“I couldn’t even entertain another thought. It was like being on the most beautiful beach in the world and someone saying, “There’s this amazing mountain over here. Come take a look.” I couldn’t balance the two, so I passed on Star Wars.
“I was near the light at the end of the tunnel with my work on Star Trek,” continues Abrams. “I felt I needed a bit of a breather, actually. But then Kathleen Kennedy called again. I’ve known her for years. We had a great conversation, and the idea of working with her on this suddenly went from being theoretical and easy to deny to being a real, tangible, thrilling possibility. In the end it was my wife, Katie, who said if it was something that really interested me, I had to consider it.”
Abrams maintains that his Star Wars will have a very different look to his Star Trek.
“As with anything, because these are very different worlds, they shouldn’t feel the same aesthetically. They can’t. You’re right. But again, I don’t apply aesthetics first and fit a movie into that aesthetic. If I had come into Star Trek with those eyes, I would probably have been paralysed.
“The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With Star Trek it was harder because I wasn’t a Star Trek fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to. But I came to understand the world of Star Trek, and I appreciated what fans felt and believed about this universe and this franchise.”
On the subject of a third Star Trek movie.
“I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step. But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story.”
Star Trek: Into Darkness opens in the UK on 17 May 2013, while Star Wars: Episode VII is expected in 2015.