Report From JJ Abrams New York City Star Trek Presentation

JJ Abrams has finally brought his world tour previewing the Star Trek movie to the US of A. On Tuesday he stopped in New York City and showed the same set of clips he showed in Europe to local press and film industry folks. TrekMovie has a first hand report along with links to additional media reports. [SPOILERS ahead]


JJ In The Big Apple
by Vincent Gregg

JJ Abrams came to New York Monday night to hold his Star Trek preview at the AMC LOEWS on 34th Street. Like with the European stops, there were six to eight plasma displays with posters in the lobby, but unfortunately there were no Trek-themed cupcakes. The audience was packed and very receptive to the clips. The largest applause was after the Older Spock Clip. JJ was brief and repeated much of what’s already been covered here at

JJ opened saying he wasn’t a Trek fan when he was young and said that he was drawn to the fact that that Star Trek is "our future" as opposed to Star Wars is "long time ago in a galaxy far away." But he also noted that he originally thought he would just produce the film and didn’t think directing it would "fit into his body of work" However he was "sold" after reading Orci and Kurtzman’s script and being encouraged by his wife, so he decided to direct it. And now he calls himself a "huge" Trek fan, mostly due to the characters

Regarding the villain Nero played by Eric Bana, Abrams retold a story about showing the movie to a director friend and the director wanted to know who played Nero because he didn’t recognize him. JJ said it was Eric Bana. The other director said, "NO WAY, THAT’S BANA!" He said that Bana doesn’t play the typical sci fi bad guy and brings a special realism to Nero.

He also echoed how unbelievable it was to work with Leonard Nimoy and that one day he wanted to give some "notes" to Nimoy on a certain scene. Then he started to realize, how can he give notes on how to play Spock to Leonard Nimoy. But Nimoy wanted JJ to be open with him and give him notes and feedback. JJ kept emphasizing how great it was to work with him.

Closing remarks were brief. Loud applause. Event was over. Wasn’t longer that 40 minutes total.

Scene with Spock, Kirk and Scotty rife with Trek homages
As for the clips, it has all been reported before, but there is some interesting Trek-angles on the scene with Kirk and elder Spock meeting Scotty. Older Spock gives Scotty his formula on Trans Warp Beaming. After seeing the formula, Scotty says "of course, it never occurred to me that it was actually space that was moving". It was noted that he could be breaking some rule giving Scotty a formula from the future and the scene was reminiscent of when Scotty gave the formula for transparent aluminum to someone from the past in Star Trek IV.  The ‘Trans Warp’ beaming is necessary to get Kirk back to the Enterprise after Spock sends him to the Ice Planet. Also Young Kirk asks older Spock why he cant come back with him. Spock says its not his destiny. Spock tells "Jim" that he can never tell his younger self about their meeting. Spock advises Kirk to relieve young Spock of his duties as Captain by emotionally compromising him (like in "This Side of Paradise") then using regulation 619 (like Decker in “Doomsday Machine”) to relieve him as being unfit for duty. Spock assures Kirk (knowing how he is feeling as younger man) that this will work. As Kirk is ready to beam back to the Enterprise, he reminds Spock that going back in time to change history is cheating. Old Spock says, yes, I learned it from an old friend. Tells Kirk to Live long and prosper." All in all, it is an amazing sequence.

Also the scene on the drill includes a moment when Spock calls for the chief medical officer. McCoy answers to tell Spock that the chief medical officer is dead on deck 6. Spock matter-of-factly tells McCoy that he is now the chief medical officer. An overwhelmed McCoy sarcastically tells Spock, "Yea, tell me something I don’t know". This was a beautiful classic McCoy / Spock banter moment.

Final thoughts
Quick thoughts as Trek fan for over 30 years is:

  • Karl Urban is McCoy. Dead on. Steals the show!! De Kelley would really be proud.
  • Anton Yelchin plays a better Chekov (as an actor) than Walter Koenig. He is the same Chekov. The accent is perfect and so is his dialogue. Just well done!
  • Chris Pine is Kirk. He holds the screen. He is not Shatner, but he is a leader and you see him grow as a man in these 4 clips alone.
  • Bruce Greenwood is the new Pike. Plain and simple. What an actor. I know his performance would make Gene Roddenberry proud.
  • Quinto is Spock. Didn’t see enough of him in these clips to really make a determination. I liked what I saw though.
  • Zoe and John Cho are fine as their characters. Uhura is a tough woman but didn’t get much from their performance other than that
  • I found Simon Pegg to be slightly disappointing in his take on Scotty, but again, not enough to make a real judgment call. He has Scotty’s spirit but delivers him in a different way. Might take some getting used to.
  • Finally, the Enterprise is awesome. The exterior looks nothing like that still shot Paramount released. Fans need to relax.

JJ ruffles some feathers?
Friend-of-the-site, and fellow Trekkie, Jordan Hoffman of UGO was also at the event (see his full report). While impressed with the footage, he took some umbrage at Abrams ‘I’m not a fan’ routine. From Jordan’s report:

J.J. Abrams struts up like the smartest kid in Hebrew school.  The first thing out of his mouth – the very motherloving first thing out of his mouth – is “I’ve never been a fan of Star Trek.”

WTF?!??!  Not only is this insulting and lame, it is rehearsed.  He’s said this in interviews fifteen times already.  Maybe he thinks it is cute, but I just find it rude.

Jordan’s point about being ‘rehearsed’ is well made. JJ just came off his Euro tour and he has been repeating the "I was not a fan" line everywhere he went. In Europe, especially where Trek has not played well, this is actually a smart move in order to bond with the crowd and send the message this is not the Trek they thought of, but a new thing. To put this in Trek perspective, JJ is acting like Riker in "A Matter of Honor" when he is acting like a Klingon to get respect when aboard the Klingon ship. However, here in the States he is far more likely to have true-believers in his audiences and he should maybe pull back on the ‘not a fan’ thing. 

More media reports
The event in NYC has been reported on by a multitude of other organizations. Here are links to the reports [NOTE:  contain the same spoilers as the reports from Europe]:

More TrekMovie Abrams Tour coverage
TrekMovie has been following Abrams around the globe, and we have provided first hand reports from each of his stops (except Rome, and we are still working on that one). See below for each city report:


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Dear Sir JJ™,

You’re the best! Star Trek comes back in 2009!!!



So excited for this film!


sounds awesome

that hoffman guy can seriously take a step back and be quiet – you know, who cares if Abrams didn’t like Trek – not everyone does.

Trans Warp Beaming?

Methinks the technobabble is getting a bit silly.

@ 6 Jon S.

I think it just means transporting while a ship is traveling at warp speed. Not like Borg trans warp.

I wish I hadn’t read the spoilers. BUT IT SOUNDS GREAT!!!!! Second?

D’oh! 8th!

so…………………..when’s the next trailer come out?

It’s good to hear that Kirk pissed off Spock for a real reason.

YouTube video’s from that 20 minutes?

I can’t wait for May 2009. I loved the trailer and can’t wait for the film. Everyone who is so worried is basing it off of trailers and pictures. I personally can’t wait to see how the story plays out.

I can cut and paste, you know. Soon I’ll have the entire script.
Jeez. 6 more months? Enough spoilers. Serve the movie up pipin’ hot!

Eeeeeeew. Grunberg showed his belly on Heroes! Now I must gouge out my eyes!

Christ, we still have like six months left…

I’m very very satisfied with that report.

‘Awesome’ makes me want to weep again.

.”I am my own beginning, my own ending.”

Ok I just had a vision that after the end credits we will see Spock returning to the future and bumping into ShatnerKirk.

You heard it here first.

Sorry I just had to share that :P

I think it’s a good thing JJ keeps on reminding us he’s “not a fan”…
And now, after getting to know Spock, Kirk, Scotty, and the rest…
he is now a HUGE fan.
I hope all the many non-Trek fans in the States relate to him.

I’m really happy you finnaly got to see those scenes yourself, Anthony.

When we talked on the phone the other day, I was dying to talk with you about them.

None of our reports have talked much about the acting itself and the character moments in those scenes, have they?

I’m sure we are all going to enjoy this movie (and the next ones)

My memory cells might be failing me, but wasn’t there something like transwarp beaming in James Blish’s Trek novel, “Spock Must Die”? Orci and Kurtzman did say they looked at many of the novels as part of their research…..

I think we need a round-up of all these articles and whether or not they where positive or negative about the scenes they saw, and pick out some of the superlatives too. I mean the guy at IESB pretty much thought it was the best thing he had ever saw! That must count for something.

Can we PLEASE have J.J. personally hunt down and bitch-slap whatever marketing moron decided it would okay to use flipped images in both the TOS-Remastered promos AND the new movie trailer? It’s unbelievably sloppy, and shows poor respect for the material as well as for all the incredible work and attention to detail that has been paid by the rest of the production crew.


Well, as I recall TNG had both near-warp transport and warp transport, but in order for the latter to work the two ships had to match their velocity. Maybe Kirk’s trying to beam to the Enterprise as it’s entering warp?

Trans = across

Warp = the field that allows faster than light travel

Beaming = transference of matter via an energy beam

As technobabble goes, Trans Warp Beaming is not a terribly difficult phrase to wrap your brain around, as long as you’ve watched enough Star Trek to have heard of “Warp” and “Beaming.”


Actually, flipped images in trailers is nothing new. Happens all the time, for a lot of movies. It’s usually done, like it was in the trailer, to maintain a continuity of motion. For instance, in the trailer most things at the end sequence move from left to right, so they flipped that Spock shot so it wouldn’t be jarring for the audience.

I am loving what I’ve seen so far. I just hope it all holds up when I can watch the film in its entirety and that its a success.

RE: Anthony’s view

I have yet to have my viewing, the above report was from our man in NYC.

It looks like us folks in LA are the last stop

I think it’s a good move to admit he was never a Trek Fan. However, he should be more careful about the terms. I mean, he should make it clear he never had anything AGAINST Star Trek, just that he never got into it.

Pike also tells Spock something to the effect of “The ship is brand new don’t break it” This validates my brillian theory from yesterday I am right on target. If you want to be dazzled, impressed and shocked by my genius, read my post originally seen and revered in the big trailer release posting from yesterday. Her it is my children , you know I am right!!!!!, Discuss: notice the older TOS style constitution class secondary hulls when the E warps into the big space battle Notice the Klingons apparently returned to their wonderful TOS human fiendish Ottoman-Commie- Mogol looks and the ridges are only a part of the decorative headpiece armor they wear. At the very least the ridges will be more subtle ala General Chiang. In one of the earlier spy photos it appears Sulu is fighting a baddie with very subtle riges so maybe some Klingons are allied with Nero as well. – NICE Notice Nero is a prisoner of the Klingons Notice big grand canyon like bluffs in the background as young Ani-Kirk dupms Pappy’s vette into the chasim. I suspect this is the grand Canyon and young Jim tore ass out of Iowa to drive to Starfleet Command for some reason. The Robocop catches up with him somewhere in Utah, Colorado?? Notice the Kelvin not only gets pummled but Rams it’s advesarry as well and will be destroyed Here’s my take after patiently sipping up all the inuendo and bits and pieces we have been fed. 1. Nero is a prisoner of the Klingons in the Next Genie future (possibly because he was involved in some plot to reignite tensions with the Klingons and was captured) where he is plotting away to erase Spock’s sizable influence on his homeworld that is becoming less of his beloved Militaristic Dictatorship and more akin to a Democracy or at least less overtly aggressive with Vulcan and the Federation. Nero wants to go back in time and destroy Vulcan as well as the gretest Trek Captain of all time,, James T. Kirk. Somehow Nero busts out with the help of his supporters (Some may be Klingon – as it appears Sulu is fighting a Klingon with very subtle ridges) 2. Nero travels back in time with his cadre of militarists as well as the newest even more ugly Romulan super deadly prototype battleship (or he has stolen a much larger Shadow Vessel from B5) 3. Nero’s first attempt to destroy Vulcan and possibly Kirk’s Daddy serving as first officer aboard the Kelvin is thwarted (mostly) in that the Kelvin prevents the destruction but Kirk’s daddy dies ramming the Kelvin into the Romulan Shadow vessel (Kirk’s pregers with JT mom screaming as she hears the news- this creates the first time anomoly in which Kirk’s father dies and there are some subtle and not so subtle changes in the timeline. Kirk is raised by a douche bag of an uncle rather than his more heroic father and thus becomes more rebelious and enter the Acad later than he was intended to. (No Kodos never went with parents to live on Tarsus, no republic, no Farragut other previous ship assignments) Grew up with even more of a badboy streak because of the lack of his Father’s influence. Had to be talked into joining the acad later in his life, ect. 4. Enterprise is more of an experiment created specifically to deal with the threat the Kelvin dealt with years ago she has been in development for years. Pike is given command at the time of the renewed crisis. He may die in this somewhere (No beep Beep, no Vina) and an emotional Spock is forced into command. We know Spock Nimoy will know this and tells Kirk to make him go nutty so Kirk can assume command to save the day. 5. Spock is alerted to Nero’s intentions in the future and travels back to stop him or more likely cameo warn them and tell them what they need to do to stop him 6. The almost ready to go Enterprise (She’s always almost ready to go ya know) is alerted to Nero’s second time jump attempt this time to destroy vulcan with a core death star drill. The Old school fleet (notice the Constitution class secondary hulls in the battlefield) is wiped out and only the new prototype Enterprise (maybe built with some info from future spock) can handle the Nero Shadow vessel. 7. Enterprise arrives as the death star drill burrows into Vulcan, Spock beams down to save his parents. Kirk beams down to diable the drill with sulu and redshirts (soon to die) Kirk and Sulu destroy the drill, beams up with Spock and Sarek and Amanda and then the Kirk Vs. Khan like spacebattle takes place in… Read more »

The Big E doesn’t look like on that picture, yep, this is good to hear. I’d be glad if I owed an apology to Ryan Church.

The more one reads, the more one can’t help to think that Abrams may just create a lot of other “non-fans” with his movie.

24. There was the instance in TNG (“Schizoid Man,” I believe) of beaming _down_ to a planet from a ship at warp, possibly using the same technique, in reverse, that Scotty “developed.” But then, that was nearly a century later.

JJ’s “I’m not a fan” is code for “This movie isn’t some piece of crap Fanfic”


I really hope he has more than one of these events planned for USA and you have your chance too.

Thanks for posting that summary Anthony, great stuff and I can’t wait to see Nimoy’s Spock on screen again.

When Urban was cast as McCoy I smiled inwardly as I knew he’d do a great job; nice to see that coming true as well.

BTW, I think the TOS episode where Kirk emotionally compromises Spock is This Side of Paradise, not The Paradise Syndrome. Just showing a little Trek cred… :)

before the Trolls show up, I just want to share a moment of bliss with everyone:



But like a poor marksman, you keep

missing the target.



Perhaps I no longer need to try.

He punches several buttons.


In the rocky cavern the transporter beam locks on to the

Genesis torpedo and it’s arming control box.

As Kirk and the other watch, horrified, Khan beam sup

the materials. David tries to reach the torpedo, but

Saavik holds him fast –


No – he can’t take it – !

The beam disappears and Genesis with it, leaving them




Khan, Khan, you’ve got Genesis…



… but you don’t have me! you

were going to kill me, Khan!

You’re going to have to come down

here! You’re going to have to

come down here!


I’ve done far worse than kill you.

I’ve hurt you. And I wish to go on

hurting you. I shall leave you,

as you left me –




… as you left her. Marooned for

all eternity in the center of a dead

planet –



Buried alive!



Buried alive!



The clips sound cool, but I thought that old Spock telling Kirk to never mention to young Spock that Kirk had met his future self is a bit silly. It sort of makes Spock’s sacrifice in TWOK irrelevant since Kirk knows that Spock will live to be an old man.

I’m looking forward to this film, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that this story is going to be in an alternate timeline(perhaps due to Nero’s interference), which will give the filmmakers more breathing room for future stories.

Very good TonyD. It was late when I sent Anthony the report.

For someone who stresses accuracy, feel pretty embarrassed by that.

I had Immunity Syndrome on the brain.

Two points about the “not a fan” thing that fans should take into consideration:

1) Since he’s not a fan, the fact that he has been converted is supposed to convey the impression that the story and the final product are just that good.

2) He’s reiterating that — unlike a substantial number of the previous films and series — this movie is something that non-fans can enjoy.

I’m incredibly pumped forb this now. I can’t wait!!!

Seriuously, if all reports are true, those who are screaming bloody murder about the movie not being canon should step back and take a chill pill. having seen the trailer and read the descriptions, I cannot for the life of me see how this movie WON’T rock.They may notr be the original cast, but they sound like they have the atmosphere and the interplay between the charectors down pat!

Wow from what I read.

Why doesn’t Old Spock go back in time and save Old Kirk from death in Generations?

Why does everyone get bent out of shape about the ‘I’m not a fan’ line? It’s just a way of communicating how significant it is that he is one now. Everyone is so very sensitive.

YARN is pacified for now and will desist from griping about Spock’s behavior for the immediate and foreseeable future, unless and until new information is released which prompts a new tirade.


Because that had nothing to do with Romulans traveling back in time to destroy the timelline, maybe?

“I’m looking forward to this film, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that this story is going to be in an alternate timeline(perhaps due to Nero’s interference),”

To make it any more obvious, they’d have to print the fact on the bottom of the scfreen in big bold italic capitals with double underlining :)

“WTF?!??! Not only is this insulting and lame, it is rehearsed. He’s said this in interviews fifteen times already. Maybe he thinks it is cute, but I just find it rude.”—Jordan Hoffman of UGO

” Jordan’s point about being ‘rehearsed’ is well made. JJ just came off his Euro tour and he has been repeating the “I was not a fan” line everywhere he went. In Europe, especially where Trek has not played well, this is actually a smart move in order to bond with the crowd and send the message this is not the Trek they thought of, but a new thing…However, here in the States he is far more likely to have true-believers in his audiences and he should maybe pull back on the ‘not a fan’ thing.”—- staff

I disagree.

“…if Mr. Abrams’s “Star Trek” is going to justify its estimated $150 million budget, it had better reach beyond the die-hard fans of Vulcans, Tribbles and dilithium crystals.”—Dave Itzkoff, NY Times

That is why Abrams prefaces his showings of the clips they way he does.

It shouldn’t be “insulting”, knowing that there is a valid purpose behind it. It doesn’t make any difference whether he is in Europe or the U.S. There are large portions of the average moviegoing audience who have ignored or even ridiculed Star Trek and Star Trek fans for decades now.

Whether the film is good or bad, general audiences will not see it unless they are convinced that it is “not your daddy’s Star Trek”. Abrams is trying to relate to those potential viewers and give them that reason they need to give it a chance.

With all due respect to Jordan Hoffman and the opinion expressed in the article above, I feel he is being far too sensitive about JJ’s approach, and the suggestion that he should pull back on that approach in the U.S. is also one I do not agree with. The “this is not what you think” approach is a smart one, IMO, and just as valuable in the States as it is in Europe.

Still cautiously optimistic about the whole thing, but I’m glad that “Older Spock”, a.k.a. Leonard Nimoy is there! I think that will help me out. Oh and seeing Chris Pine in his underwear in that trailer will help out too! ;-)

Furthermore how would he do it exactly? Show up on Veridian 3 and shoot Soren in the head?

Lord Garth-

I’m not picking up what you’re putting down vis a vis the old style constitution class secondary hulls in the battle scene. From where I’m sitting, they are no indistinguishable from the secondary hulls on the Kelvin.