In several recent interviews, J.J. Abrams spoke about the challenges and goals of creating Star Trek XI, as well as to where the future might lead.
As reported by Buzzine and indieLONDON, Abrams wanted Star Trek XI to show how a beloved group of people came together, so that he as well as other non-fans could understand the appeal of Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise crew. “For me, Star Trek is tricky, since it never dealt with why these people came together and why we cared about them as a group,” he said. “This is a movie about these sort of orphans that we get to know throughout the movie. At the end of the movie, you love all of them. Before, I didn’t have a favorite character since I didn’t connect with any of them. But now, I couldn’t even choose because I love all of them.”It was difficult to figure out how to remake something that has been around for forty years. “…our goal was really to make the film feel real and alive,” said Abrams. “It’s a strange one because you’re dealing with a lot of obviously over-the-top science fiction fantasy, but I really want you to believe in it and the only way you can do that is with the characters. So the biggest challenge was to take something that has pre-existed us for decades and make it feel legitimate and vital and relevant for today. And the only way to do that was through the characters that these actors brilliantly portrayed. None of the visual effects and spectacle would matter if you didn’t care about and believe those characters and that was the goal we had.”
Abrams walked a tightrope in trying to attract new fans, while not alienating old ones. “…if we did our job and we made a movie that was entertaining it would include Star Trek fans. Things like the exact look of a certain species, that’s changed in the history of Star Trek anyway. You can even look at the original series and find inconsistencies that they had, but it’s part of the charm and the reality of an ongoing series, it’s fiction. You know, at a certain point, you have to make the right choice for the right movie.”
Having a Star Trek fan on staff helped when it came to not alienating those who were already fans of Star Trek. “I think we were protected by Roberto Orci, one of the writers, who is a huge Trek fan, and he made sure that we weren’t slapping the face of the die-hard fan,” said Abrams.
As for the future, if a sequel is made to Star Trek XI, what about William Shatner, supposedly a bit miffed about not being in the film? “But if we’re lucky and there will be another movie, I’m sure there will be another opportunity to work with him,” said Abrams.