Fri
Sep 6 2013 3:45pm

Bob Orci Blows Up At Star Trek Fans For Not Adoring Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness Bob Orci criticism

In the creative life, there are certain rules about how you handle criticism—no matter how unfair it may seem. Golden Rule Number One tends to be just this: Don’t rise to the bait.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Robert Orci (responsible for the rebooted Star Trek screenplays with Alex Kurtzman), forgot that golden rule the other day. Which led to some serious online ugliness that it would be nice to forget.

On the TrekMovie.com site, an article ran on September 1 titled “Star Trek is broken—Here are ideas on how to fix it.” The going logic was that the most recent film, Star Trek Into Darkness, had betrayed some of the original tenets laid out by the original incarnation. Ways to fix it included ideas that many fans had hashed out since the films’s release—more diversity, a focus on exploration, more time enjoying the characters. The discussion continued in the post’s comments where user “boborci”—later confirmed as legitimate by TrekMovie’s moderator—then added to with lovely tidbits like this:

I think the article above is akin to a child acting out against his parents. Makes it tough for some to listen, but since I am a loving parent, I read these comments without anger or resentment, no matter how misguided.

Which would have been fine (maybe) if he had left it there (okay, probably not), but then he began gloating about his position as masterful writer:

Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews is hardly a description of “broken.” And frankly, your tone and attidude make it hard for me to listen to what might otherwise be decent notions to pursue in the future. As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t.

That is... exactly what you don’t say. Ever. Maybe at home to your spouse, to your friends, your cat-dog, but saying it in a public forum is just unprofessional and equally-to-more rude than the criticism of your work. Which loses you the high ground in any conversation. Full stop. And it didn’t end there! Next he went after a fan who decided to compare Into Darkness to Raiders of the Lost Ark:

STID has infinetly [sic] more social commentary than Raiders in every Universe, and I say that with Harrison Ford being a friend. You lose credibility big time when you don’t honestly engage with the FUCKING WRITER OF THE MOVIE ASKING YOU AN HONEST QUESTION. You prove the cliche of shitty fans. And rude in the process. So, as Simon Pegg would say: FUCK OFF!

Apparently, fans are now required to engage with writers when they ask questions about how wrong you are for criticizing them. For some reason. And if they don’t, that makes them “shitty fans.” And then he drags poor Harrison Ford and Simon Pegg into the tantrum because that proves that he knows them? Or something? I don’t know, it’s just getting worse. He then called for fans to pitch a better movie, which would be fine and dandy for all involved—provided he’d get us the meeting. (Sorry, it’s just, getting to talk to people in Hollywood isn’t exactly a thing that happens magically.)

Apparently this is a common occurrence for Orci, who later stated that people shouldn’t take him too seriously because “twice a year I explode at the morons.” Those morons who are fans of the thing that you are hoping makes money. Thanks for that. He then reinforced the fact that Star Trek fans get listened to all the time, but it was still his call at the end of the day, quoting George W. Bush’s infamous “We’re the deciders” schtick.

It’s not that creators and writers and actors should just “deal with” abuse from fans, absolutely not. And everyone can agree that handling criticism is one of the most difficult things that any human being has to endure. But there are ways of tackling it that don’t involve doling out more abuse. That don’t involve stooping to someone else’s level, or being vicious toward people simply for having opinions. Orci, Kurtzman, and Abrams have the reins for Trek currently, yes, but that doesn’t make their choices infallible or worthy of nothing but praise. If you’re not happy with what people are saying about your work in a public forum designed for that sort of discourse, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to remove yourself from the room, talk a walk, and get an ice cream cone.

Sorry, but this really calls for a few weeks in the Time Out Corner.


Emily Asher-Perrin made herself want an ice cream cone. Darn. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

81 comments
Dan Rice
1. driceman
Stay classy, Orci... Officially have zero respect for this guy, and I actually rather liked Into Darkness.
Alice Arneson
2. Wetlandernw
Seriously? How lame. "The Professionals" who "get to write the movies and you don't" screw up all the time, which is why some movies are hits and others aren't; why some movies become classics while others fade out; why some people keep their jobs and some don't. To claim that simply because he had the job inherently meant that he did it "right" (or better than anyone else could have) is just about the most pathetic lack of logic ever.

FWIW, I mildly enjoyed the movie as a standard action flick, but not at all as Star Trek. Now I know why.
Mordicai Knode
3. mordicai
Wait, he thinks STARTREKINTODARKNESS-- I am not sure how to punctuate it without colons-- is better than Raiders? That is...hm. What does he think of it compares to The Empire Strikes Back?
Steven Halter
4. stevenhalter
mordicai@3:Right,what is the guy thinking? He, also, needs more churro waffles, I am thinking, and chill out.
DHMCarver
5. DHMCarver
Sounds like Orci, for someone so successful, is remarkably insecure. If he is so confident in his creative greatness, why on earth is he reading an on line piece entitled "Star Trek is broken -- Here are ideas on how to fix it"? I wonder if he has happened upon the Tor thread from Wednesday ("Forget Odds Vs. Evens: Bad Star Trek Movies Can Be Detected By Their Subtitle" --http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/09/forget-odds-vs-evens-bad-star-trek-movies-can-be-detected-by-their-subtitle#comments). Orci's head would have eploded when he read the comment "We recently saw "Into Darkness" at a second run theater .... I have to admit I was totally and completely taken aback at the poor quality of the script and the lack of respect for the source material. It's as if the scriptwriters/producers sat down and said, "What worked in the most financially successful Star Trek movies?" Their answer was to take out isolated lines of script from "Wrath of Khan" and somehow reweave it into an incoherent mess." Poor Orci's ego would have been mighty bruised...
DHMCarver
6. lorq
Guy sounds like he's not thinking things through in exactly the way that the "Star Trek Into Darkness" script would lead me to expect.
Chris Nelly
7. Aeryl
Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews

In addition, for a man paid to write, his grammer is atrocious.

Plus, BEST REVIEWS? Where, I never saw one.
Chris Hawks
8. SaltManZ
I enjoyed the first Transformers film, Cowboys & Aliens, and both Star Trek reboots despite the nonsensical (and often downright-idiotic) scripts, not because of them.
Sean Tabor
9. wingracer
@7. IMDB ratings:

Wrath of Khan = 7.7
Both Abrams Star Trek reboots = 8.0

Metacritic:
Wrath of Khan = 71
Into Darkness = 72
Star Trek reboot= 83

Rotten Tomatoes has it a bit different.

Reboot 95%
First Contact 92%
Wrath of Khan 90%
Into Darkness 87%

Also, both Abrams films have done more than double at the box office than any other Trek film ever.
DHMCarver
10. vjj
Bad news, everyone! Orci has been assigned to develop/write script for the LOCKE & KEY movie! I detest Hollywood.
Dave Thompson
11. DKT
@3: Mordecai - to be fair, he didn't say it was better than Raiders, he said it had more social commentary.

But yeah, this is an embarrassing place to be for one of the most sought after screenwriters of our time. Best thing people can do when they're getting steamed at being criticized (especially online) is to walk away.
Matt Stoumbaugh
12. LazerWulf
@7, @9:
Rotten Tomatoes:
WoK - 90% Critic/87% Audience rating
ST2009 - 95% Critic/89% Audience rating
STID - 87% Critic/91% Audience rating

Of course, one thing that should be noted is that WoK only has about 50 critic reviews and 82K audience votes while ST2009 and STID has (approximately) 300 and 250 reviews (respectively) and 725K and 230K audience votes (also respectively).

So while the 3 movies have about the same AVERAGE score, the Abrams!Treks seemed to have reached a wider audience, and pleased more fans (in total) than the original.

Of course, all this could really mean is that the number of average-mainstream-moviegoers outnumber the die-hard-don't-call-me-a-Trekkie-I'm-a-Trekker-purist fanbase. Which makes sense, so can you really blame them for playing to the former crowd, and not the latter?

(For the record, I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm a Trekkie who actually enjoyed the last 2 movies.)
DHMCarver
13. Andy Linder
As someone who has also written feature films that were produced and made scads of money (not under this name), I feel qualified to say, what a serious asshole.
Sean Tabor
14. wingracer
I'm starting to love Karl Urban:

Actor Karl Urban recently stated in an interview that he wanted the third film to be “an original story” and not a rehash of characters or plots from earlier films.
“I really think that what we should do from here, in my personal opinion, is strive to be original. Strive to be something different and new. You know, let’s not forget that Star Trek as envisioned was about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film, so that we do something different than a revenge-based picture.”
Peter Tijger
15. Peter-Tijger
First off, I'm not exactly a Star trek fan. I have seen some movies, have some comics, but I have always found it a bit dull. I love sci-fi, but Trek was never for me. I know the fanaticism that comes with the territory, so rebooting this would give you crap no matter what! As a whole, a lot of people seemed to like it, the "old" fans seem divided. I liked it better than any other Trek I've seen, but that's just me. People nowadays comment on the internet.....I know, I do it too.....and that's ok. But writers, directors and actors should never ever listen to the so-called fans, never. They should just do their utter best to deliver the best they can come up with....with respect to source material if there is. But that last line is just my opinion. If they go the total opposite, it's still their decision, their view. I can decide for myself then to watch it or not, like it or not. The worst thing that can happen is fans standing in the way and telling these people what and what not to do, that's ridiculous and wouldn't make any movie better perse.
rob mcCathy
16. roblewmac
here are all my thoughts. which I will number.
1. I liked the rebooted movies.
2. I disliked all the next gen movies. They were not very good as movies and I don't have any of the warm fuzzies for TNG I do for TOS.
3 I get why people do NOT like reboots. They are not very orignal
4. But if you buy "This timeline exist cuz an old one broke" How orginal do you REALLY expect it to get?
DHMCarver
17. sofrina
i submit that an unknowable number of fans of the original WOK and ST films have passed away in the 30-odd years since each was made and likely never got the chance to cast votes on RT, et. al.

this sort of reminds me of the "parable of the knight" flameout that went down on the official buffy site after the stunt director and his fiance - buffy's double for the first four seasons - were fired.

also, the problem with the new star trek is simple: the writers do not understand the fundamental appeal of star trek. if they did, they could write a true trek script. i say trek, because the appeal is all about the odyssey, the boldly going to strange new worlds, new lifeforms and strange civilizations. exactly what makes doctor who so compelling. the moral conflicts, mystery, action and adventure are all built on top of that foundation.

if they got that, they would be able to make the movie we want to see. if they understood that they are unable to get that, then they would hand this thing to someone who does get it, for the good of the many.
Sean Tabor
18. wingracer
@17

Except that what they have done is exactly what the studio wants, put more butts in the seats. We may all love Dylan and Hendrix, yet the record companies prefer Justin Beiber because like or not, he sells more records. As long as huge numbers of people keep going to see films by Abrams, Orsi, Kutzman, Bay, etc., the studios will keep letting them make them. If they had made the film die-hards want, they probably would have done half the sales.
DHMCarver
19. decgem
It's hilarious that he thinks one can quantify 'social commentary' in a film ('infinet' or otherwise) and that the amount determines the movie's quality.
DHMCarver
20. Areteo
The first reboot was crap. As a result, I have no interest whatsoever in seeing the second. And this writer sounds like an immature jerk drunk on his own delusions of entitlement.
DHMCarver
21. jamesedjones
He can't win. This is Star Trek, which means you have a massive number of fans who believe they can write the best damn Star Trek movie, ever. They are ALL wrong. Every single one of them, including Orci. No matter what movie is created, or written, it won't have what at least a third of the fan base wants, no matter who writes it.

At the same time, he can't lose. It's Star Trek, baby. No one would ever make Kirk unconfident, or Spock a vagrant. It falls completely outside of the formula that has already been established.

It doesn't matter what Orci says, or how he responds to fans. It's Star Trek. The disgust of fans is about as formulaic as the quest to seek out new life and new civilizations.
Rich Bennett
22. Neuralnet
wow, this does not fill me with a lot of hope for the next trek movies.
Percy Sowner
23. percysowner
Doubling the box office only counts if you took the difference in the price of tickets for the movies.
According to the National Association of Theater Owners here http://www.natoonline.org/statisticstickets.htm the average price of of a movie ticket was $2.94 and in 2011 (the latest year given) it was $7.93. So doubling the box office isn't that impressive without adjusting.

Frankly I don't care that much. I liked the reboot well enough, but didn't care enough to see Into Darkness. The original Star Trek movies had some great movies and some real duds, so I'm not going to fight about quality.
DHMCarver
24. Oh Brother
I'm surprised this hasn't come up earlier. Orci's been ranting for years across the web like this, going on about his superior movies and kooky 9/11 conspiracy stuff, which explains why Into Darkness went into darkness.
j p
25. sps49
The first Abrams movie wasn't even a good movie, let alone a good Star Trek movie. Explosions and action, sure; but if it had not been labeled Star Trek and the characters had been renamed, would it have inspired what the original series has? Or even resulted in one sequel?

The first movie so bad that I am skipping this one. Better creative talent could have made a movie that the masses and fans would see.

The future will show how the reboots will endure.
Walker White
26. Walker
I liked the first reboot a lot, but this movie made zero sense to me. I cannot understand how you are supposed to enjoy this movie without having seen Wrath of Khan. If you took this movie as a stand-alone, Khan was a poorly developed, unthreatening character.

In addition, there were so many homages to WoK that it really crossed the line into copying.
DHMCarver
27. Erik Dercf
What a jerk! I was for him completing a third movie but after this I will have trouble watching anything he's involved with. It's a privilege to be able to be involved in Trek. If there was anything he should have fought with anyone about he shouldn't have allowed that guy who wrote LOST to bully him into including Khan. Yes, Trek made alot of money that isn't what matters to fans. Please CBS put a non-rebooted Trek back on TV so this jerk can learn what Trek is about and don't allow him anywhere near a script ever again.

Sincerely,

A disappointed fan,
DHMCarver
28. Amber 454
You should see what the "fans" were saying to him. Yikes! I would have bit back too.
Matt Stoumbaugh
29. LazerWulf
@25: The first Abrams movie wasn't even a good movie, let alone a good Star Trekmovie. Explosions and action, sure; but if it had not been labeled Star Trekand the characters had been renamed, would it have inspired what the original series has? Or even resulted in one sequel?
On the first part, probably not, but on the second? Probably. Even without the "Star Trek" brand, that movie was exactly what movie execs wanted to see. A thrilling action flick that put butts in the seats. So yes, it would still have gotten a sequel.
@26:I liked the first reboot a lot, but this movie made zero sense to me. I cannot understand how you are supposed to enjoy this movie without having seen Wrath of Khan. If you took this movie as a stand-alone, Khan was a poorly developed, unthreatening character.

In addition, there were so many homages to WoK that it really crossed the line into copying.
I don't know... I went to see this with my dad (who introduced me to Star Trek) and my brother (who had never seen a Trek anything before we watched the first one the night before), and he seemed to really enjoy it. Granted, he was a bit confused when the "homages" came up and my dad and I were cackling like maniacs, but STID!Khan wasn't totally dependent on knowing WOK!Khan. In fact, Future!Spock tells us all we really need to know about the character (and I'm paraphrasing): He's the most evilest son-of-a-bitch he knows of and should be killed on sight.
Walker White
31. Walker
@29
In fact, Future!Spock tells us all we really need to know about the character (and I'm paraphrasing): He's the most evilest son-of-a-bitch he knows of and should be killed on sight.
That's right, we were told it, not shown it. Which is a violation of one of the most important rules of storytelling
Melissa Petterson
32. LadyGayle
I agree that, no matter what, a significant number of Trekkies are going to be displeased with any new Trek material; and some of them are going to be massive jerks about it. Responding to criticism by throwing a public tantrum is still never a good idea. Rise above, Orci, and rant in private.

And I liked STID.
Alan Brown
33. AlanBrown
Internet fans often act like a bunch of immature jerks. But they also don't get paid to do what they do. This guy is a professional, entrusted with a vital role in some extremely expensive financial endeavors. He should try harder to act like a professional.
DHMCarver
34. Scott G
Oh I don't know. I really enjoy what he does with other people's creations. For someone that hasn't really had to think of an original idea himself, he's been a very capable steward of the incredibly deep creative genius of others.

It must be hard to think up a bigger, badder Transformer is coming that might be even worse than the last bigger badder one, and the world is in even more troubliness.

Or to have to find a way to reimagine Wrath of Kahn that allows him to not have to really think up a new plot, but won't have fans storming his house because they got sucked into watching the same movie with better CGI and a bigger, badder enemy ship (it doesn't transform.)

But hey, Hawaii Five-O, that's all his! I mean, it's nothing like the original. The guys have way different hair styles, and the girl gets twice as many lines as bikini shots these days. He's brought tropical dramas into a whole new modern era of hair styling.

Seriously, it must be hard not to let that core influence of Hercules and Xena writing drift in and threaten the vanilla texture of everything that came afterwards. Remember those episodes where the gods were scared because Eve represented a bigger, badder threat to their continued dominion? He TOTALLY turned the entire genre on its ear by having the good guys win, and the bigger, badder good guy surviving... for a while longer than usual.

We should be celebrating his commitment to towing the Hollywood line of tired plot rehashing and predictable storylines, and let him enjoy the success of never letting a shred of personal creativity endanger his paycheque.

We should all be so lucky.
DHMCarver
35. Splicer
Robert Orci's writing pedigree and his Hollywood bona fides don't change the fact that that Star Trek Into Dumbness was a modern sfx-heavy action film with a Star Trek facade. Orci bristles at the criticism but I wonder if he even understands what it is that's being criticized. Certainly he has a lot to do with what was wrong with the film but the direction and the acting have to be at fault as well.

It doesn't surprise me that Orci thinks himself a genius. A movie longtime fans disliked made a lot of money (albeit in a weak summer blockbuster year). However, he could have written an excellent Star Trek movie using the same characters including the villains. Instead we got a film that was simply cringe inducing.
DHMCarver
36. Fahrbot
Star Trek was a work of humanism, deeply informed by the values of the enlightenment (where most entertainment is romanticism), and rooted in the idea of remaining calm and proffesional in emotional situations.

Thats what people found most jarring and un-authentic about the new films - a lack of this tradition - because, it seems that the writers themselves don't really believe in that worldview, and thus it's hard or impossible for them to sympathetically depict.

Example of the lack of calmness or professionalism in dealing with testing situations: Contrast Kirk's meditative approach to the submarine-style combat in 'Balance of Terror' (inspired by the old-style humanist-warrior captain from 'The Enemy Below'), with the attitude and space combat of the new film.

TNG was of course even more deeply humane, often focusing on the crew's reactions to seemingly mundane situations like Data's attempts at love, humour and friendship, in a deeply sympathetic way. Kirk's era is of course more militant and cavalier, but still contained within it the same edifying attitudes.
DHMCarver
37. iola
It is really sad that someone who is a "professional" can so easily lose their shit at the internet, and not know how to take a critique, or ignore a worthless comment. Who has time for that nonsense? How did he get to be that old and not learn stuff he should have picked up as a child? So many questions! Maybe he'll come by tor and enlighten us. After he name drops and states all his street cred to "impress" us.

I love TNG but I wasn't mad about the reboots. If they could do them well, then awesome. But they looked boring so I didn't even see the first one until last year. It was a forgetable, cliche action flick. I say that as someone who adores Karl Urban and likes Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana. Ask me about what it was about? Can't remember.
terry ewon
38. terwer
I have an excellent suggestion for @boborci to appease disgruntled
Trekkers; try to actually INCLUDE some Star Trek in his next Star Trek
script. Duh! To Orci, I also have this to say; shame on you and shame on
J.J. Abrams for excising Gene's philosophies from the reboot. Any idiot
can make an action film (and many idiots do), but it takes a REAL
filmmaker to bring IDEAS to the big screen successfully.
DHMCarver
39. Greenygal
While "I am a loving parent and fans are children acting out against me" is an amazingly egocentric and badly-advised thing to say ever, it does take extra chutzpah to say it of a franchise that had fans before you were even born.
DHMCarver
41. m6y
Good God. Having read the remarks on that sight, I'm not sure Orci didn't respond in the most appropriate manner available.
DHMCarver
42. rebotco
I made a point a few year ago to watch all of star trek. I watched it all twice. All of it.

I don't think Orci has watched much star trek.
DHMCarver
43. RobDerp TrollOrci
Robert Orci is a pure hack. He is a producer cretin that receives writing gigs simply because he's in with the executive crowd. That's how Hollywood works.

Every POS he's written is a word for word copy of "Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need"by Blake Snyder. Example: The hero dressed down by his mentor in the first 15 minutes (Star Trek Into the Darkness) the villain who gets caught on purpose (Star Trek Into the Darkness) ect ect.

Read that book now go through his movies. Surprise, it's the same movie over and over again. Even worse, he simply switched the real ending of Wrath Of Khan then dropped in some Deus ex machina magic.
DHMCarver
44. eean
It was a huge tell that the creators thought Into Darkness was SO DEEP making such BOLD STATEMENT that it required a little genuflect to the military at the beginning. The plot was so broken that it's hard to imagine anyone finding a message to be offended by.
DHMCarver
45. Ragnarredbeard
While I thought STID was "meh", my biggest complaint about the franchise is that they aren't even trying to be original. There's probably a million books/stories out there to tell and they pick a re-make of STWOK. Come on, be creative.
DHMCarver
46. ImaginativeScreenName
" As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t."

And I love to say, "Writing movies based on tv shows just means you're a washed-up hack incapable of writing anything of substance and real value despite whatever pretentions are lurking around in your weak brain. Try writing a REAL movie instead of recycling old ideas and bashing your audience."
DHMCarver
47. Culturegeek
I continue to be amazed at Hollywood's insistence on "breaking box office records!" Of course we're going to bust the records each year. It's not because the movies are better; it's because the ticket costs $10-15. And you jack that up even higher with 3-D and IMAX.

So checking Box Office Mojo shows that STID made $257 million domestically. Adjusting for inflation, 2009's ST made $249 million. Feed the domestic take for each movie into the inflation calculator, and here's the others:

Motionless Picture - $264.6 million
Voyage Home - $233.8 million
Wrath of Khan - $191 million
Search for Spock - $171.7 million
First Contact - $138 million
Undiscovered Country - $128.3 million
Generations - $119.3 million
Insurrection - $100.5 million
Final Frontier - $98.3 million
Nemesis: $56.1 million

Now if only there was a way to strip out the extra charges for 3-D and IMAX, or maybe just count heads. Nobody does that, unfortunately.
DHMCarver
48. Kevin Lindgren
It must be a heady thing to be one of the people in control of such an cultural icon as Star Trek. But then the little people aren't satisfied, and dare to offer their own advice!

Paramount has never gotten Star Trek. Abrams doesn't get it, Orci doesn't get it. It's not that Star Trek is so brilliant, but it's about something these guys just can't fathom: respect for your audience's intelligence.

Star Trek will never be as popular as Star Wars. The more they try and dumb it down, or soup it up, to make it more like Star Wars, the more they will kill it.

Meanwhile the people still alive who are most responsible for all that Star Trek was--and I'm thinking David Gerrold and D.C. Fontana--are "relegated" to making fan films. I put relegated in quotes because I honestly think that whatever these two do, whether fan films, novels, comic books, is more real Star Trek--more "canon"--than an Abram film could ever be.

It shows the pervesity of Hollywood that these Founders of Star Trek are basically volunteering their time, while the likes of Orci/Abrams rake in millions. Crazy!
DHMCarver
49. Orson Zedd
The problem with Star Trek into Darkness was its screenplay, sorry Orca. Good news, though, when you rip off The Journey Home, you'll get to eat some delicious blue whale!
DHMCarver
50. Fahrbot
Star Trek needs it's own Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon - people who respect the source material, and understand it.

When you adapt a play by some ancient Greek, you are expected to understand it's themes, and even it's historical context.

How people think they can take a work of pop culture as important as Star Trek and do any less (sometimes not even watching the series), is beyond belief.

As some scholars have pointed out, these popular works of science fiction like Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, etc, serve the same function in our society as myths and plays did in the ancient world.
Joe Vondracek
51. joev
Too funny. I haven't seen these Star Trek retreads, although I've seen all of their previews and watched several clips. In watching those, it struck me that they'd taken the basic outlines of the iconic characters, added some flashy effects and explosions, and concocted a couple of frothy summer blockbusters. Nothing really wrong with that, although it's too bad they couldn't have done that with some new characters instead of mucking with the originals. That always feels cynically manipulative of the viewers to me. It reminds me of the new Hawaii Five-0 show, another glossy retread, which even ripped-off the original "Book 'em, Dano" line of Jack Lord's Steve McGarrett... and I didn't realize until reading the comments here (@Steve G) that this Orci person was responsible for that, too. He certainly seems to have a talent for exploiting other people's creations.

Whenever anyone talks about how their thing is better because it's sold so many more tickets or albums or whatever, I find myself thinking of McDonald's. They've sold billions of hamburgers, but I've never thought that theirs are the best hamburgers I've ever eaten.
Alan Dionne
52. amdionne
Mr. Orci and the rest of the allegedly creative team responsible for the grotesque STID deserve every single solitary piece of flak they attract. I will never again spend money on anything with their names on it. It's the only power I have, and by Grabthar's hammer, I'm going to use it.
DHMCarver
53. J barsody
amdionne-
"By Grabtar's hammer!"
YES!!! Galaxy Quest is a FAR better Star Trek than the last two. Could it be because it only had 1 good writer versus 3 sub-par ones?
Sky Thibedeau
54. SkylarkThibedeau
They stole so much from "The Wrath of Khan" I was wondering if Nicholas Meyer got a screen credit for this?
DHMCarver
55. Kevin Lindgren
Joss Whedon as director and Chris Hemsworth as Captain Kirk (with the original "timeline" re-established). Just a thought.....

There are Star Trek scripts by Roddenberry as well as Sturgeon, Silverberg, and other SF writers lying in the Paramount vault that could be adapted.....
DHMCarver
56. Andy Linder
Okay, I've watched the DVD of ST:ID, and I'm following up on my comment (#13) to say, definitively, that Orci couldn't write his way out of a bathroom stall. I don't think he could write a good check. That stank so bad it had heat waves coming off of it. Even in the massive public toilet that is the current gaseous huff of recent Hollywood excretions, from start to finish that movie is a standout Baby Ruth floater. I have seen better film on teeth. I've heard better dialogue in 70s porn films.

Orci: You aren't a writer. You aren't even a typist. Every morning, you should put your mouth on the ground by your bed and thank god you were allowed to cash a check for writing anything,l because you don't have the talent of a toothless geek on a chicken farm.

And if I ever meet you, I will knock the shit out of you and take the $1.61 for my Redbox rental out of your entirely undeserving wallet.
DHMCarver
57. Andy Linder's fan!
LOL! Andy, that post had me shooting milk out of my nose. Thanks for the laugh, bro.
Lee Anderson
58. DSNiner
I'd like nothing more than to give Orci the Clockwork Orange treatment and force him to read these comments. There's very little that could possibly justify the time & money so many have wasted on Abrams' schlockfests. But watching Orci gradually slide into an apoplectic, frothing rage would come close.

Andy Linder, I salute you.
Donia L
59. Donia
As a SCI-FI fan (meaning, I don't care if it's Star Trek or Star Wars or BSG or Firefly) it has to be *good sci-fi* and *good storytelling* to count me as a fan of whatever version or "episode" or "reboot" we're talking about. I have to say that Star Trek Into Darkness felt like "Star Trek Meets Transformers" (not literally, mind you) and I actually said that after seeing the movie and well before I realized (reading the article above) that the same guy wrote both. No wonder.

Aside from the first few quiet minutes it was just one catastrophe, fight, or catastrophic fight after another until the closing credits. No character development. No humor (which is one of the things I really enjoy about Star Trek). And most importantly, NO LOGIC.

Seriously, aside from needing an excuse for an "epic" fight scene between Spock and Khan, why couldn't they have just gotten some blood for Kirk from say, one of the many blood donors they conveniently had on ice on their very ship? Utterly ridiculous. And that's just *one* of the many glaring problems with this stupid excuse for blowing/beating sh*t up for an estimated 113 minutes that this deluded screenwriter seems to think is not only great social commentary but above censure.

We've got enough movies like that being made to please all those people who enjoy them and give them "positive reviews." That just means that they've found a formula that makes money and entertains a lot of people. That doesn't mean they're good movies.
DHMCarver
60. John the River
I went to see STID for J.J. Abrams, or rather the trust I had for his previous creations. Very disappointed. Khans blood cures death? Really?

As director Abrams must be held accountable for the all the elements that go into the film. What he doesn't have to be held accountable for is that his head writer is a douchebag. I won't be going to see the next Star Trek film at the theater and I won't be buying the DVD of STID and that is based on how I feel about the last movie.
But from here on out I'm going to be looking for Orci's involvement in anything I'm thinking about spending money on and then I'm going to think twice.
Scratch "Enders Game".
Michael Johnston
61. JohnstonMR
A couple of things occur to me:

1. Star Trek (any TV show) was about exploration. But Star Trek (insert movie number) wasn't. Other than MAYBE ST:TMP, none of the films are about exploration, they are ALL action/adventure stories with a little bit of humanism. Even First Contact, which is arguably the best of the TNG movies, is more of an action film than a serious exploration of humanity, Picard's Ahab scene notwithstanding. So for the Abrams movies to get this criticism when the other movies don't is absolutely absurd.

2. The apparent "Cult of Professionalism" is overrated. I'm pretty sure Orci is utterly professional when dealing with actual professionals in his field. But why must he be nice when the article he's responding to isn't? He's a human being, and to hold him to a higher standard just because he's writing the thing we consume is a bit silly. As someone who works in a field where I have to be nice to utter morons who know next to nothing about what I do but feel qualified to judge it constantly, I get where he's coming from. Was he a little pissy? Sure. Is it fair to expect him to remain 100% sanguine about the often vicious criticism levied at him? I don't think so.
Alice Arneson
62. Wetlandernw
@60 - Oh, no!!! You're telling me this same guy did the screenplay for Ender's Game? *sigh* Well, my expectations just plummeted.

I'm sure he's very good at writing the currently-vogue "action movie" formula, where they try to get your adrenalin going within 5 minutes and never allow it to let up. That doesn't work for Star Trek (IMO), and I don't really see it working very well for Ender's Game either. I can hope that Card had more influence than Roddenberry... but I'm not holding my breath. Hollywood is notorious for ignoring the author in favor of the formula.
David Elliott
63. dissembly
This is rich, coming from one of the worst science fiction screenwriters out there.

His poor writing contributed to the pointlessness of the Transformers franchise, and now it's running Star Trek into the ground. I agree with the people who suggested Orci doesn't get Star Trek - he clearly doesn't, based on what he's produced.

People like to say "If you don't like it, then just don't watch it." Well, I haven't watched Into Darkness, precisely because I knew he & Kurtzman where behind it, and I know I hate their work. They're two of the worst things to happen to science fiction cinema since Micheal Bay. Hell, they're part of Bay's school of filmmaking.

I didn't bother seeing the last two Transformers movies for precisely the same reason.

I love sci-fi, I even love terrible sci-fi (which plenty of old school Trek fell into!), but Orci doesn't write 'terrible sci fi' - he writes terrible action movies that just happen to use some unusual special effects.

I hope he quits. Maybe then we'll get some watchable new Trek.
Donia L
64. Donia
@63, Amen to all of that. As I recently said in another thread in which someone asked what the elevator pitch for Star Trek Into Darkness would be, I proposed:

"Star Trek meets Transformers: 2 hours of catastrophes, fights, and catastrophic fights culminating in Spock beating the sh*t out of Khan!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That pretty much sums up this movie that removed the science from science-fiction.

I saw STID because I didn't realize he wrote the Transformers pap (after partway through the 2nd Transformers movie I turned away (I was on a plane) and never looked back. VERY sad to read that he wrote Ender's Game. I'm guessing if people boycott because of this idiot, the other idiots in Hollywood will chalk it up to all the wrong reasons: sci-fi is losing popularity, movies based on books are losing popularity, etc etc...
Alice Arneson
65. Wetlandernw
I don't know if this affects anything or not... but according to what I can find, Orci didn't actually write the screenplay for Ender's Game; he's just the producer. Somehow this doesn't fill me with a great deal of confidence.
DHMCarver
66. AFL
Well, I guess I just won't be wasting any money on his well written movie. I was thinking about buying the DVD.... I never heard of his name until this article, lol.....
DHMCarver
67. Andy Linder
Sigh. I just found out Orci is a producer on Ender's Game (undoubtedly one of a raft of producers, given the property's long journey to the screen). It may be giving him too much credit to think that his singular lack of talent could metastasize into one of the most expensive indie productions in history (then again, maybe that's Orci's talent), but I was planning on avoiding this committee-built hot mess anyhow, and Orci's involvement only affirms the wisdom of that decision.

I honestly don't understand why fans feel the need to see SF movies even when they know they suck. Hunger Games sucked like a hair-clogged tub drain. The next Star Wars is going to suck like a Hoover factory (though possibly not as much as the last few apparently did; I didn't see them because I was having my nails pulled those weekends). I couldn't be compelled to watch another Abrams flare fest even if it were Star Wars: The Andy Linder Saga.

I won't be avoiding Ender's Game because of Scott Card's moral and political stances. (Honestly, how many people boycotting this film will still line up to watch Ah-nold's next fiasco?) I'll avoid it because it's going to stink like kimchi in a dumpster in August in Florida.
The Ender's Game trailers alone are massive, staccato-cut Keep Away signs, indistinguishable from the militaristic SF movies of the last 20 years. Even the propaganda ad campaign is being stolen from Battlestar: Galactica.

No one spends that kind of money on a movie and high-end cast -- especially an indie -- and takes any chances. I think I'll just keep my slow-motion Brazilian waxing appointment that weekend.
DHMCarver
68. John the River
I was watching one of the Robert Downey "Sherlock Holmes" this evening, (God! I wish they had named it something else.) I reaffirmed that it was only Downey's manic performance that made it watchable.
I popped over to IMDB to check the writing credits; SHII
Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney.
What have they done or written, nothing!
SHI; Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham.
What have they done? Almost as little, and nothing good.

Everything in Hollywood is 3d, OmniMax and eight figure salaries to increasingly bored and uninvolved stars, no one gives a rats ass about the writing.
DHMCarver
69. Mavid
Orci is the hackiest of the hacks. He gets to have his name in the credits of lousy movies because dumb audiences go to see dumb schlock like Transformers. What he does is not writing, however. It's simply following formulae to create strings of action setpieces with plots that make no sense. It could be done by a sixth grader and a computer program. That's all well and good. The point of the criticism is that Star Trek was and should have continued to exist on a separate, higher plane than this. Orci probably knows this on some level, which is why it probably strikes a nerve. Into Darkeness and its prequel didn't have to be as godawful as they were, if not for his smug and lazy drivel.
DHMCarver
70. Jack2211
Orci's talked down to people on that site, and others, for years. Throughout the day, most days. He also joked around with folks, but, generally, any criticism (of his movies or of his conspiracy theories) was met with condescension (and stats about how much money they'd made). And, yep, he also got obsequious praise from fans who were honoured to be able to talk to him, and hoped he might give them an in to Hollywood.

I was disappointed in Into Darkness because it wasn't a great movie (and Orci had been promising a great movie, period), not because it wasn't Star Trekky enough. Abrams pulled it off, without much conviction, but the story doesn't hold up to a second or two of thought.
DHMCarver
71. Jannisar
I think it took away a lot of the elements that make star trek what it is and instead made it a typical abrams action movie high on the physical excitement and low on depth and meaning. Also, getting tired of the spock/uhura relationship for its lack of doing anything worthwhile for the plot, but is basically put in there to generate a wider populace watching the movies. My biggest gripe would be the fact that it relegated kirk to being the comedic sidekick of spock and spock as the main character. No thanks.
DHMCarver
72. Tre
It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not he "gets" Trek. Have you seen the eye-rolling craziness that is Hawaii five-0? The absolutely most preposterous, outlandish show I can remember. All the characters behave like blind idiots without any apparent consequences. The plots seem to be written using dice and a magic eight ball. For Orci, this is what passes for story development.
DHMCarver
73. Robert247
Orci just got the job of running with the Star Trek franchise and squeezing more money out of people who want to see it. Into Darkness was terrible and I could not finish watching it. It was that bad. Not sure why people seem to like it. I guess most people are gullible and will watch anything TV tells them to. Orci is another M Night S----ymon who can't resist to put his name all over anything he touches.
DHMCarver
74. AndyG
The last two Star Trek movies were crap and a disaster to the franchise. Anyone associated with those movies are toxic to Star Trek and really need to stop, now. Thanks for breaking up the band Yoko!!!
DHMCarver
75. RobDerpTrollOrci&Tre fan
"He is a producer cretin that receives writing gigs simply because he's in with the executive crowd. That's how Hollywood works."

"All the characters behave like blind idiots without any apparent
consequences. The plots seem to be written using dice and a magic eight ball. For Orci, this is what passes for story development."

Am I the only one that thinks all of the characters in the new Trek reboots act like petulant, immature children? (except Pike, but even he incites questionable judgement) Would these people really be let out into the universe with a shiny new Enterprise? God, the first reboot had so many plot holes it shoulda been called "Star Trek: The Swiss Cheese." And to be honest, calling these writers hacks gives hacks a bad name. And to be so righteous about it! Someone said he should kiss the ground every morning for being lucky enough to do what they do and be paid well for it. ALL of Hollywood should do that. And realize that without the John Q. Public, they'd be nothing. Ungrateful bastards.
DHMCarver
77. sojibby
What the heck is a cat-dog?
DHMCarver
78. A Writer
Does he really not realize what a crappy film that was?
Alan Brown
80. AlanBrown
@79 And I, for one, do not find that reassuring...
Daran Grissom
81. DaranGrissom
What I find most perplexing is that the article Mr. Orci chose to blow up at says nothing that the Star Trek old guard hasn't been saying for years! The ideas presented are all over the internet, as are the rebuttals. Mr Orci, however, didn't attempt to rehash those rebuttals as much as deliver what feels like a drunken tirade. And that's disappointing to me.

I've been a fan of Roberto Orci for decades. Given his production and writing credits I feel he is more than qualified to direct a feature film, in fact I think its long overdue. Kurtzman, Orci, and Abrams came up through the ranks together, and what one knows the other two probably do as well. This statement, this rant, is offensive and unnecessary. If, as he stated, he blows up at the fans every couple of years, this is the first I've heard of it. Had I seen these biannual tantrums before now, I would be less of a fan.
DHMCarver
82. J_remmi
It's true that Orci is a financially successful screenwriter. It's also true that McDonald's is a financially successful restaurant franchise.

I can only hope that Orci's comments come from a place of professional insecurity, because that would mean that he actually does see the poor quality in his recent work. Perhaps it might encourage him to do better work than the Transformers and Trek films he's churned out.
DHMCarver
83. wangyu
i tried to give another chance to STID and Orci yesterday but couldn't manage to bear it. i don't know why hollywood people tries to copy already-been-made movies (eg: Superman, Spiderman, Conan, Star Trek etc.). do they think that re-heating the same meal with discordant ingredients is creativity?
DHMCarver
84. j.j.green
hey bob! You and abrams F#CKED UP THE FRANCHISE WITH YOUR IDIOT.PLOT HOLE FILLED ABONIMNATIONS! There. now i feel better!

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