Orci Hints At New Setting And Aliens For Next Star Trek + Talks Directing, Kirk Sex, Gay Character & More


In a just released podcast interview, Roberto Orci discussed the challenge he faces as a first time director for the next Star Trek movie, dropped some hints for the setting and about new aliens, talked about visiting the set of Star Wars to pick up tips from JJ Abrams, opined on Kirk sex scenes and a gay character and more. See below for highlights and to listen tot he podcast.

Orci Talks About 2016 Star Trek Movie

Geoff Boucher – formerly of the LA Times Hero Complex and Entertainment Weekly – has a great new podcast as part of the Nerdist Network – titled ‘Humans From Earth.’ And Star Trek writer/producer (and soon to be director) Roberto Orci was a guest for the second episode which just went online. It is worth listening to the full interview, which runs about an hour.

TrekMovie has grabbed some of the key quotes from Bob about the upcoming 2016 Star Trek film…

Orci hints at new setting and new aliens

Much has been said about how both the 2009 Star Trek film and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness were very Earth-centric. But for the next one, Orci promises that will change…

Orci: In [Into Darkness] they set out finally where the original series started. The first two films – especially the 2009 [Star Trek] – was an origin story. It was about them coming together. So they weren’t the characters they were in the original series. They were growing into them and that continues on in the second movie.  So in this movie they are closer than they are to the original series characters than you have ever seen. They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space.

And later in the podcast the subject of creature design came up, and in that discussion Orci hinted at new aliens for the next Star Trek…

Orci: We have discussed [the challenges of creature design]. The advantage we have is there is new technology available. Even though I am a fan and I know JJ is a fan of as much practical sets and creature design you can do, we can also augment it with the technology that exists today, CGI. So in a way we have a freedom that is a little bit unexplored. I hope to do that in the next Star Trek.

And later he picked up on that point again when discussing aliens in Star Trek.

Orci: The Horta is actually the villain in the next one – no – they are in deep space now, so lets see what’s out there.

And when a fan asserted that with the new Star Trek films “You have to go back to the Romulans or the Klingons” Orci countered “But wait, why do you have to go back to them?” He went on to say…

Orci: Because this is an alternative universe I think we can choose. I don’t feel the pressure to revisit anyone or not. We are lucky that way, but we have the ability to cherry pick what has become before. It will depend on what serves the story best.

As for his favorite Star Trek aliens, Orci cited The Gorn, Tribbles, Romulans, and Vulcans.

Orci getting tips watching JJ direct Star Wars + talks Wars/Trek rivalry

The podcast was recorded a couple weeks ago shortly before Bob was to fly to the UK to visit the set where JJ Abrams is shooting Star Wars. He said that the trip was motivated to get some mentoring from his long time collaborator JJ Abrams.

Orci: That is why I am going [to visit with JJ Abrams the set of Star Wars Episode VII]. I am going to steal as much wisdom as I can. I am fortunate to have seen a lot of directors direct and I plan on picking all of their brains. Every one of them has a different style and different tricks. And they also have – one of them just sent me ‘Directing for Dummies [laughs]. So that is what you do. This is not a time to not ask for help and not get the cumulative wisdom of all the people I have been lucky enough to see and work with.

Orci later talked about the Star Wars/Star Trek rivalry…

Orci: It is daunting to try and compete with Star Wars, especially they may be released so close to each other. So it certainly motivates me to make it as good as possible. It is interesting to me to have a friend of mine working on the other one, so hopefully it doesn’t turn into I’m the team that Globetrotters play against – the Washington Generals – hopefully it is going to be a little more competitive than that.

Less Kirk Sex? And A Gay Character?

Boucher asked Orci if he might try to ‘escalate’ and try to top the sex scenes with Capt. Kirk from the last two Star Trek films, but Bob indicated Kirk might go in a different direction…

Orci: In the first film [Kirk] is like a college guy might do – or a cadet – finds himself in a dorm, lights come on and she’s green!…In the second film he finds himself with humanoid felines…In the third film he is a little bit more of an adult, so I don’t know.

The subject of introducing a gay character into Star Trek came up and Orci seemed open to the idea. When asked, he responded…

Orci: I would like to see that.

Delving deeper, Bob had this to say about addressing social issues in Star Trek…

Orci: It can be part of a character and not be the whole shebang…It doesn’t’ have to be like South Park, like ‘what have we learned today.’ It can be so normalized that it just exists. I agree it can’t be shoe-horned in. And it is not necessary for it to be the whole point of the thing. It is an ensemble and there are lots of people to represent so no one point of view should hog it.

Promises less secrecy

Much has been said about JJ Abrams penchant for secrecy. When asked if he would follow the same course or would be more open, Orci was hoping to be more transparent…

Orci: I think it is going to be more of a mix. On the one hand you want the story to have surprises. Otherwise why even go to the movie?. On the other hand you want to share enough of it to let people know what they are going to get and what they can expect and what the experience is going to feel like. In terms of behind the scenes, audiences are now so savvy, I think it is kind of fun to be more transparent. And let people into the process of how you are doing things and let them watch you do the movie. You can see behind the scenes without knowing what the context of the scene is or what the story is.

Shatner or other TOS cast?

Bob was also asked if it was possible to – like they have done with Leonard Nimoy – bring back William Shatner or one of the other original series actors. He replied…

Orci: It’s possible. Whatever serves the story….that’s my version of ‘no comment’

There is much more in the podcast including talking about writing collaborations, his history with Trek (including fave episodes and characters), contrasting TOS and TNG, meeting Shatner and Nimoy and much more. Go to Nerdist to listen to the full interview



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In b4 Harry Ballz makes some negative comment about the article, the writer and the content as per usual

ok… who dropped the door on Harrison’s leg…? fired? killed? involvement?

I have 0 problem with Orci directing. Remember that Star Trek was only JJ’s 2nd ever movie. Plus Bob is a long time Trek fan and JJ never was.

Bob admits he reads fan comments all over the internet so he will have taken on board all the crits for STID.

I’m hopeful. At least he said it’s n Deep Space so it won’t be about Earth this time.


I just have my fingers crossed, that Bob is conscientiously setting out to resolve a lot of things we have discussed here the past six years as problems with ST(2209) and STiD. As a “trilogy”, we’ve had “The Future Begins” and now we’ve gone “Into Darkness”… so let’s turn “Beyond the Light” or something….

I want Pike back. And I don’t care how. He just MUST be included. Since they made the biggest mistake in killing him off in STID.

cool! very encouraging stuff..

7. Any_Ca – June 26, 2014

Star Trek 3: The Search for Pike?

But, really it’s…

Star Trek 3: The Search for a Directorial Career

‘Directing for Dummies’, I guess that is a good start :-)

I like what he said about having less secrecy this time, it is a movie after all, not a Top Secret project like Abrams was treating it.

“Orci: Because this is an alternative universe I think we can choose. I don’t feel the pressure to revisit anyone or not. We are lucky that way, but we have the ability to cherry pick what has become before. It will depend on what serves the story best.”

I think it is best not to revisit anyone or anything from the PU, make it a fresh story.

I think bob’s movie will be either STIV:TVH or ST:G.

Nobody is better suited to understand Star Trek and what the fans want and nobody is better suited to balance those sometimes very different books.

But does he have panache and the confidence to pull if a tent pole movie?

I’m not enjoying the irony that this movie is STIII just like when they promoted a director from within in the previous franchise.

“but Bob indicated Kirk might go in a different direction…

Orci: In the first film [Kirk] is like a college guy might do – or a cadet – finds himself in a dorm, lights come on and she’s green!…In the second film he finds himself with humanoid felines…In the third film he is a little bit more of an adult, so I don’t know.”

LOL – what scene, especially in STID – another blink and you miss – those humanoid felines didn’t even get names (although Kirk would have known them). This is not about Kirk being a “little bit more of an adult”. This is about the writers, directors, editors behaving better.

And if anyone wants to liken those Caitians to whores (I have become aware of how many think – not necessarily here but in general), well, whores have names too.

If there was any misogyny on STID, it happened in this scene where Kirk was with those two females and it was abruptly cut without us knowing anymore. It was NOT the other blink and you miss underwear scene. JJ Abrams needs to get this kind of real misogyny sorted!

Please, Bob Orci, indicate that you at least understand what I am getting at here. It is important!!!

Are the Horta back or not? The Horta are so different, being a silicon-based lifeform etc but they are good folk. Keep them good and wise. I want to see me some of those horta babies and a tribble or two as well…:)

I’m ok with a gay character, but don’t make it in your face like Star Trek Phase 2 did. I’ve never seen that amount of making out even in the original series with a straight character so why did they do that with their gay characters? Keep it short, sweet and to the point and it could be a good thing.

i think its about time Star Trek delivered a film with a great script – strong lines, proper character development, proper raising of deep issues and proper drama. I feel both Of JJ’s films were very shallow and focused more on spectacle than the plot. The fact is that neither films required great acting (which is why Cumberbatch was so under-used) , had original or revolutionary ideas, or made one leave the cinema with many thoughts going through one’s head. That’s something the TV series did very well and has always been Trek’s strength vi-a-vis Star Wars and other sci-fi series.
Take a leaf out of Nolan’s book – blockbsuter films can deal with “heavy issues” in ana dult way and still very very successful. Don’t compromise on the script for the sake of executives or actors looking for an easy ride and the audiences will reward you for it.

Why does it even need to be a tent pole movie? ST:TWOK was a summer flick but without the big budget. Set the bar low and blow the roof of this mother.

I have a feeling that Bob is going to bring to the Star Trek table what Brad Bird brought to the Mission Impossible table. It will reinvigorate the franchise- call it a hunch, but I feel certain I’ll be right in 2016!

No worries here. I think bob is really up for this challenge. It may stir him into creating something that we could only hope for. A great trek movie!

The thought of using the Gorn seems very interesting. Especially with the use of some really great looking fx work.

I like what I am reading. Thanks TM Staff!

I think this is going to be great!

You know guys, everyone says “OH STAR TREK THE WRATH OF KHAN WAS THE BEST THING EVER.”…in my mind it was pretty boring.
*shots fired*
Be aware kind people that I am a younger individual and not as deeply rooted in the canon as you all are, so in this case I am all for Orci because in my mind, the news Star Trek movies are by far the best to be released!
*more shots fired*
But I am only an 18 year old Trekkie speaking, who loves action and explosions as should be found in summer blockbusters. I love all the TV series to death, but in terms of the movies, they really were not that engaging to sit through and hour and a half.
Live long and prosper people!

A part of me would like them to bring in William Shatner. There is a plot device from Star Trek Generations, where Kirk is in the Nexus…well…a copy of him is there. Remember when Picard asks Gunin to go back with him to stop Soran…? she says she can’t because she is already there.

So I take it that the Nexus makes a copy of a person; why can’t they use the Nexus….since space and time has no meaning there. The Nexus…the energy band may be able to transverse other parallel dimensions as well.
The Klingons can use Prime Kirk to draw the Enterprise crew into deep space. well at least this is a clever way to bring William Shatner’s Kirk into the fold.

I think the issue with Into Darkness is the same basic issue with all Star Trek films except for Star Trek 2009.

They were afraid to ‘evolve’ the characters beyond the ‘status quo.’ Just like when you watch the TV show the films SHOULDN’T be episodic. The characters at the end of the film should have some material change in them by the end of the movie. Otherwise, what was the point of the whole movie?

Also Into Darkness is forced to spend a lot of time establishing characters we don’t care about and that we will never see again just so we can care about them in ‘that’ movie.

That what was so great about Star Trek 2009. We saw the character on a growth journey and we saw them authentically become different people by the end of it. Star Trek Into Darkness lied to us and pretended they hadn’t reached that point yet which tuned Kirk into ‘unlikeable’ territory. It was character arc stalling to the point that would make any episode of Smallville proud.

Also nothing in Into Darkness for the female audience. Their was the whole mother aspect of Star Trek 2009. Star Trek needs that. Maybe instead of just dropping Uhura and Spock are in a relationship SHOW events in your movie that push them emotionally into a relationship.

So far he sounds better than JJ,

#14. Keachick (Rose) – June 26, 2014

I can’t wait for the marketing and the hot Hor(cha)ta drinks!

#23. Legate Damar – June 26, 2014


Ugh…I can’t sit through this whole interview.

What does he say about Kirk sex and a gay character?

@24. Disinvited

“I can’t wait for the marketing and the hot Hor(cha)ta drinks!”

I want Horta warrior toys, complete with laser guns :-)


Tell us a story, sir. Tell us your story.

#22 – “The characters at the end of the film should have some material change in them by the end of the movie. Otherwise, what was the point of the whole movie?”

The most material change was with Kirk and Spock by the end of the movie. Kirk grew past his need for vengeance and Spock started to really understand the meaning of a friendship. He screamed because he came to realize just how much he had lost and how it was too late…

I actually rather like his approach so far.

@#20 The Dude

Yeah Im in full agreement with you.

“Orci: In the first film [Kirk] is like a college guy might do – or a cadet – finds himself in a dorm, lights come on and she’s green!”


29. that’s what was supposed to happen, but it didn’t feel earned in the script.

Just waitin’ on 2016 right now. Bring it and and I’ll be happy, Bob!

I see Khan in our future, thawed out on another planet set on revenge as usual.
Klingons, Romulans and more Tribbles oh my!

Been there done that and repackaged once again.

I swear, for a group of people who are suppose to be “progressive”, you all seem so squeamish about Kirk “bedding” two Cat Girls who are consenting adults. “Star Trek” IS suppose to be set in the future, you know. Besides, as someone on this board had asked, would there be a worse reaction if Uhura was getting out of bed with two dudes? Alas, the world will never know…

Some really promising comments, particularly about how they’ll be out in deep space. I’d love it if we didn’t see much of Earth in the film. And while the younger, more brash Kirk was fun, he had some good character development in Into Darkness and it will be nice to see a more mature Kirk in this next one.

Excited to hear more!

What they should have done was let Kirk die in STID. In the upcoming movie, Spock Prime could tell young Spock how James T. Kirk is a great man and he fears a universe without his friend, so he tips young Spock off about the Guardian of Forever. Spock and the crew could then step through the Guardian the moment Nero’s ship emerges from the future. After a huge fight and the loss of some of the Enterprise crew members, Spock sacrifices himself to destroy Nero’s ship – thereby preventing the alternate timeline. This would be a great way to wrap up a trilogy and it would honor the 50th anniversary. The only problem is that it would limit any future movies since that history is already written, so they probably won’t do this.

I just hope they put Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the centre of what ever story they do, and give us a sense this crew is exploring the final frontier encountering new worlds and civilizations.

Well…on the subject of Kirk’s escapades, let’s hope “a little bit more of an adult” equals “maybe stops being the kind of guy who does stuff that, were I in Uhura or Carol’s shoes, would make me feel violated and harassed.” Kirk’s not that guy – it’s fundamental to his character that he’s not that guy. Stop making him that guy, writers.


Please? :-)

One gripe I’ve had with the last 2 films is that the universe didn’t feel like the established Star Trek one. I’d love to see some known alien types popping up, even if just in the back ground, some Andorian, Tellarite, Trill Officers or civilians.

Don’t get me wrong big green bug eyed people or Keenser look cool, but come on show some of the established species!

Exciting times! The crew starting the 5 year mission….trouble in deep space… There’s a lot of room there for some great, imaginative and fun storytelling.
The other good news is today’s confirmation that the studios don’t give 2 rat’s asses about what fans like Ahmed, Herbert and Oscar think! LoL. but we all knew that anyway, didnt we? :)
Sorry guys, but your broken record of getting your “hate” on, for Bad Robot is really getting old.

i am optimistic.

As I’ve said before, my greatest hope for the movie is that somehow they can do an exciting movie without necessarily having an enemy. I know it can be done, i just hope that HE can do it. Trek doesn’t need a baddie to be great, and Bob knows that.

Give us lots of great Kirk/Spock/McCoy moments. These three actors have shown us that they can pull it off.

Slow down the Enterprise. Shoot her with some grace.

Keep SOME lens flare. I really do love the look of the movies.

I thought the first two movies of the re-boot series were near flawless and the third one will follow in their footsteps but in a different manner. In the age of the internet fans nit-pick too much on ANY movie and Star Trek is no exception. We are not the writers, there isn’t much we can control or should be allowed to control. Sure, there will be criticism but the first two movies got more of that than they deserved. Let’s just relax and see what happens.

#38 – Since when did Kirk harass or violate Uhura or Carol?

I think that it was more like Carol who “violated” Kirk by being bossy and not explaining why she wanted him to turn around. The fact that he did and saw her in her underwear was because she did little, if anything, to actively prevent him from turning towards her, as you naturally do, when you are speaking to someone.

If by Uhura being harassed, you are referring to bar scene in ST09 – well, Uhura clearly said that she was fine and even enjoyed his “talented tongue” banter they had going on, until Cupcake started meddling.

No, Kirk does not harass or violate anyone and that includes women and nor did alt.Kirk.

As an update to an article that’s waaaay down there now…

LeVar Burton’s “Reading Rainbow” Fundraiser gets a $1 million hand from friend and Trek fan Seth MacFarlane:


Correction: TOS Kirk on occasion did take advantage of a woman (The Games of Triskelion but afterwards, apologized). This alt. Kirk has done no such thing. Hopefully he won’t either.

Sounds refreshing, sounds reaffirming. I wonder how far along the screenplay is.

I do like that he mentioned the Gorn. Klingons are still my fav, I would still love to see more Nu Klingons, but Nu Gorn would be different and fresh. With that hilarious Shatner and Gorn commercial for the Star Trek game, a new Godzilla movie, new Jurassic Park on the way, TMNT, dinobot in the new transformers, are reptilians/amphibians a new trend to capitalize on?


#47 – Gosh, I hope not. I prefer the “deep pan pizza”. I read a Star Trek novel some time back and in the book, it had Captain Kirk refer to his bridge colleague, a small Horta, affectionately as his favourite “deep pan pizza”. I’ve always liked that description.

Gorn are a bore…

I like it. I think he probably always understood what trek fans want, and he seems to be molding the story around it. I really hope there is a gay character so trek is only 20 years behind in that department.

The Gorn or Tholians would be awesome. But they’ve already encountered the Gorn in the game and the comics so my money would be on Tholians.

The best thing we learned from the interview is that the movie will take place far from Earth. I want them to go back to how TOS did things where you’re out in the unknown and could encounter anything and have to solve the problems yourself rather than go running home to Starfleet.

I’ve said it before, this could easily turn out to be the best Star Trek movie yet. So far I’ve heard very little to make me nervous about it.

Just please don’t reveal too much. With STID I stopped coming here in December 2012 to avoid spoilers and it was well worth it. Although many people were annoyed by them not saying who Cumberbatch was playing I enjoyed the speculation (although I didn’t enjoy the reveal because I knew there would be endless gloating from those who guessed he was Khan).