WonderCon Interview: Roberto Orci Talks Star Trek 2

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Captain Kirk Love Interest Star Trek 2 WonderCon Interview: Roberto Orci Talks Star Trek 2

This afternoon, screenwriter Roberto Orci hosted a panel with director Jon Favreau about their upcoming alien-Cowboy mash-up Cowboys & Aliens - after which, Orci conducted select press interviews.

In our interview, we managed to mine for a  few tidbits and teases about the sequel to 2009′s phenomenally successful reboot Star Trek.

One of the goals that Cowboys & Aliens has set for itself is to take a fantastical, even outlandish circumstance, and then act as if it were really happening — so that the humor and excitement is born out of the genuine human reactions – rather than mocking or “getting cute” with the material. Orci has had a fair amount of experience working within the framework of an expansive storyline, experience that lent itself to the creation of Cowboys & Aliens. “You start to learn what works and what doesn’t work from before,” Orci explained.

“But every time you go out there, it’s the same blank page, and it’s the same horrible process. But in all of the genre stuff we do, we always say, what is the little theme that would be an independent movie if you didn’t have robots or space ships or Klingons? And if you have that story, then maybe you’re on the right track. In Star Trek, it’s a brotherhood of opposites that have to come together. In Transformers, it’s a kid growing up to adulthood. In this, we wanted to make sure we found the same kind of character starting place that allows everything else to happen around it.”

As far as beginning with a blank slate is concerned, the first Star Trek movie, in a sense, cleared the deck for this current iteration of the franchise to explore the world with a new set of actors, and a fresh tone. When asked how Star Trek 2 will expand on what was created with the first film Orci responded:

“I think we get to be a little bit more daring with the theme. The first one had to be an origin story – or we felt it had to be an origin story – it was kind of ‘Star Trek Zero’ – how did it all start? So to do that organically, you had to get each character in his or her place. Now, they’re all together from the beginning, and so now they’re all going to face, I think, a theme that is different and potentially more challenging than just: they met and they’re kind of facing this force of nature in Nero. So the theme of their family is going to be something great to explore that you don’t get in the first movie.”

Although Star Trek was overwhelmingly well received, there have been some fan complaints. As a result, Orci enjoys engaging with the fans – and, in response, makes meta references to the criticism in his scripts.

“Because I do see what fans think online, very much in ‘Star Trek,’ it is a sequel that you can genuinely say that the fans are consultants on. Now they’re caught up with us, they know exactly what the first movie was, and any one of them could go out now and generate a couple of story ideas for what this could be. So it’s a fun guessing game, and you do get to incorporate some of the complaints – you cannot just answer them, but voice them in the movie. I enjoy that – I enjoy seeing what people say, even if it’s super nasty.”

Star Trek 2 in 3D WonderCon Interview: Roberto Orci Talks Star Trek 2

Orci also offered an example of a potential response the film might make to a popular critique of the film:

“Yes. Well, some people thought Kirk, did he become Captain too fast? It’s easy to think of, well, we’ll look through a place in the story – without giving anything in the story away – where someone can look at him sideways and go, “you sure became Captain fast!” And for anyone to say that, whether we do or not, that’s just an example. I’m not saying if for sure we’ll do that, you can do those kinds of things and suddenly your criticism is part of the movie, and it’s kind of fun if you’re a fan to see that incorporated.”

With multiple projects in the production pipeline, Orci has become a master of time management, and finds that switching focus can actually assist his creative process, though there are of course challenges:

“The hardest part is time. But in terms of your mind, it’s actually nice to get away from stuff you’re doing, you get a little bit of perspective and time gets elongated when you’re thinking about something else. If I spend two days thinking about ‘Star Trek’ instead of this movie, when I come back to this movie, it’s like I’ve been gone two weeks, and it allows me to come back fresher, so it surprisingly helps each other.”

Star Trek 2 is scheduled for release on June 29th 2012.

Follow me on Twitter  @jrothc and Screen Rant @screenrant

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  1. I still don’t know if i can trust this guy after the disaster that was “transformers: revenge of the fallen”.

    • Oh, and tranformers is NOT about “a kid growing up”. It’s about alien robots beating the s#@t out of each other!

    • Transformers revenge of the fallen was written by Michael bay during the writers strike

    • Yes, because that movie is ALL that this guy has written [rolls eyes].

  2. Kind of like when McCoy turned to Spock after the training sequence at the begining of TWOK and says “Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”

  3. I wouldn’t worry to much about the fanboys. I was a fan of the old and the new one, and I appreciate the focus on the new one as the old one has run its course.

    If they can make the new star trek ii even close to the old star trek ii (one of my all time favorites) I will be good with it.

  4. ‘Star Trek’ (2009) is a masterpiece, imo. hopefully, the sequel will be as good as the first. I want J. J. Abrams back in the director’s chair!

    • I agree .i liked how it kept at fell to it. i don’t understand the boo hoo cry baby nerd boys out there wetting their undies over it lmao!

      • i meant the feel of it

      • It took a second viewing for me to get into the new star trek. At first, I was disappointed that the writers jettisoned the examination of the human condition for more CGI, explosions and sex. I do feel that criticism largely stands but I think it’s more of statement on our current entertainment appetites as opposed to the quality of the film. After all, Wrath of Khan was better received than the ST: the motion picture.

    • whoa…a masterpiece? with expectations that low concerning film, sure you’ll be happy with whatever they do. wonder if they’ll give away that kirk and ohura are siblings, or wait til’ the 3rd one? will the bad guy be kirk’s real dad!?!? oh…sometimes i get it confused with the story that abtams ripped off from lucas, instead of actually making star trek.

  5. Well that’s part of the problem with todays audience.

    When you consider Star Trek 11 a masterpiece the only way to go is down.

    Star Trek 11 was a horrid transporter accident. The sequel I’m sure will continue the process.

    I think its cool that Orci’s willing to talk to the fans, I however I’m not one.

    • The problem with today’s audience is that the fog-horn minority consists of people like you who seem incapable of allowing others to express their enjoyment for a particular movie without being hated on.

  6. When I think about J.J.’s “Star Trek”, I cannot help but think about this:

    • Brilliant… no wonder why I liked both movies.

      • So that’s where that familiar feel came from: Star Twersk!

  7. Oh good I was wondering where all the ass-hurt Trek fans were. How’s the basement guys?

    • Are you referring to my mother’s basement? It’s fine but I need to clean my Vulcan ears and polish my visor. My phasar needs new batteries and I’m still trying to get my first kiss from the girl next door. Oh drat, now my nacelles are dangling! :-D

  8. “Whaaaaa, your a hater,,,”

    Give me a break genra addict,,,
    If you can’t take it stay off the web. Its scary and frightening out here where people say what they want. Spooky freeky!!!

    • I think what he/she meant was that everyone deserves their opinion, and their express ability to state it, and defend it.

      Regardless of trolls who get off on making others embarrassed from liking a movie remade in a decade of remakes, the most recent Star Trek was good. It had its flaws, but it was good. Just because it wasn’t a shot for shot remake of a show from the sixties (don’t have my date right, probably) or the countless movies that followed doesn’t necessarily constitute an abomination. However, it’s far from imperfect. You gotta remember, they’re not just catering to the hardcore fans, their drawing in people who wouldn’t have enjoyed the series and/or the franchise, trying to draw everyone together (much like the basis of Star Trek, I think? coexistence?), for an enjoyable film.

      Apart from lens-flare, the incalculable odds of running into the specific future version of Spock himself, and strange appearance of music and vehicles from centuries before, the film delivers what it offered up in the first place: a space adventure, with a hot green chick (who unfortunately passed, right? Nero’s greatest crime), and Spock losing his sh*t when he flipped on Kirk. Don’t knock it just because you can’t see the string holding up the actor.

      And I don’t live in the basement. I live in the attic. ;-)

      • While I don’t share my cyber-buddy’s (790) disdain for Trek 2009, there were more problems with the film than the ones you mentioned. Some of the problems wouldn’t be known except by Trekkers like me (i.e. Sarek acknowledging any type of emotion, the Spock & Uhura hookup, the Budweiser brewery engineering deck, etc…) but there are others (like orbital diving without the re-entry effect) that anyone with a basic knowledge of physics would cringe at, and, of course, the films lackluster handling of the Romulan antagonist. But I was able to enjoy the film even with those flaws.

  9. “embarrassed from liking a movie”

    Hey man if Star Trek 2009 rcks your world don’t let my comments bother ya. (I wouldn’t!)
    Fly that freak flag!

    I don’t take any crap for liking Terminator 3. Even though its better then Star Trek 11.

    Watch as the crap flys my way now.


    • When you say “Terminator 3,” are you talking Nick Stahl and Claire Danes? Because that one felt campy and hilarious, and I loved it. I won’t lie. I did. And Terminator Salvation? War Porn. Totally tickled my pickle. In fact, the only movie I had an issue with was the first, because it was way too…slow? I’m not sure. I just didn’t care for it.

  10. So the moral is this: As long as you’re making comments on the Internet, you will in fact be heard. Great… Just what we needed. *sigh*

    • …that’s the point of teh internetz, right? Bah.

  11. No I’m talking about Terminator 3, starring Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.



  12. Kirk, saved the world from annilation, he should have become president

  13. As a fan of ‘Star Trek’ since the original was airing, the only aspects that I didn’t enjoy about the 2009 movie were Kirk’s warp-speed rise to the rank of Captain and the Enterprise’s engine room looking like a present-day brewery.