With the recent release of Star Trek Into Darkness on home video, members of the production team have been out doing interviews. While we hear from J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci quite a bit, Orci’s writing partner Alex Kurtzman tends to be quieter, so in a bit of a rarity, Blastr has some interesting remarks from Kurtzman on the writing of Into Darkness. J.J. Abrams was also out for interviews recently, talking to Comic Book Resources about Khan’s blood and his mystery box paradigm.
Kurtzman on writing Into Darkness and the future
Kurtzman on the Kirk/Spock death scene:
It’s one of, if not the most iconic scenes ever in Trek canon, knowing that we were going to be heading to that place but for totally different reasons and having the roles be completely reversed was this weird magnet we were drawn toward as we were writing. We knew we had to make that moment credible and believable. What made it work for us conceptually was the idea that Spock was unable to understand for the whole movie Kirk’s definition of friendship. He didn’t know what it meant. What Kirk was saying was ‘The reason that I risked my life for you is because you’re my friend, and that’s what you do for each other.’ Spock’s Vulcan mind just wasn’t able to process that, and it wasn’t until he experienced the loss of his friend that he finally came to understand what friendship meant as Kirk was defining it.
Kurtzman on what’s next for the crew of the Enterprise:
It’s overwhelming and daunting, because every time we think we’ve narrowed down a passageway, we come out the other side and realize there are two trillion more out there. You want to choose the right ones. But we always imagined that we were creating an alternate timeline so we could play in harmony with canon. We can see things that were familiar, but also the events themselves might have minor differences, and sometimes major differences. I think that leaves us room to go either way and be unpredictable, which is the whole point of creating an alternate timeline. At the end of the day, because we give so much thought to what the stories are going to be and how to tell them, it’s ultimately about what feels right. Certainly our ears are open to what fans are saying about the show, the movies and our movies, so that all goes into the stew.
Abrams on Khan’s magic blood and his mystery box
On Khan as the villain:
I think the thing was that Khan really is the most iconic villain of the series, and it felt like an opportunity to see another side of Khan and to something that, like the first film did, use elements that people were familiar with but in a new. It’s a valid argument that it’s about time for them to go off and discover and see things that have nothing to do with what we’ve seen before, and I think we’ll always have some overlap. But I’m excited about the next chapter.
On Khan’s blood saving Kirk:
Well, it’s funny – we had this idea in the beginning of the film of this girl who is sort of being brought back into good health as a means of coercing her father to do something horrific, and it was sitting there. And we knew we wanted to do something that was going to kind of push Kirk to a limit where he was tested in a way he never had been before where he really had to appreciate the kind of chair that he was sitting in. And it ended up just coming out of realizing that we had this thing that was sitting there that was already set up in the movie.
On “The Mystery Box”:
…the mystery box thing for me is less of an approach to storytelling than it’s something I just feel [which is] you don’t want to ruin things. So it wasn’t like, “Hey, let’s make it a big mystery!” We just didn’t want to tell everyone what they were going to see before they saw it. It was simpler. So if people wish they had known beforehand, OK, I totally get it. But we just were trying to preserve the experience. But it’s not like we saved it until the end of the movie where there was a big, final, shocking reveal. This was something that was revealed by the middle of the movie to the audience.