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Strong Villain & Thrilling Adventure For Trek X

By Christian
May 10, 2001 - 9:58 PM

A new interview with Star Trek X scripwriter John Logan appeared today, only a few days after the first plot details for the film surfaced. While Logan did not give out any new plot info, he did talk extensively about his vision for the movie.

One of the few things that have been officially confirmed about Star Trek X is that it will deal with the Romulans. Logan, a self-declared Romulan fan, shared his vision of the Romulan Star Empire with the Star Trek Magazine (via Voyager's Delights). "In the original Roddenberry universe, the Klingons represented Soviet Russia, and the Romulans represented the Communist Chinese," he said. "For me the Communist Chinese is a really interesting world that was never fully explored. [...] I've always found that sort of Byzantine structure of Chinese Communism very interesting and very provocative, and lethal in a way I never found the Klingons. There is so much duplicity and mendacity and cleverness in the way the Romulans move through their world with very strategic chess moves. And also they are an old and ancient race, like the Vulcans, so they have gravitas to them, which I find very interesting."

Recent rumours have suggested that the major villain be a rebel leader from Romulus' sister-world. Though Logan did not confirm this or provide any specific details of the villain, he did provide a general description of what he thought made a good Trek antagonist. "The protagonist must have an antagonist who is worthy of them. Khan and Kirk were perfectly matched. Christopher Plummer [General Chang] and Kirk: perfectly matched. Picard, Data, and the Borg Queen: perfectly matched. Then, if there is some personal connection, some history something between the protagonist and the antagonist. Itís even more exciting. It was central to have a very powerful and very dynamic antagonist who had some significance to the lives of at least some of the characters."

Logan said that having a strong villain is one of the two important elements any good Trek movie should have, with the other one being the ability to combine a "thrilling adventure" with stimulating ideas. "The most important dramaturgical umbrella over all my work has been formed by those two things: the combination of a thrilling antagonist - I hope thrilling - and never forgetting that these movies have to be about something. Ideally, that something will be a combination of an intellectual idea and something about character."

Of the past nine movies, Logan thought that 'Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan' was best able to combine these elements together, and he felt that Star Trek X would have a lot in common with that film. " Star Trek X will also feature references to other parts of the Star Trek franchise. Logan said there will be many references to the Original Series, and he would like to have more continuity between the various films, returning to the style set by many of the Original Series movies. But there will also be new elements in the film. "In this there are two major new situations for two of our characters. Seeing how they respond to a totally new stimulus is really surprising sometimes. You've seen Picard respond to all these people for all these episodes, and yet you put him in this situation and he'll do something that is very new to you."

These new aspects of the characters will not simply disappear at the end of the film. "I would say they will be changed by the end of this movie," commented Logan. "My fondest hope is that Star Trek X will be able to have interesting character growth for the crew I think it is vitally important that they grow as they are getting older and they are moving on, and we acknowledge this."

And if the characters are indeed set up to change in future movies, will Logan be around to write these changes? "We'll see if the fans kill me," he joked. "Getting to know the fans has been one of the fun things because I get letters from people. Some of them say; 'Boy, if you don't have Beverly Crusher and Picard get together. you're doomed.' So. we'll see if I survive to write Star Trek X. But, certainly; working on this one has been so much fun. Honestly it's up to the fans; if they really like this movie and appreciate the care I put into it and my affection for the characters, you bet I'll write the next one. It's an important trust"

For the full interview, Logan also talked about how he wanted to give all the characters some screentime, and again related the story of how he originally was hired to write the script. You can find the interview in the June 2001 issue of the Star Trek Magazine, though a transcript is also available here at Voyager's Delights.

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