Orci & Kurtzman: Star Trek Needed A Little Rock and Roll

TrekMovie just got its hands on a recent issue of the UK’s SciFiNow Magazine which has a feature story on the new Star Trek movie, complete with an interview with co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The pair talk about Trek’s move to a summer movie, canon, Nimoy, and even weigh into the whole Star Trek v Star Wars thing. Excerpts below.


Orci & Kurtzman SciFiNow interview excerpts

on Trek as Summer movie, like another franchise
The interview starts off with the pair’s views on Paramount’s decision to move Star Trek from the Fall/Christmas season (where most Trek films have been released) to the bigger and more competitive Summer season of 2009, and this brought in the inevitable comparison to that other big franchise that has had some big summer movies…

Roberto Orci: Obviously we were comfortable for Christmas, because that was its niche. But we all feel it can sustain what it needs to sustain in the summer. One of the things we said early on is that Star Wars and Star Trek are always the ones being compared to each other by certain people. Why is Star Wars able to surpass all of that even though they’re all in space and some characters are similar? It just felt like Star Wars had a little more rock and roll than Star Trek had.

Alex Kurtzman: so we figured the missing ingredient for this one was it needed a little rock and roll. And if we succeeded in doing that, I think it will meet the summer expectations. Star Trek was essentially a submarine naval battle, except in space. Star Wars was flying down the trench of the Death Star at the speed of mach 70,000 to shoot a little bullet into a hold. The experience as a viewer you have is different: there’s a speed I think associated with that experience. To my mind, there was no reason they had to be mutually exclusive. Obviously you have to be very true to spirit of what Star Trek is and you cannot violate canon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some of that as well.

Orci and Kurtzman want to bring a little Rock and Roll to Trek

on the importance of being Nimoy
The interview also discussed Leonard Nimoy’s involvement and Orci again talked about how the script was written with him in mind, and doing much more than just a cameo flashback. Kurtzman elaborated…

Kurtzman: He is also there because he wants to be there, and that actually was the highest compliment for all of us and in many ways was our compass…Because he had said he absolutely would not do it again, and it’s not like he needed the money. If he’s going to do it, it’s because he genuinely believes in it and actually feels that it is going in the right direction. For us that was the barometer.

Nimoy signing on was their ‘barometer’

on not letting Trek fade away
The interview concluded with a discussion about how Trek has declined in ratings and ticket sales in recent years and how that was one of the reasons these two in-demand writers took up the task of rejuvenating Trek…

Kurtzman: That’s what motivated it for us. It would have broken our hearts if Star Trek just faded away.

Orci: It just meant too much to us in varying degrees and ways. Obviously the opportunity to inherit that mantle is so epic that you cannot go forward if you don’t believe in it with your soul. All of us call ourselves the supreme court of Star Trek, and this is our term right now.

With a script from Orci & Kurtzman, Star Trek rocks back May 2009


More from Orci and Kurtzman in the full interview and feature is in SciFiNow issue 22, which also includes a report from the UK press 20 minute preview Star Trek screening from last November. It is probably off newsstands, but is available as a backorder at Imagineshop.co.uk.

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