Wheaton Talks More Trek + Added To Comic Con Book Panel

In May former TNG actor and professional geek Wil Wheaton blogged (here and on his site) about the state of Star Trek and the future with JJ Abrams. Some of Wheaton’s controversial views kicked off a lot of talk amongst fans. Now in a new interview with our friends at Geek Magazine, Wheaton talks about the controversy and the fan ‘backlash’.

Excerpts from GeekMonthly.com

Geek Monthly: You’ve been fairly vocal about the idea of director J.J. Abrams wanting to reinvent Star Trek. Obviously, it’s difficult to work on a beloved franchise and not get some kind of backlash from the die-hard fans. Are you excited or apprehensive about the next phase of Star Trek?

Wil Wheaton: It’s something we’ve all heard before—”Long time fans of the franchise are going to be served and everyone is going to love it. But people who have never watched Star Trek before will also have fun. Even if you hate science fiction you will love this film. This movie is perfect for everyone!” And it just becomes this marketing thing.

But the people working on this next film have a very unique and daunting challenge. Star Trek is a phenomenon that spans generations. It has one of the most passionate, entrenched fan bases in the history of media. The truth is, over the last several years, Star Trek was run into the ground and the franchise was nearly destroyed by the films and the television series that were not being guided by a good hand.

J.J. Abrams is a pretty good filmmaker. Cloverfield and the first season of Lost were great. So you have this guy who’s really creative and has a pretty good track record of making science-fiction related programs and you put him in the right seat and say, “Now fly this franchise and recreate it.” The pressure that he must be under to deliver something magnificent, and the amount of studio interference must be enduring, has got to be nearly indescribable. So I have a lot of sympathy and understanding based on those things.

But as a sci-fi fan, we live in a post Phantom Menace world. That movie was a huge kick in the nuts to a lot of people. For those of us that Star Wars meant more to us than just a movie, it was devastating. I think the same thing with Star Trek. It means more to people than just being a TV show. If you look at the track record that Hollywood has making lifelong properties that really matter to people into movies you see a string of failures. Star Trek fans really want this to be good.

Geek Monthly: That makes sense considering a lot of the older Star Trek films have been pretty bad.

Wil Wheaton: Oh, they’re horrible! There are two really great mainstream films, and two that are really enjoyable for Star Trek, fans, and the remainder are unwatchable. If we’re going to be Star Trek fans and hold J.J. Abrams to a certain level of excellence we have to be willing to admit and acknowledge that we’re even lucky this is even happening at all.

For much more with Wheaton, check out the from GeekMonthly Blog or pick up the latest issue on newsstands.

Wheaton on Comic Con Panel
In our Comic Con update last week we noted there would be a “Star Trek without a blueprint” panel with the Trek publishers IDW and Pocket Books. Today Wil Wheaton has been added to the panel, representing Tokyo Pop (publishers of the Star Trek Manga). Wheaton wrote a story in the second volume of Tokyo Pop’s Star Trek Manga which came out last September and also has a story in the third volume which should come out next week.


Second and third volumes of Star Trek Manga (featuring Wil Wheaton) available at Amazon:


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I think Wil makes some good points, and these are similar to his past observations. I don’t envy Roberto, J.J., and the others their task of trying to freshen up Trek while stating true to the source material and the long-time fans.

well I’m sure he’s going to have a great review on the new movie….

I’m curious about which two films that Wheaton thinks are great “mainstream” films and which two are enjoyable for “fans”. My guess is:

Wrath of Khan
First Contact

Voyage Home
Undiscovered Country

Y’know, I’ve never really understood the whole “enjoyable for people who never saw the TV show” concept.

Only once have I ever had an interest in going to the cinema to see a movie based on a TV show I had never seen or wasn’t already interested in. I enjoyed the movie, but I’m not going to say what it was because people who WERE fans of the original show were unanimous in saying that it completely desecrated the property it was based on.

So, although I can understand from an economic standpoint why studios want to appeal to a broader audience than the existing TV fan base, but I’m not sure if that ever actually works. Anyone else?


I think that Voyage Home is really more of a mainstream one. You don’t have to love Star Trek to enjoy the bizarre tale. Most of my friends, who all have never seen an episode Trek, have seen Voyage Home, and have loved it.

3: The Voyage Home *not* mainstream? It was the biggest grossing Trek film of all. It was definitely more than a fanwank. Sorry… I’m just a little taken aback by your assessment.

My picks:

The Voyage Home
The Wrath of Khan

The Undiscovered Country
First Contact

Final Frontier

Better than Wil thinks they are:
Search for Spock
The Motion Picture (Director’s Edition)


I think you nailed it perfectly.

Yes, most of my friends say “I don’t know anything about Trek. Oh, but I liked the one with the whales.”

First contact was the best…

Say what you want, but I don’t think any Star Trek film is “horrible”. Sure some are way better than others, but at the very least they’re entertaining. These movies hold up against so much crap out there. And I’m not just saying that as a Trek fan but as a fan of movies.

How to describe this?

such a sheltered and privileged youth… wanting so badly to be not only taken seriously as a writer, but also an insider. Such radical and extreme statements, every time you hear from the guy. “Maybe I’ll show that I have the Cajones, if I say what everyone REALLY thinks, but are afraid to really honestly say”.

So opinionated and controversial.

Well, kiddo… let me show you how that’s done! * proper *

First of all, I’d suggest we learn ya some ALT codes. Because we’re gonna be T®adema®king™ and ©opywriting™ everything along the way, just to pretty it up a bit. And don’t forget the RANDOM CAPS® when you REALLY™ need to make a point.

Willy Wheaton©, my boy… it is I, the grate h69. I am the greatest writer that ever was, or will be. This is a fact.

And do you want to know why that is? BECAUSE me do it for free on the interwebs, simply because I am able. Not for da fame or fortune©. Just because it blows your mind. Oooops me did it again, Britney™.

Me gots brain Veeeeahhhgra™, WillyBoy!!! Aiiiighht? Speeee-lunk!



I am going to reserve judgment until i see the movie. I though the new BSG was going to be awful and it is the best Sci-Fi on TV today. I thought the new Bionic Woman was going to be bad ass and it was terrible. I was leery about the Sarah Conner Chronicles and I LOVE that show and I was doubtful the Sex and the City movie would re create the magic and they did way beyond my expectations.

I am going to quit “guessing” as to whether the new movie is going to be good or bad since I have learned I won’t know until I see it.

Team JJ not only have to live up to the history of Star Trek, but all the great movies that have come out in recent years. Movies like Iron Man and the Spiderman franchise have raised the stakes. Fans want and expect good storytelling, great acting and amazing special effects. I for one, hope team JJ hits a grand slam.

Wil rocks. Haters to the left already.

I still don’t get why Insurrection was so bad. Generations was pretty bad, from a TOS perspective. Admittedly, it has a very badly-written script involving Kirk. Had it just stuck to the Klingons, it would’ve gone better. I’m still rejoicing that they got rid of that THING known as 1701-D. The E is so much better.

The only TNG movie that “unbearable” is Nemesis.

Save the whales!

# 6

The real sadness there is that the unwatchable ones consist more of TNG movies. It’s a shame, but the TNG movie kinda tarnished the show.

I would include The Search for Spock in your unwatchable list. The first movie was very successful for it’s time. The third movie is just a stinker through and through.

I don’t see why people could be angry with his statements. I’m a long time fan (over 50) and watched from the beginning of the series.
What he says it true. It’s been run into the ground.
If Abrahams can reinvent the series, keep the core components, but reinvent the excitement, then what’s wrong with that?

deleted by admin

#10 You are a complete jerk.

I thought Nemesis was just the biggest pile o’crap!

Generations and V’ger are my faves.
If Trek can keep it up to that level, I’ll go see ’em!

hitch…final warning for trolling
this site is not all about you, it is about Trek. banned for a week

warning for flaming


…people. Keep it civil

# 10 uh Whatever the Name Was….

I agree about Wheaton. as Far the Greatest Writer that ever lived, Uh there is this one guy on here, “British Naval Dude” I believe you might have to get in line After. Not to mention that “Mongo” character.

Thats the second time Wheaton has said that there were 2 mainstream movies and 2 that were good for fans. When will he just come out and say what the hell they are? Every Trek fan has there own opinions on the movies why can’t he admit his openly, exactlly?

#14: The Search for Spock a “stinker through and through?” Oh, no. Not by a longshot.

That film isn’t perfect, but it’s filled with memorable moments:

The destroyed Enterprise streaking across the sky
Kirk’s grief over David’s death
Spock’s realization of who his friends are
Uhura and “Mr. Adventure”
Sulu: “Don’t call me ‘Tiny'”
The Transwarp failure screen: “Good Morning, Captain.”

and finally…a Kirkgasm for those James T fans out there:

“I. Have. Had. Enough. Of. YOU!”

Definitely way better than Wil thinks.

19: Thanks. Appreciate all your hard work.

Note: I hate this submission form – it just trashed my entire first post.

While I disagree with Wil on specific films, I heartily agree with his overall comments.
Personally I find the Wrath of Khan – Search for Spock – Voyage Home Trilogy to be epic.
Motion Picture was epic fail.

Final Frontier could’ve been alot better then it was.

Nemesis tanked and I put sole blame on the cutting of Wil’s scenes.

Honestly I thought Undiscovered Country was a great way to send off the TOS crew, and Generations was a great way to introduce the TNG crew to the big screen. Plus they totally wouldn’t have crashed the 1701-D if Wesley was at the helm.

Wil = writing and being published
Haters = writing and not being published

He’s a genius, and you’re living in your mom’s basement.

What the hell #10? You’re a jerk.

Missouri gal
warning for trolling
warning for flaming

lets stop with the attacks and labeling of each other



Mongo thank. BND know Mongo have trouble with dialog. And wardrobe. Mongo think it funny if Wil Wheaton mans get cast as bad guy in Trek movie XII.

I think I’m more forgiving than Wil on the number of unwatchable ones. Certainly 2, 4, 6, and 8 were top quality entertainment. 1 I consider pretty unwatchable now, 3 is actually pretty good though not top tier. 5 I always say is most like the TV show, with all it’s strengths and weaknesses both. 7 was a little lackluster though it was nice to see Picard and Kirk together. 9 once again suffered from a poor script, and while 10 was marginally better, it certainly isn’t top tier. The trend I see is that when you have Nicholas Mayer doing at least the script, you have a good film. When any of the TNG tv writers attempt it, you have something disappointing.

Glad to see Wil’s getting to Comicon. Hope to see him down in TX someday to talk a little geek :)

Oops – – Anthony, shouldn’t the poll read

… Star Trek XI … as opposed to IV

or have I missed something?


Very little studio interference. They have been nothing but supportive of everything we wanted to do.

The fact that Wil thinks Lost season 1 was the only decent season of the show invalidates most of his comments about Abrams & Co.

Of course, Orci and Kurtzman didn’t have anything to do with Lost, so really, that comparison doesn’t make much sense in the first place.

I liked the pilot of Fringe (sort of), so here’s hoping that when given a sandbox to play in which doesn’t involve huge robots, Orci & Kurtzman (and Lindelof and Abrams and etc etc) put something together that’s worthwhile.

And, since everyone else is doing it, what the hell, why not:

“Popular appeal:

– Voyage Home
– First Contact

“For the Trekkies”:
– Wrath of Khan
– Undiscovered Country

And movies which Wil probably doesn’t like, but are still solid:

– Search For Spock
– The Motion Picture

Star Trek III is ridiculously underrated — and while there were a number of missteps (Robin Curtis, the lack of Bibi Besch, the silly protomatter way they justified the death of David, etc.), it’s certainly better than Insurrection, Nemesis, Generations, or Final Frontier. IMHO, of course.


I think there is something to love in most of the Star Trek films. I think it’s been said before about certain Trek movies “it may be bad but it’s Star Trek” and as a star trek fan I’ll go and see it.

I like Will Wheaton but I disagree that all but two of the movies suck. I love all the original movies and yes including the Final Frontier, there where some great character moments in that movie. Also the The Motion Picture (Director’s Edition) has recently opened my eyes to how good the movie really was and should have been first time around.

The next Generations movies are ok as well, First contact was great and is the best for sure but I don’t dislike Generations either, it had some nice moments in it. When I first saw it I thought it was a mistake to kill off Kirk, over the years that passed I changed my mind and understood the decision and saw it as a passing of the baton so to speak. But it’s only the last few years I changed my mind again and wished they hadn’t as I would have loved to see him in the new movie but as we all know now it’s not to be.

The other TNG films “Insurrection” and “Nemesis” were and probably are the weakest of all the Trek movies. I would say “Insurrection” is probably the worse and my least favourite. But as I said before I still find something to enjoy when repeat watching them. As I said its Star Trek and I am a Star Trek fan.

I am not saying you can’t say they suck if you think they do its just I choose to look hard for something I like in all of them. And yes that means I looked very hard when I watched “Insurrection”.


you mean Paramount didn’t try and force you to put Eddie Murphy in as a ‘jive dude’? They must be losing their touch

I’m really going to have to disagree with Wheaton here. “Unwatchable”? That’s a bit extreme. Only Star Trek V and Insurrection make me wince, but there are still great moments in those films. What really fills me with confidence is that we’ve gotten a whole new team to take on Trek. While the Berman era produced some excellent Trek on television, they fell short in the films department. Even the Harve Bennett era got old after awhile.

I’ve always considered ST movies 1-4, 6, 7, and 8 to all be excellent movies, although some of them have had a few things I’d change. My only real beef is that I’ve never cared for the Enterprise E. The destruction of the Enterprise D was an awesome special effects sequence, but I wish they had worked the script somehow to keep her alive at the end. Perhaps something to do with the Nexus, I dunno. The Enterprise D was graceful and beautiful, the Enterprise E just looks like a big spoon as far as I’m concerned.

Even 5, 9, and 10 had their moments, though they were all pretty weak. Even though 5 had the worst effects of the bunch, I always did love that shot of the Enterprise A hanging in orbit with the moon behind it. Beautiful!

I personally can watch and enjoy all of the Trek movies except for Search for Spock and Insurrection. I just can’t sit all the way through them…so boring…

3) First Contact
4) TMP
7) Insurrection
8) Generations
9) Nemesis
10) ST V: TFF

I’m hoping ST XI moves into the #1 spot!


Since the subject of writing has sprouted up amongst the usual (and expected) multi-directional tangents and fodder we all so lovingly seek out in electronic forums, I think I shall pause, ask pardon for neglecting the focus of the thread, and reply to a thought expressed. A thought which, failing non-verbal clues, falls without context and is as such merely prey to individual interpretation. I shall assume all context herein is but gentle nudging, hardly ever out of anything venomous. After all, we all share a common passion. But I ramble- my point thus then:

My linguistic capabilities are rather well honed and they serve me well as I translate thoughts, dreams, and wonderments into organized communal symbols upon humble pages. (Sound priggish, don’t I?)

More important than myself, however, is the notion that one’s honest, open, well intentioned imagination and fancy are not lashed to restraints- at least not within the kingdom of the written word. For nothing is cost prohibitive and nothing is too grand or opinionated or unruly to be dismissed as unattainable by thoughts spread out upon the page. Words are rain droplets altering the cursed sand into soothing mud; blessing any barren soil into a rich, dark birthplace.

But there is one singular point of guidance a good writer will never allow themselves to be led apart from in their trek along corridors of ideas, souls, and sense… and that bastion, that foundation, that very essence of what conjures the black marks on white screen into a communal ether of action, love, hope, and, quite frankly, everything else dear and deplored during life; that one rule of writing, that lone lighthouse that keeps the void of nothingness at bay is this:
Use tha’ term “arrrrrr” as much as ye’ bloody can, mates. Bangke foo-lingerin’ hunda poo! I didn’t type dis wit’ me hands, be fair warnin’ thar…

I chide to manifest my earnest endearment.

Hey- Why does Wil Wheaton just bring out tha’ worst in us all? I be gettin’ tha’ boot next fur such gangly-poo frakten… arrrrrr… that’s tha’ interwebb fur ye’ , folks… never know what’ll come up next… she-male demandin’ ta’ leave BND alone…


Don’t even joke. Though, it would still be better than Will Farrel….
The casting is perfect for this movie. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Only maybe if Zach Quinto played every character rather than just Spock.

WW: The pilot in command flies from the left seat.


Mother of pearl…. your writing is like poetry… In all the time I have been with TM, I have never seen that side of you. Bravo, indeed.

Well, none of us knows which movies Wheaton was talking about. Maybe he’ll clue us in sometime. But, it seems to me that the two times the Trek movie franchise was “reinvented” it was a success – STII and STFC. In TWOK, Nick Meyer was brought in to shake things up. It worked. In First Contact, granted, it was the same team who brought us Generations, but again, the entire “look and feel” was changed – new ship, new uniforms, darker storylines.

All this happened using the same characters we know and love. That’s what JJ and Co. are here to do. Bring a fresh perspective and update the visuals and storytelling technique, while keeping the core values and characters of Trek alive. Whether they can actually bring in a new audience, or be successful with more than one movie remains to be seen, but unlike Mr. Wheaton, I have no doubt this “reinvention” will be good for Paramount and good for the fans.

Hi Bob, glad to see you still hanging around here!

For me Insurrection easily is the worst film of the bunch.

All of TNG actors appeared “tired and relativly uninterested” in that film and it just had no energy.

Trek V wasn’t bad until the ending on the “Delusions of Godhood” planet. Poor Shat gets blamed for having his special effects buget slashed in the middle of production. Not really his fault, blame Paramount people!

Bob, If your still around, I want you to know that I have complete faith in Team JJ to make a excellent movie. Lost, Alias, and MI-3 should be all that’s necessary to say, to know that JJ knows how to do action-adventure, tinged with sci-fi!

Especially after that other site published some spoilers pertaining to some clips that JJ supposedly showed someone, which got seriously high reviews if you can believe that it actually happened.

Oh, and please tell JJ that we the fans NEED a new trailer to help make it till next summer!!! Please, Please, Please!!

Until Next Time,

re: #40

Anthony mans! Send help! It look like someone kidnap BND mans for part of his comment! That thought cogent and artful. Great skill in communicate. And good use thesaurus. Mongo inspired. Will study word more gooder to use.


Wil and I have been trading emails today. I will be doing a TrekMovie interview with him to promote the new Manga in a couple of weeks. I will be sure to ask him which movies are on his list.

Unwatchable is a pretty strong word to use for any Trek on a Trek board. I have even sat and enjoyed or tryed to enjoy all the early TNG episodes featuring a fairly unlikeable, yet precoucious character.
Even bad trek is better than no trek at all…….

I generally find him quite annoying and arrogant about his geekdom, but I do find some merit in what he says here:

“If we’re going to be Star Trek fans and hold J.J. Abrams to a certain level of excellence we have to be willing to admit and acknowledge that we’re even lucky this is even happening at all.”

That’s hitting the nail on the head. Some fans foget to be grateful that someone is doing anything at all on the big screen with the franchise, much less that Paramount is actually pouring $150 million into it…

…On the other hand, I disagree completely with the preceeding statement:

” Oh, they’re horrible! There are two really great mainstream films, and two that are really enjoyable for Star Trek, fans, and the remainder are unwatchable.”

I can watch 5 of the 6 Star Trek films featuring the original iconic characters just about any time and be entertained. Only one of them was “horrible”(TFF), and 2 of them were fantastic, IMO (TMP and TWOK).

Anthony, I know you like Will Wheaton and supposedly he is a Trek fan – however, I want to phaser him slowly when I hear those comments. All but two of the Trek movies are unwatchable? If that were truly the case, Paramount would have thrown any and all Trek scripts in the dustbin long ago, as no one would have filled the theatres to see them. Oh, and all the VHS and DVD copies of these unwatchable movies produced by Paramount, why would anyone bother to buy them? My opinion: Mr. Wheaton needs to borrow a quarter and buy a clue.