Orci & Kurtzman Talk About The Origins Of The Star Trek Origin Story

In a new extensive interview with FirstShowing.net, Star Trek co-wrtiers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman go into detail on both their own origin story as a writing team, and also explain how the eleventh Star Trek feature film came about. See an excerpt below.


Excerpt from FirstShowing.net interview discussing making Star Trek an origin story:

First Showing: In relation to Star Trek, whose idea was it for the story to take place as a prequel?

Orci: We came to that independently. Certainly that was Alex and my instinct. The first time we ever heard what Paramount wanted it was the same. I’m not sure if they got it from us or we all arrived at that conclusion simultaneously.

Kurtzman: The other thing was that in looking at Trek in its glorious history, it just shocked us that the story of how the bridge crew came together was never told. It was referenced in bits and pieces but it was never told and it’s only kind of the most epic big bang story that you could possibly tell in Star Trek. So it felt to us like if we were going to bring something new to the table, that that was the place to start. It just always started with Kirk and Spock for us. It was always about Kirk and Spock.

Orci: And even though I loved "The Next Generation," one of the reasons we felt that Star Trek possibly had passed us by is we never imagined that anyone would want to go back and take on the original Star Trek again. We thought no one would ever go for that and we were not interested in doing sort of the next- next- next- next- next generation. The idea of doing a new crew had already become an old idea and the new idea really was going back to the original crew.

…read much more from Orci and Kurtzman at FirstShowing.net


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Before this, I was wondering what they were going to do. Now we a nice package all wrapped up and ready for delivery on May 8th. Bring it on! I can’t wait!

Sounds like they’re still hammering out the FX:

Kurtzman: It was also just the reality of the massive, massive amounts of special effects in the movie. We’re still in the process of going through them. So the idea that we would’ve actually released the movie three weeks ago, given what we’re still in the middle of right now, seems impossible.

After living through the very rushed release of ST:TMP, I don’t mind waiting five months so that they have the opportunity to make the film exactly as they intended.

I agree with what they have to say. A next-next-next-next Generation wouldn’t be the best for a film. Probably why Paramount came to the same conclusion.

I’m looking forward to this movie!


Interesting both Paramount and the writers wanted to go back to TOS. I’ve watched all the various Trek incarnations and liked a lot of them but always felt that Kirk and Spock were THE iconic characters in all of Trek. Course, I also knew I was biased since it was my first and best Trek love.

However, I will say I never really pondered the origins of the crew meeting up. They met when they were assigned to the ship but I have always wanted to see more of the 5-year mission. Lots of stories to tell there.

I didn’t expect an article this morning, i’ll be honest. I can’t wait for my comic to come in.. I really wish it was a 900 page graphic novel. I need that much star trek in my life.

Star Trek : the next- next- next- next- next generation

that should be the title of the new tv show..set in the 32nd century on board the Enterprise P

well these Guys are smart. They had a great idea and ran with it and going back to the original Crew was a stroke of brilliance. The story of how Kirk and Spock met and the rest of the Crew is great. i can’t wait for the Comics and the Movie. It will be very Entertaining and i for one will be at the Midnight Showing with my agoniser in hand ready to use it on anny one who gets in my way on seeing the New Movie.

Nice excerpt…and I do agree with them. I think going back to the original crew was definitely the right way to go. Like the writers, I had very little interest (well, ok, maybe a little) in “sort of the next- next- next- next- next generation”. I anxiously await this movie.

Re “It was always about Kirk and Spock.”

It’s always been about Leonard McCoy for me, but his sidekicks are cool, too. :)

How about instead of Star trek The Next next next generation we call it Star Trek in the 25th Century Staring Buck Rogers Staring Richard Dean Anderson as Capt Buck Rogers of the U.S.S Enterprise and Co Staring Brent Spiner as B4. Hey it could Work.

To me it was always about the Big 3. Kirk,Spock and MCcoy. But Remember in the first episode Gary Mitchell Was kirks Best Frend as well.

I thought it was interesting in the “big article” how they say it was scary to think about releasing the movie 3 weeks ago because they are still adding special effects… If you think about it we might have gotten star trek 5 level special effects… (nausea)

All anyone ever wanted was more TOS. We didn’t get it with the movies and we didn’t get it with TNG.

This will be the only attempt that has been made to even get close.

I couldn’t have been less interested in another TNG-era movie or yet another brand new set of characters. I’ve seen the last 4 films with casual interest on television, but I never even bothered to see them in the theater. I didn’t even see the last Star Trek series until after it had been cancelled.

To me— it’s all about Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.

A Kirk and Spock story has the best chance of appealing to the mainstream. These characters are iconic. And Star Trek TOS is part of popular culture in a way that no subsequent Star Trek series is. What’s more, this origin story hasn’t yet been told; so it’s the perfect way to introduce people to Trek. Another film about the TNG crew wouldn’t have made enough money. And a story about an entirely new crew may have been worse.

Looking back at the trailer, it struck me how much (in my opinion) the filmmakers have been influenced by Top Gun. The shots on the motorbike are an obvious nod; but there’s a similarity in story, also: Maverick and Kirk’s fathers both die in the line of duty; as a consequence, both of their sons are, for what of a better word, rebellious; both follow in their fathers’ footsteps; and both have an older, wiser mentor, who knew their father. The influence of Star Wars is obvious. I also saw the influence of the Bourne series.

I just hope there’s enough room left for some Star Trek!

#14 “All anyone ever wanted was more TOS”

I don’t believe that’s true for all fans. But it is for me! :-) Yes, returning to TOS/Kirk/Spock was the only way to go with this film, in order to engage maximum public interest. It was only logical.

I always thought Kirk and Spock were roomies at the academy, with Spock picking up Kirk’s dirty socks while Kirk continuously mooched help from Spock in his Quantum Mechanics class…

#18—And of course, Spock would become increasingly annoyed at Kirk for too often displaying a “do not disturb” signal on the door.


It was the logical decision.

Denise 18,
Heh, sounds about right. Though, I don’t think that anyone wants a story about whiny roommates. You get enough of that with me.

I always thought kirk Met Spock When he first Took Command of the Big E. Since Spock was already on the Big E with Pike. So i Kinda Figured that Kirk and Spock did not go to the Acedemy together. I like the Story of how it all began and even though there will be some changes as for the time travel. But at least we get to see nimoys Spock one more time and see how much he has missed his frend and how they also became frends.


Speak for yourself.

I like going back to TOS, but as has been said many many many times before… this crew didn’t cram onto the bridge all at the same time. Scotty and Bones should be a decade older than Kirk. Spock — never quite got what was going on there. He was smart as heck, but just couldn’t win the extra half strip of gold ribbon to command the ship. He’d also been serving in Starfleet for 13 years. But, the biggest problem (unless there’s a QM explanation) is that you’ve got Chekov already a commissioned officer, while Kirk is still in his cadet’s uni. Pavel should be a good 15-18 years younger than Kirk. THAT’s why this big bangeroo of a story’s never been told. Because it doesn’t work.

I know. I know, it’s only a movie. Save me a ticket. I’ll be there opening weekend just like everyone else in this thread.

BTW, if you do Starblazers or Captain Harlock then I don’t care what you change as long as the ships are cool and the chicks hot.

These guys come of so arogant they deserve their abomination to bomb with out trace, I for one will be in line to see Wolverine and T4 this summer instead of this blasphemous pile of targ excrement

I just hope, for the sake of my sanity (and others) that the end of the movie puts everything back to “normal” where the REAL 1701 flies past the screen and the crew are standing on the REAL bridge, not this messed up acid trip of a ship that these freaks have conjured up.

But I know it’s not gonna happen. They’re out to target a new audience, not us old hard core guys.

If you want to know what the movie will be like, just go out and rent the remake of “Lost in Space” and that’ll clue you in.

I don’t even know if I’m going to watch this thing, I’m just so disgusted.

#19 “displaying a ‘do not disturb’ signal on the door”

Tell me, Closettrekker, how does one hang the equivalent of a 23rd Century necktie on doors that swish open and closed and have no handle or doorknob?

Let’s hear Orci’s explanation for THAT!

As much as I love TNG, Trek has always been TOS to me. I can’t wait to see Kirk and Spock again. The fact that Orci, Kurtzmann, and Lindelof are all Trek geeks gives me a confidence in what they’re doing.

Well. Spock Not being in Command is easy to explain. he said many times in the Tos that he had no desire to be in command. But he would if it was a logicle thing to do. In trek 2 he even told Kirk as much. (As a teacher on a training mission im content to command the Enterprise. But if we were to go on actual duty it is clear that the senior officer must assume command) Spock never realy wanted to command but would if logic dictated. That to me is why he was always content to be kirks first officer all the way to trek 6 and after that he went to be an ambassider. So i think that the Movie coming up will be keeping with and may i use the word a Bit of Canon.

Harry — it’s easier in the 23rd Century. Everyone knows… if the starship’s rockin’, don’t come a knockin’.

(If it were me, Rand’s cabin would be rockin’ like a full scale Gorn-Klingon-Nomad-Batmite attack.)


#24 and #25 If you do not like the New Movie why are you even on Trek Movie. I am a Hard core an of trek for 35 years and i think it will be great. I have an open mind. To bad you guys don’t

TOS had stories that explored the depths of the human psyche: stories about friendship, loyalty, duty, sacrifice; stories about our better nature overcoming our darker impulses. These are the kind of stories that are SF at its best. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were complex characters who provided an excellent framework for such stories.
I don’t really care whether a Trek movie is about the original crew or not as long as the characters are interesting and the story is compelling. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a compelling Trek story. Just because they’re going back to the TOS crew guarantees nothing. It could be just another example of how Hollywood is unable to come up with any new ideas so they keep recycling old ones. Nonetheless, I’ll keep my hopes up!

#29. (If it were me, Rand’s cabin would be rockin’ like a full scale Gorn-Klingon-Nomad-Batmite attack.) Hey i Second that Opinion.

Bob & Alex, here are three you can remake anyway you want and NO ONE will complain:




(This is for your amusement, of course.)

Batmite??!! LMFAO!!

Haven’t heard that name in years! Thanks for the chuckle!

“Kurtzman: The other thing was that in looking at Trek in its glorious history, it just shocked us that the story of how the bridge crew came together was never told.”

And it still isn’t being told. We’re being taken down the road of an alternate universe where the E is being built in Iowa.

So, really, the original story is still fair game.

#32—“Just because they’re going back to the TOS crew guarantees nothing.”

It does guarantee that my rear-end will be in a theater seat on opening night. The last 4 ST movies didn’t get me to the theater at all.

Harry#26- LOL!

So, will this movie present the “true” origins of our favorite characters or an “alternate universe” version of the origins?

Alternate Quantum Reality stories make me so angry. Now I must annihilate the human race with my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

#40. Watch it. Or ill get Duck Dogers in the 24th and a half century on you.

Curses. Foiled again.

#42 Actualy. This Duck Dogers is from the Terran Empire. He might just help you.

As long as the Apple logo doesn’t pop up on the view-shinywindow-screen in the middle of a battle…

I’m really looking forward to the new film. But I can’t help it: I still feel extremely uneasy about the alternate timeline/universe plot. It’s okay to leave behind the original Trek and all the great spin-offs like TNG, in order to do something new and fresh, a genuine reboot or origin story. But to completely leave that established universe, to do away with that “history of the future”—not by destroying it completely, but by rendering it irrelevant and hopping into a different timeline—, to me feels like theft and abduction. It’s like in TNG’s “Best of Both Worlds”, where one character says that Picard is gone, but not dead, that by becoming “Locutus of Borg” Picard effectively is no more, and that it might have been better for him to really die, but since he didn’t, it’s a sobering and depressing experience. If the new film launches the New Trek universe, the old universe may be regarded by many as old and decayed, not old and venerable, a lifeless Borg corpse with no future and identity anymore. I really hope that the new filmmakers found a way around this emotional dilemma. The last thing I want is to watch a great new Star Trek film, while knowing at the same time that the film is an abductee, not a new take-off.

Good interview. It’s great to get an insight into how they work together as well.

Counting down the months until release …

#44: As long as the Apple logo doesn’t pop up on the view-shinywindow-screen in the middle of a battle…

Are you kidding, of course it will….you know that Chekov has to sync his Ipod and those damn updates will keep popping up…lol


Setting: Acacdemy quarters – Young Kirk sits scrunched over his PADD, confused and frustrated, as Spock calmly works on his own homework.

Kirk: Spppooock…

Spock: (looks up with as close to an annoyed expression as possible) Jim, I already told you, I will not do your work for you.

Kirk: I just need help on this Quantum Mechanics equation. So far it is 17 pages long and my head is starting to hurt…

Spock puts down PADD and looks at Kirk’s equation. His face instantly takes on an antimated look of excitement.

Spock: Fascinating…

Kirk: What is it? What do you see?

Spock: Following your theorum to its logical conclusion, not only will we split into an alternate universe in precisely 8 months, 4 days, 6 hours and 13 minutes, but you and I will begin a hot, passionate love affair in this universe very soon.

Kirk: You can tell that by looking at a bunch of numbers?

Spock: No, but I can tell that by looking at the way Pine and Quinto are hugging each other in the Golden Globe after-party pictures.

Kirk: Fascinating…

#23 – I agree completely. Of course, I will see the movie and hope it is a huge success. But I don’t understand the need to change the back stories of the characters in order to tell their origin. Not very many people would’ve been upset if this were only a Kirk/Spock/McCoy story that adhered to what had already been established.

– The other thing was that in looking at Trek in its glorious history, it just shocked us that the story of how the bridge crew came together was never told. –

…for decades fans were forced to use their own imagination…