(written from a Production point of view)
- "I will still, and forever, wonder how one can go boldly and follow at the same time."
- - Tiberius Chase (Star Trek: The Beginning)
Star Trek: The Beginning was the tentative title for an abandoned plan for the eleventh Star Trek film.
Development and abandonment
Developed by Paramount Pictures, under then President Donald DeLine, the film was associated with veteran Trek producer Rick Berman and producers Kerry McCluggage and Jordan Kerner and written by Band of Brothers writer Erik Jendresen. Jendresen had completed a first draft of a script, titled Star Trek: The Beginning. It was dated 8 August 2006. However, the project was scrapped following the entrance of new studio President Gail Berman, in favor of Star Trek, which was directed by J.J. Abrams.
According to Jendresen, the film would have bridged the gap between the end of Star Trek: Enterprise and the beginning of Star Trek: The Original Series. It was Jendresen's hope that the story, which depicted the Earth-Romulan War, would be part of a trilogy of films. Jendresen went on to blame a "regime change" at Paramount Studios for the death of the film.  The story, which Jendressen quoted as being "big and epic",  would have taken place "a couple of years after the end of the events of Enterprise but well before the original series, and it would look at the inciting incident that started everything". Jendressen also explained that the story would have focused on a small group of people, particularly one character, but it would not have been a traditional Star Trek captain or crew. In addition, it would have featured "a couple of ships, including a principal ship". The central character of the trilogy, stated Jendresen, would have been a progenitor of James T. Kirk named Tiberius Chase.
Before the planned film was officially shelved, Rick Berman spoke to press sources and indicated that Paramount was ambivalent about the storyline, which would have featured no established Star Trek characters, and that the studio was considering shelving the concept. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 154) Later, there were rumors reported by Dreamwatch magazine that Paramount had decided to cancel plans for a possible eleventh film entirely, thereby concluding the Trek film series and citing a source that stated it would be "a long time before Paramount backs any future Trek films or TV shows".  This ultimately proved to be false, with the development and release of Star Trek, spearheaded by J.J. Abrams.
As recently as March 2007, screenwriter Jendresen spoke with press about the project, reiterating details about the storyline and his thoughts about the Paramount "regime change". Jendresen also revealed that Rick Berman was attached to the project in name only, saying that the veteran producer had nothing to do with the new project. Jendresen also stated that he hoped his story would appear in the future, in the form of Star Trek novels. 
In 2006, a new Star Trek animated series was proposed, and the captain shared the surname "Chase" and also fought the Romulans.
Story and characters
Details of the film's story were revealed in a write-up of Jendressen's script by Ain't It Cool News (AICN) in October 2007. The story is set in August and September of 2159, four years after the events of the Enterprise episode "Terra Prime" and two years before the events depicted on the holodeck in the Enterprise series finale, "These Are the Voyages...". At this time, Earth is going through a number of political changes. With the recent establishment of the Coalition of Planets (the beginnings of which were witnessed in "Demons" and "Terra Prime"), extraterrestrials are becoming more common and accepted by Humans. In addition, there is talk that the militaristic United Earth Stellar Navy (UESN) may be merging with the exploratory Starfleet.
As stated by Jendressen, the script centers on the character of Tiberius Chase, a top-notch pilot in the UESN. Having graduated from UESN academy, Chase wants to be accepted into the prestigious Starfleet but his attempts have been hindered due to the stigma of his family name. The Chase family, as it turns out, is associated with an Earth-based xenophobic faction similar to Terra Prime. Terran isolationists situated in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains in Antarctica, this faction wishes to end contact with alien races to preserve the Human gene pool. Due to Chase's association with such a group, Starfleet is reluctant to trust him, unsure as to his exact agenda.
In the meantime, a massive Romulan fleet is heading towards Earth, using a trajectory which conceals it behind Earth's moon, Luna. A preliminary attack force begins attacking Earth in various locations, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York, Beijing, Moscow, London, Cairo, and Athens. The Romulans demand that Earth surrender and turn over their Vulcan population for extermination. Their goal is to "cleanse" the galaxy of their logical Vulcan cousins (though it is unlikely the Humans know of this desire in order to keep with canon). Unprepared for Earth's defiance in meeting their demands, the first Romulan fleet calls for further assistance while continuing their own assault.
Starfleet and the UESN defend Earth, but the battle isn't going well. With a second wave of Romulan ships just two weeks away, Tiberius Chase hatches a plan to bring the battle to the Romulan space. His plan is to fly into the heart of the Romulan Star Empire and disrupt their war-making capabilities. Starfleet and his superiors refuse to listen to him, however. Unwilling to give up and let Earth lose to the Romulans, Chase and the few who agree with his plan acquire a nuclear bomb from the isolationist base in Antarctica. They then hijack a small vessel, the USS Spartan, from a drydock orbiting Saturn. The story ends with the Spartan making its way towards Romulus on its dangerous mission to bring the Romulans' battle to their own doorstep.
The story also involves the relationship between Chase and Penelope Gardner, with whom Chase is in love. Penelope is the daughter of Admiral Gardner (mentioned several times throughout Enterprise) and is described as "a school teacher from Iowa." Not coincidentally, James T. Kirk would be born in Iowa in 2233. Chase sends "love letters" to Penelope as he heads into battle. Admiral Gardner, in the meantime, works to defend Earth from the Romulans.
Other characters in the script include Chase's father, Otto, as well as a Lieutenant "Jaxx", a Māori ensign named "Ogg", and a Vulcan engineer named Skal. The latter is the designer of the NX-Omega warp engine, the first engine capable of warp 8. According to AICN's write-up, the NX-Omega is ready for launch; this seems to contradict the final episode of Enterprise in which Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander Trip Tucker are seen toasting the warp 7 engine in 2161.
The only previously-seen character who appears in the script is Shran, the Andorian commander played by Jeffrey Combs in several episodes of Enterprise. Also in the script is Skon, the father of Sarek, who serves as Vulcan's ambassador to Earth.
Jonathan Archer and Enterprise NX-01 are mentioned but never seen. According to a line of dialogue from the script, Archer and his crew are on Risa during the attacks. The Columbia NX-02 is seen twice in the script, and suffers damage during a Romulan attack. MACOs also play a role in the script. Denobulans and Tellarites are among the familiar alien races seen.
According to AICN, the script's structure resembles those of World War II films. Its story and setting is more dark and militaristic than "traditional" Star Trek, more closely resembling Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As these story elements come from the only draft script written for the film, it is unknown what would have changed or remained had the project been picked up.
|Undeveloped Star Trek projects|
|Films: The God Thing • Star Trek: Planet of the Titans • Star Trek III • Star Trek: The First Adventure • Star Trek: IMAX • Star Trek: The Beginning • Star Trek 4|
|Series: Assignment: Earth • Star Trek: Phase II • Star Trek: Re-Boot the Universe • Star Trek: Federation • Star Trek: Final Frontier|
|Episodes: TOS • TAS • TNG • DS9 • VOY • ENT • DIS||Novels and reference books|