Director J.J. Abrams was on hand this weekend at the WonderCon 2009 Star Trek panel to introduce the world premiere of the film’s newest trailer, which will play in theaters in front of Watchmen starting this Friday. Continuing reading at the bottom of this post for a description of the new trailer and some images from the panel.
Early in the panel, Abrams sought to dispel the talk that his new Star Trek was far removed from the existing franchise. He stressed that he “loves and is beholden to existing Star Trek fans” and that while new fans will appreciate the film, older fans will be happy too. Also, there’s plenty of references to old Trek in the film.
“It’s a prequel but a sequel,” said Roberto Orci, a long-time Trek fan who co-wrote Abrams’ version along with Alex Kurtzman. “If you’re a fan, your knowledge of Star Trek will be rewarded; if you’re not, you’re going to see why we’re all inspired by it.”
Along with Abrams, Orci, and executive producer Bryan Burk were castmembers Chris Pine, ZoÃ« Saldana, and Zachary Quinto, the latter of which, who was introduced as “one of our Heroes,” got the biggest reaction from the crowd. Also, some extras from the film were in the crowd, so Abrams had them stand up to be applauded.
Quinto talked a bit about preparing for his role as the younger Spock and said that getting to work closely with Leonard Nimoy — who reprises his iconic role as a much older Spock — was the best way for him to get down his character. He said that while he hadn’t watched the original 1960s television series before he was cast, he did start watching episodes in his trailer continuously while shooting the film. Quinto also explained that they weren’t trying to recreate the old series and that the actors were all encouraged to have their own interpretations, especially since the time we live in now is a different world than when the original series aired.
Several panel members mentioned that Orci’s script was what really drew them to the project and was what inspired Abrams to bring Trek back to life (Orci proceeded to give Abrams some cash; then later some to Quinto when he praised the script).
Introduced as a “future heartthrob,” Chris Pine was asked by an audience member what was his favorite episode of the original series, to which he replied in a growling voice, “I’m Captain Kirk,” referring to “The Enemy Within” where a transporter malfunction splits Kirk into two people with two opposite personalities. The crazed “evil” Kirk at one point shouts out, “I’m Captain Kirk!” Pine also mentioned that he liked when Kirk fights Finnigan.
Note, below is a description of the trailer, which was only shown once. I took a few notes and I think I got down most of the dialogue, then had to write a lot of it from memory, so it’s probably not totally accurate, but it’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
The new trailer begins with the scene from the previous trailer of Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk riding his motorcycle. We see some of the bar fight Kirk is involved in, which leads to his talk with Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) where he gives him the “ordinary life” speech from the previous trailer. Pike tells the bruised Kirk, “Your father was a captain of a starship for 12 minutes, he saved 800 lives, including yours, I figure you can do better, enlist in Starfleet.” Pike’s speech is intercut with very quick scenes of Kirk’s father in what presumably are those 12 minutes of crisis aboard the starship Kelvin, as well as Kirk’s mother giving birth to him. On to Starfeet Academy where we see a different scene than in the previous trailer of cadets in red. Kirk is there and young Spock (Zachary Quinto), who is instructing the cadets, says, “You will experience fear … fear in the face of certain death.” Another few quick scenes, including one of the villain Nero’s (Eric Bana) drilling platform. “We received a distress call,” Spock says from aboard the Enterprise, as we see a planet imploding (his home world of Vulcan maybe, as we know it’s to be targeted by Nero). Flash to Nero who says, “I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life, it’s a day of reckoning.” We then see flashes of the space battle. There’s more of the previously shown space dives, along with extended footage of Sulu on the drilling platform before he has the swordfight. Back to the bridge of the Enterprise where a troubled Bones (Karl Urban) declares “We have no captain and no first officer to replace him” to which Kirk (wearing his black uniform) responds, “Yeah we do” as he slowly takes the Captain’s chair. Scenes of Vulcan are shown, with possibly Spock’s mother Amanda (Winona Ryder) and father Sarek, who says in voiceover “You are capable of deciding your own destiny. The question is, which path will you choose?” More quick scenes, then Nero says “James T. Kirk was a great man, but that was another life.” Back to the Enterprise bridge, where there’s problems and Pike calls for “evasive” action and firing of torpedos; flash to Nero shouting “Fire everything!” We also see a troubled Spock hugging Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and a torpedo shooting towards the Enterprise.
Photo credit: ScarletScribe