Sneak Preview Review of Star Trek Footage!
J.J. Abrams previewed four scenes from his upcoming reboot of the Star Trek franchise tonight on the Paramount lot, and they were impressive. Before and between these scenes Abrams addressed the footage about to be shown, their context, and what it was like working with esteemed Trekkie alumni like Leonard Nimoy. "How do you direct Spock to be more like Spock?" he commented at one point. How, indeed. Full details (and a few minor spoilers) after the jump.
The first scene gave us a feel for James Kirk's (Chris Pine) pre-Enterprise life. A local townie in Iowa who haunts bars, hits on women, and is generally up to no good, he gets in a little over his head after making a pass at Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Four members of the Federation don't like his hitting on a fellow member of their crew and take him on -- all at once. Not surprisingly Kirk holds his own, giving as much pain as he receives. The scene is fast, funny, and brutal, as Kirk winds up sprawled across a barroom table, bleeding from every angle of his face.
Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) breaks up the fight and urges Kirk to enlist, having served with his father who died in the act of saving Kirk and his mother.
Abrams talked about how it was "insane" that he got to show Star Trek at Paramount, having viewed the first film there with his father when he was kid; Abrams' father was a TV and movies producer for Paramount. He said the script was "all the things I ever wanted to be a part of," and that it was "eerie" to meet the real Spock -- i.e., Leonard Nimoy.
The second scene shown involved Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban) and Kirk. McCoy gave Kirk a vaccine to make him sick, so that Kirk would be able to board the ship. The inside of the new Enterprise (and the out, for that matter) looks incredible, and the comedic pairing of the duo was right on. Pine, the actor playing Kirk, even eerily sounds like Shatner every now and then; for those who feared a generic pretty boy was cast should have their fears allayed that Pine is up to the task. In this scene, his hands swelling to twice their size, his tongue headed the same way, Kirk convinces Captain Pike and Spock not to fall into a Romulan trap. The pacing is fast, the effects mesmerizing, and the story engaging.