Abrams: Star Trek Not Classic Reboot Or Prequel

Star Trek director JJ Abrams participated in a live chat with the Guardian.co.uk to promote Fringe which premiered in the UK on Sky 1 this week. One of the chatters asked Abrams about Star Trek and he dove into the whole reboot/prequel thing. Abrams also talked Doctor Who, Cloverfield 2 and of course Fringe.


Abrams on Trek
There was only one Trek related question in the live chat:

Q: What made you touch Star Trek?
JJ:  I think it was the opportunity to tell a story that was based on a world and characters that I felt were just compelling and optimistic and the opportunity to treat that universe with a kind of energy and excitement and the resources we had. It didn’t feel like a classic reboot or prequel. It is a brand new thing inspired by characters that are poised to make a big comeback.

Abrams on Cloverfield 2, Doctor Who, Fringe
Here are some of the more interesting echanges on other projects

Q: Do you have the same enthusiasm working on FRINGE that you have whilst working on LOST? Is the energy the same, if not, in which ways is it different?
JJ:  I have as much enthusiasm working on any new project. Obviously certain things get complicated. For example, working on Fringe I really wanted to work on the pilot but I was also working on Star Trek so I was unable to do both. It was a very surreal thing having to give up that opportunity. I was so jealous. The hardest thing for me on that was just being involved in other things. Every project is different but the enthusiasm is always at the core of why I am involved with it at the beginning.

Q: Fox – not noted for their commitment to genre shows… have you plotted out as far as 7 seasons like Lost or do you see Fringe as being a 4-5 Season arc ?
from – djbollocks
JJ:  Yes [on Fringe]. We have a big picture which we are working to. We have a six chapter idea. That inevitably changes along the way. You make discoveries which you can’t anticipate.

Q: You have never been seen in the same room as Dr Who renvigorator Russell T Davies- are you actually the same person? If you aren’t (and the jury is stll out), would you like to director or script an episode of Dr Who?
JJ:  It would be an honour to be asked to participate in Doctor Who. They are doing a spectacular job. That is not to say I am not already involved as Doctor Who! It would be a wonderful thing and I am a fan. If Russell would ever like to direct anything in my place I would be equally honoured.

Q: Is it true that there will be a Cloverfield 2?
JJ:  There is an idea that we are working on that I hope will come to fruition. We are playing with it right now. Obviously we don’t want to commit to something we don’t love and feel inspired by but we have a pretty cool idea we are playing with.

Much more at guardian.co.uk.


Abrams at Fringe press conference in NYC October 5th

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We need to mind meld this guy for his secrets!

I would love to see JJ do an episode of Doctor Who.


I can’t believe only one Star Trek question was asked. It’s going to be EPIC, and only one question. And of course it’s the UK so they ask Dr. Who questions. I like Dr. Who, but it’s not Trek by a long shot.

I like the Enterprise alarm sounds in ‘Eagle Eye’ nice touch guys;)

JJ, Roberto, Alex … keep it rolling. Everything I’ve seen from these guys is top notch. Trek ’09 is going to be awesome.

After this week’s episode of “Fringe,” I am hooked. The Observer dude was outstanding. I am liking that show.

I think I just might spend Columbus day going through my Alias Season 1 DVDs.

So what the heck is this movie? It’s not a prequel because it ends up in a different time-line than the one we are used to. It’s not a reboot because it tries to stay true to the what’s been established in that universe prior to the movie. It’s not a remake. So what the heck is it? A remix?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I love Doctor Who, but I am looking forward to seeing it in new hands. Maybe Steven Moffat (Moffett?) would be open to working with JJ. As for Fringe, I might take another look at it, but for now it hasn’t peaked my interest the way I thought it would, and I wanted to like this show. I think the only episode I’ve seen from start to finish is the pilot.

Good Stuff Goodtimes

Interesting if not,,,,, confusing


It was obvious that the Trek Universe full of Treknobabble and reused Borg queens had reached its end. So the obvious solution was to go back to the beginning and throw a lot of money and a committed team of übergeeks, plus ILM, at it… What we will get is a SciFi Blockbuster Action Movie than will be fast, funny and exciting. And if Old Spocks interference throws the 1701s universe on a slightly different track, I would not mind that. I never liked Time Travel episodes with a reset switch, so that everything is back in place for syndication after 42 boring minutes of Janeway, Kim and Tuvok in jeopardy.

One of the best TT stories I ever saw was “…Different Destinations”, Ep 5, Season 3 of Farscape. For everyone unfamiliar with Farscape, it was everything that Trek should have been in the last 12 years.

> “So what the heck is this movie? It’s not a prequel because it ends up in a different time-line than the one we are used to. It’s not a reboot because it tries to stay true to the what’s been established in that universe prior to the movie. It’s not a remake. So what the heck is it? A remix?”

#6 – here’s what I think. Technically, it IS a prequel in the sense that it is set before TOS. And because it changes things here and there to update the look and get rid of the ’60s zeerust, it is slightly rebootlike as well. But the FEEL of the film will be neither that of a prequel or reboot, but simply of Star Trek.

“Prequel” and “reboot” both have connotations that JJ and the rest want to avoid. And fair enough – if this is going to be “Star Trek – The Movie” then it’s best to avoid such baggage.

Oh yes, let JJ have a little go with a Dr Who, that would be something a bit special!

I think we have to stop trying to dissect every word and nuance that comes from these filmmakers, and stop thinking in concepts like “new timline” or “altered timeline” when it comes to this movie. We’re in danger of driving ourselves to distraction over what we THINK this movie is going to be.

All of this “is it a reboot/prequel/remake/reimagining/re-whatever?” rambling could so pollute our preconceptions that we might not be able to enjoy what could be a very good movie.

Let’s try to stop worrying about it so much. In a few months, we’ll all be sitting in theaters watching a movie called “Star Trek.” After we’ve seen it, we can each decide for ourselves exactly what it is.

How does that sound?

If it’s not a prequel or a reboot is it a sequel?

Its a Rebootquel ?


a Pre-Rebootquel ?

Of course you are right, Buckaroohawk, but what shall we ramble about instead… till the trailer hits us and we can talk 500 post about heretic nacelles, ot the typface on the Primary Hull?

Just kidding.

sorry, of course that is called TYPEFACE.

He is going to be changing things which are sacred to us Trek fans

Good interview.

Anyone else notice that JJ is looking more and more like Fabio Cappello?

Just an observation.

I read here a few days ago lots of hostility to Doctor Who.

My question is… is it now safe to express love for the Tardis and the Doctor on these forums?

> 21. Bugs Nixon – October 12, 2008

I read here a few days ago lots of hostility to Doctor Who.

My question is… is it now safe to express love for the Tardis and the Doctor on these forums?

I hope so.

I like Dr Who, Starwars, Stargate, Galactica, Farscape, Buffy, Angel, Lost, X-Files, House, Monk, Heroes and plenty of other shows and that doesn’t meen that I’m less Trekkie.

I don’t know what to expect of this movie any more. I’ll just have to wait and see for myself. But my initial excitement about a new movie with Spock and Kirk is definitely gone now, thanks to all that confusing talk by its makers.

And by the way, why are some people so sure about that alternate timeline being created by the events in STXI?? Have I missed something?


The best thing to do is not to have any expectations for this movie at all – positive, negative, or indifferent.

Just go and watch the movie. Try to trick your mind into thinking that you’ve never seen a Star Trek movie before.

Then when you leave the theater, ask yourself the question, “Was I entertained, or emotionally and/or intellectually engaged?” If you answer “Yes,” then great! If you answer “No,” well you lost two hours and $8 bucks, no big deal.

If you leave the movie theater lamenting that Captain Kirk’s chair was 1.73 centimeters too big, or Simon Pegg had 23.78 percent fewer hair follicals than Jimmy Doohan, then you are taking a two-hour piece of entertainment way too seriously.

Holger, alternate timeline depends on your perspective…
I assume that Spock comes from our established CANON timeline…
hence his appearance will change the timeline of young Spock and company. SOn the other hand it is quite possible that our favorite Half-Vulcans actions change the timeline of STXI to become our known timeline, or will it be the other way around?

boborci to the bridge!

Guys, this movie is clearly not a reboot nor a prequel. It’s a “preboot.”

I think hes saying its not a prequel in the sense that star trek: first contact is not a prequel, yet it takes place before most of the rest of the star trek franchise. From what i’ve heard this takes place post nemesis then goes back in time just like first contact did.

With all the conflicting information that these makers are providing us with I feel I do not want to raise my hopes to high.

I am really excited about another Star Trek movie and I fell the cast will do well. Quinto, as I said before, won me over at the convention. However, I will always prefer the originals, Shatner and Nimoy et all. For the simple reason as they were the ones I grew up watching. I love TOS as much asI loved the spin offs.

Given the conflicting info from the makers I feel they will have changed it too much from the Star Trek I love. Sure they do what Star trek needs creatively but somehow I feel that our legacy has been lost.

I will support the film but I feel my Star Trek is gone. I dont care about it as much as I have other things in my life which are important than arguing than Kirks delta is 2 cms lower.

All I say is that from these interviews that I am expecting the changes now. Rather I will like them or not remains to be seen. Its scary though

I have never been labeled as anything outher than a sci-fi fan. I love Trek. But I also love SG-1. I enjoy the new Dr. Who. I have a good time watching BSG old and new. Farscpae was grand and Quark was ahead of its time.

Does anyone here really feel comfortable being pideon holed into any one fandom? I really hope not. Life’s too short to wage a never ending campaign about one show being superior to all others.

Trek is a great show. But everything has it merits and everything has its pitfalls. All shows fall into a trap. But if they entertain on any level at all and you come away entertained then its done what it was meant to do.

Even shows like Fantastic Journey and Otherworld have their shining moments. Not great shows but still entertaining even it makes you luagh during the entire broadcast.

It all has value. More power to the ALLFAN!

MornSpeaks#1- Capital idea – Spock to the bridge (right behind Mr. Bob).

Sir Martman#15 & #16- Sounds good, although seans “preboot” is also in the running…

“So what the heck is this movie?”
It’s a cookie….
It’s a candy…
No, a cookie…
No, it’s a candy…

I think this movie will suck big time….

#32 Nice comment….troll.

JJ Abrams really does seem like one of the most genial, polite and enthusiastic people working in Hollywood.

We know that the Romulan evil guy goes back in time with Spock, sooo does he go back for vengeance and do something Spock has to go back in time to fix or does Spock have to follow him to avoid a disruption in the time line? depending on how the order is will determine if he is fixing the current time stream or avoiding and somewhat changing the old one to prevent everyone from ever existing.

Rereading my post I seemed a little unclear. I meant that if Spock goes back in time to prevent the Romulan from altering the timeline, then things may change in the process by at the expense of saving Kirk and company. If Spock is going back to undo what the Romulan has done, then perhaps we resume current canon at the end with events that happened to the crew they just never knew Spock was there. Just my 2 cents. That order of events alone could effect what canon the movie ends with and how J.J. handles the sequels.

So the romulan pirates have time ships, too? And they start marauding at the fringes of federation space, killing Jims father that way?

With JJ Adrams saying it’s not a reboot or prequel maybe he is seeing a lot of Old Spock Nimoy in the new movie that it doesn’t look like a reboot or prequel to him it’s just Star Trek.

32. Spocks Brain – October 12, 2008
“I think this movie will suck big time….”

Ok, it’s your opinion, but based on what? A couple interviews?

Capt Mike from the Terran Empire

I wonder how much Bob Orci and and JJ watched star trek Phase 2 with James Cawley. I also wonder if they have any plan for a new Star Trek Series based on the TOS Time frame. Just Wondering.

Take a look at we have seen of the enterprise so far. First off, there is nothing sticking out from the hull needlessly. The saucer and bridge design ties in very closely with what we have seen on many different classes of starship. The ship is smooth, and its lines appear true. Clearly it is different from the TOS Enterprise, but immediately recognizable as the Original Enterprise. I am looking forward to seeing the nacelles, I image the engineering hull and struts will be pretty straight forward.
What I am trying to say is that judging off what we have seen thus far; there is no reason to get up in arms about things not being exactly the same as they were. It appears that everyone involved with Star Trek 11, wants to do a good job. I am holding my judgment until after I’ve seen the movie.

25, 30, 41, Well said!!!

“Ok, it’s your opinion, but based on what? A couple interviews?”

…Based on the fact that Abrams is pulling the same “keep it secret” stunt that he did with Cloverfield. When you consider how bad the “big secret” was – the monster was a goddamn mutated sea monkey! – then everyone has a right to be concerned *and* pessimistic. All Abrams has to do to allay fears is to release a “beauty shot” of the Enterprise and at least one shot of the entire crew on the bridge, and he’d have it sold. By keeping it a big secret, he’s only shooting himself in both feet.

We will just have to wait and see what the trailer holds won’t we?

#43 You should read this site more closely, we are going to see a full trailer next month; Ship, costumes, cast the lot, then let the real debate begin!

That should be a hell of a week on this site…

As much as I’ve been on J.J.’s case for the lack of Shatner, and other things I am not fond of, I really am annoyed this is not coming out this December. I hate, I mean hate spoilers, and I just don’t see how they’re going to keep it under wraps for another 7 months or so. So I may have to stop visiting this website. LOL.

I like Dr. Who quite a lot, and even tolerate the outrageously cheesy ones of the past and present. I also have a deep nostalgia for Lost in Space. Trek — that’s something different. I can see why JJ would like to do a Who. But Trek will never be quite the same as the other sci-fi shows out there. When I was a kid and Trek would come on on Saturday mornings, I recognized that this is the cartoon where nothing bends and there are no whistles to tell you to laugh. Trek is my fav, because Trek remains plausible most of the time. It’s not about technobabble (except when it’s in the wrong hands.) And it’s not about monsters of the week (except when the network suits get their thumbs in it.) Trek is a plausible look into our future, as if we people of today got to jump ahead several hundred years. Who is fun. Lost in Space is fun. But, Trek is truly, consistantly inspiring.

25: “Just go and watch the movie. Try to trick your mind into thinking that you’ve never seen a Star Trek movie before.

Then when you leave the theater, ask yourself the question, “Was I entertained, or emotionally and/or intellectually engaged?” If you answer “Yes,” then great! If you answer “No,” well you lost two hours and $8 bucks, no big deal.”

Sorry, but that’s not my take on a Star Trek movie. In fact, that’s not my take on any SF movie which deserves the name ‘science fiction’, that is, which is not just some no-brain action-adventure which happens to be set in outer space. I’m best entertained when I get something to think or to wonder, or something which moves me.
Star Trek means something to me, so I won’t adopt the stance you suggest. In fact, if I took that stance, I wouldn’t have fun in the cinema for sure.
(To reply to the inevitable get-a-life-posts in advance: that Trek means something to me does not preclude that other things are important, too, and more important than Trek.)

About 32, 33, 40: Yes, 32 was somewhat negative. But on what are the numerous ‘This movie will rule big time!!!’ posts based? A couple of interviews?

“It is a brand new thing inspired by characters that are poised to make a big comeback.”

LOL, if that’s not the definition of a “reboot,” then I don’t know what is. :-P


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