Transcript of Impromptu Roberto Orci Q&A With Fans At TrekMovie

As he does every once in a while, over the weekend Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci jumped into a talkback comments thread here at TrekMovie and did some impromptu fan Q&A. Orci talked time travel, cameos, nitpicks, the sequel, Keenser and more. See below for an easy to read transcript in Q&A format, to see what he had to say.


Bob talks to the fans
If he wasn’t writing for Star Trek, Roberto Orci would probably still be online, debating and discussing Star Trek with his fellow Trekkies. But he is part of current the ‘Supreme Court’, representing the ‘Trekkie wing’ and so when he drops by here, he sometimes does some questions and answers with fans, which he did in the talkback for the article posted last night about JJ Abrams comments on cameos and time travel.

Transcript of questions answered by Bob Orci(note as this is based on talkback there are bound to be grammar and spelling mistakes)

Aussie Adam: I’ve often thought that hidden cameos would be cool, i.e. cameos from familar trek or other faces disguised as alien characters to the point that they are unrecogniseable but not so much that “fans” know that they’re there. What do you think Bob?

BobOrci: Why not? If they’re wiling to sit for hours in makeup


William J. Bordeleau: To the Writers, and Producers of STAR TREK ‘09:

Warm praise for your hard work, and dedication to the greatest sci-fi franchise on the planet. Your generous (yet cautious) treatment of STAR TREK in general has been very honorable. You’ve succeeded in breathing new strength into what many had believed was a show crippled with fatigue.
STAR TREK will live forever- but now you have the privelage on deciding HOW.
It is my opinion that the ‘origin arc’ should continue it’s focus on a character of GREAT importance.
The Enterprise
She was awesome to me as a child. I was consistantly amazed how she performed beyond her specifications. To me, she was- at times- the star of the show. She was blessed with the spirit of humanity- nearly sentiant on occasion.
The Enterprise’s powerful aura made the characters seem all that more interesting.
Who else, but the Federations elite, may serve aboard her?
It is clear to me that the main characters are joined to the enterprise through some “greater intervention”. This could not be more clear to me when Kirk found Spock prime in the cave (STAR TREK ‘09).
It would be awesome to see how- or why the Enterprise is special.
You see, I love the old girl, and I’ve waited too long to be reaquainted with her.
Star Trek: Enterprise failed to rekindle this tradition.
Please, let the Enterprise get top billing. Her greatness alone can define what star Trek is all about.

Thank you for your consideration

because only humanities elite have the skills to serve aboard her.

Bob Orci: Noted


Lando: “Orci: In our Universe, as long as I am here, you can’t just slingshot around the sun”.  The next guy will be like “In our universe, as long as I am here, they won’t be able to beam or fly faster than light.”

BobOrci: well, warp is going faster than light, but I dont think their will be any transwarp beaming in the next One.


What is it with you?: It stands to reason that Kirk and Spock still have some growing to do in their relationship. The scene you originally wrote for Shatner was/is prefect. As much as I loved the new movie, it is less for having this scene omitted (tell JJ. and others I told you so!).

If there is a way you could work that scene in…perhaps this time as a means to convince the new Kirk that he needs Spock… please consider it.

That scene was the greatest piece of star trek writing since TWOK – it’s a shame we didn’t see it realized on film.

BobOrci: Appreciate that. Tough decision we had.


Yeti: Hey maybe a film about Keenser then? Could be a TV movie like the Star Wars Christmas special. We meet Mama Keenser and kiddy Keenser’s. The Enterprise has dropped him home to celebrate a Keenser family BDAY!

BobOrci: So good.


Yeti: While you’re around, there’s a lot of speculation as to the next film obviously but keeping to the Prime world what has been you’re favourite Star Trek movie and do you find yourself drawn to certain aspects of your favourite elements?
Must be hard to suddenly get a “Would like to have” moment when writing and be subjective as a writer rather than what you as a fan would like to see.

BobOrci: I actually love the Trek234 trilogy. Almost everything you need to know about Trek is somehow represented, and certainly those 3 served as big inspirations (and case law) in our attempt.

But there is so much to love all over the trek spectrum, no?


Harry Ballz: you don’t have to tell us what JJ had as an opinion for feedback, but can you at least tell us if he was made aware of the fact that a number of us here weren’t happy with the exterior shots of the Enterprise in the movie. Somehow it never looked quite as real as it could have…..thanks!

BobOrci: I’m sure he checks on these threads to make sure I don’t say something too monumentally stupid.

BobOrci: [clarifying] I am sure JJ is aware of the wide spectrum of opinions, is my point.


ThatOneGuy: Did you guys ever consider using physical models for the ships? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the new E, but there’s just something more about a model.

BobOrci: We did consider models for the ships.


jas_montreal: Bob, can you officially say that NERO is dead at the end of Trek 09 ?

Because i’ve gotten into this debate with my fellow trek friends. I just don’t accept that Nero is dead at the end of Trek 09. Just as I don’t think Ra’s Al Ghul is dead at the end of Batman Begins.

Please help me on this one !!!!!!!!!!! lol

BobOrci: I think it would be very difficult for Nero to survive falling into a black hole without the full protection of his ship. But since we can never observe the interior of a black hole, who know?

This answer doesn’t help, does it?


somethoughts: A ship going through a black hole is traumatic enough, now imagine a ship that is fired upon with all the weapons of the USS Enterprise with failing shields and a black hole vortex inside the ship. Then again this is sci fi, if Nero was a hit of a villain and the public wanted to see him again, he will be back. Right Bob?

BobOrci: Yup


Bucky: While I understand from a story-perspective that sling-shotting around the sun is too easy for time-travel, I’m just wondering from an in-universe setting why Spock wouldn’t do it. Did he just forget? (Let’s assume that Spock never tells anyone in the JJ-verse how to slingshot around the sun to go back in time, considering how messed up the timeline got). Also, I would assume that Spock can’t slingshot back to the moment the Narada arrives because he’d just have one ship and no red matter and no real way to stop them. So I can buy him not fixing it.

But, ah-hah, what about Gary Seven or Braxton and the Relativity or Daniels? Wouldn’t they just be like “Good gravy! What happened to the timeline?!” Maybe it’s too much of a mess to clean up, or they just filed away the JJ-verse as “Tangent Universe #456″ and left it on their merry way and continued to try to keep the Prime timeline from having too many holes in it.

BobOrci: May I refer you to the fan Q&A linked above, to quote myself!:

“…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)…”


ryanhuyton: J.J Abrams, Bob and co. did a great job on this movie. But I have a few suggestions. 1. A new engineering. I’m concerned about the fact that Scotty is a drinker and he happens to work in a brewery.:-)”…

BobOrci: HA! Well played, sir. You may have won this time, but we’ll be back!


dalek: When Kirk steals the corvette and drives past the kid what does he shout? Some people have said it’s “Hey Jonny!” But I thought it sounded like “Hey Georgie!” inferring it’s his brother George Samuel Kirk.

BobOrci: The ambiguity you point out is surely the result of our indecision on the matter. Originally, we had intended, and wrote, a scene in Kirk’s house with his brother and stepfather/uncle/GregGrunbergburg/insertbetter.

George Kirk left the house first, and then Jim stole the car. But JJ and the amazing editors had time and editing and pace considerations which lead us to what you saw. I loved when I saw it cut together.

So as it stands, canon is ambiguous on the matter. Only what’s on screen counts.


colonyearth: Anthony! Sometimes I think you and Bob and the rest of the Supreme Court are in collusion. You post some “talk” and a new “tidbit” which really doesn’t say anything new (JJ said nothing new here than he’s said anywhere else) and Bob gets to read the responses in order to gauge reaction to ideas. It’s a smart little system you devils. Of course, you always have to wade through the…well…them um…you know? Right? I mean you get…what I’m saying there, right?

BTW, hey Bob! Always good when you drop in!

BobOrci: Ha! We’re not in covert collusion but Anthony he sure has a way of framing a debate in his articles! Who can resist?


Desstruxion: I wanna see the Excelsior, Abramsverse style. Any chance of that? Didn’t take two hours to promote Kirk. You could move Sulu right along.

BobOrci: Interesting.


Orci updates on the Star Trek sequel story process
Bob was also lurking around on Thursday in the article about an Abrams sequel update, and had this exchange about the script

Bucky: Heya Bob, has their been a sentence written in what you would call a “script” for Star Trek yet?

BobOrci: A sentence for script? No. A sentence for story, yeah.


That’s it for now. You never know when Bob will show up again. wants to thank Bob Orci for participating in another fan interaction here, and to thank the talkback comments community for maintaining civil and engaging conversations here at TM.

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Thanks for posting that recap. Sometimes it’s tough to have time to wade through the comments. Any update on TrekHQ dot com?

Niiice….I would love to see the Excelsior too, she has always been my favorite ship.

I totally didn’t know that The guys read these threads, I might have to post more then =)

The slingshot theory still works, the problem is, in Star Trek 4, all that is changed is that the audience is now following the new time line where earth is not destroyed and two new whales are introduced into the population on earth.

It is no different that Star Trek 11. We are following the NEW reality, instead of the old one where earth is destroyed by the probe.

To clarify, if Spock slingshots around the sun to live in a fixed new universe where Romulus is saved, he continues living in that universe where we are still out on the branch where he never did that.

There needs to be serious development of the Keenser Holiday Special. How about just an IDW comic? After the movie adaptation is finished.

Even though I can’t honestly say I’m a fan of his work (I’ll hopefully add a ‘so far’), Orci seems like a class act, and his willingness to occasionally spend some of his valuable time here is certainly appreciated both by those who loved the Abrams film as well as those who found it wanting. Kudos especially for his good humor, which never seems to flag no matter how hot and heavy the criticism.

With regards to the sequel, as someone here recently said, we challenge you to do better. Best of luck in that, and in your other endeavors.

Having Bob Orci here to comment has been one of the best parts of this whole process in watching the movie unfold. :)

The idea that the Enterprise occupies some kind of significance beyond the ordinary could be something that could be interesting to draw on.

The use of Q’s judgement on humanity as a meta-arc for The Next Generation could perhaps be an inspiration for a premise that an omnipotent species such as the Q is in some way responsible for bringing together the characters as they nurture humanity in its journey to the stars. I don’t think bringing back the Q character from previous versions of Trek would work, but the idea of a species like the Q might, to provide an underlying story.

These guys (writers and producers) are class acts. I think some fans can be so rude and ridiculous in their reactions when they get a version of Star Trek that doesn’t conform to exactly what THEY would have done.

I’m thankful we have real writers and producers working on Star Trek, and not some Hollywood suits or (the other end of the spectrum) lame fanbois.

Keep up the good work, gents…!

I second that idea of having the Excelsior in the next movie. One of the best space battles in Trek history is in Star Trek VI: TUC, where the Excelsior helps out the Enterprise. The Enterprise is iconic, but it’s nice to see that even the best need help from time to time.

Just brainstorming here, in case BobO is reading this… I think that as WoK had aging as its character theme, the next adventure should be about youthfulness. Perhaps Kirk and Co. really are too young and brash, or at least appear to be; perhaps they do succumb to rashness and impulsivity and imperil themselves and others.

I’m suddenly curious to see a JJverse Excelsior.

…and I liked the answers on time travel. I tend to avoid such arguments, but it answers the question in a almost roundabout way.2

Hmm more people feel disapointed by the exterior shots of the enterprise? i wasn’t dissapointed, but perhaps there a few shots of the E, in particular near the end scene where it looked very CG, but earlier it looked amazing, and huge and real during it’s “take off” from the spacestation, i wonder why there is this inconsistency. The opening shot of the super super close view of the Kelvin’s hull is one of my all time time favourite special effects shots, more like this for the enterprise next time please :)

Bob (& anyone else from the Supreme Court browsing), thanks for coming by time to time and being excellent in responding to the fans. That’s very, very classy and I greatly appreciate reading any tidbits we can pick up from your posts.

Anthony- Thanks for posting this together into one read and thanks for all the free work you do to keep us informed.

Oh well…I only got an “interesting” out of my Excelsior question. Not sure what to make of that. I hope it’s a sign that it’s being thought of as a possibility.

I still say make the next movie totally original with no Shatner or old Spock and NO TIME TRAVEL. Don’t depend on what’s been done before. Canon doesn’t matter since this is a new reality. Time to start a different 5 year mission and let’s see some strange new worlds.

I may not agree with everything they did in the new movie, or all of Bob’s answers, but to me its awesome that Bob and Co. spend as much time on Trekmovie as they do. I really appreciate how much they at least listen to us Trekkies. To me that shows that they realize what a gift they’ve been handed and are treating it with respect.

Wow…what a bunch of stupid questions and ass kissing.

Why not push him into saying how “Spock can watch Vulcan be destroyed and say “oh well”…..Not very Spock like.

thanks for this opportunity to share ideas of Trek and to explore the unknowns. I’m really happy that there is huge fan involvement in the Trek Sequels development. I doubt many other franchises can do that….. great job Anthony and Bob, etc….

@18 Spock just arrived into the past, was immediately pounced upon by Nero. He’s got a bad case of black hole superluminal jet lag. ;)

Plus, he knows that because of the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, “his” Vulcan is unscathed?

Or, he remembers that “Nothing unreal exists.”

Sometimes a T’Kiss is but a T’Kiss.

Bob Orci has got to be the coolest Trek “insider” ever to hang with us fans, taking time to participate in the debates, have a few laughs, answer serious questions with serious answers, and, yes, put up with some of the riff-raff (although, happily, that seems to have died down quite a bit!).

Thank you Bob O for being so thoughtful, and just being one of us! Continued success in the future!

I love having Bob Orci here also, although, he usually doesn’t say much. Guess he can’t with JJ lurking about. ;-)

Seriously though, Bob, it’s great having you as one of us on the supreme court!

18- Well, the younger less disciplined Spock tries to beat a crewmember to death. The older Spock, even through his 150 or so years of Vulcan control gives Kirk a blast of emotional grief so strong it leaves him reeling (and some would argue gives him the empathy he was missing allowing him to become the hero Prime Kirk was). Not sure what else you are looking for.

Mr. Orci, thanks for stopping by. I can certainly say as a fan that this creative team seems to make a lot more effort for fans than a couple of guys with the initial ‘B’ in their names who thought ST:ENT’s “These Are the Voyages” would be good for us!

Now, if we could just get Paramount to market the franchise! Lousy toys, canceled books; how’s a Trekkie supposed to blow his money?

Bob rules.

Damn, I’m bummed to have missed this. I’d have had one thing, and one thing alone to say:

New Vulcan Colony = MARS.

Just think about it! Humans sharing Sector 0 with Vulcans. The true “heart of the Federation” is in one system. The fact that Vulcan and Mars (Gods) are brothers in Roman Mythology. The fact that Vulcan and Mars (Planets) are both Red Planets.

Oh wait – two things. I’d also have said “Andorians, Andorians, Andorians, Andorians, Andorians, Andorians, Andorians.”

Orci didn’t even say anything…he had one or two-word answers. Waste of time. But thanks!

Wait, also … Caitians/Kzinti, please.

RetroWarbird…that’s very, very interesting to me.

I too wanted more Enterprise shots.. That’s the ship not the show :)

Regarding the Mars/Vulcan bit that is.

Got to do something with Shatner after the well-written scene was released and teased us all…

With everything in bob, alex, and damon’s writing hands, I think it will be great. Maybe damon will give us a LOST nod, the anticipated elease date being a proper homage period, after all :)

I do like some ideas tossed around here. Humans closely (proximity) supporting Vulcan re-establishment…issues could arise.

Poor number 18.

oh forgot to say, please no shatner in XII, he’s yet to even watch XI, let’s just focus on the newbies.

Never addressed my point! Nice!

So is it my understanding that at the end of the movie when Spock meets Spock that they are to co-exist in this universe, being the black hole is gone. Spock Prime did say that he was going to start a new colony of Vulcans, which I assume is in JJverse of the young crew. Seems like some kind of loophole.

35- I did though in comment 23.

26- Yeah, definitely Andorians. What becomes their role in the Federation with a lot less Vulcans around?

‘Yeti: Hey maybe a film about Keenser then? Could be a TV movie like the Star Wars Christmas special. We meet Mama Keenser and kiddy Keenser’s. The Enterprise has dropped him home to celebrate a Keenser family BDAY!

BobOrci: So good.’


Bob –

An Idea for the next movie –

Spock being the genius that he is, after some time reestablishing the Vulcan race, might just be able to find a way to return himself to his own, “Prime” universe. After all, he’s just a little past middle aged – 120 or so.

In the deleted scene – Nero’s missing 25 years – we know the Klingons were interested in that future info. It wouldn’t take much for them to shift their focus from Nero to Spock Prime.

What if Kirk were ordered to protect Spock Prime from the Klingons, & rather than bring him back to Earth – it being Kirk after all – he committed to helping Spock Prime return to the Prime-verse? Klingons to defeat, Starfleet pissed, & maybe Spock Prime undershoots a little, and is met back home by Kirk Prime, still very alive.

Prime-verse & Shatner restored
JJ-verse strong & secure – minus time bomb of Spock Prime’s future knowledge.
Young Kirk establishes classic relationship with Klingons for himself.
Nimoy & Shatner together again.
Elements of Yesterday’s Enterprise meet Quantum Mechanics.

Everybody wins! Only downside – everybody who reads this knows about it. Let the misinformation campaign begin!

– Kirk (seriously, that’s my name)

Please no Andorians :( Please no Andorians :( Please no Andorians :(

26 & 37 – Hell yes! I love Andorians! So misunderstood! Like Klingons, but blue, artists, & antennae instead of ridges. Slightly less bloodlust too …

I always assumed that if you used one particular method to time travel, you couldn’t use another to get back. Like if you did a slingshot around the sun, you couldn’t then return to your origin point using the Guardian of Forever. Or vice versa. This is how it’s always worked in my mind, and thus in my mind Spock can’t use a slingshot because that’s not how he arrived. Since all the Red Matter was destroyed, he’s stuck, thus why he doesn’t try to ‘fix’ the timeline.

You know, Bob seems to be the only person to drop in from the Supreme Court. Where is Alex or Damon or even JJ? At least they should drop a comment every once in a while. Anyways, thanks for dropping in Bob, fun to read your responses.

#44: “You know, Bob seems to be the only person to drop in from the Supreme Court. Where is Alex or Damon or even JJ?”

They’re all busy researching cutting-edge theoretical thinking regarding Red Matter, because they care so very much about the science.

Thanks Anthony and Bob

Bob Orci Good Luck with the new Scrpit and Don’t Forget resolving the questioning in the following 2 Movies, and mabye we can see personages of TNG.

Saludos y Cuidate.


I like this, would love to see Mars/Moon in the sense of Pandora in the Star Trek universe.

Great chance to win some sci fi special awards here, tired of the quick matte paintings/5sec cgi scenes.

Universe splitting itself?

Has somebody been breaking into the Romulan Ale cabinet again?

@41 How about putting it somewhere someone can look at it without having to make accounts, register, etc.?