Star Trek Magazine #20 Excerpts: Abrams & Krige Interviews + more

Star Trek Magazine #20 is just arriving on newstands as a focus on the Borg. STM have provided TrekMovie with excerpts of their interview with the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) and an article on the history of the Borg. We also have an excerpt from an interview with JJ Abrams and a closer look at the covers.


Excerpts from Star Trek Magazine #20

Excerpt of Interview with Star Trek director JJ Abrams

Every director approaches a script differently initially; when you read a script for the first time, do you visualize it, hear it, and see it edited?
When I’m writing something, I tend to see it specifically, at least in ways that are usually more clear than I even realize – meaning, I’ll see things in a certain direction. I’ll see the composition of a shot or a sequence. But because it’s such a collaboration, part of the fun is discovery. The actors that you get, the director of photography you work with, the production designers: they all have ideas. While you may have a certain vision, there’s an immense amount of flexibility and fluidity that you have to approach any project with that accounts for the unexpected, which is usually the thing that makes it good.

Were there specific sequences in Star Trek where you had one idea going in, and then on the floor, it went differently?

What I tried to do on this movie was not storyboard anything that I could avoid storyboarding. For example, if it was any scene that didn’t require the kinds of visual effects preparation that would demand that kind of specific planning, I would try and let it go, and do it on the fly. We’d make it up as we went along, because that’s usually the fun of it. There are certain sequences where I had ideas in my head, certain scenes with the characters, that when the day came to shoot them, I suddenly found myself throwing out whatever preconceived notions I had, and seeing what felt right and what the actors would go to naturally, and adjusting things from there.

Director JJ Abrams reviewing a scene with his actors on the set of "Star Trek"

Excerpt of interview with Borg Queen actress Alice Krige

“I came to the conclusion that the Queen was the Borg. Is the Borg. The Borg is an extension of her. I had read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking beforehand, and in the course of trying to find out who she was, I went out and got a copy of the video. Somewhere in it he says the old adage, ‘Energy is not created or destroyed.’ And I thought of the Borg Queen. She’s been around since the beginning of time, since the Big Bang or whatever. And she is the energy source behind the Borg. She is just the physical manifestation of that energy.

“I had some interaction on the mask with Scott Wheeler, who also did my old age makeup for my character on [the movie] Skin. For the Borg Queen, there were only two things I asked him for. He had sculpted in eyebrows and I asked him to take them away. I thought it would give her a fixed expression. The shape of the eyebrows was like Cruella de Ville and I didn’t want that painted on my face. The other thing was that my mouth was quite red. In contrast to the color of my skin, my lips looked redder. It’s almost an optical illusion. They had made my skin so pale that it stuck out. And there was a point when they wanted to damp down the color of my mouth. They thought it was too red. And Scott and I hung in there to be allowed to use the color of my own mouth.”

Alice Krige as the Borg Queen

Excerpt of ‘History of the Borg’ Article

History records that the Enterprise NCC 1701-D’s encounter with the Borg in System J-25 in late 2365 was humanity’s first encounter with the Borg.

History, unfortunately, is incorrect.

Humanity’s first encounter with the Borg occurred in April 2063, when the time-displaced Borg attempted to assimilate Earth and prevent humanity’s “First Contact” with a passing Vulcan starship. A Borg sphere, detonated by the Enterprise-E’s quantum torpedoes, rained debris down on Earth below. Much of this debris burned up in Earth’s atmosphere upon reentry, but some pieces impacted with the planet’s surface. Zefram Cochrane, the human developer of warp drive, mentioned cybernetic monsters in a famous speech at Princeton a year later, but the context for what he was describing was, at the time, unknown.

Nearly a century later an Antarctic expedition in 2153 discovered some of this Borg wreckage. The wreckage still being active, several humans were assimilated into the Borg Collective, followed by an attempt for these new drones to rejoin the Collective in the Delta Quadrant. While Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise NX-01 intercepted the rogue starship and destroyed the drones, his crew had no idea what exactly they had encountered.

A century later, on Stardate 4722.1, the Enterprise NCC-1701 under James T. Kirk’s command encountered a mysterious starship at the edge of a wormhole. Aboard the starship were thousands of mutant humanoids, each displaying some degree of cybernetic modification who carried antigens that could infect others and alter them for cybernetic implantation. Led by a young woman, these mutants attempted to overrun the Enterprise and another starship that emerged from the wormhole. Ultimately, the mutants and their ship were destroyed, but escape pods, carrying mutants, fled into the wormhole, either into distant space or the distant past. Were these cybernetic mutants proto-Borg? Was the young woman a proto-Borg Queen…?

The remains of the Borg sphere in Enterprise’s "Regeneration"

Much more in Star Trek Magazine on sale now
Issue 20 of the official Star Trek Magazine is on sale now in the US.

Star Trek Magazine #20

Previews exclusive cover for Star Trek Magazine #20

The magazine should be arriving on newstands this week and can be ordered (at a  discount) from TFAW.

STM #20

(newsstand edition)

STM #20

(Previews Exclusive)



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I just looked for this magazine at Books a Million last night and they had nothing!

Some stores don’t put new magazines out until Tuesday like new DVD’s

Did the information about Kirk’s encounter come from one of the novels? I don’t recall ever seeing or reading this before, and I’m interested in finding out!

#3: A quick internet search leads me to believe that the Kirk story is from a Trek *comic book*. Star Trek: The Manga – Shinsei Shinsei. About as non-canon as you can get in the Trek universe . . . .

@Randy H.

The proper term is “Manga”. Get it right, or not at all.

I think that the information about Kirk’s encounter with the Borg came from the game Star Trek Legacy.

I think that should be the premise for the next Star Trek movie The orgians of the Borg they all ready did a managa of it but why not do a Movie with Star Trek a Two Parter with the Borg

Admirers of Alice Krige might want to check out 1981’s Ghost Story….ahem…oh yeah

@6. Cerritouru – Kirk was involved with the Borg in the Star Trek: Legacy storyline, but the plot was different from what is described above. Can anyone confirm that this Kirk/ Borg meeting is from the above mentioned Manga?

Back to the Borg AGAIN?!

#7, the origins of the Borg were already gone over in the Destiny three-part novel series.

What was the name of Star Trek episode that Kirk meet mutant humanoids ? (Borg?)

@8… Hell yeah on Ghost Story! Much softer without the borg implants.

Kirk met the humanoids in Star Trek Manga :)

wow was that the premise for Star Trek 12 leaked? Orcis gonna be pissed!

What, only 2 issues devoted to the new movie??

I couldn’t care less about the freakin Borg — I want to read more about the movie dammit. Especially considering there hasn’t been much ELSE released by the studio.

Yeah, I want a YEAR devoted to the new movie1 Give me the ships, the stunts, the actors, the secondary actors, come on! I don’t want to read about some bad DS9 episode again.

#15 – nope, they are mixing canon and non-canon sources. The Kirk era Borg encounter comes from the Star Trek: The Manga Shinsei Shinsei comic, “Side Effects: Birth of a Queen”.

Not a very good story for a film if you ask me – let’s hope the boys can do better.

Alice Krige also gets into a catfight with Faye Dunnaway in the 1987 film Barfly.

is there anywhere I can get a copy of that Manga issue? Or read about Kirk’s encounter in more depth? Anybody know?

And I would agree – I like the idea of this particular encounter being the premise for one of the Star Trek movies. The addition of Spock Prime in the storyline would make for a cool twist, a source of forewarning and information. Maybe one of the authors should try to write a novel around it set in the new universe.


#5, are you saying there’s no “The” before manga? That might be the exact title that it said when Randy H looked it up. Star Trek: The Manga. He did spell the word “manga” right so I’m guessing you’re talking about “The”.

#5, Aceman67, I looked it up on and there is a “the” before manga in Star Trek: the Manga.

nevermind… found it.

ive been waiting for a Kirk, spock etc vs. the borg what if comic for ages. had no idea they already done one!

heading over to amazon….

done…man what a revolution the internet is…

I liked the Borg when they first appeared on TNG in “Q-Who?” and then in “BoBW.” The first half of “Descent” was interesting, but the second half started the beginning of my dis-interest in the Borg. After that, it seemed the Borg were nothing more than Klingons with a different look… just my opinion, of course.
The Borg was a mistake, to some degree, IMO. We are presented with a race of beings that are pretty much invincible, and our heroes were coming up with the most inane solutions to deal with them. Why present an unbeatable enemy and later start “inventing” various weaknesses in them, or “whatever” it takes to beat them? I always thought this was sloppy on the part of the producers. And then to keep bringing them back, as if the Borg was suddenly a household appliance… ho hum.
I no longer have any interest in Borg encounter stories, but I do enjoy re-watching “BoBW” from time to time. And I did enjoy “FC,” which I thought was the best TNG film, and I enjoyed Alice Krige’s performance quite a bit.

Manga, schmanga….who cares! It all boils down to non canon, awful Japeneese cartoons!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, aceman67 (twelve year old hiding in the basement). ;)

As a filmmaker with one feature as writer-director to my name, I can say with some assurance that Abrams’ directorial approach, shooting “on the fly” according to his actors’ instincts for anything that didn’t involve storyboarding for effects, was right on. The movie has a wonderful, vital, happening-now quality.

And is it just me — and I know she’s creepy as all get-out — but wasn’t Alice Krige’s Borg Queen sexy as hell?

I know opinion is mixed on the character of the Borg Queen, but you can’t deny that Alice Krige did an incredible job in First Contact.

Hail to the Queen, baby.

@27: I like what Roger Ebert said about her:

“…the Borg Queen, who looks like no notion of sexy I have ever heard of, but inspires me to keep an open mind.”

Ebert got it right. Thanks, CarlG!

9.) – I can. I bought the manga for my roommate and read the exact story about 3 times. I’m surprised to see the manga brought up in Star Trek: the Magazine, but I can’t say I’m displeased! But for now, unless some version of that is shown on-screen (who knows? Perhaps they might do something with it in the new Alternate Reality, since anything goes now), it’s still not canon… yet.

Yah those little manga novels are great! Wil Wheaton has written 1 classic trek story and 1 tng story for them, both pretty good,if intersted look in the manga section in most bookstores to find them-2 volumes of classic or three? I dont remember and one volume tng-I sure hope jj directs the next trek too-He has a real feel for it!

I also loved Alice K. as the borq queen-she made them seem more intelligent and more human at the same time-she was also great in the final episodes of Voyager and reprised the role for the experience borg 4d attraction at the vegas hilton-she mentioned in a behind the scenes that they rehired the original borg drones from first contact for the borg 4d sequence and that they had a wonderful borg reunion-she also found it hard to act to just a green screen instead of having another character to relate to but she was totally blown away by the 3d when she saw it-

There were 3 issues devoted solely to the movie, but there’s a very strong and vocal fanbase out for there for the other 726 stories in the Trek canon – and for those who know nothing about those stories at all, the Borg seemed a good jumping on point for 24th (and some 22nd century) history.
Allyn Gibson’s article very deliberately includes ALL Borg appearances, although I’m sure someone will find one we missed!, and the article indicates where things come from.
We will be incorporating new movie material (including new interviews) for as long as we can!

I definitely think Alice is sexy as the queen. It’s that skin tight leather looking suit on her lovely little frame. I also have that manga with the Borg story. It was a cool surprise ending. You may be able to find the manga at your local library. They have the first two trek manga at the Phoenix library. Just check your local library website.

And the new issue will be rowed across the Atlantic to the UK by…?
Never mind, doesn’t matter – too late for us to join in with any meaningful comments/discussion points anyway, because everyone here will have moved on to something else by then.
What happend to jet planes and global communications anyway? Aren’t there supposed to be computers that can send information around the world at the touch of a button? Publishers not got one of those?

36 – I’m not sure how many different ways we can say this. Yes, we know the copies can be sent by plane. Yes, it could be printed in every different territory that it appears in. And that would cost a heck of a lot more. Encourage more people to buy the mag in the UK, and the economics change!!
I don’t hear you moaning about the fact that the Pocket Books novels arrive 5-7 weeks later! Or have I just missed that…?


UK edition is out 20th August ..

34 – Paul – the 3 movie issues were top class. as was the free Daily Mirror magazine (were those interviews that didnt appear in ST Magazine?)

just a couple of queries/suggestions:

-which issue is going to have the Nicolas Meyer interview in?

-i know there was a recent Movie retrospect issue covering all the previous films for the 40th anniversary but how about doing another one for just TOS movies – it might be good for the new fans to read more on the previous films…or if not the whole of the TOS films, maybe just a Genesis trilogy issue

I would like an article on the detailed timeline that was in the star trek experience museum in vegas and wish someone would find out updated info on the re-opening or if its been cancelled-also what is Paramount doing with the footage they took on the closing-we thought it was going to be in the movies dvd release but sounds like its not…

#4 thanks for clarifying, thought i had missed something there!

The Borg are my all time favourite villain!

Since we’re now dealing with an alternate reality I wonder if there is a chance the Borg might appear in the next movie?

39 – Thanks for the kind words. The movie issues were a lot of work to pull together, particularly as I wanted to ensure that people reading them were getting stuff that they hadn’t already seen here or on other sites around the web – hence things like the costume designs in #19. The Daily Mirror interviews were taken from the “teaser” interviews I did with the cast between February 2008 and March 2009 – they actually appeared (illustrated differently) in the mag beforehand.

Your queries: the interview with Nick Meyer is in #22, our special Villains issue, which is appropriate given the placings of both Khan and Chang in our Top 10. Nick’s autobiography is reviewed in #21 which is going to press shortly. And I heartily recommend it to everyone who’s a Trek fan!

The TOS movies issue is something we’re looking seriously at for the early part of next year. Unfortunately the lead time is such that I’m currently commissioning material for the issue that hits newsstands at Christmas, so the next big gap is the 100-pager after that. We are doing a big feature on Star Trek: The Motion Picture to mark its 30th anniversary, which I’m hoping (but am still waiting for confirmation that it’ll happen) will have some dynamite exclusive material in.


Kirk and Spock vs the Borg is far more appealing to the masses than another Khan story. There is an opportunity here for both a great action film as well as a great sci-fi film… If I were writing the next movie (sorry to sound like a fanboy guys) this would be the no brainer storyline I would go with.

The crew should encounter the Borg as they first appeared on TNG except darker + more intelligent. They certainly would not be the cuddly idiots that they later became (Hugh) in TNG and some of the other spinoff shows.

Instead they should be a dark/menacing unknown alien force appropriate for a theatrical release… I’m thinking unknown alien threat as in Ridley Scott’s original “Alien” + as menacing as Heath Ledger’s “Joker”. THE BORG NEED TO BE MADE INTO A BIG TIME THEATRICAL VILLIAN. Not just a run of the mill ST villian… These films are usually only as good as the villians allow them to be. I would attempt to take the Borg to the next level.

You could really amp up the sci-fi and make the darkest Trek film yet with a Borg storyline… The masses would love the dark nature/explosions of an encounter with the Borg + the die hard Trek fan would go crazy comapring + contrasting how Kirk dealt with the Borg (I’m betting he would not take the pc route + not destroy them give the chance as Picard did) as opposed to Picard.

Perhaps a detailed explanation of how the Borg came to be could be part of this film. An explanation of how the Borg “evolved” over millons of years could be quite interesting… The possibilities are endless.

On the other hand the often discussed Khan storyline just seems too obvious to me. Besides, how could they really improve on the original two Khan stories + why deal with re-casting the great Ricardo Montalban? It’s a no win scenario in my eyes.

Khan is an icon to us die hards, but I don’t think he carries the same summer blockbuster value to the masses that the Borg do.

The Borg offer summer blockbuster potential by their nature. They are far more theatrical + would be more appealing to a general audience that has just dropped $400 million on Transformers II than the intellectual nature of the Khan character.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Star Trek franchise will be looking to up the ante and step up to the next level of blockbuster.
This is going to be a major blockbuster that is going to try + become the next “Dark Knight” rather than the next modestly budgeted “Final Frontier” or “Nemesis” that was meant to play strictly to the old ST audience. The new Star Trek thinks big.

I submit that an action sci-fi film that centers on the Borg will offer a far better oppritunity for commercial success than a Khan film would.

@4 Randy H — Correct, the Kirk reference is to the first volume of Tokyopop’s manga.

@11 GilmourD — The article tackles Destiny‘s revelations, but it also reveals what’s incomplete about them. To misquote a different franchise, “What Destiny said is true, from a certain point of view.” ;) I don’t spell out an origin. I hint at a couple of things, but I don’t explicitly state, “This is how the Borg were born.”

@24 screaming satellite — While I don’t mention this in the article, Wildstorm was developing a TOS Borg story when they held the license. The hook they used was obvious, but clever; at about the same time, I was working on an Enterprise story for Strange New Worlds that used the same hook. “Regeneration” didn’t go quite as far. I’d say more about this project that didn’t happen, but it’s not my story to tell.

@34 Paul Simpson — Not quite; I was a little picky with the video games. I wanted to reference something from them, and I picked the one that I thought was the most interesting.

Also, I didn’t incorporate The Return (because it’s the Shatnerverse) or the Strange New Worlds stories (because that way lies madness).

@43 VOODOO — The problem with the Borg as a storytelling device is that they’re a force of nature. You don’t ever really defeat them. In fact, you really can’t, because they’ll keep coming back, the same way a storm passes, but then you get another one. I won’t say that a Borg film in the new film continuity isn’t possible, because it entirely is, but I don’t see it as “summer blockbuster” material, not when the victory is incomplete and situational at best.

43 – hmmm at first i kind of rolled my eyes as i began reading your post thinking its way too soon for the Borg after First Contact and alot of the menace and darkness you described was explored in that film, plus the borg are firmly a TNG villain and have kinda been done to death in TNG, VOY and ENT…but you make some very interesting points….

-itd be abit unexpected/left field (not khan or klingons like everyone is kind of assuming it will be)…

-i believe Bob Orci is a huge TNG fan (see the final page of Countdown)…even more so than TOS

-although the borg have been done on TNG and in a prior film we have never seen Kirk and Co have anything to do with them whatsoever – plus post Q Who (when they were at their most menacing) the borg always seemed to have a spokesperson which kinda lessened their impact somewhat – so while intially it would seem they are retredding old ground itd would actually be fresh if it was Kirk and Spock vs a non Locutus/Lore/Queen led borg…..

-there was a hint of the borg in the new film (Neros ship – ok that was just a reference in CD but the design of the interior and green hues of the stations certainly had me thinking ‘borg technology’)….

-we havent seen the origin of the borg yet – so the origins could be explored abit via flashback or the like? (prob like Ridley Scott is gonna do with Alien 5)…could V’ger even be involved? (ok it wasnt too popular but TMP was the most successful Trek movie b4 this one!)

-as u say the studio will want to capitalise on the popularity of Trek and going with a Dark Knight inspired new interpretation of a previously established villain – Khan or the borg will certainly do that….

-plus again as u say robotics/cybernetics is in vogue at the moment with Transformers (and to a lesser extent T4 – hey it still made $370m ww)

-perhaps it would be more interesting to see how a young Kirk at the beginning of his career faces up against a Ridley Scott style borg as opposed to Khan (for the 3rd time)…kinda like Star Trek does Aliens mixed with Terminator – horror Sci Fi (what FC was)…plus fans would obviously be intreged with how Kirk, Spock deal with the borg threat – almost a TOS vs TNG thing going down

I would also imagine itd be a great deal of fun to write…

so yeah after initially scoffing at ur post im kinda just about sold on it lol

‘Star Trek: Borg’ coming Summer 2011? – we’ll see

#45 Screaming Satellite

Thanks for giving my ideas a shot.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in the “Countdown” comic series Nero’s ship had Borg technology on it.

Before you say it I completely understand that “Countdown” may or may not be considered ST canon, BUT, it does show that the writers at the very least had the Borg in mind when writing for the new universe that they created.

#44 Allyn Gibson

“The problem with the Borg as a storytelling device is that they’re a force of nature. You don’t ever really defeat them. In fact, you really can’t, because they’ll keep coming back, the same way a storm passes, but then you get another one. I won’t say that a Borg film in the new film continuity isn’t possible, because it entirely is, but I don’t see it as “summer blockbuster” material, not when the victory is incomplete and situational at best”

Why would you assume victory could not be complete? Even if that is the case you may be over thinking a summer blockerbuster/pop corn movie. Maybe you can tell their origin + find their weakness? Maybe Kirk + Spock pay a visit to their homeworld and take them on there? Maybe the Borg exist in a slightly different form in the alt universe where you could deliver the knockout blow you would like to see.

the borg homeworld? – now that id like to see!

also Paramount wont forget the box office success they had with First Contact…far more so than any of the other TNG films – or Trek V and VI for that matter….the reason behind its success? The Borg of course…and the cliffhanger BOBW 1 just about changed american television…

btw im sure there was a novel that ties Vger into the origin of the borg – was it Shatners The Return? if the borg were to be in a sequel id kinda like to see that element explored – oh and that reminds me…:

Captain/Commodore Decker for the sequel! (borg or not)

if he appeared i wonder if Stephen Collins could get away with playing Matt Decker? (im pretty sure Will was supposed to be Matt Deckers boy – even though it was never established on screen)…

dont mind me…just thinkin out loud….

To me the Borg are the most theatrical of any of the ST villians. With the budget this film is sure to have they could be truly imposing.

I wasn’t thinking of Shatner’s book when I suggested the idea, but it is a solid premise… Perhaps if the rumors of the film being told over two films is true we could be introduced to them in the first film (set up the mystery/menace) and then confront them on their home world. Kind of like the first two “Alien” films.

Who would not love to see Kirk square off against the Borg with a $150-$200 million dollar budget + big time director behind the project?

I think this scenario is a very distinct possibility for the next film.

I love JJ’s work and the new movie, but he is a fool if he does not exploit the Borg theme in the fashion of big productions… That’ll be just yummy…