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Is J.J. Abrams Lost in Space?

The man behind the new ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ movies is mixing genres, botching continuity, and ignoring solid science. Sujay Kumar on the most divisive director in the galaxy.

Star Trek is not Star Wars. Star Trek is an intellectual exploration of humanity. Star Wars slaps spaceships and toys on pulp stories with themes of good versus evil and destiny. Star Trek and Star Wars are science fiction, granted. Both titles contain the word “star.”

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams on the set of “Star Trek Into Darkness.” (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)

The man at the helm of the Star Trek reboot is making the seventh installment of Star Wars. The same guy controls over four decades' worth of intergalactic pop culture. The Greek chorus of geeks, ignored by Hollywood for seven years between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Trek, should be mad as hell. J.J. Abrams is genre bogarting.


Famous Trekkies!


The Beautiful New Trekkie

The newest addition to the Starship Enterprise is the stunning British actress Alice Eve. Oxford-educated Eve opens up about her journey to ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ on-set shenanigans, and more.

Alice Eve has boldly gone where few women have gone before.

In Star Trek Into Darkness, the 31-year-old British actress stars as Dr. Carol Marcus, a mysterious new member of the Starship Enterprise’s crew who sneaks aboard to help them travel to the Klingon home world of Kronos to capture terrorist John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Marcus joins Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto), Lt. Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and the rest of the gang from the first Trek film, also helmed by J.J. Abrams. And the newcomer’s scantily clad scene with Kirk in the film will surely have many Trekkies' tongues wagging.

Alice Eve in Star Trek

Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus and Chris Pine as Capt. James T. Kirk in 'Star Trek Into Darkness'. (Zade Rosenthal/2013 Paramount Pictures)

Trekkies in Love

Match Me Up, Scotty!

Need a date to ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’? There’s an entire subculture of online dating just for Trekkies like you. Kevin Fallon straps on Vulcan ears and explores the niche matchmaking trend.

Is your idea of a good date dinner, a movie, and a passionate debate about whether Gul Dukat, even though he hurt a lot of Bajorans while commanding Terok Nor, is good or evil? Well, you’re in luck.

“Set phasers to stunning and if that doesn’t work set them to stun!” encourages, one of a number of dating websites that have beamed online in recent years to help Star Trek and sci-fi enthusiasts find love. “If you’re a sci-fi fan and want to meet your Borg Queen or Captain Kirk, try it now!”


Many “Star Trek” fans find love online. (

Director, Activist

J.J. Abrams’s Juggling Act

J.J. Abrams opens up about ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ partnering with the Mission Continues, which helps military veterans transition back to civilian life, ‘Star Wars,’ and more. Plus, read the Mission Continues’s founder Eric Greitens on the organization’s message.

J.J. Abrams might be the hardest-working man in show business.

In addition to his myriad television projects past and present—Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Fringe, to name just a few—his production company Bad Robot, and his direction of the Hollywood blockbusters Super 8, Star Trek, and now its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, he also has partnered with the nonprofit organization the Mission Continues, founded by former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens to help military veterans transition back to civilian life.


Make It So

‘Star Trek’ for Dummies

Should I be pissed off about this whole parallel-universe business? Why are there two Spocks? Ahead of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ Sujay Kumar offers a primer on the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

Star Trek (noun) Science-fiction franchise launched on television in 1966. Not Star Wars.

The series was not, in fact, created by Jean-Luc Picard, but Gene Roddenberry. The television shows were prolific: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. There are 12 installments on film: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (yes, this was the movie with the humpback whales), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis, Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness. The new film franchise, which launched in 2009, is mostly inspired by the original television series.


Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)

Great Scott!

Simon Pegg Dives Into ‘Star Trek’

Simon Pegg plays Scotty in Star Trek Into Darkness—out in theaters May 16. He talks about his first experiences with the show as a child, working with J.J. Abrams, and more.

When I found out about playing the role of Scotty for the Star Trek reboot, it felt like a bomb had gone off near my head. I got asked in such an insalubrious way from J.J. Abrams. In an email that came out of nowhere, J.J. literally wrote, “Do you want to play Scotty?” It didn’t even say, “Dear Simon” or “Love, J.J.” I emailed him back and said, “What the fuck, man? You can’t just do that to me. That’s crazy! You’ve got to take me out to dinner or something or offer me something to read.” It was huge!

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg as Scotty in "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Paramount)

I said, “I don’t know,” but J.J. let me think about it. He told me, “The worst thing that could happen is that every couple of years we get together and have fun.” Of course, I said yes. The role was given to me because Scotty is a slightly lighter-hearted character in the sense that he’s kind of the Everyman, so he reacts to situations like we would really. I felt elated and impressed, and slightly like I was having a dream.


Rise of the ‘Cumberbitches’

Legions of girls are obsessing over British ‘Sherlock’ actor Benedict Cumberbatch with a devotion typically reserved for boy bands and Biebers. What’s behind their intense devotion—and equally rabid backlash?

“Throw your boobs in the air if you want some cumberlovin.”
@Cumberbitches, October 8, 2010


AP Photo

Do any of those words make sense to you? They might, if you’re among the almost 37,000 members of “the most glorious and elusive society for the appreciation of the high cheekboned, blue eyed sexbomb that is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch,” star of the BBC series Sherlock. That “society” is the legion of inordinately dedicated fans of Cumberbatch, a group whose adherents have labeled themselves the “Cumberbitches” and who have launched a Twitter profile, Facebook page, a Pinterest handle, and countless Tumblrs in honor their beloved star.

Star Trek's Sexiest Aliens

With Star Trek Into Darkness around the galactic corner, it seems a fitting time to look back at the extraterrestrial hotness Star Trek has provided through the decades.

  1. 'Star Trek' Goes 'Into the Darkness' Play

    'Star Trek' Goes 'Into the Darkness'

  2. Dr. McCoy's Self-Awareness Play

    Dr. McCoy's Self-Awareness

  3. The President's 'Jedi Mind Meld' Play

    The President's 'Jedi Mind Meld'

new girl on ship

Geek Crush

The Beautiful New Trekkie

The Beautiful New Trekkie

Marlow Stern talks to Alice Eve, the stunning new addition to the Enterprise in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’

Make It So

Live Long and Prosper

‘Star Trek’ for Dummies

‘Star Trek’ for Dummies

Ahead of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ Sujay Kumar offers a primer on the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

Great Scott!

Simon Pegg Dives Into ‘Star Trek’

Director, Activist

J.J. Abrams’s Juggling Act

Not Your Average Villain

Intergalactic Bad Guy

Shakespeare’s Movie Magic

Shakespeare’s Movie Magic

Shakespeare is 450 years young, his words bought to big-screen life by stars like Emma Thompson, Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Ian McKellen. We select our favorite big-screen Shakespeare moments.


Was Madeline McCann One of Many?

United States of Addiction

Zohydro: Ticking Time Bomb?

Sniff, Sniff

Preppy Drug Bust High on Hype


Red State Obamascare Tactics

The Next Generation

Star Trek Dating

Match Me Up, Scotty!

Match Me Up, Scotty!

Need a date to the new ‘Star Trek’? Kevin Fallon digs into the subculture of online dating for Trekkies.