Star Trek Into Darkness debuted Tuesday on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, and to celebrate the occasion much of the film’s cast and crew gathered that evening at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Among those walking the red carpet was director-producer J.J. Abrams, who posed for pictures and interacted with the press covering the event. StarTrek.com was able to grab a few minutes of his time for a conversation in which he discussed his satisfaction with the finished film, addressed the criticisms leveled against Star Trek Into Darkness by some longtime fans, and talked about how involved he plans to be with the next Star Trek adventure given his commitment to a certain galaxy far, far away. Here’s what he had to say:
If you can be at all objective yet, how satisfied are you personally with Star Trek Into Darkness?
ABRAMS: I’m never satisfied, really, with anything, but I really couldn’t be happier with so many aspects of it. I’m incredibly proud to be associated with the movie and I think that both the cast and crew did an extraordinary job.
Are you now, having directed Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness, a full-fledged Star Trek fan?
ABRAMS: Well, it’s funny, because even full-fledged Star Trek fans are at odds with what means to be a full-fledged Star Trek fan. So, do I love The Original Series now? Yes. I completely embrace it and get it in a way that I never did before. Do I love what we’ve been able to do (on the new films) and the work that his group has done? Yes. Have I seen enough episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager to comment on them? No. I have seen enough to go, “Oh wow, I get it,” but I have not seen every episode of every version of every Star Trek show.
Star Trek Into Darkness tipped its cap to The Original Series films. It built on the alternate timeline, paralleling earlier elements of the franchise. Yet some fans felt the film was not Star Trek enough. How daunting was it to try to create a film that would please the hardcore fans while also taking into account the fact that this is a piece of big-budget entertainment that had to play to the masses worldwide?
ABRAMS: Well, you know for a fact that you can’t please everyone. So you go into it assuming that there will be slings and arrows regardless. And I can understand that this movie might not have gone as far away from Earth for as long as some people would have liked. And I can understand that using Khan as a character for this might have, for some people, felt like, “Oh, it’s a step backwards. How dare they?” I totally get it and they in no way have to buy the Blu-ray. But I do understand their concerns.
The movie was not made for only one group, but it was made for moviegoers. Hopefully, if you’re a Trek fan… we’ve been incredibly blessed to have a great reaction, it seems, from the majority of fans, who are happy to see their characters alive again and in such crazy, fun, exciting situations. But I also know that if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Original Series fan, this is not Leonard Nimoy, this is not William Shatner, and I totally get that. I can understand that people who only want to see these actors in those roles, they’re not going to be satisfied. I can only say that I respect your opinion.
Everyone is well aware that you will be directing something else next year, which will preclude you from directing the third Star Trek film. Taking that into account, how involved do you intend to be in the next Trek adventure?
ABRAMS: I will be involved in the story and in the producing of the movie. Obviously, it matters very much to me, having been there from the very beginning of this incarnation, the next step is a critical thing. I did not work on two movies in a row to run off and not participate. So, my involvement is real. My involvement is emotional. It’s not just the actors I want to make sure are on a solid footing, but it’s the characters, too.
Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional interviews from our red carpet coverage of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray event. On tap: Michael Giacchino.