Abrams Talks Trek Backstory + Pine Talks Kirk Arc

A pair of new articles at SciFi Wire have comments from Star Trek director JJ Abrams and the new James T. Kirk, Chris Pine. In the excerpts below Abrams talks about how this film showsTrek’s backstory, but you don’t need to know it to see it. And Pine talks about the arc that Kirk takes in the film. 


Abrams: see the Trek backstory for the first time
In his comments, Abrams talked about how you don’t need to know Trek to see the movie, but if you do you will be rewarded:

This movie is not made for people who know the backstory…If you know the backstory, you finally get to see scenes you’ve never gotten to see but have been referenced in Star Trek. And not just character moments, but mechanical things that people will be like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s cool!’

He also talked about how this movie shows how the crew came together

This is a movie that doesn’t start over in a way that is playing with what is known [or] in a way that would upset people, I think, fans of the show. And yet it allows us to … deal with the same characters and have the same fundamental relationships. One of the things that for me was always sort of tricky is [the original show] never dealt with how they came together. Why we cared about them as this group. I mean, this is a movie, in a weird way, about these orphans who sort of come together and form this family. And by the end of the movie, I think you love all of them.

More from Abrams at SciFiWire.

See how the gang got together

Pine: Kirk goes from rebel to captain
For his part, Chris Pine talked about the journey we see Kirk take in the film.

What was presented to me was this vision of Kirk in the script as an angry young kid who is dealing with some heavy family s–t and is angry at the world. He’s a rebel without a cause. I think everyone can remember what it’s like to be 15, and he’s a 25-year-old 15-year-old! He has to mold all that energy and that drive and all that passion and obstinance and the spectrum of emotions into the man that Kirk then becomes, which is the captain of the ship.

Kirk starts as a rebel…

Pine goes on to say:

For our purposes and our script, this is the arc of this character, from that kid, that boy-man, presented with a challenge, to the boy becoming the man he becomes towards the end of the movie.

…Kirk ends up, in the chair

More from Pine at SciFiWire.

Trailer reminder – Watchmen hits in just a few hours
The new Star Trek trailer premieres with Watchmen opening this weekend. Be one of the first to see it at a midnight show tonight

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can’t wait to see the new trailer!!!!


New Star Trek trailer last video on the bottom of this page!

Looks sweat!


hmm is Pine therefore confirming that Kirk does indeed go from Cadet to Captain in one foul swoop?? thats gunna piss people off…. wait for the barage lol

2. Dan

Holy S**t. I officially am sold. No doubts in my mind whatsoever.


One thing I hope Bob Orci has explained to JJ Abrams. The Enterprise means alot more to us modelers than just a means of transportation.

So far we haven’t seen much of the big “E”. I hope there is a similar scene in this movie that there was in TMP when the Enterprise left spacedock.

That would put the “capper” on this movie for me!!


That was one hot trailer. I cant wait to see this movie.
cudos to J.J.

Bob, please tell us Kirk doesn’t leapfrog from cadet on his first cruise to fully fledged captain in charge of a starship with nothing but the battle against Nero under his belt… please…

I personally never wondered, “Gee how did they get together?” I always assumed they were y’know…assigned to the ship by Starfleet sometime during the Enterprises’s lifespan. And if they all get together at the same time and somehow all become senior officers by the end of the flick, that’s going to be weird, and sucky for the existing crew that already put in their time.

“But…but..I’m a Lt. Commander…?” – Lt. Commander Smith when the no-rank Kirk promotes himself to Captain.

re:”One of the things that for me was always sort of tricky is [the original show] never dealt with how they came together. Why we cared about them as this group. I mean, this is a movie, in a weird way, about these orphans who sort of come together and form this family. And by the end of the movie, I think you love all of them.”

I have never had any interest in knowing how they came together, especially in this apparently contrived way. At no time have I ever viewed Kirk as coming from a “rebel without a cause” attitude.

But, then again, this is not really Kirk.

@2 Dan… epic trailer wow.


Dan you are my hero!

I’m confused by my own attempts to reconcile the Orci MWI Gospel with the Abrams Book of Origin Gospel, but I’m pleased. Abrams continues to demonstrate, as he has consistently for the past three (?!) years, that he gets it.

Frack me… that trailer is awesome!!! even my non-trekkie girlfriend loves it!! We’re both completely blown away!!

The only problem I have with May 8th getting here so fast is that I have a 12,000 word dissertation to write for April 20th ekkkkk!!

#2 … Holy ****!


I’m rather speechless. Okay. Uh. I’m gonna have to go sit down for a minute after that.

Oh, wait, nevermind…

Thanks for the heads-up Dan. Looks good.

I have to say that the 3rd trailer, the one attached to Watchmen, is indeed the best one. I’m still concerned about the Romulus plot point (see other forum related to the book release) but the film itself looks great. I’m looking forward to May.

This movie is starting to feel like Episode 1 all over again. You people are way too excited for a movie that shows no evidence of thought. The entire crew assigned to same ship at the same time when they’re all at the academy together?! Makes StarFleet look like grade school. Kirk was a good boy so he gets a gold star on his paper. That makes him Captain. I’m not saying this movie will suck, just be more reserved people.

“Respect is earned, not given away.” – Worf, TNG

That new trailer is badass. Real emotion, what I’ve been hoping to see.

#19 I agree, that’s what i’ve been saying too, but…


Come on, you can’t tell me that doesnt give you at least a little tingle.

Now…THAT’S how to make a trailer! When Nimoy hits the screen, people are going to come unglued!

my god. thats all i got to say from watching the 3rd trailer. my god.

This is going to be quite the countdown to Star Trek.

May 8th.

I’ll see you all there.

I’m thinking that Bob can fix anything. He’s Bob the Builder, eh? :)

There are many rationales for Kirk having additional “promotability”. We don’t know what he’s been doing from age 16 to age 25. Perhaps he was in Earth military as a ground-pounder. Perhaps he’s been in the Merchant Marines. Perhaps he has other “rowdie” experience (hopefully) in some military service that gives him an advanced grade.

We know that’s the case with McCoy, who as an M.D. is going to come out of the academy with a higher grade that Ensign or Lt.j.g. He’ll be a LCDR, understandably.

If the backstory for Kirk is absent, I’m sure that between Bob and ADF, that if they don’t get some throwaway lines in the movie, perhaps we’ll see it in the sequel. I’d love to get them to have Kirk’s two cadet cruises having been on first the Republic, and then on the Farragut. That would MEND a lot of FENCES, no?

Perhaps it’s in that “other experience” before the Academy also where he met say, Carol Marcus, or Areel Shaw, or Ruth. (Janice Lester, I won’t care if the Nero-adjusted universe deleted her ;))

#19 Don’t rain on our parade, I’m excited because that was one energetic trailer and it gave me goose bumps watching it. your comment is your point of view,

Wow, just wow. That was awesome. Will May 8th get here any faster?

Finally…….Trek…..is………….BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Im impressed with Nero…


Felt more like a Mountain Dew commercial than Star Trek to me. I’ll be there when it comes out don’t get me wrong. But I’m not feeling as excited as the rest of you (and I saw the trailer at Wondercon in room packed with people).

Extreme Trek! Do the Trek!

“Respect is earned, not given away.” – Worf, TNG

Check it out. It’s AWESOME.

Paramount and Abrams are ”shooting the Moon” with this one. That should be familiar to anyone who has ever played the card game of Hearts. They’ve collected all the hearts but the Queen of Spades is still out there.

James Tiberius Kirk was never ever a ”rebel without a cause.” Quite the opposite, in fact. What the arc from the original series to the last movie shows us is that Kirk ”loses his religion” when the system fails his idealistic notions–when he grows up and finds out that ”not all is what it seems.”

Kirk followed the ”straight and narrow” path–a hero’s journey–much like a William Wallace, and as he soon learned the not so heroic ways of the ”real world” his morality was challenged and he redefined his notions of heroism without sacrificing his morality–in a sense–becoming his own hero rather than someone elses’ definition of it.

If the storytellers of this movie had actually attempted to stretch their storytelling skills and taken a ”real chance”, they would have tried a lot harder to come up with a story worth telling that gave us the characters and motivations brought to us by the creators (writers, producers, actors etc.) of the original concept. Instead they caved and maintained the status quo to accommodate a market model.

True talent finds a way to work within the concept. True storytellers don’t go for the easy way out using old tricks like alternate time-lines and other gimmicks we’ve seen far too many times in efforts to revitalize the marketability of ”Paramount’s Star Wars.”

This is indeed ”not your father’s Star Trek.” This is not Star Trek at all. This is a Dixie Cup painted gold and called the Holy Grail.

Can anyone here say ”Superman Returns”?

19. Oh No, Odo: ‘This movie is starting to feel like Episode 1 all over again. You people are way too excited for a movie that shows no evidence of thought.’

So you’re saying there’s evidence of ‘no thought?’ Please provide it.

‘The entire crew assigned to same ship at the same time when they’re all at the academy together?!’

No. Some of them know each other, others are brought together, doubtless under the influence of Nimoy’s Spock who knows that the best way to stop nero is to get his old gang together!

‘Makes StarFleet look like grade school.’

Well you have to go to school to learn and part of this film is set at the Academy!

‘Kirk was a good boy so he gets a gold star on his paper. That makes him Captain.’

Kirk says he’ll do the four-year course in three. I guess that means he becomes the living bookworm mentioned by Gary Mitchell!

‘I’m not saying this movie will suck, just be more reserved people.’

Maybe we’re just enthusiastic. Don’t be such a party pooper! ;)

““Respect is earned, not given away.” – Worf, TNG”

The TNG characters are the kind of spoilsports who walk into an enjoyably drunken party and turn off the music! :p

You know what I really grew to hate about aliens in Star Trek? How one dimensional entire races were portrayed as… ‘Oh, a klingon cant act like that, oh a romulan would never do that’ it smacks of lazyness both from the writers and the audience… I’m so glad to see Nero portrayed so differently as a romulan by bana… it looks incredible.

The space scenes are stunning, ILM have outdone themselves.

Cannot wait to see this trailer in hi def. Cannot wait to see this film…

Never mind!!! Did check the first few entries.. STILL AWESOME.

But if the movie takes place in an alternate reality, then we’re not REALLY seeing how “they” (the Kirk and Spock and Crew that we know from the TV show) actually come together – so whatever “OMG” moments that Abrams claims that he’ll show us doesn’t really matter, and they don’t really count for anything. So what’s the point, exactly?

That new trailer…


It’s gonna be a looooooooooooooong two months…

The line about his Kirk’s father being in command for 12 minutes and whether Kirk can do better really rings true to the aspect of Jim Kirk’s character that was this tension between duty and perhaps his personal ambitions.

Spot on, for me.

“James T. Kirk was a great man… but that was another life.”

Ooooooh… shivers. From what I’ve seen so far, Nero is hella dope.

#19 You had me then you lost me when you misused a capital F in Starfleet. I’m beginning to wonder whether you understand Star Trek at all.


Absolute Brilliance.


In the alternate timeline established in this movie Starfleet becomes StarFleet. Damn that Nero! Damn him!


There are some GREAT shots of the Enterprise in there. And the battles look 3 Dimentional. Really cool stuff.

#41 – Now THAT’S what I call retcon!!!


#2: Thanks!

Wow. I think even if it isn’t exactly Trek, I’ll love it as a science fiction epic and a story of camaraderie. Most doubts are erased in my head, but we’ll see.

Amazing music in that trailer. Not the usual for Star Trek, but I like what all the different composers have brought to Trek over the years.

Ladies, gentlemen, I can’t wait. I hope you all (including the doubters) are with me.

I am at a loss to understand how JJ can say that these are “scenes you’ve never gotten to see but have been referenced in Star Trek.” How can that be when this not only ignores past references but changes the past entirely?

@ 31.

It sounds like your one of those people are who are caught up in ”techno-babble” . LIKE MOST TREK FANS OUT THERE ! For gosh sakes ! Its like those batman fans were who were worried about the little details about who bruce wayne was , etc…. UNTIL batman begins came out. Just stop the techno-babble ! Forget everything you know about Star trek. This movie is a fresh take on it all. Just enjoy the moment. And by the way… Superman Returns was actually a film that tried to be loyal to the past techno-babble and FAILED. This Star Trek is trying to do its own thing.

#2 Dan


It looks amazing and epic exactly what JJ and crew have been saying all along so Thank You. Now just have to wait two more months, oh the agony this must be what an agonizer feels like.

boo hoo for you i guess 35, might not matter anything to you but there are plenty of us who will enjoy it, new continuity or not.

#35 That has been one of my biggest points to friends and fellow trekkers since this thing came to be. This isn’t the story of how the original “classic coke” characters came together. These are new rules, and different characters coming together at different times and in different ways.

Never the less, I still think this is going to be a pretty good movie.

I just wish the guys writing, producing and directing would stop lying about it. You’re not going to be able to “Make this fall into place” in just shy of two hours. It just cannot happen. So embrace what you’re actually doing, and most of us will probably embrace you back.

Many people are trying to make excuses for it, but ultimately you cant duct-tape the old history with this new movie, it doesn’t fit. It’s not meant to either. This IS a reboot, and if that trailer doesn’t prove it to a lot of you doubters, nothing will. This is Star Trek Reborn for an entirely new era, without the shackles of canon attached to it. The only reason there’s any doubt of that is because the creative staff are relunctant to man up and say it.