Ask different people to define what Star Trek means to them and you’re likely to get a huge range of answers. Some may say it’s a science-based show. Others may consider it a rousing adventure. Then there are people who might feel it’s a bit goofy, or an amalgamation of all of those things. That final answer is probably the closest thing to the truth because over the course of numerous movies and TV shows, Star Trek has been many different things.
For the upcoming Star Trek 3, titled Star Trek Beyond, co-writer and co-star Simon Pegg recently said the studio felt an early script for the movie was “a little bit too Star Trek-y.” That suggests the studio wants something that’s less “Star Trek-y.” What exactly does that mean? We’ll explore what that means for the Star Trek 3 plot below.
Pegg was talking to Radio Times Magazine (via Trek Movie) about Star Trek Beyond when he said the following:
They had a script for Star Trek that wasn’t really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y.That’s most likely the script Roberto Orci, who was originally going to direct the film, was doing. Orci is a hardcore Trek fan who was rumored to have gone very deep into the sci-fi bones of the franchise. Pegg himself doesn’t go into specifics about what he means but does add this:
Avengers Assemble, which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5 dollars. Star Trek: Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there’s still $1 billion worth of box office that don’t go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why.How does the studio want to tackle that? By making it less “Star Trek-y.” According to Pegg that might mean to “make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.”
To a layman who only knows Star Trek from a few movies and general pop culture feeling about the franchise, this may sound odd. Star Trek as a western? Or in a heist plot? But Trek experts, such as Devin Faraci at Birth Movies Death, point out that Paramount’s idea of “Too Star Trek-y” might be completely wrong:
I read that last bit and I say to myself… oh, they just want to make it like the original Star Trek TV show. A show that was pitched as Wagon Train To The Stars, a space western. A show that had episodes where Kirk and Spock found themselves on a planet ruled by 1930s mafioso, a show where the spirit of Jack the Ripper took over Scotty and a show where one of the greatest episodes is a submarine battle story. They had episodes that were courtroom dramas and episodes that were love stories. To me that is Star Trek – a bunch of different genres and story types into which the Trek characters are inserted.So maybe the problem is that Paramount doesn’t even know what Star Trek is. Maybe if they do make a film that’s a bit more fun and crazy and out there, something further away from the general stoic perception of Trek, that will be the thing that strikes a chord with audiences.
Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin, will be released July 8, 2016.