‘Star Trek 2′ Writers Reveal They’ve ‘Broken the Story’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:27 pm,

star trek 2 Star Trek 2 Writers Reveal Theyve Broken the Story

After the critical and commercial success of the Star Trek reboot, moving forward with a sequel was probably an easy decision. Determining exactly what Star Trek 2 would be about has turned into a more complicated matter.

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, and Damon Lindelof have been mulling over story ideas since this past summer, but so far they’ve given the impression that in these early stages there’s still quite a bit that’s up in the air.

With a franchise that has spanned five television series (the canon status of the cartoon is debatable) and ten previous films, there’s certainly no shortage of inspiration available – but there’s also the challenge of delivering something audiences haven’t seen before. They’ve wisely decided not to use Khan as Star Trek 2‘s villain and last we heard, they were instead considering bringing back another well-known adversary from the original series.

In addition to settling on the film’s villain, the plot for Star Trek 2 has evidently taken shape at last. Kurtzman and Orci recently chatted with Geoff Boucher from Hero Complex and Kurtzman explained:

“Well, we have broken the story, which is very exciting. I think one of the weird challenges that we’re facing on this one is that in many ways, with the first movie, I don’t think people knew what to expect, so when we were in the writing process, Bob and I really spent our time going to things that we loved about “Trek” and it was a very unfiltered process. It felt intimate and small. There weren’t a lot of voices other than [producer] Damon [Lindelof], J.J. and [executive producer] Bryan Burke. Now, that first movie has come up and did well and everyone wants to know what happens next. We didn’t have that pressure, exactly, on the first one.”

The duo is well-known for keeping a finger on the pulse of Star Trek‘s passionate fan base and listening to their ideas and concerns. However, Kurtzman acknowledges that ultimately he and Orci have to filter out all of those expectations when they sit down to write the script:

“Part of what we have to do is listen to it all, ask a lot of questions about what people’s expectations are — and then let all of that go when we sit down to write. We need to find our way back to the same kind of vibe that we had when we wrote the first one: What do we want to see here? What moved us about “Trek”? Where can we go from where we left off?”

Star Trek 2009  Star Trek 2 Writers Reveal Theyve Broken the Story

Orci admits that with the first Star Trek being an origin story, finding a meaningful role for each member of the ensemble was a little bit easier. The challenge with Star Trek 2 was not just finding a compelling premise, but giving each of the returning characters something worthy to do:

“So now you want the character stories to be good for everybody but also not just be there to be stories but also fit into the plot and be organic. We’re looking at a lot of the old episodes for inspiration, still. Whereas the last movie was all about breaking free from “Star Trek” and its canon, now that we can do whatever we want, we still want it to feel like good ol’ “Star Trek” even though it’s a new story.”

Honestly, this is something every Star Trek film has struggled with. Inevitably, some members of the supporting cast are reduced to window dressing as the movie centers itself around the three or four most popular characters. The duo acknowledge what an amazing group they’ve managed to assemble and it’s reassuring to know they have no intention of shortchanging any of them.

Star Trek Sequel Star Trek 2 Writers Reveal Theyve Broken the Story

The Empire Strikes Back always seems to get mentioned in any discussion about successful sequels, particularly within the sci-fi genre. Boucher wonders if – like Empire- Star Trek 2 might be designed as the second act in a potential trilogy, but Kurtzman indicates they’re developing it as a standalone entry:

“I don’t know that we’ve ever thought of it in terms of a trilogy. We thought of the first one as, “How do we tell how this happened the first time and how do we free it so that it can go on forever without stepping on what came before.” So, if you were thinking of this movie as a second act, yeah, you would think of it as an “Empire Strikes Back” sort of story, but I’m not sure we’re thinking of it as a second act. I can’t speak for everybody on that, though.”

Orci adds that Empire isn’t necessarily successful because it’s a cliffhanger or the second part in a larger story, but because first and foremost it was an engaging film:

“The movies you’re talking about are movies that we’re still talking about, what, 25 or 30 years later, because they have such emotional impact not just on us as viewers but because they put the characters through the mill in a way that was so primal and visceral. Good sequels do that; they find ways to challenge their characters in ways that they couldn’t have necessarily been challenged with in the first movie because, as Bob said, the first is always, ultimately, an origin story. So now [with the second] it becomes about this family that’s together, so now it becomes about the thing that shakes them up and challenges them.”

These statements, coupled with Lindelof’s desire to see Star Trek 2 infused with a great deal of thematic substance, leave me incredibly optimistic about the film. I know many Star Trek fans felt that the first movie favored spectacle over story, but to me it really sounds like they understand what made the best entries in this franchise so memorable.

We’ll find out when Star Trek 2 hits theaters on its recently announced release date – June 29th, 2012.

Source: Hero Complex.

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  1. I for one would be interested in seeing a “STAR TREK: The Reign of Khan” film. As we all know the orginal “STAR TREK: The Movie” was NOT very sucessful and as a “STAR TREK” fan i can say, with a guilty conscience, that I have never actually seen it. However, “The Wrath of Khan” was probably the most memorable and quotable of all the sequels. We know that years back Kirk and Khan had beef, but other than a quick back and forth between Chekov and Khan in “Wrath” we really don’t know much of what really happened.
    Seeing as how Khan was a genetically enhanced human soldier from our time era (2011 give or take) it’d be cool to see how a soldier of today would interact with the war of the future. He would be well versed in battle tactics that haven’t been seen by the fleet in over 400 years, or whatever time frame it could possibly go by. He could even team up with the Klingons or borgs or whatever space creature(new or old)he wanted just to have the advantage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” so to speak.
    We know Khan tried to take over the enterprise as it’s captain, so it’d be easy to see why Khan would want to seperate if not destroy the entire main cast. They could be hostages, slaves, trapped on a strange new world :), or all of the above. It’d be a great opportunity to showcase that awesome “Kirk vs Spock” moment made famous by the tv series.
    Whatever happens with “STAR TREK 2″ it should be all about moving the story and characters to the next level and taking them out of their comfort zone and creating a “STAR TREK” sequel that gives us (the fans) the… DARE I SAY IT… “The Empire Strikes Back” effect.

    • Michael,

      we actually know A LOT about their beef. The movie isn’t the first time Khan showed up in the Star Trek Universe. Just google Khan and you’ll be able to read about the original beef. Better yet, go to youtube and search for “Space Seed.”
      That’s the name of the original episode.
      This is why they need to bring back all the old cartoons and shows for FREE. Kids growing up without knowing cult history. Old Bugs Bunny toons and such are still funny as hell, but they don’t show them anymore.

  2. Would be nice to have some moral debate and intellectual content. Would be nice to see Spock and Kirk discuss problems and try to seek a non-violent solution to their problem. Would be nice to apply some level of real life science and logic to the next film. Would be nice to have Uhura represent something other than an angry wanton and plaything for the crew. Would be nice to have star trek stop emulating Star Wars. Would be nice to have Star Trek offer some sense of hope and optimism for the future as opposed to presenting unending darkness, war and destruction. Would be nice to show men and women respecting one another as opposed to making threats and attempting to one up each other. Would be nice to have these ‘producers’ and other capitalist marketing types stop referring to film as ‘Franchises’. Would be nice to have people stop using the stupid, idiotic word ‘Reboot’ to refer to a remake. Would be nice if movies were more about art and creativity as opposed to market research and cheap gimmicks. Would be nice if they would actually make Star Trek.

    Instead, like everything else. Its just another cheap generic cgi’d film filled with ego maniacs for actors, pretentious effects and lots of product placement. Like a cake it is a manifest of market research, greed and other poor quality ingredients. Baked and given to those who will eat poison so long as its branded and stamped with a familiar logo.

    Star Trek 2 ?

    I think i’ll pass. I had enough of the junkfood on the first go round.
    Hey, isn’t there a national depression? ok, How much are the actors making in this next picture?

    I wonder how many schools will be able to pay for text books in the next school year.

  3. I have to say that I was disappointed with the first movie, so I’m kind of skeptical about a sequel. With every crew from the former movies or series, there was a real interaction between the characters, a sense of loyalty or family that made a fan care about them and want them to survive & succeed, but the reboot was sadly lacking in that aspect. (shrug) But The Wrath Of Khan was much more fast-paced and entertaining than The Motion Picture, so Chris Pine’s crappy acting aside, maybe they can achieve similar momentum with 2.

    With regard to truefan’s comment: I agree that it would be nice to see a little more real-life science & artistic creativity, but the darkness, war, & destruction is also an intricate part of the Star Trek universe. Life is not an ultra-happy version of Candyland, and neither should it’s futuristic portrayal be.