Slice of SciFi, in partnership with Star Trek Magazine, is proud to bring you the following excerpts from edition #20 of the magazine headquarters for the Star Trek franchise.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with J.J. Abrams, director/producer of the latest Star Trek film:
(ST): Every director approaches a script differently initially; when you read a script for the first time, do you visualize it, hear it, and see it edited?
(J.J. Abrams): When I’m writing something, I tend to see it specifically, at least in ways that are usually more clear than I even realize – meaning, I’ll see things in a certain direction. I’ll see the composition of a shot or a sequence. But because it’s such a collaboration, part of the fun is discovery. The actors that you get, the director of photography you work with, the production designers: they all have ideas. While you may have a certain vision, there’s an immense amount of flexibility and fluidity that you have to approach any project with that accounts for the unexpected, which is usually the thing that makes it good.
(ST): Were there specific sequences in Star Trek where you had one idea going in, and then on the floor, it went differently?
(J.J. Abrams): What I tried to do on this movie was not storyboard anything that I could avoid storyboarding. For example, if it was any scene that didn’t require the kinds of visual effects preparation that would demand that kind of specific planning, I would try and let it go, and do it on the fly. We’d make it up as we went along, because that’s usually the fun of it. There are certain sequences where I had ideas in my head, certain scenes with the characters, that when the day came to shoot them, I suddenly found myself throwing out whatever preconceived notions I had, and seeing what felt right and what the actors would go to naturally, and adjusting things from there.
An excerpt from an interview with Alice Krige, the one and only Borg Queen:
“I came to the conclusion that the Queen was the Borg. Is the Borg. The Borg is an extension of her. I had read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking beforehand, and in the course of trying to find out who she was, I went out and got a copy of the video. Somewhere in it he says the old adage, ‘Energy is not created or destroyed.’ And I thought of the Borg Queen. She’s been around since the beginning of time, since the Big Bang or whatever. And she is the energy source behind the Borg. She is just the physical manifestation of that energy.
“I had some interaction on the mask with Scott Wheeler, who also did my old age makeup for my character on [the movie] Skin. For the Borg Queen, there were only two things I asked him for. He had sculpted in eyebrows and I asked him to take them away. I thought it would give her a fixed expression. The shape of the eyebrows was like Cruella de Ville and I didn’t want that painted on my face. The other thing was that my mouth was quite red. In contrast to the color of my skin, my lips looked redder. It’s almost an optical illusion. They had made my skin so pale that it stuck out. And there was a point when they wanted to damp down the color of my mouth. They thought it was too red. And Scott and I hung in there to be allowed to use the color of my own mouth.”
COLLECTIVE ENCOUNTERS – A HISTORY OF THE BORG:
History records that the Enterprise NCC 1701-D’s encounter with the Borg in System J-25 in late 2365 was humanity’s first encounter with the Borg. History, unfortunately, is incorrect.
Humanity’s first encounter with the Borg occurred in April 2063, when the time-displaced Borg attempted to assimilate Earth and prevent humanity’s “First Contact” with a passing Vulcan starship. A Borg sphere, detonated by the Enterprise-E’s quantum torpedoes, rained debris down on Earth below. Much of this debris burned up in Earth’s atmosphere upon reentry, but some pieces impacted with the planet’s surface. Zefram Cochrane, the human developer of warp drive, mentioned cybernetic monsters in a famous speech at Princeton a year later, but the context for what he was describing was, at the time, unknown.
Nearly a century later an Antarctic expedition in 2153 discovered some of this Borg wreckage. The wreckage still being active, several humans were assimilated into the Borg Collective, followed by an attempt for these new drones to rejoin the Collective in the Delta Quadrant. While Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise NX-01 intercepted the rogue starship and destroyed the drones, his crew had no idea what exactly they had encountered.
A century later, on Stardate 4722.1, the Enterprise NCC-1701 under James T. Kirk’s command encountered a mysterious starship at the edge of a wormhole. Aboard the starship were thousands of mutant humanoids, each displaying some degree of cybernetic modification who carried antigens that could infect others and alter them for cybernetic implantation. Led by a young woman, these mutants attempted to overrun the Enterprise and another starship that emerged from the wormhole. Ultimately, the mutants and their ship were destroyed, but escape pods, carrying mutants, fled into the wormhole, either into distant space or the distant past. Were these cybernetic mutants proto-Borg? Was the young woman a proto-Borg Queen…?
Read the full interviews and extracts in issue #20 of Star Trek Magazine – on sale now.
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