Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in Star Trek
Movies - TV
The ‘Code Word’ That Guided The Vibe Of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek
Although J.J. Abrams wasn’t a Trekkie, he was selected to direct the 2009 "Star Trek" movie, giving himself the mandate to create his version in a way that hadn’t been done before.
Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman revealed they had a simple code phrase when it came to making their new movie its own "thing" — rock 'n' roll.
Kurtzman noted that 2009 was closer to the future timeline of "Star Trek" than the 60s series and needed something striking to let people know this wasn’t the same as the old show.
Their solution was a sequence of a young Kirk driving a 20th-century car and listening to 20th-century music. They used the scene for the trailer.
Kurtzman explained, "We wanted the audience to immediately understand that the touch points feel a lot more present than they did when Trek first came out."
Orci added that "the idea was to make it still be science fiction, but have it be visceral. Our code word for that was 'rock 'n' roll.'"
Abrams himself abided by the rock 'n' roll mandate, wanting to pull away from the series' signature themes of diplomacy and thrust it firmly into the realm of action and adventure.
While some would argue it moved away from what the series was about, there’s no denying that his version of "Star Trek" was exciting and new for the franchise.