Roberto Orci defends all those Star Trek 2 script rewrites

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012

A few days ago, Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto let slip that there were still rewrites being made to the Trek 2 script WHILE filming was underway. Hearing that, a lot of fans started fearing it meant bad news for the quality of the script—enough that it spurred Trek writer Roberto Orci to defend those rewrites.

Most of you may already know that the whole shebang started with a short interview conducted by E! Online in which Quinto said that the Star Trek sequel's script was ''really changing ... on a regular basis." Not very reassuring, right?

So it's kinda understandable that Quinto's ''small'' comment was enough to create a certain amount of concern among Star Trek fans who felt that maybe the script wasn't really ready at all, and that it probably sucked.

In any case, there was enough fan unrest that Trek writer Roberto Orci felt the need to take to the discussion boards and defend all those ''polishes'' to the script.

Over at Trek Movie, not only did Orci address fan fears, he also revealed that the film's time setting will not have the same real-life four-year gap between the 2009 Star Trek film and its 2013 sequel.

First, this movie is by no means written by committee. It has been written by ONE team. Me, Alex [Kurtzman], and Damon [Lindelof]. Thanks to the protective umbrella of the success of our first movie and JJ Abrams, we get less studio interference than almost any other production around. This process is the OPPOSITE of script by committee.

As for a full time trek staff, you should know that we have been working on the video game, the comics, and the story for the last two years. Trek has never been far from our minds. And we were doing all of that without even having a deal with the studio to do so (and our deal is only for script. all other stuff is pro bono to make the universes consistent). We were acting in good faith.

The reason the script wasn't finished until recently is mostly for strategic philosophical reasons. We were not willing to turn anything in until we knew for sure that we had a start date, based on JJ's availability. If we had written the script a year ago and it sat on the shelf, it would not have been current. Nothing messes up a script like it sitting on the shelf, because then everyone does get time to second guess and wonder, and then movies fall apart.

Finally, you should know the story hasn't change, the structure hasn't changed, and the action sequences haven't changed. Most changes are minor. The changes I suspect Quinto is referring to are the character interactions as we fine tune the level of their various friendships. How well they all know each other and what they've all been through off screen is a nuanced yet essential part of the actors understanding where they are coming from with each other. While discussing the exact same plot elements, what they've been through colors their attitude toward each other. And given that the time past in real life is different than the amount of time passed in the movie world, it takes a polish to get it just right. That's what polishes (a legal contractual word in our contract) are for.

Does any of this mean the movie will be any good? No. But if it's no good, it will be because we were wrong to execute exactly what we wanted. Not because we changed our minds or someone changed our minds for us.

So did Roberto Orci manage to calm your fears about the Star Trek sequel? After all, script rewrites while a movie (or even a television series) is shooting are far from uncommon.

What do you think?