Friday, September 30, 2011

Orci and Johson Talk Star Trek 2.0 Comics

Starting this month, Star Trek has returned to comic book racks with its first ongoing series in more than a decade. Unlike before, this series focuses on the JJ Abrams' 2.0 Enterprise crew as they encounter the same adventures as the Prime universe crew but different universe means different experiences. The initial story arc is "Where No Man Has Gone Before" based on the first aired episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. The masterminds behind the series are co-writer for the movies and consultant on the comics Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson who is the actual writer of the comics. spoke with the pair about this newest extension of the Trek universe. Below are some segments of the interview, the rest can be found here.
This new comic book series sets in motion the countdown to the next film. So, give us a preview. What can readers expect to see?
Johnson: The first few issues of the series are adaptations of TOS episodes, as the “new” crew encounters some of the same threats the original crew did, but with differences that reflect things like Kirk being a younger captain and Spock losing his homeworld. As we get closer to the next movie, the stories will begin to foreshadow the events of the movie, such as possibly introducing new characters we will see onscreen... pun very much intended.

More specifically, the very first title re-imagined "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Without spoiling too much for anyone who's not read it yet, in what ways does it re-imagine the second pilot?
Johnson: Most importantly, it reflects the fact that Bones and Chekov were not yet a part of the crew in the original episode. Also the fact that in this new timeline Kirk is younger than Gary Mitchell, not a more experienced officer.

What other episodes will you tackle, and what excites you most about your fresh takes on those episodes?
Johnson: Each episode will be told in two issues, so in issue #3 and #4 we will revisit the events of “The Galileo Seven.” I’m excited about this one because it’s a Spock-centric story that explores his brief experience as a commanding officer and how he was affected by losing command of the Enterprise to Kirk in the last movie. I can’t spoil which episodes come after that, but I can say that events will deviate more and more from the TOS versions as the new timeline evolves.

Orci: Re-visiting original episodes in the new timeline is great for two reasons. First, we can do things we can’t do in the movies, simply because we don’t have the time to explore so many different adventures in the course of one film. And second, it’s so much fun to revisit the classic stories. Imagine being invited to jam with your favorite band. The classic songs will never change, but you get to play them in a new way.

How much, if at all, will what you're doing ultimately tie into the next film and its story?
Johnson: Very much so, much in the way that the “Countdown” series set up backstory for the last movie. It’s fantastic to have Bob’s input, because he can steer us clear of story elements that might conflict with what’s coming up in the next movie, and we can lay in subtle clues to what’s coming up so that once you see the new movie you can go back and see how it evolved in the comics.

Bob, since we're talking, what updates can you give us about the next Trek film?
Orci: The cast is excited. We have a director. We’ve started scouting locations. The second time around the crew is already together from the start, so we can jump right into the adventure.

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