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‘.