Although Star Trek XI
will be true to what Roddenberry created, according to J.J. Abrams
, it will "blow people's minds because it's a completely different experience than what they expect."
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, making a movie that has a long history is a tricky business. "I think I benefited because I came into this movie as someone who appreciated 'Star Trek' but wasn't an insane fanatic about it," said Abrams. "The disadvantage is I didn't know everything I needed to know immediately at the beginning and had to learn it. The advantage though is I could look at 'Star Trek' as a whole a little bit more like a typical moviegoer would see it; it allowed me to seize the things that I felt were truly the most iconic and important aspects of the original series and yet not be serving the master and trying to be true to every arcane detail. It let me look at the things I knew were critical."
One of those critical things was the characters. "The characters was the most important thing in it. We needed to be true to the spirit of those characters," said Abrams." But other things were important and are part of what makes Star Trek feel like Star Trek. "The phasers, the communicators, the Starfleet logo, there are all these things that are the touchstones, the tenets of what makes 'Star Trek' 'Star Trek,' said Abrams. "If you're going to do this series those are things you don't mess with."
In a time of savvy fans who have seen countless science fiction movies and are used to top-notch special effects as well as intricate stories, one can't just do what went before or cater solely to Star Trek canon without risking losing the audience. "The trick is how do you use a ship like that, uniforms like that, characters who look like that and the name 'Star Trek' and make it feel relevant and legitimate," said Abrams. "The challenge is to take the familiar, for better or worse, and embrace the elements that make it unique but be sure the master you're serving is the making of the most entertaining movie possible. You can't look backward and try to make sure that every decision you're making is true to the past. that's not to say that we weren't true to the past, but that wasn't our guiding principle."
Abrams is aware of the Star Trek fans who will be watching (and judging) but had to look beyond that to make the best movie possible. "The key is to appreciate that there are purists and fans of 'Star Trek' who are going to be very vocal if they see things that aren't what they want," said Abrams. "But I can't make this movie for readers of Maysell's Monthly who are only concerned with what the ship's engines look like. They're going to find something they hate no matter what I do. And yet, the movie at its core is not only inspired by what has come before, it's deeply true to what's come before. The bottom line is we have different actors playing these parts and from that point on it's literally not what they've seen before. It will be evident when people see this movie that it is true to what Roddenberry created and what those amazing actors did in the 1960s. At the same time, I think, it's going to blow people's minds because its a completely different experience than what they expect."
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