Exclusive Video Interview: Simon Pegg On A More Serious Scotty, Budgineering, Star Trek Critics & more | TrekMovie.com
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Exclusive Video Interview: Simon Pegg On A More Serious Scotty, Budgineering, Star Trek Critics & more June 23, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Interview,ST09 Cast,Star Trek (2009 film),Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Last week at the final stop on his mini book tour for his memoir "Nerd Do Well," Star Trek’s Simon Pegg sat down with TrekMovie.com to talk about growing up nerd, geeking out on Star Trek, critiques of the film, getting more serious with the role of Scotty in the sequel and more. Watch the video interview below.

 

Interview with Simon Pegg

Here is my video interview with Simon Pegg, Star Trek’s new Scotty, with text highlights and some quotes below

Highlights


Simon Pegg in "Star Trek" – at found it distracting to work with the "The Spock" (Leonard Nimoy)

Some key quotes:

Noting that the role of Scott in 2009′s Star Trek included a lot of humor, I asked Pegg on if his Scotty can also take on some of the more serious side of the original character, including taking command of the ship.

Simon Pegg: When I took the role of Scotty, I never looked at him as a comic character as such. He has always been a whimsical character, because of his background and is almost like an ethnic minority on board ship. There is something lyrical and fanciful about him. There is something about him that has whimsy, they all do at times even Spock. But I always thought that was what was in the script, he was marooned on that planet for a long time and he got on the ship and everything was kicking off and his reaction was almost like our reaction to it all. So yeah I absolutely hope so. I don’t think Scotty is a comic character at all. In this Star Trek he was thrust into everything, and he learned all this stuff about his own discoveries. He was brought on board the ship where everything was crazy and for him, that was a comic situation. I would like to hope that in future adventures he can find the sort of depth and seriousness that James Doohan had to tackle in the series.

I also talked to Pegg about those who are as critical of the 2009 Star Trek film as he is of the Star Wars prequels. He replied:

Simon Pegg: I get it. I have faith in our Star Trek. I like what JJ [Abrams] did. He invigorated it, which is what it needed to persist. What perhaps those fans love about Star Trek is something that might not have been able to continue if Star Trek was to in its present form. Basically Star Trek had to be given a dose of sort of Star Wars brashness – original Star Wars - that kind of inspirational adventure and excitement and less about the way computers work and stuff like that. But I get it and I totally respect it. And I hope those people don’t see us as enemies, but of course that is a valid opinion. These kind of things are precious and mean everything to everyone. We weren’t going to please everyone. At least I hope they understand our intentions were absolutely honorable.


Simon Pegg in "Star Trek" – defends use of Budweiser plant for engineering + felt Star Trek needed injection of some Star Wars “brashness” 

If you want to pick up Simon’s new memoir "Nerd Do Well" (which is recommended by TrekMovie.com) it is now available at bookstores in North America, and on Amazon.com.

 

Comments

1. Janeway's Boy Toy - June 23, 2011

In that close up, he looks like he’s wearing a watch.

Love the Peggster!

2. Green-Blooded-Bastard - June 23, 2011

I liked his Scotty. I think Mr. Doohan would have liked it too.

3. Buzz Cagney - June 23, 2011

urgh enough with Star Wars. Trek isn’t Star Wars. We have Star Wars for when we want Star Wars.

4. Ron - June 23, 2011

Just one voice, I know, but I liked his Scotty, I liked Budgineering and I am looking forward to the next film: no changes to either. For the new Engineering, I liked the concept that we see the inner guts of the ENTERPRISE: that despite technological advancements we stil have pipes and steel, dirt and grime.

5. rm10019 - June 23, 2011

Really good interview
Good job!

6. Amy - June 23, 2011

I agree. I think the pipes and things made it very concrete, a real machine. I wasn’t asked to just have faith that these glowing crystals were doing the job. I come from a blue collar family, machinists and steel workers. I loved the down and dirty feel to the Enterprise. I also had an opportunity to meet Mr. pegg at one of his book signings. As funny and charming in person as I expected. I “canna” wait to see him reprise his role as Scotty again.

7. Anthony Lewis - June 23, 2011

I found the engine room to be passable. I think they should have gone for more of a 50/50 split of high tech and low tech.

It was more like 90% low tech with about 10% touch screen monitors.

I like the idea on paper but I think it looked a little 2009 and not enough 23rd century.

8. Michael Hall - June 23, 2011

Funny–just yesterday I took a peek at Pegg’s new book recounting his career and life at the local Barnes & Noble. Hardly two words about Trek, surprisingly, but plenty of dish (if that’s what you’re in the market for) on his reactions to the STAR WARS prequels that began with the crushing disappointment he experienced at a screening of The Phantom Menace. To hear Pegg tell it, the bit of his soul that was the relationship he’d had with something he’d cherished since childhood, died on that day.

Right there with ya, Simon. Only my Waterloo came on May 8, 2009.

9. MJ - June 23, 2011

I think if the Bud Engine Room could be adjusted to meet the TOS Movie engine room half-way, I could live with that integration. I just need to see something that hints at 23rd century technology. If instead of the Budweiser Plant that had used the Large Hadron Collider in France, that would be have been a better solution to cover what they intended I think.

10. Frank Jay Gruber - June 23, 2011

Much as I hate to admit it, Simon probably has a point about the disparity between traditional Trek and the expectations of modern genre fans. Would Classic Trek in its original form be a hit today, in syndication or otherwise? Probably not.
That doesn’t mean purists have to love the 2009 film and the dis-unity-verse it creates, but perhaps they need not treat the perpetrators as villains.

11. MJ - June 23, 2011

@8. Well Dexter, my mini-Waterloo for this week came with reading your post here.

12. StelArian - June 23, 2011

Very nice work. Well done! Keep up TrekMovie :)

13. MJ - June 23, 2011

@10. Yea, original Trek today might fare like Firefly and the follow-up Serenity movie…it would gain a reasonably sized niche following, but not enough critical mass to evolve into a franchise.

14. Red Dead Ryan - June 23, 2011

#3.

I understand your point, but “Star Trek” had to be modernized for today’s audiences. That meant adding a little bit of “Star Wars” to shake things up a bit.

#9.

Agreed! I don’t mind the pipes, as they add realism (heck, even the Enterprise E and Defiant had plenty of pipes) but I’d prefer the brewery they are using as engineering look less like a brewery and more like an engine room. There are plenty of ways to do that without needing a big blue glowing tube. The brewery was just to jarring and clearly didn’t match the Enterprise esthetics.

15. Anthony Pascale - June 23, 2011

For the record, my issue with Engineering was not with every shot, but some were problematic. It wasn’t the theory or approach of using an industrial location, it was the execution in those few scenes that i thought needed better angle choices and/or more sci-fi redressing. For a big budget movie to have such an obvious use of a 1960s building in a 23rd century ship, it takes you out of the film.

After the interview i spoke to simon a bit more about this and he agrees in principal that a few more scifi/star trek touches and they should be ok for the sequel

16. Buzz Cagney - June 23, 2011

#14 Shake things up or shake things down? You pays yer money on that one, Ryan. ;-)

#8 Kapowwww! That was quite a sting in the tail there. I never even saw it coming! I don’t entirely agree with you but I do admire the execution!

17. somethoughts - June 23, 2011

#15

With todays special effects they could have used the bud set and inserted much more advanced looking effects and still get to keep the sheer size and realism of a starship.

#1

I was thinking the same thing, looks like he has on his ring and watch for that shot

18. MJ - June 23, 2011

@16: “#8 Kapowwww! That was quite a sting in the tail there. I never even saw it coming! I don’t entirely agree with you but I do admire the execution!”

They don’t call him Dexter for nothing! :-)

19. Canon Schmanon - June 23, 2011

I agree with you totally, Anthony. I have no problem with a big, industrial engineering section, but this one didn’t jibe with the rest of the sets. It was too obviously a brewery. I recognized it immediately, and I was taken out of the film. To me, it’s the greatest flaw in the flick.

20. Davidj - June 23, 2011

Ha ha. “Room with a glowing tube in the middle.” Described that way, it does seem a bit silly.

21. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 23, 2011

Every time I read the word “budgineering” I think/visualise budgies (or budgerigars), indigenous to Australia. I see a pair perched on one of those pipes in the Enterprise’s budgineering. Can’t help it – that is the first thing I think of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budgerigar

I am posting this link as I was surprised to hear that Reese Witherspoon, among others, had to ask Robert Pattinson what a budgie was on a recent Graham Norton show episode. I just wonder if lots of other people don’t know what a budgie is…

22. somethoughts - June 23, 2011

#21

I know what a budgie is, chirp chirp

23. Vultan - June 23, 2011

I think the engineering set looked great… if the movie was about a modern ship at sea. Otherwise, they should look more to NASA than the Navy for inspiration. See the interior of the space shuttle for example. Sure, it’s rough in places, but nothing like a brewery.

And I’d like to think in a couple hundred years spaceships, even along the lower decks, would be a bit more… uh, sleek—you know, more like that nail salon/Apple store Abrams used for a bridge and less like the coal-shovelers deck aboard Titanic.

24. Buzz Cagney - June 23, 2011

I didn’t really have a big problem with the engineering set at the time. Oddly enough I do now! Go figure!
Over a smelly old brewery or a futuristic looking glowy light thingy I think, on balance, i’d prefer the futuristic looking glowy light thingy.

25. Buzz Cagney - June 23, 2011

Been a while since we’ve bumped posts, Vults! How you doing my friend?

26. Vultan - June 23, 2011

As for Trek being remade in Star Wars’ image, I think that’s a totally wrong assumption. It was obviously Flash Gordon they injected into Trek!

Only on Mongo would you find the sort of man-being-teleported-into-water-pipes or massive-starship-being-built-on-good-farmland level of silliness we saw in the Trek ’09 serial—I mean, movie.

Can’t wait to see my fellow Hawkmen in the sequel… in 2018.
Is Brian Blessed available?

27. Vultan - June 23, 2011

#25

I’m doing okay, Buzz. Trying to endure the miserable heat of another Oklahoma summer.

“I’m meeeeelllttting! What a world… what a world…”

28. Buzz Cagney - June 23, 2011

#26 I can see it now, Blessed bellowing GEORGE KIRK IS ALIVE!

Miserable heat? I hear we are supposed to be nudging 25c this weekend- which is enough to have us thinking of heading to the coast lol
What temps. are you getting?

Ah, I just took a look. Yes indeed, nudging 90F! that is hot! You have air-con i assume? or do you go for a drive to cool down? lol

29. Vultan - June 23, 2011

#28

“BLESSED’S ALIVE?!!!”

No, I know he’s alive, and it would be awesome to see him in another sci-fi flick… perhaps with his good friend Patrick Stewart. Their voices could move mountains!

Yeah, 90F is just the beginning, Buzz. We should top out around 108 or 110F around late August… and then there’s the heat index, which will make it feel like 115! Thank God for air con, or else I would have to move to a cooler place. I hear Siberia is nice… :-o

30. Jack - June 23, 2011

15. Agreed. There were a few scenes (the security guard chase) that took me out of the film. And there’s something to that whole idea of the (original) Star Wars brashness, which is more about pacing and energy (which TOS often had) than theme.

31. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - June 23, 2011

I loved when Scotty took Command. Friday’s Child, ect. I hope we get more of the badass Scotty in the next film and less zany Scotty

32. Keachick (rose pinenut) - June 24, 2011

Here I am often cold and it can be so damp because it is so wet, wet, wet. We have had rain and more rain and then there’s that rain again… (The only advantage is that even in the hottest, driest summer, Auckland rarely has a water shortage). Gotta love the weather…

33. Basement Blogger - June 24, 2011

I don’t have a problem with Star Wars type special effects and production values. But the problem is that Star Trek is not Star Wars. Star Wars is science fantasy. Star Trek is science ficiton. Along with the adventure, Star Trek is about exploring ideas scientific and philosophical. Many Trekkers point the 2009 movie went back to the TOS roots. Yet, the TOS had ideas in many episodes.

I’ve pointed out many episodes had science fiction and philosophical ideas. For example, Spinrad’s “The Doomsday Machine” took on arms control, A Taste ot Armageddon- war; Mirror, Mirror-parallel universes. And on and on. I’m not in favor of turning a great science fiction show into a shallow adventure movie. And don’t get me wrong, I like Star Trek 2009. It was a very good space adventure movie.

Since the 2009 movie was dedicated to creator Gene Roddenberry, maybe we should look to him what he wanted for Star Trek. He wanted an entertainment that had substance. And if you saw Nichelle Nichols in the PBS documentary about pioneers of TV science fiction, she got Gene to admit he was writing morality plays. Now I don’t think Star Trek must go the “in your face” message like Avatar but the new movie should offer ideas. Scientific or philosophical And by the way, Avatar’s in your face environmentalism didn’t hurt the movie at the box office.

1. Nichelle Nichols gets Roddenberry to admit that in Star Trek, he was wrting morality plays. (2::00 mark of embedded video.)
http://trekmovie.com/2011/01/18/pioneers-of-television-clip-william-shatner-on-how-he-made-star-trek-more-fun/

2. Roddenberry wants Star Trek to also have substance along with mass audience appeal.
http://trekmovie.com/2010/11/30/letter-of-note-gene-roddenberry-defends-star-trek-the-cage-pilot/

34. Shamelord - June 24, 2011

I don’t mind that Engineering Room. A few more sci-fi touches would have been welcome though to get a better low tech / high tech balance.

And I support JJ Abrams’s shot in the arm regarding the new movie’s pulse. The “brashness” Simon mentions, I personally tend to think the Original Series had it in its own sixties way.

In fact, the original movies lacked that quality and people got used to it. JJ Abrams brought it back – 2009 standards – and it is welcome.

35. Shamelord - June 24, 2011

Addendum: I watched Irvin Kershner’s RoboCop 2 the other day – no masterpiece but no turkey either, by the way. Those interested will recognize that huge engineering corridor where Uhura works. RoboCop2 was shot at the Budweiser factory!

36. chrisfawkes.com - June 24, 2011

You did great as Scotty Simon. May the force be with you.

37. chris pike - June 24, 2011

Engineering looked like the earth bound 20th century factory that it was and took me out the movie in every scene, very untrek like and just didn’t work for me at all..I find it very hard to believe it would harm the movie if something more futuristic, powerful looking, and space age replaced it

38. Calbie - June 24, 2011

By all rights, in the second film we need to see a little more of the engineer side of Scotty. The first film was brilliant at establishing his personality but the second needs to establish why expelling him to a small outpost was the worst decision Starfleet made.

39. Jack - June 24, 2011

34 And I support JJ Abrams’s shot in the arm regarding the new movie’s pulse. The “brashness” Simon mentions, I personally tend to think the Original Series had it in its own sixties way.

agreed! Same with humor — the characters were often funny, and whimsical (I’m glad Pegg used the word, it fits) but never, really, ridiculous. The joke wasn’t usually on them in the way it was in say, Trek V, or even parts of IV.

I’m still not a fan of the off-the-rack desktop LCD monitors used in some of the set design, it would be like seeing a TV set on the set of TOS (like in Pike’s quarters in the cage, or the CRT screens in Trek 2) I get that they’re trying to avoid the CGI-heavy set design of say, Green Lantern, and have as much as possible on set for the actors to engage with, and, yes, to keep it real, and on budget, but yeah. Just whining. And then there was that Dyson hand dryer in sickbay. And the helm that just seemed to have banks of LEDs on it.

I hope he doesn’t tone Scotty down entirely in the next one. Let’s see what the story demands… those Entertainment Tonight interviews where Trek actors would say “in this one you’ll see a side of _________ you’ve never
seen before” never seemed to bode well.

33. Avatar’s message wasn’t only in your face, it was less nuanced and clunkier than a Captain Planet episode. And it worked okay because it was a cartoon, and a shoot-’em-up adventure. I worry that squeezing in a really clunky message that we already constantly hear is the equivalent of those Scary Movie movies that just reference other movies without actually telling
jokes or doing anything new. TOS wasn’t the only ’60s series doing morality plays — heck, look at a lot of Westerns. That said, the Dark Knight characters said its themes aloud, and repeatedly, and it was still a good movie. i guess i just hope for a little more subtlety and, maybe, ambiguity. I’ve said it before, but I still think what Roddenberry showed (this group of professionals united by a desire to explore, gain knowledge and, yes, help others… especially back when the women were still wearing pants) had more impact than the very few taken-from-today’s-headlines episodes (what was the point of a Private Little War?). My point is, I want a good story about these characters first…

Ps. star wars, even as space opera, had social themes, beyond light vs. darkness — the power of diversity (the empire was all white guys), the importance of resistance, the dangers of apathy towards tyranny (Pre-Ben Luke hates the empire, but, heck, what can he do about it?), and, heck, the
battle of Endor was even Avatar-light.

40. Kroll - June 24, 2011

Love Simon Pegg, from Spaced onwards. He was great in Doctor Who in season one. And fantastic in his small role in Black Books.
Shaun of the Dead is the best film this country has produced for years, and Hot Fuzz is as good.
Haven’t seen Paul, but will soon.
Can’t wait for the third film in the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy.
Get on with it boys!

41. Dom - June 24, 2011

I didn’t have any issues with the industrial location either. As a video editor, I tread the line between blue-collar and white-collar: while I get to use swish computers, I also spend a good deal of time in and out of machine rooms, pulling cables out of machines and so on. So I hope we keep the industrial location with a touch more set-dressing!

As for the Star Wars ‘brashness,’ a movie series needs it, whereas on TV it might not work. I don’t care about the whole ‘What would Gene Roddenberry want?’ argument. Gene Roddenberry has been dead for 20 years, so his opinions have no relevance to modern TV and film production.

What I believe he wouldn’t have wanted to see was Star Trek’s slow death in the 1990s and early 2000s, the death of Kirk, the mocking label of ‘the McDonalds of sci-fi.’ ST09 brought Trek out of that ghetto, it brought unreconstructed TOS fans like me back after I’d long accepted that Trek had moved on in a direction I didn’t like and had left it behind.

And ST09 fitted the core idea of Trek perfectly: Leonard Nimoy’s Spock travels beyond the final frontier, encountering new life and new civilisations.

Great film, awesome Ben (Star Wars) Burtt sound FX, great, dynamic visual FX the return of handheld cameras (STVI and even Where No Man Has Gone Before used them well) and cool lens flares!! Can’t wait for the next one!

42. Commander - June 24, 2011

The new engineering was horrible. Doesn’t loo like the interior of a starship, doesn’t look like Starfleet, doesn’t fit to the rest of the ship, doesn’t look like any engineering we have seen before.

Even if they like the idea of all the pipes and tubes, you can’t hava an engineering without a real warpcore.

I hope they will modify the engineering for the next movie.

43. Chief Engineer - June 24, 2011

Relieved he doesn’t see Scotty as comedy character. Scotty is a character who earned his comedy moments based upon the principles the Scotty is a hard-working, no-nonsense, genius. Once those characteristics are established the comic moments shine through. That’s what is so loveable about Scotty.

Must admit I would love to see Scotty take command once again in Kirk and Spock’s abscence… that’s when his qualities are shown. Love the episodes where he makes command decisions that baffle the rest of the crew but ultimately save the day.

44. Daoud - June 24, 2011

The whole damn ship is engineering. We were only looking at one deck of it. Perhaps it was the water-handling and primary coolant reprocessing level. The “classic” TOS level could be just above, unfinished, because the Big E had to launch early with a crew of cadets.

It’ll be done next Tuesday when the shiny blue tube arrives on the big brown UPS spaceship.

45. BitterTrekkie - June 24, 2011

3. Agreed 100%.

46. captain_neill - June 24, 2011

I agree with Anthony on comment 15, the lack of dressing for the Engine Room took me out of the film a little and I did not buy it as an engine room of a starship, especially in the sequence when Kirk and Scotty are running from security.

A good engine room design would be the Enterprise E engine room.

Pegg does point out the one sad thing about mainstream modern cinema, that the style of stories from the past won’t work anymore.

I do think it’s sad that you need fast shots and explosions to make a film these days to keep the younger audiences entertained. To me that suggests that the current kids anre being dumbed down. And I agree with Pegg it was what was required to make Star Trek appeal again. As I said before the mainstream is a double edged sword. Hard core fans have to accept these changes in order to keep Trek alive.

I am talking about the current trend generally, not anything in particular. But I applaud Abrams for keeping the spiirt of Trek alive and the feel of the characters in this more Star Wars influenced era of Trek.

47. BitterTrekkie - June 24, 2011

46. Hard core fans have to accept these changes in order to keep Trek alive.

No, we do not.
Just because CBS and Paramount can do with Star Trek as they see fit, doesn’t mean we have to like it or accept it.

48. HARRISON!!! - June 24, 2011

I actually liked the look of the engineering set – I always, in spite of the futuristic technology involved, found the idea of a transparent tube that could contain the pressure & radiation of a power source equal in intensity to a small star somewhat implausible – and so the idea of representing the reactors with the metal vats worked well for me.

My only issue was with the fact that there was clearly no way those “reactors” could be connected to the warp nacelles. Simply using a bit of CGI to composite-in some magnetic conduits leading-up into the ceiling of the compartment – styled after, as MJ @9 suggested, the LHC at CERN – would’ve given it that sense of connected realism.

Daoud @44 also makes a good point that I’d thought of too, that the engineering decks could’ve been unfinished (granted, we do see see engineering looking the same at the end of the movie, but even that could be explained by Starfleet rushing the Enterprise back out of port again after replacing the reactors as so many other ships had been destroyed & they needed as many active vessels as possible).

49. Christopher Roberts - June 24, 2011

Sorry, I just didn’t buy into the idea that was Engineering.

Water reclamation? Coolent pipes for the warp drive, somewhere else on the ship. But not Engineering.

50. captain_neill - June 24, 2011

47

I don’t like all the changes but I understand why they did them.

51. Mark Lynch - June 24, 2011

Star Trek is in the 23rd century…. The actual Engineering section should look properly futuristic. Obviously there are still going to be pipes and things for carrying water and so on. But not that many…. It is also safer to keep as much sensitive equipment as is possible, behind panels or within the Jefferies tubes.

I hope Simon Pegg is right about Scotty not being made to come across as so comedic in the sequel.

BTW
Simon, please make sure you remove your 21st Century wristwatch the next time you shoot a scene in a 23rd Century universe…. ;)

52. Buzz Cagney - June 24, 2011

Vults……110-115F!!!!!!!! My dear god! I couldn’t handle that at all.
It might not be to everyone’s taste but I think i’ll settle for the UK’s weather after all.

53. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - June 24, 2011

I like Simons approach to Scotty. I think as we get to the next film we will see more of our Scotty come out and shine. Still need some major changes to Budgeanering. Somon is a great actor and I believe he can easily pull it off.

54. JKP - June 24, 2011

I think Simon Pegg is great, but I’m still lukewarm to his Scotty. Hoping they fix things with him in the next one. He was too excitable. He needs to be more serous. I agree with the whimsical nature, but it was more subtle than excitable.

Hopefully we see a more grounded Scotty in the next film.

As for the beer set. Who cares? Good story telling is about the characters and plot. The sets are not that important to me.

55. Excelsior - June 24, 2011

• Regarding critiques of the coincidence meetings in Star Trek he notes “that is the point! This is reality dragging itself back together”

Hmm… Try reconciling that with:

“Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of history, beginning with the attack on the USS Kelvin, culminating in the events of today, thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.” – New Spock, ‘Star Trek’ (2009)

My one main complaint about the movie? It’s terribly written! Character development, plot logic, narrative flow – all things I’d really like to see in any sequel, since they’re nowhere to be found in that film.

People complain about canon, Roddenberry’s vision (which is a shaky subject to argue about at best), etc. – those are all secondary concerns to any studio/filmmaker, especially if they get in the way of what they want to do with the movie. And there’s a reason for that – people don’t watch a movie to be amazed at how the sets perfectly match a set of blueprints from a technical manual. A movie is fundamentally about the story and the writing, not niche-interest set-dressing.

But there’s no excusing really basic weaknesses in the writing and storytelling – stuff which is ‘wrong’ from a technical standpoint. And without the novelty of everything being ‘new’ again, or the time-travel gimmick, these faults are going to be much more glaringly apparent in any sequel if left unaddressed.

I know people really want to eulogise about this move franchise because it makes Trek ‘popular’ again for the first time in ages. But movie-goers shouldn’t have to accept bad writing, just because it’s got ‘Star Trek’ in the title (‘Enterprise’, anyone?). Not unless they want studio execs to treat them like morons, anyway – “yes, I’ll happily watch anything you throw at me -take my money!”.

56. Sebastian S. - June 24, 2011

When I first saw Pegg’s interpretation of Scotty, I was worried that he seemed to be playing too broadly, until I went back and began rewatching some of TOS, and I realized he was trying to capture the ‘larger-than-life’ aspects of the character. There were many episodes where Scotty was often played for comic relief (ditto Chekov). Hopefully the next movie will show other facets of the character (like what we saw in “Wrath of Khan” or even “Wolf in the Fold”). I can’t wait to see more of Pegg’s Scotty (he did succeed in bringing some of the late James Doohan’s sense of fun to the character).

As for Engineering, it would’ve been OK if they ‘digitized’ a bit more of a ‘scifi’ look into it; as it was? It was too raw and easily recognizable for what it was; a brewery, and nothing more. It was the one thing that really popped me out of the movie at times. If they use it again (and here’s hoping that they build a set), at least they can digitally ‘smooth it over’ with some more Star Trek-looking elements to make it seem less obvious, or 20th century looking.

You wouldn’t really want to shoot the bridge (for example) in an abandoned frigate’s conning tower; the engine room deserves similar respect. In previous Trek movies, it always gave one a sense of future awe and scale to see the ‘heart’ of the starship Enterprise; ST09 really missed out on that opportunity (in an otherwise wonderful movie).

57. pock speared - June 24, 2011

i was truly impressed with engineering, but not for the reasons usually cited. for me, the juxtaposition on the clean, efficient bridge and the more industrial lower decks were all part of a grander form of art design. this enterprise, in shape, lines and interior were very much what kirk’s father’s corvette would’ve evolved into in the 23rd century. and in a sense, the ent was a model of kirk himself: bright and brainy on top. sexual and powerful below.

the kelvin’s lower decks, which strangely escape much of the criticism, were equally well done, and highlighted the sense of carnage as she was ripped apart.

frankly, the one thing about all versions of trek until this one that seemed odd were the cables and steam that always fell out of the cracks during an attack. they seemed far more out of “future place” than engineering 2009 does to me.

anyway, given the as yet unseen look of nanoengineering and redressable, instantly modifying surfaces that are likely as soon as 2100, we can be certain that nothing in trek looks anything like what a starship will really be like.

58. Vultan - June 24, 2011

#52

Yeah, Buzz, the worst thing is that it’s not even a “dry heat” like they have in the desert states. Here we have that wonderful thing called humidity that makes it feel like your eyeballs are going to be steam-cooked inside your head and run down to your shoes in a puddle of goo.

Obviously, I’ve never complained of winter. Blizzard? Oh, that sounds just fine to me!

59. Jordan - June 24, 2011

Scotty needs to be a more serious character. He’s third in command after all! When Kirk and Spock are down on the planet, who is the one making sure the ship doesn’t get torn apart when there away?

60. gumtuu - June 24, 2011

@ #55

Well said.

It was never about the reboot aspect for me. I loved the production, actors, directing etc. Canon has always been dodgy in Star Trek anyway.

It was the plot that made me cringe. Every time I see it, I find some new continuity flaw or problem within it’s own internal logic that I hadn’t caught the previous viewing, It feels like they dumbed down Star Trek. New writers would do wonders. Same for Star Wars. All the best stuff lately has been from other writers than Lucas. He needs to stay a custodian to the franchise to not let the studios go crazy with the property, and let new writers take the reigns.

I shudder to think what will happen when Lucas is gone. A studio reboot of Star Wars with Justin Beiber as Luke or something? Or a harsh, gritty remake like Game of Thrones? Here’s hoping Lucas lives forever.

61. Simon - June 24, 2011

#55 – Don’t know what film YOU watched but the plot was there and the characters were instantly likeable and well written: you cared about them. Even characters new to the TREK screen like George and Winona Kirk, in just a few minutes you cared about what was happening to them and felt loss when George sacrificed himself. “Poorly written” characters cannot and will not do that, especially in such short screen time.

Clearly you have an axe to grind, but blaming the writers is just a sign of sour grapes.

62. Horatio - June 24, 2011

I wouldn’t have minded Budgineering so much if it hadn’t looked so much like a brewery. Talk about being jolted out of a movie…. “Hey! look, there is some vats of Bud Lite with computer thingies put in front of it!” Or my personal favorite was seeing in the background cinder block walls on what was suppose to be an intestellar starship. OK, I get what you were trying to do, JJ, but get a new art director or set decorator or whatever and make it not look like you guys plopped a few pretty set pieces in the middle of a distillery.

As for Peggs interpretation of Scotty, I loved it. Jimmy Doohan’s Scotty wasn’t all that serious. I mean, come on. He loved to drink and get in to fights and fell in love with women almost as easily as Kirk. Not only that, Scotty Prime was pretty short leashed with his emotions. He was always going off half cocked – taking on Klingons or Nomad probes without giving it much of any thought. And that was great and that was what made Scotty such a great member of the original cast.

If, by some gift of the gods, that Reboot Trek makes it to television again someday I hope that Pegg follows it to the small screen.

63. Greenberg - June 24, 2011

Pegg’s one of the most disappointing parts of the movie. I remember going into it thinking that Pegg would be alright and that Karl Urban would be awful – boy did I get a surprise. I think Karl was the best in show, of the new cast at least.

64. captain_neill - June 24, 2011

I will never be a fan of the budfgineering, It looks too anachromistic for a ship of the 23rd Century. But if dressed better I would live with it better.

Pegg gave a great performance but I would like to see the more serious side to Scotty, I often say that Pegg was great in the movie but to me he wasn’t Scotty.

Well to me Jimmy Doohan will always be Scotty but I want to see Pegg grow in the role beyond comic foil.

65. Anthony Thompson - June 24, 2011

I most definitely didn’t like his Scotty, but that’s the way the script was written. From his comments here, I think Pegg understands that the character of Scotty was essentially a serious one. A hard worker and an innovator. Hopefully, Bob & Co. will write a sequel which more accurately depicts the character.

66. Shaun - June 24, 2011

“My one main complaint about the movie? It’s terribly written! Character development, plot logic, narrative flow – all things I’d really like to see in any sequel, since they’re nowhere to be found in that film.”

ironically, it was the first trek movie script to receive a writers guild nomination.

67. Excelsior - June 24, 2011

#61

No axe to grind – other than the same one I’ve levelled at The Dark Knight, Avatar, and a bunch of other films that were wildly ‘successful’, yet failed to deliver on fundamental storytelling principles.

I’ll agree that the pre-credit sequence worked well, and you really did empathise with the characters as the writers intended. But for the main story, there’s no growth for Kirk’s character (just as one example). He remains the same as he did in the carjacking scene, or the bar scene, with no revelation or redemption. He simply survives to fight another day… …and gets everything but the kitchen sink handed to him as a result, for no reason other than ‘He’s meant to be Captain Kirk’**.

The Delta Vega sequence is contrived beyond reason, and the rationale that the universe was trying to ‘right itself’ like some kind of ‘cosmic destiny’ is just the cheapest kind of ‘deus ex machina’ cop-out you can find. If that’s acceptable storytelling, then writers can get away with any old hokey, ‘just because’. And that’s before we throw in the fact that they’ve already stated in this particular film that ‘cosmic destiny’ has been altered anyway – one contradicts the other.

**Same deal with the characters as the scene above. They’re all hastily thrown together on the Enterprise in an exceedingly contrived manner, with the promotion of Kirk being final proof that it’s just an exercise in getting everyone into their familiar places at all cost, including plot logic. And yet, isn’t the whole point that things are going to be new and different? Why all the effort to get things resembling the 60s show as closely as possible by the time the film ends?

Red matter’s even worse – causes black holes one minute, then destroys planets (without yet another black hole as a result) the next. And not just any black holes, either – MAGIC ones that are really time-warps, magic time warps that let you enter or exit whenever the plot requires. …except, of course, the final fight with the Enterprise, when both the Red Matter and the black hole are used to destroy the Narada. Again, the lack of consistency is staggering – it’s the ‘because we said so!’ principle, as I’ve said before.

It’s nothing personal against this film – I have a problem all films that fail in this regard (because if a film requires me to turn my brain off to enjoy the ‘ride’, why shouldn’t I take issue). It’s just that this one, plus notable others, seems to get a free pass on this front by people who seem so desperate to like it, they’ll excuse any flaws, no matter how fundamental.

And there’s nothing wrong with people enjoying it – loving it, revelling in the spectacle, whatever. Just don’t start defending it as ‘good writing’, because there’s a litany of black holes in this script (and not magic ones, either) that say otherwise…

68. ML31 - June 24, 2011

I fully understand why they used the brewery. But on screen it still looked terrible and totally out of place. Yes, it needs to look different but it also has to give you the sense that it BELONGS on a Star Ship with all the other sets. Using the brewery didn’t convey that at all. In fact, it ruined the illusion. At lease for me.

69. Reign1701A - June 24, 2011

Interesting, the Animated Series (specifically when it was re-run on Nickelodeon) was my gateway into Star Trek as well.

Check out the Enterprise shaped logo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7QGkWhdwY4

70. ensign joe - June 24, 2011

“This is reality dragging itself back together”

*cough* vulcan *cough*

71. Vultan - June 24, 2011

The funny thing about the new Enterprise (other than the weird hotrod proportions of its exterior) is the odd mix of designs throughout the ship’s interior.

I mean, they went totally retro ’60s with the uniforms, with the color scheme, mini-skirts, Uhura’s communication ear-bob and whatnot. Then they have a bridge that looks like the dorm room Steve Jobs and Liberace might have shared in college. Then there’s the super industrial, made in Detroit, look-at-me-I’ve-got-hair-on-my-chest engineering section that wouldn’t look out of place on the Nostromo from “Alien” fame. Oh, and don’t forget the Super Mario water pipes section of the ship—brought to you by Lego and McDonald’s funland playsets!

It was all just a tad too eclectic for my tastes. A little more consistency wouldn’t hurt.

72. Orb of the Emissary - June 24, 2011

I think Voyager and the Enterprise-E had really good engine rooms, IMO. I don’t mind the new Supreme Court using the brewery as the engine room but I agree with Anthony in #15: you hit it right on the nail with your assesment sir. Thank you once again for an awesome website!!

73. Shatner_Fan_Prime - June 24, 2011

Cool interview! It’s good to know the new cast includes a true fanboy like Pegg. I plan to pick up his book soon, I’m sure it’s a good read!

74. Jeyl - June 24, 2011

Here’s my point of view.

The Enterprise is the most important starship in the history os science fiction. Better than the Millennium Falcon, more important than Jupiter 2. Why would you not want to give the most iconic sci-fi ship in existence the respect it deserves?

Star Wars was a low budget movie, but at least they designed and built all the interior sets for every vehicle we got to see the cast inhabit. We got to see the all-white hallways of Tantive IV, the old rusty look of the Millennium Falcon, the clean, but very shaft ridden Death Star interior, and the cramped, but very convincing look of the star fighter interiors for both the X-Wing, Y-Wing and Tie-Fighter cockpits.

Even Serenity, another low budget science fiction movie made six years ago built the entire ship “Serenity” using sets, including the engineering section that was only seen in one shot.

75. Dr. Image - June 24, 2011

Anthony hit it on the head- using a virtually un-redressed contemporary location for engineering takes you out of the film. Suddenly you’re thrust into a plant tour. It’s jarring even with repeat viewings.
JJ hopefully understands now that “real” can work against you if it’s not done right.

76. Thorny - June 24, 2011

I hope Scotty’s wackiness is toned down a bit for Star Trek Reboot 2. I just sort of accepted it in Trek 2009 as being a result of Scotty being stuck on Delta Vega alone with just Keenser for company. Now that’s he’s on a starship and has his beloved engine room, he should be a little more serious.

77. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - June 24, 2011

I think we all can agree that the Engine room in Trek 09 was a very weak point for the movie. But all in all the Movie it self was top notch. As a Hard core trek fan and Sci fi fan in general I thought Trek 09 had it all. Action and Suspense and Adventure. I have seen Trek 09 so many times I have lost count. But not as many as I have Trek 2. The Fx for the movie was great and all though the Enterprise was for me at least a little off it was still great looking. All of the actors who was in the movie did a fantastic job protraying the crew with a special shout out to Karl Urban who simply nailed Dr. MCcoy. In any of the Trek Movies and Series there will always be some people who do not like it for what ever there reasons are and that is ok. But as a Hard core fan who has read over 150 Star Trek Novals and who owns all of the Trek Series on either Bluray or DVD I can say that Trek 2009 was the 2nd best Trek Movie with only The Wrath of Khan beating it out.

78. Oh No, Odo - June 24, 2011

#3 Right!

#14 Wrong!

79. THX-1138 - June 24, 2011

I like the fact that Pegg is understanding of how some of the fans didn’t take to the engineering design or the alternate universe aspect of the NuTrek film. And I like him as an actor.

But I still don’t think of him as Scotty.

And I promise not to mention anything about the ridiculous new scale of the Enterprise. Or that engineering looks just plain silly.

I will say that the bar-code scanners don’t bug me anymore.

80. Kev -1 - June 24, 2011

Pegg is very talented. I wish they hadn’t turned Scotty into comic relief with a three-foot alien sidekick . That’s an opinion. As for engineering, much more redressing should have been done for a movie costing 150 million plus. In one of those scenes, pipes? are going out of a basement window. It’s out of focus, but can be more clearly seen in the making of book. Star Wars presented its tech much more convincingly — like the power station on Endor. The cinderblock Starfleet outpost with crash bar doors was noticeable as well.

81. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - June 24, 2011

The Engine Room on one of the V Tv Series Ships was much more Impressive then Trek 09. Come on Court. Don’t let a Tv show with a lower budget show up Star Trek.

82. Red Dead Ryan - June 24, 2011

I think at this point, it is a given that J.J Abrams is going to stick with the brewery for the sequel. So we might as well just accept it.

As for what I said earlier about “Star Trek” needing to add some “Star Wars”: For “Star Trek” to work on the big screen and to bring in the mainstream audience (many of whom are “Star Wars” fans) it needed to have the visceral, action-oriented visual extravaganza style that was relatable to kids that “Star Wars” has mastered for decades.

83. somethoughts - June 24, 2011

Its the perfect fusion, visual stimula with mental stimula, they took the best of both worlds and made it work.

84. somethoughts - June 24, 2011

I do prefer the dark rustic kelvin bridge over the ibridge look.

85. Stargazer54 - June 24, 2011

Anthony, thanks for getting the interview and sharing it with us. Excellent job with your questions.

And thank you Simon for giving your time ! Sounds like we are in good hands.

Can’t wait for ST II. (Budgineering, and all)

86. Canon Schmanon - June 24, 2011

I’m gratified to see so many agreeing with me for once. So maybe J.J. will do more than just wheel a few computer consoles into the Budweiser brewery and try to pass it off as Engineering in the next film.

87. Alec - June 24, 2011

So, if they’d gone with the designs they already had, we’d have no Budgineering; if they’d kept that line about the coincidences and time, we’d at least have had an explanation: you can’t expect your audience to read a special comic or interviews before they go to the cinema; and if they’d kept the Shatner scene we would also have had a better film.

The film was good: perhaps 7/10 and fourth best behind TWOK, TVH, and TUC. However, it clearly could have been better. JJ must have been at fault for these decisions. I think we could have had a better director. Technically, artistically, etc. JJ might be really good. But he clearly doesn’t understand Star Trek very well. There are directors who do….

88. TheTarkov - June 24, 2011

On all previous incarnations of Trek, regardless of budget, the creators involved attempted to create a aesthetic (and story) that was consistent, functional, and BELIEVABLE.

This was the charge of the Proberts, Zimmermans, Sternbachs, Drexlers, Okudas, etc

Gene’s constant struggle from the go was to insure this believeablity, from the stories, to the sets, to the “ideals” of his fictional universe.

Despite whats quoted in interviews – and all this talk of “brashness” and “modernizing” the franchise, the goal of the Trek 09 creators (and I’m not saying it was their primary goal) was to make things COOL. And the evidence is there on film (and in their DVD commentary) that this idea seemed to permeate everything they did.

And while it can be argued that today’s audiences require everything to look cool (even if it makes no sense) in order to make 300 million… Star Trek always tried to do a lot more…

And that’s what really made it cool.

89. Michael Hall - June 24, 2011

@ 67, 71

Yep.

90. Cygnus-X1 - June 24, 2011

Great interview!

Of all the criticism of the new Star Trek, the least of it has been about the actors. There was certainly no Jar Jar Binks among the new Trek cast; the lens flares in their regard appear to be the closest thing to a Jar Jar, followed closely by the now infamous brewery.

91. trekker 5 - June 24, 2011

That was great!! I need that book!! (Well,I don’t really,I have alot of books to read right now already,but still,as a nerd,I do need it!) :)

92. Thorny - June 24, 2011

90. Well, the reaction was pretty divided over Keenser.

93. ARH - June 24, 2011

#88 (The Tarkov) – Couldn’t have said it any better. Let’s hope that in the next film the spirit of science and reality trumps the siren’s song of “cool but silly”.

94. Smoking Robot - June 24, 2011

The engine room of a Starship IS NOT A BREWERY.

That was a horrible decision on J.J.’s part.

95. Mel - June 24, 2011

The engineering room looks really huge. That is the good part. But it simply doesn’t look futuristic. I mean compare the bridge with the engineering room. They don’t look like they are from the same century or on the same ship!

96. Phil - June 24, 2011

Yeah, I’d like Scotty a bit more serious, too. He’s in danger of being comic relief only, and I think that takes something away from the potential this crew has.

97. Sebastian S. - June 24, 2011

#57.

An elegant argument you made for the Budweiser engine room.
I’m still not sure I like it, but you made an elegant argument in favor of it.
And the metaphor of Kirk AS the Enterprise. Nice…

You gave the ‘USS Budweiser-prise’ haters (myself included) something to think about…. ;-)

98. Phil - June 24, 2011

@57. ….we can be certain that nothing in trek looks anything like what a starship will really be like…..

A spot on observation. Don’t know why so many argue otherwise, to the point of anger…

99. Forrest Leeson - June 24, 2011

“Red matter’s even worse – causes black holes one minute, then destroys planets (without yet another black hole as a result) the next.”

Not to defend the idea of red matter, but that part was consistent. What do you think Vulcan collapsed into? A small red-matter-created black hole.

“And not just any black holes, either – MAGIC ones that are really time-warps”

Improbable, but not inconsistent. Google on “strange matter” and “einstein-rosen bridge”.

“magic time warps that let you enter or exit whenever the plot requires. …except, of course, the final fight with the Enterprise”

There could have been a temporal bridge with both the Vulcan and Narada holes, but due to their smaller size and consequently greater tidal forces nothing would have gone through but energy. (It slices! It dices! Just look at that tomato! –oh, wait, that was the Vulcan Science Academy staff…)

100. Inigo M. - June 24, 2011

We have Star Wars. We have Star Trek. We don’t need even a remote hybridization of the two. Thanks.

101. Forrest Leeson - June 24, 2011

(It was a fried green tomato.)

102. D D - June 24, 2011

I didn’t like Budengineering but I felt it was a nice tribute to the original series, where you had to use your imagination to make it more real because it looked like it was filmed on a studio set with props. However I wish with today’s special effects technology they make the engineering section more believable and less like an existing factory pretending to be the engineering department of the USS Enterprise.

103. I'm Dead Jim! - June 24, 2011

@11 While I thought your comment was perhaps unnecessary, I think it is HILARIOUS that you called him Dexter!

104. Daniel - June 24, 2011

The criticism towards Budgineering reminds me of the complaints towards the kitchen with the pots and pans and ovens in STAR TREK VI.

105. Thorny - June 24, 2011

103. EngiBrewery was a lot worse than TUC’s kitchen.

106. John from Cincinnati - June 24, 2011

It is almost ironic. It was the action/adventure and swashbuckling spirit of the original series that inspired George Lucas to make Star Wars. 40 years later, it was Star wars that inspired Paramount to reinvigorate the franchise.

Hey people, Trekkers love action and adventure with a good story and characters. If you watch TOS, very little technobabble was in it. Technobabble started in TNG and continued through ENT.

Long live the spirit of the original series!

107. Phil - June 24, 2011

77. I like the new engineering section. Even if we assume EVERYTHING is replicated, you still need to generate the energy to run the magic boxes, transportation of raw materials, and the raw material storage that the replicator uses. Consider this, if you replicate 1000 meals per shift, at a pound a pop, you need a tank with 1000 pounds of magic replicator goo, because physics teaches us you can’t create something from nothing. That, and multiple warp cores fixes a long standing error in Trek starship design, no redundancy in main propulsion. The set worked just fine for what it was asked to do.

108. dmduncan - June 24, 2011

No problem with engineering, but Scotty definitely should’ve yelled “This Buds for you!” as he ejected the warp core.

109. Cygnus-X1 - June 24, 2011

92. Thorny – June 24, 2011

—-90. Well, the reaction was pretty divided over Keenser.—-

You’re right. I’d forgotten about the Wicket W. Warrick of Star Trek.

110. MJ - June 24, 2011

@103. “The criticism towards Budgineering reminds me of the complaints towards the kitchen with the pots and pans and ovens in STAR TREK VI.”

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Also, don’t you mean ST VII (Generations)?

111. Cygnus-X1 - June 24, 2011

With all of this talk about the Budgeneering, someone should mention that Anheuser-Busch spends billions each year on aggressive marketing to drive better quality, better tasting, better-for-you indie beers out of the market so that the self-proclaimed “King of Beers” and its siblings can hold onto their mammoth 50% share of the beer market.

Because they’re such a low quality products, they’re not going to hang onto 50% of the market share on their merits. Hence Bud Bowl, Budgeneering and the myriad paid product placements in movies that we watch to transmit to us an unconscious, “fun” association with weak-tasting, watered down beer that often leaves you feeling rather poorly after you’ve consumed it.

That Bud’s for you. Cheers!

112. SciFiGuy - June 24, 2011

Since when is Scotty “Whimsical”? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. The whole thing of making Scotty some kind of comic relief really started in the TOS movies. Prior to that, there was the scenes in Trouble with Tribbles and the drunken scene in By Any Other Name. Other than that, he always came off as a kind of serious character…

I DO NOT think Scotty should be “whimsical” or comedic in any sort of way…except for maybe a funny line here or there…

113. Anthony Thompson - June 24, 2011

110.

Were there also pots and pans on the Enterprise in Generations? I don’t remember that. Nick Meyer also installed red fire extinguishers on the ship for his films. Ugh!

114. Adolescent Nightmare - June 24, 2011

Some people here are completely out of touch with mainstream society. It’s like an idiot parade. And yet, they are not idiots. They are just completely disconnected from mainstream sensibilities. Maybe by choice? Who knows? I will just say that humor played a significant role in Star Trek’s success.

115. Praetor Tal - June 24, 2011

X2 FTW!

116. Basement Blogger - June 24, 2011

I. Jack (@ 39) says, ” Avatar’s message wasn’t only in your face, it was less nuanced and clunkier than a Captain Planet episode. And it worked okay because it was a cartoon, and a shoot-’em-up adventure. ”

No. no, no, that’s wrong. Look, I’m not a big Avatar fan but Avatar was NOT a “shoot’em up adventure.” Yes, it had a lot of gunplay. But the “in your face envrionmentalism” was bigger than the guns. And yeah, it was “Dances With Wolves” “Ferngully” in space. But Avatar had issues regarding the energy that is life. Expoitation of natural resources by greedy powers. Prejudice as the humans looked down upon the Navi.

Jakc says, ” star wars, even as space opera, had social themes,” (@ 39)

No, that’s not correct. And I’m only talking about the FIRST Star Wars or Star Wars IV, A New Hope. As everybody knows Flash Gordon was an influence on George Lucas in creating Star Wars. In fact he wanted the rights to the Flash Gordon. Link below. Unless you want to find social issues in Flash Gordon then you’re correct. But Flash Gordon was a simple, early space adventure where the bad guy literally had a long dark mustache.

In Star Wars, the bad buy (Darth Vader) literally wore black and was monsterous. Again, I’m talking about Star Wars, A New Hope. But to read social issues in Star Wars, A New Hope or even the great “The Empire Strikes Back” requires religious faith. Yeah, there was good vs. evil but heck, you might as well say every drama that shows good v. evil, no matter how simple, is sophisticated social commentary.

Okay, I will concede that Star Wars: Phantom Menance, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith did have political commentary. No quesion as to that. But if Star Wars, the 1977 movie bombed and no sequels were made, would you still say that Star Wars (1977) was some sophisticated piece of science fiction or fantasy?

II. THE HYPOCRISY OF EMBRACING THE NEW MOVIE AS FAITHFUL TO THE ORIGINAL SERIES AND WANTING THE NEW MOVIES TO REJECT THE ORIGINAL SERIES.

I’ve read many opinion that say Star Trek (2009) is like the old original series and in the same breath reject what Gene Roddenberry wanted for Star Trek. Fans will say stuff like “Roddenberry is dead… Star Trek was talky-gooey, etc. ” Let me respond to those who believe this. The 2009 movie ws dedicated to Gene Roddenberry. So whether you loved, liked or hated the movie, the filmmakers cared about Roddenberry’s vision of what Star Trek was supposed to be. And so what did Roddenberry want for Star Trek? He wanted mass entertainment but wanted a science fiction show that had substance. LInk.

The old series was more than just morality plays as Nichelle Nichols put it or a Flash Gordon like adventure. Great science fiction writers were hired. Harlan Ellison. Norman Spinrad. Theodore Sturgeon. And as I said many times before Star Trek put out ideas not just on morality but ideas of science. Scientific definitions of life. See “The Devil in the Dark.’ Paralliel universes. See “Mirror, Mirror.” What about scientific ideas? Okay, the communicator inspired the cell phone. Medical scanners? Meet the CAT Scan and MRI. We won’t get from here to the next star with rockets. So how about warp drive?

Look, we don’t need the old speeches that Kirk gave in TOS. On the other hand, if I can paraphrase film critic Roger Ebert, Star Trek was about ideas, scientific and philosophical. Leonard Nimoy always says Star Trek worked on multple levels. Entertaimnment . (Adventure) Uplifting. (Heart) and Provocative. (Intelligence) Link. I vote for subtlety but I vote for intelligence first.

The day Star Trek becomes Star Wars, it ceases to be Star Trek. It will no longer be science fiction.

1. Flash Gordon was an influence on Star Wars
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_IV:_A_New_Hope#History

2. Roddenberry wants Star Trek to also have substance along with mass audience appeal.
http://trekmovie.com/2010/11/30/letter-of-note-gene-roddenberry-defends-star-trek-the-cage-pilot/

3. Star Trek is made up of entertainment, uplift and provactive elements. See Nimoy’s remarks at 5:30.
http://trekmovie.com/2011/03/05/video-of-the-day-report-from-1973-star-trek-convention/

117. dmduncan - June 24, 2011

Hey! Love that Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner pic from the twitter feed. Cool.

118. Sid - June 24, 2011

I liked the concept of probability having a sort of elasticity and tension to it — the timeline envisioned as a bicycle inner tube. Nero’s incursion created a bulge in the timeline, which then was being constrained by probability back into its proper line, which is why an endless stream of coincidences were propelling everybody into their ‘rightful’ places. Wish the line where Spock explicitly stated this hadn’t been cut.

Doesn’t jive with Trek time-travel canon, but it’s a cool way of visualizing time travel. Change all you like back in the past, but after a certain number of years, or decades, everything will be more or less exactly the same as if you hadn’t.

119. TrekMadeMeWonder - June 24, 2011

I still prefer a couple good old original series episodes over anything in the 09 movie.

120. Frank Jay Gruber - June 24, 2011

117: Thanks. I was thankfully in the right place at the right time to shoot it. Hopefully will have as good luck tomorrow!

121. Tox Uthat - June 24, 2011

Loved the movie, hated the Bud. Thought it added a lack of safety in space that just never made sense to me.

122. Vultan - June 24, 2011

#116

Your points are well put, BB, if a bit long.
I wish more people would see the difference between science fiction and science fantasy. The line has always been quite a bit fuzzy in the overall world of genre fiction, but with the differences between Wars and Trek (in the original forms their respective creators intended)—it’s apples and oranges, day and night, left and—oh well, you get the point.

123. MJ - June 24, 2011

@117. DM, I think you are mistakenly posting here on the wrong story? The Shat/Nichols story is a couple slots above this one.

124. Jon Spencer - June 25, 2011

I love that he appreciates Trek! I have a greater amount of respect for him after seeing this video. Thanks!

125. Jack - June 25, 2011

122. I don’t disagree with you, I see the difference, when there is one. I’m pretty sure most people here do too. I’m just sick of the same darned Star-Trek-2009-was-Star-Wars-because-JJ-liked-Star-Wars posts from this guy, with the same quotes (J.J. preferred Star Wars!) and links on every freaking topic. Avatar was pretty much fantasy with (made-up) “science” elements (the whole avatar thing), in my humble opinion. And I wasn’t saying that freaking Star Wars is the same as Trek. Yeesh. Although I was saying that when you have to be punched in the throat with the message, well, it probably ain’t that intelligent. And that the original Star Wars isn’t completely devoid of (simplistic) messages/morals what have you, beyond the force stuff (even though Lucas apparently liked Flash Gordon). I’ve said elsewhere here that I want them to get the science right in the next one (galaxy destroying supernovas, despite Mr. Orci’s m-theory retconning here – meh) and I’d love to see props and, ideally subtle, details that push boundaries — tech, social,
scientific… and raise an idea or two.

126. Basement Blogger - June 25, 2011

@ 125

Well, Jack you don’t have to read my posts. And not everyone who reads what I have to say is a regular. So if I repeat myself, so be it.. What I said was relevant to what Pegg was saying about putting Star Wars into Star Trek. And in 116, I merely replied to your rebuttal.

What I do for a living requires that I if I can support an argument with evidence I will. I’m sure you would not want me to say things without backing them up.. For example, if f I quote J.J. Abrams, and I didn’t for this thread, that ‘s to prove a point. You really don’t want me to make a point without proof? For example, if I say the filmmakers weren’t making the 2009 movie for Star Trek fans, you probably want me to prove it. And by using J.J.’s words or opinions, that’s the proof. By the way, that’s why if you’re the target of an criminal investigation, you shouldn’t talk to the police.

But I digress. If I want to make the point that Roddenberry wanted substance in his show, don’t you think I should show the proof? That’s done by using Gene’s words. Not every Trekker knows what Roddenberry wanted. Some are young Trek fans. And others want to fight with me about Gene’s vision. So I have to show the evidence to support my view of what Roddenberry wanted for Star Trek. .

Here’s my suggestion. First, ignore what I have to say. You will be much happier. If you see my name just scroll down. Second, I like to link proof.. There’s nothing that says you have to click on the evidence that I present. But like I said to prove a point, ti’s always good to have the evidence.

127. Iva - June 25, 2011

“… a glowing tube”

Just. Can’t.

128. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

Gene Roddenberry was certainly the prime move for TOS but the show turned out to be an amalgam of different people’s creative visions and contributions not all of whom always got credit where credit was due.

Regarding “substance” in movies. You can explains things verbally so there’s little chance viewers will misunderstand, or you can say less and imply more, which is more fun and requires more exercise of a person’s intelligence than merely letting your ears be filled with verbally expressed ideas that you easily understand. The difference might create the false impression that smart movies are not so smart because the ideas aren’t being verbally expressed as much or clearly enough when in fact there is just a difference in style between how the movie maker expresses ideas and what the viewer regards as how substance is cultivated in movies.

TV is generally much less sophisticated in this regard and should not be taken as a standard to aim for; indeed, even when TV is excellent it is usually called that for breaking the mold of mediocrity which commercial TV culture imposes rather than because it has distinguished itself as the best of what is possible to achieve between TV and the cinema.

Sergei Eisenstein discovered that you can create ideas, which always exist exclusively in the minds of the viewers, by the way, by juxtaposing images. A perfect example of what he meant was achieved by Stanley Kubrick in the bone-becomes-the-spaceship cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which expresses an idea using the unique strengths of the cinema which no other medium can duplicate — without verbal exposition at all.

JJ Abrams’ movies are like sports cars. They’re sleek and angular and fast. Nobody should make the mistake of thinking that because they are not slower, lumpy, and made of wind catching surfaces, that they do not interact substantively with the world.

Now I don’t post that many links, but I do have plenty of books. If anyone wants to read them, come over any time. There’s a spare key to the front door on the collar of my pet badger. His name is Claws.

Call him. He comes.

129. Crusade2267 - June 25, 2011

I think Scotty and McCoy were the two most faithful performances in the movie. Well done.

I don’t see this movie, or the people who made it, as the “enemy,” but rather as those who saved Star Trek from the overdone watered down thing it became toward the end of the Berman years. My one regret is that the only series that is common to both timelines is the ultimate expression of watered down Berman Trek.

130. Christopher Roberts - June 25, 2011

129. “My one regret is that the only series that is common to both timelines is the ultimate expression of watered down Berman Trek.”

I don’t recall anybody mentioning Voyager! ;)

What about Spock? Who had just come from the 24th Century, causing the whole plot to happen?

131. Phil - June 25, 2011

Science Fantasy? Really? If it’s made up, then it’s just fantasy, plain and simple. It dosent matter if you have some really cool looking construct, be it warp drive or hyperdrive or whatever you want to call it, if it does the impossible, it’s fantasy. Sorry guys, but Trek and Wars are both science fiction. Twilight is fantasy. LOTR’s is fantasy. Enjoy them all.

132. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

double oops #128:

“prime move” = “prime mover”

And unnecessary “s” in “explains” next paragraph.

133. Red Dead Ryan - June 25, 2011

#126.

Once you post something online, you’ve made yourself open to criticism. Its a bit disingenous to say to someone “If you don’t like what I’ve written, then move on”. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. If you don’t want to be criticised, then don’t post here. You can’t have it both ways. It’s just the way it is.

134. Vultan - June 25, 2011

#131

I’ll let a couple of the masters clear up this issue:

Robert A. Heinlein— “A handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method.”

Rod Serling— “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.”

Simple enough, eh?

135. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

@134: Well if Heinlein cleared it up, AC Clarke confused it all over again. As per Clarke’s Three Laws:

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

136. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

P.S. I always bring up Zalazny’s Lord of Light in that regard. It’s science fiction. That reads and acts a lot like fantasy.

137. Vultan - June 25, 2011

#135

Well, I’ll look to those who can answer, you can look to those who can confuse. Simple enough, eh? ;)

All and all though, I’ll go with Serling’s idea.

And as for science fantasy, that’s probably the wrong term to descibe Star Wars and Flash Gordon. Space opera sounds better to me.

138. Vultan - June 25, 2011

I guess the main difference between Star Trek and Star Wars is that Trek usually goes further in creating the illusion that this COULD be something like our future and things like warp drive COULD exist (given the right amount of matter/antimatter technobabble and suspension of disbelief), whereas Wars takes place in another galaxy and hyperdrive runs on… um… pixie dust?

On the opposite side of this issue, remember when Star Wars tried to inject a little Trek-style technobabble? ‘Midichlorians’ anyone? Yeah, that wasn’t received very well, was it? Pixies can’t fly without the magic, and a magical realm like that galaxy far, far away should stay just as that—magical.

139. MJ - June 25, 2011

@125. Jack, I have to completely disagree with you that Avatar was fantasy. If fact, I would argue that the sf in Avatar was significantly harder that the sf in Trek 09 — I think even the Avatar detractors here would even acknowledged that. You can dislike Avatar, criticize Cameron, etc. etc., but the sf was pretty darn good in Avatar as compared to ST 09.

140. MJ - June 25, 2011

@138. “On the opposite side of this issue, remember when Star Wars tried to inject a little Trek-style technobabble? ‘Midichlorians’ anyone?”

Yea, that what dumbass move by Lucas. The force is suppose to in metaphysical/religious territory. That would be like taking the Bible and inserting a hard sf reason for Christ arising from the dead…nobody wants to hear that.

141. MJ - June 25, 2011

@126. BB, that is kind of a strange reply from you, dude.? You really mean all that?

142. MJ - June 25, 2011

@31. Well if we must call Stat Wars sf, then I would have to term it “soft sf” then, as it does not hold up as well to scrutiny as a lot of sf does. I don’t like the term space opera, because that can be done either soft, middle or hard…Peter Hamilton’s Commonwealth series is a hard sf space opera, for example (and the best sf I have read in the past decade by a long shot).

143. Vultan - June 25, 2011

#140

Exactly. I grew up watching the original trilogy loving old Ben Kenobi’s explanation to Luke that the Force was this sort of spiritual, near religious energy that binds the universe together. Then came Phantom Menace and, oh, guess what—it’s just some funky blood abnormality. They’d might as well said “nannites jumped your bones.”

What a buzzkill that was!

144. Vultan - June 25, 2011

#142

How about “soft-fanta-sci-opera”?

:D

Sincerely,

Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo

145. Phil - June 25, 2011

@138. So, the only thing missing that makes Star Wars true sci fi would be an engineer calling the bridge that the fusion reactor needed more 91 octane to make the jump to FTL? About as silliy as a shot of Scotty shoveling bunnies into the warp drive, I suppose.

146. MJ - June 25, 2011

@145. Phil, most people’s opinion is that Star Wars brand of sf is not as serious at Star Trek’s brand of sf. Star Wars is softer than Trek in terms of it addressing the level of sf. This is subjective, but I would be if you took a poll that you would find the vast majority of people agreeing that the level of seriousness of the sf presentation in Star Trek is higher than that of Star Wars. You are of course free to have a differing opinion.

147. Vultan - June 25, 2011

#145

Hey, whatever makes you happy, Phil.

But all I know is that Lucas looked to Flash Gordon for inspiration; Roddenberry looked to Forbidden Planet. Both sources are outlandish in their own way, but each have a different take on the classic adventure story—one taking a more cerebral approach (literally) and dealing with science fact and/or theories of that time, the other a simple swashbuckler set in space. Sound familiar?

148. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

Actually, I think Star Trek follows the pattern of episodic morality tale whereas Star Wars follows the pattern of epic myth. Star Wars, though serialized, was an epic while Star Trek, but for TWOK and TSFS, has been episodic with little relationship between the episodes.

I actually prefer to see Star Trek evolve into an epic for at least one incarnation.

149. dmduncan - June 25, 2011

By the way, on the subject of filmmaking I brought up earlier, New York, I Love You is a wonderful film that showcases what’s powerful about the medium. Of particular interest to Star Trek fans is the segment starring Anton Yelchin.

It’s great!

150. Basement Blogger - June 25, 2011

@ 133

Red Dead Ryan

Let me make this clear. Please disagree with me and criticize me if you feel like it. But if you read the dialouge betwen Jack and myself we were debating issues. See posts, 33, 39, 116.

But Jack expressed a frustration that was not on the topics but personal. jack said, ” I’m just sick of the same darned Star-Trek-2009-was-Star-Wars-because-JJ-liked-Star-Wars posts from this guy .. with the same quotes (J.J. preferred Star Wars!) and links on every freaking topic.” @ 125.

I would say he’s kind of upset. See “sick of the..” and “links on every freaking topic.” A lot of times, “freaking” is used in place of “f_cking.” So I merely suggested that Jack ignore the stuff that makes him personally upset.

But I agree with you RDR, yes, you have every right to disagree with me. As for me, I’m a big boy, people in what I do for a living, argue with each other all the time. I just hope we can not make ad hominem attacks on each other when debating .

151. Basement Blogger - June 25, 2011

@ 141 MJ

That post (@ 126) might sound familiar. :-) Sorry to deviate from the conversation, but we haven’t communicated in a long time, so how do you think the San Diego Chargers are going to do this year assuming they play football. My Cincinnati Bengals are going to suck eggs. ESPN rates them the worst professional sports team. I feel like linking the article but I sure all of you believe me on that one. :-)

152. Basement Blogger - June 25, 2011

One of the big tenets of Star Wars is the Force. That’s not science. That’s not close to science. Is there something that allows humans to manipulate objects with telekinesis, predict the future, remote view and control minds. Yes, this was the subject of “The Men Who Stare At Goats.” Which by the way was a funny but much maligned film. But so far the Force is something that doesn’t exist in science or is even being measured by science.

Okay, right now I’m going to try the Force and levitate this book in front of me. It’s John Nowak’s treatise “Constitutional Law.” Hold on… Ouch! The book fell on my foot. “Constitutional Law” hurts. Sorry, I like repeating that joke.

Of course, Star Trek at times deviated away from science. But they try to keep it within the scientific realm. So far, we haven’t seen guys walk around space without suits.

153. MJ - June 25, 2011

@151. BB, I think, for a change, the Chargers will be “under the radar” this year, and may finally over-achieve instead of underachieving. I am expecting 12-4 and a deep playoff run.

What is up with Carson Palmer — is he still threatening to retire if not traded? Does Cincy still have TO on contract?

154. Forrest_Leeson - June 25, 2011

@118
“What’s that you’re reading, Spock?”
“A fascinating work on ergodic quantum eructation.”
“What on earth is that?”
“The process by which planet Vulcan unexpectedly returned to existence and the persons who destroyed it turned up in the Emilio Lizardo wing of the Elba II facility.”

155. Red Dead Ryan - June 25, 2011

#150.

No worries, BB!

But maybe you guys in Cincinnati should just sell the Bengals to another city and start over with an expansion or relocation franchise. You might have better luck!

By the way, Toronto was named by ESPN as the worst sports city in Canada. The Maple Leafs, Raptors, Argonauts, and Blue Jays all stink, and have for many years.

156. Basement Blogger - June 26, 2011

Okay, guys (MJ, RDR) , I dont’ want to turn this into a sports forum ( @ 153, 155) since all the beautiful people know that Trekkers don’t love sports. (See The Onion’s piece on Star Trek 2009. It’s on YouTube. Oh what the hell, link to funny piece making fun of guys like me. And that’s my mother in the Klingon costume, so no jokes!)

MJ, thanks for the report. I saw the Chargers here last year when they came to Cincinnati. They need to get used to cold weather. But they’re an excellent team. If you get to the Super Bowl, party like it’s 2012. According to the Mayans, the world ends. Great. Star Trek comes out in 2013. As my last dying wish, remember to post the beautiful women of Southern California for us when you all are having fun rooting for your team..

Carson Palmer and owner Mike Brown won’t move on their positions. So Carson is retired. He bought land in Del Mar, California and has sold his house in Cincy. The Bengals own his rights and unless the Bengals trade him, he ain’t going anywhere. Please note Mike Brown beat the IRS when they tried to take his team. You can forget Brown compromising. Little brother Jordan is vying to be the next starter. Jordan is a great guy, I’ve met him a couple times at a bar I drink at. He looks like Carson, he’s big! T.O. is done with the Bengals. Not interest on the Bengals or TO in them. If any NFL team wants him, buyer beware. He’s a genetic freak but he’s not a team player. He has alligator arms, i.e. he won’t extend his arms to catch the ball. Still, as I’ve said he’s a freak, like an X-Man.. There are guys half his age that aren’t as good.

RDR, I don’t weep for Toronto. If your teams stink, at least you got a lot to do. When my mother, brother and sister went to visit Toronto, they gushed about the city. Clean. Great food. Plus, the Cincinnat Reds first baseman Joey Votto is from Toronto. Holy cow. Canada has produced Votto for baseball, Diana Krall for jazz, Erica Durance as Lois Lane. Oh, I forgot, the Shat is also Canadian. The Canadians are taking over the United States! What next? Universal health care? I keeed. I keeed.

Okay back to Star Trek. Here’s the piece from The Onion making fun of critics of Star Trek 2009 like me. I like Star Trek 2009, but no jokes about my mom in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02LgdXVkXgM

157. Phil - June 26, 2011

@156. Why not? I’m open to any suggestions on how to pry the Dodgers out of McCourts clutches…..

158. Red Dead Ryan - June 26, 2011

#156.

Actually, I’m not from Toronto. I live in Victoria B.C. on the west coast. Harry Ballz lives in Toronto.

159. Thomas Jensen - June 26, 2011

He makes some pretty good points. You can really explain most everything away in the story that seems weak, except, maybe (and you can explain it away, too) the quick promotion of Kirk.

But the worst thing about the movie (that I liked as an old guy fan) is the new Enterprise. It’s just not cool. The shape isn’t all that great. Not saying it had to be the very same as the original, just closer to the original.

There are so many great updated versions on the internet, but they had to go with the ‘muscle car’ version.

If the ship was, at least, externally closer to the original ship, I’d bet many original series fans who are critical of the movie would have been less so.

But then again, it’s another universe and all that, so it’s a whole new ballgame.

160. Daoud - June 27, 2011

@159 I like the suggestion that the warp engines on the Enterprise-JJ are akin to “training wheels”, some sort of separable “warp booster” if you will. In a sequence of the sequel, Bob can niftily and nimbly have a ‘saucer separation’ of sorts and have them detach away, revealing smaller engines at least matching the TMP engines.
.
The NCC-1701 (not A yet) of TMP *was* absolutely the best, most graceful model of all the Enterprises.

161. Jack - June 27, 2011

160. Agreed. This new one still doesn’t seem like it could actually have people on it, at least to me.

And, B.B. – expressing my frustration, poorly, with the repeats and with the tone of the posts, but it wasn’t meant as a personal attack… disagree with me all you like, but I sometimes get a little pissy with “no no no, you’re wrong” posts on here, because I’m 6.

is Avatar hard sci fi? I guess. I think what got me stuck was that it’s kind of simplistic, and the navii stuff is, more or less, pure fantasy — and I know any alien society is going to be, of course, made up… but the communing with their animals and with trees has as much basis in science as we know it as the Force does in Star Wars or the magic does in Harry Potter. But whatever.
i got in a similar argument with Roger Ebert over his point that Knowing was
better sci fi than Trek 2009 (and he said the science was preposterous in both) after he’d complained about the previous Star Trek movies being so talky. I don’t know — are both smarter than Star Trek? They’re certainly
different. I’ve made the same point ad nauseum, that I think the characters and their struggles with human, er, weaknesses (challenges)have really been
the heart of Star Trek, and not in a soap opera/Voyager/who’s dating who way. of course, it can have many hearts. And I guess I was making the point that it wasn’t always the case — Roddenberry and the cast said plenty of things over the years, but the proof is kind of in the pudding (he’d said a lot of this before TNG, and yet, there wasn’t much that pushed any sort of boundary in those first two seasons). yep, some Trek had morals. And plenty
didn’t. if you want to see harder sci fi, well, great. fair enough. i guess I was a little frustrated with “j.j. doesn’t get it” based on those comments. people say a lot of shit in interviews — and there’s always been disagreement over how much heed to pay to what an author or filmmaker says about his work (their intent may not be visible in the final product, they may be lying or bullshitting, they could be forgetting). So he said he preferred Star Wars as a kid, and his smarter friends liked Star Trek. Does it mean the guy’s incapable of making a Star Trek movie work? i don’t know. again, just my opinion, but I don’t think

And as far as the force and telekinesis/telepathy goes — Q, Trelaine, Charlie X, Gary Mitchell,the Roman-y guys with the midget/Vulcans, Betazoids,Talosians/ etc.

I’m not saying I think Star Wars is like Star Trek, but I don’t think liking Star Wars makes one incapable, generally, of getting Star Trek. and I don’t think Star Wars is entirely unintelligent or devoid of insight. Lucas was a moviegeek, and the first Star Wars borrows its plot, apparently, from Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. And is full of a bunch of elements taken from different movies (including Triumph Of the Will, troublingly). That doesn’t make it smart, necessarily – but it definitely resonated with people, me anyway, and it wasn’t just because of the spaceships and the aliens. And, heck, as a kid, I did like it better.Or at least differently. i liked the Douglas fairbanksy swashbuckling stuff. now? Star Trek, any day.

And I think that the power and importance of human connections (being a family, as Abrams said) was certainly a recurring theme in Trek, especially the movies. Not the
only theme. But an important one. In the best of Trek, the aliens, the tech
and the spaceships were there, but they were never more important than the
characters, and how they dealt with them — they were vehicles for relatable
human stories, and, yeah, there were allegories and archetypes.

Like I said, I’d like a smart movie, even if it’s just emotionally smart, whatever that means. My worry is that later Trek often substituted talking about stuff (like how advanced everybody is, without showing how that’s the case, other than not using contractions) and sounding intelligent (technobabble) for
actual ideas. i worry that they’ll go in that direction. But, no, I’d love them to squeeze in stuff like the novels did — maybe women don’t take their husbands’s names in the 23rd century (retconning involved), maybe they can speed read (with headache), maybe the main computer works in a way that makes sense according to what we know now…. I just made up random shit there, although that speed reading thing was in one of the books (and, yeah, I liked some of the TOs movie novelizations better than the finished scripts because, yeah, they did show a lot of cool futuristic stuff [and some creepy, like group marriages and love instructors]).

162. Basement Blogger - June 27, 2011

@ 160

Jack, you say , “but the communing with their animals and with trees has as much basis in science as we know it as the Force does in Star Wars or the magic does in Harry Potter. But whatever.” Now I’m tempted to link Kayla’s Science Saturday here but that irritates you. :-) But Kayla reported that man is trying to talk to dolphins. If any of you don’t believe me because I don’t have the proof, just type in “dolphins” in search above and you’ll get Kayla’s May 14 article. I hope you see the point of putting in references but anyway, comminicating with animals is not outside the realm of science.

You say, ” i guess I was a little frustrated with “j.j. doesn’t get it” based on those comments.” Your disagreements with my thoughts started way back to my post on 33. I did not quote J.J. I could express my opinion without evidence but WITH EVIDENCE THE OPINION BECOMES MORE CREDIBLE. So J.J. Abrams words are evidence for the point. But again I did not use J.J.’s words for post 33. And by the way the phrase I like quoting from Abrams is that they weren’t making the movie for fans of Star Trek. That’s not good comment for Trek fans. Regardless, I LIKED STAR TREK 2009, but in my opinion, there were times I felt it wasn’t made for Trekkers but for teenagers. I am tempted to use more evidence here with a link but I won’t annoy you. :-)

You then say, “people say a lot of shit in interviews — and there’s always been disagreement over how much heed to pay to what an author or filmmaker says about his work (their intent may not be visible in the final product, they may be lying or bullshitting, they could be forgetting). ” Okay, but if you’re looking for evidence of intent, a person’s words are proof. So if I point out that Star Trek 2009 was made for teenagers, and point out where in the movie that occurs, Abrams words about not making a movie for fans of Star Trek is strong evidence of the point. .

Look, saying sh_t in interviews is not good. Why? If your doing an interview, your words can be used as proof. Best example. In 2008 Sarah Palin did an interview with Katie Couric. And this is not an anti-Palin comment. Anyway, some people had doubts about her knowledge of the issues. When asked about the bank bailouts, she started talking about health care. (Boy would I love to link that video for you but I know you hate it. So for those who don’t believe me, go to YouTube, and type in Palin Bailout is about healthcare.)

Once she started saying it was about healthcare and other things in the invterview, it was over. Again, I want to link proof for that thought but go to Wikipedia and look for an entire article on the Couric interview. See McCain campaign advisor’s comments.

And one more example who words are more than sh_t, but can be evidence. See former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Of course, there are exceptions. See Stephen Colbert.

You say, “I’m not saying I think Star Wars is like Star Trek, but I don’t think liking Star Wars makes one incapable, generally, of getting Star Trek. and I don’t think Star Wars is entirely unintelligent or devoid of insight.” I can agree with that . I actually own on video all six Star Wars movies, that’s how much I like them. I prefer Star Trek but I respect the production values in Star Wars. And I have conceded that Star Wars: Phantom Menance, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith have political commentary. And those were the weaker of the six movies. I would love to discuss why those three were weak but I’ll just leave it with Lucas’ writing. However, Revenge of the Sith was good.

You then argue that Star Wars IV: A New Hope was deep with echoes of “The Hidden Fortress” and “A Triumph of the Will,” I agree with you when you say it doesn’t make it smart. Like I said Star Wars IV had a simple villain who literally dressed in black. There was an evil empire which was not the New York Yankees. It had much more in common with Flash Gordon than “The Hidden Fortress” in terms of the actual story. I mean just check out John William score at the section where Luke and Leia rope over the chasm. It’s both Flash Gordon and a swashbuckler. Does Star Wars IV simplicity make it a bad film? No. It’s a great movie. It’s just not science fiction. And Star Trek is.

You end with Abrams comment about Trek being about family. You concede that’s not the only part of Star Trek but an important one. Yes, the friendship between Kirk, Spock AND McCoy was important in the series and the movies. You are correct that Star Trek was more than that. As Leonard Nimoy said many times, it was made of three multiple areas. I paraphrase those as heart, adventure and intelligence. Nichelle Nichols got Gene Roddenberry to admit he writing morality plays. Gene wanted a mass entertainment but wanted substance in Star Trek. See post 33 and 116 for the evidence about what Star Trek was about.

I know you want a smart Star Trek. I respond to your posts. If I said repeatedly Star Trek 2009 was a great movie with links, you probably wouldn’t get upset. Again, I directed my comments to Pegg’s comments about injecting Star Wars into Star Trek and the overall attempt to do that.

And I agree that we don’t need a lot of technobabble. But I don’t want see guys like they did in Star Wars in space without spacesuits. See The Empire Strikes Back. I also want to see a smart Star Trek. I think the best example of that is the original series episode, “The Doomsday Machine.” Smart ideas. Great action. Even a little humor. That’s where Abrams should get his inspiration from.

Whew. I did that without putting hyperlinks. Jack, I’m sorry but from now on, it will be shorter if I just linked the evidence rather than describe it and how to get it.

163. Basement Blogger - June 27, 2011

Oops, sorry the post 162 refers to number 161.

164. NuKirk - June 28, 2011

@1: He IS wearing a watch! I never noticed that before! And it’s something that was sorely out of place in Star Trek! All eras! I mean seriously, what kind of future was oldTrek trying to envision where people would not have watches? In TNG Riker actually asked that Berlinghoff Rasmussen guy in ‘A Matter of Time’ what he was doing when he was checking his watch! Like the concept of a watch was as alien a concept as computers would have been to Victorian England? NOTE TO ORCI AND CREW: Next film: Put watches on the crew!!! Also, put stores in the ship, like military malls on bases…maybe a Starbucks or an Applebee’s or an Apple Store, or something like that. To show that these companies or similar ones, like Budweiser and Jack Daniels, survived to the 23rd Century.

165. Symar - June 30, 2011

Sorry, but I don’t buy into the “Budgineering” concept that the engineering section of the ship should be vast and complicated. If you look at how technology evolves it always goes from big and complicated to small and simple. Computes used to fill rooms and have lots of flashing lights and switches. Now an iPad comes with a screen and a single button.

Less is more.

Having something complicated is also contrary to Roddenbury’s original vision for the engineering section.

Of all of the engineering sections in all of the Trek ships, I think I liked the NX-01′s the best. Simple, functional, and you could almost imagine how it all worked just by looking at it.

166. Michael Harrison - July 1, 2011

I like that he was honest about what this version of Star Trek is.

That is, pretty much not Star Trek. Or a Star Trek themed space adventure movie that likens itself to Star Wars.

Star Trek is dead, but hollywood is smart enough to know the power of branding. And we aren’t.

167. WarpSpeed - July 2, 2011

Simon, show us the serious side of Trek next time! 

Even before the movie came out, I had a worry that including Mr. Pegg would involve the writers making a run at a comedic Mr. Scott, given his past movies. The sidekick proves it was a writing shtick, intended from the top down, and not just an actor decision.

Even assuming this Scotty is a broken man, his frequently comedic situations and recurring need for validation (a whiny, needy Mr. Scott?!?), paint him as a lesser shadow of Our Man Montgomery.  

Scotty was a downright SCARY fellow much of the time, and only funny in the driest of manners.  Scotty = very serious and rather short tempered.  Fond mainly of tech manuals, drinking, and swords.  A dour, irritable, hard-drinking sword aficionado whose smiles tended to include at least atrace of wolfinshness? I repeat:  SCARY.  

As a litmus test, remember that whenever Scotty was left in charge of the ship, he tended to act aggressively; no one brought a tendency towards deliberate vitrol to the command seat like Scotty.  Diplomacy?  Just meant knowing which end of the sword to hold.  For more than Mr. Scott’s ethnicity, was TOS’ music wont to move to “the pipes” (bag, not Bud); when referfencing him; a “warrior’s” theme predominated when he was center stage.  

Aye, lad!  THAT’S the thing!  (Wry look and a nod)

* * *

Now, Engineering. . .  I cringe every time. . . 

To his credit, Abrams *had* a cool Engineering set planned (seen the pix) but it was Bud-canned when they were going to go over budget and had to decide what to cut costs on.

I placate myself (a bit) by forcing myself to remember that the TOS Engineering deck was the IMPLUSE engine room, and actually DID have tubes in the background (the engines’ supports were tubes).

THe colors in the factory worked w/the ToS theme, but hte massively open space that defeats compartmentalizing due to the equipment tangle everywhere, and that everyone has to walk through since the turboshafts don’t reach past it for some unexplained reason, is just bad design:  no naval ship would make a required area THAT open without compartmentalization possible, and a space-faring design, whMaybe if they’d built the ship IN SPACE, like in ToS, they would have rememebred such details.  Lowest bidder was apparently much lower in this timestream. . . 

* * *

Bridge. . .  Bad.  LOSE LENS FLARE PLEASE, JJ!

168. WarpSpeed - July 2, 2011

Keyboard failure! Ninja-deleted my text!

%^*€%^

Meant to write that a space-faring design, which has to take hard vacuum into account, would not have an area like the wiiide open engineering decks in this movie.

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