Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gadgets Galore in Star Trek

In an interview with MTV, Star Trek director JJ Abrams and write Alex Kurtzman talked gadgets in the movie. Overall its pretty clear that the classic Star Trek toys are getting re-designs.
“The what? What flashbacks?” writer/director J.J. Abrams asked. “I never said flashbacks.”

“We didn’t say there were flashbacks!” teased writer/producer Alex Kurtzman.

But that didn’t mean they aren’t willing to give something up — in the spirit of diplomacy, of course. Plot and character development might be off limits (they all refuse to answer the question, “Where does the movie start” except Abrams, who teased, “In the fu-ture”) — but gadgets aren’t. “We intentionally don’t talk too much about the story,” said producer Bryan Burk, “but there’s all the gadgets you could want. No replicators,” since they originated in “Next Generation,” “but there’s warp speed and transporter beams and tricorders and communicators and everything you could want. All the gadgets.”

“It’s one thing in ‘Star Trek’ to get all excited and freak out about communicators, but to them, it’s like it’s the new iPhone,” Abrams said. “These are just the tool they’re using.”

The writer’s team had “endless discussions” about how to portray the gadgets, as well as all the other details of “style” and “esthetics,” Abrams said. “If you do the bridge of the Enterprise, what does it look like? Does Uhura has the piece in her, or does she not? And if she does, what does it look like? If they have tricorders, what do they look like? Phasers, how do you go from stun to kill, and does anything happen? What does the whole fleet look like? I’m telling you, every day, we were figuring this out, how do we take what we know and love and ‘Star Trek’ and apply it to a modern audience.”

Some of these details will be a little more hidden, Burk said, as easter eggs. “There will be appearances of things,” he said.
Considering that Abrams has yet to do literally anything that doesn't make heavy use of flashbacks, combined with known appearance of Kirk's parents, I am truly skeptical that there will not be any. As for the gadgets, considering just how much the original Star Trek designers got right on technology with much of it in the here and now, I am curious to see how movie designers split the difference and get more advanced while not seeming too advanced.

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