SciFiNow Star Trek Issue Excerpts: Abrams On Film’s End + Orci & Kurtzman On Differences w/ Past

The new issue of SciFiNow magazine (#27), going on sale this week in the UK, has an extensive feature all about the new Star Trek movie, complete with interviews from most of the main cast and many of the filmmakers and crew. The mag also comes with a few DVD and more Star Trek promo offers. We have details below, plus SFN have provided TrekMovie with some excerpts from the interviews with Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman.


JJ Abrams on bringing audiences together and the ending of the movie
Star Trek director JJ Abrams is quoted in the main cover story and also has a separate interview in SciFiNow.  Here is a portion of a comment from Abrams in the main feature story on how he wanted the new Star Trek to work for long-time fans as well as two other groups (those unfamiliar with Trek and those who had seen past Trek, but had trouble relating to it):

So for me, it was a way to take three groups of people, who represent the whole audience, and say, ‘Let’s bring everyone together and tell a story that starts at the beginning, when Kirk is unformed. When you meet him and he’s an aimless punk who goes to bars, drinks, picks up women, starts fights. Yet you know, and even the neophytes to Trek will watch and say, ‘Kirk? Isn’t he Captain Kirk? How does he go from here to there?’ So for me, it’s giving people a way in to this world in a way it’s never been done. By doing this film with the kind of resources that certainly a Trek film has never been allowed to have before. By delivering on a level of visceral fast-paced action that Trek has never really had at its signature. I think what we’ll take is a story of incredible characters, of incredible potential, of real optimism and wonder, and treat it in a way that provides a kind of emotional connection, visceral excitement, visual spectacle that Trek has never seen before.

Abrams also talked about how the film ends and what could come next [minor spoilers]:

Yes, the five year mission begins at the end of this film. Not literally; I’m saying that at the end of the movie they’re ready for their five year mission, because this group, when they first come together in this film, is a disparate group. They don’t know each other, they’re just meeting for the first time. Kirk and Spock have a rather contentious beginning to their relationship, and by the end of this experience together, they have become this family. Each of them has put their lives in each other’s hands. By the end of the film, they are now this group that is ready to begin their adventure.

Kurtzman and Orci on how the new Star Trek is different
Star Trek screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman also have quotes in the main story and in a separate interview. One of the more intersting questions, regarding how this new movie is different than previous films in order to appeal to the mainstream of today:

ORCI: We go back to the origins of the characters, and because it’s an introduction to a world you don’t need to know anything about, is a part of it. The other part of it is that we tell a good human story without using scifi to cover anything up. J.J. has said we made this movie to be a good movie, not a good scifi movie. Just a very appealing adventure. And if that was the goal, we’ll see if we succeeded. That was the intention, not to rely on any crutches of science fiction. When you’re a fan of science fiction, you can rely on things that are fascinating to you, but they might not be as appealing to a mass audience. That can’t be the whole game, there has to be something extra.

KURTZMAN: We are in an entirely different millennium than when Star Trek originated. It was the 20th century when the show began. Cell phones didn’t exist. The future we’re presenting in this movie is much closer to the reality that currently exists than has ever been the case. As a result, it isn’t so much a fantasy, it could be humans traveling in space and accomplishing things. That’s a given now, even on a street level, and because that’s a given now, you have to ask, what is the story?

Much more in new issue of SciFiNow + giveaway promotions
There is so much in the new issue you really should pick it up. It is just showing up on newsstands in the UK and should be available at some newsstands in the US later in April. Tomorrow TrekMovie will provide excerpts from some of the actor interviews.

In addition to all the Star Trek interviews and articles, SciFiNow is giving away a completely free Star Trek DVD with every copy of its latest issue, tying in with the upcoming release of the highly-anticipated movie. Containing interviews, exclusive clips, an interactive quiz, trailers and more. In addition to the DVD, SciFiNow will also be giving every reader the chance to claim a free Limited Edition Star Trek USB flash drives loaded with additional content. There is also a free Star Trek poster promotion in the magazine.

For more on the magazine, visit

Cover of May issue of SciFiNow

Most of the excellent Star Trek coverage in the new issue of SFN was written by our friend Ed Gross. To see what he is working on new visit his site all about the return of the scifi show ‘V’ at

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Looks good. Not long till the movie now!

Hurry up May 8th – I can’t stand the wait much longer !!!!


Tickets booked for the 7th…can’t wait!

less than a month!!! This is driving me crazy. Murphey’s law says I’ll be mortally injured on the way to the theatre and will die before being able to watch the dang thing, LOL.

tickets booked for the 6th… can’t wait, too!

sweet…can’t wait

“The Biggest Sci-Fi Film of 2009”

Now THAT I like. Welcome back, Trek. :-)

..I wonder if the DVD is PAL exclusive or if it is US friendly for those of us not in the UK?

So we jettisoned Kirk’s original past because…it was boring? He was an overachiever who often succeeded, even in no win scenarios. Now he’s reduced to a punk who needs to overcome a lot to be a starship Captain?

Well, I contend that a young man who needed to survive a massacre on a little planet named Tarsus IV would be a great roadblock for him to overcome. The psychological trauma he would have to deal with to bridge from there to being a starship Captain would be great.

Also, if the writers wanted to stick with the “Kirk is a young punk” theme, couldn’t they have used Tarsus IV as the trigger event that set Kirk out on that path? I mean, a total disrespect for authority could be the result of a person surviving a massacre at the hands of the military Governor.

All in all, I am glad Star Trek is being given this treatment. I have always known Star Trek’s great potential if given a big budget and good writing. This could be the Star Trek trekkers have been waiting their whole lives to see.

See, I’m not a hater.

10. I agree 100% with you.

I am very gratified to know that this film doesn’t doesn’t rely on “the crutches of science fiction,” presumably including some of the more remedial ones like revenge-motivated villains displaced from their own times, alternate universes, spatial coincidence on a cosmic scale, teleportation, faster-than-light travel and psychic powers. :)

Kurtzman’s line about the future of manned space travel being somehow more imminent now is particularly ironic. The original series began airing two years before NASA sent Apollo to the Moon, and this movie is screening a year before NASA is grounding its shuttle fleet, with any future manned missions uncertain at best. Forty three years later, the closest to a bright future is the aspirations of a few other nations to be able to duplicate what the US did in 1969.

But, hey, cell phones! Who needs science fiction?

#10 John from Cinci

I got a very “Maverick pulls up to watch Tomcat land at Mirimar” vibe from the very first trailer.

I think the time travel element will play a large part in why some stories are different. Not matter what like you I am also glad to see positive buzz about Trek as well.


Dude, in twenty years, when this group’s popularity dies down, someone will write a movie to restore the timeline, then we can go through this debate all over again. Me, I’ve started exercising and eating my vitamins so I live long enough to see a return of the original Kirk.

Biggest Sci-Fi film of 2009?

Hell, I think it may be the biggest FILM of 2009, period. (Though I’m sure some Transfomers fanboys might dispute that.)

#16 … I doubt Trek can take Transformers. Transformers is just too popular with kids. But I’d be happy if Trek were able to do as well as, or better than, Wolverine and Terminator.

#10: “Now he’s reduced to a punk who needs to overcome a lot to be a starship Captain?”

My own concern is that he’s reduced to something far pettier … a Campbellian hero, a less-than-human tool, a felt-and-googly-eyes sock puppet with fate’s fist shoved up his ass.

If he’s _honestly_ a punk who needs to overcome a lot, I can totally accept that as an [alternate] origin for an [alternate but recognizeable] Captain Kirk, because that’s the kind of thing a real man sometimes is in his youth. If they keep it rooted in the human adventure (and or the Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite adventure), then I’m along for the ride.

Here’s hoping.

10. John from Cincinnati – April 16, 2009

This bothers me too, John. I know several men that were selected for a service academy. None were punks. My college fraternity was founded at VMI so I have known a very lot of VMI cadets. None were punks. Even the boys at nearby Valley Forge Military Academy (alma mater to Norman Schwarzkopf, whose cousin was a Star Trek babe) are polite, gentlemanly, helpful — and I’ve never heard of one getting into trouble in nearby Wayne village where they hangout, in uniform, on weekends.

I admit there may be transformational stories amongst the officer corps, but those stories, at least as far as the servicemen I’ve met go, tend to be the enlisted men who experience discipline and high standards, often for the first time. “The Navy/Army/Marine Corps saved my life” is something I’ve heard not just once, but several times from friends and colleagues who went to college after their hitch expired.

So it is incongruous and somewhat jarring to have a highly respected officer come from punksville. Not impossible, but unlikely. The second half of “officer” is “gentleman” and that is something that requires a lifetime of training, not simply eight semesters of study, PT and summer camps. Of course, if the Kirk character was an ROTC from a party school like Penn State or something, well that would make perfect sense: “Send Kirk – he’s expendable but cocky!!!”. I’d also believe this more from a mustang wh ocame up through the ranks to Master Chief but commissioned for an act of heroism or such. It just doesn’t ring true for Annapolis West.

Having said that, it would appear the conceit will require suspension of disbelief and, given it is in service of presenting ultimately the Kirk character as an officer and a gentleman, rather than a miscreant or rogue, I’m prepared to accept it. So long as it’s in Imax ;-)

C.S. Lewis

If/when they make wax figures of Pine and/or Quinto, we’ll at least have a perfect idea of what they’ll look like. (See ALL photoshopped-to-hell promo images of those two).

I have high hopes this version of Kirk will be great. I do think there was a missed opportunity in portraying him as a ‘stack of books with legs’ as alluded to in The Cage, a book-smart strategist who is suddenly thrust into real-world danger. In any case, I won’t bring my pre-conceived ideas of what the characters should be like prior to what we know in TOS. I’m 38, and I am LOT different than I was at 23 (or however old Kirk is supposed to be in this film). The best Star Trek episodes were about the human adventure, so hopefully all us hardcore TOS fans will keep this in mind…

few more in addition to 17.

Batsphinx: Star trek movie is so good i practically wept.

thejimsmith: has seen Star Trek. Approves.

timothy_lock: Star Trek made me cum!!!!

bendobie: New star trek movie is awesome!

“timothy_lock: Star Trek made me cum!!!!”

Would somebody get Timothy a towel?

#15: “Dude, in twenty years, when this group’s popularity dies down […]”

I have no doubt that Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof and company appreciate your unbridled optomism on that point :)

18. S. John Ross – “My own concern is that he’s reduced to something far pettier … a Campbellian hero . . . .”

Kirk is already a hero of the Campbell monomyth. So are each of the other Captains, too. “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” In the case of Trek, the “boons” are primarily knowledge. There’s nothing petty in that. It depends on how you structure it as to whether it is interesting and artistic.

And the series has already established that fate is firmly up the behind of many people. From Edith Keeler, to the Mirror universe, to “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, indeed to any of the time travel stories, we see over and over again that the currents and eddies of time *push* certain events to happen no matter what gets in their way. Cynically that’s to tell stories using the same actors, but from another point of view that’s an indication that some outcomes are so strongly imprinted on the universe that they MUST happen. One of those is that there is a ship named Enterprise with a Captain Kirk. So call it what you will, the Trek universe – both in canon and by Paramount fiat – will do whatever it takes to have Capt. Kirk in command of the Big-E.

I continue to feel confident in the ultimate legitimacy of this film. This movie is going to be Star Trek the way it always should have been done on the big screen. Most Trekkies are in agreement, TMP is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a truly “cinematic” Trek, even while everyone’s favorite TWOK was a blown-up tv movie. The trailers I’ve seen convince me the look is gonna be there, and the interviews I’ve read lead me to believe these guys have done their homework. The only thing I await in greater anticipation is the Beatles Remastered Catalogue… c’mon, it’s the Beatles…

I’m tired of hearing from various people that we’re sooo close to the Star Trek universe now because of those darn cellphones. What’s so exciting about those things? Warp drive, beaming and androids – those would be breakthroughs which would make me say: yup, the future is now.

#19—-“I admit there may be transformational stories amongst the officer corps…”

I can tell you from experience (as a former Marine officer) that it is absolutely true. I didn’t attend the USNA (and the overwhelming majority of Navy/Marine Corps officers do not), but young males are young males. Period.

“I know several men that were selected for a service academy. None were punks. ”

And yet there are even cases of sexual abuse, assault, and other far worse things than a little bit of “rowdiness” documented among the cadets in those institutions. When I think of a group of male cadets gang-raping a female cadet—-far worse characterizations than “punk” come to mind…

I’m not inclined to disbelieve that a young man who is capable of having a few too many one night and getting into a typical “boys will be boys” fistfight (provided he isn’t actually arrested and convicted of a crime) could enter Star Fleet Academy.

Of course, direct ascension from cadet to the Captain’s chair is altogether another issue.

Historically, battlefield promotions do occur—but they are almost always temporary and rarely anything but task specific.

From what I’ve heard about how this issue is treated in the film, you’d really have to go back to the American Civil War in order to find a precedent.

That is really the only issue I have with what I know of the story thusfar. It just lacks a certain credibility, IMO.

13. Hang on a minute. Yes, NASA is about to ground the shuttle (about time really, but that’s a different topic), and the replacement workhorse has yet to be finalized, let alone built and launched, but NASA is no longer the only game in town.

First, you’ve still got manned missions launching from Russia. Second, you’ve got Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and a slew of other private space ventures not that far away from putting people in space en mass. I think now is a great time to be optimistic about the future of human space exploration.

ORCI: “The other part of it is that we tell a good human story without using scifi to cover anything up.”

This is a wonderful & and encouraging statement from our now good ol’ buddy Mr Orci. Many (lame) episodes of later Trek (TNG onwards) wrapped up their individual conundrums with a bit of sci-fi-ish fakery, resolving the story with a bunch of technobabble nonsense. I always hated those episodes. VOY in particular used the formula of anomoly-confusion of the crew by the anomoly-technobabble ‘resolution’ to problem formula/combined with a personal issue for some character to work through. Actually, TNG perfected that formula and VOY just furthered it. regardless, it’s a storytelling formula that’s decades out of date. Just about everyone (well, everyone interested in Star Trek) knows enough about computers and technology to know that this formula is pretty lame. If every problem’s solution in Star Trek is to essentially call the IT guy to come fix it, well, that’s pretty pedestrian. Trek is supposed to be about the human element providing the solution. TOS Kirk always came up with his solutions from the gut — an illogical human element that somehow seemed the most logical way to come to the episode’s resolution. TNG and VOY etc too often had someone say “But wait! If we reverse the spin of the tachyons and power up the zoltan we can repolarize the plasma injectors thus negating the inverse curve of the warp field!” Is that compelling writing? Compelling drama? No! It’s total b.s. I’m glad Orci & company realize that.

#9 It’ll be PAL format, but probably region-free. It’s not cost-effective for the publisher to do a NTSC version for US distribution.

P.S., Closettrekker, I wish I could attend the premiere with you! We’d have a lot to talk about afterwards.

#32—-I guess we’ll just have to do it here at TM….

Just came back from the London Multi Media screening. The film is wonderful. I had my worries, but they have ALL been dispelled. Thank you guys. I had tears in my eyes at the end. Everybody was terrific. I DID have a couple of issues, but hey! I’m 40 now and life’s too short.


So what they are saying is, the ending of the movie won’t be about rerouting the deflector beam to emit a reverse tachyon pulse at 1.21 gigwatts, thereby causing a cascading spatial anomoly that will disrupt the Romulan’s lateral flux capacitors.

Because anybody with half a brain knows that this just won’t work. You need to adjust the sine wave of a magnetic envelope so that anti-neutrons can pass through it but anti-gravitons cannot.


You got some advertising on this site that keeps refreshing the entire page ‘and’ resets my zoom settings. It’s rather annoying.

33. Closettrekker

Well I guess that’ll have to do!

As a member of the Vulcan Science Academy, I can assure you: It WILL work.

Trust me, I’m a Vulcan!

Donn #29, agreed that there seems to be a multitude of options cropping up on the horizon for orbital vehicles, but is any of that the “space travel” that we all envisioned in the late 1960s? Thirteen men walked on the moon from1969-1975, and now people don’t venture above low earth orbit.

All the most mind-bending space exploration is being done by machines or else mathematically, to extrapolate the existence of other solar systems through calculation done on the ground. Go back and watch old Trek episodes, with talk of interplanetary travel in the 1990s, colonization of other worlds in the early 21st century, and the future we ended up in is pretty lame by comparison.

Here’s a voice of reason on the canon issues, which I think applies: Rick Sternbach. Excerpted from an interview here:

Sternbach: … I’ve given up on the term “canon,” since even the series and feature writers have contradicted themselves and earlier material, either from not researching, not remembering, or simply ignoring potential conflicts in favor of making a dramatic point. I learned early on that this is not something to get upset about, since you can get so caught up in rationalizing and revising and trying to make sense of it, that you lose sight of the fact that this is just a TV show or a movie. Entertainment companies make these things to entertain. The side effects of creating the Star Trek universe do expand to encompass serious thoughts about the future, about how to attempt interstellar flight, how to make our world better, no doubt about it. All folks like me can do, if I decide to try at all, is to offer the best scientific and technical knowledge I have, or point the writers at people who know what I don’t, and hope it makes a difference. As far as the fan- and insider-produced tech info goes, I’ve attempted to keep things accurate, plausible, and evolved, and have tried to catch the major “errors.” I don’t want to say “get a life,” but would rather tell folks to learn, understand, and discuss, and have fun with it all. Within Star Trek and without; there’s a huge world of science and technology going on around us, and you might be surprised how much of it doesn’t end up on television because the folks in charge don’t know about it.

10. John from Cincinnati – April 16, 2009

You are exactly correct.

There are always other possibilities.

10 and 21

I know this has been argued to death already… but canon or no, for me the Tarsus massacre and “stack of books with legs” thing have just NEVER felt consistent with Shatner’s overall portrayal of Kirk in the series.

Except for that one episode, he’s never seemed particularly haunted by some dark past, and his c0cky, ultra-confident attitude and rule-breaking don’t suggest someone who grew up as a nerdy bookworm at all (loosening up over the years is one thing, but come on!). No matter how much Roddenberry tried to graft his own personality onto the character, it just didn’t fit with what Shatner himself was doing.

Kirk starting out as a jock and popular ladies man, and gradually becoming the confident and hard-nosed captain we know on TOS, feels MUCH more consistent to me.

ur father was the captain of a starship for 12 minuets… He saved 800 lives… I dear u to better

is my new facebook status. I can’t wait nomore. Bob O I hope this film does wonders

40. Sternbach via Fred:
“Within Star Trek and without; there’s a huge world of science and technology going on around us, and you might be surprised how much of it doesn’t end up on television because the folks in charge don’t know about it.”

Actaully, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.

wait a minute… the biggest scifi film og 2009? That will be James Cameron’s AVATAR…

41. 750 Mang – April 16, 2009

“There are always other possibilities.”

Yes there are, such Trek extending into an alt universe where the events of Tarsus IV don’t impinge on James Kirk’s life but other things do. Loss of a father, an abusive uncle…
People and events can change on the pivot of an event. Over the weekend I met a couple that I thought would be my in-laws after 30 years time. They told me about the girl I loved, how her family was, who she married. Through that information I was able to find a recent picture of the woman I thought I was marrying 30 years ago.
Things like that make you think… what if? Experiences flavor our soul. I learned about a past love and some things about myself from it.
Because this particular version of Kirk may not experience the same turning points in his life as Shatner’s Kirk does not mean either is superior to the other. It seems they are both heroic, end up on the right ship and become what they should become… Captain Kirk. The writer’s played a little “What if” with Kirk and company but ultimately end up where things belong.

43. Bradford_matt – April 16, 2009

“ur father was the captain of a starship for 12 minuets”??? What the hell was he doing dancing on the bridge during a crisis?

“I dear u to better” indeed!


Well , this is one captain that will be looking forward to getting back on the bridge. Instead of trying to piece together all the trailers, and bits of info, I think I’ll just wait till May 8 and see what the movie has to offer me. After all, Enterprise did open the door for me to captain Voyager! And what an experience that was!

47. Primogen

i do apoloise for my lapse in the english laguage.

One 2 many romulan ales me thinks : )


Yeah, I mean does anyone really think of Kirk as a Tasha Yar-esque survivor shaped by life in a Stalinist dictatorship on Tarsus IV? The “stack of books” thing always seemed more appropriate for Jeffrey Hunter’s uptight Captain Pike or Leslie Nielsen’s J.J. Adams (no relation) in “Forbidden Planet,” the generic 1950s-style space professional.