Simon Pegg Talks the ‘Frontierism’ Attitude of ‘Star Trek 3’

By March 26, 2015
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When J.J. Abrams’ first Star Trek film was released in 2009, it introduced an entirely new generation to the classic characters and world of the original 1960’s TV series. With a blockbuster feel and an emphasis on action, Abrams brought his inner fan of the Star Wars franchise to Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise, telling a formative an revelatory tale about characters that many fans have lived with since the 1960’s, and giving them a whole new lease on life at the movies. 2013’s sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, amped up the action even further by throwing in the franchise’s most infamous villain, and by taking the fight to a whole new level of suspense and excitement.

Some Trek fans feel, though, that the new films have also taken something away from the space-faring adventures that they loved, by abandoning a sense of optimism and allegory that helped define the original series, the original films, as well as spinoffs like “The Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine.” We even discussed that ourselves awhile back.

With recent news on the forthcoming third new Star Trek film starring the likes of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto that revealed it’ll be directed by Fast & Furious‘ Justin Lin, some fans feel even more reticent about the forthcoming film after J.J. Abrams has moved on to Star Wars, and given Lin’s history directing multiple entries in a film series whose sole concern is bombastic action. One of the film’s writers is stepping up, though, to try and tell fans that this film will have a beating heart amid the firing of phasers and photon torpedoes: the recently announced co-screenwriter Simon Pegg.

The original "Star Trek" series set a precedent that the best examples of the franchise would follow: talking about real issues that affect people through the lenses of science fiction and humanistic optimism.

The original “Star Trek” series set a precedent that the best examples of the franchise would follow: talking about real issues that affect people through the lenses of science fiction and humanistic optimism.

Speaking to Spinoff Online, Pegg — who also plays the Enterprise‘s chief engineer Montgomery Scott — spoke about the attitude that the script has as the creative team gets set to go in front of the cameras very soon. When asked about the challenge of adding to a storied franchise with fifty years of history across multiple TV series and now a dozen feature films, Pegg recognized the pressure, and knew of the element he wanted to preserve. He said,

[Producer Bryan Burk] said, ‘Maybe you should come on and write it with Doug and Justin and him and Lindsey Weber.’ And I was a bit, ‘No. I don’t want to – it’s too much pressure!’ But I think we just want to take it forward with the spirit of the TV show. And it’s a story about frontierism and adventure and optimism and fun, and that’s where we want to take it, you know. Where no man has gone before – where no one has gone before, sensibly corrected for a slighter more enlightened generation. But yeah, that’s the mood at the moment.

These are certainly encouraging words for longtime Star Trek fans, and will hopefully be reflected in the final product. The two previous films are certainly good, but it’s plain to see that they don’t quite have the optimism or exploratory attitude that many of the original episodes and films did, but hopefully this third film will bring those elements back at transwarp speeds when it’s released next May. For more on Star Trek 3 as it develops, be sure to stay tuned to GeekNation.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.