Kurtzman Answers The Question – What Is Up With Nero’s Ear?

Last week in our first article about the new Star Trek posters which revealed characters for the first time, TrekMovie.com asked "what is up with Nero’s (Eric Bana’s) ears?" Today our friends at UGO point us to a new interview with Star Trek co-writer and exec producer Alex Kurtzman, where they ask him that question. [SPOILERS]

From the UGO article:

We asked Alex Kurtzman what was up with Nero’s ears!  If you’ve seen the recently released Star Trek poster, you’ve seen Eric Bana, who is allegedly playing a Romulan, with what looks like war paint or a tattoo on his face and NO POINTY EARS.  What kind of a Romulan doesn’t have pointy ears?  “Nero isn’t necessarily a Romulan,” Kurtzman said, but wouldn’t give anything further than that.  He simply smiled and said, “It’s all part of the plot.” 

More from Kurtzman at UGO.

Not Romulan?
TrekMovie (and other sites) have reported that the film’s villains are Romulans. For our part, this has been confirmed by multiple sources who worked on the film, including some who played Romulans. It isn’t clear if this is a ‘non denial denial’ from Kurtzman, a head fake, or possibly revealing that maybe there is something different about Nero. I hate to bring it up as a precedent, but Shinzon (Tom Hardy) was human (or a human clone) and leader of the Romulans and Remans in Star Trek Nemesis. It all goes into that big thing that is the mystery of this movie, which is exactly how Kurtzman, Abrams, Orci, Lindelof and Burk like it.

Eric Bana as Star Trek’s Nero…
still wondering what is up with that ear



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m betting Nero is a defector giving the Romulan’s info.

Nero is FutureGuy!

Maybe he’s the reincarnation of a certain famous artist who cut off his ear? Ehhhh…..maybe not :-)

He’s obviously a romulan who wants to distance himself from his vulcan cousins!

It’s pretty clear from the poster that whether he had a pointy ear to begin with or not, someone went Tyson on it. So I don’t think Kurtzman’s answer really explains much.

Let me guess…Mr Blonde got really upset and chopped off only the top part. “Hello…can you hear me?”

Nero is definitely alien, check out the top of the bridge of his nose how it connects to his newly inflated brow.
Looks great!

Oh, I almost forgot….



hmmm… when I was a little boy, I used to hear lots of stories about elves that were slaves getting their “prick ears” melted down as a form of punishment and humiliation. Could be that. Or, it could just be Nero wanting to abandon his roots?

If only his name wasn’t Nero… I would be willing to bet that’s Abram’s new look for the Klingons!

And yes. Fer cryin’ outloud… send the Enterprise out for a spin around the neighborhood already!

I’m betting he’s a rogue Vulcan. Look at the eyebrow curving up; very vulcan/romulan.

and by “when I was a little boy” I mean back in the day when I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons… :)

When he was younger he got his head caught in a mechanical…..
Rice Picker. Fortunately there was a very good plastic Surgan who lived nearby.

Perhaps he is a half Romulan/Human. Or he is a Klingon. Or he is a Human working for the Romulans. Or he is a member of an entire new species, enslaved by the Romulans (like the Remans).

If it ends up that he IS Romulan and they simply have his ears chewed off so he can interact with the younger Enterprise crew without screwing up continuity of Balance Of Terror, that is pretty CORNY and AMATEURISH writing!

As if a younger Spock, with his razor-sharp telepathic skills, wouldn’t “twig” to recognizing someone with Vulcan heritage!

God, I’m such a geek!

Ear looks mangled. Brow is all Bana IMO – that looks just like lighting accentuating the ridge.

I read on imdb full credit list of this movie that there are Klingons in it as well.. lists Klingon prison guards and prisoners.

Maybe Nero is Klingon??

One thing’s for sure… HE’S PISSED!!!!!

17 – IMDB is not the most accurate source.

Or maybe Nero has been surgically altered like human.

Hmm… very interesting!

BTW, last night I saw the Terminator 4 (T4) trailer before the feature presentation of the Dark Knight. What has bothered me is how come we do not have the new Star Trek trailer available as the T4 is BEING FILMED!

I first thought the ear to be a battle injury, and perhaps that is still true and Kurtzman is just being a bit cagey in his answer…You know they have got to be having fun with this…

Bushy eyebrows, wide nose bridge… definitely not human. Doesn’t rule out the possibility of a defector, though; there are more than just humans in the Federation. :)

But he’s most likely a Romulan and Kurtzman is just playing coy. What other species could have a member with the name “Nero”? :-P

Oh, wait, we had a Nero didn’t we? Hmm…..

19 – it may not be the most accurate source.. but it is something to consider.

Anthony, any thoughts on this?

Nero… couldn’t they come up with a less… “human”… name? I mean really, its bad enough that Romulus and Remus are straight out of Roman lore, but c’mon. Nero, the crazy Roman Emperor?? Yeesh.

13 – you beat me to it.


Nero is Chakotay’s great-grandpappy.


Nero likes to make happy, fuzzy, warm YouTube videos with his former pet lion.


We’ll all find out in 288 days. grrr.

Someone said, “Friends, Romulans, countrymen, lend me your ears,” and he took it literally. I wonder if they’re ear-replaceable.


Captain Archer isn’t in the movie?! This is a disaster!!

Yeah, it was kind of lobe-brow humor.

#30—You’re on fire!

Regarding the name “Nero”….yes, it is a name any literate human is familiar with. However, Trek has always greatly relied on human history, i.e., ther Roman Empire, Shakespearean literature, etc. for sources of information and inspiration. If one can accept hundreds of humanoid cultures in the Trek realm, than a simple 4-letter name should be no problem. A little suspension of disbelief please…after all, it IS science fiction.

Ragardless, Nero appears to be an ominous villian…based on this one pic. And who knows…his other ear may be intact. lol

Tom Hardy, not “Handy”. Just sayin’.

As I find meself of late riddled wit’ apathy towards tha’ new film, I also find meself obssessed wit’ anatomy…

So, since guessin’ Nero be dis or Nero be dat, which can be fun, I’m just gunna say what Nero couldn’t be…

Nero Is Not:

A clone enginneered from Kirk’s dna when Rommies scavenged his rock-grave

Just a Rommie gent who had some ear accident… like when I use tha’ clawin’ cat’s tail ta’ clean out me hearin’ tunnels… screw Balance of Terror then.,.

Just some gent tha’ Rommies hired, gave a ship to, and say- “Hey, we dunna wanna re-start tha’ Romulan War which just ended, but you, Nero of undefined species, go and kill some captains fur us ta’ weaken them Fed blokes. Hey- here’s some future crap fur ye’ ta’ use that TOS-era Valtrex gave us ta’ change Rommie history.”

A dogcatcher.

The re-set button pusher.

That Aussie actor who owes me a $1,500 in hospital bills cuz o’ when he slugged me fur tryin’ ta’ make ‘im angry and thusly green. Told him I thought that whilst I’ll lounge in tha’ sun, he’d make me a good Ca-Bana Boy.

And surely Nero is not… well, ye’ all finish it up fur me…


Maybe Nero was just fiddlin’ around with his combination razor/home tattoo kit and roamin’ around the house when he had an accident and cut off the tip of his ear. He bought it from that Scandinavian sounding grooming implement company. He is upset and about to yell:


I bet He’s the Mirror Spock!

Bana, being Australian, has obviously been playing tight-head prop-forward for the New South Wales Waratahs.

Kirk-Romulan hybrid, but made the old fashioned way by JTK

And if Kronos can become Q’OnOs, then Nero can become N’HeRo

Please…The name “Nero” is not an issue…Romulus, Remus, Praetor, the use of the term “Senator”…The list may go on… The Roman parallels within Romulan culture are traditional in Star Trek dating back to their first appearance in 1966—and that’s enough said…

I have no doubt that he is Romulan. This statement by Kurtzman is just fun and games…that’s all.

He is a Romulan who is missing part of his left ear, and I’m guessing that the “war paint” (or tatoos) represent membership in some rogue Romulan faction which does not support the fruits of Spock’s reunification efforts (actually, I not-so-secretly wish that he was the “love child” of Spock and the Romulan Commander in “The Enterprise Incident”, and his purpose is a much more personal quest for vengeance against his absentee father and the crew of the Enterprise, but alas, I have resigned myself to the conclusion that this is very unlikely).

But a “fanboy” can still dream…

Doesn’t he look a little too much like Darth Maul??

#41—Not to me, he doesn’t.

He’s Spock’s son by a Romulan woman! ;)


THX………you da man!!! FUNNY!

This whole argument reminds me of the old joke,

“Hey, I hear Blackbeard paid two dollars for those earrings he’s wearing!”

“Yeah? I guess that would make him a BUCK AN EAR!”

A little theory as to how the Romulans could be in the film without breaking Canon:

One thing that is missed is that the film jumps to different times, and I think this is key.

Although the plot may include a time when Kirk is at the Academy, it is possible that when the Romulans are revealed as being behind the Big Scheme, or whatever the issues are, they are revealed AFTER the events of Balance of Terror.

As for Bana not necessarily being a Romulan, he might be Human, but brought into the Romulan fold (Perhaps kidnapped as a Kid and trained as a Romulan infiltration tool, vaguely similar to Shinzon but without the Clone part of his backstory).

This would enable him to face everyone in disguise, and possibly walk within the Federation without revealing his true nature.

He could also be made a conflicted character with regards to his heritage, but with a bent towards conquering all regardless.

It could be battle a scar. Maybe his other ear is fine.

40. Closettrekker, this sounds like the premise of a novel:

“He is a Romulan who is missing part of his left ear, and I’m guessing that the “war paint” (or tatoos) represent membership in some rogue Romulan faction which does not support the fruits of Spock’s reunification efforts (actually, I not-so-secretly wish that he was the “love child” of Spock and the Romulan Commander in “The Enterprise Incident”, and his purpose is a much more personal quest for vengeance against his absentee father and the crew of the Enterprise, but alas, I have resigned myself to the conclusion that this is very unlikely).”

There are lots of venues for fan fiction. Write on, dude! I’ll read it.

I heard Corey Feldman was hired a Bana’s sunt double…


No matter what he is, he’s clearly made of 100% all-dairy, real cheese :)

after EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’s “I am your father”
after WRATH OF KHAN’s “I am your gay son”
after SEARCH FOR SPOCK’s “Klingon bastard, you killed my son”
after THE FINAL FRONTIER’s “I am your brother”
after NEMESIS’s “I am your prototype/I am you”

… it would be nice if Nero were just a brilliant bad ass, consumed with righteous indignation, like Khan.