Star Trek Writer Roberto Orci Reveals Personal Connection To Spock

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have in the past spoken about how they see Kirk and Spock as akin to other famous working partnerships, especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They have also said that they have seen a parallel with their own working partnership. But on Wednesday Bob Orci revealed that his connection to Spock goes even deeper.


Orci draws parallel to his life experience and Spock

As he often does, Roberto Orci (aka ‘boborci’) has been frequenting the talkback threads here at TrekMovie, interacting with the fans and even addressing concerns from some ardent critics. On Wednesday one commenter (CS Lewis) suggested that for the sequel Bob "tell us what you’ve learned in your life. Present a challenge that you’ve overcome, or perhaps someone dear to you has overcome, and use the vastness of the Star Trek lore to tell it in a way that makes us see it clearly". And Bob replied, saying that he has actually already called upon his real life experiences as an immigrant (born in Mexico) to help write for the character of Spock in the 2009 Star Trek movie:

boborci: I used that very technique on first one to track the life of Spock, who was born to parents from different cultures, as I was, and who was raised on a different planet, much as I was raised in a different country, faced racism, like I did, and had to learn the language and customs of his adoptive culture (Earth, the Federation), as I had to learn English and the ways of the USA.

Inspiration also derived from my mother’s family, who were exiled from Cuba when Castro took over. Her home, in a sense, destroyed by a single figure. And my grandfather on Dad’s side was Diplomat, like Spocks father.

My dad expected a much more serious career for me at first. When I dropped out of college (Vulcan Science Academy) to pursue a writing career (movie Starfleet) he did not think it was logical.

Roberto Orci drew on his past to relate to and write the role of Spock in "Star Trek"

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July 1, 2010 12:14 am

Oh, that’s spot on. Watched Trek again the other day with my 2 1/2 year old son. He likes it quite a bit,. Nice change of pace to get him to watch a different Trek than The Final Frontier.

July 1, 2010 12:32 am

That is why Star Trek 2009 worked so well, look at the layers of depth written into the characters. Much love Bob, thanks for sharing!

July 1, 2010 12:42 am

Thanks for sharing bob that is so inspired

July 1, 2010 1:19 am

I think an important difference is that Bob looks a LOT less Photoshopped than Spock (and that’s a good difference; keep it real, Bob).

July 1, 2010 1:34 am

Thank you for sharing, sir.

July 1, 2010 2:27 am

You see, I don’t see Kirk and Spock as a ‘pairing.’ I see the core of Trek as being Kirk, Spock and McCoy. It’s a credit to the subtlety of Deforest Kelley’s performance that it is often overlooked. But it was Bones who could truly see into Kirk and Spock. Remember Bones’ and Jim’s conversation on Jim’s birthday in TWOK or (and I can’t remember the ep title now) Bones’ conversation with Spock about Spock’s fears when they’re imprisoned on a planet in TOS.

Kirk and Spock could be a pair and frequently were, but Bones could be teamed up with either of them just as easily. And I don’t see Bones as a George or Ringo in the team.

July 1, 2010 3:09 am

Bones was the cream that held the cookies together does this make linedon the cream now that hes 3rd person helping with script? Hehe

July 1, 2010 3:11 am


The First Son of Krypton
July 1, 2010 3:19 am

Great story and fascinating insight into one of my heroes, bob orci.

I onder if anyhing more of his life will get put into Spock next time round, I was happy that the last movie focused a little more on Spock then Kirk as I feel that Spock was and is the focal point of TOS. It was his “outsider looking in” that brought depth to Trek… I can’t wait to see more of his development

oh, and of course PLEASE more Bones :p

July 1, 2010 3:35 am

Very insightful, and a closer look at how writers “come up with their ideas.” The personal touch did a lot for the Spock character… and the fact that Orci is willing to talk about it says a lot about his character. Well done, Bob!

Anthony Thompson
July 1, 2010 3:57 am

Bob, I hope you don’t keep women like Zoe at a distance as Spock does. : D

Jim Nightshade
July 1, 2010 4:15 am

Thanks for the insight on bobs creative process-cool parellels to bobs real life too-who says the American dream of coming to america and following your dreams is dead-bob and his family did it! Congrats Mr Orci sir and thank you again for sharing n caring n keep up the fantastic great inspiration and work! We trek fans luv ya!

Jim Nightshade
July 1, 2010 4:22 am

Also i am a bit dis-illusioned lately-never been outta work for over nine months before–being in yer fifties and having more health problems does not make it any easier but bob and his families success stories help me to feel better n help me to realize hard work n inspiration can be rewarded here in America–its hard to remember to keep the faith n dont give up sometimes–never give up never surrender heheh

July 1, 2010 4:46 am

In my view those were the aspects of the plot that actually worked best. (At least for me.) Fascinating. But it’s commonly known that authors mostly write about what they themselves know best. Question: since there are so many (great!) films about filmmaking and Hollywood, does that mean that many screenwriters don’t have any real experiences other than their life in the film industry? ;)

I'm Dead Jim!
July 1, 2010 4:51 am

Thank you for sharing that, Bob.I deeply respect what you’ve gone through as well as your love of Trek. I hope to see more of that depth in your next Trek installment.

Now, if you could get Photoshopped like the Spock image above, that would be hilarious!

July 1, 2010 5:20 am

Very cool story that I can sort of relate to.

My parents were exiled from Cuba as well. However, I had it easier because I was born in the USA.

Thanks for sharing Bob, now get back to work on that sequel! :)

July 1, 2010 5:25 am

It sucks that you had to go through all that, and you have my deepest respect for turning those experiences into something great.

July 1, 2010 5:41 am

Simply, incredible.

Thanks Bob for sharing that part of your life with us in such a positive manner. You are an inspiration to others even more so knowing this about your experiences.

It is inspirational hearing you prevailed in fullfilling your dream of writing, and we are fortunate to get to hear your great stories!

Thank you for not giving in or giving up and keep it coming! :D

Trek Nerd Central
July 1, 2010 5:57 am

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Thanks and take care, Bob.

July 1, 2010 6:29 am

Some of TOS Spock’s best moments are when the audience gets to see just how BS his veneer of logic is. And I don’t mean when he’s been taken over by sunflowers or glowy balls, but scenes like in Galileo 7 or Journey to Babel or the very end of Devil in the Dark.

It’s good to let the audience in on the characters’ inner life. Hope to see some of that in the next flick.

Oh, but no more spit-swapping on the transporter pad. C’mon you two, get a turbo-lift!

July 1, 2010 6:30 am

Bob, sending out waves of respect your way. These Spock parallels are intriguing. Wishing you, Alex, and Damon smooth sailing as you construct the screenplay for the next movie.

Hugh Hoyland
July 1, 2010 6:40 am

I take it that Bob is Paul and Alex is Lennon. :} Strawberry Fields forever.

July 1, 2010 7:10 am

Interesting…Bob, thanks for talking about this.

And yet there are still those who complain that Trek 2009 is all sizzle and no steak…I guess they wanted the “themes” to be pounded into their heads with a ball-peen hammer instead of being delivered in a subtle manner.

At any rate, congrats, Bob, on your continued success. You’ve gone into the trenches and sucked up them bullets, and that’s something a lot of your critics on the ‘Net have NEVER done.

July 1, 2010 7:47 am

Loved the new trek. Very well written and really captured much of what had been lost. It felt like Trek again.

Buzz Cagney
July 1, 2010 7:57 am

The secret to good writing- write about what you know!

David P
July 1, 2010 8:07 am


Trek Lady
July 1, 2010 8:22 am

It is always interesting to get a little glimpse into the creative process. Thanks for sharing.

July 1, 2010 9:05 am

Vaya interesante Bob gracias por compartir, Saludos cabron ;)

July 1, 2010 9:26 am

I can draw a parallel too…I was out in Fort Lauderdale the other day (a foreign country to me as I speak no Spanish), and met this girl who called me a gringo (racism) and I took her back to my place (Earth) and she was green (in parts) so I didn’t touch her. I escape-podded her back to her moon (taxi).

July 1, 2010 9:33 am

I think a lot of “geeks” identify with Spock, growing up, although clearly not in as many ways as Bob Orci does.

I know I always felt a connection to Spock when I was a kid / teen years ago. Even though I’m just your typical white male American, I always felt like an outsider in my own culture, growing up. Spock was definitely an inspiration. Its not just because geeks are “smarter” or more logical, although that’s part of it. I think a bigger part is just our struggle to “fit in” – particularly in adolescence.

I suspect a lot of people on this board would agree and have similar stories.

I think that’s why the Spock character has so much more lasting appeal than the other TOS characters.

Also, I think that’s why the “outsider” character became so central to the Trek formula on subsequent shows. Its not just because the “outsider” shows us a unique view of humanity from the outside, which was sort of the standard explanation the writers gave, but also because a substantial portion of the viewing audience are geeks and nerds who feel that they are outsiders too, and they tend to identify with that character.

Its very cool that Trek is now in the hands of a writer who “grew up Spock.”

July 1, 2010 9:36 am

“I was born a poor Spock child…” – The Jerk(trekified)

stealing the enterprise
July 1, 2010 9:39 am

im so glad you are in charge of the future of star trek. i too have the same parallels. everything ive read, seen and heard leads me to believe that you and your excellent team of producers has what it takes to not only make a great movie but a great star trek movie. hats off to you bob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im soooo happy you brought my heros back to life for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 1, 2010 9:39 am

Bob looks like a poor mans spock. Lots of resembelance, but longer hair, unshaved face and no star fleet uniform. His ears though look kinda pointy in that pic.

moauvian waoul
July 1, 2010 10:38 am

Great story Bob. Inspirational even.

moauvian waoul
July 1, 2010 10:41 am

30. Geeks are smarter?

July 1, 2010 11:34 am

fascinating…..god I hate that picture of Spock.. the airbrush look!
I wonder if Bob ever beat the crap out of JJ during filming?

July 1, 2010 12:22 pm

Awwwwwwwwwk! Bob Orci’s here! Bob Orci’s here! If I knews ye’ wuz’ comin’ I’dda baked a cake… wit’ gin…

Thanke’ fur’ sharin’, Bob. Spock indeed did stand oot’ as a well written character in tha’ film and I does appreciate that. Both old and young… Prime and… uhhhhhh… what do we’s calls tha’ second Spock? Past-Prime? Anyways, thanke’ fur’ tha’ fun o’ tha’ film.

I haves me a personal connection ta’ Starry Trek as well… like tha’ mighty tribble all I e’er does is eats and drinks and essentially lies around all tha’ time makin’ cooin’ noises…

Haven’t reproduced yet… much ta’ tha’ relief o’ society…


moauvian waoul
July 1, 2010 12:59 pm

BND = Tribble
slowly it’s all starting to make sense.

Jorg Sacul
July 1, 2010 1:09 pm

I think that one of the constant appeals of TOS is that there are characters that we can relate to– they have problems, we have problems. They solve things, usually heroically, we aspire to do that. We don’t watch Trek to see our heroes on their “off” days where nothing goes right. Sometimes they have downfalls, but that makes our heroes more accessable to us.

Bob, if it took parallels to Spock to get you where you are, I think it worked out pretty great for all concerned. I’m looking forward to more of your work.

Live long and prosper! :)

July 1, 2010 1:35 pm

Oh wow, that’s really cool. :)
Thanks for sharing that.

virgin vulcan basement nerd
July 1, 2010 1:50 pm

That’s neat. I didn’t know any of that about Mr Orci. I’m impressed! All this time I thought he was just a… who only has… with… Oh, never mind.

Bob Orci is the man! The super airbrushed Spock looks like a woman. hehe.

July 1, 2010 2:51 pm

#30: “I think a lot of “geeks” identify with Spock, growing up”

Probably around a third … I’ve always felt that the reason that the trinity resonates so strongly in fandom is that each of us have our “self-ID” character somewhere in there. Me, since I was very young I’ve always identified with Leonard McCoy. I know other McCoys, lots of Spocks and lots of Kirks as well, pretty much in equal measure among my friends (men and women alike).

July 1, 2010 3:04 pm

30, 42 – I identify with Spock in some ways.

I definately have his shared affinity for computers, and a degree of curiosity.

I can actually thank Spock for getting me interested in Computers when I was about 9 (I think).

Seeing him work the Library Computer on the Bridge to solve problems, and using Logic to figure things out are basically what I do when I’m looking at bug reports and code.

He also showed me, in a way, that I don’t have to be like everyone else to be accepted, or to find my place.

July 1, 2010 3:07 pm

Most writers tap the pain and angst of their own lives when weaving it into their creative work, but few have the courage to discuss it openly. Thanks for being that courageous, Mr. Orci. Our benefit from your openness is multi-faceted — in knowing you better, and in getting a great Trek movie!

July 1, 2010 3:12 pm

This is very much why he is such an amazing writer, and why I follow his work – Sci-Fi or not.

July 1, 2010 3:52 pm

!Vulcan libre! (la bebida que no existe)

July 1, 2010 5:11 pm

We love you @boborci!

July 1, 2010 5:15 pm

Ciao Roberto Orci, I know that you are a little italian too. Are you watching the soccer world cup? What do you think of the poor performance of the italian team? Maybe Maradona’s Argentina will will the cup. Just curious if you were a soccer fan or not. In any case, I’m a great admirer of your work and I think that is wonderful and amazing that you find time to interact with fans. Best wishes, Rick

July 1, 2010 5:17 pm

“will will” = “will win” :)

July 1, 2010 6:14 pm

48. Yeah, soccer fan. Futbol!

When will USA catch the bug?