Harry Knowles over at AICN is one lucky guy. Knowles was recently screened footage of Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek from none other than director J.J. Abrams. Here’s a highlight (spoilers follow):
He showed me a scene of Ben Cross (Sarek) & Winona Ryder (Amanda Grayson) cradling a baby Spock on the surface of Vulcan. A baby with Spock ears is kind of amazing to look at. But there was no dialogue here, and Vulcan wasn’t really there yet – what was there was a great rock formation that kinda reminded me of that wonky mountain/cliff thing from ARENA / BILL & TED. That said, it wasn’t the ARENA formation – and JJ said that zero effects had been done on this yet – so the lighting wasn’t right, the sky wasn’t right and there were no angry volcano type things or structures in the background, but he assured me… it’ll all look very Vulcan when it is done.
More highlights follow after the jump, or if you like, just head here to read Harry’s complete report.
The next scene was a really nicely completed visual effects pass of a pre-Enterprise Federation ship from about 25 years before the Enterprise. I’ve no idea how this fits into the larger story, same with the Spock baby stuff. But this effects shot had a completely different space feel than anything I’ve seen before from STAR TREK or STAR WARS. The shot began on a small part of the ship, then craned back and over to reveal the ship coming into a larger shot of the ship seemingly orbiting a really angry sun. The shot was absolutely dynamic as the star was seemingly raging – and we cut to the interior of the ship – it was very shadowy and very much like that of an old diesel submarine – JJ told me that the look was an evolving look for Star Fleet – so that you could get a sense of the passage of decades here. Once again though – I didn’t see the end of the scene or really get a sense for what was going on.
It all ended with characters arriving on the bridge, under the command of Captain Pike. Sulu was at the helm – and the bridge. And the uniforms… Classic Trek. Nice. Then for the first time in the history of Star Trek, it looked amazingly functional. It echoes that classic Trek look – but imagine if you handed that design to the folks at APPLE and said… Make it really work. I instantly believed in the functionality of everything. That’s hard to quantify, but it is true. Remember when you saw the war room underground on Hoth in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? How it just felt functional – that’s what this looked. And it looked Star Trek, without looking as cheap as Star Trek. It was a tech-fetishists wet dream.