As he does every once in a while, over the weekend Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci jumped into a talkback comments thread here at TrekMovie and did some impromptu fan Q&A. Orci talked time travel, cameos, nitpicks, the sequel, Keenser and more. See below for an easy to read transcript in Q&A format, to see what he had to say.
Bob talks to the fans
If he wasn’t writing for Star Trek, Roberto Orci would probably still be online, debating and discussing Star Trek with his fellow Trekkies. But he is part of current the ‘Supreme Court’, representing the ‘Trekkie wing’ and so when he drops by here, he sometimes does some questions and answers with fans, which he did in the talkback for the article posted last night about JJ Abrams comments on cameos and time travel.
Transcript of questions answered by Bob Orci(note as this is based on talkback there are bound to be grammar and spelling mistakes)
Aussie Adam: I’ve often thought that hidden cameos would be cool, i.e. cameos from familar trek or other faces disguised as alien characters to the point that they are unrecogniseable but not so much that “fans” know that they’re there. What do you think Bob?
BobOrci: Why not? If they’re wiling to sit for hours in makeup
William J. Bordeleau: To the Writers, and Producers of STAR TREK ‘09:
Warm praise for your hard work, and dedication to the greatest sci-fi franchise on the planet. Your generous (yet cautious) treatment of STAR TREK in general has been very honorable. You’ve succeeded in breathing new strength into what many had believed was a show crippled with fatigue.
STAR TREK will live forever- but now you have the privelage on deciding HOW.
It is my opinion that the ‘origin arc’ should continue it’s focus on a character of GREAT importance.
She was awesome to me as a child. I was consistantly amazed how she performed beyond her specifications. To me, she was- at times- the star of the show. She was blessed with the spirit of humanity- nearly sentiant on occasion.
The Enterprise’s powerful aura made the characters seem all that more interesting.
Who else, but the Federations elite, may serve aboard her?
It is clear to me that the main characters are joined to the enterprise through some “greater intervention”. This could not be more clear to me when Kirk found Spock prime in the cave (STAR TREK ‘09).
It would be awesome to see how- or why the Enterprise is special.
You see, I love the old girl, and I’ve waited too long to be reaquainted with her.
Star Trek: Enterprise failed to rekindle this tradition.
Please, let the Enterprise get top billing. Her greatness alone can define what star Trek is all about.
Thank you for your consideration
because only humanities elite have the skills to serve aboard her.
Bob Orci: Noted
Lando: “Orci: In our Universe, as long as I am here, you can’t just slingshot around the sun”. The next guy will be like “In our universe, as long as I am here, they won’t be able to beam or fly faster than light.”
BobOrci: well, warp is going faster than light, but I dont think their will be any transwarp beaming in the next One.
What is it with you?: It stands to reason that Kirk and Spock still have some growing to do in their relationship. The scene you originally wrote for Shatner was/is prefect. As much as I loved the new movie, it is less for having this scene omitted (tell JJ. and others I told you so!).
If there is a way you could work that scene in…perhaps this time as a means to convince the new Kirk that he needs Spock… please consider it.
That scene was the greatest piece of star trek writing since TWOK – it’s a shame we didn’t see it realized on film.
BobOrci: Appreciate that. Tough decision we had.
Yeti: Hey maybe a film about Keenser then? Could be a TV movie like the Star Wars Christmas special. We meet Mama Keenser and kiddy Keenser’s. The Enterprise has dropped him home to celebrate a Keenser family BDAY!
BobOrci: So good.
Yeti: While you’re around, there’s a lot of speculation as to the next film obviously but keeping to the Prime world what has been you’re favourite Star Trek movie and do you find yourself drawn to certain aspects of your favourite elements?
Must be hard to suddenly get a “Would like to have” moment when writing and be subjective as a writer rather than what you as a fan would like to see.
BobOrci: I actually love the Trek234 trilogy. Almost everything you need to know about Trek is somehow represented, and certainly those 3 served as big inspirations (and case law) in our attempt.
But there is so much to love all over the trek spectrum, no?
Harry Ballz: you don’t have to tell us what JJ had as an opinion for feedback, but can you at least tell us if he was made aware of the fact that a number of us here weren’t happy with the exterior shots of the Enterprise in the movie. Somehow it never looked quite as real as it could have…..thanks!
BobOrci: I’m sure he checks on these threads to make sure I don’t say something too monumentally stupid.
BobOrci: [clarifying] I am sure JJ is aware of the wide spectrum of opinions, is my point.
ThatOneGuy: Did you guys ever consider using physical models for the ships? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the new E, but there’s just something more about a model.
BobOrci: We did consider models for the ships.
jas_montreal: Bob, can you officially say that NERO is dead at the end of Trek 09 ?
Because i’ve gotten into this debate with my fellow trek friends. I just don’t accept that Nero is dead at the end of Trek 09. Just as I don’t think Ra’s Al Ghul is dead at the end of Batman Begins.
Please help me on this one !!!!!!!!!!! lol
BobOrci: I think it would be very difficult for Nero to survive falling into a black hole without the full protection of his ship. But since we can never observe the interior of a black hole, who know?
This answer doesn’t help, does it?
somethoughts: A ship going through a black hole is traumatic enough, now imagine a ship that is fired upon with all the weapons of the USS Enterprise with failing shields and a black hole vortex inside the ship. Then again this is sci fi, if Nero was a hit of a villain and the public wanted to see him again, he will be back. Right Bob?
Bucky: While I understand from a story-perspective that sling-shotting around the sun is too easy for time-travel, I’m just wondering from an in-universe setting why Spock wouldn’t do it. Did he just forget? (Let’s assume that Spock never tells anyone in the JJ-verse how to slingshot around the sun to go back in time, considering how messed up the timeline got). Also, I would assume that Spock can’t slingshot back to the moment the Narada arrives because he’d just have one ship and no red matter and no real way to stop them. So I can buy him not fixing it.
But, ah-hah, what about Gary Seven or Braxton and the Relativity or Daniels? Wouldn’t they just be like “Good gravy! What happened to the timeline?!” Maybe it’s too much of a mess to clean up, or they just filed away the JJ-verse as “Tangent Universe #456″ and left it on their merry way and continued to try to keep the Prime timeline from having too many holes in it.
BobOrci: May I refer you to the fan Q&A linked above, to quote myself!:
“…our story is not based on the linear timeline of Einstein’s General Theory of relativity upon which most movies about time travel are based (like say, BACK TO THE FUTURE, or TERMINATOR, both of which I LOVE). The idea of a fixable timeline has been a wonderful staple of sci-fi since the 50’s, but in reading about the most current thinking in theoretical physics regarding time travel (Quantum Mechanics), we learned about the speculative theories that suggest that if time travel is possible, then the act of time travel itself creates a new universe that exists in PARALLEL to the one left by the time traveler. This is the preferred theory these days because it resolves the GRANDFATHER PARADOX, which wonders how a time traveler who kills his own younger grandfather would logically then cease to exist, but then he’d never be around to time travel and kill his grandfather in the first place. Quantum Mechanically based theories resolve this paradox by arguing that the time
traveler, in killing his grandfather, would merely split a previously identical universe into a new one in which a man who is his grandfather in another universe is killed in the new one. The time traveler does not cease to exist, although he is no longer in his own original universe (where he is now missing)…”
ryanhuyton: J.J Abrams, Bob and co. did a great job on this movie. But I have a few suggestions. 1. A new engineering. I’m concerned about the fact that Scotty is a drinker and he happens to work in a brewery.:-)”…
BobOrci: HA! Well played, sir. You may have won this time, but we’ll be back!
dalek: When Kirk steals the corvette and drives past the kid what does he shout? Some people have said it’s “Hey Jonny!” But I thought it sounded like “Hey Georgie!” inferring it’s his brother George Samuel Kirk.
BobOrci: The ambiguity you point out is surely the result of our indecision on the matter. Originally, we had intended, and wrote, a scene in Kirk’s house with his brother and stepfather/uncle/GregGrunbergburg/insertbetter.
George Kirk left the house first, and then Jim stole the car. But JJ and the amazing editors had time and editing and pace considerations which lead us to what you saw. I loved when I saw it cut together.
So as it stands, canon is ambiguous on the matter. Only what’s on screen counts.
colonyearth: Anthony! Sometimes I think you and Bob and the rest of the Supreme Court are in collusion. You post some “talk” and a new “tidbit” which really doesn’t say anything new (JJ said nothing new here than he’s said anywhere else) and Bob gets to read the responses in order to gauge reaction to ideas. It’s a smart little system you devils. Of course, you always have to wade through the…well…them um…you know? Right? I mean you get…what I’m saying there, right?
BTW, hey Bob! Always good when you drop in!
BobOrci: Ha! We’re not in covert collusion but Anthony he sure has a way of framing a debate in his articles! Who can resist?
Desstruxion: I wanna see the Excelsior, Abramsverse style. Any chance of that? Didn’t take two hours to promote Kirk. You could move Sulu right along.
Orci updates on the Star Trek sequel story process
Bob was also lurking around on Thursday in the article about an Abrams sequel update, and had this exchange about the script
Bucky: Heya Bob, has their been a sentence written in what you would call a “script” for Star Trek yet?
BobOrci: A sentence for script? No. A sentence for story, yeah.
That’s it for now. You never know when Bob will show up again.
TrekMovie.com wants to thank Bob Orci for participating in another fan interaction here, and to thank the TrekMovie.com talkback comments community for maintaining civil and engaging conversations here at TM.