Roberto Orci: Star Trek Sequel Script Draft Done By Christmas + Talks ‘Darker’ vs ‘Fun’ Theme

Roberto Orci, who is writing the Star Trek sequel with Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, gave an update on the project in a new interview. The script should be done at the end of the year. Orci also talks about fan feedback, Abrams directing decision, and the possible darker theme. Details below.  


Bob Orci’s Star Trek update

Bob Orci talked to IGN at the CBS upfronts in May where he was promoting Hawaii Five-O. IGN got him to talk about his other projects, Cowboys and Aliens and Star Trek. Here are some quick highlights on the Star Trek sequel:

  • Team plans to turn in "a pretty good draft" of sequel script by Christmas
  • Just like with first film, producer JJ Abrams wont decide if he will also direct sequel "until he reads the script and gets super excited" [Super 8 schedule does not appear to conflict]
  • Writers not planning on including Nimoy (unless he asks to be involved)
  • Orci brings "cool suggestion" fan feedback into meetings, saying fans "are consultants on the movie"

But the most interesting bit of the article was the question about the theme:

IGN: Second movies, including Wrath of Khan, are often the dark chapter. Things often get pretty intense. Are you going to go in that direction?
Orci: Well, it’s weird. We got kind of a mixed review in terms of the darkness or not in the first one. There was genocide of an entire planet, Spock’s freaking mother died, Kirk’s dad died… But it’s like, "Well, it wasn’t very dark!"
So I think maybe thematically, because we don’t have the burden of an origin story, we can play a little bit more with the theme and it can be a little bit more complicated. But I still think we like fun. Star Trek has always been funny. Even Wrath of Khan has got some great great, great fun in it. I think it will be equally confusing for some, but I do think we get to jump right into it now. 

For more from Bob on Star Trek and Cowboys & Aliens, read the full interview at


POLL: Should Trek get Dark?

What say you? Like the mix of dark vs. fun in Star Trek 2009, or should it go in a different direction in the sequel?



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Looking forward!

*to it

Sweet, I can’t wait.

Tell us your ideas and storyline, we will tell you if it is good enough to be the sequal and make 500mil :)


@3…as I recall, when ST09 details began to emerge, those who voiced some level of support were browbeaten into submission by the cannonistas, who insisted it was garbage, and fled to the fan flicks in droves. My trust in these boards to determine if the sequel is worthy is iffy, at best…

Does the fan who made one of the “cool suggestions” get a share of the movie’s box office?

The thing is FUN or Funny, I’m all in for FUN FUN

As long as it’s not too dark, i’m good

Haha…so if Abrams decides not to direct, would that mean he’s not excited about the script. I’m kidding, but that’s not the best choice of words by Mr. Orci.

Here goes a fan suggestion. Listen if you wish:
I think that the sequel should be a little bit darker. Just a touch though, because Star Trek should always have that underlying sense of hope and pride, you know what I mean? But since the first movie was basically everyone proving themselves as captain, science officer etc, I think the second movie should start to test them. Also, the second movie needs to lead into the third. Since you went back and changed Trek history, you can do basically anything. I’d make the hugest threat the federation has ever come across come into play. Of course throw the main characters into danger, but still make it a fun adventure movie. :)
Hope it helps?


Oh sorry to hear, that must have been before my time posting here :)

Send to me boborci and team, I will review and give feedback. I love movies and sci fi and love to theorize on the universe/mankind .

You guys are so lucky, how fricken cool is it to write a movie for star trek let alone the reboot and now the sequel!

William Shatner in this one?

Mr. Orci is right- genocide/destruction of Vulcan is pretty dark…I think there are few parallels in the series that were that dark. Planets were destroyed, but not Spock’s homeworld. How about something serious but not quite as sad? Also, I am most concerned about the decrease in Roddenberry’s humanistic message in the movie. It seemed to prioritize action over any type of message. Star Trek’s contribution was not that it was mostly action. …all movies have that now. Star Trek is ABOUT something. I hope to see that in the next movie.

Doesn’t matter on a tone as long as the story makes more sense this time and defintely no redos of Khan.

Also Orci no more destruction of the iconic pnaets in the Trek universe. Vulcan being destroyed in the last movie was a painful part of the movie.

At least this film is out of canon from the rest of Trek so it doesn’t matter as Vulcan is still in the prime universe.

You did a great movie with Star Trek XI but to me it still had a few problems and I hope you lose these problems with the next script.

Star Trek XI was great for moments but I felt the script was a mess, a more focused script would be ideal for next time and please no Khan.

Less nonsense action scenes. Please.

FINALLY!!! Yay! Progress! News! Joy to the world!

As far as darkness goes, I think if they really want to go darker then let them, but if they turn it into some kind of horror movie then I will ditch this new series. Not all of Star Trek (oh lordie I could never) but these new movies, yes. Btw, anyone notice that there’s no name for them yet?

I mean, the destruction of Vulcan was pretty dark, I think that people thought it wasn’t just because you didn’t see all of the Vulcans dying off one by one in horrible deaths. Plus that one scene where you see that girl (on the Kelvin) flying in the air, hanging onto the side of the ship and screaming for help and then being hurled into space. Dunno where your morality is but that was pretty dark.

just let the guys write it and see which way the story takes them, i personal would perfer the same type of tone as 2009 but that might be to light for the type of story they are telling,the one thing i do want is the charactor to maintaine a sence of wonder,fun and the team spirit even if the rest of the story is dark like ds9 where they had there dark moments it was still at it heart a star trek programe. i do agree with 9* comment he real should choice his words more carefully

Absolutely not. Flavor of the moment “dark” is being WAAAAY overdone in SF. Not to mention, ST is about hope and a bright future. If you need “dark” watch every freaking thing our right now.

Personally, I want to see if Abrams, Orci & Co. are capable of making a good original movie. I really enjoyed ST 11 but let’s be real it was a compilation of all the ST movies that went before with very little original material. Hopefully, they’ll also keep some of Abrams sillier ideas like the metaphysics & sideways universes far away from Trek


A sci fi pitch fork into the head/skull is pretty dark also imo :)

Just give us your version of the Klingons and 2 races fighting over sci fi resources and tie in allegory, insert some sexy scenes, pivotal suspense crying/sad scenes, gut wrenching omg did you see that owns scene and roflao that scene was so funny oh and some epic special effects that made part 1 dusty.

Michael G back as music guy and more epic Star Trek titles.

I know these guys can do quality stuff with the right people, and they’re with the right people.

I’m still hoping for some good Prime Directive and Klingon drama (a la “Errand of Mercy” and “A Private Little War”).

I’d like to see a Trek movie actually deal with exploration, and finding new worlds for once, though if they wanted to fold in homages to original Trek, my favorite classic episodes had derelict ships or colonies and a spooky alien mystery at their heart…

Star Trek XI is a good movie but I treat it as a separate entity from the rest of Trek.

I felt the new movie forget the chain of command when it came to promotions.

I think, in terms of tone, a little darker, a little more serious, but with the same general sense of fun.

How I’d go:

– Something being discovered, more of an exploration theme than a typical bad guy.
– Having this unknown be a tangible threat, with an air of mystery: What IS this thing that threatens to kill us?
– Have this story test the characters friendships, and allow the friendship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy to be deepened and explored.

It should live up to going boldly where no man has gone before.

Yes, there were a lot of deaths on STXI, a whole planet, and the reason is a vengeance of someone who had lost an entire planet too. I don’t think that deaths are what makes a thing darker, I think it’s the complexity of things. Like evil, pure evil, not justified evil. But often when we have a villain with no reason the story gets lame. Most of the time but not always.
That’s the appeal of The Joker and even, remembering Quinto, his Sylar. They are evil and smart, not the kind of cheap evil. Sometimes our dark side even love them. And even when we have no villains, we can have a dark situation, like torture and terrorism. But is it what the producers are thinking for the franchise? I don’t think so.

So, I don’t vote for “dark”, I vote for “smart”. A darker ambient in a lame story don’t make it better.


Times of crisis/battle and losses, you promote who you can, sides they only had 2hrs to show us how they got there. We didn’t need to see a long winded application to become x officer y commander z captain.

22″ i read somewhere that one of the reason for his promotions to captain well overnight was the prime spock and thats he reaso he was on earth if that had been the case still not realy buying but would have been nice if it was in the script


I would love to see Quinto with a goatee. If Nemesis and the last Star Trek wasn’t done and all those episodes that dealth with the mirror mirror universe a mirror mirror movie may have worked.

How fricken cool would it have been to see a sneak peak picture of Quinto sporting a goatee for evil mirror mirror Spock?

I am hoping they do the Klingons/Khan and or origins of life story.

rising through the ranks as they did in the new movie havd me yelling WTF? a few times. Well into myself.

Here’s my suggestions:

-More Spock/Uhura (just two words: Pon Farr)
-Bring back Gaila!
-Introduce M’Ress or Arex
-No 3-D (I know the studio will pressure you, but don’t give in!)
-More Bones

Add a stronger plot to the mix.

Less Spock/Uhura
No 3D

Why is it movie have to be so “Dark” these days. I mean the real worlds dark enough. Why not have an adventure more in the spirit of Star Trek. A movie that is intelligent, interesting and fun? Every movie that comes out at the moment is always billed as “Darker” than before. I hope this time we get a story with more exploration incorporated in the plot

The rank issue was not an issue. They just saved us having to sit thru a trilogy of movies to get to the expected end, like another trilogy of movies that blew so bad.

I’m excited about the possibilities of new adventures without the cannon baggage. Bring on the new voyages of THE starship Enterprise!

My suggestions:

-absolutely no Spock+Uhura.
-more Diora Baird and Gaila.
-more ship classes

FUN, DISASTER, FUN…. AWSOME REVELATION…. then film number 3!

Here are my pointers.

– I’d rather have a more serious film than a darker film. And since nothing about the story to Trek09 was ever taken seriously, I can’t see it being that much of a problem.

– No more labeling or treating characters as comic relief. Scotty shouldn’t be making funny comments or being the butt end of every joke every time he shows up on screen.

– Uhura must do better. She was bad in this movie. Vulcan is collapsing, it has minutes before it’s destroyed, and when given an assignment to alert Vulcan to evacuate where every second matters, she leaves her post. Let me reiterate. Vulcan has *minutes* left. I think if Uhura cared about the lives of all the innocent men, women and children on Vulcan, she wouldn’t just leave her station and question Spock on something he most likely has all figured out, being a Vulcan and all. This is a good example of exposition that actually hurts the film, because Uhura was portrayed to be this very serious character that took her work very seriously. It only got worse when she leaves her station not once, but TWICE in a critical situation just to see Spock off before he beams to the Narada, and again when he beams back. This is so bad, Chekov actually does Uhura’s communications work when he is the one who hails the Narada while Uhura is seen running in the background back to her station.

– No more pointless skills. Just because you have characters say they are awesome at something but it ends up never paying off is time not well spent.

– There is more to romance than just having it happen out of the blue. What is it about these two that they find themselves attracted to one another? How did they first meet? Did they go on a date? Who confessed their attraction first? What did their friends, family think of their relationship? I’m not opposed to a Spock/Uhura romance, it just needs substance.

– NuKirk is an a**hole who I have no respect or appreciation for. If you’re going to have him be the center of attention, I would at least like to ‘care’ about him rather than wish him the worst possible fate ever to be bestowed upon a Star Trek character.

and finally

– Star Trek needs more women that can hold their own, and not be limited to Short Skirts and stripping scenes.

Two words: Vulcan Yoga. No pon farr- we’ve seen that.

I want something good to look forward to. Something new, interesting, and butt-kicking.

I know you guys can do it, Bob.

Just dont forget the new audience you have captured guys im sure you wont…as for Shatner…. dont bother… let it become its own thing… not your fathers Star Trek!

oh and new engineering set please!!!!!!!!!

There should be an option in that poll for “let the writers create what they feel is right. I trust them, Trek is in great hands”.

Well if JJ doesnt want to direct the movie, and Shatner cant be fit into the story, maybe they can have Shatner direct it. :]

I just want the movie to be good. They need to take everything that was successful for the last movie and expand upon it. This team now has learned what works and what doesn’t. With the pieces all in place, they just need to figure what’s the best story they can tell.

Star Trek 2009 was dark, but the action kinda disguised it. I don’t mind if the next movie is in the same style, but please don’t destroy another important world, and you’ve made your point, so no more killing off major characters.

Some fans complained about the action and “sex” in Star Trek 2009, but it seems to me TOS had more than its share of gratuitous fistfights (usually with the world’s worst stuntmen stand-ins) and Kirk getting the girl-of-the-week. Even Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and Chekov got the girl once in a while! (Kirk must have been having a bad week.) So, basically, I have no problem with action and mild sex in Star Trek 2012.

I’d like to see a contemporary issue addressed in 23rd Century analogies, as TOS often did. The energy crisis would seem to be a good potential subject. So would an environmental disaster a’la BP in the Gulf (although two years from now, our short-attention-span society will have forgotten about that.) Perhaps both: a new, highly efficient system to create/harvest antimatter goes horribly wrong, and Kirk & Co. have to save the day. Throw in Klingons, who are skulking around trying to steal the secret system and we have opportunities for fistfights and ship-to-ship combat. Bring in Carol Marcus as the antimatter/protomatter expert assigned to the Enterprise to help in the crisis, and she and Kirk hit it off. The movie can end with Carol back home discovering she’s pregnant. Then, as others have suggested, the final scene of the movie can be Spock detecting a derelict ship on sensors, and the audience sees that the ship is the S.S. Botany Bay.

Script idea:
Evil Intergalactic Corporation through criminal neglect causes damage to the very fabric of time and space. Despite repeated attempts to fix the problem, the Corporation cannot contain the ever increasing damage as reality itself threatens to unravel. Finally, after months of standing idly by the President of the Federation sends Kirk and Crew to fix the problem.

This of course bares no resemblance to any current events in our time.

@borci – feel free to use this idea…

My ideas:

– the Klingon sisters, a big Klingon Supremacy
– Bones and Spock watching Jim driving as partitian in a futuristic Stock Car Racing, watching him with googles, discussing his nervwrecking crazyness!! Many holographic lights, loops, maybe a station in space. Many flares, I bet JJ would make such a thing wonderfull!
– funny moments: 3D chess, allergy reactions, ponfarr, Bones and Uhura, more Gaila and Cupcake, more Spock&Bones, more Kirk/Bones/Spock

i am very excited to hear the script will be done this year. i think bob has great handle on what makes good star trek. i love everything about the movie especially the choice in kirk. i had never heard of or seen chris pine before so it was easy to accept him as the new capt. and he did a great job of capturing the essence of kirk. when i heard quinto was spock i stopped watching heroes just so quinto would be spock and no one else. im glad star trek is back and im so happy that they finally got it right.

Oh yeah, and maybe we could see more of how being the captain puts a burden on Jim, you know…the loneliness of command, being isolated from the crew. He used to be the life of the party, the lady’s man, but not anymore. And maybe after years of fooling around with women, he finally falls for ONE woman…but realizes that now that he’s the captain, he can’t have her. That’d be more like good ol’ TOS Kirk. You know…Captain Angst.

My thinking is that a story that is very “dark” can also have plenty of humor/fun in it as well. Yeah there was some tragic moments in the film like the Kelvin and Vulcan being destroyed, but honestly we didnt actually see a lot of people die horribly right in front of our eyes (like millions of Vulcans being swallowed up by the ground for example), so by and large I think the movie was mostly fun while dealing with some serious issues at the same time. The most tragic scene IMO was with George Kirk and his wife, which we did see and hear in detail, so that hit home to me.

46. Trekman

Your idea of Kirk falling in love with someone he can’t have is easily the best idea I’ve read so far. It can add an extra dimension to NuKirk; the idea of starship captain as someone whose devotion to duty engenders a great deal of personal sacrifice.


Thing is I prefer my father’s Star Trek but this is still a good movie