EXCLUSIVE: The first teaser trailer for Star Trek (showing now with Clovefield) may be the biggest thing to hit Trek in years and has sparked quite a bit of interest and even some controversy. TrekMovie.com has conducted a ‘post game interview’ with Star Trek co-writer and executive producer Roberto Orci to help sort it all out. Orci talks about JFK, Nimoy, Earth vs. space construction, the new Trek ‘Supreme Court,’ and more….read below.
TrekMovie.com: How does it feel to finally see something you have done with Star Trek actually on the big screen:
Roberto Orci: It is both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. There is no going back now.
TrekMovie.com: In my review I noted that the trailer seemed to be trying to make the connection from today to the future of Trek…was that the intention?
Roberto Orci: Absolutely. This is us. This is who we are. This is real. This is maybe not so far off in the future as it used to be. In the 60s the cell phone was a fantasy. Now the communicator that Kirk had is not as advanced as my iPhone. It is a different millennium for God’s sake. We are literally a century closer than we were before.
TrekMovie.com: You bring up the 60s. The trailer contains voices from the 60s space race, including John F. Kennedy. What was the thinking behind that? And is there some kind of JFK-Kirk link you are trying to make?
Roberto Orci: First of all, it has been written about that Kirk was in a way modeled after JFK. Like being the youngest captain ever, like Kennedy was the youngest President ever. Obviously the space race being kicked off by JFK is very much associated with Star Trek. It was also due to what we just discussed and linking it back to today. If we do indeed have a Federation, I think Kennedy’s words will be inscribed in there someplace. He kicked us off. And on a third level it is a slight nod to Star Trek Enterprise, in that we are not blind to the fact that going back to some of the more historical aspects of Star Trek that haven’t been covered in a while…that that is something that Enterprise tended to do as well.
TrekMovie.com: I have to ask…is the trailer actually going to be part of the movie itself?
Roberto Orci: No comment [laughs]
TrekMovie.com: Is that a new recording of Nimoy’s voice?
Roberto Orci: Yes. He recorded that on set just between takes.
TrekMovie.com: How many takes did it take to get it?
Roberto Orci: Not very many [laughs]
TrekMovie.com: Did you guys realize that when you set the construction of the USS Enterprise on Earth that it would spark controversy?
Roberto Orci: Of course.
TrekMovie.com: So what is your guys logic for setting it on land?
Roberto Orci: Besides the thematic stuff we discussed, which is to connect it to today and make it clear. Firstly, there is the notion that there is precedent in the novels, etc that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled here or there. And the second thing is that the Enterprise is not some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled. The idea that things have to be assembled in space has normally been associated with things that don’t have to be in any kind of pressure situation and don’t ever have to ever enter a gravity well. That is not the case with the Enterprise. The Enterprise actually has to sustain warp, which we know is not actually moving but more a warping of space around it. And we know that its decks essentially simulate Earth gravity and so its not the kind of gravity created by centrifugal force, it is not artificially created by spinning it. It is created by an artificial field and so it is
very natural, instead of having to create a fake field in which you are going to have to calibrate everything, to just do it in the exact gravity well in which you are going to be simulating. And the final thing, in order to properly balance warp nacelles, they must be created in a gravity well.
TrekMovie.com: Where did that come from?
Roberto Orci: That comes from our creative license. No one can tell me that it is not possible that in order to create properly balanced warp nacelles they have to be constructed in a gravity well.
TrekMovie.com: Did the dedication plaque [which has ‘San Francisco, Calif. written right on it] factor into your thinking?
Roberto Orci: Yes, that is part of where some of the canon, literary and other sources sparks from.
TrekMovie.com: But this does seem to fall into one of those canon grey areas where you guys made a call.
Roberto Orci: Exactly
TrekMovie.com: Looking at the reaction from this one little thing, are you now thinking about what it will be like for all the other judgment calls you made?
Roberto Orci: Not really. The main judgment call is going to be whether or not the theory of the movie works. And the theory sort of encompasses it…either you buy the movie or you don’t. So we aren’t going to sweat every little detail. We are going to sweat whether or not you buy our interpretation of it. But this is not a surprise. When we were constructing the trailer we knew that many were going to criticize it. We have our eyes wide open I think. But again, of course it is terrifying. I think I said on your site that in those times when canon is fuzzy, then we are ‘The Supreme Court’ right now and the court has to rule one way or the other.
TrekMovie.com: So who sits on the court?
Roberto Orci: It is the five of us: me, Alex [Kurtzman], JJ [Abrams], Bryan [Burk], and Damon [Lindelof]
TrekMovie.com: Can you confirm that it was San Francisco and not Area 51.
Roberto Orci: I can only confirm that it is not Area 51.
TrekMovie.com: What is being conveyed by the "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" thing?
Roberto Orci: Both the literal interpretation that we are putting the movie together, but also to convey the idea that this is something that this is something that could be coming soon. It is the idea that The Federation may exist may exist. The idea that the future is not nearly as far off as it was in the 60s.
TrekMovie.com: And why isn’t the title "Star Trek" in the trailer prominently?
Roberto Orci: No reason, other than it is our M.O. To make people ask ‘what is it.’ And those who know will say "it’s Star Trek."
TrekMovie.com: While we are on end credits, why are Spock’s parents (Ben Cross and Winona Ryder) listed, but Kirk’s parents (Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison) aren’t?
Roberto Orci: I dunno…I guess they must have better agents.? [laughs]
Full TrekMovie.com Coverage of the Star Trek Trailer:
…and the conversation continues
Mr. Orci has been kind enough to interact with the TrekMovie.com community from time to time (and continues to claim he reads every post). So keep track of the talkback below…you never know who might show up….and maybe some of you lurkers and new visitors could join in too.