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July 17 2024


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Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

By T'Bonz
January 31, 2009 - 2:24 AM

The challenge of doing Star Trek, says Director J.J. Abrams, was being in the shadow of the last few Star Wars movies, which got it right.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the most recent Star Wars movies got it right and Star Trek XI has a tough act to follow. "If you look at the last three 'Star Wars' films and what technology allowed them to do," said Abrams, "they covered so much terrain in terms of design, locations, characters, aliens, ships, so much of the spectacle has been done and it seems like every aspect has been covered, whether it's geography or design of culture or weather system or character or ship type. Everything has been tapped in those movies. The challenge of doing 'Star Trek', despite the fact that it existed before 'Star Wars,' is that we are clearly in the shadow of what George Lucas has done."

Abrams believes that Star Trek XI will succeed if the characters are done properly. "The key to me is to not ever try to outdo them [Star Wars] because it's a no-win situation," he said. "Those movies are so extraordinarily rendered that it felt to me that the key to 'Star Trek' was to go from the inside-out: Be as true to the characters as possible, be as real and as emotional and as exciting as possible and not be distracted by the specter of all that the 'Star Wars' film accomplished. For instance, we needed to establish that there are aliens in this universe and yet I didn't want it to feel like every scene had four new multi-colored characters in it. That is something 'Star Wars' did so well with its amazing creature design. The question is how do you subtly introduce the idea that there are different species here. And to also do it differently than the TV shows, which basically had someone wearing a mask sitting in a chair. It was the balance of doing what the story needed us to do but also not feeling like we were trying to rip off or out-do what Lucas did."

Like in Star Wars, Star Trek XI will have a crowded bar scene and fans may well remember the "cantina scene" from Star Wars. "That cantina scene is obviously one of the classic scenes in 'Star Wars' and it was such a wonderful introduction to how amazing, how diverse and how full of possibility this 'Star Wars' universe was going to be," said Abrams. "In the subsequent films, especially the last three, so many scenes have that feeling, that they are just expanding and expanding the worlds. That was definitely something where I felt the burden of 'My God, they've done it all.' And the challenge is how do you do it where it feels real and meaningful and not like you're borrowing from someone else. That's just one of our challenges."

To read more, head to the article located here.

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