'Star Trek' Sequel Countdown: Secrets and Spock and Security, Oh My!

'Star Trek' Sequel Countdown: Secrets and Spock and Security, Oh My!

Apr 03, 2012

The Star Trek Sequel Countdown returns with a security clamp down, some hope for Comic Con, possible comic book clues Leonard Nimoy's sitcom Spock and more.

Wall of secrecy surrounds Star Trek production...literally

The big news in my last couple of Star Trek sequel updates were about photos taken of location shooting going on in Southern California. I also reported that director J.J. Abrams was not too happy with the leaks from his set and so he has taken his famous knack for security and secrecy up another notch by having a wall of shipping containers erected around one of the locations being shot in the last couple of weeks. The website Egotastic was hoping to grab some more paparazzi shots when they were confronted with a series of 30 containers blocking their view, showing just how serious Abrams takes secrecy. 

As the co-creator of Lost (along with fellow Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof) it should come as no surprise that JJ Abrams is fan of keeping secrets, but he seems to take it to a new level. Recently we have seen other high profile genre projects put out information, photos, production blogs and even videos while they are shooting, however Abrams is a firm believer in maintaining mystery for as long as possible.

The shipping container wall is just one of the many security precautions taken by the Star Trek production. Other steps include using code names for all the actors and sets, having the cast wear hooded jackets at all times not on the set, and very hardcore non-disclosure agreements. Abrams philosophy has even worked its way into his cast. Simon Pegg (aka the new Scotty) recently joke-spoiled Total Film magazine, revealing the movie is "all about space" and "the final frontier." He then explained "I know it’s boring, but one thing JJ installed in all of us is the importance of giving the audience everything they can get from the experience itself."

Personally I do think it is important to minimize spoilers as that maintains the integrity of the film-watching experience. However, I think they can take it too far. The bits of official releases from the upcoming HobbitSpider-manMan of Steel and other more forthcoming productions have not really spoiled anything, but they have helped build early buzz. And one would think that after (false) rumors that the Star Trek sequel was delayed due to script problems, trying to change the narrative might actually benefit the production.

A recent poll at TrekMovie.com shows that 39% of Trekkies agree with the Abrams total-secrecy approach, while 15% want to see a more open production (with info being released) and 46% agreeing with me that secrecy is good but throw us a bone or something.

The Great Wall Of Star Trek Secrecy

...but we should expect something to be shown by Comic Con

Secrecy is the name of the game for now (and likely through the rest of production which ends in May), but things should be looking up this summer. While promoting Prometheus at WonderCon, Star Trek sequel co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof told SlashFilm that team has a "strong desire" to show something from the Star Trek sequel at San Diego Comic Con. He noted "if there is something worth showing we will show it. And if there is nothing worth showing we will at least be there for people to throw fruits and vegetables and tribbles at us"

Comic Con runs from July 12-15, which is about two months after shooting ends on the sequel. This should give them ample time to put something together for the show. Abrams chose Comic Con 2007 to confirm that his first Star Trek movie (then slated for Christmas 2008) would include two Spocks (Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy). The film was later moved to May 2009 and so for Comic Con 2008 Abrams didn't convene a panel (or reveal any footage) for the film. So it actually sounds like they are going to be more forthcoming this time around.

JJ Abrams (L) with Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy at Comic Con 2007 - He should be back for the Star Trek sequel at Comic Con 2012

New Star Trek Comic tells first truly new story in JJ-verse...and reveals possible sequel clues too?

Last week the 7th issue of IDW's new ongoing "Star Trek" comic book series was released. The first three issues retold original Star Trek episodes in the new movie universe, but this latest comic is an entirely new story. We now have the first totally original story with the new Captain Kirk and crew set in the new universe since the release of the 2009 Star Trek film. While there have been some "Starfleet Academy" novels from the new movie universe, those were all set during Kirk's time at the Academy (so essentially those all take place during the period covered by the 2009 film).

This new two-part comic story (titled "Vulcan's Vengeance") tells a tale dealing with the after-effects of the destruction of Vulcan (as seen in the 2009's Star Trek). It follows up on a number of threads from the film and even makes some calls to other past Treks. Part one ends on quite a cliff-hanger (which will be resolved in Star trek #8, due out later in April). Issue 7 is certainly the best issue of the series so far and writer Mike Johnson's best work since he co-wrote the "Star Trek: Countdown" series back in 2009.

And it was Johnson who said that these comics will be dropping hints about the upcoming sequel and so many fans are pouring over the issue to try and read the tea leaves. There are a lot of possibilities including some Vulcan operatives on a secret mission, some bad guys trying to thwart them, a weird multi-faced alien from Rura Penthe prison (seen in a deleted scene from the 2009 movie) and some big surprises. Some fans have even noticed that there are characters in the comics wearing outfits similar to that worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in those aforementioned leaked photos that JJ is so worried about.

One thing that JJ Abrams and team have said is that they want the Star Trek sequel to stand on its own. So it is unlikely the film will have so many call backs and associations with the first film. However, there still should be some threads that tie the films together and the destruction of Vulcan and how the Vulcans, the Federation and the rest of the galaxy deal with the aftermath seems like a pretty big deal and something that is hard to ignore. But even if there isn't a single hint in the new comic, it is worth picking up Star Trek #7 at your local comic shop (and you should reserve #8 to find out how it all works out).  

"Vulcan Vengeance" story in new Star Trek comics could hold clues to next movie


 Trek Merchandise Item Of The Week: Star Trek Rockets!

It is the dream of every Trekkie to participate in the launch of a Star Trek ship. Well getting into space seems unlikely, however model maker Round 2 is launching a new line of Star Trek rockets that can get you off the ground in a hurry. The newly announced line under the MPC brand has three Star Trek models of different sizes. There will be a 29" long USS Enterprise rocket, 21" Klingon Bird of Prey rocket, and a 13" USS Reliant rocket. Each uses standard engines and they promise they are super easy to put together. The Trek rockets are due in your local hobby shop in September  

One of the Star Trek rockets coming in September from MPC


Video of the week: Nimoy as Mini-Spock on Big Bang Theory

Leonard NimoyStar Trek's original Spock, came out of retirement (again) to "appear" on last week's episode of the nerdy CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Producers of the show have been trying to get him onto the show for years and he finally agreed - providing the voice of a Mr. Spock action figure who Sheldon imagined was talking to him. Here is a clip from the show.


The Star Trek Sequel Warps Into Theaters In 400 Days

Anthony Pascale is the owner/editor-in-chief of the number one independent Star Trek site: TrekMovie.com. You can find his Star Trek Sequel column here at Movies.com every other Monday. Follow Anthony on Twitter @TrekMovie.

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