VegasCon 08: Two Spocks Talk Trek – Reveal New Details

On Sunday Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, the headliners for the official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, really brought the house down. Appearing both individually and together, they entertained the crowd with stories as well as providing insights (and some spoilers) about the new Star Trek movie. Full details and pictures below.


Nimoy jazzed about Star Trek
Nimoy started off by briefing fans on the movie, and how "genuinely excited" he was about it. Regarding the move of the release to next year, he called it disappointing, but also a "vote of confidence" from Paramount that the film can compete in the summer. . Nimoy said that both he and Quinto "had seen some" of the new film and that it was "looking quite wonderful."

Nimoy stands ready

Regarding the director JJ Abrams, the actor was quite complimentary, noting

He can do the very very big stuff–ships, planets, and so forth–and and he can also very well do the personal stuff between people, and that is why I think this movie will do well. And that is why I think this movie is so special. A lot of directors can do one or the other, the big stuff or the personal stuff, he has done both in this movie.

Regarding the script written by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, Nimoy said:

The writing on this film is so human, so rich, and fun! A lot of humor in the movie.

Nimoy also mentioned the cast, naming many of the actors and noting that it was a "great cast" and noting specifically that the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, was a "very good actor" and that Winona Ryder was "wonderful" as Amanda, Spock’s mother.

The actor also took various questions ranging from his photography, to the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, and he looked great and was full of energy and enthusiasm and the capacity crowd of over 3,000 fans cheered and laughed throughout. After half an hour he introduced Zachary Quinto.

Nimoy gives Quinto the hand-off

Quinto humbled to be Spock
The new Spock started off his solo segment by playing to the crowd decrying the closing of Star Trek The Experience, and telling the crowd that he just finished lunch at Quark’s. Quinto then went right into Q&A which focused mostly his past work, including So Notorious and Heroes. A lot of fan comments was about him transitioning from a villain and at one point a fan said she thought he was the "scariest villain ever" at which point he leapt off the stage and mocked going for her throat, which made her scream (loudly). Regarding the upcoming third season of Heroes, Quinto said he thought the show would have the energy that "got people on board for in the first place."   

Regarding the Star Trek movie, Quinto took a question on the computer voice and would it be Majel Roddenberry. He said he didn’t know and that there would be "different voices" and that work was likely not done yet on it as it is something done in post production. He did speculate that JJ Abrams best friend Greg Grunberg might end up doing some voice. Grunberg appears in almost all of Abrams projects, but wasn’t available to shoot his cameo during principal photography.

Quinto was also asked about how Leonard Nimoy has worked with his Spock, to which he replied:

Leonard is an incredible man. I think it one of the greatest honors about being part of this is getting to know him. From the very beginning he has been available and very encouraging and we have spent a fair amount of time just talking and getting to know each other personally and through that process it has helped me to understand this character even more. I think that characters are firmly rooted in the actors that create them, and I think that no matter how many times I play Spock, I didn’t create that character.

Quinto was asked if he had a favorite moment in the new Star Trek movie, and he joked back that it was a tricky way to "get some secrets," but he did say seriously:

There are so many moments in this movie that I think hard-core fans are just going to love. If it is done the way I think it will be done, I think hearts will be in stomachs–it is this idea of seeing these characters in a different light. I have seen some of the movie. I have seen very rough sequences that JJ showed me. The one where you first sort of see Enterprise and you first sort of see the convergence of the crew of the Enterprise is a pretty profound moment for me.

Quinto really had the crowd behind him, but at one moment a fan came to the mic who said he was a TOS "purist" and asked Quinto what he could tell him that would ‘reduce his concerns.’ Although the question got laughs from the audience, Quinto took it seriously and said the movie was "made with an awareness that we wouldn’t be here without The Original Series and the people that created it." He also said the film would honor the original but also infuse "a new sensibility and a new aesthetic" to help bring in new fans. Of course the purist wasn’t too happy with that second part, but Zach was determined saying "as a purist and some one who has been a fan for a long time, I guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed." Later Quinto was asked about learning to do the Vulcan salute and he noted that "as a leftie" it took him a while to get it down with his right hand, but he then noted:

That is an example of the way in which I am different–my Spock is a little bit different because he is a leftie and that is where his Vulcan salute is, but I pulled it off on the other side as well. Those are the things that our purist friend in the audience may have something to say about–don’t be mad at me–I just bring what I have to the table.  

Quinto answers questions for the crowd

The Spocks Talk Trek [with some spoilers]
After Quinto’s half hour, Leonard returned to the stage and both actors sat and just began chatting with each other, asking each other questions like it was their own little chat show. Nimoy started off asking about Heroes, and the character Sylar which eventually led to what was similar about Sylar and Spock, that they are both ‘conflicted’, with Quinto noting that in the film "Spock is really not in control of the line between his emotional life and his intellectual life." Quinto then asked if it was easy for Nimoy to return to the role of Spock, to which he replied:

The thing that was difficult for me was my very first day on the movie, we have this complicated and very interesting scene together. And I didn’t feel totally on my ground yet, particularly with this kind of scene. I had never played with another Spock before, it was weird.

Quinto then noted that sometimes when you shoot a film you may start off by shooting the last scene in the film, however it wasn’t clear if he was speaking generally or about the specific scene from Nimoy’s first day. They also both agreed that in the end the scene worked and feedback has been good. Regardless this is the first time they have both spoken openly about having a scene together. Later when Quinto was talking about Simon Pegg (Scotty) he noted that Nimoy actually worked with Pegg more than he did, implying that we are going to see a good amount of Scotty and the elder Spock together. The exchange with Quinto and Nimoy confirms previous reports regarding time travel (see here and here), but also confirms that while back in time, the elder Spock is interacting with his younger self and younger versions of his former ship mates.

It’s "Spock Talk with Lenny a Zach"

Regarding Pegg’s Scotty, Quinto noted

He is a pure comic genius, and to have someone so funny play such a beloved character as Scotty is really something else. I think he is going to bring a lot of life to it.

Nimoy noted that he had recently seen some footage with Pegg that he wasn’t in and said it was "hilarious." At Comic Con, Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof also spoke to TrekMovie about how funny Pegg is in Star Trek, so it appears, that like JJ Abrams did in Mission: Impossible: III, Simon Pegg picks up much of the comic relief for the film (as James Doohan, the original Scotty, often did during the TV series and feature films).

Things then moved on to Q&A and the first question was about how the movie will expand the audience for Trek and Quinto said the film will be more than just a tentpole with "explosions and spaceships" because "the heart of this movie is universal and accessible across the board" with Nimoy following up noting "it is a very human movie." Nimoy was also asked if there was anything about Zachary’s performance as Spock that he wished he had seen himself. Quinto quickly said "the answer is no," but Nimoy contradicted him saying there was a scene that he watched that "startled" him:

I saw him do something and I thought ‘whoa’ that was interesting

As they wrapped up Nimoy thanked the audience and gave a "live long and prosper" while they both offered the Vulcan salute, with Zach’s, as noted before, coming from his left hand.

Goodbye salute

Still more Vegas coverage
Although the Nimoy/Quinto event was Sunday, TrekMovie will still be doing more reports from Friday and Saturday (and Sunday). Look for wrap ups of the appearances grouped by show (TOS, DS9, ENT and VOY) as well as product coverage and more.

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Cool news!

This lays a lot to rest. Bring the film on!

I’m also glad that Zach too the purist seriously. That could help a lot of people come onboard this film. We need as many people behind this film as possible if Trek is to become the juggernaut it once was.

The feedback was “goo”?

Some TOS special effects in there then I guess…!

Sounds good. Every time the actors talk about the film the more confidence I have in it. May 2009 should be exciting.

…This is why I’m thrilled about the new Trek film. Thanks for this post!

On some other threads there are people sayingthings like:
“Sulu looks like Kim!”,
“Pegg has the wrong hair!” or
“The sideburns are not pointed enough!”

To all that I say ENOUGH!
This new film is the best thing to happen to Trek in ages!
The people making the new movie LOVE Trek!

I must ask this:
“Will all the negative people please give it a rest?”

I wish I could have been there to see Spock 1 and Spock 2 on stage at the same time…

This new movie is gonna be good!

So if Old Spock meets with the young crew- will he take special note of Kirk? Old Spock lives post-ST:Generations- right? The last time we saw him was TNG:Unification, perhaps a few years before Generations. So maybe he heard about Kirk’s quick resurrection and passing at the hands of Soran? Or at least he thinks that Kirk has long been dead after the earlier events on-board the Enterprise-B in Generations? We can only imagine in Old Spock’s POV, people like Chekhov, Uhura and Sulu are also long gone. Either way, he’s seeing old friends he’s long considered dead- could be very interesting/emotional.

This films going to be the best thing since Enterprise Season 3+4

“This films going to be the best thing since Enterprise Season 3+4”

Talk about comic relief

The computer voice should be female! When the computer speaks it is as if the ship itself speaks. The Enterprise is referred to as ‘her’ and ‘she’.

Re # 8
“This films going to be the best thing since Enterprise Season 3+4”

L O efin’ L !

– I think that characters are firmly rooted in the actors that create them, and I think that no matter how many times I play Spock, I didn’t create that character. –

Sounds good, Quinto. I do agree.

#6 Amen Commodore, Amen.

Man, Nimoy’s got big hands. Long fingers. He could have been a piano player.

Sounds great to me! You know, I consider myself a TOS purist and I really don’t have a lot of worries about this film (except the release date). What bugs me is: “purists” who walk around and even have the gall to act like they own the franchise and how dare anyone try anything different! It especially bugs me that they have the gall to throw their garbage right into the face of the new actors who obviously are trying their very best to make this a fantastic film to energize (pun intended) the franchise. Chill out, people!

My eye doctor says I have to stop reading this stuff because if I don’t, my eyes may be permanently rolled up.

Well, the true TOS purists were born before 1966, and survived the fan-driven years of 1969-1979, and were members of the official Nimoy fan club based in those days in Englewood, Ohio.

As one of those, I give a big left thumb up. For the umpteenth time… if Nimoy continues to promote the film in this manner, when he’s wealthy enough, artistic enough, and has countless other things he could do with his time… who the hell are any of us to spit in his face this “purist” crap.

Quinto is remarkable. And, at last, Roddenberry’s “last laugh” on Shatner… the character of Spock indeed is more interesting in the creation of story ideas and twists than Kirk. Whoda thunk.

One of the questions I was looking for an answer for it: How does this fit with Gene Roddenberry’s view of Star Trek? I think Mr. Nimoy answered it by saying, “with Nimoy following up noting “it is a very human movie.” ”

Now the wait begains for word on, “If you build it, they will come” Is someone going to build a new Star Trek Experiance? Where will next years summer convention be?
Alway questions.

I agree whole heartedly with Daoud! There are many actors who gleefuly promote crappy movies that they know are crappy. I think that Mr. Nimoy has too much integrity to lie this often, and so far in advance of the release date.
For the hundredth time I can’t wait for this movie! And I can’t wait to all the wonderful changes in the look and feel of Trek. I can’t wait to see the character nuances of 21st century performances! I can’t wait!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Even if the rest of the movie was guaranteed to be bad, it would still be worth watching just for these two guys.

#12″ – I think that characters are firmly rooted in the actors that create them, and I think that no matter how many times I play Spock, I didn’t create that character. –

Sounds good, Quinto. I do agree.

Me too Iowagirl, Quinto and I are on the same page on that issue for sure. And it’s not hard to understand the position of the purist. If I have enjoyed particular painting of my mother in my house for 40 years and you replace it with a penicil cartoon of my mother….it’s still my mother but it looks nothing like the painting I was so fond of for so many years. Now it can be a GREAT cartoon…it can make me laugh at her exaggerated nose, and I can still enjoy it. But it doesn’t take the place of the painting I’ve loved all my life.

This movie is new. Period. Some people like new clothes every winter. Some people prefer their comfy 10 year old sweater. I don’t like apple pies because of the idea that it’s a pie. I like it because it has apples in it. I hate coconut cream pie. Should I love the coconut cream pie just because it’s a pie?? Of course not.

I love TOS. I don’t like the spin offs just because they have Star Trek in the title. The spin offs bear no resemblence, what so ever, to what I like in Star Trek. The new movie,however, is bringing to the table many elements that I DO like in Star Trek (TOS). So while it will be very different, hopefully I will still be able to enjoy it, just on a different level.

Re: 16.
” My eye doctor says I have to stop reading this stuff because if I don’t, my eyes may be permanently rolled up.”

Stanky, You give me a Ha Ha !

…and watch out for pinkeye…

Like I said, I have great hope for the acting in this movie. The actors involved are great and as a film maker, I know that just because it’s a different actor doesn’t mean it won’t be as good as/better than the original.

My only issue is the “new aesthetic” and that rumor that the bridge looks like it was designed by Apple.

What I want? I want a picture of the new actors on the new bridge which harkens back to the picture of the TOS crew on the TOS bridge. That would sell me in one fell swoop if it looked correct/had the correct feel to it.

8 – “This films going to be the best thing since Enterprise Season 3+4”

Well, considering as this will be the first thing Paramount’s done since that previous work, I guess it’d have to be, from that point of view. ;)

OTOH, such fan episodes as “World Enough and Time” and a whole lot of the stuff coming out of Pocket Books will make it a pretty stiff challenge to make the same claim for Trek in absolute terms. Impossible? No. But maybe not easy.

# 8 I completely agree. Those that still bad mouth Enterprise are nuts.

season 3 and 4 of Enterprise were absolutely the best Trek in years.
Why is it that so many people cannot see that those seasons were the first time Trek returned to focusing on ‘The big three’ in the cast instead of an ensemble that was constantly forced on us in every scene.

I do understand the nightmare of Voyager. 75% of the epsiodes gave us nothing new whatsoever. Just going through rehashed stories. Enterprise was fresh looking and had excellent writing. To me the problem with Enterprise is simple to understand. Voyager was maily garbage and people were not ready to return and give Trek another chance so soon. They should have given us 18 months between the Voyager disaster and Enterprise. I believe that this would have made a big difference.

In the beginning of this article:
“Regarding the move of the release to next day, …”

I wish “day” would be true ;)

“Enterprise was fresh looking and had excellent writing.”

The only problem with Enterprise was that Season 1 + 2 were exactly like Voyager, so that many Trekkies didn’t give Season 3 + 4 a chance anymore. Some only recognized that especially Season 4 was brilliant years after it was canceled, because they thought it would continue like the beginning and stoped watching.

It’s a pity, Berman should have given Coto full control from the beginning on. Everyone wanted to have a Enterprise like Season 4, concerning the beginning of the Federation, the complicated relationships between the founder member and nobody wanted to see new races or a Temporal Cold War, both simply had nothing to do with a Prequel.
For Voyager they already failed to use the concept it was build on (alone, no Federation ressources, Marquis and Starfleet crewman…) and Season 1 + 2 also forgot to use the Prequel concept properly (as Season 4 did).


Did u ever look at a screenshot of Shatner in ST Generations and compared it to a screenshot of Boston Legal? Do you really think he could play Kirk on Veridian III again?
The end of Enterprise tried to show us an older Frakes and an older Sirtis playing a young Riker and a young Troi and became a disaster. Shatner as Kirk on Veridian III is a lot worse.

“To all that I say ENOUGH!
This new film is the best thing to happen to Trek in ages!
The people making the new movie LOVE Trek!”

Maybe we should wait and see the movie before declaring it the “best thing to happen to Trek in ages”. Unwarranted pre-release hype has killed bigger movies than this one.

I am very encouraged by each new bit of information that comes out. Wil it be perfect? Probably not. Will it satisfy everyone? Definitely not! But I have every confidence that every effort is being expended to make this ‘feel’ like Trek. Canon violations will probably be very minor ones that will ruin the slumber of only the most anal purists.

As for ENT? It developed into an excellent show. Minor nits aside, I can accept it as canon.

It’s kinda sad, but Voyager turned me off to Star Trek… DS9 had a compelling story-arc, but Voyager just left me cold. I hate to say it, but every story seemed warmed-over. The Borg, Q, Klingons… since the ship just kept moving, there wasn’t really any time to stop and develop a compelling narrative involving its surroundings. At least Enterprise was going somewhere…

But my reservation about this movie is the same as I had for Voyager and Enterprise: overreliance on time travel.

I think All Good Things… pretty much put a button on the future/past/present narrative and since then it’s been a bunch of temporal anomalies as a stand-in for good stories.

Time travel makes for a great plot device, but this temporal cold war stuff makes it seem like nothing of consequence ever happens. Someone dies: too bad, let’s bring her back in another timeline.

Anyways, sorry for the rant. I’m totally excited about the movie, and I’m thrilled about Quinto and Nimoy together.

I just hope the next movie isn’t another “baaaad guy from teh future” affair.

#7 “Either way, he’s seeing old friends he’s long considered dead- could be very interesting/emotional.”

A good point. If anything could move Spock to tears, it would be that!

#29—-I think you misunderstand…

The very fact that Paramount is showing this much interest in Trek is the best thing to happen to the franchise since the late 70’s.

Giving the film a $150-160 million treatment is a statement of confidence in itself.

The decision to make it a May release is another.

Finally, the initial Paramount review’s lack of comment about “concerns”, “potential reshoots”, or “possible work needed on the ending” is (and has every reason to be) reassuring.

You can speculate negatively all you want, but there are no signs of impending disaster to support that kind of apprehension whatsoever.

Coto’s contributions to bettering ENT are overrated.
B&B used him as a fall guy, because they still in actuality maintained an iron grip on the show. Witness the finale.
Great photo of the Spocks.

♫Star Trekkin’ across the Universe! Star Trekkin’~♫ Eh. Well, I didn’t know Quinto was a lefty!!! Maybe Spock should wear a red shirt(har, har)!*Cough, cough* Forgive me!!!

22. star trackie:

Mmmmmmm, Pie! (Makes Homer Simpson gurgling noise)

Great job on these reports, Anthony… they make me wish I could’ve been there myself! I’m looking forward to the recaps from the rest of the con…

Not that it’s a bad thing, but I am surprised Nimoy did not speak about Shatner. Or that no one in the audience asked. Is it finally over..

I’m still trying to noodle out how a post-Nemesis Spock can go back a century and interact with his old clewmates without sending the Prime Directive to hell in a handbasket. Unless…..he goes back, but passes himself off as another Vulcan. The ol’ “We all look alike to you humans” thing.

I promise, that “TOS Purist” at the con was NOT me!! lol…

#39—If it is to prevent the Romulans from changing the past in their favor, I don’t see the ethical dilemma. What would be the alternative. We have seen similar interference with the timeline before.
My guess is that he intends not to reveal himself, but may be forced in desperation to do so. Otherwise, he could always pass himself off as Cousin Selek!

I wonder how long the lines outside the theatres will be when this movie comes out? It sounds like we are in for a treat. While I love TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT, I am going to keep an open mind with the movie.

As long as there are photon torpedoes and phasers and you can’t see a green hue around the actors due to the green screening, I’ll be a happy clam. :-D

These reports are excellent, as usual.

I hope, as well, that we will see reports on how those involved in NASA, ESA, and other space agencies might be given some role, or at least might express interest in the new movie.

Politically speaking, Senator Obama has expressed what might be deemed a reversal of his previous position on Project Constellation, as noted in my blog.

As Leonard Nimoy is the resident philosopher of Trek, perhaps one day he might be asked whether he believes that the current approach toward space exploration is likely to lead to the achievement in space depicted in Trek.

Awesome!!!! I am so psyched! This movie is going to rock.

Sweet stuff!!!!! Now when are the two Kirk’s getting on stage together. THAT I gotta see

I have to say that I agree with #8 on this one. Seasons 3 & 4 of Enterprise were quite good, actually the whole series was. People just wanted to hate it because it didn’t look like some ridiculous 1950’s scifi (thus coming before 1960’s TOS). Enterprise was a much better series than Voyager ever was. To me it was even on par with DS9 and TNG, at least seasons 3 & 4 anyway.

Though a 1950’s scifi version of Enterprise would be interesting to say the least. They would have had to have made it just like Captain Proton!!! additional note on Quinto’s stage time.

I thought it was hilarious when one of the “question askers” came to the microphone with his cell phone and Zach chides him for it. The guy says something about having his girlfriend on the phone and Quinto cheerfully says, “Oh, let me speak to her.”

He takes the phone and proceeds to have a friendly chat with the girlfriend including having the entire audience shout “hello” to her.

I was very impressed with Quinto’s “ease” with the fans. He seems to take the whole convention thing in stride, which bodes well for the future.

Thanks to for the updates — I’ve enjoyed reading your take on the events.

It’s too bad there won’t be a TNG or DS9 cameo, would love to see Riker as captain of the Titan pick up Spock on Romulus…

Or even an ‘Admiral Picard’ cameo… I think it’s interesting that they are going back to the TOS crew, but I hope at least the TNG crew gets a bone thrown their way…

Unfortunately not happening. Originally that was what everyone expected.Yet Bob Orci has never said he is not in the movie. Maybe he did write something. He may not be in the movie but maybe it was written. Still have to like what has been said so far

Two Spocks walk inta’ a bar…

Bartender says “What ye’ gents be havin’?”
First Spock say “He can do the very very big stuff.”
Second Spock say “That is an example of the way in which I am different.”
Bartender asks both, “Can I see some ID, gents?”
Spocks both show identical IDs with identical ages on them. Bartender says “Is this some kind of a joke! Get tha’ hell outta me bar!”
First Spock says “I’m too old for this shite.”

fine… YOU come up wit’ a better “2 Spocks” joke, mates…