One foe was chosen over another for Star Trek XI
and starts the movie by doing something unexpected given Star Trek
history, yet still within canon.
As reported by Empire Online, one of the familiar foes of the original series would have been included in a subplot in Star Trek XI, but it didn't work out well with the rest of the story. "There was a big Klingon subplot in this," said J.J. Abrams, "and we actually ended up having to pull it out because it confused the story in a way that I thought was very cool but unnecessary. So we have these beautiful designs that we're going to have to wait and do elsewhere I guess."
However, Klingons have a presence in the movie. "You will see Klingon Warbirds in the movie," said Abrams. "Maybe not in the way you expect, but you will see them."
Abrams went on to speak about the other traditional original series Federation foe. When asked why he used the Romulans and not the Klingons, Abrams said, "The Romulans were...what was interesting to me was that it wasn't the Klingons. That's what you expect and it was fun to use the Romulans the way we did. Part of the fact is that they hadn't seen them for so many years, so that it immediately breaks, for anyone who knows, the rules of Trek to start the movie and have Romulans crossing paths with Starfleet. It jumps in breaking the rules, which I think is kind of fun. That's not to say it's not explained and it's not consistent with canon, given our story."
Sneak peaks of Star Trek XI have been going on in Europe, and while in Rome for one of them, Abrams spoke about what he wanted to do in making Star Trek XI, as reported by Yahoo News. "My goal was to make a movie about the emotional lives of these characters," said Abrams. "We've seen a million ships fly by the camera, but nobody is going to care about the ship if they don't care about the people inside." Abrams went on to state that his target audience wasn't just established Star Trek fans, but to draw in new ones. "I want fans of 'Star Trek' to come watch it, but the truth is I made the movie for future fans," he said.
To read more, head to the articles located here and here.