Sunday, April 26, 2009

Abrams Talks Trek With GQ

In the current issue of GQ out on newstands now, JJ Abrams talks about Star Wars vs Star Trek and adding more sex to the franchise which as been missing since the Orginial Series. Below is a portion of the article which can be found here.
You’ve said that when you were a kid, you always preferred Star Wars to Star Trek. Why?
Star Wars was about a character everyone could relate to—the average kid, who started out as a farm boy, suddenly called to adventure. And it was this massive, exciting, fast-paced, thrilling spectacle where he ended up meeting people who changed his life forever, and became this hero. I never really felt like I was Kirk; I never really connected with Spock. So for me, it was a no-brainer.

You hadn’t seen anything past the first few movies, though?
I think I’d seen the first four. I’ve since seen others. But at the time, I’d sort of lost track of Star Trek. It was a shock to me that this would be Star Trek 11.

The movie is a straight prequel—it ties into the continuity of the shows and the other eleven films. Was there ever a discussion of just doing the Batman Begins treatment and starting the story over, so that you wouldn’t be hampered by fifty years of baggage, plotwise?
I think we stumbled on a story that’s a better version of that. We’re telling a story that uses the backstory, the history of the world that Gene Roddenberry created, but doesn’t suffer from that thing a lot of prequels suffer from, where you think, “As exciting as this is, I’ve seen the other movies—I know they live. You can’t get me—I’ve seen Alec Guinness play that guy!” That’s a default problem with any film that’s a true prequel. So this movie is a strange hybrid. We’re not completely restarting everything. Leonard Nimoy’s in this movie, and he’s playing Spock. It connects. And at the same time, it’s its own thing, and it’s alive and vital. But this movie’s intended for people who’ve never seen an episode of Star Trek, so even though it’s not a complete restart, the work we had to do is in many ways the same. You have to make sure you’re giving people a way in, and that requires telling a story that assumes nothing. But if you love Star Trek, there are so many references and allusions in the film that’ll be rewarding, because you’ll finally get to see scenes that have been discussed but never seen before. You’ll finally understand how certain things happened in Kirk’s backstory, or Spock’s. I love that there’s two ways you can experience this film: If you happen to be a fan, it’s fantastic, and if you’ve never seen it before, all the better.

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