Watch: Roberto Orci Talks Star Trek Sequel Design Work & Hints At Changes To The Enterprise [UPDATED]

It has been reported before that there has been a "soft prep" going on for the Star Trek sequel including some early design work. In a new video interview from Sand Diego Comic Con, co-writer/producer Roberto Orci goes into more detail about this work, including how the USS Enterprise "might change." Watch it below.  


Orci talks Star Trek sequel design work + possible "changes" to Enterprise

The guys at HitFix ran into Bob Orci at San Diego Comic Con and got him to open up on the status of Star Trek. He sounded very enthusiastic about progress and gave more details on what kind of work is going on in the "soft prep."

Transcript of comments on Trek

Orci on the work being done:

JJ [Abrams] did this little side project, Super 8. So he is finally done with that little home movie of his. It was all about making sure he was done with it. We have been developing the a story even while he was working on Super 8 and I think it is going to be what the movie is. I think we really know what the movie is and we are in soft prep. We have designers working on the Enterprise and what could change. We have designers working on the alien planets whatever they may be, I can’t tell you. But we are really on track and we believe we have the idea for the sequel. I think JJ is resting as a result of Super 8, but I think we are going to announce very soon now when things are going to happen. But in terms of the development of the movie and the design of the movie – that has never stopped. We are on track and really like where we are going. If you are a Star Trek fan, we are on the case and I hope you really like it.

On the release date:

We always felt comfortable. By the way for the first movie there was a release date poster before we even began writing it. So we were like "oh it comes out in ’08? I guess we better get started." It is a dance that happens. Paramount we have to give a lot of credit to for being patient with us and betting on us and knowing that they would rather have us all come together then start anew. They get it. Super 8 is a Paramount production so it is not like they can pretend they have no idea what was going on with Super 8, so the delay is a little bit on you guys. They have been great. They want to know what fans want to know: do you have a story and is it coming along and are we going to left holding the bag or not? And I think we have it going on. By the way we have pitched the story to Paramount and they loved it. So a couple of people at Paramount out – [President of Paramount Film Group] Adam Goodman and [President of Production] Marc Evans – know what we are going to do and so you should find them on the street and ask them what is going on.  

Bob also offered this tidbit on Enterprise and designs

Yesterday I was at a meeting with me and Alex [Kurtzman] and JJ and Damon Lindelof, looking at how the Enterprise might change. So yesterday we were with Scott Chambliss, and amazing production designer we worked with on Alias and Cowboys & Aliens and who is back for Star Trek, he did the first Star Trek. So yesterday we were looking at designs of the alien planets that we might be looking at. He had actual cardboard cutouts of the opening sequence with the Enterprise, I can’t tell you where it is, flying over I can’t tell you where. So we are working on it, we are not just laying around.

UPDATE: Changes = new sections

Bob has dropped by the TrekMovie comments and offered the following:

Perhaps i should clarify. We will see new sections of the Enterprise, not necessarily redesigning, though.

Changes coming to the new USS Enterprise

Release Date?

TrekMovie has also clarified with Bob that by saying the team are "comfortable" with the schedule he was saying the team don’t know when the release date will be but  they are "ready for anything." As TrekMovie noted earlier, signs still point to some delay for the Star Trek sequel.

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Please, please, change Budgineering. Being able to suspend disbelief is important in any film, but especially Star Trek. The Enterprise is not the Titanic….

Changing engineering is a no-brainer. In fact, you had to be a no-brainer to have it look like that in the first place

I think that’s why stuff like the Polar Lights model of the Enterprise, the Qmx Enterprise, etc. haven’t been released yet. Why release a model to the public that will be obsolete soon? How much you wanna bet they’re 1. Shoving the neck/saucer forward 2. widening the space between the nacelles. I’d also bet good money they’re building an actual engineering set.

boborci – changes to the ship are fine, but please try to be more specific as well, especially regarding the size and the deck count. Since there is an apparent consensus on your team regarding the length of 2379.75 feet for the Enterprise, we should see unambiguous evidence of that, in order to stop further discussion on the subject. (“No, I don’t buy the size…Personally, I think it’s 1200 feet long…This shot here clearly proves that the ship is only 1000 feet long…”)

Re: Jordan.

I know. And that’s what worries me: it might not be changed as JJ, in His infinite wisdom, decided it was a good idea to begin with. To he and his fellow Supreme Court, I say this: if you’re going to give us a vision of the future, with strange aliens and planets, how can we believe any of this if we can’t believe in the Enterprise: the main backdrop and setting of the whole film; the whole adventure. The Enterprise is really an extra character herself. She is just as important.

And there need be no problem with continuity: simply have one line spoken saying that the Ent was refitted after the battle with Nero. The bridge was cracking; so it’s likely that engineering was also damaged and in need of repair…

Couldn’t see Uhura on the final shot of the bridge crew ( before the credits rolled), because of that computerized partition that’s situated behind her. She needs to be as visible as everyone else on the bridge, and especially when engaging shots like that.

Engineering is a must-change.

Would prefer the exterior lines echoed the original a little more.

And tone down the bridge a touch.

5 – but please, PLEASE no “magic refit” as a codeword for total redesign. Matt Jefferies’ Phase II Enterprise was a refit, whereas Probert revised it for TMP as a total redesign, except that the term “refit” was also used in the movie and is now more popular because of the Encyclopedia.

Please don’t add a jump seat for Scotty’s midget friend.

Please revamp the exterior look to the Enterprise.

It was NOT impressive in the last movie!

Re 6:

I agree. I didn’t like the Bridge much either. The old-fashioned viewscreen was an improvement, I concede. But there were too many lights, unnecessary stations with overarching library lamps on them, silly partitions, consoles with barcode-readers on them, etc…I mean…how big is the budget these days!?

My adivce, for pretty much all-things Trek, is just watch TWOK. The ship design, along with everything else, was nigh perfect. Use that as your inspiration…

“Please don’t add a jump seat for Scotty’s midget friend.”

Yes, no Jar Jar Binks please!

As long as they get rid of the Brewery that is an engine room. The rest I’m ok with.

i agree Harry. I felt that not just the design, but the whole image of the ship felt like a bit of a non event. I still think a fantastic opportunity was missed in the 2009 – we should have seen the Enterprise lanched into space for the first time. That would have been an incredible spectacle.

TMP Enterprise remains (in my humble opinion) the best, most impressive Enterprise yet.

I dare you to do better Mr Orci :o)

Would really, really love to see Engineering change as well. Could be cool to see other places on the ship, like the conference room, captain’s quarters, etc.

I wonder if the uniforms will change. when WOK came out, the uniforms were drastically different in comparrison to the motion picture, so imagine some similar will happen again with this movie after all, the last ST movie was our generation’s TMP and so the next one will be our WOK.

Bussard collectors should glow orange/red.

Shrink the deflector dish a bit.

Changes to the big E…

Nacells, lower/back section… looks too thin!

Interior set of Engineering… not a brewery!

Bridge of Kelvin more cool than Enterprise… so, grunge it up a bit… not so shiney.

#14. That was the Enterprise’s maiden flight, and it was still an awesome scene. It’s a cliche but my jaw dropped.

I look forward to seeing more of the ship’s enteriors and hope whatever modifcations made don’t compromise the lovely swan like mental image Ryan Church’s redesign gave me.

“By the way we have pitched the story to Paramount and they loved it.”

Does that scare anyone else? These are movie studio execs we’re talking about.

I imagine the change in Enterprise scale will be TMP to rest of the films – TWOK thru TUC. The shuttlecraft bay was several orders of size in that first film and a two car driveway later on.

Downscale but the story is so good, you don’t even give it a second thought.

Or you’re watching TFF and…


This would seem to indicate that the movie will come out well before Summer 2013, wouldn’t you say?

Based on this article, December 2012 sound eminently doable, without rushing…especially if the announcement of formal pre-production comes with a few weeks, as this article seems to indicate.

Bob Orci,

I apologize for my recent lack of faith…the lack of information was really getting to me. And thanks for correcting the Engine Room…wink, wink.

From the outside I love the ’09 Enterprise as it is. I’d prefer there are no changes to it. But please, please change engineering to something believably 23rd century. It looked ridiculous. Totally took me out of the movie. (As did the all the concrete inside the Kelvin shuttle bay).

I love that Nicholas Meyer wanted the interior of the E. to have a realistic ‘used’ and functional look to it in Undiscovered Country. It looked great. I still feel that way about it now for the new Trek, but I want there to be a little Science Fiction in my Science Fiction, not Budweiser equipment.

Looking forward to the movie, whenever it might be ready.

11, 16 – are you asking boborci not to be original and forever bow to TWOK and the original movie series? Should Christopher Nolan make his third Batman more campy because that’s what happened with the first generation of movies?! What kind of logic is that?

The external look of the ship didn’t bother me. I have to agree with the look of engineering. I get the “industrial” concept and why JJ and everyone would like that concept, but I think there is a happy medium that can be reached that would be more congruous as a whole ship.

I don’t think the costumes need an overhaul. In fact, I’d like to see fewer changes to what’s set so far (except engineering) and more focus on making the new planets (or old planets), aliens, and other plot relevant special effects that much cooler. Focus on the design that enhances the story.

And engineering.

And size.

@18: I don’t think the reason the Kelvin’s bridge put that of the Enterprise to shame was that it was “grungy”. It was simply designed to be the bridge of a starship, not to double as a cosmetics store in case of fashion emergencies. There are many things about ST09’s Enterprise bridge that just plain don’t make sense, such as the overdone lighting, gratuitous glass panels and ludicrous UI design (95% of which consisted of flashy garbage they threw in because they thought it might look cool to ADD-afflicted 12-year-olds). Take those away, and you’d probably have a pretty decent bridge. Or at least a starting point for one you could actually run a ship from.

There are many problems with the redesigned Enterprise. Some of a aforementioned and some I would like to see change:

1. Definitely make engineering look more believable.

2. The scale of the ship is way too large for a ship of its time. 2380 ft? com’on….

3. It’s not as sleek and stylish as the TMP Enterprise. The most beautiful starship to date. Get rid of the “hot rod” look.

4. The shuttlecraft hangar looks like an aircraft carrier deck. Com’on now….

Guys…come on now! Why do folks feel qualified to make statements like “the scale of the ship is way too large for a ship of its time”, or talk about the look of the exterior, or the hangar deck? Although I wholeheartedly agree that engineering looked like exactly what it was…a brewery. It’s a new time, a new crew, a new ship. When I saw the movie, of course I had preferences, but my love of Star Trek and the magnificent idea of bringing back the original crew (the best) totally outweighed any small preference I might have. Which is exactly what most of the above comments are…preferences. So lets let the wonderful minds hard at work do their job…continue to bring the best Star Trek experience to the big screen. Wasn’t it Captain Kirk who said, “young minds, fresh ideas…be tolerant”?

I liked what they were going for with engineering in ’09 but it was too industrial. Need a marriage of a high tech engineering set with induatrial influences. Oh, and cut back on the stinkin lense flares.

I want a better engineering, not the budgineering, I want glowing tubes and glowing mesh panels not brewery kettles. Red/orange bussard collectors would be nice as well. As would a nice gold deflector dish. Crew quarters I want to see as well.


Know that I absolutely love all things you are doing with the franchise. I understand your reasoning for the changes here and there and actually liked the 2009 Enterprise however since you all are changing some stuff around might I make one small suggestion…

Change the font used on the ship’s hull to be that of the Kelvin or TOS Enterprise. There is something about that classic retro block text that I love and sincerely believe it would just fit the alternative universe Enterprise.

Thanks again for investing time, energy, and spirt back into Trek!

All the Supreme Court needs to do to get away with even the most radical of changes to the Enterprise is to simply begin the movie with the Enterprise primary hull (pretty much the only part of the ship that was perfect) being mated to the new, sleeker stardrive section and voila …. new engineering and hangar deck explained.

And add me to the chorus who absolutely hated the Budgineering set; it was, frankly, ridiculous with its visible valves and turning wheels, as was the scene where Kirk finds Uhura as he’s having that allergic reaction. Those vats visible in the background just took me right out of the moment and instantly killed the feeling that I was on a spaceship.

As for the bridge, it was just too busy and cramped with way too many people, workstations and those unnecessary vertical panels. Sometimes less is more and just cutting back on the amount of hardware and turning down the lights would do wonders.

We saw so little of the transporter room and sickbay that any redesign would be easy to swallow and wouldn’t require any real explanation.

And let’s not forget the props. The phaser, tricorder and communicator were all poor successors to the TOS hardware and a makeover of those devices would be in order as well.

Trek 2009 was a great and entertaining movie but there’s no shame in admitting that the filmmakers missed the mark in some areas. Use that experience and go make it better the second time around.

front of nacelles: red. Done.

Have the balls to redesign engineering, some football’s back in engineering or soccer balls as you call them in the States ;) I’m sure most of you here know what I mean by that, but if anyone wonders what I’m going on about check out the original series engine room. Scotty himself had a kick about with them between takes :)

Make the bridge look more darker and First-Contact’ish.

Saucer Separation anyone ? LOL

This just in: enterprise engine room will be upgraded from a brewery to a wine cooler.

Tone down the bridge – it doesn’t look functional like the TOS bridge, etc. This new bridge looks like a mixture of an Ikea store and an Apple store.

Put some believablity in the design of the Phaser, Communicator, Tricorder and McCoy’s medical equipment.

I want my intermix chamber! You can have grease, tools, crap laying around everywhere, but there better be a big juicy intermix chamber smack in the center, and it better be cool.

oh yeah, and make the intermix chamber look like something cool is happening inside of it (like TMP) and not like a bunch of daisy-chained neon DAVE’S GOOD FOOD signs lighting in sequence (everything Berman touched)

Why mess with the design of the Enterprise? It’s only just built it and completed it’s first mission/voyage.

Hopefully the ship should now be launched for it’s first Five Year Mission.

Oh and don’t change the uniforms please! Just get rid of the brewery for an engine room.


Yes; I’d forgotten the phasers: they should fire a beam not ‘bullets’. It’s not a cowboy film, JJ.

And can we have some innovative ‘new’ technology, please. When TOS came out, wireless communications, even sensor operated automatic doors were novel…TNG had PADs, holodecks, etc. Nothing in Trek 2009 was ‘new’ technology. I don’t want to be too critical: it was their first and so far only Trek film. But perhaps this is something we can have in Trek 2009. Production design was a weakness.

For the next film:

1. A good story that deals with ‘the great themes’, the human condition and morality, a la TWOK, TVH, TUC. Not a get from point A to B to C via explosions X, Y, and C and chance coincidences and random promotions story. Trek has always been for the ‘thinker’. More maturity, too.

2. Linked-in to 1., we need a good vilain (if a traditional story unlike TVH) who is threatening, powerful, complicated, and has a fleshed-out and convincing backstory.

3. We need good music that’s not repetitive and tells the whole story not just music geared for a handful of emotions over and over. And we have so much great Trek music from the past: re-use it (especially Kirk’s theme from TWOK and , if relevant, the Klingon Theme from TMP )

4. We need good production design that is good [i]Star Trek[/i] production design. Not production design from a documentary on the Titanic or from a Star Wars film: in addition to a thematic and musical identity, Star Trek also has a production identity. Just as you can hear a Trek story or Trek music and know that it’s Trek, you can do the same for a bridge or a corridor or…engineering.

5. We need some shots that show off the beauty and wonder of space. Like Meyer’s starfields, planetary shots, etc. The adventure is space. The adventure is made more special when we realise just how beautiful, vast, and wonderous space really is. This is not a journey to France. It’s a journey to infinity.

@17, 34 I agree!!

Bob, please put in a good word for the front of the nacelles to be red/orange/amber! Thanks!

39 Mr Scott knows it takes 30 minutes to heat cold anti-matter

I gotta say, Super 8 just missed the “emotional payoff” that should have been the WOW factor towards the end of the movie.

Put aside all the Trek geekery, and make changes that make the ship MORE accessible to regular audiences.

-The brewery engine room is fine
-The outline of the ship should even MORE closely resemble the TOS ship for nostalgia purposes. Do NOT go to the flat sided nacelles a la TMP.
-COLOR. The bridge needs COLOR. Do NOT make it darker or more menacing looking. Get rid of the white-washed sterile look. It needs the Black/Red/Grey/Tan color scheme.
-Nacelle/bussard-whatevers glow swirling RED plasma. Not blue, get it?
-The size of the ship – why on earth should it be some order of magnitude bigger than the TOS ship? A crew size of 430 os believable. What does making it bigger accomplish, unless it’s you know, a psychological thing with Abrams.

Don’t change a thing. That’s been problem in nearly every other movie. The ships fine the way it is. Forget the previous versions, their irrelevant for this incarnation of Trek. It’s about the story and that’s all!

This fine lady deserves sets, not practical grounded locals.

Maybe a bigger waist where the hanger is? Too thin to be supporting two huge warp engines.

C’mon. Redesign the Alternate Enterprise? Already?

As I recall, from the Cage to TOS, the Enterprise only had minor changes made to the design. Yeah, I know. This is THE MOVIES! But it just does not make sense to rehaul the entire ship. Especially the outer design of the ship. We have (had? I must say that I still see one more flight for the Shuttle ; )) been flying the space shuttle for 30+ years and the design really has not changed in appearance at all. Practically speaking why would it?

Look you changed the ship because it was in an alternate timeline. STICK WITH IT and be proud of the changes you all made. Yeah, its really not the superior Star Trek design, but just go with it. It really did pretty good onscreen.

With the limited time and resources available, more consideration should be paid to the story at this point.


There’s enough suggestions here for the change to Engineering to occur. There were some great sketches in the book ‘The Art of Star Trek’ for how it could have looked.

Exterior, I got used to the new Enterprise so I hope they don’t change too much. I’d probably look for the NCC-1701 to be painted on the underside of the saucer as it looks really bare with nothing on it. As others have mentioned, from the damage sustained against the battle with Nero, some changes could be expected – even though we saw the E warp away at the end of the movie which would have been after any such refit.

Either way, looking forward to this… hopefully not much longer than 12 months to go!