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May 04, 2013

You can read the interview in full over at LATIMES.COM

When Disney announced in January that J.J. Abrams would direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the news had major implications for the geek faithful.

While some rejoiced at the prospect of Hollywood’s A-list nerd-auteur shepherding the next entry in the beloved sci-fi franchise, many fans of that other beloved sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek,” wondered what Abrams’ new gig would mean for them.

After all, Abrams had successfully revived “Star Trek” with his 2009 Paramount film, casting Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, and crafting a movie that managed to win over both “Trek” die-hards and newcomers to the series.

He had already shot “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, and was on track to make a third movie.

It turns out it wasn’t just fans wondering what Abrams taking on “Star Wars” meant for Kirk and Spock — Kirk and Spock were wondering too.

“As a friend to a friend I was ecstatic for him,” Pine said, of learning that Abrams had taken the “Star Wars” gig. “If there’s one person specifically designed to take care of a project that big, it’s J.J., just seeing how he operates on a $200-something-million project like ‘Star Trek.’ I would only be unhappy if he didn’t come back and direct the third [‘Star Trek’ movie]. I don’t know what it means for that.”

While some “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” partisans see the two franchises as competitive, Pine is much more ecumenical in his sci-fi taste.

“The ‘Star Wars’ franchise for many of us was profoundly important,” Pine said. “It was a big experience in the history of cinema. So to be given the keys to that franchise, to be asked to reinvent it, I can completely understand why he jumped at the opportunity.”

Pine and Quinto are both committed to make a third “Star Trek” movie, and Abrams will be aboard as a producer — whether he’ll direct or handpick someone else to do so has not been determined, however.

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