here were some big events at WonderCon on Saturday, but few (if any) competed with the panel assembled to discuss the upcoming Star Trek film, directed and produced by fan-favorite J.J. Abrams. In fact, there was a much-talked about special surprise guest in store for those lucky enough to attend the panel, and it was none other than J.J. Abrams himself. Extremely excited about Star Trek, Abrams offered up the world premiere of Star Trek’s trailer, which was, in a word, stunning.
The trailer, which Abrams begged and pleaded with the crowd not to record, introduced us to a much grittier and flashier Star Trek than many might remember from earlier movies, as well as the television series. Industrial Lights and Magic’s impressive work was all over most of what was seen, with visuals that rival Hollywood’s most revered science fiction works. And Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) provided what appeared to be, at least in the short segments we saw, new imaginings of classic characters diehard fans can learn to deal with.
Speaking of Pine and Quinto, both actors appeared on the panel with Abrams, along with actress Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), writer Roberto Orci, and producer Brian Burk. And the six skipped a moderated session entirely and went straight for fan questions, which they proceeded to answer for the better part of twenty-five minutes. And speaking of those fans, they got right into the nitty-gritty with their very first question. When asked if Abrams’ vision of Star Trek was something that was for the diehard, or something that was accessible, he answered “if we were just to make the movie for fans of Star Trek, then we would be limiting the audience enormously.”
However, Abrams went on to promise that the movie was “made for you,” meaning the true fans of the franchise. “We love and are beholden to the existing fans of Star Trek.” He attributed a “great range” in the producers, from those who never saw Star Trek, to those who were fluent in its many iterations, as a strength played on to make the film accessible to newcomers and acceptable to loyalists. He assures fans that there are “a million references,” and that it “adheres to canon,” something many a fan will be extremely glad to hear.
Praise for Star Trek and JJ Abrams was universal amongst the cast members, with Zachary Quinto pointing out that he, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine saw the movie for the first time the week before the panel. “And literally, guys, I couldn’t speak for twenty minutes after. And I’m not like that,” Quinto concluded, praising the film. “It is such a ride, it is so exciting, and I’m really excited to share it with everybody. I think we all are… I feel really proud to be a part of it.”
Zoe Saldana, who was perhaps the quietest of the panel dominated by Abrams, Quinto and Pine, said one of the best parts was meeting with and working with some of the original cast members, such as Leonard Nimoy, and to see how excited they were about the new film. She said “they blessed the entire project.” She also stated her excitement for younger science fiction fans, as the movie is “an opportunity for them to be introduced into this world that’s lived for over forty years.” It was at this point that Abrams briefly steered the direction towards famed Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, guaranteeing everyone that they were “so aware” of him and “so indebted” to him.
A plethora of interesting information came from Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine. Both of these young actors were given the task of playing iconic science fiction characters, and both were asked what the experience was like, and what they were attempting to do with their renditions of Spock and Kirk, respectively. Both were fairly clear that they weren’t trying to replicate past performances, though Chris Pine admitted that playing Kirk “was totally daunting.” Zachary Quinto added his own take on the question, stating that the film as a whole “wasn’t an endeavor to try to recreate what was created before us.”
The Star Trek movie is fast approaching, slotted for a May 8th release around the United States. Stay tuned to IGN Movies for more information on the much-anticipated film.