Peter Weller defends Trek 2, explains why it's more than just a 'gimmick'

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May 21, 2013, 1:39 PM EDT

 If you're not a fan of J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek universe, Peter Weller wants to try and change your mind.

The legendary sci-fi actor lends some of his star power to Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness as Starfleet Commander Admiral Alexander Marcus, but he's also apparently helping Abrams out with converting some old-school Trek fans to the reboot's cause. Apparently one of Weller's professors (yeah, he's still a scholar) recently outed herself to him as one of the many Trekkies who weren't happy with some of the decisions Abrams made in 2009's Star Trek, and Weller decided to address his director's case.

"I didn’t realize this debate until I started shooting the movie," Weller said. "I’m a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in Italian Renaissance Art History and Ancient Roman History. One of my professors, Kathryn McDonnell, a very gifted teacher on Roman art, she said, 'How could J.J. do this? Vulcan can’t be destroyed.' She went on this whole diatribe. She said, 'Listen, I’m a Star Trek fan from the get-go, and you can’t make alternate universes when you’ve already been established for 35 years …' So I was debating her over coffee. I said, 'Well, I think it’s more fascinating that J.J. and his writers created a parallel universe.' J.J.’s conception and the writers’ conception of the 2009 film was fantastic. They do it with sophistication. I find it very touching: That in one universe, this happened; in another universe, this happened. There’s an actual dialogue between the two universes, so it’s not just a gimmick. That whole dialogue between Zach Quinto and Leonard Nimoy [who played Spock in the original Star Trek] in this film is just one of its best parts. Especially Zach, with his particular sensitivity and how vulnerable this particular Spock is, despite the fact that he doesn’t want to be. I get weepy watching that scene of him trying to explain how not to feel. He pulls off a new Spock who is bewildered at the fact that he’s living in a different time and a different universe."

Weller certainly delivers an eloquent defense on behalf of Abrams, and there are probably plenty of moviegoers who would happily agree with him. The whole alternate-universe thing wasn't the only criticism leveled at Star Trek, though, and Into Darkness has certainly stirred up its own wave of Trekkie rage, so Weller might be in for a little more coffee with his professor. 

What do you think? Does Weller have a point, or are you among the fans who have long since given up trying to see the redeeming qualities in the Abrams films?

(Via Vulture)