We had a sneak peak at footage from the Star Trek reboot. Spoilers Within…
Star Trek, first aired in the Autumn of 1966, spawning 10 movies, and numerous spin-off’s before ‘Enterprise’ finally killed off the franchise. Love for the cult show never vanished, it just lost direction under the weight of an over-expanded universe. May 2009 sees the relaunch of Star Trek under the guidance of director JJ Abrams. Abram’s is one of the most important men in Hollywood right now, his Midas touch has made success stories of projects like ‘Cloverfield’, ‘Lost’ and ‘Fringe’ to name but a few. He’s an in-demand writer, producer and director, so why did a self-proclaimed ‘non-trekkie’ decide to direct a new version of ‘Star Trek’? Jealousy! Knowing the scale and passion fans had for the film, he didn’t want anyone else to make it.
The date is October 11th 2008 and Movies.ie has been invited to London for a presentation of four scenes from the new Star Trek movie, hosted by Abrams himself. It’s a very promising sign when a movie is previewed to press 7 months before it opens in cinemas. Studio confidence has got to be high to let magazines, newspapers and websites loose on one of 2009’s most anticipated releases. However Rob Moore, Vice President of Paramount is showing pre-screening nerves, “I’m a little nervous this morning” he tells the gathering crowd in Leicester Square, “not because I’m speaking to 400 people this morning, but because you’re the first audience ever to see this early footage”.
We start our day with a look at the new trailer, it’s a taste for what’s to come, it shows how accessible the new Trek movie will be to new viewers. It’s heavy on action, romance, explosions, all the ingredients for a typical summer blockbuster but within the familiar setting of the Star-ship Enterprise.
JJ Abrams opens his presentation with “I was never a huge fan of Star Trek. Thanks.” He does a mock turn and pretends to walk towards the door. “The thing about Star Trek is that I was never really a huge fan. There have been 10 movies and about a million series. Had I known there were 10 movies I wouldn’t have wanted to make an 11th When I was asked to do Star Trek, though, I found myself saying ‘yes’. I just thought it was the right thing to do. When the first series came out I always felt it was someone else’s show, not mine. I appreciated there was a promise of adventure but frankly that’s always what I felt it was, a promise of adventure. It might have been the resources they had, by doing a big adventure going to a cardboard planet. So, the idea of doing this movie where it could feel legitimate and real despite all the stuff that non-fans might thing was silly, was really the challenge. I’ve seen Galaxy Quest, I’ve seen all the parodies but the key to doing this and making it feel real was a great cast.”
Speaking of cast, actor Simon Pegg is in attendance. He’s seeing the footage for the first time and is genuinely speechless when setting up his scenes. He tells us that he was “Pant Wettingly excited” to be part of the movie, Scotty has been part of his life since he was 9 years old and to play the character was an honour. Of all the scenes we see today Scotty’s is the one that raised the most eye-brows, mostly for the appearance of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, who has travelled from the future to show Scotty how to invent transwarp beaming.
Pegg’s strong Scottish accent takes some getting used to, in fact many accents in the movie stood out… Chekov’s Russian twang is the butt of many jokes, in one scene he struggles with a voice recognition computer, unable to understand the pronunciation of his V’s and his W’s when reading out password “nine, five, wictor, wictor, two”.
The other three scenes screened to us today focus mostly on Kirk, we see Kirk recruited by captain Pike to join the starfleet academy, but being a loose cannon Kirk fails to get assigned to a ship prompting Bones to get Kirk on board the enterprise by using a loophole that allows him to treat a sick patient on board. TO do this Kirk is injected with symptoms that causes his body to swell, turning him into a Shrek like creature, with giant hands and a numb face. The over-grown Kirk takes some getting used to but it adds comic relief and builds up to Kirk becoming a proper crew member of the Enterprise.
The final scene of the day sees Spock promoted to captain, while Kirk is now first officer. Kirk, Sulu and Engineer Olsen (dressed in red, an in joke for Star Trek fans) go on a sky dive from space to destroy a bomb planted in Vulcans surface by Nero. It’s a very impressive set-piece that had everyone in the cinema on the edge of their seats, the only light relief was the predictable demise of the man wearing red.
JJ Abrams and Simon Pegg received a very warm round of applause before beaming out of the auditorium. It’s impossible to tell how the finished product will play when all the scenes are finished and put together but today’s footage has been more than promising. Fan’s of ‘Star Trek’ have nothing to fear, the Enterprise is in very good hands and it looks like it will be picking up a lot of new passengers along the way.