Abrams Not Directing Star Trek 3: Trekkies Celebrate

JJ Abrams
J.J. Abrams has reportedly passed off the director’s chair to Robert Orci, according to a recent report by Paramount and Skydance. While Abrams will still maintain his spot as producer, Orci, teamed with Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, will have the reign over the script for the movie. For trekkies who were disenchanted with the the first two Star Trek reboots, Abrams’ vacant director’s chair has been cause for celebration as they await the release of Star Trek 3.

From the outset, the decision to reboot Star Trek was met with mixed feelings. Initially, Trek veterans of the original series (TOS) were more affected than younger generations of viewers who had little understanding of the implications of a Kirk-Spock redo. There was a general feeling of unease in the air over the issue of whether or not the script would be loyal to the TOS plot and timeline. Following the release of the two recent Star Trek movies, there has been a polarization of trekkies: on the one side are those who have successfully disassociated with tradition and welcomed the reboots as a new thing, and on the other side are those who cannot shake the feeling that the essence of Star Trek has been forever changed.

Not only has Abrams stepped aside as director, but he has also turned away from writing the script and is focusing his attention on Star Wars: Episode VII. According to University of Baltimore media studies professor, Arnold Blumberg, this is a good thing. Blumberg believes that Abrams is better suited for the Star Wars universe because the movies are more of what the media studies professor calls “sword and sorcery.” In fact, Blumberg lamented the recasting of Star Trek under Abrams because the movies felt more like a story about “fairy tales and superhero mythology,” more like Star Wars.

To add insult to injury, Blumberg and other long-time trekkies were angry over the change in backstory of the two central characters, Kirk and Spock. In making the famous duo a pair of orphaned souls, Abrams once again cast the Star Trek universe in a new light, one that is archetypal of Star Wars and its damaged heroes. However, Blumberg was quick to point out that Star Trek is by no means a template for realism, citing for example, the degree of technobabble in Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). At least the technobabble was based on something substantiated scientifically, he added, which was definitely not the case of the McGuffin “red matter” introduced by Abrams. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek universe and franchise, wanted to make it as futuristically realistic as possible, but more importantly, he wanted viewers to take something meaningful away from the series. To that effect, he dedicated his efforts towards infusing the script with philosophically rich scenarios. That tradition was subsequently carried out in TNG (post season 5), Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise after Roddenberry passed away.

TNG actor LeVar Burton, who played chief engineer Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge, echoed Blumberg’s view. After seeing Into Darkness, Burton was hardly celebrating and was left thirsting for Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek. According to Burton, Abrams’ interpretation of that vision was seriously lacking. In response to the suggestion that Burton’s presence might have made the films better, the former TNG star replied, “They don’t need me, they just need Gene.”

It remains to be seen what the new writers and director Robert Orci have planned for Star Trek 3. Some trekkies are celebrating the change in directing while others feel Star Trek lost its great director to Star Wars. Regardless, Abrams will have two of the most iconic franchises under his belt after he finishes with Star Wars.

By Courtney Anderson

Memory Alpha
L.A. Times
Trek News

25 Responses to "Abrams Not Directing Star Trek 3: Trekkies Celebrate"

  1. Gregory Baskin   June 17, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    You all will be interested in this newest Star Trek article here on Guardian Liberty Voice. http://guardianlv.com/2014/06/nasa-physicists-interstellar-spacecraft/

  2. Tim ryan   June 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    “At least the technobabble was based on something substantiated scientifically, he added, which was definitely not the case of the McGuffin “red matter””

    UMMM, yeah OK, becuase dilithium crystals responsible for warp speed are totally based on something scientifically substantiated…Give me a break.

  3. Scott   June 2, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Both movies was good. And by them changing history in the first one, they now left room for a whole new series of movies..

  4. Steve Froud   May 31, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Well the next movie can’t be any worse than the last 2 that’s for sure, even a Chimpanzee could direct better than that idiot Abrams.

  5. Courtney Anderson   May 29, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    It was just brought to my attention that R2D2 can be seen in the wreckage of the enterprise in one of the scenes in the latest movie. Can anyone confirm this? To Netflix!

  6. Zane   May 27, 2014 at 8:24 am

    They clarified on numerous occasions that due to a wormhole they were in an alternate timeline whereupon many parts of their history had been changed due to the fact that it’s multiverse theory in action. I admit alot of the science based on reality was gone, but generally the movies, did a good job representing the universe roddenberry helped to create, the biggest pieces that they altered in my opinion was make dangerous situations more intense. I felt like they did a solid job of just bringing what was created before to a modern form, slight alterations aside. They did bring some “magic” to the universe, it wasn’t like ungrounded sciences, though that happened on a couple of occasions.

  7. Zee Munney   May 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Tim, I think that was the whole point of the new films. They didn’t want to rehash the old storylines and do the exact same thing over again. That would be boring.
    They have recreated the timeline so they could start the story over again and make changes as they go.
    Also, I took the end credits of the first new Star Trek as the beginning of the mission into space when they showed a bunch of different planets throughout as a quick way to give the young Enterprise crew some experience in space exploration and develop the story into the next movie.
    I think it was brilliant and now the writers can take past Star Trek stories and alter them in this new time line and re-create new stories based on past characters and situations.

  8. tim   May 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I know Winona was not on the original series, however the character of Spock’s mother was very much alive.

  9. tim   May 25, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Also Spock’s mother was around in the original tv series, she(winona ryder) wasn’t killed on the original tv series. She was married to Sarek and on several episodes in the original series. What about botany bay? hmmm?

  10. tim   May 25, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    The new movies did not sync with the original series. Remember Khan was not discovered until the five yr space exploration expedition had already been underway by kirk and crew.

  11. Commodore Decker   May 25, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    More lens-flare! And explosions!
    Dammit, explosions are what made TOS great.
    Forget all that tedious dialog and development of characters and stories.
    Stick with explosions and lens-flare; you can’t miss with that combination.

    • Riker's Beard   May 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      You’re right, can’t miss…Trek Into Darkness was the most financially successful Trek film, worldwide, ever. Making hand over fist, more profit than that stagnant original timeline ever THOUGHT of making! Carry on JJ…after Nemesis hammered the coffin shut, you breathed new life into that rotting corpse. Well done!

  12. Gorb   May 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    I hope we’re on the verge of something equivalent to “Legends of the Dark Knight,” where different teams take turns playing in the same universe, bringing different levels of maturity and emphasizing different elements that will appeal to different sub-audiences. Such context would make it easier for me to forgive the frivolity and disrespect for previous contributions that many people attribute to the Abrams movies. Case in point: the trademark lens flares. I strongly dislike being reminded constantly that I’m watching a movie. Here’s hoping for a new, more immersive direction in Roddenberry’s universe!

  13. Carolyn   May 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Star Trek may have started out as a space Western, but that was only because the studio at the time forced the safe format on Roddenberry who wanted a more philosophical series with a diverse crew led by a woman (look it up). Though TOS wasn’t allowed to achieve that vision, later series did, and more. What JJ did was turn Star Trek into Star Wars which truly is a space Western. Glad he went home to them where his great talent is a better fit. Now let’s bring back the mentally stimulating nerdiness of the Star Trek universe in a movie and a new TV series (after all, we have to find out how we all dealt with climate change!). And Paramount, don’t underestimate the new audience, they can handle it!

    • Carolyn   May 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

      correction: Roddenberry proposed a woman as first officer not captain. And of course that proposal was so unbelievable, that she was dumped and we got a male alien with pointy ears and a tail (which thank goodness was quickly eliminated), Spock. Much more believable, despite the fact that he (deliberately?) resembled the demon most reviled by Christian America. So let’s bring a bit of that rebellious spirit back instead of these bland and predictable movies. Yawn.

  14. A Potter   May 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    For years during and after ST; Enterprise, I had a deep longing for the return to the days of Captain James T Kirk and the crew of the beloved Star Ship Enterprise in the orginal series. With new stories and adventures to watch over and over again.

    At first when I heard it was to be remade from scratch with a guy who was a Star Wars fan, my heart sank. But I thought I would give the guy the benifit of the dought, as he had people around him who were ST fans.

    Then I watched the movie with dread in my heart. But at the end I LOVED it. That fact that they had created a different time line preserving all the adventures that had gone before it making it all still relevent, and having the original Spock as the hook that draws us back to those times was a master stroke.

    If this is all I can get that in some shape or fashion brings be back to my boyhood dreams of exploring the universe with that Ship and her Crew all over again with new wonderfull adventures.


  15. Les   May 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I have been a Star Trek fan since I was about 5 year old, so that puts me at 4 decades liking this franchise. Out of that time, there has been stuff I loved, and stuff I hated. There were things I was glad they explored, things I wish they hadn’t explored, and things I wish they would have explored.
    But the thing with most Die Hard fans, which I used to be but am not so much any more, they never want things to change. And Star Trek is about change, adapting, and learning to move forward. These same people who are whining about JJ Abrams handling of the movies are very likely the same people who boycotted ST:TNG when it first hit the air in 1987 because it wasn’t Kirk/Spock. And look what happened. 3 additional series and more movies.

    Despite some inconsistencies, which I will confess ties to my old die hard days, I loved both new films. Many of these ST fans hate JJ Abrams so much, get into the industry and do it yourself. Write a script, learn to be a director, but stop whining about it.
    Its the same as with the prequels for Star Wars. Love them or hate them, they are not Your vision, they are George Lucas’s vision. You may not like it, but short of becoming a director/writer/etc. there isn’t much you can do except go along for the ride, good or bad.

    As long as it’s a good story and captures my attention, I don’t care who the director is (as long as it isn’t William Shatner. ST:V was garbage)

    • Les   May 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Oh, and forgot to add.
      Levar Burton has been so long out of the spot light, he will do anything to capture attention these days. He needs to get over it.

  16. Zee Munney   May 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

    The reboots were great! (Aside from the inexplicable red matter, but what a great opportunity in a future film to explain it’s origin to help make sense of it all – optimism). I came away feeling like they have recreated the original Star Trek right from the start and now we can follow the same timeline with different outcomes. Who knows what else is in store? There is opportunity to reinvent the Klingon conflict, involve the Romulans, use the Leonard Nimoy Spok to direct the rebooted characters on missions to save important figures from other Star Trek series like TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Not to mention the new origins that can be created due to events that have occured in the new timeline.
    I can’t wait to see what they do next and I hope this film series follows the new tradition of other successful franchises with multiple movies beyond trilogies and boldly go where no one has gone before…

  17. voice of reason   May 22, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Baloney. What the new movies have done, is take us BACK to Star Trek…not TNG or any of it’s spin-offs,,,but Star Trek, circa 1966. And it did it perfectly. TNG style Trek, you know, the boring Trek, had died on the vine years ago.(and rightly so, as that yakety-yak snorefest only managed to produce a handful of episodes that were worthy of it’s namesake.) Next Gen fans needs to get their heads out of Picard’s tea pitcher and realize that there was a completely different style of Star Trek before TNG and like-minded drek marched onto the screen for almost 20 years. And it WAS full of action…something TNG feared…as well as conflict…another part of the Star Trek formula that TNG seemed to be afraid to tackle…and humor…and sex…the list goes n and on. JJ’s Trek took us back to Trek’s roots. It got it right. I’m sorry he isn’t direction, he has a good eye and I like his style. Orci, knows his TOS, he has been in the business a long time and as the actual writer of the movie should have a good idea of how he thinks scenes should look. No worries!

  18. allison   May 22, 2014 at 1:11 am

    I am a trekkie and loved that a new cast redid original plots. But maybe other fans don’t like how they went about doing it and directed by someone who has never seen a Star Trek episode.

  19. Gabriel Bell   May 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Lifelong Trekkie, since the 70s, for 45-plus years… and I love the reboots. LOVE THEM. The are quintessential Star Trek in every way. It amazes me that people who love Star Trek and know Star Trek can’t see that. But their loss. (So yeah, your article’s reasonably fair in representing both sides, but that headline is quite inflammatory.)

  20. Semi   May 21, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t believe that I can call myself a trekkie but I love Star Trek. Normally I hate reboots. As a rule they generally turn out to be awful. The reboot on Star Trek is my exception to the rule. I have enjoyed the alternate universe. The little twists that remind you of the original but sets itself apart, in some cases with a slight change that changes everything. If you take a step backwards at this point, it seems to me you could damage the credibility of what has already been achieved. To put it bluntly, if it’s making bank and growing your fan base….why mess with success?

  21. Courtney Anderson   May 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Not possible. What do you think about the reboots? I understand it can be a touchy subject for many, but engaging nonetheless. Where do you stand?

  22. Undertow   May 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    You speak for all trekkies eh?


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