Orci & Kurtzman Talk About Their Approach To Star Trek Sequel

As we have been reporting, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman are currently working on the script for the Star Trek sequel. The pair of writer/producers has just given an interview talking Trek. They of course are not talking plot, but they do reveal parts of their approach to their second Trek.


Orci & Kurtzman talk Trek sequel approach

It is worth reading the full interview with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman at the LA Times Hero Complex, but here are a couple of select quotes:

Bob Orci on approach to sequel:

RO: One of the big challenges is all of the characters are together now. A prequel is a pain in the butt, but one of the nice little advantages was that you get to meet the characters as you go through the story and they get to meet each other. That’s fun. We don’t [have] that luxury of not having the entire family there together at the start of the story. So now you want the character stories to be good for everybody but also not just be there to be stories but also fit into the plot and be organic. We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still. Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.

Orci and Kurtzman on if they are looking at the second film as the middle film of a trilogy (like “The Empire Strikes Back”) or a self-contained adventure:

RO: I don’t know that we’ve ever thought of it in terms of a trilogy. We thought of the first one as, “How do we tell how this happened the first time and how do we free it so that it can go on forever without stepping on what came before.” So, if you were thinking of this movie as a second act, yeah, you would think of it as an “Empire Strikes Back” sort of story, but I’m not sure we’re thinking of it as a second act. I can’t speak for everybody on that, though.

AK: The movies you’re talking about are movies that we’re still talking about, what, 25 or 30 years later, because they have such emotional impact not just on us as viewers but because they put the characters through the mill in a way that was so primal and visceral. Good sequels do that; they find ways to challenge their characters in ways that they couldn’t have necessarily been challenged with in the first movie because, as Bob said, the first is always, ultimately, an origin story. So now [with the second] it becomes about this family that’s together, so now it becomes about the thing that shakes them up and challenges them.

For the full thing, go to HeroComplex, including joking about the Star Wars, Star Trek crossover movie.


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I trust these guys….they’re going to put together another great story.

I just hope this next movie doesn’t feel catered. Maybe NuKirk might actually become a better character who can actually give the Star Trek monologue without it sounding out of character (i.e. when did NuKirk ever care about space travel?). But if you even screw up Uhura like you did in Trek09….. well, who knows.

Until than, I’ll have to just wait and see how it all develops. Good luck guys.

I am so looking forward to the next Star Trek and I’m glad that RO and AK are on board.

Puts a huge smile on my face. :)

“We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still.”

I like the sound of that!

Shirtless Kirk and Spock – I am just sayin’…


I’m looking forward to the sequel:)

Thank heavens these guys care about the characters and their interactions. Now my expectations are even higher than for the first. With it, I tried to keep expectations low, for fear of being completely disappointed. I wasn’t.

I still say… please fix the engine room ;-)

“Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.”

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. For me, the new movie does not feel like the good ol’ Trek.

“We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration”

It was not evident in the new movie.

i know its already been debunked but they could just call it Star Trek ‘2’

stuff is still being called ‘so and so ‘2, 3 etc’ today (Iron Man, Spiderman) so it wouldnt be a problem

and TWOK was called Star Trek ‘II’ not Star Trek ‘2.’ Fans

they could even use 2.0 (so sort of saying its star trek version 2.0 – new timeline blah blah) and do the same for 3.0

itd prefer that over any Dark Knight style title like Prime Directive or Federation (which i dont think theyd ever do) or ‘Star Trek: something something’ (TNG movies done that already)

stop your whining always has to be complaints nothing ever positive gets written here:(

I imagine that even if the sequel is a stand-alone story, there must be some references made to the events of the first film, such as the destruction of Vulcan, the death of Spock’s mother, etc. I don’t think the sequel necessarily has to be totally concerned about these aspects, but I cannot imagine the sequel just going on as if none of it had ever happened.

unless they go The Matrix/Batman route and call it ‘Star Trek Reloaded’ or Star Trek Returns’ or the like (no ‘:’ )…that would at least set it apart slightly from the TNG movie titles

“Star Trek Revelations” or something eh

…it’ll be the ST09 version of “New Moon”… Yay!!!

…I wish they could write it as good as they sell it… =(

with so many good ideas that come from trekmovie.com fans, on top of their apparent love for the story, I’m excited to see what they’ll cook up next…

I think it would be a golden idea to create a trilogy of movies in the same vein as Trek II, III and IV. I always think that those types of movies are the best, as long as the II and III are not filmed back to back (Matrix, Back to the Future, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc). The three above listed Trek movies (and by story lines, Trek VI) turned out to be the best of the original movies, in my opinion.

Also, put the same care into the Kirk/Spock/McCoy relationship that Trek V had. That movie was not very good, but it did feature the best example of the trio since the original series.


Chris, I’m looking forward to seeing you again in the transporter room! Gotta have a Doohan on board the Enterprise!

Given that these movies seem to be on a three year production cycle, I for one am relieved this isn’t just “part 2 of 3.” I do not like going to the movies for a “to be continued…” ending.

Thanks to boborci and kurtzman for their efforts, really. Keep it fun and still smart, as good Trek always is. I would love to read what boborci thinks of the GR letter just recently posted here and elsewhere. I know it really resonates with so many here as to the uncompromising approach he took early on to make Trek special from the get-go.

OMG! … I’m getting so tired of these interviews .. not reveal anything objectively! …. hahahahah … okay I’m being ironic! … If I need to explain it!

Okay again! … I trust these guys, too!…. LOL! :-)

MANY MANY MANY THANKS to Orci and Kurtzman for bringing us new Trek when it was all but dead again.

I don’t mind a bit of the excitment of ORIGINAL Star Wars being injected into Trek. As long as they do not drop to the intelligence level of most all other films being made nowadays. Dark Knight quality is what we need, although not too dark. We had that in Trek III and it worked good for that.

13 “Matri?” what the hell – my name is ‘DENNY SHOTGUN’…im not sure how that happened…mustve got the name mixed up with the message content somehow sorry

anyway about the sequel itself (not just the title),

heres some stuff id like to see in Trek 2:

– mushroom spacedock being built (see last years SOTL calender)

– lengthy phaser ‘beams’….not star wars ‘blasts’

– Twilight Zone/early TOS style spookiness/eeriness

– unexplained wonder/unknown – questions and mcguffins that are not answered and are left to the imagination (with just the odd hint) which is far more powerful than any explanation given – e.g. the angels in Raiders, the portal to the other dimention in Crystal Skull, the space jocky/derelict in Alien, 2001s monolith, MI3 rabbit foot

– Starfleet Admiral Han Solo

– transporter malfunction (with gory aftermath)

– more redshirt deaths – im talking ‘Obsession’ levels

– Shatner….id still like him there…if possible

Obsession was awesome….oh, and we need Lt Leslie on the bridge. The only red shirt to die a horrific death and reappear the next episode (he died in Obsession only to return the next week).

Also, I’d like the Enterprise to have a refit to fix Engineering and the secondary hull. Reminds me too much of the ugly duck D.

The music needs to be over the top like Season 2 of TOS, along with an opening credit scene just like TOS.

Hey, Shatner Kirk still has a part of him in the Nexus. That portal can be said to span all dimensions and time, so Old Spock can grab him out and have a 3D Chess buddy.

“joking about…”

RO: A third movie would be great [if it was] a crossover between “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”.

I’m being a little ironic, today! … +LOL!

I think To Boldly Go would be a good title.

Have a Gorn fly into Federation space driving a Doomsday Machine, intent on destroying life in half the quadrant! Starfleet engages him in battle, with Commodore Decker sacrificing himself (and his ship) in order to stop the carnage! Oh, and throw in a couple of Mugatus for good measure. Mix well and serve hot!

The working title? GORN TO BE WILD

I say have Gary Mitchell become God like and he finds the Doomsday Machine and takes it over so he can try and take over the Federation.In a first wild pitched battle with the U.S.S Constalation under Commordore Decker(Played by Tom Hanks) The Constalation is severly damaged but the crew did not al abondon ship and then the U.S.S Enterprise comes to there aid. But then a few more wrinkl;es comes into the story. That would be a great way to Trek to be.

No matter what. Please Redesign the Engeneering room so it won’t look like a Brewery.

As a nice ending to the Movie and for a 3rd one. Have the Camra pan out to the S.S Botney Bay and then Que the Music.

Wake me up when they have some news on what the plot is going to be for the next one. It’s the same thing everytime about how they freed themselves from canon by doing an alternate universe.

It seems every article you have is just the same old news than before, how daunting it is to write Star Trek XII and how to honour the Trek we know and love. It just seems like there is nothing new to report.

Its great that they were able to free themselves from canon without destroying it. And despite my gripes with what they changed I still look forward to the new movie.

Either way all I hope for the next movie is a great fun film with great character moments and good strong plot.

I still hate the next movie being called Star Trek 2

There already is a Star Trek II.

Despite what happens in the next movie, I know that the Star Trek I love will always be there.

Dumbing things down is what I am most concerned with as it seems to be a major problem in Hollywood cinema.

I did feel that Star Trek XI was dumbed down in comparison to past Trek, but Star Trek XI was NOT a dumb movie. It was a good fun movie.

I just hope that Orci and Kurtzman’s second one has the strengths that made The Dark Knight a great sequel rather than the trappings of what made Transformers 2 a god awful sequel. And we do know which sequel that they wrote.

Anyhoo I hope for t he best with Star Trek XII

PS Why do so many want Khan?

Don’t you want new and fresh ideas, not a new take on the classics

end of the third movie (after the credits) scene

PineKirk is kicking back in his apartment after having defeated Khan and looking into the fire place slipping a glass of Romulan Ale – suddenly he CG morphs into ShatKirk (Shatner circa 1994), turns to camera and goes ‘wow…this nexus…very clever’

“Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon.”

>Thats Why the over-the-top Star Wars references?

” we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.”

>Glad to hear that….

I think after however many years it’s been since the glory days of TNG – here we have two writers who really GET Star Trek and whilst they are bringing it into the mainstream and kicking and screaming into a 21st century vision of the future, they haven’t really strayed too far from the good ole Star Trek we all grew up loving.

When I say this I’m not meaning to diminish anyone involved in trek before but these guys have plucked it from geek obscurity and done it in a way that really does get back to that basic Star Trek concept but something that is also very accessible for Joe Bloggs and his family to watch.

captain_neill, most of the polls are against Khan. Me? It all depends on how it’s done, as long as it’s not “Space Seed” and TWOK cobbled together badly.

Well, I’ll be going through my thing with the sequel again:

1. Kirk needs to be less cocky and less of an ***hole in the sequel. Not that I’m speaking bad of Chris Pine. But he can’t continue being the daredevil he was in the first movie. He needs GROWTH!!! More mature, etc.

2. A more believable engineering set. I understand the direction they were going with the brewery, but it screams of bad moviemaking. I keep thinking of “Space Mutiny” and other movies MST3K did. Yes it can have pipes and stuff, but it was poor execution.

3. Another senior female crewmember. No I am NOT talking about Rand (or those other yeomen-wenches) or Nurse Chapel. I’ve suggested this over and over again: we need a female chief of security, someone who is a rank of lieutenant commander or higher, and does not wear one of those impractical miniskirts (get her some pants!). Anna Torv? Ali Larter? Maybe Rosario Dawson? (Uhura can still have her revealing outfit if they do this.)

That’s the big three. They can keep the lens flares, shaky cam, and extreme close-ups for all I care.

#36: “Number One” from The Cage should be around in this time frame as we never saw her in the new flick. Perhaps she can be given a cannon name and assigned to the Enterprise, or be part of Admiral PIke’s party.

Nurse Chapel was, by name only, in the new Trek movie.

@6 as long as it is Pine & Quinto and not Shat & Nimoy that are shirtless…lol

Although, Bob, you have Alex O’Loughlin shirtless on a regular basis on 5-O…much to the endless delight of my wife (why are you running that scene on the DVR in super slow motion, hun?). Oh, and Bob, if you are reading this, I hope you enjoyed my book, or at the very least didn’t hate it…lol…it would probably come in handy to even out a wobbly table if that was the case;)


Bit unfair to say that about Shatner and Nimoy, in their hayday I am sure the women liked them shirtless.


I’d love for them to see this as a great Star Trek episode on a much larger and more epic scale.

Kirk did come off cocky and immature but that was in keeping with where his character was at that time. I think Pine did a good job of making him empathetic and likable despite that, which isn’t easy.

For the sequel I’d like him to keep the cockiness, but temper it with the trademark Kirk wisdom, which basically meant that every ounce of it was earned. Also, I’d like to know how Kirk’s tough upbringing, without a father this time, changes his approach to things.

TOS Kirk took everything bad that happened to the people and alien races around him, very personally… This is where Spock and Kirk are most alike, IMO.

Both have bucket-loads of empathy.

I’d like to see Scotty be less obvious comic relief and be seen more as a real engineer, with skills.

I’d like to see some non-mission friendships and camaraderie alluded to, through 3-D chess, basically off-duty moments among the main crew would be quite nice.

As much as people keep demanding more females, I’d really like to see her remain the main developed, central, female, here.

We’ve have six movies and all either brought in brand new actresses to be the central female (V’Gyr/Illia, Saavik, Valeria, Dr. Marcus), or Uhura remained minor and/or very slapsticky.

As I’ve said before, I really think it would be cool to indicate that Sulu practices non-Eastern-style martial arts. Maybe alien or European-style fencing.

You have got to have the TRIAD interacting in some kind of nod to the classic-style.
Bones teases Spock, Kirk smirks and goads, and Spock dryly cuts in reply.

Be careful not to turn Chekov into Wesley! Don’t cutesy-up, coddle, or Mary-Sue his character, please.

If you do bring in a villian, please don’t make him/her a mustache-twirler. I prefer grey. Someone or something the audience has to morally wrestle with and therefore empathize with Kirk and crew having to do the same.

When it comes to a villain, please DO NOT DO another villain out for revenge. Been done in three movies in a row and a villain better realised than Nero.

Nero is a case of well acted but slightly naff in his motivation.

in ten years time i wonder which of the nu Trek movies will be considered the best?

movie 1 – Nero
movie 2 – Talosians & Mitchell….
movie 3 – Khan & the klingons
movie 4 – the borg

ive a feeling it’ll wind up like this best to worst – 3,4,2,1
(not that movie 1 is bad by any means – its just the sequels will be even better)

Out of curiosity how many fans would have disowned the new movie if it had erased everything instead of creating an alternate universe?

I am only asking out of curiosity.

People are so negative honestly can’t you at least try and understand how they did the last film:( just a thought

Hah, and I forgot Dr. Taylor from The Voyage Home and Martia from Country.

So, yeah bring them in, fine, but let Uhura finally get keep her spotlight.


We’ll know by seeing them instead of predicting how things will turn out.


Oh, it’s pretty clear how they “did” the last film. It’s just like how they do most movies and TV shows now—create a marketing plan, then make a script out of it. Simple enough.

I really hope in the movies coming up, they take a left turn instead of a right and go nowhere TOS went. I want no connections with the old.

@36 I agree with your no. 1 and 2 points a proper enginering please would be great . but I don,t with your 3rd set off points . They are basically doing the crew like it was in the 60s I don,t think who was inm charge off security was that important on it its just whoever is avaliable or on the shift at that time aka the red shirts . All the women serving on board ships off that eara wear short skirts thats the way it is they are not going to change that thats the uniform for them during that time . Who says they are impractical have you ever worn one .
I think Rosario would be great as nurse Chapel .

The “sequel” will be a number two film. There’s no way around it in Hollywood today. I’m guessing you guys will expand on the Vulcan diaspora and the Kirk-Spock-Uhura triangle. Be nice to see Pt. II: Skinny Nacelles Strike Back, but maybe I’m just delusional after a week on Dayquil. PLEASE, just give us a good story with emphasis on the characters. We don’t need a galactic war or a search for Hollywood’s idea of God. Just a good Trek tale will do nicely. Thanks!