he wishes to be beholden to a comic Bob & Alex co-wrote. So while Bob might wish it was canon, it’s not up to him.

160. Cato the Llama - May 23, 2009

I have a theory as to what might be possible with that horrible Engineering set.

We all know the Enterprise wasn’t ready for launch, right? She took off a bit premature.

What if they just hadn’t installed all the corridors and bulkheads yet? I suppose the original TOS E might have had similar piping (let’s face it, she had pipes and circuit boards everywhere) but were often covered with bulkheads and panels. Maybe, just MAYBE, in the sequel the corridors and bulkheads will have had time to be installed.

Just a thought.

161. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#160—“What if they just hadn’t installed all the corridors and bulkheads yet? I suppose the original TOS E might have had similar piping (let’s face it, she had pipes and circuit boards everywhere) but were often covered with bulkheads and panels. ”

While I do not personally care at all about the appearance of engineering, I have to commend you on your creative fanon-bucket dipping there!

Given the circumstances in the film, that’s entirely plausible!!

Good work, Cato.

162. Agent 194 - May 23, 2009

When Kirk offers to save Nero and crew from being sucked into the gravity hole thingie, then he and Spock make some joke about not really wanting to save them, as if compassion is weak, and then blast them with all weapons even though they were finished, did anyone else think to themselves “This is not Kirk and Spock!” they acted more like the mirror universe guys. It was the space equivalent of kicking a guy when he’s down. Whatever happened to “We won’t kill today” and letting the villain live? or is that too corny and uncool for today’s cinema audience? I’m really not too concerned with the minutae of Cannon, but this was a violation of the basic philosophy of Trek and it’s 2 lead characters.

163. sean - May 23, 2009


I mentioned this elsewhere, but Kirk kicked Kruge in the face rather than save him, and he & Sulu blasted Chang to hell and back rather than make any attempt at helping him or his crew. Not to mention the fact that Spock recommended murdering Gary Mitchell for things he might do, not for things he had done. I don’t think their attitude was totally out of character, especially considering these two are not the fully formed men we come to know later.

Additionally, Nero made it clear he didn’t want help and was just as likely to fire at them should they attempt to forcibly help him. Since his crew was equally complicit in his execution of over 6 billion people, and his attempted murder of billions more, they weren’t likely to answer any differently (it’s not as though Nero forced any of them into this plans).

If they’d captured him, what exactly was to be done with him? Indefinite imprisonment? Rehabilitation? To paraphrase Picard: ‘We have no punishment that fits your crime’.

164. Closettrekker - May 23, 2009

#162—-Kirk made no attempt to beam Khan aboard when Reliant was doomed to explode with the Genesis device either, and he eventually “had enough” of Kruge as well.

Moreover, did he make any effort to beam aboard the Romulan Commander against his will in “Balance Of Terror”? He also expressed a preference to die, which Kirk accepted—-yet you seem to treat this as having no precedent. I think you have a misguided perception of the characters.

“Whatever happened to “We won’t kill today” and letting the villain live?”

1) The Gorn captain was not a “villain”. He believed himself to be acting in defense of his people and their space.
2) The offer was made to allow Nero to live, so it is not as if Kirk somehow abandoned any principle that was inherent in his character in the prime timeline.
3) As noted above, there is precedent in this type of decision on Kirk’s part.

The bottom line is this—Kirk extended to Nero an offer of compassion. It was blatantly refused. And given all that Nero had done, it shouldn’t be at all surprising that neither Kirk nor Spock were “choked-up” about it!

165. Plum - May 23, 2009


Why is this so hard for some?

The Federation has a ‘credit’ system of money. Naturally, as they trade with each other (imagine a galaxy spanning trade – barter would not work). HOWEVER, Earth has no money system itself, though one can use federation credits to ‘buy’ things as well as use credits to buy advanced tech services (such as Sisko buying transporter time to visit home often).

Why the confusion? Makes sense to me.

166. cagmar - May 23, 2009

On the matter of money – PEOPLE, Money isn’t necessary! It makes it easier to interact with other societies that may still use money (like the Ferengi) but on Earth, it should be gone. In case nobody’s studied prehistory, not even the Earth always used money! Cave men weren’t paying money to share in the feast!

Today, we cannot exist without money because that is how our society is designed and built. But I think Roddenberry was trying hard to picture something, a system, that is a lot more perfect than money and capitalism. Sure, if Scotty “bought” his new yacht from the Ferengi he would probably have to have used money. But with replicators, how do you prevent counterfeits? The point is, interacting with other races may require the money, but it doesn’t mean Earth lives by the capitalist code anymore. And Earth shouldn’t.

Capitalism is a destructive force in many ways. So is communism, and so are many of the other systems we have and use today.

It just takes imagination. I say Orci and Kutzman need to sit down and figure out a system that will work in place of money. Figure it out and describe it for us on screen, as Picard began to do in First Contact. Use your brains for something really spectacular! And then let’s see how Star Trek can once again be a leader in change. I remember as the recession was hitting, Obama said they would have to begin looking at new ways of doing things, new systems in the US …. that’s the kind of thinking we need.

Going back to money is not progressive and it’s highly destructive. It shows lack of inspired imagination, just as the grubby, brutish representations of humanity in this Star Trek show the same. Let those in humanity who are abused and kept down and destroyed because of money see a brighter light at the end of the tunnel! THAT’S STAR TREK!

167. S. John Ross - May 23, 2009

#166: “But I think Roddenberry was trying hard to picture something, a system, that is a lot more perfect than money […]”

So why did he put money in it? Because TOS had money.

168. S. John Ross - May 23, 2009

#162: “then he and Spock make some joke about not really wanting to save them, as if compassion is weak, and then blast them with all weapons even though they were finished, did anyone else think to themselves “This is not Kirk and Spock!” ”

Yeah, the joke is what really clinches it.

169. Holger - May 23, 2009

160 Cato the Lama: A good way to explain a completely redone Engineering in the sequel movie. 100% support from me.

About money/credits: If I remember correctly it was never said that there was no currency in the Federation, just that there was no money on Earth.
It makes sense that the UFP has a currency while it’s up to each member world how to organize its domestic economy.

170. mr. mugato - May 23, 2009

“we never considered doing anything that didn’t involve the original crew”

That is very interesting, telling and explains a lot.

171. RD - May 23, 2009

#150. Closettrekker wrote:

I would scream if I saw Kirk and company in some ridiculous holodeck adventure!

The horror…the horror…the horror…

Well it’s a good thing for you that TOS didn’t have a larger budget, because Roddenberry conceived of and always wanted a “holo-room” on the Enterprise and made serious plans for it in the third season. In fact, you can see what was scripted to be a holodeck in Is There In Truth No Beauty, when Kirk says “this is my favorite place: Earth” while touring what is obviously an arboretum. If TAS can be considered then the technology definitely existed in 23rd century. And considering ST09 bases much of its altered timeline technology on scans from a 24th century vessel, there may well be a holodeck on the Enterprise with holo-adventures for Kirk not far behind (though the film would likely have to change to an R rating in order to depict the kinds of adventures Kirk is sure to enjoy, so you’re probably still safe Closet ;-).

172. cagmar - May 23, 2009

167 – Where? And was that mention of money an Earth-to-Earth transactio or not? Was it explained between who, exactly, the transaction occurred? Just because Scotty “bought” a boat doesn’t mean he bought it on earth!

173. Trip - May 23, 2009

Ditto on #9 and #32 – Orci & Kurtzman, you guys are great. Thanks for answering so many questions, even the rude ones.

174. sean - May 23, 2009


So Scotty took a shuttle to Rigel just to buy a boat? Oi vey.

You’re over complicating the issue. There were numerous references to credits in TOS, Kirk makes references to what Starfleet officers are paid, Sisko talks about using up a month’s worth of transporter credits in DS9, Bones talks about money with the alien in the bar in Star Trek III, etc. Even if money was gone on Earth, what’s the point when you still have to have it to deal with half the other races in the galaxy?

175. RD - May 23, 2009

#149. cugel the clever wrote

127. shadow, 148. Pierce, Totally agree. I’d like to see Orci explain why he uses some parts of Countdown to explain canon events in the ST universe (like the continuance of the NG universe) and yet dismisses the comic as non-canon in other ways. Make up your mind.

None of it is canon. Period.

Were you entertained by the comic? Did it help you understand the film better? Then it was worth every cent you paid for it. #127, Have you ever bought anything else about ST, like a novel or a technical manual that is not considered officially canon? If so, were you disappointed when the films go against the information contained in those materials or were you able to enjoy them on their own level?

Finally, just because Countdown is not considered canon, since nothing contradicts it on screen, it simply means one has to do more work to recton it against the film. (and more fun?)

176. cagmar - May 23, 2009

The point, #174, is that on Earth, poverty and homelessness are gone. Poverty is a word that exists because of money. As is slavery. You think people live in favelas because they don’t want to go to school? Or is it because money is keeping them down? Money is a system, but like much of what we have created up to modern day, it has winners and losers, the powerful and the oppressed, as essential parts of its construct.

People may have mentioned money and used money throughout Star Trek, but the idea that humanity can and has developed a better system, a system where we work not for our own gains, where we make movies not just so we can have a bigger house and another car, but because we want to contribute to the cultural and ethical and social discussions is at the heart of the ideology. Regardless of how many times credit and money were mentioned, the idea of it being gone, the idea that there are better systems, was always available and far more common.

They want to go the easy route and just accept money and capitalism, they can. But it’s a loss to Star Trek’s vision of a better future. I personally can’t wait for money to disappear. I’d much rather work because I love what I’m doing and I want to help, instead of because I need to work or I’ll be homeless. You ever wonder where these dangerous and abusive business practices come from, like slave labour or releasing toxic peanut butter into the markets even though you know it’s bad? It comes from the bottom line.

177. Johnny-O - May 23, 2009

@Agent 194:

Sean & Closettrekker said all I wanted to say to you on the subject, but I just wanna pick at you a little:

“When Kirk offers to save Nero and crew from being sucked into the gravity hole thingie…

Agent 194…”the gravity hole thingy”? (Rolling eyes)

Is that the best you can do? Seriously?

Agent 194, it’s called an ‘artificial singularity collapsar’.

Or alternatively, if that’s too many syllables to you, a ‘man-made wormhole’.

And then there’s this:

“I’m really not too concerned with the minutae of Cannon…”

Apparently you’re not too concerned with spelling or punctuation, either, Agent 194.

It is spelled C-A-N-O-N, you got that, genius?

No caps, no second ‘n’ – just canon, one (1) ‘n’.

As in, the canon of Holy Scripture (there’s where yoiu use caps, out of respect!), the approved books of the Bible decided on by the orders of Constantine, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire at the Council of Nicea (Turkey) in the 4th Century.

This is where the Church Fathers decided, for example, that St John’s Book of Revelation should be part of the Bible, but the Gospel of Judas (for example) would not.

A ‘cannon’ is a military artillery weapon, whether the muzzle-loaders used at Gettysburg in 1963, or the amazing 16-inch naval rifles on the Iowa class battleships.

Learn how to spell, will ya? Please? It’s irritaing as hell.

And watch the Science Channel once in a while, Einstein, will you?

That’s just embarrassing!

The ‘gravity hole thingy’! SHAME on you! What are you, eight years old?

Star Trek was, in my opinion, so popular compared to other science fiction (to this day) primarily because it respected intelligent, well-read people’s intelligence – hence, why college professors often made it assigned viewing, so people would learn something, while they were being entertained.


Why don’t yo just stick with crappy broadcast dramas and reality shows, I don’t care what you do, really…



PS: if this post makes you angry, GOOD! It was meant to. I wasn’t trying to be kind!

178. Andrew - May 23, 2009

Guys. Guys. Guys.

It’s fiction.

179. Adrick - May 23, 2009

“Brain and brain! What is brain?!””–science fiction program respecting intelligent, well-read people’s intelligence…intelligently. ;)

180. Johnny-O - May 23, 2009

@ All (Agent 194, I really don’t care what you think):

Whoops! I should practice what I preach, the battle of Gettysburg happened in 1863, NOT 1963! Hahahaha, I should proofread more…

And besides, Agent 194 might actually believe the Civil War happened only 46 years ago, never can tell about someone THAT dumb…

That was the Civil Rights Movement, he/she might get consused, lol!

@ Adrick:

Good tip, have to check that out, thanx!


181. Trip - May 23, 2009

#162 – I think you have to remember that Nero killed both Kirk’s father and Spock’s mother, the latter very recently. They knew their duty required them to make the offer of assistance, but neither really wanted to.

182. LoyalStarTrekFan - May 23, 2009

Johnny-O, enough with the attacks. I’m sick and tired of coming to this site and hoping to read intelligent, civilized debate and instead finding nothing but venomous attacks. You insult people as if your opinion were somehow more important or you are somehow superior to someone else. This is not the case, you are no more or less important than anyone else. As I have stated before, there are some people who refuse to come to this site because they feel they’ll be attacked. This is unacceptable. Instead of insulting people, why don’t you say, for example “I disagree with you because,” or in the case of how to spell “canon” you could have corrected the other person’s spelling nicely instead of calling him stupid. There is simply no need to be rude to someone else.

Anthony Pascale, I have recently begun keeping track of comments that are venomous attacks, Johnny-O has been a repeat offender on this topic.

126: Paulaner said,
No need to flame you, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, you are welcome.”

Paulaner, thank you for that comment. Your attitude seems to be rare on this forum and is desperately needed. We need more people like you here. So again, thank you; you should be commended.

183. Anthony Pascale - May 23, 2009

warning for flaming

and i suggest you just tone it down

184. sean - May 23, 2009

Yeah, I don’t care what side of this or any other debate you come down on, there’s simply no reason to resort to name-calling. We can all discuss this without insulting each other.

185. Jason - May 23, 2009

Manners people…. some of these questions were just out right rude.
I would love to see the genius scripts that come from some of these people tearing apart the writing. Post some links guys . Show us how scary good your writing is compared to these guys who wrote a movie that is going to gross 100’s of Millions of dollars and likely be watched and loved for years to come.
In the words of William Shatner “Get a life people”

186. S. John Ross - May 23, 2009

#185: “[…]compared to these guys who wrote a movie that is going to gross 100’s of Millions of dollars[…]”

The idea that earning millions of dollars puts the quality of something beyond question, critique or even outright insult is very … well, have a McDonald’s hamburger, crank open a tin of Spam brand luncheon mystery meat, or check out the ticket sales on Jim Carrey’s “Grinch” movie.

That said, I do very strongly agree that any insults should be leveled only at the work, and not at the people. BobOrci, in particular, has been amazingly patient and generous with his time and, on a personal level, deserves only our gratitude and appreciation. The same goes, to a lesser but still considerable degree, to his cohorts.

On the other hand, if we only threw him easy ones, that’d be disappointing on every side, I’m sure :)

187. Holger - May 24, 2009

176 cagmar: “Poverty is a word that exists because of money. As is slavery.”

I wouldn’t say that. Even if there’s no money there can be people who have very little (food, heating, shelter, …) and others who have enough and more, and the first group may then be called poor. You can also enslave people if no money exists, can’t you?

Money in itself is neither good nor bad, IMO. In our days, it has a lot of negative side effects. But on the other hand, no one has a practical plan how to run an economy without it. So maybe we should not exclusively think about the negative effects, but also about the benefits of the existence of currency.

Because money in itself is neither good nor bad, but just a means, I have absolutely no objection against the SF vision of a future Earth without money and with other incentives for people.
As for the 24th century, Picard explained several times that people do not pursue material goods anymore (probably because everyone has a matter replicator and a home fusion reactor) but try to better themselves and society instead.
That’s a great vision, I think, but pure imagination, so far. However, I can also imagine a bright future where money exists but it is used with more wisdom than it is today.

188. sean - May 24, 2009


“probably because everyone has a matter replicator and a home fusion reactor”

Nailed it. Once you can manufacture most anything at the touch of a button (including the resources to power that very same technology – i.e., synthetic dilithium), you actually can end poverty. Poverty is related to resources, not money. Money can control the flow of resources, but take it away and you still have poverty. A lack of currency doesn’t make the battle over resources any less fierce. It’s only when people have full control over every resource they require that poverty can effectively disappear.

Of course, that does require one to assume the guy that invented replicator technology is willing to share it with everyone…

189. Cafe 5 - May 24, 2009

I’ve seen this movie 5 times once in IMAX. I don’t mind the little stuff that is different its the big things that matter. Had JJ’s use of industrial sites for shuttle bays and engineering sections included more redress of those sites and a little more augmentation with CGI it would have been far more realistic for a 23rd century vessel. This is supposed to be a state of the art starship, not a bone yard relic dragged from a museum and put into use. This is Star Trek not “Steam Trek”. Water pipes, pressure gauges, and fermentation vats do not a starship make. Unpainted hand railings and the industrial catwalks were a little funky. With a little paint (a couple of throw pillows) and again a little more redress these things would’t be so noticeable. Lets hope by the time the next film comes out that these areas of the ship will have a proper design befitting one of Starfleets finest ships of the line. Even with its flaws this is a fun film and I will probably see it again.

190. cugel the clever - May 24, 2009

175. RD – May 23, 2009

“Finally, just because Countdown is not considered canon, since nothing contradicts it on screen, it simply means one has to do more work to recton it against the film. (and more fun?)”

did you actually read my post? the point is that something onscreen DOES contradict Countdown……. Countdown showed the Narada to be an invincible force capable of easily destroying top-of-the-line Federation and Klingon warships of the 24th century. The film shows it firing slow-moving missiles (missles for cripes sake! – where are the disrupters or phasers or other directed energy weapons) and also shows early-23rd century starships like the Kelvin giving it a tough fight – this is a HUGE contradiction with Countdown!

If I accept that Countdown is a total fantasy and is unrelated to the film, then my admiration for the film goes down one notch (from 10 to 9) because I don’t feel that the film provided a sufficient introduction to Nero, the Narada, his crew, and his motivations. If Countdown is a non-canon irrelevancy, then all that’s left is Spock’s extremely brief mind-meld with young Kirk – this is completely inadequate to understand the “what”, “why”, and “how” of Nero and the Narada.

All of the other ST movies, even the despised ones like #5 and #10 at least provided a reasonable backstory for the “viliians” such that the viewer understood them and their motives (at least to some degree). If you toss out Countdown, then the film does NOT succeed in doing this and really violates a basic fundamental principle of good story telling.

191. cugel the clever - May 24, 2009

The new film feels like it’s starting in the middle of a story, not at the beginning of a story.

192. Holger - May 24, 2009

191: Before or after you read Countdown?

193. sean - May 24, 2009


The movie speaks thusly to Nero’s motivations – his homeworld was destoryed along with his civilization, wife & unborn child. Spock promised he’d stop it, but didn’t act fast enough. This has made Nero angry. Nero later explains to Pike that in order to ensurenot just his civilization’s survival but its total security against outside threats, he plans to wipe out the Federation that sat on its hands while his world died.

Seems pretty straightforward to me, and doesn’t necessitate reading Countdown at all.

Second, the Kelvin does not give the Narada a tough fight. The Kelvin is essentially incapacitated right from the get go. All Kirk does is some fancy evasive maneuvers to buy the shuttles time to escape, before ultimately ramming the Kelvin into the heart of the Narada. And if you watch that final view of the Kelvin, it’s actually falling apart as it speeds to its death. The Enterprise never takes Narada on a direct assault, as it would clearly be destroyed. They merely target the torpedoes to buy Spock enough time to ram it.

194. EA - May 24, 2009

Answer me this, how come in TOS all the ships have different insignias on crew shirts, yet in the movie, everyone has the same insignia? It’s understood in TOS that Enterprise’s uniform insignia is unique to Enterprise.

Also, my beef with the film is as follows:

Engineering looks like the engine room of Titanic.

Spock would have have never made out with anyone like that and in public with others around him, being the die hard professional that he is.

Other than that, AMAZING job!

195. AJ - May 24, 2009


cugel the cleaver

“…and also shows early-23rd century starships like the Kelvin giving it a tough fight – this is a HUGE contradiction with Countdown!”

You call that a tough fight? The Kelvin was DECIMATED by the Narada. Right after Robau polarizes the hull, the first torpedo splits up and tears massive holes in the ship. Robau tells Kirk Sr. immediately to set auto-pilot for collision and to evacuate, because there is no chance of survival.

Kirk uses the primary hull as a shield for the evacuating shuttles, focusing remaining phaser fire on the Narada’s torps which are aimed at the escapees. Losing all automation, he is forced to drive the ship into the Narada, crippling it sufficiently to allow the shuttles to escape. 12 minutes.

196. Doug Ellsworth - May 24, 2009

They said that “Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha was an ‘invaluable resource’”, and yet they managed to screw everything up…I am done with any Trek films that do not use any of the thousands of true experts and resources for their research…this film was a big miss for me…Abrams needs to stay on TV where he is doing so well. All documentation places the construction of the Enterprise at the San Fransisco Shipyard.

197. sean - May 24, 2009


So Doug, you kind of missed that whole alternate timeline thing, huh?

Putting that aside, we don’t actually know that the ship Kirk sees as he heads out to Starfleet is the Enterprise, so we don’t know that it wasn’t built in Frisco.

198. Enterprise - May 24, 2009

Cool, my question made the cut! Awesome. Thanks Mr. Orci!

199. S. John Ross - May 24, 2009

#190: “If Countdown is a non-canon irrelevancy […]”

It’s your choice, and nobody else’s, to decide that non-canon equals “irrelevancy.” Given the vast number of non-canon Trek material (including novelizations, comics, novels, short story anthologies, computer games, reference books and more) read, treasured and loved by Star Trek fans the world over, it can hardly be a universal view.

The comic represents authorial intent and is the official prequel story. It’s just not canon, which is no big deal. Unless you choose to make it one, and then that’s your choice.

For my own part, I think we’d really get something good out of this reboot thing if they softened the concept of canon. Honestly, I think Star Trek would gain depth and reality by _eliminating_ the concept of canon and replacing it with the concept of _history:_ treating Star Trek events like dramatizations of the history of a fictional world, instead of holy writ down to the last detail.

But until that happens, the same old rules apply: what’s on-screen is canon (even if it isn’t very Star Trek, or very good) and what’s offscreen isn’t (even if it’s the best Star Trek you’ve ever read, or seen, or heard). All this means is that what’s _relevant_ remains up to you. “Canon” is important only to two groups: the fans who _decide_ its important to them, and those professionally working on either new Star Trek material (canon or simply licensed) which must adhere. At the moment I’m neither of those, so I can happily tell canon to take a hike. So can you. Enjoy the comic, and make it part of your Star Trek. It doesn’t matter – or it shouldn’t matter – if Paramount or CBS or whoever makes it part of theirs.

200. Valek of New Vulcan - May 24, 2009

If Picard was a young man in the sequel wouldn’t that make him much older in TNG than he was? Also someone mentioned where is Robau’s memorial…..in his hometown maybe? And about the whole money thing, this is an alternate reality from all the tv shows, so things may be different. Relax, take a deep breathe, I LOVE Trek, but it’s just meant for entertainment. : )

201. Michael Pazdan - May 24, 2009

I am so amazed that you people have so much time to analyze to the very line this movie. I have been a Star Trek fan for many years. I have never watched a movie or a series and then spent my time analyzing whether it conformed to something earlier.
Give me a %$#@&*( break. You people need to get a life. Where have I heard that before?
This is ridiculous! The movie was really good. The production values were great. The story was terrific. IT DID NOT NEED TO CONFORM TO ANYTHING!!!
I have always maintained that people who cannot just suspend their imagination and just enjoy a book, or movie or series can’t really appreciate Scifi.
I realize that you are all Star Trek fans but good God, give it a rest and say something positive for once instead of picking the thing apart so much it looses all it’s magic.
The producers, directors, writers did a great job and I thank them. I look forward to more.I’d like to see a new TV series. Whatever it is. Granted, sometimes you don’t like a character or episode or even movie, but it is not a reason to pick it to death
I say to those who made this movie, great job. Keep up the good work and thank you.


202. kmart - May 24, 2009


It ain’t just a matter of not conforming to some bit of continuity, it is what seems like a blatant overwriting of what some of us found compelling and/or worthwhile about TREK in the first place. So of course it is worth bitching about.

So many of these folks just keep ponying up the bucks like they have to personally guarantee trek’s continued existence. Unlike them, I ain’t paying to see it in any format (I’ll wait for 2for1 night at the video store or a good pirate version), because it does not represent what I find compelling about TREK, and seems hellbent on undoing what trek was in significant ways.

203. S. John Ross - May 24, 2009

#201: “[…] give it a rest and say something positive for once […]”

Overwhelmingly positive things are said every day on this site about the new Trek movie. If you’ve managed to overlook those and only see the negatives, then maybe it’s time to find a mirror and give it a good hard stare, before pronouncing judgment on others.

204. sean - May 24, 2009


If you haven’t seen it firsthand, you have no idea what it does or does not conform to.

205. RD - May 25, 2009

#190. cugel the clever, I read your post. But the answer seemed clear to me immediately. When the Narada went through the black hole, the ship suffered damage to its directed energy weapons and was forced into using only its torpedos which were less effective at total and immediate annihilation of a given ship, even from the the 23rd century. End of problem. There is nothing in the film to contradict that explanation (or the comic for that matter).

For me, a much more pressing question is why the Narada stopped her attack without totally destroying the Kelvin. The next question I have is why doesn’t the Narada have any shields to protect it from ships ramming themselves into it?

And where was the dialogue between Kirk and Spock in the Jellyfish?

KIRK: “Spock, you’re getting dangerously close to the planet killer.”
SPOCK: “I intend to get a lot closer – I’m going to ram her right down that thing’s throat!”
KIRK: “Spock … you’ll be killed; just like my father.”
SPOCK: “No, Jim, I don’t intend to die. We’re rigging a delayed detonation device; you’ll have thirty seconds to beam me back to the ship.”

Who needs to remake the Doomsday Machine?

206. Jim Smith - May 25, 2009

@197 It is Enterprise being built at Riverside, you can see the NCC 1701 on a nacelle as the shuttle leaves.

@155 George Washington also referred to himself as ‘ General’ after retiring from the Presidency, so you’re right, there’s plenty of real world precedents.

@ 188 That’s the point isn’t it? The replicator/transporter makes the problem of resources, thus the very concept of currency, meaningless.

207. MC1 Doug - May 25, 2009

“Easy. The comic is not canon?”

I really think Mr. Orci was kidding… lighten up, folks.

208. MC1 Doug - May 25, 2009

Canon? Think of it this way (and I am sitting here with tongue-halfway-in-cheek)

Since this is the first adventure of Kirk, Spock et al, this is the beginning of canon…everything else is yet to come…

so there nyah nyah! (grin)

209. sean - May 25, 2009


Yes, that was my point. They didn’t have those in TOS. Thus money.

210. sean - May 25, 2009


“@197 It is Enterprise being built at Riverside, you can see the NCC 1701 on a nacelle as the shuttle leaves. ”

You apparently have better eyes than I do, but I’ll take your word for it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The altered timeline means we are not bound to the original sequence of events, so the Enterprise could have been built in Jersey and it wouldn’t have mattered.

211. Colin - May 25, 2009

Not going to nit-pick, just wanted to say to all involved in making the new movie:

Thank you. I think the movie is great, and you have all done a fantastic job. Keep up the good work!

212. RD - May 25, 2009

157. Closettrekker wrote:

On screen=canon

All other materials=not canon.

Therefore, if the answer doesn’t exist in an on screen explanation, then any other explanation, whether it comes from the producers, the writers, other books, manuals, comics, official websites, etc., does not supersede what was on screen, no matter how “official”. Not that the producers intent doesn’t mean anything, it just isn’t canon until it appears on screen. Certainly their off-screen insight is a better starting place than your buddies’. If Orci’s answer for a discrepancy between an on-screen scene and an off-screen source is that the later is “not canon”, consider that as his invitation for us to fabricate an applicable fanon answer (at least until the writers decide to work in an answer at some future point on screen).

213. S. John Ross - May 25, 2009

#212: “Certainly their off-screen insight is a better starting place than your buddies’.”

Better at predicting what might someday be canon, anyway. “Better” artistically? Really depends on who your buddy is :)

214. T'Pol - May 25, 2009

Hy guys,

I’d like to pick up the point of speed24601 again as I felt exactly the same: cool movie but a big slap in the face. I’d love to chitchat with you about details of engineering or the bridge, but with everything I saw in the Star Trek universe until now being invalidated, it’s kind of pointless. I’d call myself a mediocre fan who likes to watch some episodes of TOS/TNG/DS9 or VGR every 2-4 years. But now with this prequel – bummer – I guess it all feels hollow because it “never actually happened that way” (the quotes should indicate my remaining connection to reality ;).

I’m mad because the movie could have easily been done without altering the time-line and without destroying Vulcan (I guess you could even cut out some scenes to achieve exactly that). To me it tastes like “let’s not just make one prequel but let’s make many of them by warming up an old but successful recipe: Kirk, Spock & Co.”. Why not create something new?

Also there are two likely events that would restore the original time-line anyway:
1) An agent from the temporal police (29th / 31st century) would restore the time-line based on the temporal prime directive
2) Prime Spock knows how to time-travel (sling shot around sun). So he’d steal a ship, go back in time and save Vulcan (maybe by saving Romulus in the first place) – as he did in ST IV for Earth. He’d even have two more than willing friends to help. Not speaking of many of the 10k surviving Vulcans. This’d be the real Spock.. rectify, not hide.

One last thing I really miss in the recent Star Trek movies: the link to reality, criticism/reflection on things that happen in the real world. Sci-Fi would be the perfect vehicle for such things. In ST IV it was environmental protection, in ST V the fanatic search for god, ST VI the end of the cold war and the break-down of Russia, etc.
But in recent movies? It’s just boom, boom, bang, bang with stunning visual effects… Well, in a way this also reflects reality.

215. sean - May 25, 2009


!)Temporal investigations was a great little in-joke in DS9 that Voyager and Enterprise turned into a humorless deus ex machina. It takes any and all suspense out of time travel stories in the Star Trek universe. If we know the Temporal Police will set it all straight in the end, what’s the point? Why should our intrepid heroes even bother trying?

2)Going back in time again only presents further problems and the possibility of an even greater disruption of the timeline. Everything in Universe A happened, otherwise we wouldn’t have Universe B. Additionally, it was always implied in Star Trek that you had to use the same method going back as you did getting there, and there’s no more Red Matter for him to use.

216. Paul Belfi - May 25, 2009

I just want to say I LOVED the new movie.

I get how some people get freaked out about canon being to the letter/number but as long as the basic story is the same – what is the horrific tragedy?

As a Superman buff I can’t begin to tell you how many times there have been reboots, alternate dimensions, etc. etc. but at the end of the day he was from Krypton – he was raised by the Kents – he became Superman.

That’s what is important.

I LOVE that the new people in charge of Star Trek acknowledge the past and try to keep everything ‘logical’ but it isn’t THAT important, is it?

What ever happened to being entertained and enjoying what is as well as what was?

I look forward to future movies… Star Trek is in excellent hands.

One question if I may – is Starfleet in this new timeline aware of Spock Prime or is it just Pine/Kirk, Quinto/Spock and Pegg/Scotty?

I would love to see more of Spock Prime down the road and if in some way, shape or form we can get Shatner back in I would be all for it.

My best to all…

217. kmart - May 25, 2009


Your argument is meaningless. If you see an ad for something that looks stupid, do you go just to CONFIRM that opinion? When I see them offering up a trek that turns character and choice into mythos/matrix/destiny as well as subverting what passed for science by inserting the laughable built-on-earth crap into things, you don’t have to watch a whole lot more to come to a conclusion. And sitting through some of the more ridiculous stuff that has been described sounds even more painful than rewatching the trailer.

The idea that so many of you swallow ANYthing with the logo on it is really appalling, but it does reinforce that Ellison was right about most TREK fans; just not too discerning, and that’s taking the polite tact.

218. RD - May 25, 2009

214. T’Pol wrote:

there are two likely events that would restore the original time-line anyway:
1) An agent from the temporal police (29th / 31st century) would restore the time-line based on the temporal prime directive
2) Prime Spock knows how to time-travel (sling shot around sun).

First, get ready cause Closettrekker is gonna tear you a new one … kidding. Seriously search the original Orci/Kurtzman article for Closettrekker and he offers some really compelling arguments against at least point 2 for the way you are thinking about time. But., all you need to know is Orci/Kurtzman tell us the laws of physics in this alternate universe do not allow for either the Temporal Police or Sling-shoting around the sun (or the Guradian of Forever, or the Nexus, etc.).

However, and this is directed at CLOSETREKKER only:
T’Pol brings up a good point with your “traditional time travel” application to Trek, rejecting the Orci/Kurtzman MWI QM interpretation, that I hadn’t thought of before. Removing the Temporal Police from this obviously massive incursion to the timeline, erases massive sections of original canon, just as MWI QM does with trad. time travel.

So, I am now of the opinion that there are only two ways to look at this film and preserve original canon without massive rectoning.

1) Modified MWI QM using Max Tegmark’s theory combining MWI QM with a traditional time-travel universe so that we’re now in an alternate parallel micro-universe within another macro-universe with slightly different physical laws than Trek’s original macro-universe.
2) Or this is a complete reboot where pre-existing canon isn’t literally observed.

If you can recton the temporal police with the new film into the old universe, I’m all for it.

219. sean - May 25, 2009


“The idea that so many of you swallow ANYthing with the logo on it is really appalling, but it does reinforce that Ellison was right about most TREK fans; just not too discerning, and that’s taking the polite tact.”

I believe Harlan has had plenty to say about about the opinions of anonymous internet users as well, but we’ll leave that be. ;)

For the record – I think TOS had roughly 20 great episodes. TNG was pure gold from season 3 to season 5. DS9 was damn near perfect. VOY was a sad, wasted opportunity and ENT was TNG with less interesting characters. TNG had 3 abysmal silver screen adventures and one okay one (First Contact). Oh, and Harlan’s original story for COTEOF is a lot better than what ended up on screen.

I have never and will never simply accept anything called “Star Trek” and say it’s marvelous. Just because someone likes the new movie (which again, you HAVE NOT SEEN) does not mean they’re a drooling imbecile that will accept whatever CGI vomit Hollywood is shelling out this month and call it brilliant.

Please find a way to disagree and state your opinion without the name-calling and innuendo..

220. Rick James - May 25, 2009

129: My guess as to why Uhura is into Spock rather than say Kirk is because Spock is Spock. To clarify what is the first thing most of us humans observe about Uhura? Her looks most likely. Kirk being human is probably the same way. In the bar scene in Iowa, Kirk approaches Uhura knowing nothing about her other than Uhura is really good looking and she’s in Starfleet (uniform she wears).

Whereas Spock probably appreciates Uhura’s physical looks but it’s more likely her intelligence that caught Spock’s attention in the first place. During the shuttle’s departing the academy scene, Uhura brings up during her conversation with Spock how she is considered by Spock to be one of his top students.

Uhura being a good looking woman has probably been flirted with and propositioned by tons of men. Whereas Spock probably never chased after Uhura being that Spock is a bit standoffish. This combined with Spock’s praise of Uhura’s academic achievements may have made Uhura chase after Spock.

I would guess Uhura is attracted to intelligent men and Spock is very intelligent on top of being very mature unlike someone like Kirk. I say this because Uhura’s dialog at more than one point of the movie demonstrates her disdain for immature unintelligent men. First the bar scene in Iowa where Uhura assumes Kirk is some dumb hick until he demonstrates otherwise. Second her assumption the guy her roommate brought back to the dorm was some mouthbreather (aka dimwitted) hiding under the bed.

But it’s all just a guess on my part. Only Uhura really knows why she is dating Spock and not someone else.

221. skip - May 25, 2009

“If I accept that Countdown is a total fantasy and is unrelated to the film, then my admiration for the film goes down one notch (from 10 to 9) because I don’t feel that the film provided a sufficient introduction to Nero, the Narada, his crew, and his motivations. If Countdown is a non-canon irrelevancy, then all that’s left is Spock’s extremely brief mind-meld with young Kirk – this is completely inadequate to understand the “what”, “why”, and “how” of Nero and the Narada.”

I know someone replied to this particular comment already, but I think the heart of the comment is what is getting some folks so riled up. Having read the actual text of the Q&A, it is a bit easier to understand the Countdown/JJverse Star Trek conflicts when you know that the comic was made after the film. I can’t specifically say how much any one person got to decide on both the comic and the film, but it was probably just “the suits” trying to find a way to get even more money from the JJverse film.

Personally, I think the Countdown = non-canon comment was crap, because the entire point of the comic series was that it was the prequel to the JJverse movie events. That was the ONLY way it was marketed. Also, as many have pointed out, it is also crap to say some parts of Countdown are cannon, and others aren’t.

However, it doesn’t seem that teamJJ were too involved with Countdown, so I don’t know that I can blame them for what other writers did in comics. This really seems like a reason to be pissed at a parent company, not TeamJJ.

With that being said though, what I will say is that I am very afraid of an “that wasn’t cannon” mindset that can easily slip into the JJverse. One of my complaints about the JJverse (and yes I am a huge nerd, and yes this is all about a fictional movie and yadda yadda yaddda…so no I don’t take it as though it really happened) is that JJ’s past comments about the film have suggested that continuity is never going to be a prime concern beyond “big picture” plot points. “This isn’t a movie for Trek fans”, “I never watched much Star Trek before making the movie”, etc.

It is perfectly fine and good for JJ to make his own ST universe, and I am not trying to keep anyone from seeing the new film. For most people, the new film is a great new setup for a whole new ST universe. More power to everyone who enjoys it…I have no doubt it will have many sequel movies.

Yet, in my opinion if you are going to move beyond “Trek Prime”, then you have essentially negated the importance of the very material you are creating to “honor” it. What I mean by that is the following….in ST prime there are tons of conflicts and alternate timeline episodes, and even Mirror Universe eps. Likewise, Star Trek: Enterprise was taken to task for its own set of continuity issues.

However, in all of the movies and shows, the core universe was always the same universe. An alternate timeline might exist for an episode or two, and there were certainly inconsistencies in the logic and history of the Trek Prime universe. Yet, the entire story universe of Trek Prime wasn’t built around anything other than Trek Prime (i.e. no one series or movie just completely abandoned the prime universe).

With the JJverse though, we are now in an era where we have Trek Prime, and Trek JJ. If you put as much (or more) importance on Trek JJ, then why not simply state that all possible parallel timelines are equally important, and every time something happens that makes fans unhappy, just switch the movie to a “different” alternate timeline where said event didn’t occur.

In essence, if you switch the focus away from Trek Prime’s universe, you have essentially given equivalence to all possible timelines, and therefore you take away the emotional impact of any one universe/timeline. A character gets killed? Change timelines! A planet goes boom? Change timelines! Once you leave Prime behind, any given timeline/universe is fair game.

In any given continuity, you want a sense of importance…yet when you start pulling the “this and that aren’t cannon” card, and combine it with the “our universe is as important as the other universe” card, then you make for a media universe in which NOTHING MATTERS. If the JJverse is as important as Trek Prime, then why not just set every movie in a different timeline to see what wacky hijinks can be thought up? Why not a McGverse? What about a Speilbergverse? After all, once you leave Trek Prime behind, you have said that we should care about whatever timeline we are given. With that being the case, we HAVE to accept all timelines as equally valid, thus making it where nothing is any more important than anything else.

Now…YES I am a nerd, and YES this is a silly conversation. You want real pain? Try listening to me rant about the Highlander universe (and the same two guys were behind all of that mess!) Still though, I personally find it to be a crappy move to switch from Trek Prime to any other timeline/universe.

Yes I am a nerd, and yes it is people like me that make Trek inaccessible to “the masses” because of nit-picking about stuff like cannon. With that being said…I encourage everyone to see the film if the want, and I hope they enjoy it. Yet, I will never buy into anything other than Trek Prime being the only “real” Star Trek.

222. skip - May 25, 2009

*Note: By “not too involved in countdown” for TeamJJ I mean that I doubt the writers for the new “Star Trek” were even asked to work on the comics storyline until after the movie was shot. At that point, it probably involved the movie writers to some degree, but I doubt it was TeamJJ that pushed for a “prequel/sequel” comic series to begin with. As such, I won’t fault them for a comic series to is semi shoe-horned to gel with a finished movie.

223. adam smith - May 25, 2009

People keep saying timeline, and time travel. However no where in the movie is that mentioned at all. the Jellyfish is not even intended to travel in time. Its sole purpose is to induce a redmatter black hole to suck up the path of a supernova, in the hopes of giving a populous time to escape i would imagine. ‘Cuase if your so goes nova, you gots to leave. THe fact that the Narada, and Jelly fish arrive in different time points in this universe are merly insidental. Tiem could actually flow diffrently in this universe than in ours. The Kelvin existed just the same as in the movie prior to the Narada’s arrivle. Technologies have developed her in this universe along a slightly more advanced plain. Obviously the ships are bigger too. The kelvin which is slightly less sized that the enterprise had a crew of 800. Clearly no time change. new universe. This being the case there can be no certainty that future events from our universe will unfold in this one.

At least that was how the movie plays out. And it corresponds to current theroy on alternate realities.

224. skip - May 25, 2009

Note two: It should be canon, not cannon. God now I remember why I try to avoid late night posts before bed. Anywho, my two cents are in…good luck all!

225. S. John Ross - May 25, 2009

#221: “If the JJverse is as important as Trek Prime, then why not just set every movie in a different timeline to see what wacky hijinks can be thought up? Why not a McGverse? What about a Speilbergverse?”

Give it time; we’ll probably get there. Abrams and this particular cast are most likely to provide a trilogy and then the band will break up … maybe we’ll have one or two actors stick around to provide a bridge in the mind of the audience (Simon Pegg forever playing Scotty could be like having the same “M” or “Q” through various incarnations of Bond) … but yes, Abrams has basically laid the foundation for new Trek showrunners/filmmakers to scrap the whole thing whenever they feel the need to lift a leg and mark the franchise with their particular artistic scent.

And, depending on the filmmaker/showrunner, that COULD be excellent. I imagine, sometimes, it will be. Maybe we’ll eventually conclude that every even-numbered director has a good Trek vision :)

226. Vorus - May 25, 2009

One small note:

Orci says it “isn’t water” in those turbines, but they are explicitly described as such in the film. I can’t remember if Chekov says it when he reports the intruders to Quinto-Spock, or if Quinto-Spock says it when he’s calling security, but one of them specifically says “water turbines”.

227. T'Pol - May 26, 2009

#215: Well, if the time police takes out the suspense of some episodes, I’d argue that ST XI takes out the suspense of all the previously created movies and episodes.
How can you argue that the risk would be to high for another time-line incursion? I think if you study the development Prime Spock’s character, you’ll realize that he’d certainly try it – he would restore the lifes of 6bil Vulcans.. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”.

#221 Although I’m not into the comics/countdown, I entirely agree with the rest of what skip said. I was about to buy the bluray set of the movies 1-6 but now.. either none of that happened or I have to force myself to ignore the new time-line. But however hard I’d try, the prime-verse remains tainted.

Don’t start to compare the start trek universe with Superman or similar. I also like superman but its action based universe is nothing compared to the trek universe regarding philosophy, richness, profoundness.
But that’s most likely what the “new generation” of scriptwriters/directors/etc missed in ST XI. People’s own philosophies were deeply affected by Star Treks philosophy (e.g. the prime directive). You offend a lot of people if you don’t respect that and toss around the realities like it was some Superman reality.

228. Holger - May 26, 2009

223 adam smith: “People keep saying timeline, and time travel. However no where in the movie is that mentioned at all. the Jellyfish is not even intended to travel in time. Its sole purpose is to induce a redmatter black hole to suck up the path of a supernova”

You’re absolutely right about the Jellyfish. But nonetheless, it was involved in an *accidental* time jump, the same as the Narada. So it seems quite correct to talk about time travel. Or acccidental time travel, if we want to be more precise.

229. sean - May 26, 2009


The dialog def identifies them as such, but the machinery itself is marked as ‘coolant’.

230. Vorus - May 26, 2009


Actually, it’s marked as “inert reactant”, if I recall correctly.



Actually, some reference is made to the fact that the “Jellyfish” could (or should) haev time traveling abilities. Quinto-Spock says that the technology required to create artificial black holes would necessitate the ability to warp space and time, which is when the crew figures out that he’s talking about time travel. The implication is that it is the red matter that is causing the time travel, thus the “Jellyfish”, with its large hold of red matter would logically be capable of creating time “portals” if so desired.

It wouldn’t necessarily be a “timeship”, but the red matter could be used as a means of time travel if Nimoy-Spock had needed it. (This also explains one reason that Nimoy-Spock can’t just travel through time again, since the red matter is now gone.)

231. sean - May 26, 2009


I think you’re right.

232. ML31 - May 26, 2009

Yes, of course there is some sort of currency. The TNG idea that there is no money in the 24th century is just dumb. But I think that concept may have been misinterpreted. Picard says the economics of the future are “different”. I took that to mean that money as we know it doesn’t exist, but there HAS to be an economic structure. And Picard even admitted there was. Plus, credits were used in TOS.

I appreciate the answer to my question, but it left me unsatisfied. The future technology Spock had still could not extend a transporter beam to even one light year.

But the answers where cinematic license is taken I am completely fine with. Like Spock watching Vulcan die. Such a thing I took as just a visual representation of Spock experiencing the death of his world. Similar to what happened to him when the Intrepid died.

233. RD - May 26, 2009

#227. T’Pol wrote:

#215: Well, if the time police takes out the suspense of some episodes, I’d argue that ST XI takes out the suspense of all the previously created movies and episodes.
How can you argue that the risk would be to high for another time-line incursion?

Seriously T’Pol, read Closettrekker’s arguments here: this has all been discussed thoroughly and there are some VERY effective arguments.

ALSO, I will agree with you that the MWI QM theory of timetravel that Orci insists on applying to this film is an incredibly WEAK DRAMATIC DEVICE for film making, for rmany of the reason Skip states above. Moreover, there is simply no reason to do it, whether one ever wants to do another time travel story or not.

I was about to buy the bluray set of the movies 1-6 but now.. either none of that happened or I have to force myself to ignore the new time-line.

Seriously? Nothing about the existence of this film negates the value of those movies. They are some of the most entertaining in the Trek franchise, extremely well made films and offer a huge amount of entertainment value. You either like them or you don’t. Simply because something comes along later that does not honor them cannot negate their value whether you liked the new movie or not.

234. T.U.M. - May 26, 2009

I respect what these guys have created, but for any of them to say they would only introduce an element if they could do it “organically” is the biggest laugh I’ve had in a long time. Are they really going to pretend they’re not the command crew of the U.S.S. Shoehorn?

235. utterlee - May 26, 2009

“Yes, of course there is some sort of currency. The TNG idea that there is no money in the 24th century is just dumb. But I think that concept may have been misinterpreted. ”

I don’t think it’s dumb at all. As I see it in TOS the Federation has already moved on from the capitalism we know now, though still has an economic structure and form of exchange ie Credits. They may not be money in the exact way we know the term now, but similar enough for our understanding. By TNG, matter replication has rendered money totally obsolete within the Federation, outside it where capitalism exists, Gold Pressed Latinum is the order of the day. It would make sense the Federation and Federation citizens would have these for dealing with external societies.

As others have said, when you can have everything for free with unlimited energy and replication, money is not necessary. Old Sisko for example, runs a restaurant for the pleasure of cooking and giving others the pleasure. The Picards run the vineyard for similar reasons. There’s nothing particularly ludicrous about the concept at all.

236. sean - May 26, 2009


When you bring up Sisko’s father it demonstrates the inconsistencies, though. He always spoke of ‘customers’, and Sisko himself talked about ‘credits’. So there’s *some* form of exchange.

237. Qcjoe - May 26, 2009

So did I read that the comic mini was not canon? I thought these guys wrote it? I havent read it in a while so if im wrong tell me. I also read this thread a few days ago and just remebered reading it and was wondering thats all.

238. sean - May 27, 2009


The easiest rule with regard to Star Trek canon is this:

If it’s on screen, it is canon.

If it isn’t, it ain’t.

That’s been the official stance of most everyone involved for many years, but if you personally enjoy the comic than there’s no reason it can’t be canon, for you. It’s just that Paramount doesn’t consider it so, and future writers likely won’t feel bound by it.

239. brad hall - May 27, 2009

I saw the movie, and thought it sucked. What they did with canon, etc using time travel. Dumb. Hell Spock could have gone back in time, killed off Nero when he was a kid, and that would be that.

240. Floter T Water - May 27, 2009

Money/currency/credits aren’t necessary by the 24th century for people to live on, everyone has replicator technology and all the basic necessitates can be provided, Credits/ Latinum still exist and are readily used on colonies and occasionally used on Earth to acquire things people want, Picard said poverty was eliminated, and that humanity choses to better itself, also humans could still make profit from having businesses both on Earth or off world, I am sure working is strongly encouraged to help better society, but if someone just wants to live in a holodeck and live off of replicator rations they can as well. So while there is now set monetary system, Starfleet still needs to negotiate trade with other non aligned worlds for mining rights to Dilithum, Deterium and other no replicatable essentials to starship operation. So essentially the Federation is a somewhat socialistic culture, each member world having its own systems and providing the basics for general welfare but anything above that is still bought with various currency and there is still interstellar trade.

241. T'Pol - May 27, 2009

#233: I’m afraid I was unaware of this other thread – and after reading Orci’s statements and the first few comments I must say, it changed my point of view a bit. I was unaware what MWI QM meant (Many Worlds Interpretation / Quantum Mechanics) and that in this latest movie we stepped away from the linear conception of time to one deduced from quantum mechanics.
As stated in this other thread, for me it wasn’t clear enough. Uhura stating we’re in an alternate reality is not enough to make it clear that we’re in an parallel reality.
But the most fascinating thing about this is, that the movie is not a prequel but a sequel – or both. ;) Well, let’s see where it leads…

242. Scott - May 28, 2009

I liked the answer that Spock-Prime felt that his plan (to have Kirk rattle his Spock and assume command) would have a better chance of success than if Spock-Prime had simply talked to Spock himself. It makes sense that Spock-Prime would consider young Kirk to have a better chance of succeeding in the mission than young Spock would, that Kirk would make the better Captain, as he understands Kirk’s unique command abilities which I think Spock would recognize as superior to his own.

I really didn’t mind the Nokia and Budweiser bits. Retro always has its place, even in the future. Whether or not Budweiser exists as a capitalist entity then or not really doesn’t matter, a “Budweiser Classic” drink could exist either way. The Nokia system struck me as something that was already old… obviously not original to the car, but probably something someone retrofitted into the car somewhere along the line but still many decades old by the time Kirk was driving the car. That’s how it struck me, anyway.

243. Terry - May 31, 2009

As far as the movie goes it was well done, well acted. However you really skirted facts from the original series when you destroyed Vulcan and the death of Amanda. Though SiFi, you should have stayed true to the story lines and with this you completely negated the original show. To redeem yourselves you must have the story righted in the next sequel by working in the fact that Vulcan was not destoyed, nor his mom. A ressurection such as with Spock in ST3 might be possible, and without a correction I see a big fault with this story line.

244. rangerone314 - June 1, 2009

18. Paulaner – Agreed. Yet, a credit system involves the concept of earning and spending. In First Contact, Picard clearly talks about a utopian society where these activities are irrelevant.

This is an easy one… 23rd century, they still have a credit-based, not money-based economy.

The development of replicators leads to the 24th century of people probably getting some base-allotment of energy to use (for food, clothing etc).

Even in TNG, there are clearly some people with more wealth (energy) than others (like the guy who collected things and kidnapped Data).

Even with huge amounts of energy, they can’t give everything away, so some system of credit/energy units would have to exist. Poor people would still have the basics & food & clothing etc they need. Rich people would get luxuries.

Otherwise, hey, I want my free Defiant-class vessel.

245. MotionPicturesComics.com » News Around the Net - June 8, 2009

[…] Speaking of Trek, here is a link to a lengthy, fascinating Q & A that’s been going on over at Trekmovie.com between Star Trek screenwriters Bob Orci & Alex Kurtzman and a number of fans who, like me, had lots of questions about elements of the new movie’s plots.  I really respect Mr. Orci for engaging with the fans in this way — though I feel most of his responses are pretty flimsy.  Check it out and see what you think.  (UPDATE:  Still MORE Q & A with Mr. Orci & Mr. Kurtzman can be found here!) […]

246. thomas tanner - June 19, 2009

I want to know if the new Enterprise is more advanced than the original. It certainly does look like it but I want to know if it got a little boost because of the Kelvin’s scans of Nero’s ship.

247. Jeff Davis - September 27, 2009

I thought this movie was great, the story the acting, and the special effects all came together in a tri-fecta of movie brilliance. As far as the storyline conflictions, like 7 warp cores, a white bridge instead of the iconic orange bridge, vulcan being destroyed, you have to as Doc. Brown put it “think fourth dimensionally” nero went back in time and showed up 15 minutes before J.T. Kirk was even born. Because of this the time line skewed into a tangent making it possible for anything to happen, because we are viewing the storyline in a completely different universe, in which an infinite number of possibilities and outcomes exist. The engineer who designed the propulsion system for the enterprise may have decided seven cores instead of one would be better, from a redudnancy standpoint it’s sound engineering. The designer who chose the color scheme for the bridge may have decided that chevy racing orange was more suited for the water pipes in main engineering than the walls of the bridge, and i think he was right. Star Trek has always had some really imaginative and deep storylines, that is why I love it and I think thats why it has been around for 44 years. So just because the prequel does not appear to add up to the sum of the rest of the star trek lore dont knock the movie, just give Mr. Abrams and his writers a chance to finish their take on the storyline, I am sure it will all add up in the end.

248. Eloy Mayeaux - April 21, 2011

Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? With thanks

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