Talking to Bob Orci, it’s amazing how he flips from movies to TV to videogames and, with this venture, acts as Starfleet command on the overall course of the stories. Does that range of possibilities excite you as a protégé looking to the future, or does it add to the population of doubt goblins that linger in the mind of most creative types?
I’m stealing the phrase “doubt goblins.” Look for them to attack Kirk in an upcoming issue. One of the great things about working with Bob is that he is not a snob when it comes to various storytelling media. The old dynamic had film on top as most important, followed by TV, then animation, with comics clinging to the bottom and literature off in the woods somewhere muttering to itself. That hierarchy has crumbled thanks to the great work being done by artists of all types in all different media. Games are now a legitimate art form. Comics are the basis for the most popular movies in the world. Actors move between film and TV without a stigma. It’s a strange, great new world.
When humor works on Star Trek, it’s awesome and it usually does work, to the credit of many, many people. What have you learned about the engine room of that humor?
I think humor in Trek works because no matter how nerdy or obtuse the concepts might appear, the moments that make up the stories are all grounded in the personalities of the characters. I think there’s been an assumption over the years that Trek is somehow humorless and boring given the subject matter, but if you look at old episodes you’ll see Shatner having a blast, and Nimoy killing it with just a single eyebrow twitch. For all the powerful dramatic moments, Trek has never been afraid to poke fun at itself.