Exclusive: Lindelof Talks Trek Essentials + Lost/Trek Connections

The core team behind the new Star Trek has been described as a "Supreme Court" comprised of co-writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, along with director JJ Abrams, executive producer Bryan Burk and producer Damon Lindelof. Lindelof (also the Emmy-winning show runner for Lost) is said to be one of the bigger Trek fans on the team and so TrekMovie.com decided it was time to have a chat. In part one (below) of our interview, Lindelof describes his Trek favorites, Lost/Trek connections and what he sees as essential in the new Trek.

TrekMovie.com: I have met everyone else on the Supreme Court, but not you

Damon Lindelof: Well I am the silent judge who sits in my robe in the back and quietly waits for everyone to get locked up in a vote and sweep in to write the majority opinion

TrekMovie.com: What kind of robe do you wear? A Vulcan robe or a bath robe?

Damon Lindelof: Its a little bit of a combo. It terry cloth Vulcan robe. It is interchangeable. You can use it to sit on the high council or to just step out of the shower. It is handy dandy…available soon from Paramount marketing

TrekMovie.com: I know you are on the Trekkie wing of the court

Damon Lindelof: Just for the record the true Trekker is Bob. I would say that on the spectrum of Trekkers, on a scale of 1 to 10, Bob is about a 7 and I would be somewhere in the 5 neighborhood. And Bryan, JJ and Alex would be somewhere in the 1-4 range varying. I have seen all the episodes of The Original Series and am a huge fan. Plus pretty much all the episodes of Next Generation and then I sort of floundered in the Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise era. I have seen all the movies, of course. But I would not hold myself to the high standards of Bob Orci.

TrekMovie.com: Well he has read the books too

Damon Lindelof: Yes that’s true so he is even outside canon.

TrekMovie.com: So quickly then, what is your favorite series, movie and episode?

Damon Lindelof: Favorite movie: Wrath of Khan. Favorite series: Next Generation. Favorite episode: the series finale of Next Generation, where it starts with Picard picking fruit with Geordi and he sees Tasha Yar and so on and so forth. I would go on to say that it is probably the best series finale of any television series ever.

TrekMovie.com: In a way it almost feels like Lost feels now, with the flash forwards and flashbacks.

Damon Lindelof: The episode tonight ["The Constant"] is our version of "All Good Things" which we had to do at this point in the series and not at the end or we would be really ripping it off. It is definitely an homage to that sort of storytelling

TrekMovie.com: Can we expect any Lost ‘Easter eggs’ in the movie? I know there was one in MI3.

Damon Lindelof: And there was one in Cloverfield as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that happened…All I have to say is Trek is its own universe and we would never impinge on it with something that affected story. But we might throw a nugget or two of fun little things to acknowledge that might pop up in the movie

TrekMovie.com: As a Trek fan. What do you think is the essential component of Trek that will appeal to audiences today even though it is a forty year old franchise?

Damon Lindelof: What has always been appealing to me about it — aside from the sense of exploration and the wonder of waking up in a job and never know what you are going to find that day as opposed to the monotony of it all. What always has been awesome about Trek for me, and what makes this movie great, is the idea of this real team of people. This iconic crew of people and each person has their own function and they all  interrelate with each other in interesting ways. Although the center of the movie is the relationship and conflict between Kirk and Spock, the reality is, when we are on the set…when they are all together — Scotty and Uhura and Spock and Kirk and Chekov and Sulu and Pike — that you go ‘wow’ This is what it is all about, the crew.

More Lindelof to come
Check back in the next couple of days for Part 2 of the TrekMovie.com interview with Lindelof where we talk about the change of release dates, promotional plans for the movie and more.

Watch Lost tonight
The time twisting and Trek homage “The Constant,” written by Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, airs tonight at 9PM on ABC. See previews below

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Cool interview.

I cannot wait for this movie!!

first…sounds interesting

This dang movie is so far away, and I hate to think about this, but other movies are gonna be scheduled very close to it, and might hurt the B.O. It’s too bad the WGA strike forced Paramount to shuffle the release date deck…


Cant’s wait to watch LOST tonight even more now if’s it’s going to be their “All Good Things”

You think you have all the time in the world, and then….yep….

I know this is a vapid thing to point out, but… does every single person on this “supreme court” wear dark rimmed hipster glasses?

“All Good Things” tossed out linear storytelling to round out a series that virtually always stayed linear. And the world, as we all remember, ended.

I think the movie is going to be fun… if May 2009 ever actually arrives.


I consider myself a pretty big “Lost” fan, but I don’t recall picking up on any “easter egg” in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III? Does anyone know what it was???

Dear DaiMon LindeLoffagus™

The interweb’s hitch-one-nine-six-nine here. Thank you for coming to the Trek movie.com with interviews and whatnot. You, Sir JJ®, the Orcster©, and dem other blokes seem like capable massive handspans to care for the future of da franchise. Me has never seen the Lost, but me watches tonight on dis referense.




Oh crap, man, you are gonna hate J.J.’s costumes then…

He should revisit DS9 for obvious reasons.
To lump it in with VOY and ENT really shows he’s not familiar with it and the quality of writing it exhibits.

Ah, the Producer—often forgotten member of the TrekXI supreme court. Nice to hear from him, although I am disappointed that he chose TNG as his favorite series. He must have had some input on the dialogue. Perhaps that explains the whole Yelchin “away team” thing. Still, a 5 on the Trekker scale is better than anything 4 or below.
“All Good Things…”, huh? That wouldn’t even make my top 80, but ok. IDIC.
At least his favorite movie was TWOK.

#4—-That’s quite the assumption on your part, considering the director, writer/executive producer, and studio have all stated that the move was 100% due to their increased confidence in the film after seeing the dailies. In fact, they have stated clearly that the writer’s strike had nothing to do with it at all. Are they flat out lying? Where is this inside information coming from? I’m sure the carbon units that infest trekmovie.com would want to know!

interesting slip… obviously we all knew that Pike appears in the movie and would have interaction with of course Spock and most likely Kirk, but he mentions him as appearing with the ENTIRETY of the classic bridge crew! fascinating…


#15—Maybe he does….during the change of command.

Ahahahaha! Bob Orci a “7”? He knows more than most of the people on this incredibly nerdy site, and, I daresay, a good bit more than, say, Brannon Braga. His explanation of “built on Earth” was the single best encapsulation of how canon works in a particular instance of writing that I have ever seen.

Orci is -at least- a 9.5. Which makes me think that D.L. is being modest. Maybe a 7, with Abrams a 5 (5 equalling “casual fan”)

Of course, the fact that D.L. agrees with me on favorite movie, series, -and- episode counts in his favor, too.

Great part 1 interview!

15 maybe it was a slip of the tounge

#17 – i’ll readily admit that’s all it might be; it’s just that the way he phrased it made it sound more… significant than that. intriguing possiblities!

…and i may be reading more into it than there really is because i’m sitting at work bored out of my skull.

is it me or does he look like a bald JJ at the top pic


Hmmm is he insinuating that some of the events in the future do not take place in Lost like they did in “All Good Things…”? Probably not.

At the moment the only team of “collaborators” that I really enjoy at the moment would be the Bad Robot team and Judd Apatow’s group.


re: fan scale, I concur.

#4: As I understand it, the strike didn’t force the release-date change, but rather the strike opened up what the studio percieved as a business opportunity. By reducing the number of potential summer blockbusters being hustled by other studios at the same time, it opened up a ripe window into which they’re inserting Star Trek with hopes. Depending on how you interpret that, it’s either a compliment to the movie (The dailies look greatl This movie is aweome! This can hold its own as a blockbuster!) or something other (This movie is a dumb enough actioner to be gobbled up by the summer popcorn crowd … provided the competition is light!). As an optimist I cling to my hope that it’s more of the former, less of the latter.

As for the interview: I certainly agree that Trek is about the cast, although speaking from my own fannish bias it all centers on the man he didn’t mention: Leonard McCoy ;) Anyway, Lindelof seems like a reasonable dude, so that’s cool.

#26—I noticed that ommission too. Bones is the missing piece there. I’m sure that if he thought about it again he would agree. It’s hard to miss that key force in the great TOS-era and the original films.
“He’s dead, Jim.”

“Damnit, Jim!”

“Now wait just a damned minute”.

“You’re in bed, holding a knife at your doctor’s throat!”

“Suppose they went nowhere?!?!”

“You green-blooded, inhuman…”

“Who’s holding up the damned elevator?”

“Damnit, do you want an acute case on your hands?”

“Spock, so help me, I’m actually pleased to see you!”

“It’s his revenge, for all those arguments he lost.”

Enough said.

The DaiMon™ is correct in his assessment of the TNG finale. I’ve always thought that, too, about it being the best finale ever of any show of all time. That kind of story telling reminds me of a chick that I dated back at University. The romance was all over the place, time was non-linear yet in perspectus to my rectus… had a definite beginning middle and end. Starting with the child support hearing, then cutting back to the first two weeks of the relationship, all that wonderment… throw in her catching me cheating on her, then end the story with a Saturday dad taking his young son to Chuck E. Cheese™ during visitation. Or maybe you switch those last two around, so its like the father son moment followed by the infidelity moment. And you end it on that note because deys mo fish in that sea where that one came from. Then the father passing on the knowledge and experience to the young man. But not in a badmouthing his mother kind of way.

I think that Star Trek can be like that… like James T and his son David – these things are cyclical in nature, and the one constant being the human heart. SO you’re a great starship Captain, Starfleet’s finest – but what about your interpersonal relationships with the chicks? Did time not teach us the lessons of time? NO. It’s the human heart, ya dig? Instinct, passion and emotion. Logic is only the beginning of wisdom, Valeris. That’s what makes us Humans Being.

Shine On!!


Am I the only one who caught the soundbite from Lindelof about, “the center of the movie is the relationship and conflict between Kirk and Spock”

Is the story arc to the movie that they start off at odds with each other before developing their lifelong friendship?

Hitch…..yo da man!

Thanks to both parties for the interview.

I hope one of the Trek Council will step up and state whether or not the 5 extra months will be utilized, if needed, for rewrites and/or reshoots? Now that the strike is over will JJ revisit any filmed scenes for redos?

The adventure continues…

can anyone tell me what the Easter egg was in MI 3?

The easter egg in MI:III was during the thank-you section of the end credits, where a “very special thank-you” was given to The Hanso Foundation.

after reading that all I can say is that ,trek is very good and capable hands, we have nothing to worry about her. But the wait till may of 2009 that is really going to be a killer.

#33 – “but hey this is trek so nitpick away” – Sounds good to me! >;>}

#13: “He should revisit DS9 for obvious reasons.
To lump it in with VOY and ENT really shows he’s not familiar with it and the quality of writing it exhibits.”

Nah, he’s got it right – the Franchise foundered after TNG, which is why the ratings went south on DS9 faster than anyone would have thought possible. It wasn’t as remarkable a show as its fans would have it – which is why the audience tuned out and never returned.

hitch#29- Your cyclical analogy was touching hitch – it is obvious that you have given much thought to your time on the planet. Yesterday’s mistakes serve as today’s road markers.

Anthony- Never gave much thought to where I rate on a fan scale – no costumes, a few fanzines, only a few of the TOS novels read. Do you think Lindelof judges fan mania based on whether said fan is a devotee of all the ST series? If that is the case, my fan rating stops after the TOS films!

Closettrekker#28- Good list of McCoy quotes!

Harry#30- That brings to mind the spoiler about Chris Pine’s speech in front of the academy command structure, his demand to know his accuser and the fact that Quinto stands up. Sounds like there will indeed be conflict, at least at the academy level. So what the heck happens that draws Kirk and Spock into such a tight friendship? I say shared danger, perhaps something having to do with a downed cadet ship on an icy planet? And perhaps some other cadets (and/or crew) on board that
downed ship might be McCoy, Scotty, Sulu and Uhura (don’t know where Chekov would fit in but he would be too young to be at the academy at the same time as Kirk and Spock).


“I’m a doctor, not a moooon-shuttle conductor!”

#35 thanks, now I have figure out what Hanso foundation is, I will google it. Sorry for my ignorance.

Also I am going to have to dig out my ST TNG DVD’s and watch the finale. I am sure I watched it when aired, but its been a long time.

All in all a good day in trekmovie, thanks Anthony and can’t wait for the next part of the interview.


I’m with you Dennis, DS9 is terrible.

#38 and #42 Im sorry i have to respectfully disagree with the both you on this point. DS9 was the best of all the trek Series.and one of the best scifi series of all time. It had best writing the best acting and the best Captain Benjamin Sisko. Yes I agree that both enterprise and Voyager were wanting they were where the franchise foundered . So no Ds9 does not need to be revisited.


He keeps referring to us as “Trekkers.” LOL!

Guess he wants to stay away from the “geek” matra that comes with “Trekkie.”

So, would it be safe to say that fans that are born form this movie could be calloed “Trekkers” as we Trakkies” were coined that way by the Great Bird himself?


#45 apologies for the rant Anthony, I hate it when people dismiss this show the way they do.


I agree also, I was never a fan of DS9 (it never “felt” like Trek to me)…but it was never as bad as Voyager was on a constant basis, IMO.

Garovorkin…it wasn’t a rant, it was a passionate observation!

#40. And don’t forget to purse your lips when you say “moooon shuttle.” Love that line, too!

IMHO, DS9 was tyhe most innovative of all the Treks. The rest of them tried to re-capture lightning in a bottle by revisiting TOS. The ensemble cast really worked as a group, instead of just a few stars with regular sidekicks. Of all the Treks, I love TOS the best but I respect DS9 the most.

it is great to see the guy who runs what is the best show on TV, LOST say that the TNG finale was the best ever….and to say that what Trek is about is the crew (not explosions, etc)…talk about the ‘right answers’

…yet all some people can do is complain that he didnt watch enough episodes of their fave series or that he left one characters name off a list of other names. Anthony is right…pedantic. I think there really is something wrong with a lot of trekkies.

Personally I would never give interviews because there really is no way to not end up getting attacked. I look forward to part two where I am sure the same people will be back nitpicking and looking for stuff to attack