A few days ago, Roberto Orci, the writer/producer, who along with partner Alex Kurtzman, is responsible for “Transformers,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” and “Star Trek,” took to fan site TrekMovie.com to lambast fans who were overtly critical of this summer’s sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness” (this was shortly after the world’s largest “Star Trek” convention voted ‘Into Darkness’ the worst film in the franchise). He was, shall we say, in an agitated state. Now, after the Romulan dust has settled, Orci, whose new television show “Sleepy Hollow” debuts on Fox later this month, has deleted his Twitter account, a move usually reserved for celebrities who have made homophobic rants or politicians responsible for blasting photos of their genitals.
First: the rant. After an editorial called “Star Trek is broken – here are some ideas on how to fix it,” Orci fired back in the comments section. “I think the article above is akin to a child acting out against his parents. Makes it tough for some to listen, but since I am a loving parent, I read these comments without anger or resentment, no matter how misguided. Having said that, two biggest Star Treks in a row with best reviews is hardly a description of ‘broken.’ And frankly, your tone and attidude [sic] make it hard for me to listen to what might otherwise be decent notions to pursue in the future. As I love to say, there is a reason why I get to write the movies, and you don’t.”
After another fan compared “Star Trek Into Darkness” to “Raiders of the Los Ark” (in terms of the ratio between scientific exploration and action), Orci again spoke up. This time, his tone was decidedly more aggressive. “STID has infinetly more social commentary than ‘Raiders’ in every Universe, and I say that with Harrison Ford being a friend. You lose credibility big time when you don’t honestly engage with the FUCKING WRITER OF THE MOVIE ASKING YOU AN HONEST QUESTION. You prove the cliche of shitty fans. And rude in the process. So, as Simon Pegg would say: FUCK OFF!” Uh. Wuh-oh.
While it would have been illuminating to have one of the co-writers of the franchise engage with fans in a positive, open way, this isn’t how things turned out. Fans would have loved to have heard an honest explanation for why Khan was in the movie at all, or why the Enterprise was so much whiter and more male than it’s ever been before (although there were some weird aliens so maybe that helps?) Instead, the writer chose to be defensive and, worse than that, angry and belittling to the people who not only made the movie such a success but deeply love the product it’s based on.
Later, Orci kind of apologized. Kind of. “Don’t take me too seriously… You know that twice a year I explode at the morons. Today there seemed to be a congregation, so it seemed like a good idea. You’re the most listened to fans ever. That doesn’t mean you will get to do what you want. Just means what I said: I listened.” Again: sort of condescending and dickish, but still, he’s trying (we think). Then comes the kicker, which negates any positivity this sort-of apology might have meant. “To paraphrase one of my great and beloved heroes, George W. Bush, ‘we’re the deciders…'”
And we’ve lost him. Apparently, someone else had a chat with Orci and everyone decided that it was probably best if he take down his Twitter account, at least for a little while (or until the next ‘Star Trek’ is about to come out). Better safe than sorry.