The Star Trek Panel filled the room… of course.

J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine (James Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Robert Orci (Co-writer) & Bryan Burke (executive producer) were in attendance.  The crowd went crazy as they came out.

We were treated to a new movie trailer and there were scenes in this particular trailer that have not been seen before.  In fact this trailer will be the one airing with Watchmen when it hits theaters on March 6th.  According to some folks sitting next to me, they were a little ruffled at what they showed in this new trailer.  I won’t blow it for you because when you see this scene, you probably won’t realize what you’re seeing, but it is definitely a new Trek-verse.

Abrams said that what he was striving for was a balance between the old and the new.  He wanted the fans of the existing franchise to know can bring what they know to the movie, realizing that they know some things, so it’s not completely alien to them while also trying to draw new fans to his version.

Orci said the old fans should be happy.

During the panel, an extra who was on the set of Trek came to the mike and brought to our attention about Abrams rapping while on set.  Abrams came back with something to the affect, so what’s your name and the name of your friends…. who will never work in Hollywood again!  Yes, it was a fun, lighthearted moment and we were surprised to discover that there were quite a few extras from the movie attending the panel.

Zachary Quinto was asked how tough it was to balance the two jobs – Heroes and Star Trek.  He said he was blessed, but with a little less sleep than normal.  But he had no complaints.  He also pointed out how he never watched the original series, but rather, worked with Leonard Nimoy to get his angle on things.  That and he read up a lot on the world of Star Trek.

Abrams was asked what inspired him to bring Star Trek back.  He said that though he wasn’t a massive fan, he appreciated the fact that there were massive fans out there.  After reading the script he was not only swayed but said he couldn’t not do it because he would have been jealous of anyone else doing the movie.

He was asked how he communicates the intricacies of a character to the screen and he said that he combines relatable, broken characters and throws them into the craziest sh** of all time.  This brings much to the surface of the character.  This is when we see the vulnerabilities and the strengths of the characters he creates.

Chris Pine said he enjoyed the comraderie of the cast and crew and that Abrams made the environment pretty cool for them.  (I guess when Abrams is rapping on set, that would help do it!)

When Abrams was asked about the change up to the Trek universe, he mentioned how people will go anywhere willingly within sci-fi.  He gave a Fringe example, where people are willing to accept an invisible boyfriend, but people badgered him about Harvard having a free lab.

Non-Trek items:

The one thing a lot of us noticed was that Abrams was wearing an Avatar tee-shirt.

Cloverfield 2 – working on an idea right now.  Do it because you’re inspired.  Doesn’t want to do it just to make a buck.  He has a “pretty sweet” idea.

Star Trek opens May 8th, 2009.