Monday, August 5, 2013

For Star Trek 3, Karl Urban Wants Originality

While promoting his television show Being Human, Karl Urban on the record to IGN what all Trekkies have been saying - that Star Trek 3 needs to return to its roots with original story telling that explores strange new worlds. He also was emphatic about not trying to use his connections to JJ Abrams to get a role in Star Wars Episode VII.
Somewhat taken aback by the total clarity of his denial, we asked if he was a fan of the Star Wars franchise. “Oh my God, yes,” Urban replied immediately. “I grew up watching it. That was the Holy Grail for me. I was a fan of Star Trek growing up. Star Wars was it. Star Wars was like…I remember waiting for two/three years for that next installment, for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I’ve seen every single Star Wars film, even the animated, The Clone Wars, and all that sort of stuff. I just love that universe, but that being said, I have no desire to be part of it. I don’t see the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars joining. I’ve made a commitment to Star Trek and I’m going to keep it. It wouldn’t feel right to me. Being in Star Trek, to suddenly be in Star Wars wouldn’t feel right to me.”

“J.J. is behind the camera. There’s a difference when you’re putting a face and a personality in front of the camera, and I wouldn’t want to do that do an audience. I, as an audience member, wouldn’t want to see an actor from Star Trek in Star Wars. I just wouldn’t. When I go into a Star Wars movie I want to be completely enveloped. I don’t want to be taken out of the picture by going, ‘Oh my God, there’s Scotty, what’s he doing in Star Wars?’”

“Look that’s a hard one [on who should direct Star Trek 3],” he continued, “because J.J. has set the bar so high and he is just a unique filmmaker. There’s no doubt about it. That being said, I look forward and welcome a fresh take, a new energy. If anything I think that J.J. is an inspiring individual, he’s an inspiring director and he’s going to push his contemporary to be better than they are. Because they’re going to have to be. So whoever takes on the mantle of the next Star Trek is going to do a good job.”

”What I really believe we should do now is strive for originality. Because in Star Trek Into Darkness we took one of the most revered and loved adversaries of the Enterprise and put him in there, and did a story that had all of these wonderful nods to films from the past, and episodes from the past. I really think that what we should do from here, in my personal opinion, is strive to be original. Strive to be something different and new. You know, let’s not forget that Star Trek as envisioned was about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film, so that we do something different than a revenge-based picture.”
There really is nothing I really disagree with in his comments even though I would contend he could have his cake and eat it too by getting a role as an alien in the Star Wars films that is sufficiently unique that it hides him (in the vein of Chewbacca or C3PO). I would love a return to exploring strange new worlds and civilizations that turn out to be a commentary on our political present much like many previous Star Trek movies and episodes were. Sadly I don't think the current writing team are capability of that kind of story complexity.

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