In a new interview with Nerdist, Star Trek Beyond Co-writer Simon Pegg explains a statement in an interview which had angered some fans, and gives insight into and hints about what to expect in the film.
“Something I’d like to clear up,” he said. “I got misquoted recently, saying that I was brought on to make it less Star Trekky, which is not what I’d told that journalist. What I meant was there has to be a degree of universality when you’re dealing with something like that. Which means you can’t alienate the people for whom it’s their very first Star Trek.
“If they come into it and it’s indecipherable because there’s a lot of stuff that you have to have prior knowledge to understand, then you’re left with something which is a little bit exclusive. It’s always the trick with these properties. Making it at once something that the fans can enjoy and take a lot from, but also knew people can come in and see it as a one-off and go, ‘Hey, I’ve got fifty years of this I can go and watch now!’ Which is a great thing for kids. I love the idea when you used to discover a band and then discover they’d had six albums out before. So that was what I meant by that.
“The idea of it not being Star Trek is anathema to me. This has to be in every way and every fiber of its being Star Trek.”
“Star Trek‘s had to evolve in order to exist in the current marketplace,” Pegg added. “A film that was totally in the mood of the original series would not be made today, or make money today. Because people want event cinema. They want [things] to be a little more brash and a little more action-oriented. So we’ve had to dial that into the Star Trek brand. But at the same time that doesn’t mean that can’t be fundamentalized by all the tenants of what Star Trek is, and how those characters have evolved over the years, and to really give its DNA a kind of authenticity. So that’s been a really interesting thing, and that’s something we really wanted to do.”
In Star Trek Beyond, the crew is on their five year mission. “Well, we felt that the first two films, chronologically, take place before the five-year mission. As we’ve said with this one, we want it to be about them on that five-year mission. In fact, two years into that five-year mission, and how that impacted them personally and what it meant to be out in space that long.
“And we liked the idea of also, on the fiftieth anniversary, looking at Roddenberry’s original vision and questioning it. The whole notion of the Federation and whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing and how productive is inclusivity and what is the true cost of expansion. That kind of stuff. So we went in with some big philosophical questions to ask.
What can fans expect in the new movie? “There will be things in there for every Star Trek fan,” said Pegg. “It is the same world, and so some of the points of reference will be the same. But they are off in a part of the galaxy that they’ve never been before. They’re far away from the usual suspects I think. As such it’s not like they’re meeting up with an old adversary or someone they’ve met before.”
Fans of McCoy and Spock will be happy to hear that there will be some interplay between the two characters, which fans saw a bit of in the trailer that was just released. “I really love the dynamic between Bones and Spock, so that’s something we’ve kind of concentrated on a little bit with this one,” said Pegg.
Pegg views Star Trek as “very bright and optimistic. There are some fabulous comic touches in the original series,” he said. “When you watch some of the interplay between Kirk, Bones, and Spock particularly there’s some lovely stuff. So we want this film to have a sense of fun and a levity which never impacts on the tension and never takes anything away from the bad guy.”