Exclusive: Roberto Orci Gives Star Trek Sequel Update & More [VIDEO]

After the WGA Star Trek screening and panel earlier in the week (see previous report), Roberto Orci spent a little time doing a video interview for TrekMovie. The writer talked about meeting Walter Koenig, gave an update on the status of the sequel, explained why writing it feels harder than the first, and also revealed how fan interaction at TrekMovie has worked its way into meetings with the Star Trek Supreme Court.


Roberto Orci on Star Trek sequel and fan input and more
Video taken at the Star Trek WGA screening last week.


  • Orci sat with Walter Koenig at TV Hall of fame induction of Gene Roddenberry and "picked his brain" and got "a lot of great Star Trek stories"
  • Orci has trouble "internalizing" being nominated by WGA (for Best Adapted Screenplay for Star Trek), but feels honored to be recognized by fellow writers
  • The "Star Trek Supreme Court" (Abrams, Lindelof, Burk, Kurtzman, & Orci) "have an area" they are "talking about" for the Star Trek sequel, and the "opinions are starting to form"
  • Orci expects (like first Trek) the story process will take longer than scripting: it’s all about figuring out the story first, writing it will be quick" [during panel discussion Orci said that the first film took four months to come up with a story and two months two do the script]
  • Still consider themselves in "the early stages of story development" but feel the film can go into pre-production in 2010
  • Considers the sequel more "daunting" because the second film has fewer constraints, noting ‘Now that we have absolute freedom, it comes with absolute responsibility and it is daunting."
  • Looking to continue with "a mix" of new story ideas, and using elements from classic Star Trek that will "harmonize with canon", but "still open to something fully original and we will not do a remake".
  • Orci on interacting with fans at TrekMovie.com "The opinions become party of my internal focus group"
  • Comments from fans have worked their way into meetings with "The Supreme Court"
  • Orci uses his interactions to gauge responses and get a sense of where the fans are at, noting "Knowing where fans are is as important to us as pleasing the new audience"


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sounds promising. Good luck gentlemen!

Thanks Anthony!

Thanks for the status update! I would still like to see some genuine exploration: “Strange new worlds.” Like Avatar, but make it Star Trek, of course. :-)

Thanks for the interview and the inside story as it is at the moment. It’s a good thing to hear that STSC (Star Trek Supreme Court) has a fár better ear and contact with the fans than the old TPTB (The Powers That Be).
Much of which is thanks to TrekMovie.com, which provides a soundboard for all those involved; STSC and fans alike.

Good luck with the sequel, i’m sure we’re all looking forward to the development on that.

Nothing we didn’t really know before.

Bob is the man. Its awesome that he takes the time to interact with fans. I have a lot of confidence in him and the rest of the crew behind Star Trek.

Something I have been wondering about is whether or not Kirk, as a very young captain, will still be struggling to earn the respect of of his peers in the sequel? Just something to think about.

PS We want Klingons!!!

Great interview; I have great faith in them for the sequel :)


“we will not do a remake” – Big sigh of relief here. They can be “inspired by” other Trek, which I seriously hope they are, but a direct re-make would be a ticket straight to a flop.

Be as original as you can be while keeping it Trek. The writers proved they can do it already, so I have no worries.

Nice one Anthony. Thanks to you also Bob for your time.

My only advice for the sequel would be to make sure someone notifies the post production team this time around that the Enterprise has shields. ;)

Well the whole “we will not do a remake” thing sounds promising.. Im really hoping for something fresh and new from this team. Just don’t set it right after the first film.. make it a year into their five year mission or something.. This way we have a little more ease between the characters and we can then focus on plot and storylines with some additional character development. Also, please don’t make it where they have to save Earth again.. been there , done that- many, many times..

Exploration Exploration Exploration!!!!

Give us a new world not another new enemy . . .
(well, maybe some Klingons exploring too!)

I think there are some things that could be addressed in the movie that would be great for fans and help a compelling story.

Have the first scene of the crew of the enterprise take place in the wrapping up stage of a classic episode before they are summond to somewhere else. For example, it would be cool to see an Ahorta. Such a device could anchor what time frame we are talking about.

If the Klingon’s are the heavies in the movie you could have Colonel Worf played by Michael Dorn have a decent rolewith the equivalent weight of spock prime. You could have the Klingons have lost their way backstory where Kirk and the enterprise are about to get creamed and Colonel Worf sees it as wrong and prevents the dishonorable act from happening. This role could have both action and explain why Colonel Worf gave up on the military and became a public defendant and took up the kirk case in ST VI.

Put in a section 31 thread that could give a reason for a trilogy.

Just some thoughts.

Great interview Anthony. Bob, whatever the fans think, don’t let it stifle you. Take chances. Thanks for the interview Bob.

Since they “new” crew are on the Enterprise some 3 or 4 years earlier then what happenned in the TOS universe, I hope they do a new story.

Maybe at the end they could alude or segue into a “known” TOS situation and setup movie 3 ( or movie13 depending how you look at it)

There is room to move still in the earlier period. I’d love to watch a shake down and 1st mission that is totally new involving the new crew.

Oh and by the way, Please spend some money on engineering. I don’t want to see giant Beer kegs anymore!

Why “adapted screenplay?” The story was wholly theirs, right? Not based on a previously published work?

I REALLY like what Orci said about harmonizing, but still doing something new. I think the Borg would be perfect for the next film. They’re familiar to us all, would be badass villains, and it’d allow the writers to create an intense new story.

“So much for the little training cruise…”

I think we are extremely lucky we have Bob. I can not imagine any other franchise, where there would be on-board someone who a). Cares so much about it, and b). Cares so much about the fans.

Cheers Bob!

they better get a stronger plot for the next one.

Star Trek XI’s weakness that it had a very thin one, however it was stronger on character.

No Khan cause it won’t work and the Borg don’t belong in Kirk’s time.

perhaps this new universe could do a crossover with the prime, let those doubting fans realise that the prime universe is stil lthere.

I know it is but for the fans who deny it.


they took elements from some of the novels.

I’m amazed that this movie and these writers are getting more attention and praise than the past writers and shows.

I still think Ron Moore, Ira Behr, Michael Pillar are all better, I wih they more awards for what they did in Trek.

When I think of these writers I cannot get the crap that is Transformers 2 out of my mind.

17 & 8

Borg were new once, remember? And they are TNG villians… I’d love to see a nod to them or hints that they exist or even pre-emptive actions influenced by Spock Prime…

…But I think the next film should focus on The Team going on a space adventure. Trekking through the stars, if you will. :)

They don’t necessarily need a big villian. Just an awesome adventure story.

#16–it technically qualifies as adapted screenplay because although the story was completely theirs, it was made for an established franchise…

Allow for the passage of real time. The fact that it’s going to be three years later shouldn’t be ignored.
Good opportunity to build a proper engineering set and, yes, get rid of the bar code scanners. And darken down the bridge lighting. I guarantee it will look better.
Deepen the character scenes/relationships. It can’t be just a romp or it will fail.
Think “District 9” not “Transformers 2.”

#16–also, what #21 said…AND because they alluded to other nonTrek stories in the film…although this part is iffy…the scene with Kirk and ElderSpock in cave: alluding to Luke and ObiWan in the desert on Tattooine…the destruction of Vulcan: alluding to the destruction of Alderan in Star Wars… the supernova destroying Romulus in Spock’s mindmeld flashback: alluding to the beginning of Superman when Krypton exploded… also the whole origin story is loosely adapted from the Prime Universe’s course of events and hearkens, as #21 said, to several novels… not to mention JJ’s Easter egg in the San Francisco skyline of the Tagruato Corporation logo on a building, alluding to Cloverfield… also, in a very abstract way the entire layout of the film, if you really examine it, echoes loosely to the layout of the first major blockbuster film JJ wrote…the Bruce Willis film Armageddon…

I just hope we see interaction between Bones, Spock and Kirk as they face insurmountable odds.

Interaction that we are familiar with yet we can see how it creates the building blocks Kirk needs to make the decisions that save the day.

I would love to see the movie start with them getting out of one impossible situation that then leads into the main movie. I loved the opening of the new Star Trek.


interesting points.

I was saying to my friend that I am worried if they draw from the books then the next movie might be derivitive of other writers work rather than an original story on their own.

First Contact is an action film and it had has a much better story than the new movie.


I get the feeling Transformers 2 went as directed by Micheal Bay.

And darker doesn’t always = better, cooler, whatever.

The darkest Trek installment was also one of the lowest grossing and lowest quality…Hello, Nemesis.

Give me whip-smart action, crackling dialogue, interesting new cultures and races, a planet doesn’t look like Hoth or California…

And then keep reminding me why I love these characters together. :)

Give me more McCoy!

Karl Urban was amazing.

Watch Wash/Zoe (from Firefly) to see how a good healthy working ship relationship (and hey! interracial too!) w/ subtle romance can work *within* an awesome space team (psst! and without sacrificing character elements for either party!)…

She should have skills. Yes, I do remember Mirror-Mirror, but *please* don’t turn Uhura into Xena.

I think it would be *more* awesome if she thought her way out of a situation.


I would love to see the movie start with them getting out of one impossible situation that then leads into the main movie. I loved the opening of the new Star Trek.


Something that pretty much establishes the badassery of the new cast and how much they *click* without being too heavy-handed with it (more Robau and George Kirk, and less Kid Kirk blaring Sabotage while driving a stolen car into a quarry).

Apparently a cameo with Carol Marcus almost made it into the last script so I’m hoping that she’ll be in the next one.

I’m also hoping that they can build in a mix of professional and relationship stuff for Uhura. I don’t want to see her stuck as the girlfriend but neither do I want her to become something she’s not just to give her more to do. They definitely need to give her the chair when the big boys head off. I was rather annoyed when Chekov, a young, less senior officer was put in charge instead of the more mature, senior Uhura.

I do think the franchise needs an action heroine though and I’d like that to be Janice Rand. As Kirk’s assistant she is more mobile and it gives them an easy chance to play a bit of subtle jealousy with Carol Marcus.

12: agreed. Exploration.

I keep saying this but i’ll repeat it: i’d like a Star Trek film, for a once to include the following:

-exploring strange new worlds
-seeking out new life and new civilizations
-boldly going where no man has gone before.

Does no-one else find it odd that they never seem to do this-??
Space is full of unknowns – that’s the appeal of it. Let’s go find a few for once – and I don’t mean aliens who are exactly like humans, except they have knobbly heads.

# Looking to continue with “a mix” of new story ideas, and using elements from classic Star Trek that will “harmonize with canon”, but “still open to something fully original and we will not do a remake”.

It’s good to know that they’re open to originality this time, but after that recent thread, I’m going to be concerned anytime Bob uses the word “harmonize” :(

Great interview, thanks Anthony and Bob!

#4: “It’s a good thing to hear that STSC has a fár better ear and contact with the fans than the old TPTB.”
Ditto like hell! AMEN!

No remake! Yeah! I’ll start saving for those IMAX tickets.

harmonize with canon?

I thought the new movie was done to deviate from canon, which is why I don’t treat the new film as canon.

When I say its not canon I mean it does not relate to the est of Trek and is its own separate entity. So don’t slap me.

Its true i don’t think this is the best ever movie but I still like it.

Come back Porthos junior!
And i want to see Mandala Flynn, ad her security team!

I personally would like to see an old villian, but not the Klingons, we’ve seen enough of them, and the Borg don’t fit, personally, I think that the Gorn fit perfectly. They can be menacing, there familiar with fans, and it gives alot of freedom creatively, sure they were a bit cheezy, but that can change, just change the loincloth uniform, and it’ll be fine.

Khan isn’t the reason why Star Trek II is so great. It’s what Kirk went through. Feeling old and getting back onto the Enterprise, then regaining it as captain. Finding out he has a son. He isn’t able to deal with death and then he’s forced to. Then he as to live with the loss of a brother. He grows because of all of this, he evolves and by doing so he feels young. Kirk deals with his humanity, and grows because of it. Oh and the acknowledgement of his son. his regret of not chosing to be with Carol Marcus and a father. BTW Khan is just a plot filler to push events into action. What the main characters were thrown into, the villian could of been anyone. Kan was just a dumb stereotypical meaningless vengeful villain. there really was nothing sound why he wanted to kill Kirk, it was a celestial event that caused her death, the planet Kirk marooned them to was green and lush at the time. I say blame God or the fates. It wasn’t Kirks fault, stupid Khan!

#37: “Khan isn’t the reason why Star Trek II is so great.”

Aw, don’t ruin the fun by talking sense :) Common wisdom remains that STII kicks ass because it brought Trek what it had needed all those years: villains worth killing, by thunderous holy God! Villains worth laying a good killin’ on! [hawks, spits]

To the point where they took a character that had been a brilliant foil in his original appearance, and villainized him for the purpose :( Instead of being a problem to be solved, he became a villain to be defeated.

Great flick, but its success taught many wrong lessons, and we’re still paying for it.

I’d like to see the video, but it’s been deactivated.

I even joined that Vimeo site, and it won’t let me watch it.

-exploring strange new worlds
-seeking out new life and new civilizations
-boldly going where no man has gone before.



Make it 3D!

Create an intelligent, understandable villain (like Dukat, Damar, the Talosians, the Romulan commander in the Balace of Terror or at least Chang).

No more Shinzons or Neros!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think epic armies of 100,000 trenchcoated and helmeted Klingons storming some planet would be great fun. Just make the ones in charge smarter than the “Hulk Smash!”-style TNG/DS9 ones. Read the old Trek novel The Final Reflection – that’s the sort I mean.

Mr Arex would be great in STXII. We have the technology!

And keep the brewery, just to annoy the technophiles (and because I thought it was really cool). Please.

Good luck! Don’t make it suck!

Oh, and get those damn nuTrek novels published!


Yes exploration, new worlds. Real Aliens

A little like Avatar.

Make it a Star Trek (not a Star Wars) movie!!

Great job, Anthony, on keeping a great forum where we can interact with the current PTB via Mr. Orci.

Star Trek Lives!

Bob already said that in almost any sequel to this type of movie, there is a villian, and he’s right. The idea of the crew of the Enterprise going off to match wits with some unknown space cloud simply will not cut it. There will be a villain, its just a matter of who (my vote goes for Khan and the Gorn), and yes make the movie in 3-D. Using Avatar as the template.

No Khan or Mudd everything else, go for it!

Passage of real time will show on the actors so go with it to the degree that suits you and embrace it; better bridge and engineering sets; (as #24 already mentioned).

More of the original central trio and less Uhura fawning over and taking advantage of her fling with Spock; an upgraded and improved Big E design that can be shown more without fear of Dolly Parton nacelle syndrome and faster due to less aerodynamic drag from said big king sized DP nacelles. Cheers and good luck on your nomination BO.

The emotional core of #2 should belong to Kirk and be as powerful as his Edith Keeler decision in the primeline.

And thank you once again Bob Orci for all you have done, and all you will do, in service of Star Trek.