Star Trek Sequel Update: Abrams, Orci & Kurtzman Talk Khan, Klingons & more

We all want to know what is up with the Star Trek sequel, which is currently being written. The new special 200th issue of the UK’s SFX Magazine has an extensive section all about Star Trek that includes interviews with JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman. They talk sequel possibilities, Khan, Klingons, humor and more. See excerpts below.


JJ Abrams on the sequel possibilities

The extensive feature on the Star Trek sequel in the October SFX Magazine includes a brief interview with producer (and possible director) JJ Abrams, who didn’t really want to got into any details noting he wanted to (as is his custom) "keep some of the mystery going", but he did comment on the possibilities available to the team, saying:

Abrams: The universe that Roddenberry created was so vast. And so it’s hard to say there’s one particular thing that stands out as what the sequel must be. Which is on the one hand, a great opportunity. On the other hand it’s the greatest challenge – where do you go? What do you focus on? But I’m incredibly excited about the prospects.

Kurtzman and Orci on Khan and Klingons

Also in the issue is an interview with Star Trek sequel co-writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman who discuss various elements of their first and second Star Trek feature. Some of the most interesting parts regard who will be the ‘big bad’ for the next movie. Alex Kurtzman noted that regardless of how it turns out, the choice will be organic, saying:

Kurtzman: Starting at a premise of what you want to see and then working a story around it is not how we do it. You have to start with what is the right story. And that if you can say "That’s a story that Khan fits into", that’s how you get to that. Not deciding on a menu list of items and then seeing if you can’t string them all together.

Roberto Orci agreed noting that the decision on villains is made based on what the "characters need". Orci also pointed out that any villain will "reflect" the "new universe" they set up in the first movie. Orci also specifically discussed the Klingons, saying:

Orci: Introducing a new villain in the sequel is tempting because we now have this incredible new sandbox to play in. On the other hand, some fans really want to see Klingons and it’s hard not to listen to that. The trick is not to do something that’s been seen before just because you think it will be a short cut to likeability.

Kurtzman & Orci on tone  & humor of the sequel

There has been some concern that comments comparing their 2nd Star Trek film to The Dark Knight, the 2nd new Batman film, meant Trek would be going dark. However Star Trek sequel co-writer Alex Kurtzman made it clear the tone would be similar to the first film noting:

Kurtzman: The first one had dark elements, but was ultimately very warm. We’d hope to strike a similar balance [in the sequel]

Kurtzman’s co-writing partner Roberto Orci also confirmed that Simon Pegg (who was introduced late into Star Trek 2009) would have a larger role in the sequel. Orci also commented on the importance of humor in Trek, stating:

Orci: Humor is part of the franchise and I think it’s critical, certainly to the Bones-Spock relationship. It’s definitely a big part of the Bones-Kirk relationship. So, I don’t see any world where humor doesn’t play a part.

There is much more on Star Trek and from Orci, Abrams and Kurtzman in the October SFX Magazine on newsstands in the UK (and on some stands in the US too).


POLL: Trek’s next big bad?

Once again we must ask…



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Khan would be tacky to put in the SECOND film as a villain.

i say klingons, the gorn, or a new species.
kahn was a singular entity. even if “space seed” hasnt happened in the new timeline there is only so much you can do with a small crew on the botany bay. and lets admit it people kahn wasn’t all the great to begin with. it was the actor who potrayed him that made the character interesting.

i say klingons, the gorn, or a new species.
kahn was a singular entity. even if “space seed” hasnt happened in the new timeline there is only so much you can do with a small crew on the botany bay. and lets admit it people kahn wasn’t all the great to begin with. it was the actor who potrayed him that made the character interesting.

^ sorry it posted twice i hit the send button only once

No, not Khan! I don’t want recycled characters!

No Khan! No Khan! No Khan.

Have I stressed this enough?

Have some imagination people and do something interesting. Don’t make me hate my favourite franchise. Voyager almost managed that.


That is all.

I think Khan is great, but I’d consider doing his interaction with Kirk and crew a bit differently… I’m kind of indecisive about what I’d want to see in a villain, new or old or whatever. If it’s not me writing the story and doing it to MY vision – then I prefer not to think too much on what THEY will do when they haven’t even decided yet. Don’t want to get my hopes up for something that might not go.

“Not deciding on a menu list of items and then seeing if you can’t string them all together. “

Good Lord. If there was ever a description that fits the Trek 2009 scenario to a tee, that would be it.

Why does there always need to be a bad guy? Some of the best Star Trek episodes didn’t have a specific baddie but, instead, were against “the computer,” “the unknown,” or themselves.

I’d like to see a ship-focused plot where the warp drive malfunctions and sends them jumping between times/universes until they get it worked out, sort of a Quantum Leap meets Voyager meets Star Gate…

You need to keep it original. If you bring in Klingons again you run the possibility of loosing the mainstream audience. Do you want to kill what you love?

With the Kobayashi Maru sequence, they set up the Klingons as the next villains perfectly. Why fight it? Many of the “new” fans have no idea who the Klingons are, so… yeah. Just don’t cast someone recognizable as the Klingon commander and we’re good. :)

I would like a sequel where the script is consistently good, little or no plot holes and that doesn’t rip-off Star Wars so much.

I hope this means that there won’t be a villain at all, per-se; something more complex and morally ambiguous. Yes, the reboot was supposed to have made Trek more commercially viable and overtly populist, but I’d like to think that commercial viability does not good sci fi make. Besides, the “darker” atmosphere was explored well enough in DS9 and in the TNG movies, and the whole idea of being “darker” has been used way too many times as a rhetorical substitute for the presence of depth.

Perhaps something more utopian, (i.e. doing away with the explosions, Nokia product placements and polluted-looking earth cities), optimistically transhumanist (some sort of flip side to the ‘we are the borg’ zombie scariness–something that goes far beyond Geordi’s VISOR, possibly even into, or beyond Blade Runner territory) and as daring with the franchise material as something like Star Trek IV was (albeit not exactly the same in tone or in plot). Something that introduces new, interesting ideas instead of simply beining a space opera. Something that’s dyed-in-the-wool Hard Science Fiction.
I think it can be done, faster cuts and lens flares regardless.

Do we even need a villain? Maybe a misunderstood antagonist even? Maybe break the trend of recent Star Trek movies that have our guys as the good guy and a bunch of irredeemable bad guys and have our good guys go up against someone who’s maybe a good guy, just doing bad things!

The closest example I can think of is The Voyage Home — the antagonist there was the probe, but it didn’t mean harm, our heroes didn’t have to go out and kill it. But there was still a mission there that they had to accomplish with some big stakes on the line.

I guess I kinda miss the Star Trek that was more exploration and less cops and robbers. Especially since we don’t have a TV series anymore. In any case, even if there is a Big Bad in the movie, I hope the new film captures some of the more “exploring the human condition” elements of the original show.

I agree with #12, try to close up some of the plot holes, get the story edited and broken pretty hard before filming! We’re nerds and geeks, we get a little huffy about plot holes because of our attention to details :)


I’d say the Klingons would be good, and there is room for a lot of creativity with a specific character we haven’t seen.

Star Trek VI proved this with General Chang, Azedbur and Gorkon.

All very well realized and unique characters,

Perhaps the Klingons and something new both in the film, with the Klingons being important players, and initially percieved as the antagonist, then in the end, becoming an ally against a REAL threat.

Combine this somehow with something strange and new that we’ve never seen, and it could be a great epic adventure in the Star Trek tradition.

I think Klingons should definitely be a part of it, because they are a major part of the universe and I liked the idea of the role they were meant to play in the first film, perhaps it could be revisited (or revealed to those who didn’t watch the deleted scenes) to set up the story? I scarcely believe the Klingons didn’t get some technology from the Narada (although the comics tried to pave over that by making the ship sentient).

Anyway, whatever story they pick, I’m sure it’ll be as great as the first movie, I want to see the crew’s relationships deepen. Spock doesn’t hate Kirk anymore, that’s great, do they still clash occasionally, what about Bones and Uhura, how does it feel to be part of an endangered species after getting revenge on Nero? Oh, and where’s Kirk’s mum?

I think that a new Villian would be great or a different take. klingons are always a good bet. But I think that having Khan would not be the best bet for now. Maybe a teaser of the S.S Botney Bay at the end of the Movie would be a great set up for the next Trek Movie.

I would be open to seeing old Tos in a new light. Like the Domms day Machine with Tom Hanks as Commodore Deker.

# 14

I agree with your example of the voyage home mission. i think these days we have just been fed so much of the “cops and robbers” scenarios, and hollywood sees that it is a formula for “success” in many different movie genres that we forget to think out side the box. I am completely open to an antagonist whom may be represented by a ship computer malfunction, or a natural threat, ect.

doing this would also provide the audience with more inner personal time among the crew, and dare i say perhaps limit all the jumping around from scene to scene until you need to pay another $11 movie ticket price to just re-watch it to make sure you didn’t miss anything.


“No, not Khan! I don’t want recycled characters!”

So, were you also against the reboot and recasting of the original characters as well?

Khan, Klingons, Gorn, Tholians. It doesn’t matter who they go with as long as the villains are TOS-related. (I’m a huge fan of the spinoffs, but the sequel needs to have a TOS flavor). It shouldn’t really matter who the villain is as long as it fits the story and that the story is unique but true to the spirit of TOS.(Alright, NO Harry Mudd though).

And I hope “The Supreme Court” don’t become hostages to the wishes and internet “consultations” of fans. Because most fans don’t have a clue about writiing a script and are prone to coming up with “fanboyish” ideas that are just silly and totally contrived.

The writers are the ones who have to pilot the ship. They decide where the ship goes. Fans are the passengers. They pay for good service (interesting, exciting, and thoughtful script) and a good journey (if the film is worth the price of admission). If the fans tell the writers what to do and the writers listen to everything they say, then the ship goes way off course and becomes lost. Then everybody loses.

I really didn’t like all the emphasis on Uhura, and it’s not because she’s a woman or any BS like that. It’s because it took away from the focus on McCoy. It’s because I care more about the triumvirate of Kirk, Bones and Spock, and how each is weaker without the others. They are part of a whole. And that’s what I want to see, regardless of the villain or the rest of the story.

The next poster should have Kirk, Bones, and Spock, because they are essential to each other. That’s one of the core pieces of classic Trek that continually gets overlooked.

There was a grittiness to the last Trek movie that really had not been seen before. If this franchise is going to survive, it is going to need to break new ground on every outing. If the producers get reduced to taking existing characters off the shelf and dusting them off, this will spiral down the same drain as all those crappy straight to video sequels that Disney churns out with regularity ….

I think we all want to see a little more emphses on the big 3 of Kirk and Spock and MCcoy and would love to see a little bit at least of Capt Pike and yes. I would love to see Tom Hanks play Commodore Decker and would love to see someone play Commodore Mendez and even Commodore Stocker. Maybe have all 3 of them give Kirk his new orders or someting like that.

I think I’m the only person in the world who wants to see Future Guy from Enterprise show up…

Save Khan for part 3, so we can have a climactic bad guy for the third film.

For part 2, I think a combination of Klingons & Harry Mudd would be really effective.
I can see Mudd’s scheming as a catalyst for a conflict with the Klingons that could lead to war, showing humanity’s own greed as the true enemy.
There’s your modern day analogy to the Iraq war.

Then for part 3, a retelling/reworking of “Space Seed” introducing Khan in the same manner as TOS, but from there going differently. Maybe he manages to steal the ship & Kirk has to chase after him.


Yes you are!

I voted New.

I do want to see Klingons

(I don’t want to see Khan in any form unless it is only in a “James bond” like progue or something like that. I definitly don’t want Knan as a player in the movie.

But I voted New because, while I do want to see Klingons, we don’t have new Star Trek weekly, and wont have for a long time. I prefer to have my ration of NEW, which I’m not having because thee isn’t an ongoing series.

Hmmm… to be honest I kind of wish we didn’t have to go with he “villain” story again, but I’m reserving judgement because I trust you guys and if the script is good, then I know I’ll love the movie.
However, the “revenge” plot has kind been done (and very well done, at that), so I’m hoping there are new elements at play, after all this universe is so vast and full of possibilities!!! ;)

No Khan (we have a Khan movie already!), and no Klingons as the main baddies. I get so tired of them.

21… I for one wouldn’t have minded a Romulan War movie with an all-new cast, crew and ship instead of Star Trek 2009. It was Mr. Berman’s idea and I still think it is a good one. Just don’t let Mr. Berman have anything else to do with it. At least we wouldn’t have gotten Vulcan and Romulus blown up.

Regardless, since the Abramsverse is now with us, I vote for either Klingons or another TOS-era villain in the next movie (if it has to be Klingons, make it around Kor) and have the Enterprise find the Botany Bay at the very end, setting up Star Trek 2014 (where Kirk & Co. find the Botany Bay already empty…)

I’ve whinged enough on here about not wanting Klingons, so i’ll leave it alone now.
I have faith in the team to deliver something new even if the elements are familiar. And that will do for me. I can’t wait!!

I think the best bet is to have a new bad guy that somehow introduces Khan at the very end. Khan is such an iconic character they need to set him up somehow for the third movie. Throwing him into the second movie without a proper build up would seem too rushed.

Am I the only one that loved the last movie?

#33 No! Why would you think that?

after what they did to the Romulans I don’t want to see how the Klingons might look, I would really like to see Ferengi or the Kardassians

Regardless of the choices made by the team…. It should be a more Trek-related story. I think they realized that after reading most of our comments here on trekmovie.

I do have 1 wish about the sequel. More bones and spock arguments !

“…deciding on a menu list of items and then seeing if you can’t string them all together.”

…seems EXACTLY how ST09 was written. So why not, for ST2012?

One thing for sure. Lets get a real Engeneering room and not the Brewery.

The poll on this thread is incomplete. The category of “No villian” should be a consideration.

No Khan!

Also, #38 I agree.

The best Star Trek is about the human condition. The worst Star Trek is about people with lobsters for foreheads. Human bad guy pls thx!

33… I liked it, but, the more I think about it, the less I like it. Destroying Vulcan is a big negative, in my opinion. Basically, I guess I’m like Data and the beverage he tried in “Generations”.

Data: “Ack! Ugh!”
Guinan: “Sounds like you hate it.”
Data: “Yes, that’s it! I hate this!”
Guinan: “More?”
Data: “Yes, please.”

I’ve got it….the “villian” is the brewery engineering. Star Trek: The Search For Engineering!

I’d have to agree that the villain should be arrived at organically this time. Look antagonist(s) it the first eleven movies:

I: Alien space probe threatens Earth
II: Khan/secret weapon
III: Klingons/secret weapon
IV: Another alien space probe threatens Earth (time travel ensues v1.0)
V: Crazy Vulcan/Klingons (again)
VI: Federation/Romulan/Klingon (again) conspiracy
VII: Crazy scientist/Klingon (again) conspiracy
VIII: Borg (time travel ensues v2.0)
IX: Federation/alien conspiracy
X: Romulan/Reman conspiracy
XI: Crazy Romulan (time travel ensues v3.0)

It’s time to really think outside of the box – only two of the motion pictures took a stab at something completely fresh; the rest had recycled elements of some ‘bad guy of the week’ from the television series. With the exception of Khan and the Borg, the best series baddies were one-off creations. Time to do the same with the movies. I wouldn’t discount having a Khan, or a Harry Mudd, pop up in a scene, but only if the character fits hand-in-glove with the material, and doesn’t seem shoe-horned in just to satisfy a pro-whomever faction of fans.

Roberto Orci for Chief Justice of the Star Trek Supreme Court. Okay, I know the real Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t have executive authority. But in the Star Trek Supreme Court, let’s give him, um, Captain Kirk like powers. : ) But Bob gets it. The humor of Star Trek arose from the situations not making fun of the conventions of the franchise.

First, I welcome the deeper Trek that we’ve been told is coming. (Lindelof comments, this website.) Second, more Dr. McCoy. As Harve Bennett put it on the documentary of the making of Khan (Disk Two, Director’s cut) the main characters in Trek were the three; Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Spock was logical. McCoy was the passionate side of humanity. Kirk was the balance. McCoy may have lost arguments but his heart was in the right place. Spock and McCoy have fought but McCoy and Spock liked each other. See “The Empath” where he sacrifices himself instead of Spock for alien experiments. Spock invites McCoy to his wedding cermony in “Amok Time.”

McCoy in the series had some of the best and funniest lines. See the ends of “Amok Time” and “Journey to Babel.” In the films, his aversion to transporter in ST: TMP; Wrath of Khan and the eye rolling sigh during Kikr’s makeout session of ST: VI were hillarious.

Could be interesting to see an entirely new villian… or a villian that’s already been established, but we know virtually nothing about, like the Husnock or the Tzenkethi.

It was the last film that made me a trek fan is that why I can accept more than others?

You have to start with what is the right story. And that if you can say “That’s a story that Khan fits into”, that’s how you get to that. Not deciding on a menu list of items and then seeing if you can’t string them all together.

It’s kind of funny that they say that because Nick Meyer’s script for TWOK was basically written off of just such a checklist. He & the producers made a list of all the elements they liked from the previous 5-6 scripts that were generated (Saavik, Spock’s death, Khan, Kirk’s son, the Kobayashi Maru test, the Genesis device) and he wrote a new script to match in about 2 weeks.

I wouldnt mind seeing Klingons, I guess. But I’d rather see someone new to them. I’d like these guys to have their own villians/situations, not rewrites of what already happened (the fan fic people have taken care of that, to some extent).