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Old January 31 2009, 03:24 AM   #1
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Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

The challenge of doing Star Trek, says Director J.J. Abrams, was being in the shadow of the last few Star Wars movies, which got it right.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the most recent Star Wars movies got it right and Star Trek XI has a tough act to follow. "If you look at the last three 'Star Wars' films and what technology allowed them to do," said Abrams, "they covered so much terrain in terms of design, locations, characters, aliens, ships, so much of the spectacle has been done and it seems like every aspect has been covered, whether it's geography or design of culture or weather system or character or ship type. Everything has been tapped in those movies. The challenge of doing 'Star Trek', despite the fact that it existed before 'Star Wars,' is that we are clearly in the shadow of what George Lucas has done."

Abrams believes that Star Trek XI will succeed if the characters are done properly. "The key to me is to not ever try to outdo them [Star Wars] because it's a no-win situation," he said. "Those movies are so extraordinarily rendered that it felt to me that the key to 'Star Trek' was to go from the inside-out: Be as true to the characters as possible, be as real and as emotional and as exciting as possible and not be distracted by the specter of all that the 'Star Wars' film accomplished. For instance, we needed to establish that there are aliens in this universe and yet I didn't want it to feel like every scene had four new multi-colored characters in it. That is something 'Star Wars' did so well with its amazing creature design. The question is how do you subtly introduce the idea that there are different species here. And to also do it differently than the TV shows, which basically had someone wearing a mask sitting in a chair. It was the balance of doing what the story needed us to do but also not feeling like we were trying to rip off or out-do what Lucas did."

Like in Star Wars, Star Trek XI will have a crowded bar scene and fans may well remember the "cantina scene" from Star Wars. "That cantina scene is obviously one of the classic scenes in 'Star Wars' and it was such a wonderful introduction to how amazing, how diverse and how full of possibility this 'Star Wars' universe was going to be," said Abrams. "In the subsequent films, especially the last three, so many scenes have that feeling, that they are just expanding and expanding the worlds. That was definitely something where I felt the burden of 'My God, they've done it all.' And the challenge is how do you do it where it feels real and meaningful and not like you're borrowing from someone else. That's just one of our challenges."

To read more, head to the article located here.

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Old January 31 2009, 03:44 AM   #2
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

This news article is just tailor made to raise controversy. Especially given the overall response to the Star Wars prequels.

I like the star wars prequels and I'm REALLY REALLY looking forward to Star Trek XI. One thing though, part of the reason for having humanoid aliens in trek was so you could see the humanity in them. I find nothing engaging or interesting in a big CGI monster/creature.

Character character character. Stick to that and you'll be fine. And a little gee-whiz cgi is cool too. But in very very small doses.
 
Old January 31 2009, 03:52 AM   #3
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

The last few Star Wars movies got it right? Huh. I must have been watching a different set of movies. They were so stock full of flashy CGI it was smothering. Like watching someone play a videogame.
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Old January 31 2009, 04:17 AM   #4
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Dane_Whitman wrote: View Post
The last few Star Wars movies got it right? Huh. I must have been watching a different set of movies. They were so stock full of flashy CGI it was smothering. Like watching someone play a videogame.
I think he was referring to getting $omething el$e right.
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Old January 31 2009, 04:25 AM   #5
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Dane_Whitman wrote: View Post
The last few Star Wars movies got it right? Huh. I must have been watching a different set of movies. They were so stock full of flashy CGI it was smothering. Like watching someone play a videogame.
Yeah, and J.J. did make an oblique reference to that. He also said that he wanted to do it from the inside out, focusing more on character and building up from there, which in my opinion, is the right way to go.


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Old January 31 2009, 04:55 AM   #6
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

I don't think the SW prequels did "Everything". They did do a lot of shiney-new looking and/or non-greebly ships, which is kind of Trekkian.
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Old January 31 2009, 05:42 AM   #7
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Star Wars totally lost the thread of what made it work - placing very relatable people (and very un-sci-fi types - the naive kid who saves the day, the slick gunslinger type who acts cools but is full of shit, the bossy bitch who really isn't such a bitch after all, the big lumbering sidekick who turns out to be the coolest of the bunch) into a fantastical context and giving the audience an easy entree into the story via those characters. Once the characters became chilly and unrelatable in the prequels, the audience was locked out emotionally. Star Wars never really had much to do with sci fi anyway, it was all a funhouse ride with Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie as the rides.

Hopefully, Star Trek will regain the thread of what makes it work, which is entirely different from Star Wars. With Star Trek, the characters are relatable, sure, but the premise is (and should be) also relatable in its own right. It's basically multicultural liberal democracy being tested for its survivability in an even more rigorous context than it faces on planet Earth - and the "optimism" of Star Trek is that it survives the test. The strength of the premise, and the fact that the premise alone can serve as the "funhouse ride" for the audience, is why Star Trek is not as heavily dependent on any given set of characters, or on characters being a certain way. They can be prickly or evasive and many of Star Trek's greatest characters - Spock, McCoy, Data, Worf, Odo, Kira and Garak - have been far pricklier/stranger/less relatable than Luke et al as a result.
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Old January 31 2009, 06:37 AM   #8
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

I read the article in the print version of the L.A. Times, afterwards i thought nice we have Star trek Episode 1 to look forward to now.
I knew i had a bad feeling when we have the bad acting moppet(little kid) version of Kirk, featured in the very first seen of the trailer. my first thought was "my god Not another kiddie anakin skywalker"
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Old January 31 2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Star Wars was fun and rollicking when it first came out (the first two movies back in the 70s/80s.) The special effects were cool and the characters likeable and engaging.

The third movie (now titled VI I guess,) was nominal. It was too cutesy. The teddy bear dudes just screamed marketing. Although - Luke finally grew up and to this (at the time) young woman, was hot.

The latest three movies SUCKED. Anakin was thoroughly unlikeable. Jar Jar, unlike the original Star Wars droids C3PO and what's-his-face, was plain annoying. I could never buy the romance of Anakin and the older girl (which created Luke and Leia.)

Star Wars went backwards, IMO. I was a huge fan of the franchise, to the point that I went the day after I got out of hospital to see the third movie. But even though I dutifully watched the next three movies (none in the theater,) they left me cold.

I understand that Abrams prefers Star Wars. To each, their own, you know? But given the direction SW took, I sure hope he's not headed that way. Trek's characters made up for sometimes clunky stories and less than top-notch special effects. I loved Kirk-Spock-McCoy just as I loved Han-Leia-Luke. The rest was just window-dressing. Special effects means jack if the characters are off. Ask those who saw the first Star Trek movie.

I know that TPTB are aiming for a younger audience. That makes sense and the audience must grow if the franchise is to survive. I hope though that they don't take away what made Trek special. I don't WANT Trek to be "Star War-ish" and I don't want it to be like other sheeple popular stuff. If it turns into that, it will no longer be Trek.

I have my fingers crossed. I can't go by the gushing, that is done before each new series/movie. I can only wait until the end credits roll on the new movie to know if Abrams et al got it. The casting seems to be good and I'm hopeful. Cautiously optimistic.
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Old January 31 2009, 08:01 AM   #10
Admiral James Kirk
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Dane_Whitman wrote: View Post
The last few Star Wars movies got it right? Huh. I must have been watching a different set of movies. They were so stock full of flashy CGI it was smothering. Like watching someone play a videogame.
You're either deluded or just an out and out moron. Star Wars is the single most successful franchise of all time. Star Wars rules film, television, comics, novels, toys etc and pulls in billions year after year after year. There isn't a franchise on the planet that couldn't stand to learn a lesson from Star Wars. Whether or not you personally liked the PT is irrelevant. It made all the other major franchise of the last decade look very second rate. Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Carribean, Harry Potter. Popular all. But not the phenoms that Star Wars was. There isn't one person involved in those series that wouldn't want their franchises to have one billionth of Star Wars popularity.

I also have to say that if you thought the CGI was smothering that you might want to take a little ridalin. It might have helped you focus on the deeply textured, comples and beautiful story that the PT told.

I suppose your opinion is no surprise. The TrekBBS has never been a bastion of original thought but rather a collection of like minds proceeding with minds that are sealed shut by the the screaming sheeplike voices of internet culture.
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Old January 31 2009, 08:26 AM   #11
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
You're either deluded or just an out and out moron.
You're either warned, or I just pushed the wrong button. If it weren't for this blatant flame, I might've let it pass just because of the giggle that 'screaming sheep' gave me.
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Old January 31 2009, 09:14 AM   #12
J. Allen
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Hoser wrote: View Post
Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
You're either deluded or just an out and out moron.
You're either warned, or I just pushed the wrong button. If it weren't for this blatant flame, I might've let it pass just because of the giggle that 'screaming sheep' gave me.
That and "one billionth the popularity" would be about 6 maybe 7 people.

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Old January 31 2009, 04:26 PM   #13
JNG
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

The idea of someone feeling there are strong similarities between Star Trek and Star Wars because they both have aliens leaves me cold. On a creative level and in terms of the setting and history, these franchises are so different that I feel even the fact that aliens do appear means something very different in each. I hope this was poorly excerpted from some sort of wider-ranging speech within which it made sense.
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Old January 31 2009, 04:58 PM   #14
Dane_Whitman
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
You're either deluded or just an out and out moron.
A deluted moron, actually. Thanks for your concern, but I'm already getting help.
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Old January 31 2009, 11:44 PM   #15
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Re: Abrams On 'Star Trek' Vs. 'Star Wars'

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
Dane_Whitman wrote: View Post
The last few Star Wars movies got it right? Huh. I must have been watching a different set of movies. They were so stock full of flashy CGI it was smothering. Like watching someone play a videogame.
You're either deluded or just an out and out moron. Star Wars is the single most successful franchise of all time. Star Wars rules film, television, comics, novels, toys etc and pulls in billions year after year after year. There isn't a franchise on the planet that couldn't stand to learn a lesson from Star Wars. Whether or not you personally liked the PT is irrelevant. It made all the other major franchise of the last decade look very second rate. Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Carribean, Harry Potter. Popular all. But not the phenoms that Star Wars was. There isn't one person involved in those series that wouldn't want their franchises to have one billionth of Star Wars popularity.

I also have to say that if you thought the CGI was smothering that you might want to take a little ridalin. It might have helped you focus on the deeply textured, comples and beautiful story that the PT told.

I suppose your opinion is no surprise. The TrekBBS has never been a bastion of original thought but rather a collection of like minds proceeding with minds that are sealed shut by the the screaming sheeplike voices of internet culture.
Very nice troll, A+!
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