Damon Lindelof: Star Trek is hard science fiction, not science fantasy

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Why doesn't Starfleet treat Kirk like a god, now that alternate future Spock has told them how many times his future self will save the planet? What's up with Spock and Uhura? Not to mention, with Kirk and Spock? We spoke with writer Damon Lindelof and Spock himself, Zachary Quinto, to find the answers to our Trek questions.

Doesn't everyone in this movie know that Spock traveled back in time from an alternate future where Kirk is the Greatest Hero in the Universe and has saved the Universe like a 1,000 times now? And won't that mean that they're going to treat the Chris Pine Kirk differently?

Damon Lindelof: I love time travel questions. If you know that, you will probably appreciate this movie on a slightly different level than somebody who doesn't know that. But you don't need to know that in order to enjoy this movie. We wanted to, basically, jump off a bridge based on all the time travel conversations we had in putting the first movie together. If I had nickel for every time someone said the word paradox, [I'd have] like seven dollars which doesn't seem like a lot but that's a lot of nickels. We wanted to shed the time travel talk for this one. The first movie set up this world, so that we could take risks and go in new directions. At the same time, we do feel beholden to four-plus decades of Trek that preceded our stewardship on that. It would be a huge mistake to just pretend that none of that happened. The Spock that you speak of, which we call Spock Prime, he's a representative, an ambassador between the two worlds.

It was reported that the reason the Star Trek sequel was delayed for a year was due to script issues. You spent a lot of time working the kinks out. What were some of the things that were ironed out in that process?


I think that script issues is an all-encompassing way of saying we were enormously lazy in getting together. I think that JJ, who has like nine different television shows and a whole movie company that he's running. He directed Super 8, so he wasn't really available creatively to Bob and Alex and I. They were off doing something. I was finishing up the last two seasons of Lost and doing Prometheus. So there was this sort of golden period when all of us were together, just like we were in the first movie. We felt like that's the way it has to work, we couldn't work piecemeal. We all have to get into a room together and figure out what Trek 2 is going to be. We had talked about it a little bit while we were working on Trek 1. But I don't think that period really presented itself to us until about a year and a half had gone by after the release of the first one. So we were playing from behind.

Red Matter, Black Holes, the technology to teleport someone through warp, these were all Trek science you worked on in the first movie, what is some of the Trek science you will be playing around with in this movie?


I don't want to give away too much in terms of what surprises the movie has to offer. But I do think what's cool about Trek is it's not scifi fantasy. We view it as hardcore scifi. So you want there to be some sort of technological explanation behind everything. And one of the things that J.J. has been really interested in is to explain and show how the Enterprise works. We will be exploring sections of the ship, the Enterprise, that we've never seen before. And I think that will be really cool.

Spock's relationship with Uhura started during a really crazy time... after the genocide of your people, how does that change your relationship in the movie?


Zachary Quinto: They're really trying to understand each other, deepen their connection and grow their relationship. And I think that this is a challenging thing because they come from such different backgrounds and they're such different individuals. In this movie you seem them working through that. You see the ways in which they misunderstand and miscommunicate, and you see the ways in which they understand and then come back together. You get the sense, I got the sense at least while I was working on it, that we were creating a dynamic and expanding a relationship that has a believable foundation and hopefully it will continue to evolve in that way.

Where do we find Spock and Kirk's relationship when this movie picks up?

Again, I think we're all working to try and find that sense of kindred connection. Because we're all such a diverse case of characters. I think everyone is working to understand. And you don't get more opposite than Kirk and Spock. I think in this film, Kirk really needs to learn what it means to be a leader, not just sitting in the Captain's chair. And Spock needs to learn what it means to be a friend and be accountable to people he cares about.


Are they buddies now? Do they hang out now?

When we first drop in on the movie Spock and Uhura and Sulu are on one side of a mission and Kirk and Bones are on another side of the same mission. We're all sort of scrambling to save the this species and it doesn't go according to plan, I'll just say that.