Orci Answers 'Star Trek XI' Questions

By T'Bonz
December 10, 2008 - 8:53 PM

Roberto Orci, Star Trek XI co-writer and executive producer, took time to answer various questions regarding the new Star Trek movie.

As reported by TrekMovie.com, one of the concerns of Star Trek fans was that J.J. Abrams seemed to be aiming Star Trek XI at non-fans and that perhaps Star Trek XI wasn't for the established Star Trek fan. "I can see how if you are a fan, you can go 'uh oh,' replied Orci. "I think it is just reflecting, what he has said himself, that he didn't think he was going to direct this movie, and when he says he wasn't a fan, of course he was aware of 'Star Trek' and had scene it and admired it...But I donít think he ever imagined himself taking over a year of his life and devoting it to 'Star Trek' and that is what he means. I think quotes reflect how much he surprised himself in how much he came to love it even more. And he went through that process without knowing it as well as all of us crazy fans, and from a much more general audience point of view, like everyone else. That is what he means by 'not for the fans', he thinks it is going to appeal to more than just the fans and I certainly don't think he means to exclude them. Too many die-hards worked on this movie for it to not be for fans."

Some of the discussion about Star Trek XI has centered around the new USS Kelvin and Captain Richard Robau. Orci explained the origins of the names and gave a little character history for Robau. "As you know, the Kelvin is named after, not only the same scientist with the temperature scale named after him, but also J.J.'s grandfather," said Orci. "And the captain of that ship, Richard Robau, is named after my uncle, who was born in Cuba. One of the things we talked about early on, was 'where was Uhura born?' 'Does Sulu have to be Japanese?' And it occurred to us that, in the future, the borders that exist now won't exist then. So you can be born somewhere, and raised somewhere else, and live somewhere else, and even sometimes off Earth. So I always imagined that Capt Robau was born in Cuba, but then grew up in the Middle East."

Some fans have been curious about the robot cop seen in the beginning of the latest trailer. Was he human or was he android? "In my mind, there is a person under there," said Orci. "But there is nothing in the movie that says one way or another. But in reading some of Roddenberry's thoughts and dissertations about 'Star Trek,' there was always a hesitance to deny the human spirit and deny the human side of it. There is a small part of me that thinks an android cop would be against Roddenberry's instincts. However, Mr. Data is clearly a central canon figure, so you can argue it either way. I don't think there is anything in the movie that commits it one way or the other. It is in the eye of the beholder."

When asked about the Intel website and the Star Trek XI prequel comic, Star Trek: Countdown, and whether they should be considered canon, Orci would not go so far as to deem them canon. "I guess until it is in a movie or a show, technically right, isn't that correct? I would have to check with the rest of the Supreme Court, but I would think that anything that is considered a promotional website is not canon. I considered some of the books, in my mind, to be of character canon. And some of them in between the movies to possibly be even possible candidates for canon, until some other movie comes along and makes those impossible. That is my personal view, but I am not going to declare whether comics are canon."

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