Abrams: Star Trek More Than A Prequel

In a very brief sidebar in the latest Rolling Stone magazine, director JJ Abrams is asked quick questions on Cloverfield, the Summer 2008 movie he is most looking forward to (X Files: I Want to Believe), his favorite website (SecretFunSpot.com) and one question on his upcoming Star Trek film.

On Trek…

Rolling Stone: What’s in store for your upcoming Star Trek movie?
Abrams: It looks at the formation of the core characters from Star Trek, so it serves as a prequel, but it’s also more than that.

More than a prequel?
Well that can have many meanings, but the simplest answer is that some of the film is actually not a prequel, but a sequel. [minor spoilers] TrekMovie.com has confirmed that the film starts in the post Star Trek Nemesis timeframe. This is where we initially find the elder Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy). So in a sense the film takes us from the end of the TNG era and brings us back to before the TOS era, showing the origins of Kirk and Spock and the crew of the NCC-1701.

Scan of Abrams sidebar interview…

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Scan via NewFilmDimension.com

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damn. how long do those vulcans live?

wonder if Jonathan Frakes’ visit to the Star Trek set was due to a small cameo onboard a ship called… the Titan!

The Titan would be bad-ass!

SPOILERIFIC discussion:

Given that this is a rumored to be a time travel story, then the “more than that” part of it probably has to do with the fact that if something, or a series of things, doesn’t happen just right, then the proper timeline we all know and love could be different.

This sounds a bit like the premise of ST:First Contact.

Wow! I’m the 4th message! I’ve never been this high before! Anyway, finally some clue as to the nature of the movie! I wish I didn’t have to wait another year to see it!

Yes, the Titan in the beginning and the 1701-E in the end… would be similar to IV, with the middle section in the past and the intro/epilogue in the future

Definitely gets the pulse racing.

I doubt Spock would be aboard the Titan.

If JJ references TNG at all, it’ll be Romulus or Vulcan. I honestly think the 24th century TNG references we’re hoping for will be non-existent.


I read these things, and I am SO EXCITED, then Sad that I read plot points.

I wanted to keep my opinion fresh, BUT Spoilers like that, are my Crack.


“I’ve never been this high before!”

If I had a dollar for everytime I said THAT in college.

Anyway, very interesting comments from JJ. Can’t wait to see this flick. And since this is a JJ thread with comments from him–Let the Hate Begin!

Its a given that if Nimoy’s Spock is seen, it will be some point after his last appearance in Unification. Seeing as how VUlcans live a long long time that could be anwhere from the 24th century to the early 25th century. But I wouldn’t expect to see any familiar faces from the 24th century popping in to steal Nimoy’s thunder. He’ll start off there, then move about time…somehow…in search of this “Nero” character, to set things straight.

Decloaking . . .
(sigh of relief) . . . Thanks Anthony for the <<>>. Between that microscopic tidbit and yesterday’s assurances from Bob Orci, I feel like a thousand Trek nightmares have been lifted from my shoulders.

I remember about six months ago when you had a poll about TOS-R. One of the responses was something like: “feel like my childhood is being raped.”

At the time I found that rather extreeme, but recently I’ve been feeling just like that. With this filmstarting after Nemesis connotes a level of complexity to the script that relievesalot (not all) of my “dumbed down” fears.

The question remainswhat story device is used to get Nimoy into the past: the GOF, slingshot around the sun, the Temporal Orb, a Romulan Quantum Singularity, a Space-Time Distortion, a new plot device, or Roddenberry forbid — some flakey Vulcan mystic ritual causing Spock to have an out of body astrial projection of his spiritual Katra???????

The answer to that question will determine the success and acceptance of this filmamong us Trek-o-maniacs.



Post Unification Spock could mean a peace brokered with the Romulans or, perhaps, a new WAR breaks out and the Titan needs to save the day — in a new Abrams-produced TV show. Blagagagagagga!

(unlikely but awesome scenario.)

Thanks for the update, Anthony.

What did the Romulans do to JJ’s face?

BTW on the Art Asylum board forum, there is another “alleged” example of the Enterprise from the new movie. It does nod heavily to what was seen in the trailer, but I have serious doubts that it is legit. Cue the Romulan.

Post Nemesis??

Wow, live long and wrinkle!


I was thinking the other day that, ideally, this Abrams’ TREK reboot/re-imagining/prequel thingy would be akin to a film version of previous comic book “reboots” of the past, namely John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four and Superman; Frank Miller’s take on Daredevil and Batman; George Perez and Wonder Woman; and Walt Simonson’s version of Thor.

These writer/artists were able to find the perfect balance of paying tribute to the characters/storylines as they were originally conceived, yet expanding and enriching the characters and their origins… and at the same time, taking them to “the next level” and making them seem new and fresh for more modern readers.

THAT’S the type of approach I hope Abrams & Co. are taking with STAR TREK XI.

The question is: Is old Spock in the altered Kirk-less timeline when he makes the jump to the 23rd century, or does he go back to prevent the attack on Kirk which will lead to his being in the “proper” timeline?

We’re told we’ll see two Enterprises, one of which is a battleship, so maybe Kirk-less Old Spock has a Guinan ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ moment, and goes back to make it right.

#14, THX-1137:

That’s actually by an artist who calls himself Jude Xavier, and it is indeed based upon the teaser trailer for ST XI.

The artist and others talk extensively about the design here:


We are clearly dealing with alternate universes here. I think the chances of a TNG cameo are decent. If it’s Patrick, it’s been a well-kept secret, and he must be working for peanuts. Frakes is probably your best bet. The nod to TNG will be small and short. Enough for those of us who want to see the 20 year journey of the crew of the Enterprise-D & E come to a respectable end, but not so much that non-Trekkies will scratch their heads or stubborn TOS facists will complain about TNG “ruining” at TOS film. I would also wager that there will be a tidbit regarding Unification.

I really do think that the new film is going to close the book on the last 40+ years of Trek and start fresh, without wiping the slate clean entirely. It is only appropriate for TNG to get a tiny spot in what should be a coda to Star Trek as we know it. It is definitely time to move forward, but let’s honor what has come before for a bit first.

Could this all be some means of modifying Shatner’s “The Return” and placing Spock on Veridian III remembering a past academy event that leads to Kirk’s return at the end?

#10 – Zilch. China clipper calling Alameda

Decloaking . . .
19 Dave
I don’t have a problem with anything you suggest here. But ultimately, it’s how it works within the story and what the resolution is. And whether or not WE all walk out of the theater going: “Wow, that was frackin’ cool. I’m going to go see that ten more times.” Or if we walk out shaking our heads like we did at the end of ST: V, Insurrection, and Nemesis.

It’s fine with an old timer like me if JJ’s Supreme Court creates an entirely new Timeline for the Federation and everything we know as Canon. Just as long as it works, it’s satisfying, and above all to me — it’s not stupid!

Damn, “Everytime I get out, you guys pull me right back in.” That’s why I love TrekMovie.com.

Is it just me or is there a little too much emphasis on history? I have a little bit of a problem with prequels, simply because they’re aiming at a known end. Even if this is a “reboot” and, as Abrams has said, not aimed at Star Trek fans, we still know basically where it’s headed. In some ways Enterprise was a reboot too. Yeah, I know, the last two films were pretty disappointing, and any concerns I have aren’t going to stop me from going to see the new film.

#18 Dennis

I kind of thought that it was fan made, but it looked pretty decent. I for one wouldn’t be disappointed in this design if it was like the chosen E. I have yet to read your link but will check it out after I hit say it.

Two things for you: What is your take on it and why did you short change me, ‘bro? I thought I was at least one better.

Oh, the 37/38 thing – sorry, that took me a moment.

I think Jude Xavier is tremendously talented, but I think that the portions of the design that he couldn’t deduce from the trailer – most of the engineering hull and parts of the saucer – will probably turn out to be changed a great deal more than he posits in his take on it.

I’ve been pretty excited about this…but you guys bringing up the TITAN and all that…just got me to a level 10 or so…

it’s coming out this summer right? I don’t have to wait another year right?


From reading Jude’s comments, he seemed to agree with your asessment. But for the rest of it, I could see it on the big screen.

As for the name thing, it reminds me of a line I usually say to folks when they ask me If I play the tenor (I’m a sax player, for those who don’t know).

My response is “Tenor, twelver, whatever it takes.” ala Mr. Mom. It usually takes about a minute for that one to sink in.

25 Dennis- I hope so. That thing looks awful clunky. Almost 60’s Soviet!

Gee.So elder Spock is going back in time to save Kirk ? Save young Kirk but not ‘Generations’ Kirk?
Question; Why would they save young Kirk and neglect to save old Kirk?
Answer;There’s much more to lose if a young Kirk dies.
However, If you’re fixing one Kirk death scenario (Romulans go back in time to kill young Kirk)it just begs the question as to why you don’t save elder Kirk.
Something just doesn’t add up.

I think maybe that’s why JJ said it’s a ‘prequel’ but also something else.(sequel of sorts to “Generations”?)

30, I think that if it were, then it wouldn’t make sense NOT to have Shatner in it, since he could play the older Kirk. Presumably he’d be rescued through use of the Nexus. That’s the sequel to Generations that I think a lot of people would like to see.

At least if it were that kind of reboot.

Okay. My first reaction is WOOO HOO!! TNG!!!

Second reaction is ….wait-a-minute…. using the word Nemesis makes me throw up a little in my mouth everytime. So by saying post Nemesis, I start to cringe.

Yes, I do want to see LN, but how will they reconcile the two universes of in regards to the post TNG movie look with the new Abramsverse look ?

Young Spock plants the suggestion “Don’t go to the Ent-B Inaugural cruise” to young Kirk, and STG gets winked out of existence.

i guess i’ve assumed from the beginning (at least as far back when we learned that old spock would travel backwards through time) that the movie would technically be based…or at least start in a post nemesis timeframe.

The Titan, along with Capt. Riker would be so awesome!….however…i doubt we’ll see that.

at the VERY least i want there to be at least some mention of the progress made toward peace between the federation and the romulans….they need to acknowledge both the progress that spock has made over the years as well as the progress made at the end of Nemesis…the titans’s first mission….ie “the romulans are interested in talking.”


It’d be cool to see Frakes make a cameo, but that’s about it. This is about TOS, not TNG. A little nod to it is cool but nothing more.

So…we’re stuck in another time loop?


Where’s the exit ramp for the Office of Temporal Investigations?

Maybe it’s in the TARDIS, behind the wardrobe perhaps…


here’s another thought…just for fun.

if the movie actually begins post nemesis than we can guess at a couple of ideas for the ending of the movie….at least as far as the ending concerning “old” spock.

he either A) makes it back to his orginal timeframe at the end of the movie.
or B) is still alive at the end of the film but stuck somewhere in the past along the timeline…or finally C) the old spock character dies in this film…most likely on his adventures in the past.

200.35 years

Vulcans can live up to 300 years at least.

Shatner is in the movie


That ain’t J.J. Abrams… that’s Jack Osbourne!

I wouldn’t have an issue at all with seeing Frakes in the film as captain of the Titan. Matter of fact, I dare say that might kick a little ass!

Another take on the quote: Yes, it’s a prequel, and it’s also a sequel, but it’s also a reintroduction, a jumping-on point for potential new fans, and it’s also the “beginning” story that each of the other series got but TOS never did. So, based on that, could it be fair to call it “more than” a prequel? Arguably so.

I’m just getting hideous flashbacks to the launch of Enterprise whe Brannon said “Yeah, it’s a prequel but it also has elements that will serve as a sequel” Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Obviously way cooler people are now involved but the sentiments were the same.


….the adventure continues….

18. Dennis Bailey

Looks like a clunky design to me…more like Jules Verne than Trek. Matt Jefferies has gotta be rolling over in the subspace ether.

29. Gee.So elder Spock is going back in time to save Kirk ? Save young Kirk but not ‘Generations’ Kirk?
Question; Why would they save young Kirk and neglect to save old Kirk?
Answer;There’s much more to lose if a young Kirk dies.
However, If you’re fixing one Kirk death scenario (Romulans go back in time to kill young Kirk)it just begs the question as to why you don’t save elder Kirk.
Something just doesn’t add up.

i agree with your first point but disagree with the second

1 he’s pursuing nero, whose target is the young kirk. why would nero try to kill old kirk? – I can’t see how that would change the timeline favourably towards the romulans.

2 if we assume the reason spock travels to the past is indeed in pursuit of nero, and despite the fact there have been umpteen time travel storylines over the past 40 years, the basic assumption is that time travel and changing the past is “a bad thing” – i don’t think spock would consider it logical to risk time travel even to save his friend – someone who it should be noted had lived a long and full life.

just because some fans would like to see shatner involved and disagree with the way his death was handled, if this is the way the movie is going then shoe horning shatner into the script just to appease fans would probably weaken the end product.

i do think they should try and get shatner to do the ‘space…the final frontier’ voiceover though

The era Old Spock travels back from could be way after the TNG era. Hopefully the new film will make a few changes to the timeline. Best thing they could do is kill of one of the old crew in this film, meaning that everyone’s future is up in the air!

As for TNG cameos: yuck! This is a film about the original crew. TNG characters in this film run the risk of stinking it up, the same way having TOS characters in Generations didn’t work! One thing Roddenberry was right about is that you don’t directly mix TNG and TOS: they’re just too different!

i’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

Shatner blew his shot by doing Generations, simply for the paycheck. Ding. dong, old Kirk is dead!!! If he pops up in this movie – I’ll actually stand up and boo!!!

Now, if Riker shows up at the helm of the Titan – then SWEET!!!

I’m all for a reboot!

Whilst I am going to watch this movie at the cinema, then buy it on every available format, and then watch it to my machines grind to a halt in a spluttering mini fireworks display that would make lilliput green with envy, i am starting to worry about the ‘totally different’.

How is the switching from post TNG to pre TOS going to come across on the screen? I’d hate to see a huge contrast of styles regarding set,or worst a change of camera! Hey sorry maybe that could work but it would have to be so slick.

Also a wise man from another thread said JJ is great at starting things but not to hot at seeing things through so i worry for the future….. maybe im just being a nervous suitor waiting for the first date!

Moreover I appreciate the hard work being put into the movie because i believe it is no mean feat in bringing the TREK we all love to the masses.

I just wait for the day that my close friends no longer look at me uncertainly when I say KHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!