Region 2 "Best Electronic Newsletter" Award, 2009
Region 2 "Newsletter of the Year" Award, 2nd Place, 2011
Volume I, Number 58
January/Early February 2013
•  Saturday, April 6: Spring Sci-Fi Charity Putt Putt Challenge
•  Friday-Sunday, April 19-21: TrekTrax Atlanta
•  Thursday, April 25: Star Trek: TNG, "The Best of Both Worlds"

•  USS Atlanta decommissions; members join USS Republic
•  Chief of Shakedown Ops presents Member of the Year Award
•  USS Republic Commanding Officer for 2013-2014 elected
•  TrekTrax Atlanta fundraising campaign reaches 80% of goal
•  TrekTrax Atlanta announces celebrity guests for 2013
•  TrekTrax Atlanta needs many volunteer staff members
•  Personnel Records
•  Library Computer
•  Recent Chapter Event Photos

•  January Birthdays

•  Welcome Aboard!
•  Member Reenlistments
•  USS Republic Membership Renewals
•  About the Republic
•  For More Information
•  USS Republic Online
•  Crew Roster
•  News from
   —  Destruction of Vulcan Had 9/11 Effect on Federation
   —  Cumberbatch & Abrams Talk Into Darkness Villain
   —  J. J. Abrams on Cumberbatch Fitting into Star Trek Cast
   —  Cumberbatch Contrasts His Harrison with McDowell's Soran
   —  Into Darkness Villain "Tailored" for Cumberbatch
Spring Sci-Fi Charity Putt-Putt Challenge
Sponsored by KAG Atlanta and Sci-Fi Summer Con
A charity event benefitting Bread of Life Food Ministry

12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 6
, 2013
Malibu Grand Prix Theme Park
5400 Brook Hollow Parkway, Norcross GA 30071
(770) 416-7630
Members and friends of the USS Republic, KAG Atlanta, Stargate Atlanta, the IKAV Nemesis, that lizard thing on the far left and who knows who else at the 2010 Fall Sci-Fi Charity Putt-Putt Challenge in Norcross.
Let's join our Klingon friends from KAG Atlanta at the Malibu Grand Prix Theme Park in Norcross for this fun-filled fundraiser benefitting the Bread of Life Food Ministry, a community food bank in Lawrenceville.
We've had a lot of fun at this event the last several years and have been challenged by KAG Atlanta to do it again!

Malibu Grand Prix is on Brook Hollow Parkway in Norcross, just west of I-85 at Indian Trail-Lilburn Road
Bring at least two canned food donations per person for a free 18-hole round of putt-putt per person (a $6.99 value)!
All other attractions at group rate prices!
Prizes to the winner and person donating the most canned goods!
Republic shirts or Star Trek costumes encouraged but not required!
All local fan clubs and fan groups are challenged and welcomed to attend and participate!
This is a "family-friendly" event!
There may be some fun semi-fabulous prizes for the winner!

For more information about the Putt-Putt challenge, please contact
Sci-Fi Summer Con chairman and KAG Atlanta Quadrant Commander Chris Jones.  On behalf of the command and crew of the USS Republic NCC-1371, we hope to see you there!  Q'pla!

TrekTrax Atlanta

Friday-Sunday, April 19-21, 2013
Holiday Inn Atlanta Perimeter
4386 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd
Atlanta GA 30341 (770) 457-6363
Star Trek: The Next Generation:
"The Best of Both Worlds"

7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 25, 2013
Regal Cinemas Hollywood Stadium 24
3265 Northeast Expressway Access
Chamblee GA  30341
(770) 936-9468
"The Best of Both Worlds"—the two-part storyline comprising the third season finale and the fourth season premiere of the beloved series Star Trek: The Next Generation—will, for the first time ever, be seamlessly tied together as one continuous and uninterrupted story digitally restored with new CGI effects... on the big screen!  Audiences will also see special clips from "Regeneration: Engaging the Borg," a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Best of Both Worlds."

Fathom Events and CBS Home Entertainment are coming together again to celebrate Season 3 of the iconic series Star Trek: The Next Generation in a special one-night big-screen event.  For the first time ever, "The Best of Both Worlds" will be shown bigger and better as a full-length presentation only on Thursday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m. in select cinemas nationwide.

This not-to-be missed movie theater event will feature one of the most memorable moments in TV history and exclusive clips about the making of "The Best of Both Worlds" and Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3.

Set in the 24th century, The Next Generation was created by Gene Roddenberry over 20 years after the original Star Trek series.  The Next Generation became the longest-running series of the Star Trek franchise, consisting of 178 episodes over seven seasons.  Star Trek: The Next Generation – "The Best of Both Worlds" is the first opportunity to see "The Best of Both Worlds," one of the greatest TV episodes of all time, as a gloriously remastered full-length feature in select movie theaters nationwide on Thursday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m.

Resistance is futile, so buy your tickets today!

USS Atlanta decommissions; members join USS Republic
Seven years ago, and for nearly a decade prior to that, the USS Republic was the only STARFLEET chapter in Atlanta.  And although the Republic had enjoyed a robust and active membership for most of its first 15 years, the unfortunate truth is that by the middle of the last decade, the Republic had fallen on hard times, with less than ten members on its roster and less than a handful of members with any real interest in the chapter at all.  In fact, by early 2006, the chapter had been placed on probation by STARFLEET and was in danger of being decommissioned.  Then, in May of that year, after only one year of official membership, then-Commander Eric L. Watts was elected Commanding Officer, and it is fair to say that when he assumed command, he essentially threw everything out the proverbial window—a fixed monthly meeting date; dues, rank and promotion policies; even the club's old logo—and for all practical purposes, he relaunched the Republic as a brand new ship, run by him and ONLY by him, doing almost everything in an all-new way... doing things HIS way.

Given the enormous success that the Republic has enjoyed since Captain Watts took command, including more than twelve STARFLEET Region 2 awards and becoming the largest chapter in Fleet with more than a hundred members at the end of 2009, it is easy to forget that Captain Watts' rock 'em, sock 'em, my-way-or-the-highway style of doing things wasn't greeted with approval, much less enthusiasm, by the half-dozen or so members he inherited with the ship.  In fact, Captain Watts' new way of doing things caused a great deal of animosity and anger among those members... so much so, that less than six months later, all but one of the Republic's longtime members transferred their memberships off the Republic, and to the USS DaVinci in Columbus, where they immediately began making plans to form and launch a new, a second, STARFLEET chapter in Atlanta, to be called... the USS Atlanta.  In June 2007, the USS Atlanta was commissioned, with Adm Michael Henigan as her first Commanding Officer.

The initial relationship between the USS Republic and the USS Atlanta was, frankly, poor.  There were hurt feelings on both sides.  Mike and his crew were upset that Eric came along and threw out everything they had known and loved about the Republic for so long.  Eric was upset that less than six months after being elected CO, virtually his entire crew committed mutiny and abandoned ship.  For the better part of two years, Eric and Mike were at odds with each other.  Harsh words were said by and about the other.  Those of you who were a part of either ship during that time will recall that Star Trek fandom in Atlanta became splintered.  Loyalties were questioned.  Relationships were strained.  Sadly, some friendships were broken.

But by 2009, things began to change.  Hostilities mellowed.  Eric and Mike actually began speaking to each other again.  With the Republic by that time enjoying a crew of a hundred members, Eric no longer perceived the Atlanta as a threat, and Mike conceded that despite his initial objections about the way Eric had run the Republic, he had actually done a pretty good job with it, after all.  By the end of the year, Eric and Mike had fully reconciled their differences, and the Republic and the Atlanta settled into a comfortable relationship of coexistence and mutual respect.  And that's the way things remained, thankfully, for the next two years.

One year ago, Eric and Mike sat down and asked themselves the questions, "Does the city of Atlanta really need two STARFLEET chapters?  Is there any real reason for Star Trek fandom to remain splintered between two chapters?  Isn't it about time that STARFLEET in Atlanta was finally reunited aboard one ship?"  And they decided that yes, indeed, the time had come.  The time had come to set aside, once and for all, all previous disagreements and hostilities.  Yes, Virginia... it's time for reunification.

Region 2 Zone 2 Coordinator Adm Kelly Hilliard (center) conducts the decommissioning ceremony of the USS Atlanta on behalf of STARFLEET International.  CO Capt Eric L. Watts (right) formally appoints former USS Atlanta CO Adm Michael Henigan (left) as the Republic's new Executive Officer.
And so it was decided that 2012 would be The Year of the Phoenix... a wonderfully appropriate name, since the legendary phoenix is an integral part of the Atlanta's logo and it represents "From death, rebirth."  The tagline "Reenlist, Recommit, Reunite" was adopted and in case you missed it, both the Atlanta's logo and its crew roster were included in all of the Republic's monthly newsletters throughout 2012.  And, all of the events organized and coordinated for the Republic last year were declared joint events for both chapters.  But as 2012 came to an end, so did The Year of the Phoenix.  At the Republic and Atlanta's joint Christmas party on December 22, 2012, Region 2 Zone 2 Coordinator Adm Kelly Hilliard, representing and on behalf of STARFLEET International, conducted the official decommissioning ceremony of the USS Atlanta and the transfer of her crew to the USS Republic.

Immediately following the decommissioning and transfer, Captain Watts offered the position of Executive Officer, USS Republic, to Admiral Henigan, who accepted the offer and assumed all the rights and responsibilities thereof.

To all former members of the USS Atlanta whose memberships have been transferred to the USS Republic: Welcome home.
R2 Chief of Shakedown Operations presents Member of the Year Award
In 2007, the USS Republic established the Member of the Year award to recognize the one member whose service to the chapter surpassed all others.  Service to the chapter can and has been defined as attendance at chapter events and activities, contributions of needed goods and services, financial support or other extraordinary measures that benefitted the chapter and the membership.  In 2007, the Member of the Year award went to ENS1 Zannetta Law Tucker.  In 2008, it went to ENS1 Hal Doby.  In 2009, it went to ENS1 Joanne Trew.  In 2010, it went to ENS1 Sue Lin Lange, and in 2011, it went to ENS3 Barry Bynum.

Adm Michael Henigan presents Capt Eric L. Watts with the second of two Region 2 awards for 2012: the Perfect Reporting Award and Second Place Newsletter of the Year Award.
Adm Michael Henigan presents CO Capt Eric L. Watts with the USS Republic's 2012 Member of the Year Award.
For 2012, the USS Republic's Member of the Year award was presented to someone whose tireless, selfless, ongoing commitment to this chapter went unrecognized and unrewarded for far too long.  It went to someone who has sacrificed personal time and interests for the sake of the chapter.  It went to someone whose loyalty, dedication and commitment is beyond reproach.  It went to the one person whose name has become synonymous with the USS Republic.  It went to the person who deserves it more than anyone else ever has or likely ever will.  At the Republic and Atlanta's joint Christmas party on December 22, Region 2 Chief of Shakedown Operations Adm Michael Henigan presented the USS Republic Member of the Year Award for 2012 to her very own Commanding Officer, Capt Eric L. Watts.
USS Republic Commanding Officer for 2013-2014 elected
If anyone came to the USS Republic and USS Atlanta's joint Christmas party last December 22 assuming that Capt Eric L. Watts would be reelected for an unprecedented fourth two-year term as the chapter's commanding officer, they were certainly surprised—perhaps even stunned—to hear the Captain state the following during his annual State of the Chapter address:

"As Admiral Hilliard stated earlier, the first year of my command was not without its challenges.  When the crew I inherited decided to leave the Republic and form their own ship, I was, quite frankly, angry.  I wanted the Republic to be the biggest, most active, best-known and most well-respected chapter in Fleet.  And when the Republic was featured on the front cover of the STARFLEET Communiqué in 2010, I felt like I had achieved all of those objectives.  But there was one thing that was still bothering me... one thing that I still felt compelled to do.

"I wanted to reunify STARFLEET in Atlanta.  It has always been my belief that there is strength in numbers, and I have been quoted on many occasions as saying that the main problem with the Klingon Assault Group in the metro Atlanta area is that there are small ships scattered all over town rather than there being one united ship to represent the entire city.  As long as the USS Atlanta operated alongside the Republic, I felt that STARFLEET suffered the same problem.  And I wanted to fix that problem.  I made it my personal goal that somehow, some way, I would see to it that the USS Atlanta and the USS Republic would be rejoined.  I am very pleased that as of tonight, the last item on my bucket list as your Commanding Officer has been achieved.  The members of the USS Atlanta have come home to the Republic.

"I've done everything I wanted to do, and everything I felt I needed to do.  And, not unimportantly, with the addition of the Atlanta's crew of six members to the Republic's current crew of 45 members, the Republic is now, once and again, the largest meeting chapter in STARFLEET.  My current term as CO expires in nine days and with Admiral Henigan now in place as your Executive Officer, I can now walk away from the captain's chair with a clear conscience and my head held high, knowing that I leave the ship in the very capable hands of Mike Henigan, who would ascend to the position of Commanding Officer should no one [else] be elected tonight.

"Thank you for the privilege of being your Commanding Officer for the last 6½ years.  It has been an honor."

Region 2 Zone 2 Coordinator Adm Kelly Hilliard then asked for nominations from the floor.  Captain Watts was nominated and the nomination was seconded.  When asked if he accepted the nomination, he passed.  After a long pause, Adm Mike Henigan was nominated, and the nomination was seconded; when asked if he accepted the nomination, he declined.  Adm Hilliard asked for any other nominations, and there were none.

After an even longer and very awkward pause, Adm Hilliard asked Capt Watts again if he would accept the nomination.  Capt Watts stated that before he accepted any nomination, he would like to address the membershp.  And he did.

Speaking entirely off the cuff and with no prepared notes, Capt Watts informed the membership that he was disappointed and frustrated with the membership, and had been so for well over a year.  He stated that he had grown tired of coordinating and organizing club events and activities month after month after month that only one or two other members came out for.  He stated that he had grown tired of spending countless hours every month creating and emailing out to hundreds of people an award-winning newsletter that apparently no one ever read.  He stated that he had grown tired of being the only member of the chapter who would go to local events and spend hours at a fan table promoting the chapter.  He stated that he had grown tired of begging members to renew their dues; he felt less like a leader and more like a bill collector.  He stated that he was ready to move on and get back to many of his other hobbies and interests that he had neglected for years because of his service to the Republic.

IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT: Let the record show that these are the members who unanimously reelected a reluctant Captain Watts for yet another two-year term as your commanding officer.

Seated: XO Adm Michael Henigan, CO Capt Eric L. Watts. Standing, left to right: R2 Zone Coordinator Adm Kelly Hilliard, ENS3 Richard Tucker, ENS1 Zannetta Law Tucker, CDT Zarena Nova Tucker, ENS2 Tracey S. Harwell, ENS1 Sue Lin Lange, Ens Reggie Lewis, "Ensign Wolfy."
He further stated that he would have no regret walking away from the Republic at this point in time, knowing that if push came to shove, the chapter would fall, for better or for worse, into the hands of Adm Henigan.  In conclusion, he said that he would reluctantly accept the nomination, but he also told the membership to not vote for him if they did not intend to support the chapter with their attendance and dues renewal payments.  He stated that as far as he was concerned, any member who voted for him was asking him to continue to make sacrifices for the chapter that he was no longer willing to make, and that by voting for him, they were making a personal pledge and promise to support the Republic with their attendance at future chapter events and with their dues renewals.

With those promises made, Adm Hilliard conducted a voice vote among all bona fide Republic members in attendance.  Capt Watts was reelected Commanding Officer by a uninamous vote of the attending membership for an unprecedented fourth term.
TrekTrax Atlanta fundraising campaign reaches 80% of total goal

TrekTrax Atlanta completed the last leg of its multi-tiered fundraising campaign in mid-February, concluding an eight-month-long effort to raise enough money to ensure its survival beyond 2013, setting for ourselves the ambitious goal of $5,500.  The first major event, a fan film/gaming/flea market/live concert event called Trekkiepalooza!, was held at the Tucker Saloon in Tucker, Georgia, last July and raised about $521 before expenses.  The second major event, similar to the first, called Trekkiepalooza 2: Resistance Is Futile, was held last October in the same venue and raised about $177 before expenses.  Between July and October, a variety of Star Trek merchandise and collectibles and some common household items were sold on eBay, through The Republiqué and via various social media outlets, raising another $553 before expenses.  In late December, we launched our third and last major fundraising effort, a 45-day Indiegogo online crowdfunding campaign that had its own goal of $6,000.  The Indiegogo campaign raised an astonishing $3,155 by itself before fees and expenses (which were high).  The grand total of all monies raised as a result of these various efforts comes in at about $4,407 before expenses, or 80.1% of goal... an amount that may not have reached its stated goal, but which is quite respectable in its own right.

It's difficult to determine exactly what our fundraising expenses were.  PayPal and Indiegogo fees alone were just over $400.  Add to that the marketing costs of the two Trekkiepalooza events and postage costs for merchandise we shipped to online purchasers and auction winners, and the amount increases even more.  Our best guess is that after all expenses, our net proceeds came in at about $3,900, which still leaves us about $1,600 short of our total goal.

Nevertheless, these funds helped TrekTrax Atlanta retire one its debts from the 2012 convention and make significant progress on another, making it possible for us to hold our third convention in 2013.  At this point, the survival of TrekTrax Atlanta depends on YOU and your attendance.  We have a fantastic convention planned for this year, and we need YOU to purchase an attending membership.  Your attendance and support of our 2013 convention now is absolutely essential to ensuring we can plan a fourth convention in 2014 next year.
TrekTrax Atlanta announces celebrity guests for 2013
TrekTrax Atlanta is pleased to announce that Manu Intiraymi, Keith R. A. DeCandido and Ken Feinberg have been added to our 2013 guest roster!

Intiraymi is an American television and theatre actor best known as Icheb in eleven episodes during the last two seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, including "Collective, " "Ashes to Ashes," "Child's Play," "The Haunting of Deck Twelve," "Imperfection," "Nightingale," "Shattered," "Lineage," "Human Error," "Q2" and "Endgame: Part 1."  TrekTrax Atlanta will be Intiraymi's first-ever convention appearance in the southeastern United States, and he's very much looking forward to celebrating his birthday here with us.

DeCandido is the prolific writer/editor of more than three dozen Star Trek novels, novellas, short stories, comic books and eBooks.

Actor/writer/producer Feinberg, perhaps best known to millions of fans as the Chaos Demon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also played the Alien Captain in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Horizon."

In addition, Doug Harper and Christin Woods from
Project: Potemkin will be joining five of their castmates at the convention.

TrekTrax Atlanta is only seven weeks away!  Memberships, VIP champagne reception tickets, souvenir t-shirts, fan tables, dealer tables and more can be purchased NOW on our web site at  You can also book your hotel room, volunteer for staff and register to compete in the Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant.  Find lots of information on all our guests, special events, programming and much more!  Remember: the sooner you purchase your membership, the better-prepared we can be to give you an outstanding convention!
TrekTrax Atlanta needs many volunteer staff members
TrekTrax Atlanta is committed to providing our attending membership with an outstanding convention experience as demonstrated by a commitment to unparalleled customer service.  To achieve this goal, our all-volunteer, fan-run convention is organized into various operational departments.

Want to attend TrekTrax Atlanta, but the price of a membership is a little out of reach?  Or, want to be in the middle of things and help out wherever you can?  Good news!  TrekTrax Atlanta has plenty of vacant volunteer staff positions in all departments that need to be filled SOON.  Responsibilities and requirements vary by department depending on need, but the volunteer staff fee is only $10.  In return for a few hours of your time, you get to enjoy the entire convention at all other times.  If this is something you'd be interesting in doing, please contact the director(s) listed below.

Security, Photography & Videography and Video Programming: Eric L. Watts
Convention Operations: Charles H. Strobel
Technical Operations: Matt Steinberg
Registration: Rachel Carper
Guest Transportation & Services: Dave Slaughter
Star Trek Programming: Elisa Roper
Costuming & Makeup Programming: Brian Holloway
Klingon Programming: Marq Collins and Theresa Parker
Gaming Room: Mike Henigan
Con Suite: Jay Cannon
Personnel Records
Get Well Soon to Capt Eric L. Watts, who was injured in an auto accident in Snellville on January 4.  The driver of a minivan attempted (and failed) to execute a left turn in front of Captain Watts, who collided squarely with the minivan's passenger side at highway speed.  In addition to the relatively minor knot on the top of his head and two bruised kneecaps, Captain Watts suffered a fairly major sprain to his right wrist.  Surprisingly, x-rays revealed no stress fractures.  Nevertheless, he remains under a doctor's care, continues to take pain medication on an as-needed basis and has been wearing an uncomfortable wrist brace for two months.  It may be several more months before he regains full use of his right hand.
Something special going on in your life?  Submit your Personnel Record for publication in the next issue of The Republiqué!
Library Computer
Recent Chapter Event Photos
Away Mission to Farragut Fest 2012  ||  December 8, 2012
ENS1 Jeff Trew, CO Capt Eric L. Watts and ENS1 Joanne Trew in the command chair of the USS Farragut/USS Enterprise at the Farragut Films studio in Kingsland, Georgia.
Left: Captains Three: Vic Mignogna (Capt Kirk in Star Trek Continues), CO Capt Eric L. Watts and John Broughton (Capt Carter in Starship Farragut) (with a special appearance by Xavier Broughton).

Right: Members of the
Starship Farragut production crew greet visitors to the studio and offer various types of merchandise.
Left: A real-world production view of the standing bridge set.

Right: Cast and crew members from
Starship Farragut and Star Trek Continues (including Michael Day, second from left; Vic Mignogna, third from right; and John Broughton, far right) hold a Q&A with the audience following the world premiere of Starship Farragut's latest episode, "The Price of Anything," at a nearby high school auditorium.
USS Republic/USS Atlanta Holiday Party  ||  December 22, 2012
Seated, left to right: XO Adm Michael Henigan, CDT Zarena Nova Tucker, ENS3 Richard Tucker. Standing, left to right: ENS1 Zannetta Law Tucker, CO Capt Eric L. Watts, R2 Zone Coordinator Adm Kelly Hilliard, ENS2 Tracey S. Harwell, ENS1 Sue Lin Lange, Ens Reggie Lewis, "Ensign Wolfy," Wendie Goers, Sabrina Pandora, Theresa Parker, Dana Stump, John Stump.


Saturday, January 19
ENS2 Tasheka Gipson

Sunday, January 20
ENS3 Robert Teague

3 New Members in December!

Ens Reggie Lewis
Ens Lauren Rhodes
CDT Zarena Nova Tucker

6 Members of the USS Atlanta transferred to the USS Republic in December!

Cheris Courtney
Ens Travis J. Heller
Adm Michael Henigan
Adm Kelly S Hilliard
Ens JG Roderick Jennings
Michael Smith

These members renewed their SFI and chapter dues in December

ENS1 Nelson M. Barnhouse
ENS1 Eric Lange
ENS1 Sue Lin Lange
ENS3 Karen Neal
ENS1 Mark A. Ozanick
ENS3 Richard Tucker
ENS1 Zannetta Law Tucker
ENS3 Leslie Williamson
ENS1 "Wolfy"

These memberships will expire in January.  Please renew now!

ENS3 Rob Gilliam

The USS Republic NCC-1371 was originally commissioned as a chapter of STARFLEET International on May 14, 1988, at the Dixie-Trek convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  As of March 3, 2013, the Republic crew includes 42 members who are active members of STARFLEET in good standing.
The Republic plans and coordinates an active schedule of events for its members, but does not hold meetings on a consistently fixed date each month.
Because the USS Republic is a duly commissioned chapter of STARFLEET International and is bound and governed by its Constitution and By-Laws, membership in STARFLEET is a prerequisite for membership in the Republic.  Combined annual dues for both groups are $25 per person and is collected by the chapter (family discounts are available with certain conditions and restrictions).  Membership in the Republic includes access to our YahooGroups message board, voting privileges in chapter elections and additional privileges that occasionally become available.  Additional information on Republic membership and how to join or reenlist is on our award-winning web site.



AS OF MARCH 3, 2013
CDT Zarena Nova Tucker
ENS1 "Wolfy"

NEWS from
Destruction of Vulcan Had 9/11 Effect on Federation for Into Darkness
By Staff
December 26, 2012
In a new interview, Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof discusses the process of making the film at length, including how they are dealing with tying into the last film and the rest of Star Trek canon.  He also talks about Kirk’s arc, the time setting of the movie and more.
Lindelof on connection between Star Trek 2009, Star Trek history and Into Darkness & more
It is worth checking out the full interview at Collider with Damon Lindelof which was done at the Bad Robot event a couple of weeks ago, but here are a few highlights:
Lindelof wouldn't get specific on how Into Darkness will deal with the destruction of Vulcan (from 2009's Star Trek), but did offer a general comment, saying:
...we understood when we did it in the first movie that it was going to have a 9/11-level impact on that universe.  In the same way that 9/11 happened over ten years ago, but we're still talking about it and it still influences everything about our daily lives.  Anything that happens in our new timeline has to walk in lockstep with Vulcan was destroyed and what is the impact of that on the Federation?  And what is the impact of that on Spock?  What is the impact of that on Kirk?  What is the impact of that on the geopolitics of the galaxy itself?
The writer also talked about how even with a new timeline, they "do their homework" to ensure they honor the prime timeline:
I think the fans want to feel that that stuff had a lot of thought behind it and that we're not being casual about referencing the original series or the Trek-verse.  And you have to do your homework especially because we started a new timeline.  You have to be very responsible about the sequencing of things because it's not we can do whatever we want now.  Our timeline can't really abberrate before the first movie where Nero basically destroyed the Kelvin.
Other highlights:
 •  Confirmed six months passed in-universe between end of 2009 Star Trek and opening scene of Star Trek Into Darkness' mission on Nibiru
 •  Kirk's arc is still in the "phase that preceded" the type of captain he was in the original Star Trek
 •  Changes were made to some of John Harrison's dialog after casting Cumberbatch, but "that didn't mean that John Harrison did anything differently, or it didn't change the story in any way"
 •  Despite "Darkness" title, the film contains Trek’s signature humor, as "totally dark Trek is not Trek"
 •  There is "reasonable expectation" of redshirt death but they don't want to be "too cutesy about it"
 •  Feel that Earth "needed to play more of a role" in their Star Trek movies due to "relatability"
 •  Studio has given team a lot of freedom and "no mandates" (like X number of explosions, etc.)
© 2012 SciFanatic Network

Cumberbatch & Abrams Talk Into Darkness Villain + Quinto Talks Kirk & Spock Relationship
By Anthony Pascale
December 27, 2012
Another set of interviews from the recent Star Trek Into Darkness publicity tour have emerged, this time from Korea.  See below for excerpts of what Benedict Cumberbatch and J. J. Abrams had to say about the film's villain John Harrison, find out why J. J. says the movie's 3D is like none you have seen before and see what Zachary Quinto had to say about Kirk and Spock’s relationship in the film.
Cumberbatch: John Harrison controls people's minds in Into Darkness + more from J. J., Zach & Chris
There is a newly released set of Star Trek Into Darkness video interviews from the Korean site Naver Movies, featuring director J. J. Abrams and the actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine.  Below are some of the highlights of what they had to say:
Benedict Cumberbatch talked about his character, John Harrison, saying:
Cumberbatch: He is an extraordinary terrorist of sorts.  He uses himself as a warrior with weapons and close hand combat to just reap devastation and havoc wherever he goes and a trail of destruction follows him.  What is interesting from an acting point of view—beyond doing the stunts and choreographed fight sequences—was also the psychological warfare that he acts out.  He has an incredible ability to control people's minds to his bidding and make them... well, confuse the radar of their loyalties and prerogatives, so that was great fun.  So it was a great mixture of intense acting scenes and action scenes.
And director J. J. Abrams also weighed in on the villain role and what Cumberbatch brought to it:
Abrams: Benedict is an amazing actor.  He is someone who brings this incredible intelligence and depth and truth to whatever he does.  When I saw Sherlock, I thought, "Here is a guy who is making Sherlock Holmes into a character that I absolutely relate to, love to watch, makes me laugh—I really feel for him.  It's Sherlock Holmes but someone Benedict Cumberbatch is completely bringing it to life and making it real.  We needed someone for this character who is going to ground the character and make him relatable and be frightening and intense and believable.  Not because he is raving and insane but because he is rational.  And he brought this incredible sense of sophistication and psychological complexity to the role and we were very lucky to get him.
Abrams also talked about how the film tests Kirk:
Abrams: This movie begins with this group already together.  The idea is that it is this group of people who are being tested in a way they have never been tested before.  Especially one of the main characters played by Chris Pine who really has to sort of earn his position as captain and do everything he can to protect his crew.
Abrams also spoke at length about the 3D process, saying:
Abrams: First of all, the studio required us to shoot in 3D.  They said we have to do that for the economics of it.  So I was really bummed because I am not a huge fan of 3D at all.  So approaching this thing, I went in very cynically.  I knew I wanted to shoot the movie on film.  I knew I wanted to shoot it anamorphically, which means we couldn't shoot it in native 3D.  But I wanted to make the version of the movie that was the version I wanted to make in 2D.  And I thought that if we can augment it and make it even cooler in 3D, then great.  Well, luckily we are working with an amazing stereographer and 3D crew and we have been doing work converting the movie.  There is this myth that if you do a movie that is not shot natively in 3D, then it will not look as good, which is absolutely not true.  The look of the movie—there are some tricks and techniques that have never been used before.  And the look of this 3D is beyond what we have seen before, especially with what you can do with IMAX.  The frame of the IMAX is so much bigger than the 35MM frame.  The resolution is so high.  In this movie, all the exterior shots are done in IMAX, whether filmed or rendered if it is a CG shot.  So the cool thing there, you have this massive scale plus the 3D.  It is really going to be a cool experience for the audience.
Naver Movies also spoke to Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.  Pine mostly talked about how J. J. Abrams is an "incredible talent."  Quinto did give some details on how Kirk and Spock relate to each other in Into Darkness:
Quinto: I think [Kirk and Spock] operate from different places.  This movie is no exception.  It is just an undercurrent of who these characters are.  I think in this movie, in particular, each of these characters learns from the other one about how more fully to be effective in their job and in their lives.
© 2012 SciFanatic Network

J. J. Abrams on Cumberbatch Fitting into Star Trek Cast + Film Secrecy
By Anthony Pascale
January 7, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness producer/director J. J. Abrams wasn't sure that introducing Benedict Cumberbatch into the tight-knit cast family that grew out of his first Star Trek movie was going to work, according to comments he made over the weekend at the Television Critics Association.  See what J. J. had to say about Cumberbatch and his penchant for secrecy below.
Abrams on John Harrison and Into Darkness Secrecy
In an interview from a Television Critics Association event over the weekend, producer/director J. J. Abrams talked about his various projects, including Star Trek Into Darkness.  One of the more interesting bits related to the character of John Harrison, and the movie's secrecy.  Here is the exchange:
Q: Fans originally thought Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing Khan.  Now that we know he's playing John Harrison, were you thinking at the time, "Don't worry, guys, I've got this.  We're not going to do what you think"?
ABRAMS: I just can't wait for people to see the movie.  Benedict is unbelievable.  It's a tall order, coming into that movie, because the crew of the Enterprise—that cast—is so damn good and they're wonderful to work with and they're all good hearts.  So, to come into that group, as he did, as Alice Eve did and as Peter Weller did, and be one of the family was something that I was doubtful could happen.  And he completely did it.  I not only love him in the movie, but I love him, as a human being.  He''s an amazing guy.  I can't wait for people to see the movie and experience what he's done.
Here is more from Abrams talking about his preference for secrecy:
Q: You've done such a great job at maintaining the mystery and secrecy of the storylines for the projects you work on.  Is that fun for you?
ABRAMS: No.  It’s only fun to keep things quiet when it finally comes out as scheduled.  Then, you feel like, "Oh, I didn't just spend six months ruining the movie for people.  It's not fun during the experience of withholding because then you sound like a coy bastard and you're being a jerk.  But, what it really is about is making sure that, when you go to the movies or watch the show when it airs, you didn't read the synopsis that came out of my fat mouth because I was answering a question that I was grateful anyone would even ask.  I'd rather people experience it and learn what happens than be told what happens, and see it and have it confirmed.
© 2013 SciFanatic Network

Cumberbatch Contrasts His Harrison with McDowell's Soran + Talks Trekkie Desire for Spoilers
By Staff
January 7, 2013
Another interview with Star Trek Into Darkness bad guy actor Benedict Cumberbatch where he talks about his role as John Harrison and even contrasts it with Malcolm McDowell's role in Star Trek: Generations.  He also weighs in on Trekkies' desire for movie details, comparing it to kids wanting more candy.
Cumberbatch contrasts his John Harrison with McDowell's Soran
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Star Trek Into Darkness bad guy Benedict Cumberbatch described his character as "a one-man weapon of mass destruction, a terrorist with a cause."  He also contrasted his role with one of his acting heroes, Malcolm McDowell, who in 1994 played Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations:
"What actors like [McDowell] do is resist the mustache twirling," Cumberbatch said.  "It's very easy to come off as just crazy [in the villain role] and I tried with this role to look for something unsettling and investigative.  He is a great story, my character.  I can't say who the guy is, but his story has some amazing—and starkly modern—parables.  And best of all, it's been so much fun.  Playing the not-good-guy is really fun.  But that's all I can say."
Cumberbatch also weighed in on director J. J. Abrams' well-known secrecy and how it relates to Star Trek fans:
"Mystique is rare now, isn't it?  There aren’t that many enigmas in this modern world," Cumberbatch said.  "Myself, I quite enjoyed seeing Super 8 and not knowing the story and then being mesmerized by it... [but] we live in the modern world, which is a place of oversaturation and now people, especially Trekkies, want to know everything before they witness it themselves.  It's strange to me.  I think of it as a kid having a box of chocolates and not knowing what's good for them.  They eat three and they keep eating as they get sick... and the candy is gone."
© 2013 SciFanatic Network

Into Darkness Villain "Tailored" for Cumberbatch + Film Fits with Rodden-berry’s Vision
By Staff
January 8, 2013
In a new interview, Star Trek Into Darkness producer Bryan Burk talks about how the new movie progresses on from 2009's Star Trek.  He also explains how the role of the villain was tailored to actor Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as saying that even though "darkness" is in the name, the film is still part of Roddenberry's vision of a brighter future.
Burk talks on "progression" since Star Trek 2009, Harrison villain and how dark is Into Darkness
Speaking to IGN at the Star Trek Into Darkness press event last week, producer Bryan Burk covered a number of topics.  The following are some of the highlights.
Bryan Burk on the time setting and character arcs for Star Trek Into Darkness
If the last film was about the crew and family coming together, this film is about them learning who they are and starting to work together.  We kind of left the last film with Kirk and Spock not hating each other, but they are by no means best of friends going into this film.  So it feels like it's a good progression in the series.
Burk on John Harrison and what Benedict Cumberbatch brought to the role
I think he's a great villain because he’s ridiculously smart and calculating and a real adversary for Kirk....
[Benedict Cumberbatch] kind of made Harrison his own.  Particularly when we cast him—the writers went back and specifically tailored it for Benedict.
Burk also addressed the "darkness" of Into Darkness, saying:
The film is not a dark film, per se.  It's not post-apocalyptic dark—it's still within the realm of what Roddenberry had wanted, which is this positive view of the future.  However, the stakes are significantly greater, and personal.  The characters—particularly Kirk—are going to a much darker place emotionally.  I feel like the experience the audience has going through it will be a much deeper emotional experience.  And on top of that, the spectacle will be significantly bigger than the last film.
© 2013 SciFanatic Network
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The Republiqué Volume I, Number 58, January/Early February 2013.
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