Star Trek into Darkness Co-writer Alex Kurtzman defended some of the story decisions made when writing the movie, and looked ahead to the third movie.
His defense comes after Roberto Orci‘s interaction with some fans, which caused Orci to close his Twitter account.
One scene that made some fans unhappy was with the alternate version of the Wrath of Khan death scene, this time with Kirk dying while Spock looks on helplessly. “[The Wrath of Khan scene is] one of, if not the most iconic scenes ever in Trek canon,” Orci explained. “Knowing that we were going to be heading to that place but for totally different reasons and having the roles be completely reversed was this weird magnet we were drawn toward as we were writing.
“We knew we had to make that moment credible and believable. What made it work for us conceptually was the idea that Spock was unable to understand for the whole movie Kirk’s definition of friendship. He didn’t know what it meant. What Kirk was saying was ‘The reason that I risked my life for you is because you’re my friend, and that’s what you do for each other.’ Spock’s Vulcan mind just wasn’t able to process that, and it wasn’t until he experienced the loss of his friend that he finally came to understand what friendship meant as Kirk was defining it. In that moment, he was able to express emotion that he was not able to tap into.
“We got emotional writing that scene. The way it was done in The Wrath of Khan was so brilliant, and it’s so beloved, so knowing you are even stepping into that territory is so tricky, but I think we felt like we accomplished what we wanted. And when I watch it now I’m proud of what that moment represents.”
Kurtzman acknowledged that some fans would be critical about elements of the movie. “I think it’s par for the course,” he said. “We certainly knew going into Star Trek we weren’t going to please everybody. We were very happy to see how many critics liked the movie, and the movie did well. At the end of the day, we are really proud of it. We knew we just weren’t going to please everybody, particularly when you’re taking on a Khan story, who is the most beloved of all villains. We felt ultimately very good about how it turned out, but everybody has the right to their opinion.”
With Star Trek into Darkness behind him, what will the third movie bring? “…We always imagined that we were creating an alternate timeline so we could play in harmony with canon,” Kurtzman said. “We can see things that were familiar, but also the events themselves might have minor differences, and sometimes major differences. I think that leaves us room to go either way and be unpredictable, which is the whole point of creating an alternate timeline. At the end of the day, because we give so much thought to what the stories are going to be and how to tell them, it’s ultimately about what feels right.”