Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Orci On All Things Trek has posted part 1 of an interview with Star Trek writer Roberto Orci where he talks about all things Trek including the trailer, some of the cast, goals, current and later works and multiple other things. I have picked out a few choice Q&As below but you can find the full post here.
TrekMovie: As JJ [Abrams] has been going around, especially in foreign countries where Trek hasn’t played as well, he has been saying things that have got the notice of Star Trek fans. Things like "I’m not a Star Trek fan" and "this movie is not made for Star Trek fans" and that kind of stuff. Some Star Trek fans have reacted wondering if this movie really isn’t for us. Is that a fair criticism?
Roberto Orci: I can see how if you are a fan, you can go ‘uh oh.’ I think it is just reflecting, what he has said himself, that he didn’t think he was going to direct this movie, and when he says he wasn’t a fan, of course he was aware of Star Trek and had scene it and admired it, along with Twilight Zone and some of the other shows that he really likes. But I don’t think he ever imagined himself taking over a year of his life and devoting it to Star Trek and that is what he means. I think quotes reflect how much he surprised himself in how much he came to love it even more. And he went through that process without knowing it as well as all of us crazy fans, and from a much more general audience point of view, like everyone else. That is what he means by ‘not for the fans’, he thinks it is going to appeal to more than just the fans and I certainly don’t think he means to exclude them. Too many die-hards worked on this movie for it to not be for fans.

We can liken almost anything to something that happened on The Next Generation, because The Next Generation covered almost every story that there is. As fans - when JJ is out there saying things that prickled our pointy ears, we just think of him like Riker in the episode ["A Matter of Honor"] which he had to go be the first officer on board a Klingon ship in an exchange program. On that ship when someone talks back to you, you would have to beat them down or you lose the respect of your crew, which is protocol, whereas on a Federation ship that would be a crime. So we have to give JJ a little bit of leeway, when he is traveling the galaxy over there where they don’t know Trek, to say the things that need to be said in order to get people onto our side.

TrekMovie: Everything that has come out over the last month has answered a lot of questions, but also raised new ones. The first of which came up recently, related to Captain Robau, who was revealed on the new Intel site []. Can you talk about who he is and what his background is, like his being from Cuba.
Roberto Orci: As you know, the [USS] Kelvin is named after, not only the same scientist with the temperature scale named after him, but also JJ’s grandfather. And the captain of that ship, Richard Robau, is named after my uncle, who was born in Cuba. One of the things we talked about early on, was where was Uhura born? Does Sulu have to be Japanese? And it occurred to us that, in the future, the borders that exist now won’t exist then. So you can be born somewhere, and raised somewhere else, and live somewhere else, and even sometimes off Earth. So I always imagined that Capt Robau was born in Cuba, but then grew up in the Middle-East.

TrekMovie: You guys finally have the budget and resources to create truly alien aliens. Some fans think we should not see any new aliens that we did not see in The Original Series, and some even think that it is Star Trek tradition to do latex-on-forehead aliens and that Trek aliens should be anthropomorphic. That having Star Wars kinds of aliens, breaks with Trek tradition.
Roberto Orci: For the first question, I use the same argument that some use to justify Khan recognition of Chekov [in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan], which is: if you just went to a lower deck in that first season, you might have seen Chekov. So the idea that can’t see a new alien by merely turning the camera some other way on a ship that you might have seen before - I think it is fair to see a new alien. As for the second point, we actually had this conversation where one of the fun alien aliens we read about, I think it was in "Prime Directive," was this octopus creature, that was clearly not anthropomorphic at all. We talked about doing something like that, some stranger creatures, and I think we pushed it a little bit. I don’t think any of them go too far off the realm, but that was something on our minds. I don’t think there has to be a tradition of keeping them anthropomorphic, but I don’t think we strayed too far from that.

TrekMovie: We only saw two scenes with Spock. Both of which he was in his ‘not holding it together’ mode. This is a function of what we saw, but I hope that is not all we get for Spock. Can you settle my mind on that? Will we be seeing serene and logical Spock as well?
Roberto Orci: I can settle you mind very easily, absolutely. It is both of their movie…There was some worry early on that it was going to be too Spock-centric and we would totally ignore Kirk, as you pointed out we have four Spocks! There is not going to be any dearth of Spock, nor any dearth of classic Spock. Clearly some of the things you are going to see in the trailer are some of the more extreme moments in the movie. Moments that have to be earned by the story, and you are right to be concerned if they are not earned by the story, but plenty of Spock.

TrekMovie: How close to finished is it? Isn’t mid December the target to finish it?
Roberto Orci: We are still in the sound mix. That is still the target, but we may go over a bit to get the sound down together. The sound is really hard on this one because you want it to be cutting edge and it is complicated. It is not just Central Park with cars driving by.
Other "factoids" from the interview:
- The Star Trek: Countdown comic book will take after Nemesis, before the movie.
- The writing team is providing content for Intel's website.
- There is "internal reasoning" on why the Enterprise is built at Riverside, Iowa rather then San Francisco (or in space I assume).
- The cop in the trailer is a person to Orci but a person could argue it either way.
- Kelvin's security officer Alnschloss K'Bentayr is a combination of CGI and "mostly make-up and puppetry".

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