New Star Trek Writers: JJ Abrams ‘Still Guiding Light’ Behind 2016 Movie

In a new interview, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne – co-writers along with Roberto Orci for the upcoming Star Trek film – talk about their background with the franchise, where they see the next movie headed and how much producer J.J. Abrams is involved. Details from the writing team after the break.

Payne and McKay talk next Trek

Much has been said about Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director J.J. Abrams involvement in the 2016 Star Trek film now that he is focused on directing Star Wars Episode VII. The next Trek film is being produced by Abrams and his Bad Robot production company, but some question his involvement – even prompting Wil Wheaton to make a joke about it on his Syfy TV show last week. However, in the a two-part interview with TrekCore, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne they say Abrams is still very much involved in the creative process for upcoming Trek feature:

Bad Robot, J.J., and his team are really at the heart of this movie’s development. They are the guiding light by which we all do our work.J.J.’s been a key part of helping us spin this tale from the beginning, and if there are people who think that we’ve lost him to Star Wars this time around, that’s not the truth as far as we see it.

The writing duo also discuss where the next movie is headed:

Patrick McKay: We’re very much thinking about a movie that would stand alongside the first two, in a general sense, but more specifically, I would say that in working with our wonderful co-writer Roberto Orci, it began very much as a conversation. “Well, what would you guys like to see in the movie?” “Is there an area we all want to explore?” Nothing was off the table – all along, it’s been about the coolest, best movie we can write. There’s no sort of requirement saying we have to do this or that, I think it’s very much been a blank canvas.

J.D. Payne: What we keep on coming back to is the basic credo of Star Trek, that opening prologue you hear at the beginning of each Original Series episode. That’s our mantra for what we’re trying to accomplish here.

The guys also talked about their introductions to Trek:

Patrick McKay: …I’ve probably seen every episode of the Original Series, I’ve seen the movies many, many times; I remember when The Next Generation was premiering, it was such a big deal. I watched at least the first couple of seasons – you know, I do actually remember watching “Best of Both Worlds” as it aired. That was great.

J.D. Payne: I think that the first episode I ever saw was “Frame of Mind,” and it was like discovering jazz or something. How has this been out there my entire life and I’d never seen it before?! After that, I was just plugged into it. I would tape it off of television, edit out the commercials, and I had my own little library of Star Trek and got super, super into it. I just loved the sense it had for the possibility of what could be ‘out there.’

There’s much more over at TrekCore, including their thoughts on Kirk’s quick promotion, their writing process with Bob Orci, and how they take fan feedback. Read the full interview at TrekCore Part 1, Part 2

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As I mentioned before, these two new writers seem very promising. Thanks for the article, by the way.

They say that the next movie is a “blank canvas.” I think that this has to be seen in the context of all the other things they said, including JJ Abrams’ continued involvement, the need to collaborate with Roberto Orci, and the fact that the first two sequels have established certain parameters.

What occurs to me here is that there needs to be a good science fiction story, compatible with Star Trek premises, behind the next movie. It also must appeal to modern sensibilities. “Fan service” should be relatively unimportant given these considerations. In fact, “fan service” should be unnecessary if the writers use their knowledge as writers and as fans of Trek to construct a sufficiently involving plot.

I think, if I were to write a screenplay for the next movie, the key phrase in the above would be “good science fiction story, compatible with Star Trek premises.” Each component of this phrase means something different to different people. To begin with, I would have to define these terms for myself. At this points, all I can ask of the writers is to do the best they possibly can.

It’s nice that we have some commerical viable trek these days.

But these movies… they’re awful. Just a string of gimmicks strung together with ridiculous CGI and really bad writing. Such a shame. They should all go watch TWOK and hang their heads in shame.

Exploration and more of the Kirk, Spock, McCoy dynamic.

It would be incredible if some high concept sci-fi along with the eerie deep space tone of the original series contrasted with the “home” that is the Enterprise and the family that is the crew– if all of that could be captured in this new movie.

Enough with big bad villains and vengeance.

Those last two movies were not Star Trek. And quit calling it Star Trek 3 already.

Them & Orci seem like good guys & are all well intentioned & know trek…it’s it just feels like JJ & Paramount want a movie for the Michael bay / transformer audience….loud & dumb….& those 3, like we all do, end up doing what our bosses ask us to do….one suggestion for the 2 new writers….go live with Neil DeGrass Tyson for a month…that man could help give you guys some great ideas to write an amazing trek story

“Bad Robot, J.J., and his team are really at the heart of this movie’s development. They are the guiding light by which we all do our work.”

Hey as long as Uhura and Spock spend time sucking face, that the alien is bent on revenge and has a large black ship and there are plenty of ‘splosions and a space-jump then i’m all good. Lets face it that’s all they seem to need to do to make money. And that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?

oh and I can picture Orci saying ‘what would you guys like to see in the movie’. A polite way of saying ‘I really have no idea what to do. Help’

@ 6. Cygnus-X1 – June 30, 2014

” “Bad Robot, J.J., and his team are really at the heart of this movie’s development. They are the guiding light by which we all do our work.””

Thanks God! For a second there I thought that the next movie is going to be “different” from the last two, but as long as JJ is there to guide them, then we should have no fear!!

This second part of Trekcore interview is full of PR talking points & very little information. Payne gave such a convoluted reasoning to the question about Kirk’s quick promotion:

“In some ways. It’s interesting – Star Trek often reflects the cultural milieu in which it’s being created, which is one of the reasons it’s such an enduring franchise and can speak so freshly to each generation. Some cultural historians define Millennials, speaking in terms of archetypes, as part of a rising ‘hero’ generation. Millennials are often very willing to dive into complex crises and take them on even without lots of experience. They’re got a sort of brash kind of confidence, so, generationally, you could look at the first film as simply reflecting the culture and characteristics of the rising generation.”

I guess that BR trained him well in the art of BS!

#4. Harry Mudd – June 30, 2014

Movie studios execs are a superstitious lot. It comes from being lucky enough to have a string of hits fall their way and then just as randomly a string of loss. They construct these voodoo formulas and statistics by which they try to take credit when things are going well and deflect blame when they aren’t.

So you can almost take it as a given something as superstitious evoking as the number 13 isn’t going to make it into a STAR TREK marketing campaign.

@7. Buzz Cagney

” And that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?”

Yup! We should be grateful that there is a Trek movie & don’t ask for anything more!

Except maybe having 3 villains, that is really a fair request.

ST09 has one villain, Nero
STID has TWO villain, Khaaaaaaaaaaaan & Marcus

Therefore, it is logical for ST 13 to feature THREE villains! And this time, the Big Black Ship (TM) must be the size of the Moon.

9. Ahmed – June 30, 2014

This second part of Trekcore interview is full of PR talking points & very little information. Payne gave such a convoluted reasoning to the question about Kirk’s quick promotion:

I don’t understand what point he was trying to make about Millennials, either. They’re more into heroes than other people? They’re more brash than other
generations were in their 20s? And that’s why it was a good story idea to promote an immature Kirk to the captaincy, demote him for 10 minutes, and then re-promote him? Huh???

I guess that BR trained him well in the art of BS!

You said it, not me. It’s pretty funny, though.

P.S. That’s no moon…

@6 (Cygnus-X1): A necessity, since BR is still contracted to produce a third film. The REAL concern is if all the typical secrecy stuff starts popping up, where the cast and crew had to lie about the details of the film.

@11 (Ahmed): There is going to be an antagonist of some kind. In fact, if you look at TOS alone, the biggest percentage of the villains were alien. This is followed by a significant percentage of the next group of villains being either members of Starfleet or were Federation citizens, followed by the trope “man vs. nature” (i.e. The Enemy Within, The Carbonite Maneuver and “The Galileo 7 type of episodes). Also, if you look at other sci-fi movies today, you’re going to get a villain, coupled with some “action schlock (see: Prometheus, Event Horizon). So, unfortunately, we’re never going to get a pure sci-fi film (see: 2001, Contact, STTMP, STIV), either within the ST franchise or any other sci-fi film simply because the studios want to pump as much money, thinking that the action trope is the way of achieving that objective, which is why Paramount chose BR to helm the franchise in the first place. The best thing to do is hope that the next villain isn’t looking for vengeance, though I don’t mind said villain having the bigger ship (see: The Corbomite Manuever, STTMP).

I thought we were told that the two new writers were huge Trek fans.

Now we hear them say, “I’ve probably seen every episode of the Original Series” and “the first episode I ever saw was Frame of Mind”

Are you f*cking kidding me??!!! Any longtime fan has seen every episode of TOS twenty times each. That fan can recite every bit of dialogue from every episode.

Example: I saw a few episodes of Lost years ago, but I would never claim to be a big fan of the series, nor should I.

I don’t care if the two new writers are Shakespeare and Hemingway reincarnated. How well do they truly understand the nuances of Star Trek?

Are we in for another paint-by-numbers mess of a movie with no story and big explosions? If so, that’s just pitiful.

#12. Cygnus-X1 – July 1, 2014

I think the point they were trying to make about the Millenials is that their heroes are all overnight sensations which I would largely ascribe as having to do with the Internet in one way or the other.

“Any longtime fan has seen every episode of TOS twenty times each. That fan can recite every bit of dialogue from every episode.”

There is a difference between a ‘big fan’ and an obsessed fanatic.

Can we have less ‘fisticuffs’ and violence in this Trek please, and a little more exploration and problem solving with brains, over brawn?! The original series was amazing not least of all because – when one got right down to it -Kirk, Spock & McCoy really formed one character; McCoy the heart & soul, Spock the logic & analytical side, Kirk the one who took the advice from these two ‘halves’ and made decisions.
Popcorn movies seem to have really been dumbed down this past decade – look at Transformers. Mindless rubbish! Trek needs to rise proudly above all that crap & proudly say, “We’re going to give you a little action, but something to think about too, and be uplifted by!”.
Not every Trek film needs a ‘baddie’ either – dare to be different this time. The revenge seeking humanoid thimg is gettimg awfully boring. Why bother to do Trek at all if there’s no exploration?
Today’s CGI and practical model making skills should be used to truly ‘take us out there’ and make real some of the terrific sci-fi book covers of the 60s and 70s, for example. And really get into the dynamic of Kirk, Spock & McCoy at last. Please, no more hysterics from Spock either or prolonged smashing somebody in the face moments. Let’s see his logical side begin to develop now…


Nonsense, Kevin.

If one is a devoted fan of any topic, be it film, books or art, that person can probably expound on the topic in exacting detail, much to the chagrin of anyone listening.

For example, I have spent an estimated 20,000 hours researching the JFK assassination over the last 40 years, having analyzed every detail pertaining to his murder. Fanatical? Maybe, but if you have a passion for any given topic, how deep is too deep?


Well, look, one of your complaints is that Payne said “the first episode I ever saw was Frame of Mind” — why does that matter? I didn’t start watching Trek until TNG S5, but that’s because I was like twelve at the time — he talks about watching DS9 and Voyager “in high school,” so what were you expecting?

Now I don’t know these guys past this interview, but they seem like they that might reference Memory Alpha as they write, while we are the type that will WRITE that page on Memory Alpha.

I agree us fans not that important…like it or not they need the worldwide audience n the scifi genre that trek is in needs the touch of star wars that jj n bob n bad robot have given it…they can throw things in for the fans….tribbles a good example n prime spock etc…..but no one not a fan will know or care much.,,,im mostly enjoying it…..its much better to me than no trek which is the only alternative….further it is trek n trek has never looked or sounded better….it has characters n depth n awesome eye candy….further much more character development than transformers for instance….i say to mr orci n new writers n bad robot keep up the great work….jjs editing n directing is a grand fun vision….for instance the enterprise almost dead revs up to life n at the second spock screams khan…the monster evil starship with khan aboards almost hits the enterprise..god that was close indeed….loved the epic 3d…loved the basic story…i do have some quibbles but no movie is perfect.,,what i most want in the third outing is a truly different story actually set in space….and maybe the bad guys have more depth eve sympathy character wise maybe even big e n crew helps the bad guys n by the end of the movie not bad n more understanding..yah its gonna be fast paced epic n exciting….but it can be fun n a bit deeper as well….lets all hope….keep on trekkin bob o n company….by the way the newest transformers broke records over 100 million first weekend….much as i dislike them n m bay they must be doing something right….appealing to their fan base and more with every movie…no i dont want trek to become transformers,,trekformers…or star wars but they do need to add elements for todays audiences….im ok with it..better than no trek….which seems to be what some of the fans must want..,.sigh…best of luck making everybody happy bob orci sir…trek lives…thanks to you guys…

I have one request, that they shorten Quintos hair, the bowl works for Leonard Nimoy’s face because it is so angular, but Quinto not so much.
If you look at The Corbomite Manueve Spock’s hair is shorter and a little
more “cooler” looking, this look would work for Quinto too, I think

“Not Your Father’s Star Trek” was the tag line of the first JJ Trek movie. As a 60 year old original NBC broadcast Trekker, I have truly been there from the beginning and seen all the good and bad Trek. But, just as the tag line proudly professed, these last two movies were not for the deep thinkers. It was geared for the video game generations…fast paced, senseless noise, mindless and forgettable entertainment.
Just reading all the Trek great movie concepts on this website alone from true Trekkers, one can deduce what should be so obvious. Story, story, story with heart, family, a touch of sci-fi.
A for God’s sake, ditch the new Enterprise….it looks like an overdesigned and bloated 50’s era Buick…not “simple and Clean” as Scotty would say.

#16. Kevin – July 1, 2014

Then there’s the big obsessive fans and the obsessive big fans. I know they exist as I’ve been to a convention or two.

@#! Hat Rick

What a great point! It is not a matter of satisfying us “hardcore fans,” it is simply a matter of writing a good science fiction story and allowing the Trek characters to become players in it.

As commanding/egotistical a presence as Shatner might have been, as broodingly commanding a presence as Nimoy was, Trek was not about the characters and they obviously knew this. The characters fell into situations – each week there was a fascinating story to tell with all its implications.

NuTrek got off on the wrong foot when it redesigned Kirk, who they have tried to make the stereotyped rebel kid with no father to guide him and so forth. He simply cannot become Kirk with what they have done to him.

The introduction to little Spock was a tad better but the Vulcan bullies acted like human kids, not the image we were given of Vulcan (except during mating) and, again, the nu-films began by making it about the characters as they were re-designed by the nuTrek folk.

Then we are given quick stereotyped glimpses of Kirk and his good hair, Spock and his temper, Kirk drinks a lot when things go wrong which is often (which he never did), Kirk has a little metaphorical joke on Bones, haha, but these are stereotyped snapshots to “keep us happy.” (It did not work).

However, all that is needed is a good science fiction story and let Kirk and Spock (and others), react, respond, overcome, find peace, find wonder in the cosmos (whatever the outcome of the story) as the story unfolds.

And, writers should be careful not to come up with things like a hand-held transporter which takes you to Kronos because, this lessens (not enlarges) good story lines. Let the science be what it was at the time of TOS, it gives them many challenges. It makes a deeper plot easier to write, therefore.


They re waiting to see if a new series can materialize!!!!

Real Trekkies/Trekkers are in control of ST3! I can’t wait to see their finished product in 2016(knock on wood).

This interview does sound hopeful!

Yeah, I don’t get their respose to the rapid rise of Kirk to Captain was due to the Millenials expectations of a hero. Very weird.

I teach “Millenials” and have a keen outlook as to what they expect, and even they note that Kirk’s immediate captaincy took them out of the movie (we discussed it, and other movies, in class).

It is not a generational thing, it’s just trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the audience.

There is one thing would like to have in the new movie. Because the first 2 movie ended up having a lot of radical events happening, I think even though we might now finally start with the 5 year exploration that we should give it darker aftermath tone. Mostly which should reflect in some design alterations. I pretty much feel that the shining apple store named enterprise needs to get a more grounded look and feel. Less shininess with some more scars which mostly should have impact on the interior looks. Since we had a little refit on the outside after the last movie I don’t think we need to work over that surface again but defenetly the interior.

About the mission I pretty much would love Kirk fighting his inner demons after the events of into darkness. So that we have that prime mission in the forground but something within Kirk that is threatening to harm the whole crew or worse whole mankind. A multiple conflict within the storyline would be interesting.

Also one more thing. Make any encounter one that counts not just one that is fency and cool, like the not so logically solid klingon action programm we had in into darkness.

Also I think we should have some transwarp beaming aftermath. Maybe something that threatens Scotty more than Kirk, because Kirk is regenerated by Khans Blood. Maybe Scotty could experience some heavy genetic degeneration that threatens his life. It would be good for something like this to happen, since we know from the original Star Trek that everything surrounding transwarp always ended up in a mess. I don’t see a problem with the effects showing up after a while. By the way it would add up well because of McCoys mentioning that something is wrong with Kirks health in Into Darkness which was never clearly explained to us. So that we now find out that it has to do with transwarp beaming. Maybe we could even find out that old Spock new it was actually harmfull but he didn’t mention because of the greater cause and the stacks that were high.

Also I would like to have as a little fanservice something like a solid information for the 3 Minute Earth Vulcan corridor. Maybe establishing a new wormhole that hasn’t been introduced befor but is now given as a logical reason for a travel that would other wise last days and weeks.
This would besically fix several inconsisting facts for me.

So as a result we would importingly have a reason for no more transwarp beaming ever. Maybe a little backup as something what the klingons could still use later and then ending up with the same health issues. Like trying to invade earth with transwarp beaming and when the enterprise finally returns they experience a devastated earth with tons of dead Klingons and the Klingon Empire holding Kirk responsible for the desaster since he recorded introduced that technology along Scott. Would be a nice beginning Star Trek 4.

So much about for now, I would gladly like to participate in any further Trek development since it is a passion of mine.

Looks like one of them actually gets Trek better than most fans. The possibility of what could be out there…THAT is what makes Star Trek fun & cool. Not the concept of some socialist utopia (which the Federation ISN’T…anyone who thinks so hasn’t been paying attention).

Although I’d love to know more about where they’re going with this, it does sound promising. Who knows? With JJ overseeing & producing (and NOT directing) and Kurtzman & Lindelof not involved, perhaps this one could be the best Trek film so far of the Abramsverse. I just hope they’ll refit the Enterprise a bit & get rid of the fat nacelles, move them slightly farther apart & ditch the bright lights in everyone’s faces around the bridge. How can anyone work with a light shining right in their face?! Made no sense…seems more like an excuse to have more lense flare.

YES! Let all go cry about how these new movies are total garbage, despite the fact that 98% of us could never make a Star Trek movie non fans would like. Get over it people, TWOK was too slow paced and stuffed with Kirks over acting to be justified as the golden movie of the Star Trek Universe
I speak for myself, but even STID was better than that movie, I fall asleep everytime I watch it.
Star Trek is made for TV not movies, but if your going to make for a movie it needs to be able to hold your attention the way a movie should, TWOK felt to much like a long TV episode.

@14 (Harry Ballz): Your theory is flawed, since the production staff of TWOK weren’t exactly “fans” of ‘Trek either, when they came on board the franchise.

The anwer is Garth…if you want to make money and not fan nostalgia.

Sounds promising and they definitely talk a good game, but I remember reading the same kind of guff before STID. Please, guys, let your imagination take you further than secret agent Khan.

Just tell us a good story with good characters.
Please DO NOT “hit the points” aka repeat lines/tropes from better movies.
Take risks. We forgive risks. We (Trekkies) are NOT tolerant of immitation or studio-think crap.

Good luck.

Once again, the creators of Trek 3 are saying all the right things as far as I’m concerned. I’m excited about the possibilities!

One of the aspects (other than the story) which I hope will improve over the previous films is attention to the characters. Reading the “These Are The Voyages” volumes has made clear that Roddenberry, Fontana and Justman, etc. focused on the characters above all else and making certain that they were well served and that they were consistent. I hope that Bob reads those books and understands that.

good point about wrath of khan makers were not too familiar with trek…but we know at least harve bennett did his homework watching all three seasons of tos…course theres a ton more tocatch up to now hah…and even wrath of khan wasnt a perfect movie….fakey plasticy efx of genesis effect in asteroid, ricardo n shat chewing scenary a bit too hard, reused shots from tmp…lackluster tho competant directing, same with the music, the old hiding in the nebula trick etc….i still like wrath more than any other trek movie but not by a huge difference…

@IDIC Lives!, 24,

I’m glad we agree! Thank you for your comments.

I’ve found that there is a significant difference between the two versions of Kirk, comparing TOS Kirk as played by William Shatner, and the younger one as played by Chris Pine. Your point that the two Kirks might be irreconcilable is worth considering. I find it easier to do so if I suspend disbelief and try to enjoy the movies on their own merits. In other words, I will have to admit that the difference is there, and “retcon” it. There comes a point when one realizes that whatever it is that one wants is achievable only if the creators share the same vision and if the financial backers believe that it’s profitable.

Someone mentioned in a recent thread that the Star Trek view of economics was unrealistic. What we know is that the utopian future Star Trek contemplates is most likely predicated on almost limitless supplies of energy and consumables. For a certain initial capital and anticipated maintenance cost whose payment could be based on mortgage principles, a very long baseline can be established wherein consumer and certain other goods are essentially “free.” The manufacturing of machines that can almost indefinitely manufacture things — including other machines — at a very low relative cost could conceivably make a Federation credit-based economy, in the sense that all essentials are free, possible. Most commodities would be “too cheap to meter,” so to speak, just as the relative cost of electricity, water, and even comestibles such as grain, have been reduced compared to a century ago. But we in the 21st Century still have financial issues to deal with, and in the end, the bean-counters will win.

I think that deep down, most fans will realize this as well. Perhaps we see it as our prerogative to hold the creators’ feet to the fire, lest we lose whatever Trek remains after all the accounting is done.

@36 (Hat Rick): The problem for me is that while resources may be plentiful, but there still has to be some manufacturing and service-based economy at work in order to effectively distribute those resources. What provides the incentive to build, maintain and operate a fleet of starships? I could understand that the pursuit of wealth may be gone (hence why critics of GR’s philosophy thinks that the Federation is a socialist utopia), but there has to be some sort of incentive AND cost involved that would determine why the Federation would commission the construction of starships, as well as what would keep the number of starships in check. I wouldn’t have a problem with the economics of ‘Trek if a credit-based currency system was explicitly stated, rather than gloss over the details.

#30. dswynne – July 1, 2014

You mean like Harve Bennett, the bloke who was fascinated and hooked on Trek by his Trekker girlfriend? :

“I have to backtrack a moment to explain all this. I live with a wonderful lady who’s been the joy of my life for years. She is a Trekker. She is, was, and always will be a Trekker. During our long time together, I’ve been force-fed Star Trek re-runs . . . literally.

She’d be sitting there, in front of her TV set, and I’d be moaning ‘How many times do we have to see these things?’ She’d sit there like a stage mother, muttering, ‘Now watch. Spock is going to say this.’ She’d recite the dialogue with the characters. I’d say clever things like ‘Look! Why do you persist in
watching this stuff when you know everything that’s going to happen?’ Her response was ‘Shhhhh.’

Since I always was being told to shut up during the 17th showing of ‘The Tholian Web,’ I finally gave in and started watching. I became hooked.

I became fascinated by the show. You see, although I’d never watched it before, I’ve always had sort of a peripheral involvement with it. My first successful show was The Mod Squad. It competed with Trek one season. We even filmed on the same lot. I used to see Leonard walking by with his ears on but I never actually saw his work.

I knew Roddenberry but had never worked with him. The times we met I liked him a lot. For some odd reason, I’ve always been drawn to paramilitary types. I’m a pilot. Gene was a pilot. One thing I’ve always perceived in Star Trek was the fine hand of that odd paramilitary mind that was trying to
preach peace. That’s a very interesting effect, rivaled in intensity only by the feelings of, let’s say, a reformed drunk. You’ve seen the horror. Now, you want to save others from it.

I had a very close relationship with the late Gene Coon as well, Trek’s line producer. I worked with Gene a lot during the last years of his life when we were both at Universal. Interestingly enough, Coon was also a paramilitary man. Crew-cut. The whole bit. He was an exmarine who preached peace because of his own experiences in war.”

A few years ago, when I came to Paramount for a three-year contract deal, I found myself a bachelor. My lady had moved out. I was sitting with Michael Eisner, the head of the studio, in his office. The studio hadn’t lost all interest in Star Trek at that point. He asked me if I’d be interested in making Star Trek II. It was to be a television movie with the potential for theatrical release. My answer was, having seen all the episodes of Trek, knowing and respecting both Roddenberry and Coon and wanting that woman back in my life… YES!” — Harve Bennett, STARLOG, July 1982, Issue 60, PAGE 17

#36 Hat Rick, I did exactly what you say regarding perceiving the two Kirks – at first – with STID. I enjoyed STID for its own merits IOW. I even stated so on this site. But as time has passed, I find it isn’t working for me as it was. Not sure why… It is almost like an imperative from the great beyond and GR :-) Just kidding, I guess.

I don’t think TOS’s magic lies in its utopian vision for Earth (ok, not utopian but darn good). Or not as much as–in its belief and pride in being human (something which is often hard to do). Trek offers the belief that we can go out there in the galaxy as equals (at least on paper) to meet other advanced races, hold our heads up, and announce, “I am James T. Kirk, commanding the Starship Enterprise.” Kirk can do that with the big bad Vians (gulp) or the far-advanced Metrons, he is not apologetic for being human yet he tries to find the best of what that means.

I wrote a comment on another thread about how Trek is part of our collective consciousness, like a myth, and so is a stimulant, a conduit, for our collective evolution. So, no, its vision of economics and society might be off or impractical but its vision of what it means to be human – the BEST we can be (not the worst as we all too often are) –THAT is Trek’s brilliance.

And our advancements in technology and science tell us–we will be able to go into space one day fairly soon. Here come the humans… Kirk is each one of us, holding his own and surviving out there –keeping 430 humans alive too (yeah, I know there are some ETs in the crew, but ya know what I mean).

so same shit different writer plus its called bad robot for a reason aka bad movies

The bar has been lowered so much by STID that anything other than the silly writing we have had to endure would be an improvement.

Get the Enterprise far away from Earth.

Make Starfleet a competent and ethical organization.

No more maniacal bad guys out for revenge.

Lose the lens flares.

Totally lose the brewery for engineering.

Lose the silly phasers and make them more like the original. Same with the communicators. Both props are awful in these past two movies.

Make Kirk a mature and competent Starship Commander. Have him put in situations where he has to lead his crew, make decisions far away from the chain of command, and give him that heroic Kirk bravado and skill that we saw in Balance of Terror, Doomsday Machine, and Corbomite Maneuver. Make Kirk really act like Kirk!

Treat the Prime Directive with respect instead of something that is considered a dorm regulation meant to be violated.

Let’s just assume that there are gay people in the 23rd century instead of having to showcase them to be politically correct. Gays serve in Starfleet, we get it and accept it.

Go back to scientific accuracy and lose the magic blood writing mentality and convenient plot devices. Note: Cold fusion is really cold.

Stop pummeling the Big E and let’s not destroy another Enterprise, losing the old girl in The Search for Spock and in Generations was more than enough.

No Klingons or Romulans, we’re getting tired of them.

Let’s get going on that original 5 year mission. Let’s see what’s out there.

I’m just sayin’.

Error! Error! Non Sequitur! My last transmission should read “Cold fusion ISN’T cold!

Finnigan, You’ve just been promoted 2 levels, no more going into the pod in an ion storm only to be catapulted into space, you can have your own starship, too. Brilliant! Exactly!!

@ Finnigan, Oh sorry, that was Ben Finley. Ok Finnigan, you can still have your own ship. Great!!

Sorry, but while I do agree that TWOK is still the gold standard of Trek films, the writing was far from being a masterpiece. The movie is littered with plenty of WTH moments that could have easily been cleaned up had a second set of eyes read the script. The argument that the BR films are inferior to the original cast films because of writing is still fatally flawed….

@dswynne, 37, Regarding, [i]The problem for me is that while resources may be plentiful, but there still has to be some manufacturing and service-based economy at work in order to effectively distribute those resources. What provides the incentive to build, maintain and operate a fleet of starships? I could understand that the pursuit of wealth may be gone (hence why critics of GR’s philosophy thinks that the Federation is a socialist utopia), but there has to be some sort of incentive AND cost involved that would determine why the Federation would commission the construction of starships, as well as what would keep the number of starships in check. I wouldn’t have a problem with the economics of ‘Trek if a credit-based currency system was explicitly stated, rather than gloss over the details.[/i] Very nicely stated. I was thinking that there are certain things in TOS that suggest that not everything tangible is manufacturable or duplicable. Dilithium crystals, for example, must be mined. One can postulate that dilithium would “cost” more than even the rarest of diamonds on Earth. A wealthy trader might “pay” hundreds of thousands of Federation credits for a small dilithium ring, for example. It is equally possible that other rare minerals (extrapolated, for example, as gold-plated latinum by the time of DS9’s production) serve as the equivalent of gold in today’s economy, particularly between worlds. The question of incentive is an intriguing one. Picard in ST:FC canonically stated that humankind works to better themselves. Is this not as valid an incentive as any? Or is there not an incentive toward exploration, or self-defense? But I think your question is deeper than that; it is whether there are principles of incentive and, conversely, principles of limitation (why are there not infinite numbers of starships?). Worthy of much consideration and debate. Here’s another question: Is the Federation economy monistic, and if also, is it a form of market economy running on a fiat currency? What, exactly, is a Federation “credit”? By “monistic” I mean whether it claims to encompass all forms of value transactions; conversely, is there a formal parallel economy for high-value goods, such as starships or luxury items, or for trade between worlds that opt out of the main economy? The U.S. prides itself on being a market economy in the 21st Century. But this market economy depends on a currency — the U.S. dollar — that has been released from a single standard (i.e., the gold standard) for many decades. The U.S. dollar is founded on the full faith and credit of (i.e., confidence in) the United States of America. This is why the recent threat to default on U.S. debt caused by the refusal of certain Congressional factions to raise the debt ceiling caused so much consternation. The value of the U.S. dollar depends on the confidence of the world that each dollar stands for some amount of value which allows each dollar to be exchanged for either that value, or something equivalent (e.g., euro or yen). The Federation credit, on the other hand, is not really specifically stated to be a form of fiat currency, but it could be. It could also be founded on a dilithium, latinum, or other rare-mineral standard. We simply don’t know. How it is underpinned as a symbol of set value is as yet unknown, so it is possible, by the same token, that the Federation credit (to the extent that it is usable as currency) is based on some formulation of the efforts of Federation citizens to create new products above and beyond what is manufacturable. Or it might not; all this is speculative, which is rather appropriate for speculative fiction. We know that this is fodder for thought-experimentation for those who are so inclined. I also believe that given the complexity of our own system and its adaptability, a Federation credit-based economy, whether or not based on current dollar-based, market-economy principles, could make sense given enough time and technological progress. But what of the question of infinite starships? A starship, or rather, its construction, is a collection of efforts (work) as well as tangible material. It seems likely that Federation credits are transferred for the expenditure of those efforts as an incentive to do such work, rather than, say, stay at home to create art or play music for pleasure. We know that there is such thing as “duty” in Starfleet, which means that there is such thing as “work” versus play (and indeed, there is a Recreation Room and Holodeck for the latter). Why would it not be possible to consider Federation credits to be allocable as “extras” that those so inclined are able to work on their construction, above and beyond the level of necessities (free to Federation citizens) that we today would consider almost… Read more »

@40 (Disinvited): Interesting. Could have swore that HB was a “non-fan” (a person who was familiar with ‘Trek, but was not a “Trekkie”), until he got on board on TWOK.


One could ask, however, why it wouldn’t be possible for some irrational Federation citizen or group to create massive amounts of drone ships, or some sort of robotic army, using the near-endless supply of energy to do so? I can’t really answer that question, other than to say that there would probably be laws against it as a waste of resources (abundant though they might be), or that the laws wouldn’t be necessary because such irrationality is incomprehensible. In today’s world, air is free; we would hardly anticipate anyone attempting to monopolize air or holding it hostage (besides which the latter is illegal). Air is considered part of the commons we all share. It’s possible that such is the position of the Federation with regard to plentiful goods as well, and it seems to me that this would not be particularly socialistic, but simply a matter of practicality.