While Tarantino’s movie is said to be separate from the fourth movie in the reboot series, which may or may not still be happening, and The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith is working on a script, we know very little about the plot itself. But that just means we can have fun speculating. So, here are 10 Things We Hope To See In Quentin Tarantino’s R-Rated Star Trek Movie.
10 A nostalgic ‘60s feel
One of the greatest things about Quentin Tarantino’s filmography is that he homages old genres by immersing us in the same feeling we get from watching actual old movies from those genres. He does this by focusing on all the details: the camera angles, the editing, the music, the set design, the costume design.
J.J. Abrams gave the ‘60s Star Trek sets a modern makeover with his reboot series in the Kelvin Timeline, but it would be great to see Tarantino touch on our nostalgia by recreating the look and feel of the ‘60s TV series. He could do for Star Trek what he did for the blaxploitation genre with Jackie Brown, or the spaghetti western genre with Django Unchained.
9 Aestheticized gory violence
Everyone knows Tarantino movies for their violence. He makes the bloodiest movies around, with cartoonish spurts of blood and a glamorization of gun use. The critics of this kind of violence would be silenced if the guns were otherworldly phasers and not symptoms of a national issue and the blood was spattered across the Starship Enterprise and not the cotton fields of antebellum-era America.
Tarantino’s aestheticized violence usually takes us out of the reality of the movie when his movies are set in harrowing realities like Nazi Germany, but that kind of violence would be right at home in Star Trek, where we’re already taken out of reality anyway.
8 The use of an old Klingon proverb
Quentin Tarantino likes to keep all of his movies connected in a wider universe, using Easter eggs and crossovers and shared character names and fake corporate brands to link them all together. His Star Trek movie could still do that by tying into Kill Bill.
Kill Bill begins with an epigraph (the fancy word for a quote at the beginning of a movie) that says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” The title card jokingly attributes this quote as an “old Klingon proverb.” Tarantino could subtly tie the two movies together if he has a Klingon saying, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” at any point.
7 Nonlinear narrative structure
A lot of Quentin Tarantino’s movies have a nonlinear narrative structure, to the point that it’s become one of the defining hallmarks of his filmmaking style. But you can’t just shoehorn in a nonlinear narrative structure – it has to work for that individual narrative, and that’s why some Tarantino movies don’t adopt that kind of structure.
In the case of Star Trek, though, with the many conflicting and overlapping timelines, it would make perfect sense for the story. Tarantino has subtly toyed with this idea before, like when he changed a few lines of dialogue in the same scenes in Pulp Fiction when they were portrayed from a different perspective.
6 An appearance by Jean-Luc Picard
While Quentin Tarantino isn’t the kind of filmmaker who would be happy to toss in MCU-style setups, payoffs, and Easter eggs from other movies in his own films to keep them whole and complete, there must be some way to get Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard in his new movie.
We already know he’s returning to the role in a TV series and Stewart has said he’d be more than happy to do it: “One of my dreams is to work with Tarantino. I admire his work so much, and to be in a Tarantino film would give me so much satisfaction. So, if he is going to direct something to do with Star Trek and there was the possibility of dear old Jean-Luc showing up again and doing that for Mr. Tarantino, I would embrace it.” Tarantino could do a version of Star Trek Generations, which teamed up Picard and Kirk, that is actually good.
5 The death of Spock
Zachary Quinto has hinted that after the upcoming fourth Star Trek movie and the related/unrelated Tarantino movie, he’ll be leaving the role of Spock behind: “I’m really honored to be carrying the mantle of this character, so as long as we’re having fun and the stories feel interesting, I’m open to it. If we make a fourth one [in the main reboot series] and then we do a film with Quentin, that feels like an incredibly complete experience.”
We’ve seen Khan rebooted for the modern day as the evil villain of Star Trek Into Darkness. Now, let’s see the dark, gritty, bloody, R-rated version of Spock’s death.
4 Honoring the Star Trek traditions
Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie will mark the first time he’s ever dived into blockbuster territory or directed an entry in a big Hollywood franchise. He usually writes and directs his own original stories. He’s adapted one novel, which he bent and shaped until it worked for his filmmaking style, and other than that, his movies have been wholly original (well, full of homages and cinematic reference points, but still technically original).
But despite a new age rating and creative tone, Tarantino needs to stay true to the characters and stories of Star Trek in his new movie. Most fans’ issue with Star Trek Beyond is that it wasn’t very Star Trek-y in its attempts to appeal to a wider audience and it ended up actually having an adverse effect.
So, Tarantino needs to stick to the traditions. There’s not much fear that he won’t, though. Despite his work’s fierce originality, Tarantino has often shown a great respect for the traditions of genres and different styles of storytelling, so there’s little doubt that he would stay true to the traditions of Star Trek. Still, it’s worth mentioning that this needs to be a part of the new movie.
3 The horrors of space
Karl Urban, who plays Bones McCoy in the reboot series, has explained a little bit about what’s going on with Tarantino’s Star Trek movie: “[Tarantino] went in to [producer] J.J. [Abrams]’s offices and pitched him an idea for a Star Trek movie. I know a little bit about what that is, and it’s bananas...He wants an R rating to really make those beats of consequence land. If it’s not PG, if someone gets sucked out into space, which we have all seen before, we might see them get disemboweled first...It allows some breadth...gives him some leeway to do that.”
He elaborated on why this is a great idea: “To me, that was always one of the things I loved about what DeForest Kelley [the first actor to play Bones] did. He would actually capture the horror of space. That look in his eyes of sheer terror always struck me when I was a kid.” The horror of space? Sounds cinematic!
2 Pushing the boundaries of the R rating
If Tarantino is going for an R rating with his Star Trek movie, then he needs to go all in for that R rating. Logan and Deadpool went all in as the only R-rated X-Men movies and it resulted in much more powerful movies (in very different ways). The Tarantino-helmed Star Trek movie can take cues from this. We need sex, violence, swearing – everything that gets a movie a hard R rating. Push the boundaries of the R rating. Barely avoid the NC-17 rating.
Zachary Quinto has already said that the mere concept of an R-rated Star Trek story excites him: “We’re waiting on specifics. I’m thrilled that we might have the opportunity to work with [Tarantino] and see what he would do with us in this universe. It’s going to be an R-rated version of Star Trek, which would be the first [in] the movies, and that’s exciting.”
1 Star Trek characters talking like Tarantino characters
Zachary Quinto has expressed his excitement over Quentin Tarantino joining the Star Trek franchise by pointing out how fun the blending of Tarantino-isms and the Trek universe could be: “I’ve been a fan of [Tarantino’s] for years, and I’m really inspired by his originality. Take that originality and mix it with this world full of incredible ideology and colorful characters, and the result could be pretty thrilling.”
The movie needs to have Star Trek characters talking like Tarantino characters. Just picture it – Kirk and Spock bantering like Jules and Vincent, Uhura making badass declarations like the Bride, Bones showing off his vocabulary and medical know-how in Christoph Waltz-esque monologues. It’ll be incredible!