I couldn't understand much of what was said by Sirtis and Burton. Is there a transcript of what they were saying?
TrekWeb.com has one of the statements from Burton on ST:ID.
When reading this press release, I remembered what Wil Wheaton wrote,
Sigh. The whole point of Star Trek is that it’s philosophical. If you don’t want philosophical Science Fiction, there’s plenty of that for you to enjoy, but Star Trek is philosophical. Philosophy is part of Star Trek’s DNA, and if you’re given the captain’s chair, you’d better damn well respect that.
What a load of pretentious twaddle. Sheesh.
I haven't listened to Burton's remarks (nor do I really care to), but in regards to the Jon Stewart interview in the Wil Wheaton link, I do have to admit that there are times (and that interview was one of them) when I wish JJ Abrams would just shut up about how much of a non-fan of Star Trek he was.
Not that you're obligated to be a fan to be a good director. Some of the best Trek writers and directors have not been fans at all, and some of the worst have been huge fans, so it's no guarantee of quality. Nor do I want him to lie and pretend to be something he's not. But you don't have to place sooooo much emphasis on the fact that you weren't a fan and bring it up on your own in every other interview you do. It's kind of bad PR and rubbing it in --especially when his direction is such a divisive issue among certain fans.
Also, while Star Trek is a lot less philosophical than some fans build it to be in their heads (it certainly has its moments, but most of the time it's pretty basic space opera), going into interviews and essentially saying "Star Trek was too thoughtful for me" (admittedly when he was a kid, but he's still talking about it now) is not really a great move when one of the primary fan criticisms of your direction is that you've made the films too shallow and focused on style over substance.
Ironically, I think this film has plenty of depth to it and philosophical moments/themes (I know many disagree), so it was strange to me to see him emphasize that when it's not really what the film was about. Of course, like he says, it was a collaboration between him and the writers (who were Trek fans and did like some of the more intellectual stuff) and they each brought their own perspective to the table and combined their talents to balance things out between more accessible action and more intellectual drama.