By: Todd Gilchrist
Few genre properties bring out someone's inner geek – much less in actual fans of the show itself - more easily than Star Trek. Whether you love it or loathe it, everyone seems to have an opinion or a perspective, and almost everyone has an emotional entry point for the long-running series: a parent's welcoming knee or cold shoulder, the dingy carpet of a rec room or the negligent boyfriend next to you, a shelf full of spinoff novels or their indecipherable prose, an unwieldy stack of VHS tapes or the interminable hours suffering through commercials. It seems that no one could possibly be unfamiliar with Trek, no matter how they tried; but it was the unenviable task of writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to digest some 40 years of characters, stories and mythologies, and tell a story that behaved as if no one but them had ever seen all that material.
The result of their labor is Star Trek, a spectacular opus, space opera, mythmaking science fiction story that condenses the sum total of its source of inspiration and reintroduces the series' mythology to viewers both old and new. Cinematical sat down with the duo at the recent Los Angeles press day for the film to discuss the process of reviving and reinventing the franchise for a completely new generation of moviegoers, much less potential Trek fans. In addition to indulging this critic's own passion for Kirk and company, Orci and Kurtzman talked about their ongoing creative collaboration with director-producer J.J. Abrams, discussed their own directorial ambitions, and dished a few details about their forthcoming follow-up to 2007's Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen.