Trek scribes speak, complaints addressed – UPDATED


Last night in Hollywood, Creative Screenwriting editor Jeff Goldsmith hosted a special screening of the new Star Trek  movie, followed by a Q&A with writers Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci.  While I have yet to publish my official review, readers are aware that, while I found the film to be entertaining, I felt it was somewhat lacking in depth.  I attended tonight’s screening in the hopes that the writing duo would be grilled about fans’ criticism, and thankfully, Mr. Goldsmith did not disappoint.   The duo spoke about their history, how they approach writing and their personal experiences with last year’s strike, but the heat was turned up when Jeff pulled out a hefty printout of fan questions gathered from around the net, designed to help all of us get a better insight into the most common complaints people have had about the new movie….


At this point be forewarned, ultra-spoilers follow!

Note that while I will do my best to remember the juiciest details, you can download a podcast of the entire Q&A here on iTunes.


Many (including myself) have wondered what the point was of going to such great lengths to reconcile existing Star Trek cannon with a new story.  Why bother with all this alternate-timeline hooey?  If you’re rebooting the franchise and starting over, then just start over!  The problem with that, according to Kurtzman & Orci, is that audiences might have assumed this new movie was simply an attempt to tell a story about Kirk & Spock from back before the original series, and everything that happened in Trek lore is still destined to happen.  Where’s the fun in watching this crew take on the galaxy if we know Kirk will eventually be killed by Soren, Spock will become an ambassador to Romulus and everyone else lives?  By history being altered, nothing has yet been written – Kirk really could  die on the next mission and Khan might end up selling shoes.  With a whole new timeline, stories are no longer beholden to “established” history and while everything we know and love is still there, how it plays out is no longer written.  If you’ll pardon the cliche, essentially it means that everything old is new again!


A deleted scene established that Kirk’s stepdad is a real bad mofo, and he forces young Kirk to wax & polish the car.  He threatens that if he finds even one spec of dirt, he’s going to beat the kid senseless (I still think it’s a dumb scene, but at least this provides a lot more motivation for it).  Other tidbits about this scene: The Beastie Boys song may be a blatant attempt to make Star Trek seem more hip, but if you look closely at the dashboard, the station playing it is listed as “oldies.”  Also, what the hell is a cliff like this doing in famously flat Iowa?  Again, sharp eyes will see that the sign Kirk blows through reads “quarry” (i.e. a man-made pit).  Another scene of 10 year old Kirk that didn’t make the final cut (I’m not sure if it was filmed or not) also involved a young Carol Marcus!  Props to the boys for diving so deeply into the Trek mythos (they both admit to being Wrath of Khan  junkies).


A fan asked why George Kirk’s pregnant wife was on board the USS Kelvin, since families weren’t supposed to be brought on board until the Next Gen days.  “Because she’s a Starfleet officer” explained the dynamic duo.  This is also alluded to in another line about Kirk’s mother being off-world.


After the incident with the USS Kelvin, did Nero and his crew really just hang around the black hole for 25 years, playing Fizbin and waiting for Spock to emerge?  Couldn’t they have used that time to, say, help Romulus avert eventual disaster?  Turns out a major cut scene explains what happened during that time frame.  After being rammed by the Kelvin, Nero’s ship was crippled; a convoy of Klingon Warbirds captured the crew and held them in a prison camp for all those years.  Eventually the Romulans escaped, reclaimed their ship, blew up 47 Klingon vessels and returned to their mission (some of this is discussed in dialog which remains in the film).  The good news is that these scenes were  completed and there is hope they may surface on the DVD.


The motherlode of the film’s many handy coincidences involves the banished Kirk conveniently running into Spock Prime (as the writers coined him early on) in his cave on Delta Vega.  Much to my surprise and delight, even this jaw-dropping moment has an explanation!  In the minds of the creators, the focus of the plot is that Nero’s destruction of the timeline has altered history to the point that the all important friendship of Kirk and Spock is now threatened.  If these two don’t come together, the fabric of space and time itself is endangered (as we have witnessed by the universe itself being saved countless times over the last 40 years).  Kirk “coincidentally” running into Spock Prime is an example of fate itself trying to bring these two together.  That’s how important it is.  In fact a line about this was included during Spock Prime’s mind-meld speech, but was removed at the last minute (the writers said this particular speech was labored over more than any other section of the script and they now regret not including the line about fate).  While this doesn’t completely forgive a very hackneyed sequence, it does address the most egregious moment in the film and I appreciate that an attempt was made to explain it.  In the wake of criticism over this scene, perhaps the line will be restored for the DVD release.  It would make a world of difference.


A lot of people found themselves scratching their heads over the unlikely romantic pairing of Spock and Uhura.  The inspiration for this came from the original series, where apparently there are scenes of these two flirting (if anyone reading this remembers which episodes they’re talking about, please fill us in).  Since the rough-and-tumble badboy is always the one to get the girl, the writers wanted to pair Uhura up with the less obvious choice.  Besides, since Uhura is a smart, mature woman, they felt that she would probably gravitate towards the more interesting, intellectually mature man.


There was a lot more material further explaining Kirk’s relationship with the hot green chick.  Since she worked in the computer lab, Kirk was essentially sleeping with her to gain access to the simulation computer so he could cheat on the Kobyashi Maru.  In a cut scene, Kirk tells her that if she gets an email from him while he’s taking the test, she should open it; she does, and it launches a virus which installs his cheat-patch.


Why didn’t the universe explode when Spock Prime met New Spock?  What about all the time-honored SF theories that going back in time and meeting yourself will lead to anti matter explosions, tears in the fabric of space/time and dogs and cats living together?  In doing their research on the latest fringe science theories, the current thinking is that events which create huge paradoxes (like going back in time and killing your grandfather) no longer will result in cataclysm, but the instant creation of an alternate universe which allows for the new reality (and I’ll back them up on this, since I’ve read material on the subject that basically says the same thing). 


Why did Kirk feel the need to fire all weapons at a doomed ship?  After all, Nero’s vessel was mere seconds away from being crushed inside the black hole.  Not true, said the Trek  scribes – Nero’s ship was built to travel through black holes, so if Kirk hadn’t done anything, the bad guys would have slipped away and emerged god knows where (and when) ready to do more evil.


Why on Earth did JJ Abrams turn Star Trek  into a two-hour commercial for lens flare plugins?  I have to admit, upon my second viewing of the film I found this visual motif to be highly distracting and irritating.  Flares, reflections and luminous ghosts simply appear everywhere, even without any obvious sources.  The reason?  JJ wanted a visual metaphor that stated “we have a bright future ahead of us.”   No, I’m not making this up.


Would creating a big explosion on the event horizon of a black hole really create a shockwave that the Enterprise could surf to safety?  No.  But the explosion would alter the nature of the event horizon and create a space-time ripple that would… do something.  Ok, my memory of this answer is a little shaky, but the pair did impress the crowd with a well researched solution that did make sense – you’ll have to listen to the podcast for the details.


Overall, I have to offer props to Kurtzman & Orci for having good answers to just about every moment in the film that elicited a “WTF?”  Had some of these cut scenes and dialog been retained, the truck-sized holes in plot and logic might have just been big enough to squeeze a Smart car through.  I’m impressed that so much thought did go into moments that most people wouldn’t think twice about – but, then again, give me a million dollars and a year to write a Star Trek movie and I guarantee you I’ll do a whole lot a thinkin’!



 MTV News has a great clip of these guys explaining what the never-filmed Shatner scene would have been like:



Looking for more STAR TREK porn?  Here’s a brand-new image of the USS Exelsior:



The entire fleet of TREK ships, plus do-it-yourself CGI:



Never-before-seen hi-res starship images from STAR TREK: VOYAGER:



Wallpaper sized images of the Enterprise:



And finally, my infamous Star Trek “porno” movie:

143 Responses to “Trek scribes speak, complaints addressed – UPDATED”

  1. May 14, 2009 at 2:07 am

    I’m really glad that they took the time and effort to think these things through, even though they still chocked on the whole black hole can eat a supernova shockwave thing. (Since supernovas create black holes, duh!) Or the supernova threatening the galaxy thing…

    The comic said that the Narada was outfitted with Borg tech the Romulans had. Was that part of the official story? Also, what podcast? :)

  2. 2 Boris
    May 14, 2009 at 3:12 am

    “The problem with that, according to Kurtzman & Orci, is that audiences might have assumed this new movie was simply an attempt to tell a story about Kirk & Spock from back before the original series, and everything that happened in Trek lore is still destined to happen.”

    I’m starting to notice the opposite on fan analysis sites – if this were a reboot, fans would simply accept the changes as they are, but instead, they’re coming up with convoluted explanations for how the timeline alteration caused the changes in Enterprise design and similar. Even if everything that happened isn’t destined to happen, they still want it to logically descend from the timeline alteration. I don’t expect this trend to subside for the time being. :(

    (Let me try one for fun – did Nero’s incursion alter Starfleet technology to the point that stardates can be more regular than they were in TOS? Does the new rule of stardates = Gregorian years mean that the Federation is more Earth-centric than usual? :) )

  3. May 14, 2009 at 4:07 am

    “Why did Kirk feel the need to fire all weapons at a doomed ship? After all, Nero’s vessel was mere seconds away from being crushed inside the black hole. Not true, said the Trek scribes – Nero’s ship was built to travel through black holes, so if Kirk hadn’t done anything, the bad guys would have slipped away and emerged god knows where (and when) ready to do more evil.”

    When and where was it established that Nero’s ship was built to travel through black holes? Sure it goes through one, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have any trouble during the process. It couldn’t even prevent the Kelvin from ramming into the ship yet 25 years later it destroys 47 klingon warbirds and 7 federation ships head on. And how was Kirk able to figure out that much out even though we already see the Narada breaking up before it gets sucked into the black hole? I don’t buy it. If Nero wasn’t in any kind of trouble, why didn’t any part of him say so when he was being hailed?

    And in the end, it was all pointless since Nero did survive. Two pieces of evidence.

    1. The black hole entity has two openings on both sides. When the Jellyfish crashed, it literally split the ship into two parts. The portion that had the crew was on the other side of the black hole where the forward claw section was the area that the Enterprise Bombarded. So the area that Nero and his crew were in survived since the black hole separated the two areas. Which brings us to…

    2. Trekmovie.com has had a viral game of sorts that vaguely states that the Romulans actually emerged to present day Earth’s timeline. Some of Nero’s crew go renegade and try to get players to warn Vulcan before Nero can extract his vengeance again. It’s successful but the Vulcans cannot locate the Narada. What happens to Kaleh and the rest of her band? Only time will tell. I hope the story continues in some way shape or form.

    One other thing. Is it me, or does using elements like fate and destiny to try and explain how everything happens just a lazy story writing tool? Characters meet because…….they meet. It’s destiny. If that’s the case, Fate and Destiny are incredibly sexist for not having Yeoman Rand, Nurse Chapel, Number One or M’Ress. :P

    That’s my story and I’m sticking too it! Thanks for posting this Darth Mojo.

    – Jeyl

  4. May 14, 2009 at 7:09 am

    The inspiration for this came from the original series, where apparently there are scenes of these two flirting (if anyone reading this remembers which episodes they’re talking about, please fill us in).

    “The Man Trap” and/or “Charlie X”, I believe. I’ve been watching season 1 for the first time on Blu-ray in the wake of the movie (coincidental timing—I’d owned it but not the TV beforehand ;) ), and seeing that in TOS surprised the heck out of me.

  5. May 14, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I think the biggest example of Spock and Uhura flirting was in the rec-room scene in Charlie X, where Spock is playing his Vulcan Lyre and smiling (smiling!) at her, and Uhura sings about how damn sexy he is.

    The scene starts at about 9:40 into the episode. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmjVOUW3Szo

    And here are the lyrics if anyone wants to sing along. http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Oh,_On_the_Starship_Enterprise

  6. May 14, 2009 at 7:15 am

    “we have a bright future ahead of us.”

    Of course!…….but only if you’re on Deck 1 (The Bridge) because anything below that is either a rusting septic system or a beer brewery complete with over-extending pipes, knobs, steel grates, light fixtures and concrete floors.

    In fact, these areas of the Enterprise and the people that work in them shows a clear violation of Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1983 that clearly states “Duty Care” must be maintained in areas that have complex layouts and movable suspended structures that are for all intents and purposes are movable. And since Starships are known to endure a lot of stress and shaky situations at times, you’d think that wearing any form of protection would be common place. To see so many Starfleet Officers walk around with no safety gear is like showing off your ice sculptures in an oven.

    In short, the term “bright future ahead of us” is no longer a metaphor but an actual litereal fact, becacuse a society that no longer has the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1983 clearly does not care for the well being of the crew. And since they’ve recently put an inexperienced, no talent, arrogant a-hole in command of one of their flagships, I cannot reach any other conclusion other than this.

    Starfleet is dumb.

  7. May 14, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Don’t remember the episode (it’s early first season) but there is a scene where Spock is in the chair and Uhura is bored. She starts tweaking him, telling him that he could tell her how beutiful she is or what the moon looks like on Vulcan. He replies that Vulcan has no moons.

    Apparently he rectified that by dragging Delta Vega over from the edge of the galaxy ;)

  8. May 14, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Awesome information, thanks for sharing!

  9. 9 Jim Williams
    May 14, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Very interesting posting, thanks. They addressed many of the problems I had with the story, but I’m still not satisfied. I should be able to judge a film by what’s on the screen and on that basis, Star Trek is a poorly written story. I’ll certainly watch any “director’s cut” that comes out and I may like it better, but there are problems with this film that nothing can fix.

    Nero’s basic motivation, his desire for revenge over the destruction of Romulus, makes no sense. Once he’s in the past, Romulus is still there! He could have taken the Narada, after his escape from Rura Penthe, to Romulus, warned them about the Hobus super-duper-nova, and helped them build a fleet of Naradas with which to conquer the Federation. Why did he go it alone? Yes, he’d lost everything, his wife, his home, all he knew. But with the Narada, he could rule Romulus AND probably conquer the Federation. Revenge satified.

    And as for this business about the time line trying to fix itself by “fate” (aka God) forcing this crew together via ridiculous coincidence: what a load of metaphysical crap! Put that BS in a fantasy, where it belongs, but leave it out of Star Trek, please!

  10. May 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Was the “flirting” the duet between Spock and Uhura in Charlie X? Spock was smiling while he played his harp and Uhura was doing her Jessica Rabbit routine.

  11. May 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Fate has NO PLACE in the Star Trek universe. Fate is a concept that belongs in fantasy movies, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter – not in Star Trek. Fate is a religious concept – it implies a Creator, an Intelligent Designer (or a Bad Writer). Gene Roddenberry was an atheist: in classic Trek, various gods are always portrayed as nothing more than advanced alien bullies who like to pick on less advanced races. Kirk always came out on top because he was a smart and cunning captain, not because he was the Chosen One. Introducing the concept of Fate and Destiny to Trek turns it from science fiction into fantasy. Most people seem to be welcoming this change, but not me.

  12. May 14, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Great info here. Thanks for sharing it. While I can appreciate the fact that behind the scenes they addressed such major issues as the 25-year wait, and the spate of coincidences, if they don’t make it into the movie, then they don’t exist for the viewer. I shouldn’t need to watch extras on a DVD or read a comic book to have the story make sense, IMO. Their decisions were perhaps even more egregious, since they were evidently aware of problems, but CHOSE not to address them, thus compromising the plot for the sake of expediency.

  13. 13 Brian G
    May 14, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Re: Spock and Uhura flirting. I just started watching the Season One Blu Ray, and in Charlie X there is that whole bit in the rec room where Spock is playing his Super Space Harp(TM) and Uhura sings her little song. I was surprised to find that there was a very flirtatious vibe in that scene, and Spock seemed to be digging it.

  14. 14 The Hey
    May 14, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I know there are huge plot holes but to me the mere fact that I care about these things makes me feel good about this film to even care.

    I did buy (and enjoy) the Countdown comic that helps explain some things and I’m gonna read Alan Dean Foster’s novelization to see if any of these explications were addressed (plus it’s Alan Dean Foster).

  15. 15 Ryan Cornelius
    May 14, 2009 at 9:44 am

    “Charlie X”, specifically the mess hall scene.

    That is where they got the Uhura and Spock romance.

  16. 16 ety3
    May 14, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Good stuff.

    As for Spock-Uhura flirting, I recall “The Man Trap,” and a brief scene wherein the pair discuss romance and Vulcan’s lack of a moon. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with those two hooking up. It was unexpected but not unbelievable.


    The only scene in the film about which I have reservations is the one in which Kirk offers an olive branch and Spock — almost jokingly — questions it. Also, the pervasive use of the term “passing through a black hole” — boneheaded. If they had used the word “vortex” a bit more often, I’d be happier. (They also could have made it more clear that the Narada was entering a vortex instead of being crushed.)

    Mojo, did you read the “Countdown” prequel comic?

  17. 17 Scott
    May 14, 2009 at 11:31 am

    FYI… The scene in the original Star Trek with Uhura and Spock flirting is in one of the early scenes in “The Man Trap”. And the flirting is pretty blatant, actually. Uhura is really coming on to him, and Spock almost — ALMOST — smiles.

    God I’m such a nerd for knowing this! :-)

  18. 18 doubleofive
    May 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Awesome. See, everyone thinks they just threw together something that seemed cool at the time, but they DID think it through. Love it. Love the movie. Can’t wait to see it again.

  19. May 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Fascinating. Did they address their scripted plans to have Kirk make an appearance in the last scene between the two Spocks? Had they done it sucessfully, I think it would have made the scene work better. Let’s talk later, Mojo…

  20. May 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Check out “Charlie X” for the scene where Spock plays his Vulcan Lyre while Uhura sings. There’s definitely some chemistry between the two.

  21. May 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    A search reveals that Uhura was imporvising song in a way which could be interpreted as flirting during Charlie X. http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Oh,_On_the_Starship_Enterprise

    I also remember a time when Spock quoted, “She moves in beauty like the night.” I am having trouble remembering the exact episode. I think he was sharing consciousness with someone at the time.

    Hope this helps.

  22. 22 Devon
    May 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    First, I did love the movie, but I’d like to know about the whole fast promotion of Kirk.

  23. May 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    First time posting here, nice to see the discussion go on).

    SPOCK, MEET SPOCK: This is a bit of a strawman attack. I must have been reading ~100 reviews by now, and no one complained about that (actually the argument seems to come straight from TOS: “The Alternative Factor” where the science was crappy and hardly a guideline for “Star Trek XI”).

    GREEN GIRL BLUES: Well, I don’t know about you but I would have liked to see more of her…

    COINCIDENCE ON HOTH: In think it is a general flaw in movies that if some gross inconsistency is just being addressed on screen in a “I can’t believe but it is true…” fashion, it is suddenly supposed to make sense. While it may work in other genres nonetheless, I don’t think that the “destiny” concept belongs into Star Trek.


    ALL BLOWED UP: Wait a moment. It is a mining ship, what does a mining ship have to do inside or only near a black hole? The Countdown comic may tell me otherwise, but in the scope of the film it makes no sense, even if both the Jellyfish and Nero’s ship survive the transition to the 23rd century.

  24. May 14, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the info. The podcast doesn’t seem to be up yet though.

  25. May 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to hang the basis for Spock/Uhura on Man Trap and Charlie X, but that’s fine. If we’re going to refer to the Man Trap scene, then we also have to note that Spock said Vulcan has no moon.

    Anyway, the Spock/Uhura stuff is the least of the films problems. (Lets remember Spock did have relationships in TOS: The Romulan Commander in The Enterprise Incident, Zarabeth in All Our Yesterdays, and Droxine in The Cloud Minders are all notable.)

    Though when I heard Uhura was going to have more to do, I thought that would include more than pining after and worrying about her boyfriend.

    Again, the problem with the lackluster script is that there’s no verisimilitude in regard to way science, or Starfleet are portrayed.

  26. 26 David
    May 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    There has been a huge backlash against the film amongst Australian audiences due to the weak script and the attack on Nero’s ship at the end:


    These comments don’t appear to be “ganging up”; they are people who genuinely dislike the film.

    The film review show to which this website belongs is on Australia’s Government (non-commercial) television station.

  27. May 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    nice post this explains much about the film that I questions about

  28. May 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I would love Kurtzman & Orci to answer the biggest, most glaringly obvious question posed at the end of the film (and the film’s most egregious and mystifying plothole)…

    Why doesn’t Spock Prime try (or even want) to fix/restore the timeline, and save Vulcan?

    I love the movie (despite the plot’s over-reliance on absurd coincidences), but it makes absolutely no sense for Spock Prime not to try to restore/repair the timeline (or at least express a desire/need to do so).

    Look at any of the big time travel episodes of Star Trek – City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday’s Enterprise, All Good Things – not to mention Abrams/Lindelof/Kurtzman/Orci’s very own Lost, as well as Kurtzman & Orci’s statements at the top of this Q&A, and it’s pretty clear they’ve wiped the slate clean as far as the Star Trek universe’s continuity is concerned going forward.

    Why didn’t they just create/use the device of a _parallel_ universe device (like the Mirror Universe), instead of a _replacement_ universe like the one in Yesterday’s Enterprise? Because what they’ve done is sort of like leaving the Enterprise-D in the Yesterday’s Enterprise alternate universe forever (imagine if from that point on TNG, DS9, Voyager had all taken place in that universe!) – except in this case there’s a character (Spock Prime) from the original/correct timeline who knows for a fact this changed/altered timeline is wrong, and has the knowledge/ability to set things right again (as he has done before when necessary).

  29. 29 luvusagi
    May 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I love this post thanks for the little extra info about the cuts scenes with the car and “hoth” though i automatically assumed kirk’s step dad was a jerk because you’d have to have a lot of hate towards someone to destroy a fabulously classic car in such a spectacular way. Also…it’s the future so i’m sure there might have been some sort of climate change, natural disaster, or man made incident to cause the chasm in Iowa.

    I thought the time travel/alternate reality was a brilliant idea though! What a way to make a movie with any of your own personal changes because you can always reply “Hey it’s an alternate reality” unlike many of the “comic book to movie” movies where they totally go crazy with the story lines and cause massive about of fan boys(and girls)to go running off cliffs…or to their internet blogs…

    Really loved the romantic build up between Spock and Ahura, was a nice touch to the movie you know change of place, slash twist that Kirk didn’t get the girl ^_^.

    And the Lens Flare didn’t actually bother me at all, at this very moment I’m trying to recall when it happen -_- I suppose I’d have to go see the movie a third time…(: : cough : : not that I’d mind) but it’s probably that you only noticed because it was brought to your attention >.<

    Anyways I was more than please at the outcome of the movie, recently lost a very dear friend who was a huge huge scifi ne thing fan. She was really looking forward to seeing it and it came out on her bday and the fact that i was so good made it a really special experience for me…

  30. May 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    “With a whole new timeline, stories are no longer beholden to ‘established’ history and while everything we know and love is still there,”

    Yeah well the problem with that is if you change the characters they aren’t the people we know and love anymore. Spock publicly sucking face with Uhura on the transporter was absurd. Like so many other things in this movie it was contrived and unbelievable.

    Did they also manage to explain how Kirk got promoted to CAPTAIN from cadet so quickly? What? They couldn’t imagine how to stretch that out till the next movie just for the sake of believability? Or were they just too damned eager to give Luke Skywalker the medal at the end of the movie (And lord help me if they plan on turning Kirk into a celibate warrior monk the way Lucas did to poor Luke) that they couldn’t wait?

    In addition, you can’t have it both ways boys. Everything we know and love ISN’T still there. By changing the timeline the entire future of the TV series was erased. This isn’t an alternate universe Trek, it’s an altered HISTORY Trek.

    And just because you write it a certain way doesn’t make it believable that way. And just because you have an answer to the nagging questions doesn’t mean your answers makes sense. Star Trek isn’t Transformers, or Mission Impossible, or Battlestar Galactica.

    Orci and Kurtzman need a third writing partner and I’m available. Because lacking the conscience of McCoy in the room, that duo isn’t making all the right decisions.

    I’ll even help for Steve Jobs’ $1 per year salary and the love of Star Trek, which I don’t want to see more screwed up by people who don’t understand that Mr. Spock and the Vulcans are there for a specific structural reason: To demonstrate one of the key and very subtle points of Star Trek which is that logic alone is not enough.

    And that ultimately is why Kirk is more fit to run the Enterprise than Spock is.

    So turn the Enterprise into the spitting image of a Black and Decker toaster, if you must, but don’t mess with Spock.

  31. 31 Jaxon
    May 14, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for the posting – interesting answers. I’d read that Kurtzman & Orci had done a lot of research and thinking about Trek canon, and as a long-time TOS series fan, I appreciate their efforts. I also agree with what others have written, that the deleted scenes would have made a big difference. But, the best part of this film, for me, were the fresh takes on the characters. It’s wonderful to see new people playing the classic roles and they all did wonderful jobs (Karl Urban, you the man). I would have seen a Kirk/Spock origins story – and I’m not sure I like the timeline alteration… but if it breathes new life into the classic series, great.

    I’ve been waiting almost thirty years for Spock to get the girl. Yes!

  32. May 15, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Interesting, I reviewed this film and even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I also listed a few minor things that annoyed me, including the sun flares as well as the Nokia product placement.

  33. 33 Jamjumetley
    May 15, 2009 at 3:27 am

    “Nero’s ship was built to travel through black holes, so if Kirk hadn’t done anything, the bad guys would have slipped away and emerged god knows where (and when) ready to do more evil.”

    That’s not true. At the beginning of the film the Narada appears at one side of the black hole. At the end of the film the black hole (as a result of collision with the Jellyfish) starts in the middle of Narada. The ship is on both sides of the black hole so it’s going to be destroyed anyway.

    Kirk orders to fire all weapons because of his nature.

  34. May 15, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Thanks for posting all these answers.

    Did anyone ask how it was possible that the Enterprise could beam crewmen from the orbit of Saturn to the orbit of Earth? That WAS what was going on, wasn’t it, or did I miss something?

    I suppose if the screenwriters want to change the tech level of the Federation, that’s their lookout, but it’s hard enough to get around the transporter’s ability to snatch heroes to safety to create tense situations. One of the way that was done in the series was by giving it limited range. Not any more!


  35. 35 DS9 Rocks
    May 15, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Thanks for the post. Very good answeres from the writers. I liked the movie a lot, with only 2 nitpicking scenes that I thought were *unnecessarily* inconsistent. First was Delta Vega, which was explained above (and I much appreciate it). Second was Kirk’s promotion to captain at the end. I felt that was completely unnecessary (just give him a medal) and tied writers hands a bit actually (could have had Pike command again next time, with Kirk being his right hand, or whatever, getting another field promotion, which that time stuck). It’s just so convoluted that a junior officer straight out of academy gets to officially captain the flagship (as opposed to during an emergency).. Wonder what the writers would have said about this?

  36. 36 James Rye
    May 15, 2009 at 5:21 am

    How very nice that these people took the time and effort to explain some of the small inconsitencies with the film. This really shows that they care and I am very grateful to them. Knowing these tidbits enhanced my enjoyment of the film.

    Bring on the next one…

  37. 37 Snafu
    May 15, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I’d wish that this film wouldn’t be so singled out in the bad science department, when each and every Trek film has howlers of its own to worry about. Even the series, seemingly under less pressure to be so condensedly flashy as the movies, violated science (and fictitious Trek science) facts left and right.

    In which way is Red Matter any worse that Trilithium?

  38. May 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

    While an enjoyable movie, I’m a little disappointed with the whole “prequels” are bad mentality. If you’re new to Star Trek or not, what does it matter? My enjoyment of The Godfather Part II isn’t marred by the knowledge of Vito being shot down while shopping for oranges! The whole Star Wars prequel trilogy hinged on the audience knowing what must eventually happen. It can be argued that’s the only reason why George Lucas’ awful writing was tolerated, so we see how it all fits together.

    I don’t like the Alternative Reality aspect of this movie at all. I was perfectly willing to accept different actors and modern filmmaking techniques to bring an earlier place in the Star Trek Universe to life. Oh well, I guess it’s back to watching reruns of Enterprise for me… with it’s design touches reflecting that future 60’s set, but retrograded to incorporation flat screens and a submarine feel… I somehow found that more faithful than fans give it credit for.

  39. 39 Allmytee
    May 15, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Hiya. For all those complaining about how “fate” puts things together, its quantum mechanics. The lastest theories anyway. Read this Q & A for more….

  40. 40 gastrof
    May 15, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Haven’t read any of the other commens yet, but if nobody else has answered the question about Spock and Uhura flirting, there’s at least one example I can think of. Don’t remember which episode it was, but there’s a scene where Uhura says something like “Mr. Spock, if I hear the word ‘frequency’ on more time, I think I’ll scream.” Spock doesn’t know what to make of this, and so she says “I guess I’m just looking to start a conversation with you.” Spock comments that it would’ve been odd for the Communications Officer to have so bad a reaction to the word ‘frequency’. She then says “Why don’t you tell me what Vulcan’s like on a warm spring evening when the moon is full?” He replies “Vulcan has no moon.”

    Another scene, possibly in “Charlie X” or “Way to Eden” is when Spock’s playing his Vulcan harp, and Uhura is there. The two sort of spend a moment hovering near each other and smiling.

    Yeah. Spock SMILED.

    So, there is SOME basis. Plus, a little history here… When they had Nichelle Nichols read for a part on the show, there were no scripts with Uhura in them yet, so they had her read a scene written for Spock. It was felt, for some reason, that Uhura would be the only other character who came close to being like Spock.

  41. 41 doubleofive
    May 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    “(Let me try one for fun – did Nero’s incursion alter Starfleet technology to the point that stardates can be more regular than they were in TOS? Does the new rule of stardates = Gregorian years mean that the Federation is more Earth-centric than usual? :) )”

    I submit that this new universe was an alternate from the start. Look at the Kelvin: They were using this new Stardate system, had the Enterprise delta shield insignias, a window/viewscreen, the new style nacelles, the pulse cannon phasers the New Enterprise had 25 years later, and twice as many crew as the Original Enterprise (“800 lives” who can fit into 20 shuttles, but that’s not important). Prime Spock hadn’t been in the universe long enough to see anything but Vulcan from Delta Vega, so he is only going by what Kirk tells him. The bridge crew assumes that Nero is what made them an alternate universe, but it looks like they were alternate all along.

  42. 42 bionicdragonfire
    May 15, 2009 at 9:08 am

    The ‘fate’ thing could have been taken care of in a very neat and tidy package if they had used one previously established character. Q. All it would have taken was a one second cameo of John De’lancie on Delta Vega and we’d be set. All they would have needed to say was that Q was a fan of TOS.

  43. 43 Randy H.
    May 15, 2009 at 10:09 am

    You know, I’m not really bothered by “fate” having a hand in this. In “The City on the Edge of Forever” Spock stated that there was a theory that time was like a river. He was using that metaphor to explain why he and Kirk would arrive at a place similar to that reached by McCoy earlier: that that particular place was a focal point for time and that the rushing timeline would pretty much run on as normal without major change except for a disruption there. In other words, it is hard to stop the flow of history and it tends to end up in the same place.

    Call it fate or call it the way the universe just “works”, Trek has already established that there is a tendency for time to heal itself. (By way of example, see any of the “reset button” stories in later series.)

    And that’s what I see going on in the film. It is supported by canon and works for me!

  44. 44 Randy H.
    May 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

    As a follow-on to my above comment, I guess that means that the continued existence of Vulcan is not required for overall history to play out. The UFP will continue to exist and thrive, Kirk & Co. will save the day on numerous occasion, and Sarek will continue to perform his ambassadorial functions that people laud him for. Who knew Vulcan was so inconsequential? : )

  45. 45 Ozzy Cochrane
    May 15, 2009 at 11:08 am

    “I also remember a time when Spock quoted, “She moves in beauty like the night.” I am having trouble remembering the exact episode. I think he was sharing consciousness with someone at the time.”

    That would be the episode “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” where Spock mind-links with a non-corporeal alien. On looking around with humanoid eyes for the first time, the alien/Spcok combination sees Uhura and quotes the Byron line “She walks in beauty like the night.”

  46. May 15, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Spock in The Enterprise Incident: Spock was romancing the Romulan commander as part of the mission so Kirk could steal the cloaking device. He also “killed” Kirk in that episode, remember? And that wasn’t real either.

    Spock in All Our Yesterdays: Spock has a fling with Mariette Hartley because the time that she inhabits is thousands of years in the past when Vulcans were brutal savages and he’s beginning to feel the reversion himself.

    Spock in The Cloud Minders: While Spock does go into a bizarre internal monologue in this episode, and he clearly is attracted to Droxine, he also breaks her heart by telling her that Vulcans have a 7 year mating cycle.

    The point is this: Even if Spock is attracted, sucking face in public is such a radical display of emotion for him in a controllable situation that its totally contrived to see him do that.

    And yeah, okay, Spock is more mature at this point, but Uhura also like to go to bars, drink, laugh, and have fun. Are we going to see Spock cutting up the dance floor with her and cracking jokes? It’s just not credible to me.

    What’s next? Spock on Uhura action to Barry White music? Spock walking around the Enterprise sporting a woody through the Starfleet pants while he assures everyone he is in full control of his emotions?

    Look, I loved the film too, but for the amount of money these guys are making on this thing they could afford to love it more and be less lazy in the head.

    And how exactly did Spock see the destruction of Vulcan from Delta Vega? And why is it our job to scratch our heads trying to figure out how it all makes sense at all? It’s the filmmaker’s job to relieve us of that necessity by making it all clear. Why do Orci and Kurtzman have to go around answering all these questions at all? If you write it and edit the thing properly you wouldn’t have to. The movie itself will do the job.

    I loved the film and I love this new cast, but I think the story is the weak link here.

    Star Trek is like having a kid. Even when he does something stupid you are going to love him, but you’ll still wish he didn’t do stupid things, and you’ll give him hell for it.

  47. 47 moniquejblog
    May 15, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Nice post. I didn’t expect such a cheesy answer from the writers about the lens flares. And to pair Uhura with the intelligent guy (Spock) was great, IMO. I wish they put all of the backstory behind Kirk and the green girl in the movie, although he might have been less likeable to the audience.
    My Star Trek review, articles–mljblog.wordpress.com

  48. 48 heyberto
    May 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Too bad that scene with Kirk’s Green Consort helping him win the unbeatable test wasn’t included. That’s the one exclusion that I think would have helped that scene, and further demonstrate Kirk’s persuasiveness. Second would have been Nero in the Klingon prison, but I think the movie is fine without it.

  49. May 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Orci and Kurtzman apparently LOVE the character of Spock as well, because now they have TWO of them to write parts for. Heck, do a few more time travel stories involving Spocks from the future and this version of Star Trek could have a total of FIVE Spocks at the same time! Spock can man up the bridge all by himself and we can call the rebooted franchise SPOCK Trek!

  50. 50 Foravalon
    May 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    What I really want to know is why the majority of the Fleet were kicking it in the Laurentian system. This was the biggest question mark for me.

    Howard Jones Re: Transporting from Saturn to Earth. It was addressed by Scotty earlier in the movie, in his speech about transwarp teleportation. He knew how to easily transport something from one on planet to another planet in the same system, transporting onto a distant ship moving at warp was something considerably harder. Thanks to Spock from the year 2387 he didn’t have to wait until he made the discovery in self. Since it’s called “transwarp” teleportation it’s possible that “Scotty Prime” didn’t crack the equation until after the Next Gen era, there’s an 8 year gap between Nemesis (2379) and the time of Spock and Nero’s departure.

  51. May 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Here you go, this parody of Star Trek/Lost/time travel plots sums it all up:

  52. May 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I haven’t seen any mention about the failure to show Spock’s mother surviving somehow. Her character was most definitely in TOS when Spock’s father needed some kind of donation from his son and his mother was there in sick bay after the procedure. She was played by the actress who played the mother on “Father Knows Best” ?Jane Wyatt??

    Also, I don’t recall Checkov being part of the original bridge. Wasn’t he brought in later in season one or start of season 2??

  53. 53 Kevin Rubio
    May 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm


    The episode where Uhura is (possibly) flirting with Spock is Charlie X

  54. 54 The Lobby Lurker
    May 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Well, they answered about half the questions with reasonable, logical explanations, but that still leaves many glaring, planet-sized holes in a weak script that was strung together with too many “coincidences” to really be a great story.

    “A brighter future????” GROAN! Somebody needs to pimp-slap JJ and the writers for that, period.

    AS far as all these deleted, scenes go, somebody needs another slap for cutting them. The film was a bit on the long side, but an extra 5-10 minutes would have actually helped it, if these scenes they described do, in fact, clear up a lot of the holes and problems in the story as shown on the screen.

    As far as fate goes, and the scene where Spock Prime explains what has happened to him, I am reminded of a comment by an old screenwriting teacher who said that the voice over is the crutch of the poor writer. If you can’t tell the story to your audience without extemporaneous exposition and explanation, you have failed.

    To me, blaming deleted scenes and the like for story issues either points to poor writing and/or poor editing, so ultimately the Director and writers are at fault. I’m a bit surprised at JJ, who is (in)famous for attention to detail and explanation, let all this slide, though his work on TV seems to be vastly superior to his film instincts, thus far. Perhaps he is better suited to long-format, episodic storytelling over telling a tale on celluloid.

    After a third viewing, the film as a whole really doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny and critical analysis, but it is a heck of a fun film to watch once you get past the lens flares and uneven story. It reminds me of a diet soda – it tastes OK, quenches your thirst and has no calories; but it is nothing like the satisfying, artery clogging, luscious taste of a Root Beer FTL.

  55. May 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Some great insight into a great film !!!

  56. May 15, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Also, was McCoy the doctor at the start of TOS? I seem to remember an older doctor who served for some period of time with Captain Pike aboard the Enterprise, his character played by character actor Paul Fix, who used to play sheriff, Micah, on the Rifleman TV series? Don’t recall his character’s name of Star Trek. I need to find the first year on DVD!!!!!

  57. May 15, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Despite the questions I have on continuity, I do want to stress I really liked the movie and have already seen it twice!

  58. 59 julian
    May 16, 2009 at 1:22 am

    i got the whole plot my first time through the movie. the way the film was presented left the viewer with just enough info to come to certain conclusions by himself, which is the sign of a good, intelligent film. suspension of disbelief, people.

  59. 60 Promus - aka the TOS Purist
    May 16, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I want to know two things:

    1. Why does the Enterprise look so damn advanced (in some areas…minus the brewery)? I could see minor changes in the regular TOS tech which could be explained by the “alternate reality” thing, but the changes were DRASTIC. I mean, it looked just as high-tech as the Jellyfish (which is why I couldn’t understand why Young Spock mentioned that the Jellyfish’s interiors “reflect a much higher level of technology” than he was used to – when it looks exactly like the bloody Bridge!).


  60. 61 darthmojo
    May 16, 2009 at 2:42 am

    While I like the fact that these guys had some answers, I agree with those who say “if it’s not in the movie, it doesn’t count.” The fact is, no matter how you slice it, STAR TREK is a fun movie, just not a GREAT movie. Anyone who thinks this is a great work of cinema probably thinks Terminator 3-D at the Universal Studios theme park is the greatest film of all time.

    What I’m trying to say is that I feel as if moviegoers seem to be judging summer action movies simply by their “ride film” qualities, completely ignoring depth of plot, clever stories and multi-faceted characters. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” managed to satisfy on ALL of these levels, but can anyone say the new STAR TREK is on par with RAIDERS? For anyone who thinks TREK warrants a grade of “A,” what would you give RAIDERS? An A++?

    I feel that we simply can’t forgive action movies for failing to deliver in other critical areas simply because they are fun. If the public at large is willing to praise and support lackluster films soley on the basis of pulse-pounding action, then guess what? That’s all we’re ever going to get.

  61. 62 Quak
    May 16, 2009 at 3:58 am

    time travel leeds to new time lines…

    conclusion: there will never ever another time travel story in star trek because time travel cannot chance realitiy but will allways leed to a new parallel universe

  62. 63 darthmojo
    May 16, 2009 at 5:08 am



  63. 64 ety3
    May 16, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Fatboydreams —

    Did you miss the “alternate reality” dialogue scene and the days of discussion about it online?

    When Nero went through the vortex and destroyed the Kelvin, he created an alternate, parallel reality. The Enterprise wasn’t launched in 2245; it was launched in 2258. Kirk didn’t go to Starfleet Academy as soon as he was old enough; he had to be coaxed into it when he was 22. Et cetera.

    Yes, there were two other doctors (Boyce and Piper) on the Enterprise before McCoy in the Prime timeline (that we know of), but in this other universe, McCoy replaced Dr. Puri when he was killed. Chekov didn’t join the bridge crew until 2267 in the Prime universe, but in this universe, he’s a genius cadet who got on the bridge at age 17. And, yes, Spock’s mother, Amanda, was present when Sarek’s medical condition required surgery aboard the Enterprise in the Prime universe, but in this universe, Amanda was killed when Vulcan was destroyed. (And in case I have to point it out, Vulcan made multiple appearances well beyond 2258 in the other Trek shows that depicted the Prime universe, where it wasn’t destroyed.)

    And before you ask, the Prime universe and its events have not been negated. The universe that Nero and Ambassador Spock traveled to is a very similar, parallel universe. (If the Prime universe had been altered, then why would Amb. Spock remember Jim speaking of his father?)

    Dramatically speaking, creating an alternate universe greatly frees the creators. If the movie had been set in the Prime universe, we’d already know what happens to Kirk, Spock, et al, and it would be difficult to ever put them in true peril. But in this new universe, anything is possible.

  64. 65 Selek
    May 16, 2009 at 6:27 am

    How come it only took minutes to get to Vulcan, whereas it otherwise took a couple of days?

  65. 66 Merlyn
    May 16, 2009 at 7:50 am

    > Helium.

    rofl. I can imagine the new trek crew screaming in helium voices around the bridge XDD

  66. 67 Centurion005
    May 16, 2009 at 7:55 am

    What I dont get is why star trek even needed a “reboot”.It isnt like with the TOS BSG where it had just one season. It got about a hundred seasons or so if you count all the trek sows.Why couldnt they do what they did in Enterprise.That is have the timeline repair itself.They used a reasonable explanation that the timeline repairing itself was natures way of fixing all the damage done.Also that star that was supposed to go supernova destroying Romulus why didnt Nero just make a black hole to suck in the star before it went nova saving Romulus himself and then would have no reason to destroy Vulcan?Are they also going to remake st:tmp,wraith of kahn and all the others? Vger is still coming,Kahn is still floating in space,the signal from Enterprise is still on its way to the Borg.

    The Centurions are still roaming the universe.(not really)

    Why couldnt star trek just have been a real prequel without all the time travel nonsense that didnt make any sense.I read that they are going to make SEQUEL to this movie but if they dont fix the timeline I probably will kill myself.

  67. 68 Centurion005
    May 16, 2009 at 8:03 am

    I am pretty serious about killing myself if the timeline is fixed to.

  68. 69 Centurion005
    May 16, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Meant isnt fixed not is.

  69. 70 Centurion005
    May 16, 2009 at 8:07 am

    One final thing.Im pretty sure that the Enterprise was built in a space dock not on the ground. If the writers new Trek then they should have known this.

  70. 71 Snafu
    May 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Perhaps by using industrial-level transporters, beaming her up to the big space station. It’s not that hard to justify.

  71. May 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Okay, I am hereby apologizing for and rescinding my complaint that Kirk’s promotion was contrived. I Saw the film a second time last night and I have to admit that Kirk’s promotion actually makes a hell of a lot more sense.

    First of all, Pike urges Kirk to join Starfleet because he likes Kirk’s “leap before you look” attitude which is something Pike thinks Starfleet has lost.

    So it makes sense that Pike promoted Kirk to be Spock’s First Officer immediately before he (Pike) leaves for the Romulan ship.

    As First Officer, Kirk became Captain after he manipulated Spock’s emotions and forced him to resign. And it was Kirk’s assumption of command and his countermanding of Spock’s order to rendevouz with the rest of the fleet in the Laurentian system that actually saved the Earth.

    If the Enterprise had followed through with Spock’s course of action, the Earth would have been destroyed like Vulcan. Plus, we wouldn’t have had that awesome image of the Enterprise rising up out of Titan’s haze.

    So if saving the planet isn’t good enough to get you a formal promotion to the very position which enabled you to save the Earth, what is? Pinning the medal on Kirk was a formality. Not only did Kirk beat the Kobyashi Maru in a real world scenario that would have had Spock giving up, but Kirk proved his superior leadership capabilities.

    Now that I consider all this, Kirk’s promotion seems well deserved.

  72. May 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    How did they get the Enterprise off the ground? Tractor beam either in orbit or on the ground. If they can pull, they should be able to push, too.

    And the transporter distance issues were all covered by Scotty himself when they first meet him on Delta Vega.

    The time travel element didn’t get any better the second time around and I don’t expect it to get better in the future. I would suggest that we view that element merely as the device the writer’s used to give themselves freedom to rewrite “canon” and nothing more. And I still thought Spock smooching with Uhura on the transporter was an out of character display of STRONG emotion, and I just can’t imagine how to keep a relationship between the logical Mr. Spock and the bar visiting Uhura going AND believable at the same time. As a fling I can accept it, but as an ongoing thing I can’t believe that Uhura would be anything but ultimately frustrated by Mr. Spock. Uhura is clearly young and adventurous. She’s not like Spock’s mother, a follow-your-Vulcan-man-anywhere type of woman.

    And I still don’t understand how Spock saw Vulcan as big as a moon in the sky of Delta Vega which is described as being another planet in the movie.

  73. 74 Foravalon
    May 16, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Fatboydreams, I think you’re missing the essential plot element in the film, that everything from the attack on the Kelvin onward is a divergent timeline from the one we know, so the Continuity of TOS doesn’t really apply in this new reality, so Amanda’s dead, George Kirk is dead, Vulcan’s gone, and McCoy is the original doctor of this spiffy gigantic ship named Enterprise from the first day it was launched.

    None of the events in the film change anything about “our” reality. It’s kinda like Sliders.

  74. 75 Colonial Warrior
    May 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Harlan Elison came up with the near perfect time travel device when he penned “City On The Edge of Forever” years ago. He created the Guardian of Forever device that ultimately would put an end to any horrific event that would follow simply by going thru it to a point where said event had not taken place and changing the flow of events leading up to what they wanted changed.

    A dangerous device to say the least, and you can’t tell me that Starfleet or UFP or whoever is in control of that device would not be using/abusing it’s abilities ( pardon the pun ) time and time again.

    Wow Kirk is killed on the Big E!! Quick hop over to the Guardian and roll back time. Spock dies bringing the Mains back online, another quick hop another time trip. Now granted they would put in some form of regulation that you could not go back say before Starfleet was founded etc. or something like that which would/could alter the future so drastically but they would not have any hesitation in going back only a short time period to rectify a bad outcome. Now it isn’t clear whether or not the Guardian can display another parallel timeline and I would take a wild guess that it can’t but All it would take would be for Spock to come up with more of the “RED MATTER” btw wtf is that stuff and where the FRAK did it come from anyhow? and create another one of the time slip vortex blackhole thingyies and go back to his future point and then to the Guardian and fix the past.

    Now naturally he would not be able to do this alone he would have to have help and he could enlist the new crew and bring them through. I can see that working out.

    Now if he would do that it would definately please all of the Cannon banging trek purist out there since it would put back everything that they hold sacred. Everyone keeps saying that the Trek Slate has been wiped clean for a fresh new reboot of the series. Something like this would fix that, The plot holes could be attributed to the Red Matter Effect of a major timeline/universe shift. One where Kirk is born in space instead of IOWA or Vulcan suddenly has a Moon ( and where Chekov’s accent is actually understandable again by computers and people alike.)

  75. 76 ExFlareHater
    May 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Having worked in vid production and some animation in the 90’s we did everything we could to eliminate lens flares or at least downplay them or ridicule the artist using them too much.

    That being said, I’m shocked to admit that I actually liked the pervasive lens flares in this film. I honestly don’t know why.

  76. May 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I can’t wait for the sequels set in this new Star Trek universe. Thanks to the magic of Transwarp Beaming, Warp Drive is now obsolete. This is why Kirk was made captain – so he could pilot the Enterprise one last time to the fleet junkyard. It only makes sense that Starfleet will mothball all of its ships, since it is now possible to instantly transport halfway across the galaxy via Transwarp Beaming (even to a target traveling faster than the speed of light.) Once Scotty gets the bugs worked out of the targeting system, the entire galaxy will only be as far away as the nearest transporter pad.

  77. 78 txag08
    May 16, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    You wanted to know about the Spock/Uhura flirting? There are two instances I can think of.

    Once, Uhura was talking to Spock about being romantic and isn’t it just lovely to go out and stare at the moon or something like that. Spock tells Uhura that Vulcan doesn’t have a moon and she says, “I’m not surprised.”

    The other one was when Spock was playing his lyre and Uhura sings a song about him. And he totally grins about it.

  78. 79 trekrgirl
    May 17, 2009 at 5:14 am

    I finally had a chance to watch the movie. I was very disappointed. I totally agree that the timeline story doesn’t wash. There are so many other ways Star Trek could have been reinvented. How about “Star Trek: The Romulan War”? Even the Mirror Universe story would have made a lot more since than changing history so blatantly. I love Kirk and Spock but they are not the only Star Trek Characters that could make a good story.

  79. 80 Centurion005
    May 17, 2009 at 7:23 am

    About the Red Matter stuff. Why did they have to make up such a corny name for it? Couldnt they just have used plain old Dark Matter?How old are the writers of this movie anyway.12 year olds?

  80. May 17, 2009 at 9:39 am


    That’s actually the premise of John Barnes’ Giraut series of SF novels, starting with “A Million Open Doors.” They don’t have starships, they have “springers” that a person steps on and exits on another springer planted on another world, and that’s how insterstellar travel is accomplished.

    The Uhura Spock thing is too far fetched, clips not withstanding. Nurse Chapel also has an itch that Spock won’t scratch. The issue isn’t whether women pine for Spock, but whether it’s in character for Spock, feelings and all, to engage in public displays of sexual affection, and it is TOTALLY out of character.

    When that happens in the series it is due to extraordinary influences that destroy Spock’s self control, like the spores in “This Side of Paradise.”

    Look, you can write things any way you want, but you can’t make them believable that way.

    The thing about the original BSG is that, well, it really wasn’t a very good series. You HAD to change it to improve it. And the new BSG is a vast improvement over the original.

    And Transformers was a freakin corny Saturday morning cartoon. Who cares what you do to that?

    But Star Trek is still a good series. The character structure and their relationships to each other, that stuff is great. You don’t want to mess with it. Giving Uhura a bigger role is much deserved, but altering the identity of Spock is a bad move because it’s not an improvement. The conflicted Spock who avoided emotional displays is the cool Spock who stood out from the humans. If he doesn’t evolve past this, he’s going to look like everyone else, but with pointed ears and a bowl cut.


  81. May 17, 2009 at 10:58 am

    #63 – Since 1/4 to 1/2 impulse (which means between 1/8 to 1/4 the speed of light) requires multiples of g acceleration from the driver coils in the impulse system, countering 1g to get off Earth is no sweat. Impulse doesn’t, and hasn’t since we refined the concept in 1987 for TNG, meant using pure rocket thrust along the ship centerline. It’s been calculated that even a very efficient deuterium fusion rocket won’t be powerful enough to move a starship fast enough for what the drama requires, so we came up with a system where the exhaust from the reaction is just exhaust, but the fusion power juices sets of driver coils to push the vessel at sort of “mini-sub-warp” speeds. The driver fields can be bent to most any angle, even backwards. That’s how you lift off Earth. You tweak the ship movement with RCS thrusters.

  82. 83 gammara
    May 17, 2009 at 11:25 am

    ^ I thought she was good-naturedly ribbing him. I also didn’t see any romance. And I actually thought it was a weakness in the film. Mr. Spock, no matter the universe, probably wouldn’t kiss a girl in the Transporter Room in front of Scotty and Kirk unless under the influence of spores, devolving to his more animal Vulcan-state, in Pon Farr or trying to gain enemy secrets.

    Good stuff, Mojo. Chuff and I had many — if not all — of the exact questions, including “Lens Flare, the Movie.” Chuff raised a good point, why are they square? Is it hip to be square? Don’t know.

  83. 84 Jaxon
    May 17, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Re: Spock’s expressions of emotions in the movie… Yes, the kiss on the transporter pad did feel a bit odd at first, but I suspect it was done partly to get the comic doubletake from Kirk and partly to help illustrate Spock’s human side. TOS showed Spock’s Vulcan side, to illustrate an “alien” crew member for audiences. Today, sci-fi is so established, audiences have no problem accepting non-human ways of being. I’m glad the writers allowed a fresh portrayal of Spock, one not so strict to the Vulcan way. This conflicted Spock was a welcome character development. The human outbursts of emotion (anger, with at least 2 fist fights; needing to know his dad loved his mom; Uhura; etc) played well, in my opinion. The struggle of the character to be purely Vulcan and thus accepted on his planet *logically* wouldn’t be so relevant around humans… his outbursts were pretty merited given Vulcan’s destruction and Kirk’s prodding… and besides, the first kiss was in private, so relax.

    I was still shocked that Spock’s mother really died in the film (I get the plot device but it still makes me sad)… until I remembered that SPOCK died in the later films, only to be brought back. Does anyone think Vulcan and/or Spock’s momma will be restored in the sequel? Will the alternate universe cross/overlap the Prime universe in some way? (Screenwriters for the sequel, we know you’re reading these sites – please take notes.)

  84. May 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Sue (at age 58, who she proudly announces is an older Trekkie than most of you (yes, she is shouting at me)) says “It was a bloody good movie, who cares about the details? It was a bloody good movie, THANK you Mr. Abrams! By the way, I’ve seen it twice in two days”

    Frankly, chaps, I’m scared to add anything to that. She’s right over my shoulder as I type this. But I do agree with her all the same.

  85. 86 Foravalon
    May 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    @Damon Smith We saw Subspace transporter tech in TNG’s “Bloodlines” this seems to be that same thing. I would imagine that the tech doesn’t really take off because as shown as stated before it’s very unreliable. Scotty ended up in the water tank, fortunately not fused with the water, but he could have just as easily ended up outside the ship or even halfway into the water tank for a much more gruesome scene. It’s dumb luck that Kirk and Scotty survived the trip.

    On the other hand the Dominion have some pretty sophisticated transporter tech that can beam people between systems with no problem and they still use ships, whereas the Sikarians in the Delta Quadrant and the Gary Seven’s benefactors both seem to have transporter tech that can literally send people half way across the galaxy. All that being said I think there’s a benefit to not exploring via blind jump transportation. Life’s a journey, not a destination baby! ;-)

  86. 87 Centurion005
    May 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    One more thing for now.Dmduncan I belevie thats called Star Gate not springers.

  87. May 17, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Is no-one else bothered by Spock’s lack of ethics? He, a Starfleet instructor is pursuing a romance with a cadet. Not only that but Uhura plays on that romance to get him to reassign her to the enterprise. It appears that since Spock now has a libido, he is going to be led by it.

  88. May 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Yikes! Sounds to me like lazy writing backed up with lazy reasoning.

    Had the creation of a compelling narrative been a priority during the film’s production, Star Trek XI could have pleased traditional fans, attracted new audiences, and offered a meaningful message to its viewers. Though it was entertaining, the laudable efforts of the actors and artists cannot alone displace the critical need for a good story.

  89. May 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I did not find the lens flares distracting or bothersome at all.

  90. 91 Jaxon
    May 18, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Ditto to #90 – I actually liked the lens flares.

  91. May 18, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Blame a guy for having an opinion, but I miss Star Trek: The Motion Picture after watching this film.

    I said it, and I’m sticking to it.

  92. 93 blackliberal
    May 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I loved the movie. I have no complaints whatsoever and I can’t wait for the second, third, fourth..billionth..lol..great post!

  93. May 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    There is a HUGE difference between the TOS Spock/Uhura flirtation and the two of them sucking face on the transporter. Huge as in lightyears apart. Doing that just to get a reaction was silly at best.

  94. May 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Barnes’ “A Million Open Doors” was published in 1992. The Stargate movie came out in 94. So it’s “springers” not “stargate,” which I despise beyond all measure.

    Give credit where it’s due.

  95. 96 Former Trekie
    May 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    “I loved the movie. I have no complaints whatsoever and I can’t wait for the second, third, fourth..billionth..lol..great post!”

    Aw how cute. A 10 year old learned how to type.If you liked it than thats probably how old you are since thats the age group the movie was meant to attract.

    They certainly got one thing right in the movie preview.That “This is not your fathers star trek”.My Dads Trek was way better.

  96. May 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Star Trek, especially the newest incarnations, is void of all of the things that make for entertaining, adult-minded science fiction.

    The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, have a sort of juvenile mindset to them. Instead of having people do exactly what they normally would do as humans, the Trek Universe has people behaving as though there are strict rules about everything that prevent a person from even considering self-preservation or self-indulgence as a primary motivator ;-(

  97. 98 darthmojo
    May 18, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Saw this comment posted on another site:

    I think they hit the nail on the head with the whole “it’s not your father’s Star Trek” campaign. I totally agree – this is more like your retarded cousin’s Star Trek!

  98. 99 Snafu
    May 19, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Actually, I didn’t notice the flares at all while seeing that snippet with Spock, Kirk and Scotty on the bridge Paramount featured in the promo materials, so attentive to the performance I was, until everybody began to complain about them. Upon rewatching it, I realized these were the reason why I LOVED the electric texture of the imagery. In fact, this strange Sunshine film-like quality is what excited me when watching the space scenes in the trailers.

    Flares -> Trumbullesque in my book

    I accept that many will dislike them, but I think they are a valid stylistic choice.

  99. 100 Snafu
    May 19, 2009 at 12:55 am

    By the way, I think I heard something about a new lensflare generator being used for this film in several podcasts about the film’s VFX. Does anybody now if in the Sunshine film, which was full of very organic lensflares too, they were software-generated or filmed and comped? Nowadays these lensing effects look just wonderfully natural.

  100. 101 Patrick
    May 19, 2009 at 2:49 am

    (LONG post, sorry in advance…)

    ety3 –

    I’m afraid your comments are wrong. Time travel in STAR TREK does not work that way, as has been shown in many many stories (YESTERDAY’S ENTERPRISE, CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, FIRST CONTACT, etc.). When someone travels back into the past and alters it, it directly changes the present. That’s the essence of all these stories – the past gets changed, and the characters (usually spared the effects of a changed history by some plot device) have to go back and undo the changes to set history back on its proper course. If what you say is correct, then when the Borg went back to 2063 in FIRST CONTACT, it wouldn’t have affected anything from Picard’s point of view. Some other timeline would have been created, in theory, with the Borg assimilating Earth in the 21st century, but it wouldn’t have changed the Next Gen characters one bit – their history would be intact. But clearly that doesn’t happen. The Borg open a rift to the past, vanish, and instantly the Earth changes to a world peopled by Borg drones. It happens to THEM, THEIR timeline. It doesn’t split off into a separate reality. Likewise with the other time travel stories I mentioned.

    Parallel universes have been shown in the show, but not as the product of time travel. Very clearly, changing the past directly affects the main setting of the show, whichever date serves as “present day” for them, be it the 23rd or 24th century. So yes, this new movie has wiped out the characters shown in the various shows and movies (save for ENTERPRISE, bleh, thanks guys).

    Now, since parallel universes DO exist in the Star Trek setting, one can conceive of two timelines virtually indistinguishable from one another, two Kirks, two Picards, all exactly the same. Their moment of divergence comes during the Romulus crisis – in the first timeline, Spock and Nero are thrown backwards, and their actions overwrite time from some point in the 23rd century, hopelessly distorting their own history, as shown in STAR TREK (the new movie). (From an outsider’s viewpoint, examining this timeline scrolling from left to right, as in a history textbook, two ships would suddenly come into existence in the 23rd century, crewed by people possessing false memories of a future that will now occur differently. To the objective observer, they appear from nothing; if a time vortex is a parabola arching from one point on the timeline to another, bypassing the time in between, then there will be no “starting point” to their parabola. They will emerge from an exit to which there is, was, and never will be, an entrance.) HOWEVER, in this second, parallel timeline, which up until now has been identical to the first, something different will happen. Spock and/or Nero die in the supernova. Or Spock solves the crisis and saves Romulus. Or they are swallowed by a black hole and do not go back a century – maybe they are thrown forward, maybe they never re-emerge. The least change is preferable, so let us say that in this second parallel, everything is identical up to and including Spock and Nero’s disappearance. Then they simply fail to emerge in the past. In this second timeline, all of Trek’s “history” (the shows and movies) is now preserved, while the narrative effect of the movie (Spock removed from “present-day” Trek, i.e. several years after NEMESIS, the most recent story shown in film) is also kept intact.

    This second timeline won’t be the “real” timeline, but rather, an exact replica of the real timeline. Although actually, perhaps it’s the timeline of the movie which is the duplicate timeline, with Spock Prime not from the world we watched on TV growing up, but from a parallel universe that was exactly the same before the story in this movie.

    So “our” Star Trek, the original one, is still alive and well. In some alternate universe. That we’ll never see again on the big screen. Oh well.

    Man, this was a terrible script. I’m glad we have the franchise alive again though. So please, Paramount, give us a great story next time. Put some effort into it. Don’t just half-ass it and give us Antonio Banderas as Khan or something equally stupid. You said you needed freedom to tell new stories, so use it, don’t just remix the old stuff.

  101. 102 colin
    May 19, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Darth Mojo,

    Have you seen the figures given for the size of this ship? It is larger then the Battlestar Galactica. The official site lists these statistics: length, 2500 feet; saucer diameter, 1100 feet; and height, 625 feet. This ship is massive.

    I am ambivalent about this film. It’s nice to see a new adventure; howvever, I wish the film were less gimmicky and more substantial.

  102. 103 colin
    May 19, 2009 at 8:11 am

    On size:

    The Narada’s size is given as five to seven miles long. (If the Enterprise is 2500 feet long, how long is that spacedock?)

    So, in the new Star Trek, we have a battle of giants.

  103. 104 Centurion005
    May 19, 2009 at 8:35 am

    The movie that im looking forward two now which will hopefully be much better than star trek is Terminator:Salavation.Terminator should be considered a sequel to BSG.Are you planning on doing a post about that movie to?

    All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

  104. 105 Snafu
    May 20, 2009 at 6:01 am

    It could be argued that falling into that “black hole” (which seems to be a special one, the same way that supernova wasn’t the classical type) put the Narada and the Jellyfish into an already alternate universe (which justifies the Kelvin and her crew looking distinctily different than anything TOS or ST:E). I think there are no precedents of falling into black holes for time travel in the TrekVerse (although V’Ger fell into what “at the time” was called such, and some novelization postulated that it travelled back in time so that its story culminated in TMP’s era).

    About terrible scripts, story holes and bad jokes, you really don’t want to review other Trek films too hard, or you’ll find contrivances, bad acting and much silliness as excruciating as ST:XI’s or even far worse. It’s not an excuse, but let’s be precise in the context, as many are comparing the series with the movies. Were Insurrection, The Final Frontier, Generations or The Voyage Home that Shakespeare-level (and Shakespeare was first and foremost an entertainer) study of the human condition?

    If anything, ST:XI has demonstrated to be emotionally fulfilling for a widespread spectrum of viewers, despite of its faults in logic, Deus Ex Machinations and science. Well, won’t that remind you of certain reimagined scifi franchise’s ending?

  105. 106 Former Trekkie
    May 20, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Darthmojo you were on the fx team of BSG right?So you might have contacts with Ronald D Moore.Either you or someone you know should suggest to him about doing a new star trek series based in our TOS universe.Or ask RDM to ask other former producers of Trek shows to do it.Not the show but within the timeline of TOS,TNG,DS9,and VOY.I liked DS9 and the work RDM did on it.So the new show could be a cross between DS9 and Enterprise but with people who act realistically like they did on Battlestar.Mabey have it take place during the Romulan-Earth war.Just after enterprise.Or take place during zeffran cochrans time or in the future like the 25th,26th,27th,or 28th centurys.What im getting at is have it take place during an era in the original trek universe that we’ve seen very little of.

  106. 107 Former Trekkie
    May 20, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Should have added this before.If its in the future than the plot should be were the Federation has built an army of Data clones who along with sentient holograms rebel against there creators.(BSG)

  107. May 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    See…that’s the problem. The franchise imploded while trying to please the fanboys. I guarantee the regular film goer does not CARE that Kirk fired photons at a ship already being consumed by a black hole. They don’t care that there are lens flares — they’d simply think it’s because the future world looks like an Apple store (which, in our day and age, is considered as cool as you can get).

    They specifically split off from canon simply so they could do the things that have pissed all of you off — without actually effecting anything that you love. I thought it was ingenious really.

    Now, that’s not to say the script was perfect (far from it…some of the leaps of logic…ugh). But TOS wasn’t perfect! It was flawed beyond belief. It was the characters and the themes that have kept it alive after all this time.

    For me, despite the plot flaws (and there were many) the characters felt intact. I felt like this was the first real ST since the Wrath of Khan. The feeling I used to get when watching the TOS (confession: I didn’t like anything after TOS) – this movie replicated it.

  108. 109 Snafu
    May 21, 2009 at 6:57 am

    (It ought to be pointed out that the traditional TrekVerse is not only preserved but actually ongoing, via the Del Rey novels and the upcoming World of Warcraft-type online game, http://www.startrekonline.com/, with a strong sense of continuity)

  109. 110 Kasaii
    May 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Just a small note to those wondering how the Enterprise got off the ground and into space, I think they simply flew it up. The Enterprise has thrusters (we saw them when it was rising out of Titan) so they could theoretically fly it to a certain height, and then maybe Warp into space.

  110. 111 Former Trekkie
    May 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I thought they canceled that.But wow it looks like a lot has gotten done on it. The only problem is that I cant afford to pay $15 a month.Thats the usual price mmos go by these days.

  111. May 22, 2009 at 3:18 am


    We’ve already had plenty of Ronald D. Moore Star Trek. TNG’s second half was on his watch, and pretty much all of DS9 was his doing. To be honest, DS9 was The End of Trek for me, as Moore’s dystopian vision of the future was utterly incompatable with everything Roddenberry tried to make it.

    So really, please, no. We’ve seen that.

    One thing I enjoyed about the new Trek movie was that it wasn’t focussed on what utter, cataclysmic cock-ups we humans are. There was a certain level of hope for the future involved in it. It had a world of vibrant space-travel, of exploration, of a certain level of highly-unfashionable derring-do. I’ll take that over “There’s a boogeyman in every closet, and every tech advance we make is going to result in Really Bad Things. Oh, and by the way there’s a bunch of Gods living over there making a travesty of free will”.

    Yeah, really – I’m fine with Moore doing something Not Trek for as long as he likes, as much as I enjoyed Battlestar.

  112. May 22, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Let me just add: The GF, who identifies as a TrekER thankyouverymuch, was smitten by this movie at first. (While, as I’ve said, I was not so much.)

    Thing is, after a couple of days, she came around to my view. It’s pretty. It gets the job (TOS crew in the Big E) done. But it’s a really weird, convoluted plot.

    But then we’d rewatch, say, Spock’s Brain and (while it’s more internally consistent than the new movie) it has plot holes that could only be riveled by Red Matter. (Put the Teacher on Scotty already!)

    We decided that the essence of nostalgia is that you fall in love with things before you have the critical skills to pick them apart. (At least for geeks.)

  113. 114 Snafu
    May 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    That would be a bit difficult to accept, given that traditionally Reaction Control Thrusters have been used to change attitude and perform finely-adjusted translation tasks. BUT there could be ways for it to work: say, this Enterprise getting to have antigravity-assisted flight, enabling a low-level warp field to decrease apparent mass (and Cherenkov-frying anyone in the vicinity with the blue glow :D), being towed up by tractor beam-equipped aircrafts, blasting off vertically from a ramp (if those engines are able to make her relativistic in an instant, overcoming a planetary gravity well must be a trifle), etc.

    Anyway, if any of that is doable, then there are very good reasons to build a starship on a planet’s surface, the primary one being people being able to work in a simple manner instead of spacesuited, antiradiation and antidebris-fielded, and having to lose time transitioning to and from EVA.

    My vote still goes to a really big transporter platform to beam the ship to that biggie of a spacestation.

  114. 115 darthmojo
    May 23, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Well folks thanks to everyone who left such great comments, you guys broke my record for most-commented post! It just shows how passionate everyone is about TREK, and whether you liked the movie or not, that’s a good thing.

    What I do find interesting is that the early comments mostly loved the movie, but as we got further into the release, more and more people were noting the film’s issues. I wonder if after the hub-bub has died down and the fog of excitement over a new STAR TREK movie has lifted, people are seeing the movie for what it is – an entertaining but seriously flawed work.

    To comment on some of what I’ve read here:

    SNAFU: No matter how anyone cares to explain it, building a ship like this anywhere but in orbit is DUMB. I guess we should be thankful that the early rumors that the Enterprise was built at Area 51 weren’t true.

    MARKHB: Whether or not you like Ron Moore’s work, his stuff never insults our intelligence. So many plot points in this film would have worked better if the writers (and director) made an effort to THINK a little more. Even if you’re not bothered by Spock’s weakness to insults against his mother, it’s still an obvious cliche that could have been bettered by at least ONE guy in the room saying, “ok, this idea works, but now let’s come up with something a little smarter.”

    COLIN: I am still scratching my head at the reports of how big this new Enterprise it. It makes no sense. On top of that, if this Enterprise is something like five times larger than the original, then why isn’t the scale of the windows and bridge section any different? I didn’t notice and movie-screen size windows all over the ship, which is exactly how big they should be given the scale of just about everything in the primary hull is the same as it’s always been.

    I have a theory that the vast majority of this movie is the result of JJ Abrams over-excitedly dictating: “WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF…”

    “… there were lense flares everywhere?”
    “… Kirk drove his motorcycle up to the gates and SAW them building the Enterprise?”
    “… We blew up Vulcan?”
    “… Spock got it on with Uhura?”
    “… we made the Enterprise REALLY ginormous??”

    Etc. I bet this is how JJ told the writers what he wanted and they had to construct a movie around all this pointless nonsense.

  115. 116 Snafu
    May 23, 2009 at 6:14 am

    My guess is you wish we move on to newer things and blog entries, which I agree with, as we have exhausted the issue (and of course you have final say here, no question about it) :)

    If anything, I’d try to slip my small rebuttals before the hatchway closes:

    -You wouldn’t try building a submarine underwater or even a boat in the water: you do it on a drydock, because it is easier, and then launch it to the sea. Given Trek’s base technologies, what ST:XI shows is doable with the required amount of technobabble. If NASA had the mass launch capability, the ISS would have been launched as a whole package, as Skylab was.

    -Ron Moore’s work had lots of depth, true, but lots of flying by the seat of the pants too, specially the final season, to the point of BSG becoming too much of a meta-thing, requiring taking the way it was being produced, by whom and other bits into consideration. Sometimes we were more attentive to Moore and co’s adventures than the cast’s. Also, Ron Moore had years to tell his tale. A more apt comparison would be Generations vs. Trek XI, and then he had no TrekVerse setting up to do.

    -The size thing will get clarified eventually, I guess.

    -He was right: it was cool. And it had a point.

    (Snafu runs and hides before somebody bricks his head once for all :D )

  116. 117 Former Trekkie
    May 23, 2009 at 6:43 am

    To be fair on the lense flair thing. That is how it looks for astronauts when orbiting the Earth in the space station or shuttle.Thats why they even have those golden visors.Space isnt quite pitch black as you’d think. Its very bright!

    DM What was up with all the yo momma stuff towards spock anyway!lol.

    My biggest problem with the movie is that kirk didnt win any (hand to hand) fights. Thats not Star Trek!

    And sulu had his shirt on while sword fighting!Im actualy happy about that part.:)

  117. 118 Former Trekkie
    May 23, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Wanted to reply to MARKHB. Just because something looks glamorous at first doesnt mean its so. Even paradise can have its problems and threats.And to keep paradise you must work hard for it.The Twelve Colonies were once a peaceful paradise and we all know what happened to them!
    I believe the words Paradise Lost sums up best what im saying.

  118. 119 Former Trekkie
    May 23, 2009 at 8:10 am

    One more comment. DM I think they didnt even let the writers come up with a more intelligent plot because they wanted the target audience to be the younger generation.AKA 10 year olds.

  119. May 23, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Regarding construction of the ship on the Earth, I don’t think it’s dumb at all. I think it’s smart.

    If you had the option of building the Enterprise on the surface or building it underwater, which would you do? Why would you want to put on scuba gear to build it when you can dispense with all those complications and build in the air you breathe and your natural gravity?

    Well space poses equally challenging problems and more than building the ship underwater.

    What’s the reply? By the 23rd century they’ll have the technical problems of doing that worked out?

    Well, the same could be said of launching the Enterprise from the surface of the Earth.

    Some people are getting unnecessarily stuck on how they would launch it. I think Rick Sternbach’s answer makes perfect sense.

    Building it on the ground make more practical and logistical sense, period.

  120. 121 james Rye
    May 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I have a theory that the vast majority of this movie is the result of JJ Abrams over-excitedly dictating: “WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF…”

    we kept the characters that everyone knew and loved intact.

    we delivered the best special effects sequences and finest 10 mins (opening) of any film shown in the last 10 years

    we made Star Trek popular (and entertaining) again

    we didn’t ruin the continuity

    and most crucially we avoided the mistakes made by other recent blockbusters i.e.

    the film was a sensible length
    the film was not re-imagined as dark and moody

    But I will concede that the engine room was just plain wrong. But I am willing to overlook this as I expect they’ll put in right for the next one.

    Finally, I LOVE the battlestar remake BUT is it true there is a NEW reboot of this beloved franchise that harkens back to the cheesy grin days of the face man? I hope not cause it’d be nice to wait a while, especially as I have a sense of closure to BSG and Caprica sems enjoyable enough to me…

  121. May 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Mojo, if I didn’t like Ron Moore’s stuff, I wouldn’t have loved BSG as much as I assuredly did. I just think he had a good ol’ crack at Trek, and his style worked far better with a gritty, humanny, mucky Galacticaverse than it did with DS9. Trek, though, is more about acheiving a better future and a better way than it is about slugging on in the face of weakness, fear and unending adversity. Also, I preferred it in Trek when Gods either turned out to be imposters, or charletains or even misguided. This blew a hole in DS9’s core plot precept, and was one of my least favourite bits of BSG. My opinion, o’course, and I concur that what’s basically a “Yo Momma” gag was a threadbare bit in the fairly light script.

    As to vessel sizes, Kevlin looked a *lot* smaller than the Enterprise – and still had over 800 souls aboard. Someone dropped a decimal somewhere, I guess!

  122. 123 Snafu
    May 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    An article on the Director of Photography of the movie, explaining some of the artistic decisions and corresponding lighting and filming techniques. It includes a new view of the ships: http://www.icgmagazine.com/wordpress/2009/05/12/where-no-dp-has-gone-before/

  123. May 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    DM: “What I do find interesting is that the early comments mostly loved the movie, but as we got further into the release, more and more people were noting the film’s issues.”

    That’s exactly what I saw in real time with The GF. I walked out going, “Meh.” She thought me a lesser being for not loving this movie. (I suspect Chris Pine had something to do with her enthusiasm.)

    After a couple of days, she started to make the same objections I had (E.g., why not secure the future of Romulus first?) The house of cards fell.

    Lesson learned? Chris is hotter on an objective scale than Zoe. Hard news, but true.

  124. May 24, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Почему подписка еще бесплатная? :))

  125. 126 Snafu
    May 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    A Trek XI “Technical Manual” has been commissioned to, curiosly enough, a technical manuals vendor, Haynes: http://www.haynes.com

    One can only hope that Ryan Church and the Trek tech inteligentzia are hard at work constructing as coherent a picture as the ST:TNG manual’s was.

  126. 127 mswood
    May 25, 2009 at 7:19 pm


    While Raiders is great film it certainly does have flaws and inconsistencies.

    As to how one would grade a film, I think one needs to think about that. Frankly just on a base ten scale an A could be anything from an 93-100. Obviously that is a significant difference in quality yet would still rate the same letter grade. Thats assuming you are using a (_) or (+) then its a whopping 10 point difference in a rating, which can be dramatic.

    As to the flaws of this film (which there are) one only needs to look at BSG (a series we often laud with extreme praise) to see a show that has numerous problems, plot inconsistencies and character behaving completely irrationally. Yet it often gets great reviews. Take the final. The colonist have absolute knowledge that other cyclons are out in space, and out to get them (they simply don’t know how many). Yet you get 38,000 people to all agree to give up all technology an live off a primitive planet when most of them (most likelY) have no real survival skills.

    That is a huge, huge, huge plot hole that was never explained. Though Moore has explained (in pod casts and in interviews) that all the cylons were killed, the material on the screen is in direct contradiction to that (Since at least two base stars were still around), and without that there is no reason why the fleet would settle. So the final half of the episode isn’t rational.

    But even with that, does the emotional core of the individual scenes on Earth not work? No they work great. Its here that BSG excelled.

    Star Trek is the same for me. I felt more connected to the emotional aspect of this film (hardly the typical reaction for an action movie). I felt the bond between the characters more then I have in any TOS film with the exception of Khan (Which also has a ton of flaws, a ton) and more then almost any single episode (there are a handful of exceptions. Hell I cared more for Kirks parents in this movie then I have cared about any of the sporting cast of TOS, ever.

    Thats why I enjoyed the hell out of the film. And no I wouldn’t give it an A grade (though I would never give any Trek movie an A grade none of them are that good, sorry the best of the tv shows have always been better then the films).

    In my opinion its a B/B+ (I would say about an 87/88) to compare with Khan which I would call a A- (92 and Trek’s best film).

  127. 128 Captain Otter
    May 26, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Re: engineering. As a long-time Trekkie, I have always found the engine room sets to be woefully unrealistic. To create the sort of energy required for faster-than-light travel, radioactivity and heat-generation will be huge challenges to overcome. In both cases, no thinking person would rely only on forcefields and the like because in the event of a power interruption (a frequent plot device in Star Trek) your crew would cook from excess heat and radiation.

    Some sort of liquid cooling system with pipes and pressure valves makes a ton of sense. Even if you had some fancy force-field, you’d want old-school liquid cooling as a mechanical back-up and/or fail-safe.

    In that regard, I think Abrams’ team has corrected a huge flaw in older versions of Trek ship design. (And I suspect seeing the innards of BSG helped nudge them in the right direction. The vessels of the Colonial Fleet show us that even with great advances in technology, you aren’t going to travel faster than light without sweat, grime, and a few busted knuckles along the way.)

    In terms of the film itself, given that Abrams had to find a way to reboot the franchise without breaking continuity, I personally don’t mind giving him and his writers a wide degree of latitude. I expect that the sequel will be a little tighter and make room for deep thought.

  128. 129 Snafu
    May 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    New article about ILM abd D2’s roles in the production. A few new pics at passable sizes:

  129. 130 John
    May 27, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Hey Darth,

    Totally random question:

    Is there any way that you could give us some interesting shots of the post-beat up end episode Galactica? We really didn’t get good views of the blown up flight pods, etc because it happened so late in the last episode. I love when you give us other views of the action!


  130. May 29, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    “Etc. I bet this is how JJ told the writers what he wanted and they had to construct a movie around all this pointless nonsense.”

    This is JJ’s MO. He came up with a bunch of bonkers ideas for LOST and then sodded off after the pilot, leaving Cuse and Lindelof to work out a coherent story from all the craziness (part of the reason why S1 was so heavy on character backstory as they didn’t really know what the hell actually was going on on the Island). Luckily they had the time to come up with some good ideas and get a decent show out of it. The TREK movie didn’t quite have the time to do the same thing.

  131. 132 Shaoken
    June 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I’m going to address a few comments here.

    On the objection to fate and how it has no place in the Star Trek Universe: why not just substitute fate for Q? It’s not that much of a stretch to assume that one of the Q got bored and made sure that Kirk and Spock Prime met.

    On Nero’s plot being irrational; The man just lost his entire planet, his wife and his unborn child! I highly doubt anyone other than a Vulcan would be rational after that. Factor in the fact that he had 25 years in a prison camp to keep his hatred alive and it’s easy to see how he could be a tad bit crazy with his mass-genocide scheme.

    On the Alternate Universe plot: That is something I think the various series flip-flopped on.
    You had things like Yesterday’s Enterprise which ruled that any changes to the past completely changes the future, and you have that Wolf-centric episode (parrallels I think) where there were so many different parrel universes that seemed to exist independently of one another. So let’s just get off their backs on this one/

  132. 133 beverins
    June 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    The reason that building the Enterprise on Earth is DUMB boils down to the WEIGHT issue.

    No, not launch weight. I’m talking about the weight of the ship in 1 Earth Gravity. Granted, the ship itself has to survive many magnitudes greater than that, but it is far easier to build something like that when its all weightless.

    They might have nice antigravity fields in place, but why bother when you HAVE a spacestation that is apparently gigantic right there?

    Also, I had a problem with Vulcan getting destroyed in terms of DEFENCES. Comon, I mean, Vulcans perhaps aren’t warlike but they DO have to LOGICALLY DEFEND THEMSELVES. The Vulcans (still maintained in this alternate universe) were the ones who gave the Earthlings the guidance for warp technology. They’d have encountered some nasty other warp-capable beings. Now, granted, nobody could damage the Narada because it was (apparently) Borg tech from the 23rd century (in comic books)… but not even ANY mounted defence. NOTHING. I find that amazing.

  133. 134 Scott
    June 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I don’t think Kirk and Spock finding each other on Delta Vega is the “worst” coincidence of the film, or that it requires something akin to “fate” as an explanation.

    Nero wanted Spock to witness the destruction of Vulcan. Therefore, he deposits Spock on the nearest inhabitable body, something with a good view of Vulcan. (Maybe it’s a moon of Vulcan, or another planet nearby.) That explains why Spock is on that particular planet/moon.

    When young Spock decides he wants Kirk off his ship, they are right near where Vulcan was, they have not yet gone into warp. Where is the nearest inhabitable locale where they could leave Kirk? Obviously, it would be that same place.

    And a federation outpost on the nearest inhabitable location to Vulcan is also sensible, and the fact that a location near that outpost is where both Kirk and Spock would end up is also reasonable.

    From there, it is only a small stretch that they both seek shelter in the same cave… a stretch made smaller by the fact that there didn’t seem to be many caves around.

    Now, the fact that Scotty was stationed at that outpost, THAT’s the part that stretches things to me, where I’d have liked some more rationale. It meant that, unlike all the other characters who presumably met each at StarFleet Academy in both timelines, Scotty seemingly meets Kirk in two very different ways in the two timelines, making the coincidence aspect more stark.

    As an aside… does anyone have an idea as to why Spock sends Kirk to Delta Vega in a pod instead of beaming him directly to the nearby federation outpost in the first place?

  134. 135 Piseed off at shitty movie
    June 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    What a bunch of crap.
    Those explanations are shit.
    They could have just made a new movie with the 20 living actors from Next Gen and DS9 and voyager and done it right.
    Instead they decided to fuck up everything that the fans have come to love.
    What a waste of a movie and my time.
    Why make everything old new again?
    What is the point?
    Other than making money I mean.
    I say it again “What a bunch of shit”

  135. 136 David
    June 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Why does everyone feel the need to defend the writers here?
    It really hurts my eyes to see so many people defending their blunders.
    This movie was a complete waste of money and time.
    It is a completely arbitrary movie.
    It is a slap in the face to all the fans that stuck with Trek for all these years.
    There is no reason to make “THE OLD” new.
    How bout make “THE NEW” new?
    How bout have make a new original film without bending all the Trek fans over.
    I just dont understand.

  136. 137 Bra1n1ac
    June 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Captain Otter, engineering in Star Trek is not accomplished with a nuclear reactor. It’s the result of antimatter fusion. Matter and antimatter are mixed within the containment chamber known as the warp core, which can be ejected into space at a moment’s notice in case of a core breach, by the way. The energy is then harnessed with dilithium crystals, and fed directly into the ship’s power batteries. There is no risk of radiation poisoning or contamination, because there are no radioactive elements on the Enterprise. Period. Because of this, it would be wasteful to put radiation shielding in to protect the crew from the engine.

    There are security doors that can be lowered in case of a core breach, but the principal danger from a warp core breach is this; if antimatter containment is lost, antimatter starts to spill out into the Enterprise, which, of course, causes it to annihilate all normal matter that it comes in contact with, releasing all the energy that both contain in its most basic form. This energy is still not nuclear; it just incinerates everything it comes into contact with.

    The fact is, there is no physical method of containing antimatter without a well-powered containment grid. In case of a shipwide power failure in space, the containment grid would come down, the antimatter would leak out, and the ship would be destroyed. That’s always been a danger, and there is no way at all to prevent it; not even with all the technology they have in the future. Starfleet officers accept this risk, and it’s definitely not the biggest one they have to worry about. So no. It makes no sense for a warp core (or even several) to need steam jets, water tubes or large, clunky valve wheels. This new movie seems to assume that the twenty-third century is still using twenty-first century technology.

  137. July 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    A general response to most of these complaints and words from the filmmakers regarding everything lens flare can be found here:


  138. August 29, 2009 at 6:56 am

    so basically if someone creates antimatter without a well-powered containment grid, we’re all f-cked? lol sheesh :(

  139. 140 Heath
    November 18, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Okay so I understand were CPT Pike came from and how Kirk took over the enterprise From him. But were does CPT Johnathan Archer come in. From the series he is the first Enterprise CPT not Pike. Maybe I missed something.

  140. 141 Donald G
    November 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Heath, Archer’s Enterprise is not the same ship as Pike’s Enterprise. Archer’s ship is a century earlier, basically from 2151-2161.

    In the Abrams’ universe, apparently after a timeline divergence in 2233, Pike’s Enterprise launches in 2258.

    In the original Star Trek Universe, the Enterprise that will eventually be commanded by Captain Kirk is launched in 2245 (under the command of Captain Robert T. April), Pike takes over in the 2250s (with “The Cage”, the original pilot occurring in 2254). Kirk takes over in the mid-2260s, and the famous five year mission apparently runs from 2265-2270 (per an episode of ST: Voyager whose title eludes me).

    I hope this answer helps.

  141. October 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Sorry, but “fate” is not a reasonable attempt at explanation. It’s pure and simple …. Kirk said it best …. “Bullshit!”

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May 2009

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