SciFri Friday: Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica Previews

J.J. Abrams has confirmed that the script for his upcoming Star Trek movie has been completed and is now undergoing editing. He promises to please everybody:

”On the one hand, for people who love Star Trek, the fix that they will get will be really satisfying,” he says. ”For people who’ve never seen it or know it vaguely, I think they will enjoy it equally, because the movie does not require you to know anything about Star Trek. I would actually prefer [that] people don’t know the series, because I feel like they will come to it with an open mind.”

Abrams has tried to deflect questions about the rumors that the story will deal with a young Kirk and Spock but William Shatner has leaked more information:

William Shatner revealed to SCI FI Wire that the upcoming 11th Star Trek movie will indeed, as rumored, deal with the early years of Capt. James T. Kirk and Spock—and that he will definitely appear in the movie if director J.J. Abrams can find a place to use him. Shatner, who originated the role of Kirk in the original Trek series and several subsequent films, said in an interview that he was invited to meet with Abrams (Mission: Impossible III), who is also co-writing the movie.

“I met with J.J., and they told me they would like me to be part of their film, but they have to write the role,” Shatner said in an interview.

As for the many rumors concerning the sequel’s story, Shatner said that Abrams will explore Kirk and Spock during their Starfleet Academy years. “Yes, we know the story is based on young Kirk,” Shatner said. Up until now, everyone connected with the film has maintained strict silence about the storyline, though rumors have run rampant that they concern Kirk and Spock’s first missions.

As for Shatner’s place in that storyline? “They need to figure out how to put the dead captain in with the young captain,” he said. “It’s a very complex, technical problem of how to write the character in, and I’m not sure how they will solve it.” It sounds as if Shatner may play an older version of Kirk.

There are additional leaks reporting that other characters include Scotty and Christopher Pike, who was Captain of the Enterprise before James Kirk. Reportedly the storyline is not linear, allowing appearances by Kirk as both a young man and by the older Shatner.

Another Star Trek related leak is that there are Klingons in the White House. These are Klingons of the worst type–faux Klingons. See this being revealed on the floor of Congress here. In other Star Trek news, The History Channel will have a show entitled Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier next month, narrated by Leonard Nimoy. As I reported earlier in the week, Stephen Hawking, who once appeared in space on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is now planning to take an actual trip into space.

The Chicago Tribune has another interview with Ron Moore which has some information on Battlestar Galactica after it returns. It’s already been revealed that a major character will die, and much of the information suggests it may be Kara Thrace. An episode to air March 4 will include profound changes in Starbuck, and reportedly Katee Sackhoff is leaving the show. Moore is ambiguous in answering the questions and leaves open the possibility that Starbuck might survive in some form:

As you know, there’s a ton of speculation that a character dies in the second half of the season. [Moore also alluded to an upcoming character death in a December interview.] And right now a lot of the speculation centers on Kara Thrace. Can you address that?

Ron Moore: “Kara is one of the characters some fairly profound events happen to in the second half of the season. There are also other characters that are pretty fundamentally… have fairly earthshaking events happen toward the end [of the season]. But certainly [what happens to] Kara will be one of the most surprising things that’s happened in the history of the show so far. Kara’s one of the key players and I think it’ll really take people by surprise.”

People are speculating that her character dies. Do you not want to characterize it that way?

RM: “I don’t know that I want to say that directly. I think people will have to watch that episode and judge for themselves what happens. I can say that Galactica will suffer a shocking loss in that episode and Kara is a key member of the crew. Certainly if she were not there suddenly, that would shift the parameters of what the show is and what the show is about and who the key players are.”

Tricia Helfer Playboy CoverThe direct to DVD Battlestar Galactica movie planned for this summer is also discussed. It reportedly will bridge seasons three and four but, contrary to other rumors, will only deal with BSG and not the upcoming Caprica prequel. While the Chicago Tribune has this interview with Ron Moore, Playboy has Tricia Helfer as its cover girl this month.

I noted the death of author Robert Anton Wilson yesterday. 10 Zen Monkeys has reposted a selection of rarely seen columns by Wilson.

The International Herald Tribune has an article on new plans to attempt to make a movie version of Atlas Shrugged. It will certainly be a challenge to trim this down to a two hour movie and still be true to the book. An Ayn Rand character is capable of giving a lecture for almost two hours on her philosophical views, often after making love. Obviously none of these can be included without turning this into a mini-series (a long mini-series).Those involved with the present project might have an easier time than those who tried in the past due to no longer having to deal with Ayn Rand. Hopefully they will do a better job than was done with The Fountainhead.

Jack is back this Sunday and finally gets out of that Chinese prison, only to be asked to sacrifice his life to fight another terrorist plot. Of course we know he will survive, as Kieifer Sutherland’s contract extends beyond this season. USA Today has an interesting article on the writing of 24. It comes as little surprise that they make up a lot of the story as they go along. Unfortunately sometimes it shows, but it always remains fun even if it is often necessary to ignore huge holes in the plots.

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