There has been a lot of talk and speculation and even hints about who the bad guys are in the new Star Trek movie, including another hint from an interview with Anton Yelchin today. So TrekMovie.com has done a little digging to confirm what we all should know by now, and found a few interesting tidbits. Details below.
The involvement of Romulans has been reported before by this site, IESB and AICN. There is also evidence from a couple of the film’s actors themselves. Last summer Zachary Quinto told SciFi Wire to prepare for Trek he was “learning a lot about Vulcans and a lot about Romulans.” And in a new interview, Anton Yelchin (Chekov) talked about it being fun to “sit on the bridge screaming about Romulans.” And this isn’t the first time Yelchin has talked about screaming at Romulans. Also in an interview with TrekMovie.com last year, co-writer Roberto Orci stated that “Balance of Terror,” the classic TOS episode that introduced the Romulans, was one of the key episodes they ‘referred to’ while creating the movie. Lastly we have this photo from Orci’s behind-the-scenes on the Star Trek shoot collection:
So even though it has yet to be officially acknowledged, as far as TrekMovie is concerned (and this is confirmed with multiple sources), the new Star Trek features Romulans and they are the primary antagonists, lead by Nero (Eric Bana) and his 2nd in command General Ayel (Clifton Collins, Jr.).
Romulans: hairless…and ridgeless
When Eric Bana showed up on the Tonight Show with a shaved head the same week he was to start shooting for Star Trek people took notice. But TrekMovie.com has learned that it isn’t just Bana who has gone Kojak. According to sources close to the production, all actors playing Romulans, including Collins and even background performers, were required to shave their heads. TrekMovie.com has been told that the reason the Romulans are bald was at least partly to help distinguish them from the Vulcans. It has also been confirmed that the Romulans in the new Star Trek do NOT have the extra forehead ridges seen in the TNG era (both on film and TV).
Bana and Collins spotted hairless (both pics from February)
Romulans are up to no good!
So what is it the Romulans are doing? Well TrekMovie.com has already confirmed rumors that time travel plays a part in the film and the Romulans are knee deep in that as well. But once back in time what do they do? Well as it happens we have already seen part of their dastardly plan. Back in February we reported that a local traffic news helicopter flew over a large rusty object which was being filmed in a parking lot around Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (we later reported that JFX got some shots of John Cho and a bald actor at that location). Initial speculation was that this object was some kind of ship, and the bald actor was a Klingon. However, TrekMovie.com has learned the object is actually a ‘drilling rig’ being used by the Romulans and that it is related to an attempt to destroy a planet. The practical location is just part of the larger rig that will mostly be done in CGI by ILM. the bald actor is, of course, a Romulan who Sulu (Cho) fights. Although he wasn’t seen by the paparazzi, apparently Kirk (Chris Pine) will also be in that scene, but not part of the fight.
Romulan bad guy for Sulu to fight
and part of the Romulan drilling rig
Romulans…the other Star Trek villain
Not all a total surprise, but it is interesting that the Star Trek team went with Romulans. Although Romulans have been featured in all five Trek TV series and both the TOS and TNG film series, Klingons are the more traditional Trek villain and much better known to the general public. In fact, the original draft for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock had Romulans as the antagonists but Paramount had it switched to the more familiar Klingons. However fret not, TrekMovie has already reported that we will see Klingons in this film…and we all know how well Kirk gets along with them.
Of course “Balance of Terror” sets up some canon issues that the film makers are surely aware of (e.g. seeing the Romulans for the first time). But the prequel series Star Trek Enterprise figured out a way to use Romulans and keep within canon (some debate this), so Abrams and his team may have some of their own tricks up their sleeves. Or the Abrams ‘Supreme Court’ may have made a ruling on this issue.
Romulans first seen in TOS episode “Balance of Terror”