Star Trek Magazine #17 Preview + Scott Chambliss Interview Extract

The new issue of the official Star Trek Magazine (#17) goes on sale next week and it has a big focus on the new Star Trek movie, including an interview with production designer Scott Chambliss. TrekMovie has been given an interesting excerpt of that interview, plus the first look at the cover (see below).


Star Trek production designer in STM #17
Extract from an interview with Scott Chambliss, production designer on J.J.
Abrams new Star Trek movie ­ featuring in issue #17 of Star Trek Magazine.

[minor spoilers]

Chambliss on working with J.J. Abrams:

J.J. often uses the word ‘accessible’ when we work together. No matter how crazy ­ Star Trek, outer space, future ­ he wants it to be accessible to the audience so it makes sense. Things like military transport shuttles, you believe that¹s a military bus taking you some place. It¹s got the textures, it¹s got a little bit of peeling paint, the safety bars and the seatbelts that you just know makes sense in the world now, so will makes sense 200 years from now. I loved doing those little sets because they were so small, like little jewel boxes.

On his favorite sets from the movie:

I was really happy with the way the Bridge turned out. I guess I have three favorite sets: the Bridge, the whole Narada interior, which is minimalist, with excessive detail, and brutalist, and the Jellyfish, Nimoy’s little ship [the ‘Jellyfish’]. That has a wonderful inside thing from J.J. and my years of working together. In the containment field in the ship is a big red ball. The ‘big red ball’ has a lot of resonance for J.J. and I: we have one in virtually everything we do. It started with the Alias pilot. I always look at a script and wonder what the big red ball is going to be this time.

…more from Chambliss in Star Trek Magazine #17, on sale March 24 (USA) & April 9 (UK)

Star Trek Mag # 17 – first of three movie-themed issues
Star Trek Magazine has increased its frequency from six issues per year to eight, and the next three issues will have a special focus on the new Star Trek movie — with exclusive new information and images from Star Trek. The first of these is issue #17 which goes on sale next week. In addition to the Chambliss interview there is more exclusive movie coverage. Here is the cover for #17.

Cover for STM #17

There will be two more Star Trek movie-focused issues (#18 on sale in May and #19 on sale in June). Issue #18 will include an exclusive set visit and cast interviews. CLICK HERE to subscribe to get all those issues and more.


Pre-order STM #17 & STM #18
The first two movie-themed issues can be pre-ordered at You can get the regular newsstand version or the variant ‘Previews exclusive’ cover version.
[note some of the below covers are ‘dummy covers’, final covers will have new movie imagery]

STM #17
(newsstand edition)

STM #17
(Previews Exclusive)
[not final cover]

(Pre-order -March 24)

(Pre-order – March 24)

STM #18
(newsstand edition)
[not final cover]

STM #18
(Previews Exclusive)
[not final cover]

(Pre-order -May)

(Pre-order – May)

Or just Subscribe to get all the upcoming issues of Star Trek Magazine.


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A ‘big red ball’…

first? awesome!!!!!!!!!!! must buy that now

Stop that “first” garbage, no one cares!

On to the story: Looks cool!!!

Seatbelts are so last century!

First to nitpick the quality of that black wig… and first not to care because the new movie will rock.

#2 “Captain Hamster”
I guess we know how you spend your free time.
Whatever turns you on man. I’m not judging.

Can’t wait… can’t wait… want to see the Big red ball…. ^^

Here ya go:

Perhaps we see Winona moving into Uncle Frank’s farmhouse using Red Ball movers, eh?


Star Trek, writer’s room.

J.J.: Bob, we need something… red.
A red globe…

Kurtzman: We could give Nero a huge battlestation, like a small red moon…

Lindelof: Ahh… No.

Orci: Hmm… what about “Red Matter”?

I’m trying to recall if the Original Series ever depicted a future in which there was peeling paint on Starfleet vehicles, and I’m not sure it did.

The Wrath of Khan started a trend toward a grittier future, yes, but before that ST had always had a certain gleam in it everywhere you looked. Take The Motion Picture, for example. Everything was sparkling clean, regardless of how new or old it was.

Other than that, I don’t have too many reactions to Mr. Chambliss’ comments.

They need to stop airbrushing Quinto, he’s becoming plastic looking.

Seatbelts are needed! TOS was harpooned often for the lack thereof.

Big Red ball. hmmm. Sounds interesting.

TOS had a great 60’s mentality to it’s designs. Which is why I think many TOS fans such as myself love it so much, for nostalgia. They were practical, futuristic, functional, sleek and clean and not dark.

One more thing: The “grittiness” or “old and worn down look” can be taken too far. Yes, it’s true that things will be worn down and out in the future, but if we look at what counts as “worn down” today versus what counts as such two hundred years ago, we’d be likely to see that things that were worn down or out in the early 1800’s were considerably grittier than are today. A worn down sailing ship in the 1800’s was a disaster compared to, say, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise today, even though the Enterprise is the oldest carrier in the U.S. Navy at more than 47 years old.

A literalistic interpretation of the future can present potential pitfalls. What is “gritty” today is not necessarily what is “gritty” tomorrow. Tomorrow, it could be deemed decrepit, and decrepit is not what we want in a Star Trek movie.

Im seeing kirk and spock in them more and more.

10# the only reason they didn’t was they basically never thought about it & technically it probably wouldn’t have been visible on TV screens in 1960s.
Things have moved on from then and people demand realism, even if it became possible to develop a material that kept itself pristine forever, it’d never look “right” if everything looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.
It MAY be possible but to our 20th/21st century eyes it’d look fake, plastic if everything in the Trek world showed NO SIGNS of weathering.

3# I concur, no one cares who’s first I hate those AICN idiots

TOS was supposed to be space travel perfected. I would think they would have paint that doesn’t peel in the 23rd century. Are they still working with polymers?

Also, Spock looks like a girl on that cover.

Sweet,, now wheres the offical poster for ST :TFB

13# you make absolutely no sense. None of vehicles in Star Trek are hundreds of years old. But you can bet a transport shuttle thats seeing heavy duty in space and possible multiple atmospheric re-entrys is gonna look weathered.
Have you every seen one of the old Nasa command modules after its come back from ONE trip, it outer skin looks like its a hundred years old, weathered and dirty.


16# as I said, they probably do but everything would look so perfect and FAKE to OUR eyes, people like you would still complain.

Theres a balance of realism and suspension of disbelief. Why dont you make a YouTube video like that other tool who thought the shot of SF bay wasn’t accurate. I dare you.

this magazine is already on sale where I live.
I stood in an aisle at a book store yesterday and read the whole thing.

#3 Sean,

I agree with the first stuff, but for some it’s all they have. I think everyone should say first. Even if they’re not first…lol

Ummm, since when is StarFleet “Military?” This is starting to sound more like Starship Troopers than Star Trek. Unless of course this a MACO transport. That would be cool. StarFleet is usually about scientific exploration not military operations.

as for the grittiness idea, it’s logical to assume that in the future it would be unlikely to see scratched surfaces, paint chips etc., these little touches are only for dramatic effect for “today’s audience, c’mon it’s a movie!! :)

I prefer the black and white photos of the new cast to the color photos. For some reason, the color ones look fake. Airbrushed or something. The black and white photos convey a level of seriousness and respect.

“None of vehicles in Star Trek are hundreds of years old.”

You misunderstand me. Things change — what is “old and weathered” today may not be considered such two hundred years in the future. Trek takes place in the 23d Century, after all. Compare what is “old and weathered” in the 1800’s with what is “old and weathered” today. Because of construction materials and techniques, ships that were 50 or so years old in the 1800’s looked in horrible shape. By comparison, ships that are about 50 years old today — witness the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier — look nothing nearly as weathered as 50-year-old ships did in the 1800’s.

Two centuries of advancement should result in construction materials and techniques that do not show the level of wear and tear that one would expect of today’s vehicles.

The weathering in the case of the space shuttles and Apollo capsules is inapposite. More appropriate would be a comparison to commercial or even military transport aircraft today, since this is technology that would be considered mature, the same way that shuttles would be considered mature in the 23d Century. Few commercial or even military aircraft show substantial wear that is nearly as evident as those in shuttles or capsules. The wear and tear that does exist should be attenuated by the fact that construction materials and techniques have been improved over the course of 200 years and we should NOT see the same level of wear and tear that would be evident from hard use in 20th Century vehicles.

capt stabbin…

on behalf of everyone here….stop trolling and just have fun.

or at least let the rest of us have fun.

All of the portraits are seriously lackluster with unflattering lighting and are over processed.
Their photographer dosen’t seem to get it at all.
In this case, yes, I could have done better.

Wow. I guess Vulcans are vain in the new alternative timeline and use Botox, since Quinto has absolutely no lines on his face!

I’ll just say it one more time: for the sequels, Quinto needs to take all of his promo photos while he’s still filming the movie so he doesn’t have to wear that damned horrible wig any more.

#22, StarFleet has always been Military. Yes, part of their purview is scientific exploration, but their first job is military.

Watch any Trek, from TOS to Voyager, StarFleet is a military organization, with Military ranks. A prime example was seen in DS9 with the war with the Jem’Hadar and the founders. StarFleet was military all the way.

Question to

do you know if theres going to be an official film magazine (like Starlog did for Treks 1-6 and Titan did for the TNG films) or if these 3 magazines will be the ‘official’ magazine spread over 3 issues?

Some of these Spock photos are so bad — just plain weird bad — that I wonder if they’re not really just Photoshopped treatments of what they figured Quinto was going to look like once they got him through makeup. I mean, could he look any more plastic and strangely delicate? Pretty far from how I think of the character.

guys, yes it is possible that some stores have STM17 now…we are just going on what they send to us and the ‘official’ date is the 24th.

RE: official movie mag
As far as i can tell STM 18 is the ‘movie mag’ if you notice, it has a higher price than the regular issues.

Oddly enough, when I think of all the things I would have changed it would have been those multi-coloured uniforms. Yet that’s the thing that remains as true to the original as anything else.

It works though, in a funky kind of way.


Ha ha, yeah. They remind me of the horrible and cheap-looking promo shots that were done for Superman Returns.

All these new franchise movies really need to take a page from the TDK and Spidey campaigns. Now THEY really knew how to make their characters look good.

Pine looks like a bee stung his lips.

@22: Star Trek is definitely military: they have military ranks, they have powerful weapons, and in all of the incarnations of ST, they’ve always been fighting the Federation’s external enemies.

33 – cool thanks anthony…

i have the previous movie magazine from Starlog (Treks 2-6) and Titan (7-10)…(plus use a program as the magazine for TMP) and was getting a bit concerned there wouldnt be one for ST09 beyond various articles in stuff like ST mag

The Narada interior is “minimalist, with excessive detail”

Well, that´s… interesting. And the exact opposite of the reman ship in Nemesis. Which is always good.

The red ball probably contains the Red Matter to diffuse the supernova.

And to those who think we’ve witnessed Spock’s death in the trailer, Countdown makes it pretty clear that the Jellyfish is a super-armored flying missile–capable of withstanding far more stress than a starship.

“You understand what the federation is. It’s important, it’s a peace-keeping armada.”

Captain Pike to Jim Kirk.
Iowa Bar Fight.

Why do we need seatbelts when we have inertial dampeners???

#42—If they were present on the NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C or D), it didn’t show…or they were completely ineffective.


#40—“….to those who think we’ve witnessed Spock’s death in the trailer…”

Doubtful, since Leonard Nimoy has already made it clear that nothing in the film’s story would preclude him from appearing in a sequel (although prior to that, it is precisely what I would have expected).

#22–“…since when is StarFleet Military?”

One of Starfleet’s major functions (along with exploration, scientific discovery, diplomacy, etc.) is defense. There is no question about that.

See “Balance Of Terror”, “Errand Of Mercy”, “Arena”, “The Ultimate Computer”, etc.

I think you just have to see beyond what defines a modern military service. 23rd Century Starfleet is more akin to the old European navies of the 15th-18th Century—which had far more autonomous and diverse functions similar to those of Starfleet.


They have Naval ranks, not military (Army) ranks.

Go watch some Trek, it ain’t “General Kirk” and “Colonel Spock.”

StarFleet is NOT a military organization. They have defenses sure, but they’re not Klingons for God’s sake.

In regards to looking fake if the productions are too clean vs. looking gritty I would direct you to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Probably the most realistic space adventure film ever made and not a speck of dust to be seen. Except for the opening scene with the proto human apes. Therefore I feel that grittyness does not automatticaly equate realism. It can often be over done to a point where it is a distraction. I remeber a scene in Alien (A film I love) where the audience thinks those storage boxes are covered in blood. It’s just supposed to be grease.
I think Alien was the first film to introduce dirt to outer space.
And another thing, having served in the military I can state categorically that the military absolutely abhors dirt and disrepair. Equipment is maintained continuosly.

The Navy IS military!

“We’re a combined service” – Capt. Kirk

StarFleet is an Earth based military organization which serves the United Federation of Planets in the areas of defense and scientific exploration.

#47—“They have Naval ranks, not military (Army) ranks.”

Since when is the Navy not a part of the military?

“StarFleet is NOT a military organization.”

Sure it is. Everything about its structure, discipline, terminology, and much of its function suggests precisely that.

You simply must get beyond the narrow definition you afford to the term “military”. As I said above (#46), Starfleet is simply more akin to the old European navies of the 15th-18th Centuries, as opposed to modern ones. Their functions are nearly the same in every way—only in a different environment.