Posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
There have been reports that audiences seeing Cloverfield this weekend are going wild for the attached Star Trek teaser trailer, but my screening was dead quiet. And I can’t tell whether the mere four comments /Film received on our post about the bootleg version being on YouTube (still there) are a sign of disinterest, mild disappointment or reservation for the official version. Up until yesterday, I had a bad feeling about J.J. Abrams‘s mega-budgeted December vision for Trek. The casting has been all over the place, and the filmmakers’ hardcore need to include Leonard Nimoy and as much canon as possible reminded me of the early warning signs for Superman Returns. But the trailer struck a cord with me.
The steady shot on the U.S.S. Enterprise under construction perfectly evoked how vast, dangerous and mysterious space actually is, and Nimoy’s “final frontier” line didn’t possess the stark confidence I’d expected. Instead, it sounded foreboding and safety belt-worthy. The theme music even had a refreshed alien sophistication. After seeing what J.J. and his team did minutes later with Manhattan and how tiny and disposable humans were in a monster’s wrath, their Star Trek now has my full attention.
Producer Roberto Orci spoke with Trekmovie.com to expand on the filmmakers’ intentions for the moderately esoteric and largely eerie teaser. To the Trekkies who remain adamant that the Enterprise must be built in space in accordance with canon, or “fanon” even, rather than on Earth, Orci breaks out the science and “creative license.” This is sort of impressive…
Firstly, there is the notion that there is precedent in the novels, etc that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled here or there. And the second thing is that the Enterprise is not some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled. The idea that things have to be assembled in space has normally been associated with things that don’t have to be in any kind of pressure situation and don’t ever have to ever enter a gravity well. That is not the case with the Enterprise. The Enterprise actually has to sustain warp, which we know is not actually moving but more a warping of space around it. And we know that its decks essentially simulate Earth gravity and so its not the kind of gravity created by centrifugal force, it is not artificially created by spinning it. It is created by an artificial field and so it is very natural, instead of having to create a fake field in which you are going to have to calibrate everything, to just do it in the exact gravity well in which you are going to be simulating.
Orci deadens the rumors that the Enterprise is shown being constructed at Area 51, but won’t confirm nor deny that the location is San Francisco. And he doesn’t seemed worried about the film’s title not being included on the teaser, which I found to be an extremely intriguing decision on first view. As for what the trailer is supposed to convey to today’s audiences…
This is who we are. This is real. This is maybe not so far off in the future as it used to be. In the 60s the cell phone was a fantasy. Now the communicator that Kirk had is not as advanced as my iPhone. It is a different millennium for God’s sake. We are literally a century closer than we were before.
What I found most interesting was the following quote, which implies that this Trek is both inspired by JFK’s pivotal role in the space race and hopes to refocus peoples’ attention back on exploration as well.
First of all, it has been written about that Kirk was in a way modeled after JFK. Like being the youngest captain ever, like Kennedy was the youngest President ever. Obviously the space race being kicked off by JFK is very much associated with Star Trek. It was also due to what we just discussed and linking it back to today. If we do indeed have a Federation, I think Kennedy’s words will be inscribed in their someplace. He kicked us off. And on a third level it is a slight nod to Star Trek Enterprise, in that we are not blind to the fact that going back to some of the more historical aspects of Star Trek that haven’t been covered in a while
It’s not everyday that I care to hear a producer wax on a teaser trailer, but Orci enhanced my take on it. Did you find the teaser to be too esoteric, too uneventful, or too, um, industrial? Do you feel that general audiences made the connection that it was for Star Trek, as there are quibbles from fans going about?