According to Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the success of Star Trek XI is partly due to the current need of people, who when times are tough need optimism and togetherness.
As reported by Newsarama, Star Trek XI offers hopefulness and family togetherness. “When we sat down to ask ourselves what Star Trek is about, at the end of the day, it was about the spirit of the family and the promise of optimism,” explained Kurtzman. “The bridge crew is a surrogate family and the idea we were out there working with other alien species to explore new worlds was just a very hopeful notion. At least it feels to me, especially based on last week’s New York Times, that there is something about the spirit of optimism and the idea of coming together that our country is hungry for right now.” It didn’t hurt that Star Trek fans were curious about how the crew of the Enterprise first met and how friendships were formed. “It was a way to show Star Trek fans something they had never seen that they should be curious about,” said Orci. “How did Kirk and Spock meet? Then it was also a natural entry point if you didn’t know Star Trek or felt you had missed too much because we were saying this was the first relevant moment you need to be aware of. That alone made us optimistic that we might be able to touch audiences and non-fans.”
The co-writers also revealed some of the ideas that they originally considered, but for various reasons rejected. “We knew we wanted to do an origin story with Spock Prime coming back,” said Kurtzman. “Obviously, details within the story changed wildly. We had a draft with Carol Marcus meeting Kirk as a child and goes on to be the mother of his son. We had Nurse Chapel have a potentially budding romance with Spock that we explored. At one point, we were bandying around the idea of destroying the Enterprise mid-battle.”
The studio was not happy with the idea of the Enterprise being destroyed though. “That was actually the only time the studio even put the brakes on us,” said Orci. “‘Please don’t destroy the Enterprise.’ We said ‘Okay, you’re right. Vulcan fine. Enterprise no.’ There were a few million things like that along the way.”
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