Trek 2 writers: Sequel will (sort of) be like Empire Strikes Back

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 14, 2012

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have, officially, broken the story for Star Trek 2, and they reveal the pressures that weren't there on the first one ... as well as the need to bust up the happy family.

It's never easy crafting a follow-up to a critical and financial hit like 2009's Star Trek. While no one knew quite what to expect from J.J. Abrams' reboot, now the bar has been set. And the surprise of seeing exactly how this new Enterprise crew—featuring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and Karl Urban—would fare has worn off.

The writers spilled the dirt on both of those to The L.A. Times' Geoff Boucher:

"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," said Kurtzman. "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. ... 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. That said, 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?"

Orci added: "One of the big challenges is all of the characters are together now. A prequel is a pain in the butt, but one of the nice little advantages was that you get to meet the characters as you go through the story and they get to meet each other. That's fun. We don't that luxury of not having the entire family there together at the start of the story. 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."

Kurtzman also admitted that any similarities between the new Trek film and second-act sequels like The Empire Strikes Back are coincidental ... but apt:

"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."

(Via Hero Complex)