Kurtzman ’95 Re-Imagines Star Trek for a New Generation

From left, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Chris Pine as Kirk, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Zoë Saldana as Uhura. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.)

From left, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Chris Pine as Kirk, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Zoë Saldana as Uhura. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.)

Alex Kurtzman ’95 and Roberto Orci are the screenwriters for a new version of Star Trek, directed by J. J. Abrams, which premieres in the theaters May 8. The eagerly awaited movie has already received a large amount of advance publicity in the media, everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to the Wall Street Journal to sci-fi web sites, and advance word has been positive.

The New York Times devoted a feature by Dave Itzkoff on April 26 on the upcoming film. The new version delves into the series’ mythology and takes the viewer to the origins of James Kirk and Spock as young men and the beginning of the U. S. S. Enterprise.

According to the Times: “For the ‘Trek” faithful there are plenty of nods to past television episodes and movies, familiar catchphrases and Kirk’s notorious solution to a supposedly unwinnable mission simulation. But there is also a conscious effort to inscribe this “Trek” in the storytelling traditions popularized by Joseph Campbell, in which heroes must suffer loss and abandonment before they rise to the occasion.”

In a recent review in Variety, Todd McCarthy says that “the new and improved Star Trek will transport fans to sci-fi nirvana.” He adds that the film “rockets along like a beautifully engineered vehicle you can’t help but admire for its design and performance. It shifts gears often but always smoothly, and accelerates again and yet again when you suspect it might be tempted to ease up for good.”

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: dlow@wesleyan.edu 

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