Orci & Kurtzman To Answer Fan Questions At TrekMovie + Transcript Of Last Week’s ‘Impromptu’ Q&A

Late last week over a couple of days Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci dropped by one of the TrekMovie.com article comment threads and started an impromptu online chat/Q&A discussion. Today we present that as an easier-to-read Q&A. Plus Bob and his writing partner Alex Kurtzman have also agreed to continue the online fan discussion this week. Details below [SPOILERS]


Orci dives in to the comments and answers fan questions/concerns
The vast majority of visitors to TrekMovie.com just read the articles, but you can really miss out by not reading the hundreds of comments made here every day (even if you aren’t going to make your own). In the Tidbit article covering the WGA event that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman attended, many fans began to comment about some of their questions, concerns and nitpicks about the Star Trek movie. And then, as he sometimes does, Bob Orci joined in and started answering questions.

Bob answered questions regarding clarifications of events in the film, aspects of various technologies and ships, and more. The biggest debate/discussion has been regarding the nature of the time travel and specifically how the alternative timeline presented in the movie relates to the original ‘prime’ timeline. To make it easier for regular readers, TrekMovie is posting the pertinent parts of the online discussion below in a Q&A format (broken into subject categories).

But first, Do you have a question for Bob & Alex?
TrekMovie has asked Bob if he and his writing partner Alex Kurtzman would want to continue to answer some fan questions and they agreed. So if you have a question, just post it in the comments section below. We ask that you focus on the Star Trek movie and treat this like Jeopardy by making comments in the form of an actual question. To make it easier for Bob and Alex, start your query by typing ‘QUESTION’. For example:


What rank was Scotty when Kirk and Spock Prime met him on Delta Vega?

Over the next week they will pop in from time to time and answer question and when this article rolls off the front page, TrekMovie write up a new article taking their comment section answers and put them into a new single Q&A article. They will try to get to as many questions as possible.


Wednesday UPDATE: Q&A over
After hundreds of submissions and answering as many questions as possible, the Q&A is now complete. Feel free to make comments, but no more new questions will be answered. TrekMovie will post a simple Q&A transcript soon.


The following is taken from the comments made over the last four days in the comments section of our Tidbits article from Thursday. The questions have been broken into categories. Note: where possible comments were ‘clipped’ to focus on the ‘question’ and spelling errors were fixed.


moauvian moaul: …How could Kirk and Scotty beam aboard the Enterprise from Delta Vega – half way across the galaxy? I know Spock gave Scotty the formula but, if they could transport at that range why the need for starships? Why a Star Trek to begin with? Am I missing something and wouldn’t that undermine most of the plots on ALL the various series and movies?

BobOrci: Interesting. We discussed that very question. The short answer is that it is entirely too dangerous. Scotty was almost killed, and we even had a line before they beam out where Scotty says, “If the calculation is off by even .oooooox (insert crazy number) we could end up 3 meters OUTSIDE the ship!” Remember, Spock Prime actually made the calculation. It’s possible there’s something key that he did not tell Scotty so that he could not reproduce the results. Interesting.



martin: When Robou (sp) goes to the shuttle bay, why does his very construction site looking elevator come down to the floor instead of coming up? Isn’t the shuttle bay at the top of the ship?

BobOrci: Oh-oh! Let me go study the matter and get back to you!:) I can’t remember now since the Kelvin is introduced mid-rotation — I can’t remember which way is up! Nice.


RaymondJ: …when the Kelvin and later the Enterprise are under attack, and the helmsmen claim “the shields are at 32%” for example, incoming debris and weapons smash the ship as though there were no shields at all. Shouldn’t they bounce off or be deflecting until the shields were no longer there?

BobOrci: I too miss the glow of the egg-shaped shields. I can’t fully speak for JJ on that one, but I can imagine that he felt it might have seemed TOO protective and somehow rob the scenes of the visceral danger of SPACE right out the window (as evidenced but the genius shot he came up with where a poor crew member gets sucked into SILENT SPACE. Shields seemed to get in the way of that, and I seem to recall conversations about different ways to think of the shields (sealing the hull damage) and providing some kind of electro-tension effect on the hull itself that increased it’s natural strength or something. Nonetheless, I feel ya!


ety3: My only real concern with the film comes near the end when Kirk offers an olive branch, and Spock — almost jokingly — questions it. Not to get all high-minded and what-not, but isn’t Spock’s reaction antithetical to the peaceful exploration mindset that Starfleet is supposed to imbue in its members? If Spock had been flat-out angry about the olive branch, that would, at least, have made some sense, character wise. But to play it off as a joke?

BobOrci: I can understand that. Entertainment value weighs heavily there!

Matt Wright: One of my concerns with the film is the total glossing over of the fundamentals of what the Federation is and stands for. There is no dialog about the philosophy of explorations, tolerance, etc. “Humanitarian and peace keeping armada” sounds like some possibly very dangerous doublespeak that opens a can of worms about going after WMD’s, etc.

A second comment I have is that now with Vulcan gone there is a great chance to intelligently discuss what a people displaced from their home feel. This Diaspora could be used with great care and offer commentary on the current state of post-colonial peoples. DS9 did something somewhat similar with the Bajoran people very well.

BobOrci: So you agree there is one line at least, even if you don’t like it LOL! You’re right that It is a slight contradiction worthy of being labeled Orwellian double-speak. The question I would pose is, does that contradiction somehow reflect a truth or perception about power in our times?

As for exploration, the last line of the movie mentions that. But you are right that this movie is not about the exploration of the five year mission, it’s about what happened to get us there.

Agree with you about Vulcan. Juicy territory.



VZX: How much time passed between the destruction of the Narada and Kirk getting his medal and becoming captain? I would prefer at least a year or two, as it would make a little more sense than a cadet automatically becoming captain, regardless of how many people he saved. It is just too hard to swallow and it kind of took a lot of believability away from the movie, making it even less realistic. I know you guys wanted to end with the movie with Kirk as captain and everyone in their place, but some line or two of explanation would have been nice.

BobOrci: There a are few subtle transitions in the movie that are purposely ambiguous to allow debate about how long things took to happen, like warping to Vulcan or the very thing you bring up in order to leave it in the eye of the beholder. But yes, we wanted to absolutely end with Kirk as Captain.



Jason: …what were the Vulcan’s doing in the ark — praying? Why no contact/no escape ship?

BobOrci: Bingo on the Katric Ark [in reply to Tim Thomason who stated "I bet the Vulcans (and Amanda) were doing something with the katras in the “Katric ark” while awaiting a rescue ship.’]



Robogeek: Since, among other things, the movie was about Kirk’s (altered) origin and journey to the Captain’s chair of the Enterprise, did you not think it should end with us seeing and hearing him make That Speech for the very first time, as the perfect bookend/punchline/finale to the entire film? I have to admit I was surprised and disappointed that we didn’t get that moment (which I sort of felt the entire film was leading up to brilliantly). I was also a little mystified by the choice of having Spock Prime give the speech, since frankly that’s already been done to more powerful/resonant effect (at the end of Star Trek II).

Can you talk about this decision, and whether you considered (or even tried) having Chris Pine do the speech? And dare I ask if you ever considered asking Shatner to do it?

BobOrci: We certainly did consider all of the above as you would’ve. Ultimately, we felt that from a canon and fandom point of view, Spock Prime (Nimoy) had really made this voyage possible (literally within the plot and karmically through his support of the movie), and as such, he deserved to announce the “continuing voyages” which would’ve seemed odd for Pine to say since it’s his first real voyage. But we certainly debated it all at length . Fun stuff.





Robogeek: Why doesn’t Spock Prime try (or even want) to fix/restore the timeline, and save Vulcan?”

BobOrci: Two reasons: The RED MATTER Device is destroyed, so even if he wanted to go back in time, he can’t.

Secondly, our story is not based on the linear timeline of Einstein’s General Theory of relativity upon which most movies about time travel are based (like say, BACK TO THE FUTURE, or TERMINATOR, both of which I LOVE). The idea of a fixable timeline has been a wonderful staple of sci-fi since the 50’s, but in reading about the most current thinking in theoretical physics regarding time travel (Quantum Mechanics), we learned about the speculative theories that suggest that if time travel is possible, then the act of time travel itself creates a new universe that exists in PARALLEL to the one left by the time traveler. This is the preferred theory these days because it resolves the GRANDFATHER PARADOX, which wonders how a time traveler who kills his own younger grandfather would logically then cease to exist, but then he’d never be around to time travel and kill his grandfather in the first place. Quantum Mechanically based theories resolve this paradox by arguing that the time
traveler, in killing his grandfather, would merely split a previously identical universe into a new one in which a man who is his grandfather in another universe is killed in the new one. The time traveler does not cease to exist, although he is no longer in his own original universe (where he is now missing). Or something.

To summarize above on the time travel issue, going back in time is the equivalent of stepping into a parallel universe, according to current speculations based on Quantum Mechanics.

Starfleet and Spock, basing their decisions on this theory, would see that their is NO SUCH THING as “rectifying” the situation in a MULTIVERSE.

… and finally, my ace in the hole, a TEMPORAL PRIME DIRECTIVE.


RenderedToast: a Temporal Prime Directive that Spock Prime doesn’t seem too concerned about following…

BobOrci: He and Nero were sucked into the black hole against their will. Nonetheless, Kirk calls him on it, saying changing things is “Cheating…”


Vapad: Even though the writers say that this movie exists in an alternate timeline, nowhere do you get that impression when watching the movie, even Prime Spock refers to Vulcan as his Vulcan from his past timeline. After watching the movie I was enraged by the fact the Prime timeline had been changed/destroyed.

BobOrci: 2 things. First, see [above answer to Robogeek].

But more importantly, in the scene with the two Spocks, you may recall that Spock asks Spock Prime, “How did you persuade [Kirk] to keep your secret?” And Spock Prime replies, “He (KIRK) inferred that universe ending paradoxes would ensue…” In other words, he is saying that Spock Prime lead Kirk to ERRONEOUSLY believe that time travel worked like it has in the movies since the fifties, when in actuality Spock Prime knows there are no universe ending paradoxes in a multiverse. They are in a parallel reality, as Uhura said.


Dunsel Report: …my only thought about the time travel thing was whether you ever wrote a scene in which Nero finds out it’s impossible to fix the timeline? Since he’s a Romulan working Joe, you’d think this would be on his mind–until, perhaps, he kidnaps Spock, finds out there’s no way to save Romulus and then does the madman thing.

BobOrci: Interesting. I would argue that it’s equally possible that since Nero is from the future, he may be sufficiently acquainted with how reality works that he KNOWS there is no such thing as fixing the timeline… all he knows is that he watched his wife and world die as a result of the inaction/corruption of the federation. So he’s going to make the best of it by make those responsible pay not just for vengeance, but to rid THE UNIVERSE of what he considers to be a threat to the existence of his home world. And though he can’t ever meet his wife again, who is not even born, he can at least know that once she comes into existence, she will have A LIFE.


Vapad: When watching this film there, nowhere does it say or implied that it is a alternate timeline. It’s not there, and I think Bob is grasping for straws.

BobOrci: Uhura says it, and I quote, “An alternate reality.” To which Spock responds, “Precisely.” And then Kirk and Spock debate it, with Spock telling him that Nero’s actions, beginning with the attack on the Kelvin, have set them on a chain of events that neither side can predict because these are alternate events. But I will agree that it goes by so fast that you may need to see the movie, with friends, 20 or 390 times to really catch it.


Jean-Luc: Could you explain why a black hole created from a single drop of “red matter” can swallow a star, yet allow two spaceships to pass to the alternate universe without crushing them? Same thing with Vulcan – since the ships passed into alternate universe, should we assume that same thing happened with debris of Vulcan (i.e.. the black hole spit it into an alternate universe)?

BobOrci: In our research, we read some highly theoretical, but nonetheless learned stuff from Kip Thorne and Archibald Wheeler, and they talked about the fact that it surely is likely impossible for anything to ever escape death at the center of a black hole, but that POSSIBLY one could survive the fall into the singularity in a ROTATING BLACK HOLE by somehow avoiding the singularity through the topography of space created by the rotation (if memory serves). But you still can’t escape back into you’re own universe, you would avoid the singularity and be ejected into another universe/time. So that got us thinking that of course that would only work with a sufficiently advance vessel capable of surviving and navigating the extreme forces or in some other unknown way taking advantage of this theoretical loophole. Think of the debris of the planet as getting sucked into a whirl pool, and Spock’s ship is a boat/vessel that navigates around the whirlpool.

RD: …to ignore the fact that Prime Spock never traveled through time before to restore timelines in ST IV among others, basically ignores canon, in which case Prime Spock could be from any universe, not necessarily the one we’ve been watching in syndicated TV and feature films for 40 years.

BobOrci: Star Trek IV is an interesting case in that it is MORE consistent with the idea of a multiverse in the following way: Kirk and Spock travel to the past, take two whales, thus creating an alternate timeline in which those two whales (and a Marine Biologist) are missing. Our gang then returns to THEIR ORIGINAL UNIVERSE, and the whales tell the probe what to go do with itself. In a way, this is a less irresponsible interpretation, because otherwise, they are necessarily playing loosey goosey with interfering with their present by taking the potential grandmother of the doctor who cures cancer out of history and really changing their own universe! Kirk could in theory cease to exist by removing someone from the past. Not so in the multiverse.

Charles Trotter: The ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ episode “Q2″ established that Kirk’s five year mission in command of the Enterprise began in 2265 and ended in 2270. Was it your intention to have the alternate Kirk gain command of the Enterprise earlier than Prime Kirk, or do you think Prime Kirk could have taken command of the ship by that time in the Prime Universe?

BobOrci: Interesting question. Sounds like a good area of potential new fiction. I won’t bias it with my opinion.

Vapad:  Maybe your concept of time travel in this film is too complicated for the casual viewer to grasp, when it has to be explained online from the author. Or I guess I’m to dumb and all my friends and family to grasp.

BobOrci: a movie should layers to be discovered, no? Although I really mean it when I say the movie goes by fast and I understand how things can streak by. On the other hand, the movies is designed to be enjoyed and understood just as well even given Kirk’s assumption, that time travel works like we all think it does.

Robogeek: Yes, I’ll of course grant you the red matter was destroyed — and I won’t even question what the hell red matter is, or where it came from ;-) — but there are clearly any number of other well-established methods of time travel available and known to Spock Prime that he could employ, and has even used before himself (the Guardian, slingshot effect, etc.). Plus, my question is not merely why he doesn’t restore/repair the timeline, but why he doesn’t even express any wish/desire/need/compulsion/obligation/necessity to, when circumstances seem to so clearly demand it. (Dude, you blew up Vulcan, and killed almost the entire race.)

I will also grant you that your intent was indeed for time travel in the film to be “quantum” and not “linear” (and that you’re not simply retconning), and I wholeheartedly respect, embrace and appreciate that choice — but my question is not about your intent, but your actual execution (or, to put it in Supreme Court terms, your final ruling of record, i.e. the film itself). In other words, if that’s what you intended, why didn’t you / the film just say so? Because you didn’t.

Given that the most clearly established and highly regarded precedents for time travel in both Star Trek (City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday’s Enterprise, All Good Things, etc.) and Abrams’ other work (Lost) are Einsteinian/linear and not quantum mechanical, did you not also feel a particular/extra necessity/obligation to make it crystal clear in the film, and definitively manifest your intent? Because I’ve seen the film twice, and it pretty clearly indicates a single timeline has been altered and replaced with a new one. There is simply no evidence, information or argument presented within the film itself that the characters are in a parallel timeline/universe instead of a replacement timeline/universe. In my view, your intent wasn’t manifested.

Finally, if you can play the “Temporal Prime Directive” card, so can I — and I dare say mine trumps yours. It’s Spock Prime’s fault the timeline has been altered, so it’s clearly his primary responsibility (above everything else) to restore/fix/correct it at any and all cost. Furthermore, if you are going to claim a “Temporal Prime Directive” applies, are you not conceding that the timeline has indeed been altered, and that Spock Prime is not in a parallel universe but rather an altered timeline of his own making? I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways — even with quantum mechanics. ;-)

BobOrci: For those who care to truly analyze the movie, a parallel reality is clearly expressed both by the dialogue (Uhura) but more importantly by the plot and how the characters behave within it (like the fact that Spock talking to himself doesn’t interfere with his own existence, etc…). However, I understand for some it is a distasteful or unintuitive concept, and for those people, the movie works just as well if they think of it as linear. Just like the movie is both a prequel and a sequel, depending on your point of view.

Vapad: I took Uhura’s line as it’s an alternate reality from which they could of been in if Nero hadn’t changed the future.

BobOrci: What you’re saying is still true. From Uhura’s point of view, Nero has changed her future from what it would’ve been if he had never arrived.


Robogeek: I completely agree that a movie should have layers to be discovered. I think what I (and others) are saying is that there seems to be a crucial layer missing, which might be as simple as a single word. …Yes, Uhura says they’re in an _alternate_ reality, i.e. one that has been altered, and is different than the original Prime reality. But no one in the film ever says they’re in a _parallel_ reality / separate timeline that coexists with the original Prime one. That’s the problem.

BobOrci: And funnily enough we’ve been accused by some of dumbing it down.

Perhaps it could be clearer, but our goal in that scene is to get our scientists to talk as they would talk, and the fact that the Next Generation is still alive and well in another universe would not be their primary point of curiosity or concern. They would be concerned with what happens to them now. It’s more of an intellectual curiosity for the audience to ponder than for the characters, in my opinion. And as stated above, key characters behave in ways that can only be explained if they subscribe to the multiverse theory. I concede it could be clearer, but I will say it is exactly as clear as we wanted it to be. I’ll bet many more people enjoyed it than would’ve otherwise because they can see it either way.


Vapad: Exactly, it was never expressed they were in a parallel reality.

BobOrci: I concede that the word PARALLEL is not in the movie.


CaptainRickover: I honestly have to disagree about your time travel mechanics explanation. Even if it’s true that Quantum theory might be the right theory about time travel, it don’t work for Star Trek. Since TOS the timeline is considered as a linear process where you could go back and forth. Take First Contact for example. Picard and crew were able to watch on screen, how the timeline changed after the Borg travelled back in the 21st century. If that time travel would have created an alternate universe, Picard & Co. shouldn’t even aware that something has changed.”

BobOrci: I don’t disagree that we are breaking with SOME canon in the way we treat time travel. However, we are doing so purposely, in order to have our theoretical physics conform to the most current and sophisticated theories.


BrF: …There’s almost no major plot point that, after you think about it for five minutes, makes any sense. Most glaring to me were the incredible range of transporters now, and how it takes five minutes now to get from planet to planet.

BobOrci: Well, I would argue it’s slightly impressionistic to give the appearance of real time. For example, it seems as though Chekov immediately gives a ship-wide briefing and then Kirk immediately realizes it’s a trap and that they arrive at Vulcan in four seconds. But if you notice, when Kirk wakes up after hearing Chekov, BONES has completely changed into his blue uniform, indicating an undetermined passage of time.


BobOrci: (to no specific poster) For all those decrying fate, there is actually a quantum mechanical basis for the “fate function” in this film that we have discussed previously. In a multiverse where, as Data once said “anything that can happen, does happen, in a parallel universe…” there is a probability (a number) associated with each possible configuration. Those events that are most probable are theorized to occur more often in more similar universes. Thus, the idea that Kirk and Spock and Bones come together is merely an indication that the probability assigned to such an event is very high in the multiverse. Some may mistake this for blind fate.

Dan: Spock Prime could go back in time and stop Nero, like all the other ways they have done before in movies and TV shows in the past Trek lore, he doesn’t need Red Matter to only go back in time to stop Nero. It’s lame for Bob to say that Prime Spok can’t do time travel without Red Matter. When they could just fly around the Sun like he did in Star Trek IV, or Picard did in First Contact.

BobOrci: In our Universe, as long as I am here, you can’t just slingshot around the sun and linear time is a misconception from the middle part of the 20th century.. A good analogy for what we have done here would be to imagine we were rebooting the modern adventures of a sailor, who at the time that his stories were told, it was believed the earth was flat. Now, years later, here in the re-whatever, we know the world is round. So our story exists in a world where the world is now round, despite that being a “canon” violation.

GaryS: Was the timeline that Nero visited the original past up to the point that George Kirk is killed? Or was it always an alternate timeline because Nero was destined to travel there?

BobOrci: We think of it is as identical to the original until Nero arrives.


If you have a question for Bob and Alex, type it in below (preceded by ‘QUESTION’ to help identify it). It seems that the whole timeline thing has been covered pretty thoroughly so hopefully we can explore some new territory.

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I wish I didn’t need to read this to understand everything.


Should “Star Trek: Countdown” be considered speculative or definitive?

(and I know it’s been asked many times, but if there’s been a clear answer, my apologies as I’ve missed it in all the hubbub)


What sort of process did you go through in preparing to write this movie with respect to adhering to a certain level of “canon”? (i.e. what episodes/movies did you watch, what novels did you read, what reference books did you skim, etc. and which ones actually really helped you in writing the story?

– Thanks a lot for your time, guys!

Some good stuff there. Nice to have some things (like the nature and ‘start point’ of the AU) nailed down in this fashion.


Engineering? Whats the deal?


Do you think of bring some characters from TNG era in future Star Trek?


The Enterprise jettisoned a lot of little pods when its ‘core’ was ejected. We’ve been wondering what these are. Does the Enterprise now have multiple cores, with the singular ‘core’ term just being a, for lack of a better term a traditional name? Are the pods we see just antimatter storage pods? What’s the dealey-o?

Starship shields were variously depicted through all the series and movies. Sometimes as the “egg shell” around the Ent-D, sometimes as a protection across the surface of the hull, like in the Khitomer battle.

The egg shell might make more intuitive sense, but it looked rather silly.


I see a lot of talk of ‘alternate reality’, yet this seems like it’s an alternate timeline, vs an alternate reality like the mirror universe. What is your take on this?


Is Admiral Christopher Pike now a paraplegic? Is he permanently paralyzed or temporarily affected by the Centurian slug?

Again I ask people to precede their queries with ‘QUESTION’ on its own line in all caps. This way it is easy to distinguish from a regular comment.

Also, I second #6’s question. I’ve no idea if it’s within the purview of the writers (nor do I know if my question was), but it can’t hurt to ask!

QUESTION: Will the Federation be able to prepare for eventual meeting with the Borg, or will it prefer to see how it plays out with Picard in its future (the 24th Century)? The Borg were introduced with Picard’s specific participation, but the events of the film haven’t left the 23d.

Will there be a newly created future-historical agency acting as a guardian of information that will assure that, if there is a Captain Picard in the future, he will not alienate the Q?

If the answer is, everything is unpredictable, would that still mean that the Federation therefore will not do anything to prepare?

2 – It’s definitive, considering that Orci and Kurtzman wrote the story.

I also ask people to be as concise as possible with questions.

The rules of Time Travel in Star Trek have been clearly established multiple times. You change the past, it effects YOUR future. No alternate timelines here, bitches.


Have you guys ever considered bringing Vulcan and Romulus back? And if not, how many survivors are there from both planets? (By the way, I LOVE the movie and have seen it eight times, and am aiming for twenty. Thanks)


A lot of future toys have made their way into 23rd century. We’ve been assuming that scans of the Narada made by the Kelvin allowed Federation science to progress more rapidly than in the prime timeline. Transwarp beaming would allow an almost Stargate-style transporter network to exist, bridging star systems upon which the system is established. And Spock Prime would be a wealth of information, assuming he’s willing to talk. So my question is, will we see this rapid technological growth continue in Star Trek XII, and should we expect to see the new timeline substantially diverge from the prime timeline as a result?


Do you plan to use Admiral Pike again?

And what did the Klingons in the movie look like before they were left on the cutting room floor?

sorry about that lol


(1) I like the idea that you came up for Bones’ nickname – but was it really necessary? I mean, it isn’t a stretch for a ship’s surgeon to be nicknamed ‘Ol’ sawbones’ is it?
And why oh why oh why does the book completely fluff this line by saying “only left me with my skeleton” leaving the otherwise ill educated reader bemused as to why Kirk suddenly calls him Bones?????

(2) The Transamerica Pyramid has moved suspiciously close to the Exploratorium – was this your doing??

(3) Can you explain why a Red Matter induced wormhole or black hole (whatever) allows time travel for the Narada once, but crushes it at the end of the movie?

(4) Why, when Titan orbits in the same plane as Saturn’s rings, do we see the rings at a high angle when the Enterprise emerges from the top of Titan’s ludicrously thick atmospheric haze (PORCOOOOOOOOOO!!) ? And don’t give me that artistic license shenanigans – hire a science consultant or don’t.

(5) I seem to recall from Star Trek IV that the journey from Vulcan to Earth takes several days at warp speed, yet the Enterprise appears to arrive very quickly indeed. Discuss (and show your working).


While probably somewhat of a nitpicky question/observation by the Nutty Fanboy here: What happened to off-world Vulcans? The lines in the movie indicate 10.000 survivors overall, which seems rather low for a space-faring species – especially that very likely have off-world colonies.. or was the 10.000-line pointed towards survivors escaping Vulcan itself?


(just in case, with Q added this time)

Can you provide us one definitive answer on the size specifications of the Enterprise and the Kelvin? Length, width, height, tonnage, crew members, ship class, etc.

There have already been 5 conflicting answers. One from Bad Robot, three from ILM and one from the Enteprise Experience site. It would be great to be able to put these questions to rest with a ruling from the Supreme Court. Thanks!

again I ask people to be concise and to also not be repetitive with questions already asked or those previously answered (see above transcript)

HAS off-world colonies, of course. Forgive me, my Engrish is broken. :P


What are the ‘fates’ of other canon Vulcans such as Tuvok, T’Pol, Saavik, and Spock’s half-brother Sybok?

Thank you.

While my biggest beef with the movie was Nero’s asinine reasons for trying to destroy the Federation, I have to say I have a great appreciation for what the writer’s did in creating this alternate universe. It frees them to do whatever they want, while still acknowledging what came before. I like that. They could have straight up rebooted and ignored everything, but they didn’t. Some fans want to argue about how it still “destroys canon”, but really, all those dvds you bought over the years aren’t ceasing from existence. I look forward to the the new adventures of the Enterprise, and am open to seeing what they bring to the table. I just hope it has a better villain next time.


The “changes in timeline cause parallel universes” thing is nothing new. The concept was presented in Fantastic Four comics in the 1970s, for example. I can accept it in Star Trek easily enough. Also everyone should keep in mind that the talk among Spock, Uhura, and the bridge crew about it was only speculation on what they thought had taken place. It should not be taken as definitive within the story.


In the Foster novelization, Spock Prime told young Spock that he planned to freely share his knowledge of the future. This line was not in the movie. What is your thinking on this and how do you see the future role of Spock Prime in the new universe? It seems that with his technical knowledge, he would be a valuable resource for Starfleet or someone else perhaps?

QUESTION: Exactly how big is the Enterprise?

Some of us on the forums are pulling our hair out trying to figure it out!
Theres too many numbers floating around from different sources!


Yeah so this isn’t a question! I just wanted to thank you for being willing to answer our nitpicky questions, congratulate you on a fantastic film, and wish you the best of luck for many more to come. :D


If Khan is going to incorporated into the sequel, as some recent press has suggested, will LOST alumni Nestor Carbonell be offered the part?

also –

Will the new films ever return to the “Strange New World” model, something the films have never really done?


…and speaking of Sybok: where was he, guys? :)

I totally got the idea of the alternate timeline from watching the movie once.. What’s wrong with you people?

More to say about how the shields are depicted…

“Egg shell” shields make for poor drama. An enemy fires, the egg shell lights up, this ship is fine. Dialog in the ship is someone announcing the percentage: Shields at 42 percent! At 41 percent! At, um, 40 percent!

With STVI (and the new movie’s) style shields, a ship hit by a torpedo is knocked about, takes surface damage, and has sparks and explosions inside. It makes battle dangerous and scary.

On the chance this reaches their eyes, this is why Orci & Kurtzman were correct to handle shields as they did. Nothing but “32% shields left, otherwise we’re fine” is boring.

Fascinating explanations for the time travel aspects. While many argue that Star Trek time travel stories assume the linear timelines, there is also that Next Generation episode (the name escapes me) where Worf becomes unhinged from his universe and keeps flipping through various alternate universes. While not strictly speaking a time travel story, it does illustrate what essentially has happened here: the creation of an alternate universe due to Nero’s trip through the black hole.

My question is somewhat more simple. It is not mentioned anywhere in the movie one way or the other, but my impression from the movie is that Jim Kirk is an only child. Does his brother Sam exist?

Perhaps it’s more of a question about production, but anyway I am curious…
I read somewhere in this website that Marc Okrand is listed in the movie credits as a Vulcan and Romulan consultant. However I didn’t hear a single line in alien language during the movie(unless I miss something). IMHO that’s too bad because I always thought that the use of alien languages in ST movies increased realism, and even Star Wars used alien language a lot (though I understand that some dramatic moments are better left in English). Anyway, what happened? Were the alien lines recorded but never used (I understand that most ST movies inserted them during post-production). And in case they were recorded, any chance of adding them to the movies when it is finally released on Bluray?

The solution is quite simple. Forget “EVERTHING” you’ve read in the comics & novels, seen on tv and films for the last 43 years and your good to go! It’s just a movie damnit, it’s just a movie! Move out of your parents basements!


(Love the movie) – I miss the Star Trek 2 style ship phasers. Do you think we will ever see that style again? Or do you think the new future direction of space combat is too fast for this kind of effect. Thank you!

Reports show that the new Enterprise is about 4x the size of the original Enterprise, even larger than the 1701E…..is this true…what s the crew compliment..at least 800 + since the Kelvin had 800 rescued…

Vulcan…red sky or not?

I beleive, based on the Star Trek Chronology and episodes, that this is the right time frame…
In the Deadly Years 1967…or 2267 Kirk states he is 34 years old…if he was born in 2233 when the Kelvin is destroyed…this would be correct timeframe…Can we assume that the Enterprise is being built 2245..the established launch date? since we see her in action for the first time in 2258?
And lastly….why in Iowa and on the ground?


How do you tell the rank of the female officers since they do not have the long sleeves like the males with the rank on the cuff of their uniform.

I love all the timeline talk. I understand that they are changing the idea of time travel from linear to quantum, and I like it. Trek has contradicted itself enough to where it’s forgivable. Besides, they needed to do that so that the Prime Universe wouldn’t be “destroyed” by this new movie.

Otherwise, all the story for Star Trek Online wouldn’t happen, and I wouldn’t have a new MMO to look forward to!


Where was Majel Barret’s voice in the movie? I heard a lot of computer voices and none of them sounded like her very distinctive tone.

QUESTION What class of ship is the USS Kelvin?

I don’t want to stir up the Shatner issue again (though I would have loved to see him in this movie or the sequel), but I was interested in the MTV account of the scripted but unfilmed Shatner scene. You once mentioned that you might post the scripted dialogue after the film was released, is that still possible? If not, anything else you can say about that scene?

Also, it might be my imagination but some places in the film seemed to echo Generations (like Pike saying to Kirk your dad leaped before he looked and saved 800 people – see if you can do better, Kirk hanging onto edges about 4 times and not falling, Spock saying “Captains can’t cheat death”). Was any of that an intentional reference to Kirk in Generations?


OK, so I get the whole “This is another timeline in the multiverse that is Star Trek,” a la TNG’s “Paralells”. But how do you reconcile the fact that other Trek Time adventures have been linear time travel plots? Sisko in Trials and Tribbleations even said that even though they did change some stuff, they aren’t in a paralell timeline.

Second, and probably more fun question.

Can or is this timeline be linked to the Prime timeline in the same way the mirror universe is? In other words, can we have Sisko pop out of the wormhole here, or Guinan drop out of the Nexus, or any other charicter from the prime timeline show up (other than Spock?) Obviously Nero and Spock both ended up here, albiet at different times.

Even if you dismiss the MWI/QM application to ST09 and choose to view the time travel in the film in the manner in which it has been treated in the past, I fail to see why Spock Prime’s behavior is being questioned.

There is plenty of reason for Spock to logically deduce that changing the past is not a good option here, and neither is offering up the necessary knowledge for others to do so (slingshot effect calculations).

Not only would they have to be successful in saving Vulcan, but they would also have to be able to count on being able to recreate the same set of circumstances that allowed them to defeat the Narada before. And there would be no guarantee that they would be successful in either case.

They could actually end up making things much worse instead. At that point (where Nimoy’s Spock emparts the future knowledge to Scotty and to Kirk), the objective is to make sure Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise, and gets to Earth in time to save it. They were fortunate to stop Nero and defeat him permanently in the process.

It should go without saying that they wouldn’t risk not being able to do the same thing all over again.

And holding up their efforts further by trying to convince the younger Spock to buy into the slingshot effect (which, in the original timeline, was discovered by accident later on) could have so delayed them that the Narada would have been lying in wait for the Enterprise in the Sol system (having already destroyed Earth)…and of course a head-on encounter with the Narada would likely have been the end of the Enterprise.

Just because you have the knowledge to try—doesn’t mean it is a good idea, especially if you could end up making things worse in the process.

We have seen this theme dealt with previously in Trek (VOY “Year Of Hell”).

As Bob suggests, fans have an easy out either way. Either you believe that he cannot change the past and accept the retconning of Star Trek time travel, or you can reason that—although he can try—it isn’t the logical choice.


While I definitely understand why you guys had to essentially reboot the franchise, aren’t you still bound my canon in many ways? The events of the movie should have no bearing on the Fesarius, the Doomsday Machine, the vampire cloud, V’Ger, and so on…all arguably major events. Won’t you be forced to acknowledge these threats as they appear in the timeline in future stories (and therefore retreading)?


In the movie (which I enjoyed immensely) Spock notes that some 10,000 Vulcans survived. Now, Vulcan like Earth likely had colonies (P’Jem?) as mentioned in Enterprise. I think it was also mentioned somewhere that Tuvok was born on one. That being said, was it 10,000 Vulcan survivors who managed to get off the planet in whatever ship they had available, or 10,000 Vulcans period?

20. I can answer two of those!

(3) The first red matter wormhole was created near the Narada, and the ship passed through it. The red matter at the end of the movie was detonated inside the Narada, after Spock rammed it, and the ship collapsed on itself.

(4) When depicting Saturn on a high budget big screen, modest artistic license for stunning imagery is completely defensible. This isn’t a science documentary.

Sorry Anthony, can you please delete the original 43.

I don’t want to stir up the Shatner issue again (though I would have loved to see him in this movie or the sequel), but I was interested in the MTV account of the scripted but unfilmed Shatner scene. You once mentioned that you might post the scripted dialogue after the film was released, is that still possible? If not, anything else you can say about that scene?

Also, it might be my imagination but some places in the film seemed to echo Generations (like Pike saying to Kirk your dad leaped before he looked and saved 800 people – see if you can do better, Kirk hanging onto edges about 4 times and not falling, Spock saying “Captains can’t cheat death”). Was any of that an intentional reference to Kirk in Generations?


Why was the Enterprise built in Iowa instead of San Francisco? There was no event in the movie that could explain this change.