Star Trek is one of the longest running Sci-fi series out there at 40 years. Now the new movie, under the direction of J.J. Abrams, looks to introduce a completely new generation to the classics. Opening with frank honesty that he (J.J. Abrams) had just arrived from Tokyo, he premiered a new trailer for Star Trek, which showed a lot and only set the audience on their feet. He then introduced the rest of the guests, Roberto Orci, Zoe Saldana, Zack Quinto and Chris Pine. The last 3 were the ones chosen to play Uhura, Spock and Kirk.
The first question and the biggest posed to the group was how close to canon were they staying? J.J. quickly responded by saying they were staying as close as the series did. This moving was made with the present generation of fans in mind. However, it was made for both past and future fans. They called in a great number of people to get a wide range of points of views. For those who are fans though, there are a number of references for those who know the classic series. The shorter answer would have been yes, it holds well to canon. With this, they aimed to show what about Star Trek inspired an entire generation.
Each of the leading actors talked a bit about their roles and it was interesting to hear how they were working with the original actors to get the feel of their roles. All of them felt that it was something wonderful that they could take part in. All of them felt that it was something great to be a part of. They also became friends with the original characters. The set quickly took on the feel of a family. Everyone felt that this attitude and many believe, that like with the original series, this will carry over to the audience. Each felt this was adding something to the grand 40 years of tradition.
One thing that everyone was well aware of was the history and legacy set by Gene Rodenberry. They tried to get as many different people who had worked with him as possible involved in the process. That Leonard Nimoy had worked with him closely on some of the pictures was a great asset to the project as a whole.
The panel then shifted over to a Question and Answer. One rumor that someone asked about was Kevin Smith and him getting to see the picture for some feedback. J.J. confirmed that he did get Kevin to come and see the film. The reasoning was that he knew Kevin is a painfully honest person. That he could count on him to give an honest opinion of whether the movie was good or bad. J.J. also stated that he knew Kevin drew strongly from the fan-base he was aiming for. That he responded positively was something J.J. was proud of. The next few questions were more interesting, as they asked about the director rapping (beat boxing to be accurate), as a friend of one of the extras asked if this honestly happened. J.J. gave a shout out to the extras, as they were tireless. The next thing was that this movie was a treat for the deaf community as many of his projects apparently are. They are anxious for the closed caption version of it to come out. Following that was a question directed at Park, playing James Kirk, about his favorite classic episode. Which he then told the gathered crowd was the Split Captain Kirk fighting Finnegan. That Shatner played the role like he did was part of what made that series. He had a distinct twinkle in his eye, giving the impression that anything is possible. That was a big part of what made the original series, as it was honestly exploring new things.
The next part was directed toward Zack, who also plays Scylar. The big thing asked about him was how he balanced the roles of Scylar and Spock. He responded that both Star Trek and Heroes were great for him. It meant notably less sleep, but it was something he wouldn’t change in the least. The next few questions were focused on Chris and Zack and them taking on the renowned roles of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. They immediately started joking around about how they felt; they did acknowledge it was daunting though. Chris remarked that he didn’t want to disappoint the fans. Both said they were aiming to show these new characters while respecting the legacy that was left to them. They both remarked on the need to have their own take on them. Zach responded that J.J. helped him start with the character and working with Nimoy only helped build up the character more. The last few questions were directed at J.J. and his previous work with Mission Impossible 3, Alias and several other shows he’d been involved in. Asking about how he aimed to get the characters just so believable. Abrams responded that he wanted his characters Relatable, to be complex and broken. It was putting regular people in crazy situations. He also remarked on enjoying working with his group, citing that they help with his creative process and bring the ideas to fruition. He remarked, quite accurately, that people will go anywhere (like sharing a consciousness with a friend). The most important part though, he felt, was the cast, as it was the actors who brought the characters to life and infused them with emotions.
Between the panel, the commercials and previews that have been officially released and the general support (the WonderCon Ballroom was Filled for this panel), things look favorable for the movie. A great number of people support the Star Trek series. This is also potentially a good point to revive the original series, if they choose to do so, even if only the movies. Still, the question remains just what is going to happen. Many things look different from the originals and in no way is this bad. While Watchmen is the main hype right now, easily, Star Trek will take over next.