Abrams, Orci, Moore, & Shatner Talk About Reviving Sci Fi Classics & Star Trek

For this Sunday’s LA Times there is an excellent article on the state of science fiction, with a focus on three franchises which have gone through (or are going through) ‘revivals’: Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. The piece has quotes from Ron Moore, Roberto Orci, JJ Abrams, William Shatner and more and is a must read. Some excerpts below.

 

It is worth reading the entire LA Times article ‘Hollywood remakes sci-fi classics‘ which is online now.

Shatner takes both sides
William Shatner (the original Kirk from Star Trek) weighs in on ‘why does Hollywood keep looking to the past?’, and he seems to take both sides of the issue, first saying they should find something new:

Science fiction should be about ideas and what it means to be human, it should always be about the new and the challenging

but he also notes:

‘Star Trek’ connected with so many people for so long, and ‘Star Wars’ is the same way. There’s a thrill for fans to see the heroes they know.

Moore cites Shakespeare + reveals a BSG/Star Trek 2009 connection
Veteran Star Trek writer and producer Ron Moore defends bringing back (and reinterpreting) franchises for new audiences

In the same way that Shakespeare’s plays can be revisited again and again in new ways and settings, with things like ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Battlestar Galactica’ there is enough of the core mythology there that you can change and adapt all the things around it for something very new and worthwhile. New generations can make it their own. Strong new interpretations build on the past, they don’t repeat it.

and specifically on the return of Star Trek, Moore states:

There was enough there that it appealed to multiple generations and influenced creators. Some of those creators want to go back and work with these properties they grew up loving.

Moore also talked to the LA Times about his visit to the set and said that ‘Abrams even confided that there is “a shout-out” …that “Battlestar” fans will absolutely catch.’

Abrams on making Trekkies happy
Star Trek director JJ Abrams talked to the LA times about how he got some flack for saying that he is making this movie for a wider audience:

These are people who really care about these characters and these stories and the details. But I have to tell you, I’m not going to make a movie that tries to make every hard-core Trekker happy, because it’s not possible. I’m making a movie for fans of movies. I want it to be an adventure and fun and sexy and scary and epic and intimate and everything. I feel a great responsibility to these characters and everything that has come before, but I need to make a film that is not paralyzed by all of that.

Orci on balancing the SW and BSG approach
The article talks a lot about how the recent Star Wars and BSG franchises have charted different courses in relation to their 70s counterparts, and Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci says the new Trek goes for a balance:

We’re trying to do something in the middle, something that holds on to everything that makes ‘Star Trek’ what it is but also take it into a new place. One thing about the original show was its inherent optimism, and we very much wanted that in this movie. This is a future you would want to live in. And we hope it’s a future people want to watch.
 

For more, read: LATIMES: Hollywood remakes sci-fi classics‘.

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Nice to hear from the guys at the helm!

cool!!!

Why doesn’t JJ just come out and say that he has no intention of respecting canon and that this is a reboot, instead of pussyfooting around the issue?

If I’m first great, if not, oh well.
JJ is on the right track.I think alot of people forget that all of the original movies were designed to bring in a larger audience, so this movie is no different. Frankly I think that Nemesis attempted to be too fan centered and it failed because it tried to please all the fans and anyone who has ever looked at the message boards knows that’s not possible.

>>Moore also talked to the LA Times about his visit to the set and said that Abrams told him the new Star Trek movie would have a “shout out”

Does he mean a shout out to BSG?

3 CDR Cooties – December 5, 2008

“Why doesn’t JJ just come out and say that he has no intention of respecting canon and that this is a reboot, instead of pussyfooting around the issue?”

Because that would be incorrect.

Where are the promised “The Cage” Remastered Review????

Minor quibble on the quotes above:

The quote attributed to Moore on “feeling trapped” by TREK is a Roddenberry quote, according to the article.

I’ve often wondered myself why Hollywood keeps going back to the same well over and over and over.

Can we see anything original?

The cage will be reviewed before the end of the month, we appreciate your patience, and please stop diverting threads….there is a feedback section for questions
https://trekmovie.com/about/feedback

#3—“Why doesn’t JJ just come out and say that he has no intention of respecting canon and that this is a reboot, instead of pussyfooting around the issue?”

Because for one, it isn’t a reboot, since everything before (ENT-NEM) is required to occur before the story can progress to that point. Calling it a “Reboot”, which suggests that previous material is disregarded, would be very accurate.

As for respecting canon, it would be difficult to argue that utilizing an altered timeline to tell a slightly different story is disrespectful to canon, when it must be acknowledged that the existence and possibility of alternate timelines resulting from interference with the past is in itself “canon” (and has been since the very beginning).

In the strictest of terms, canon is being adhered to, regardless of whether the alternate timeline remains or not at the end of the film.

So, what you’re really saying, is that you would rather him ‘not’ be truthful in answering those questions, and just pretend that he’s making a reboot which does not respect canon?

A BSG homage in a Trek movie? I thought I’d never see the day.

Am I the only one here who’s not really bothered by the fact that JJ wants to make a Trek film that would reach a wider audience?

Sometimes I think the reason why it doesn’t bother me is because I haven’t been a lifelong fan of Trek. I came to Trek in about ’99 through VOY. I enjoyed it and started looking back at some of the older stuff. I didn’t really grow up with Trek, so the characters weren’t childhood heroes of mine. I didn’t grow up watching daily reruns of TOS or any other series. I enjoy Trek but it isn’t that big a part of my life.

Good to see the LA Times showing some positive interest by presenting such a well-balanced article.

You just have to look at all the people excited by those crappy mego doll remakes or whatever the heck they are to know some ‘fans’ are always gonna be crippled by their adherence to cannon..so sad

>These are people who really care about these characters and these >stories and the details. But I have to tell you, I’m not going to make a movie >that tries to make every hard-core Trekker happy, because it’s not possible. >I’m making a movie for fans of movies. I want it to be an adventure and fun >and sexy and scary and epic and intimate and everything

FAIL! lol thats exactly why your star trek will fail!!!
Sure it will make money.. but it will be forgotten far faster than any of the first 5 star trek movies…

I grew up reading Trek novels. They always seemed the “core” reality to me, and the onscreen stuff just an interpretation. Kirk was a character, not William Shatner.

6

every time some one involved in this project refers to the canon issue. they all thend to say the exact dsame thing.
“HONOR canon”
“HONOR what came before”
sounds like the nda at work
Notice how no one says FOLLOW canon. fans tend to notice these things.

Look the only way youll bring me over to your side is if the ship and EVERY thing else looks EXACTLY like the cage/wnmhgb at the end of the film (maybe)

15

faster then LIS?

17

i posted a similar thought but it got yanked.

Trek IV reached a wider audience, So did First Contact. What’s wrong with that?

16. Chris Basken – December 5, 2008

Interesting. Have often had similar feelings.

Just a note about canon… this is what Roddenberry himself thought of canon:

“it has been noted that Gene Roddenberry was something of a revisionist when it came to canon. People who worked with Roddenberry remember that he used to handle canon not on a series-by-series basis nor an episode-by-episode basis, but point by point. If he changed his mind on something, or if a fact in one episode contradicted what he considered to be a more important fact in another episode, he had no problem declaring that specific point non-canon.”

you cononistas should read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_canon

boborci — For crying out loud; the Christmas competition for Trek would have been ‘Valkerie!’ Couldn’t you just forget about May and give us a surprise present???

#12—-“Am I the only one here who’s not really bothered by the fact that JJ wants to make a Trek film that would reach a wider audience? ”

Absolutely not!

Sounds great to me.

21. CmdrR – December 5, 2008
“boborci — For crying out loud; the Christmas competition for Trek would have been ‘Valkerie!’ Couldn’t you just forget about May and give us a surprise present???”

Tell me about it — believe me, we’re all thinking the same thing.

look bob its simple

a writer has a great imagination can to all kinds of things.
but when they step into some one elses work you have to work with in those constraints. period.
if you hit a wall (hey it happens). a GOOD writer can find a way to make it work with out changing the canon or charactor etc.

we can understand that this film is for the non fans (sure we would live to increase our base) and not all released info is sent to trekmovie or like genre media. and that it is also for us. so where is the fan base pics/trailers etc that would ease our fears?
cause im not seein it.

your in hot water with half the fan base.
help us help you.

I betcha the shout-out to BSG is somebody using “frack” as an expletive.

JJ hit the nail on the head when he said that if he takes the characters and canon with great responsibility but can’t be paralyzed by it.

The idea of Star Trek and its vision needs to be accessible to all members of society and not just hard-core fans. If Star Trek is to survive at all and bring it’s wonderful vision into the 21st century, they need to build a new audience base.

His point about Shakespeare is also perfect! I go to stage theatre all of the time and have seen numerous plays and musicals put on in so many different ways, but the spirit of the show was recognizable and while I may not have been happy with some from an artistic point, I wasn’t against it simply because it wasn’t the “original.”

Imagine if no one wanted to see Hamlet, MacBeth, Cabaret or Rent simply because they were being performed by the same actors on the same set, etc.?

I love that more and more fans are accepting this movie and not judging a book by its cover just yet, but there are certainly fans out there that need to get a grip and take a breather (oh and get a life too!)

I want Trek. I want Trek.

Even when I want to pout because JJ’s not “making a movie for Trek fans”, I have to admire the way he sticks to his guns. What’s the point of preaching to the converted? We need to reach out to increase our pool of converts, right?

#26—“your in hot water with half the fan base.
help us help you.”

Lmao!

18
I’ve been wondering about that too.

I’m a fairly new fan (a little over a year) and I love TOS. But being new, it means I missed the movies in the theaters. Growing up I was aware of the movies with Khan and the whales but other than that I was more interested in Star Wars. I got burned on the prequels and started looking elsewhere.

I feel like I’ve really missed out and without this movie, I’ll probably never get to experience what a lot of older fans have – to see Star Trek on the big screen!

I would think having it compared to Shakespeare would be considered a plus and not leaving it to die with the actors who originally played the parts would be considered wonderful.

I just want the adventure to continue I guess.

#17 “LOL” so are you just kidding, or did you just say that so that all the other members of this board will not tar and feather you for blasphemy?

The Original Trek had all of these things too, the only real difference being the time and budget constraints inherent with making a TV show rather than a movie. For crying out loud, Give the movie a chance!!! We’ll gladly ignore you as you bash the movie AFTER you’ve seen it, but please watch it first.

I for one think May can not come soon enough :D

Biggest thing in that very good article is that they’re saying Caprica will screen and go to a series. Since they interviewed Moore for that article and everything else pretty much checks out, factwise, I’m wondering when we’ll more about Caprica!

28 If Star Trek is to survive at all and bring it’s wonderful vision into the 21st century, they need to build a new audience base.

ok
so. what? Star Trek is now Mission Impossible? F the original series and its fans? we’ll do it our way and make new fans?

Modern Hollywood has no clue what science fiction is, funny that Shatner is the only one who seems to remember back from the 1960s. A good example is the Hollywood version of Solaris. They took a fascinating tale about alien intelligence and the difficulties of communicating, let alone comprehending it and turned it into “Romance in Space”. D’uh. Now Abrams takes a tale about a metaphorical trek to the stars and turns it into “an adventure and fun and sexy and scary and epic and intimate” (sic). Something dumbed down and tangible for the clueless masses, that’s what it is.

Science fiction was never about characters first and foremost, it is about *ideas*. The name for the former is “soap opera”.

34. Enc

Geez! Don’t you read any of the past articles? It is to bring in MORE fans. NOT get rid of the existing fans.

I have to admit that the new star trek guys making the movie are doing the right thing ! They’re making this one for a new generation , and thats verified by a majority of posts in favor of their style . I’m the older trekker that represents what has gone before (that is still my interest) . It seems most of the commenters here are under 45 , and they want their own !

Interesting news about the new Battlestar Galactica . I followed the original from the 1980’s and that was really great – very much in the space-western style and with one of those dark conflicted villains (probably one of the first anti-hero types) played by John Colicos .
I watched the start of the new BG , and the roles from the original had been re-interpreted . Again a new version that I didn’t take to well , but they have an interested active online community !

32

is that cause you think jj and co are great?
or
you think its gonna be great based on what weve seen so far?
or
or simple cause theres been no new trek for a while?

it cant be cause of what youve heard. youn cant belive what other people say. remember ‘dont judge a book by its cover’.

31. – Elise

Thanks for making a point that I sometimes think we all tend to forget. This movie is going to be AN EXPERIENCE for some younger viewers as well as new Trekkies that have never had the joy of sitting in the theater and being truly immersed in a Star Trek film. I have to admit that my first true experience didn’t come until Generations. (I nearly made it to VI, but things didn’t work out.) Let me just say that none of the movies (good or bad) are experienced quite the same as when you first get to see the Enterprise (1701, A, B, D or E) fly across the big screen.

So, just as a side note to the haters – don’t forget the joy that these new Trekkies would be missing if this new film was not to be made. It may not be exactly what we all wanted, but even as the preview gave a lot of us chills, I can only imagine there will several moments in the actual film that will certainly do the same. To me, to experience the Big E on the screen one more time (no matter how she looks) is worth the price of admission!

It’s possible that as Kirk, Spock, McCoy of whatever alternate timeline they might be in at the close of this movie eventually encounter the Guardian in “City On the Edge of Forever,” perhaps these alternate timeline heroes don’t succeed quite as well as the Prime versions did. Perhaps these alternate timeline heroes actually end up altering the universe starting in 1930. If that’s the case, then perhaps even the pre-Trek “Enterprise” series is altered.

It looks to me that everthing (er, everytime) that the heroes go, including 1930 Earth, could now be altered.

34 – I’m not saying that exactly…I’m saying that they can create a movie trying to bring in a lot of new fans and not worry about those fans out there who have been crying like babies.

I’m a die hard TOS fan and have a very valuable TOS collection, but I just don’t get some of the fans who seem like they’ve never seen the light of day because they’ve been kept up in their rooms watching Star Trek every second of their life. Even if JJ wasn’t doing this movie and say he did a TNG movie…Trek fans are so particular and so critical they would still be complaining. That’s all we do is complain about every movie that comes out and every series that was made.

Essentially, Trek fans are like spoiled brats who get upset when they don’t get what they want.

#34—“so. what? Star Trek is now Mission Impossible? F the original series and its fans? we’ll do it our way and make new fans?”

That’s not what he said.

It seems as if the only Star Trek you are willing to accept is one which abides by some “by the numbers”, very formulaic approach.

I never felt that TOS was ever that way at all. Many of the better episodes stand apart because they were innovative and different. Some of the weaker ones stuck too close to the “planet of the week” formula, IMO.

Each individual established fan may very well decide for himself/herself whether this incarnation of Star Trek appeals to him/her, just as I discovered that most of the TNG-era Trek wasn’t for me.

This one will be afforded the same opprotunity for me, as a thirty (plus)year veteran Star Trek fan, to appeal to me.

My favorite characters…The 23rd Century….No holodecks…No android pinnochios…no ‘ship’s counselor…no USS Hilton…

Sounds pretty good to me so far.

#29—“What’s the point of preaching to the converted? We need to reach out to increase our pool of converts, right?”

Spockanella’s right on target!

benny russell/ben sisko

boborci—another reason to push up the release date of the film…by may not many people in the US might have any money to spare to go see the film…

Vulcan Soul (35)

D’uh. Now Abrams takes a tale about a metaphorical trek to the stars and turns it into “an adventure and fun and sexy and scary and epic and intimate” (sic). Something dumbed down and tangible for the clueless masses, that’s what it is.

Words like: ‘adventure,’ ‘fun,’ ‘sexy,’ ‘scary,’ ‘epic’ and ‘intimate’ all describe TOS very well too!

Jeez! I swear people think that Star Trek shouldn’t be enjoyable and should be read out in cod-Shakespearian style while everybody sits there poker-faced.

Star Trek is FUN!!!! It’s perfectly ok to enjoy it on that level. Cheer up people!!

Why do they even bother to ask them the same questions, they always answer the same way? When somebody has something NEW to say about SCI FI then I’ll give a rats…..

Darth “Lucas Colon” Ballz

As one that appreciates Roddenberry’s vision of the future, I am very excited at the thought of people who see star trek as something for “geeks” coming out and maybe finding something to relate to in this new representation of his vision People complain that “new representation=dumbed down for a wider audience” … because it’s different than previous Trek films, somehow this means it’s dumbed down. Get off your high trek horse and realize that there are seriously very few good trek movies out there, not to mention “smart” (in my opinion II, IV, VI, and first contact… the best part of TMP was the enterprise reveal, and generations is half and half in my book, that’s 4/10 good films). Please keep an open mind and see it first before you complain. All we’ve seen was a trailer… and rumors of the 20 mins of footage, which I have yet to read a reviewer who came out of it disliking the film’s direction. In the end, isn’t it more about Roddenberry’s dreams of our future in space exploration than little canon issues which future writers just came up with to piece the whole story together for fans (and already has many holes in its so called “canon” )? Not to mention that there’s already been confirmation from the writers of the new trek AND Nimoy (who has contributed two great Trek stories to our archives with IV and VI) that the story follows canon and Abrams is giving us a… Read more »

#35— “an adventure and fun and sexy and scary and epic and intimate” …

Sounds like TOS and/or the original films to me.

Bringing those elements back to Trek does not equate to “dumbing it down”, unless you think it was “dumb” to begin with, and in that case, I would have to question why you are here in the first place….

Hmm, if you go to the article what he said was there was a shout out to Ron Moore, not BSG. It’ll be interesting to see how that comes off.

sire JJ n the orcster, sittin in a tree.
making classic trek, not TNG
first comes canon
then comes reinvention
then comes scoring some hollywood hookers, my man!!! yeah!
and a tony montana pile o’ yayo. “say hello to my little friend!”

THE WOMEN!!

=h=

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