Karl Urban unleashes his inner Trekkie/Trekker in a new interview.
Karl Urban and Simon Pegg are generally considered the biggest Star Trek fans among the new cast. In a new interview with IGN conducted the day after the fan event at Paramount Studios, Urban shows just how big a fan he is, revealing his favorite episodes of TOS as well his favorite Trek movie. Oh, and he speaks about Star Trek Beyond too and reveals the role Justin Lin played in convincing him to return for a third film.
The grudging friendship between Spock and McCoy is a touchstone of TOS and a favorite of fans. Star Trek Beyond gives a nod to that friendship when circumstances split the two off from the rest of their shipmates and they have to work together. According to Urban, it allows the film to explore their relationship in some depth:
The dynamic is complex. There is a great deal of humor, but it’s contextualized by the framework of jeopardy and danger of the situation that they’re in. I believe that their relationship really evolves, and you get to see them both kind of drop their guard and be who they really are around each other — just get a little glimpse of that, which is fantastic and rewarding, especially for long-term Star Trek fans. It’s something that I believe you haven’t really seen before. To me, that was really the challenge of the film, to not only honor the 50 years of Star Trek, pay homage to what had come before, but also mine new territory and take these characters into uncharted waters — and that’s what we’ve done with Star Trek Beyond.
There has been a widespread belief among many people that the cast were initially locked into three-picture deals, which were set to expire with the release of Star Trek Beyond. Not so, according to Urban, and he credits director Justin Lin’s new approach with convincing him to return to the Enterprise:
…the idea of [director] Justin Lin coming in — I think people have wondered what that meant, and I think after what we saw last night, everyone seems to be onboard now. But what was it like for you guys to have a new director come in, where you’re all this sort of established family?
Urban: It was fantastic. It was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics. In fact, I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin.
IGN: Oh, really? Why was that?
Urban: Because I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture. So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it.
His favorite Trek film is…not what you think.
For Karl Urban, it appears that the human adventure is indeed just beginning. He bucks the trend of naming The Wrath of Khan as his favorite film and goes for a choice that warms this carbon unit’s heart:
My favorite movie is Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
IGN: It is, really?
Urban: It is, and for the longest time I felt that it was too slow, but with age I’ve come to a great appreciation of it. I really love it. It’s still, you know, the essence of exploring the unknown. There’s great character dynamics, with Kirk being a little rusty, being out of the chair, feeling threatened by Decker, and McCoy really calling Kirk on his insecurity. You know, Spock returning from Vulcan not having achieved the Kolinahr and coming back to his calling and his friends, and also having an agenda that’s outside of the mission, his own personal agenda. I mean, there was a lot of interesting stuff in there. And then V’ger itself, the concept of something, an Earth probe, that was sent out and has become self-aware. I just think it was a really fantastic Star Trek story.
IGN: You’re right, it is. And it’s a pretty ballsy movie when you think about it, because it doesn’t have a traditional bad guy. Like, V’ger is not even really bad, actually. It’s just a confused child or something.
Urban: Yeah, exactly, which is in the tradition of some of the great Star Treks, like “The Corbomite Maneuver,” when you discover that Balok is just a little kid. He has this whole defense mechanism, but he’s just a vulnerable little child. Star Trek’s voice had that wonderful ability to flip things on its head.
Urban speaks more about Star Trek Beyond and also reveals his favorite episodes of TOS, which you can find here.