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The future begins.

In the 23rd century, young Starfleet officers James T. Kirk and Spock must lead the fledgling crew of the USS Enterprise against an enormous ship from the future commanded by a half-mad Romulan bent on vengeance - and in control of devastating technology.



In the year 2233, the USS Kelvin investigates a lightning storm in space, which the crew soon realizes is a black hole. A massive vessel — the Narada — emerges, creating an alternate timeline. The Narada imediately opens fire on the Kelvin, inflicting heavy damage. The Narada's first officer, Ayel, hails the outmatched Kelvin. Speaking for Nero, Ayel demands that the Kelvin's captain, Richard Robau, come aboard the Narada via shuttlecraft. Captain Robau agrees and hands command of the ship to his first officer, George Kirk. Robau orders Kirk to wait fifteen minutes for his signal or else evacuate the ship.

Robau is taken to Nero while the crew of the Kelvin monitors him. It is the Romulan captain's first officer, Ayel, who interrogates him first about a particular ship, which Robau does not recognize, and then about the whereabouts of Ambassador Spock, with whom Robau is also unfamiliar. Upon citing the stardate, Robau is impaled with a teral'n by Nero, and the display of his vital signs on the bridge of the Kelvin instantly flatlines; Robau is dead. Kirk orders the Kelvin to open fire. As the situation worsens and he realizes that the damage to the Kelvin is compromising the lives and safety of everyone, he orders the crew to escape pods and shuttles, including his wife Winona, who is about to give birth.

Kirk tries to plot a collision course with the Narada, but autopilot navigation is offline; he will need to control the Kelvin himself. He orders his wife to leave on the shuttle without him. She protests, but Kirk knows that he has no choice but to stay behind and continue the attack in order to protect the others who are leaving on escape pods. On the shuttlecraft, Winona Kirk gives birth to a baby boy. As the Kelvin destroys the missiles aimed at the shuttles, Kirk can hear his newborn's cries, realizing that he will never meet his son. Just before the Kelvin is about to collide with the Romulan vessel, Kirk asks Winona what they should name their son. She suggests naming him after George's father, but he laughs the suggestion off and says that Tiberius isn't much of a first name. They decide to name him Jim, after Winona's father. Communication is cut off as the Kelvin smashes into the Narada, crippling it for a while and giving the shuttles time to escape.

Act One

In Iowa, approximately ten years later (2243), a young James T. Kirk is seen racing down the road in his stepfather's antique Corvette. Over the vehicle's comm system, Kirk's stepfather yells at him, demanding that he return home. Kirk ignores the demand, switching the comm off and blasting 20th century music. As a policeman on a flying motorcycle chases after him, Kirk heads for a quarry and jumps out of the car, moments before it speeds over the edge and crashes on the canyon floor below.

Around the same time on Vulcan, a young Spock is being tormented by bullies who tease him about his mixed heritage, calling his father a traitor for marrying a human mother. The three have previously failed to invoke an emotional response in Spock by stirring his human side 34 times, but this time they take it too far, calling his human mother, "a whore." Their plan backfires, and Spock knocks one of the older boys into a learning pod and beats him in an emotional rage. He is later admonished by his father, Sarek, who is disappointed at his son's lack of emotional control and tells him that he has a path to choose and that only he can make the decision.

A few years later, Spock is conflicted about whether he should participate in the Kolinahr — the Vulcan ritual aimed at purging all vestigial emotions. He talks to his mother, Amanda Grayson, who tells him that she will always be proud of him, no matter what he decides. Later, Spock stands before a committee on Vulcan. The chairman comments on Spock's perfect record in his attempt to gain entry to the Vulcan Science Academy and that his only flaw is that he also applied to Starfleet Academy. Spock explains it was only logical for him to explore all options. The committee informs him of his acceptance into the Vulcan Science Academy and commends his accomplishments despite his "disadvantage" of being half human. Upon hearing this, Spock declines the offer, stating that he will enter Starfleet Academy instead. Commenting on the fact that he is the first Vulcan to reject an appointment to the Vulcan Science Academy, he sardonically tells the committee that their record is still perfect since he is, in fact, part human.

In 2255, in a bar in Iowa, a young Nyota Uhura meets up with some friends, and while ordering drinks, a rather intoxicated James Kirk introduces himself to her and offers to buy her a drink. He unsuccessfully flirts with her, trying to find out her first name, even though she is not very interested. The situation escalates when another Starfleet recruit interjects in an attempt to defend Uhura. He and three other recruits get into a fight with Kirk and beat him up before a senior officer, Captain Christopher Pike, ends the fight. Pike, who is very familiar with Kirk's tragic past and the accomplishment of his father, sits down with him, trying to talk some sense into the rebellious young man by trying to persuade him to join Starfleet. He firmly believes that with his aptitude, he can do more with himself than get into bar fights and be "the only genius-level repeat offender in the Midwest." He believes that in only eight years he could even have his own ship. However, Kirk doesn't want to hear it and laughs at the idea of joining Starfleet. Pike ends the conversation with a reminder that Kirk's father saved 800 lives in the course of just 12 minutes of command and challenges Kirk to do better.

Early the next day, Kirk heads to Riverside Shipyard, where the USS Enterprise is being built, and thinks about what Capt. Pike had told him. He makes the decision to join Starfleet. Pike is surprised to see Kirk turn up to join the new recruits. Giving his motorbike away to the first person who compliments it, Kirk passes Pike, saying he'll graduate in three years instead of four. He enters the recruit shuttle, surprising Uhura and the recruits who beat him up the night before. Another man, Leonard McCoy, also boards the shuttlecraft. Sitting next to Kirk, the somewhat nervous doctor starts ranting about what could physically happen to them should anything go wrong with the shuttle's systems. Kirk is amused and tries to remind him that Starfleet works in space. McCoy explains that he has nowhere else to go, having lost everything he had in a divorce, the only thing he has left are his bones. The two become friends.

Three years later (2258), the Narada is waiting at an unknown part of space. Nero — who has lost part of his right ear since his arrival in the past — is called to the bridge by Ayel. Suddenly, a black hole temporal disturbance appears and a small starship flies out of the anomaly. Nero recognizes and welcomes the appearance of Ambassador Spock.

Meanwhile, at Starfleet Academy, Kirk is telling McCoy that he is taking the Kobayashi Maru test again the next day, and is certain he will pass it this time. McCoy is shocked at Kirk's attitude, as no one has ever passed the test, much less repeated it three times. Kirk then leaves to "study", which for him means hooking up with an Orion cadet named Gaila in her dorm room. Suddenly, Gaila's roommate enters, and Kirk is snuck under the bed, only to find out that the roommate is Uhura. She talks about a message she decoded about a giant spaceship destroying dozens of Klingon warships while changing out of her uniform. Kirk watches Uhura undress, but she hears a noise and outs him. Angry that her roommate brought yet another guy to their room, and even angrier that it's Kirk, she kicks him out.

The next day, Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and a few other Starfleet recruits are in the simulator room, undergoing the Kobayashi Maru test on Kirk's third attempt. Kirk takes a comically casual approach to the test, much to everyone's bewilderment. Everything goes as planned — when, unexpectedly, the power systems momentarily fail, and then the attacking Klingon ships' shields go down, and they are promptly destroyed. From the viewpoint above the simulator room, a technician asks someone how Kirk was able to beat this test. The man turns, revealing himself to be Spock.

Act Two

Spock at Kirk's Hearing

Spock at Kirk's inquiry at Starfleet Academy

During an official inquiry, the Starfleet Academy brass informs Kirk that they have received evidence that Kirk entered a subroutine into the computer making it possible for him to win in the simulation, and accuse him of cheating. While Kirk faces his accuser, Spock, and tries to defend himself, the hearing is suddenly interrupted when the committee is informed that the Federation has received a distress call from Vulcan. With the primary fleet occupied in the Laurentian system, Starfleet is forced to commission the Academy cadets and dispatch ships immediately to begin a rescue mission.

Cadets are assigned to ships based on their aptitude, with the most capable cadets assigned to the USS Enterprise, a ship completed so recently that it hasn't even been christened yet. Uhura is originally assigned to the USS Farragut, but complains directly to Spock, citing her numerous commendations and recommendations (many from Spock himself) and insisting she had earned an assignment to the USS Enterprise. Spock suggests that he did not want to suggest impropriety for some reason, but ultimately relents, and re-assigns Uhura to Enterprise. Kirk has been grounded pending a ruling on his inquiry, and is not allowed to board the shuttles and join the mission. However, McCoy takes him to the medical bay, where he injects him with a vaccine, which will temporarily make him ill. Consequently, he is allowed to take Kirk up to the Enterprise on medical grounds.

Bones and Kirk

Kirk and McCoy on the shuttle

The Enterprise leaves for Vulcan, but not before helmsman Hikaru Sulu – standing in for McKenna, who is ill – disengages the external inertial dampener, which had been stopping them from going to warp. Pavel Chekov uses the comm system to inform the crew about their first mission. There is a massive lightning storm above Vulcan's upper atmosphere, followed by strange planet-wide seismic disturbances. Their orders are to investigate the seismic disturbance, and aid in evacuation of the planet if necessary. After hearing the announcement, Kirk suddenly realizes that the "lightning storm" detected near Vulcan is exactly the same occurrence the Kelvin encountered two decades earlier. Realizing that they are running straight into a Romulan trap, Kirk rushes through the ship to Uhura, despite suffering a bad reaction to the vaccine McCoy gave him: big, swelled up hands and a numb tongue. He asks her about the Klingon distress call she had deciphered earlier, and she confirms that the attackers were Romulan.

Kirk then rushes to the bridge to inform Captain Pike of this. Pike is at first skeptical, but after hearing about the call Uhura picked up, Spock concludes that Kirk's logic is correct. Uhura is placed at the communications console at the bridge as, unlike assigned communications officer Hawkins, she can distinguish Romulan from Vulcan. As they disengage warp drive, the Enterprise finds itself in a debris field of the other seven Starfleet ships which arrived shortly before they did. On direction of Pike, Sulu is able to navigate his way through the debris field with minimal damage. The Narada attacks the Enterprise, which takes heavy damage on the first volley of torpedoes, destroying the sickbay and reducing shields to 32%. But just as they are about to fire again, Nero realizes which ship he is firing at.

He hails the Enterprise and identifies himself. Pike, seeing a Romulan, accuses him of an act of war, but Nero states he stands apart from the Romulan Star Empire. He pointedly greets a confused Spock, and orders Pike to come aboard via shuttlecraft, just like he told Robau. Pike asks if there are any hand-to-hand combat-trained officers on the bridge. Sulu volunteers. Pike gathers Sulu, Spock and Kirk, and begins on his way to the shuttle bay.

Pike promotes Spock to Captain and puts him in charge of the Enterprise. He also commissions Kirk, naming him First Officer, much to Spock's chagrin. Pike outlines his plan to do two things at once: on the shuttle en route to the Narada he will drop Kirk, Sulu and chief engineer Olsen into an orbital skydive. They will land on Narada's drill platform, which is deployed into the Vulcan atmosphere and firing a drilling beam cutting into the planet, causing the seismic disturbances that prompted the original distress signal. They will disable the drilling beam, which is also disrupting transporter operation and communications, and then contact Starfleet to inform them of the incident. If all else fails, they are to fall back to the primary fleet at the Laurentian system. If Pike doesn't come back, they will also need to come get him.

Spock returns to the bridge and checks in on sickbay. He is surprised to hear Dr. McCoy instead of Dr. Puri, the chief medical officer, who was killed in the attack. Spock officially named McCoy the chief medical officer, a fact McCoy had already assumed as he works in the sickbay, heavily damaged and inundated with casualties.

USS Enterprise and Narada face off over Vulcan

The Enterprise is dwarfed by the massive Narada over Vulcan

Pike arrives on the Narada as the three begin their descent. Sulu opens his parachute first, followed by Kirk. An over-enthusiastic Olsen, wearing a red space suit, waits too long to activate his parachute, and he falls underneath the drill, incinerated by the beam. Kirk lands safely on the platform, and proceeds to fight the first Romulan who attacks him. While grappling over the Romulan's disruptor rifle, the weapon fires, shooting holes into Sulu's parachute and sending him out of control. Kirk reaches for his phaser pistol, but the Romulan quickly knocks it out of his hand, forcing him to use his helmet as a weapon. As Sulu approaches the platform, a second Romulan with a disruptor rifle emerges, and Kirk wards both off, eventually disarming them of their rifles but not doing much to hurt either of them. Sulu lands dangling off the platform and swings close to the drilling beam. He uses the parachute's repacking mechanism to pull himself onto the platform, and uses his retractable sword to cut it off to avoid getting pulled onto a flame vent and incinerated. Sulu then swordfights with one Romulan, while the other goes hand-to-hand against Kirk, who is knocked over and left hanging on the edge of the platform. Sulu knocks his adversary onto the vent, incinerating him. He then stabs the other one with his sword, and pulls Kirk back to safety. Olsen had the charges they were going to use to destroy the platform, so they take the Romulan's disruptor rifles and proceed to fire on the drill, disabling it.

Ayel reports the drill's incapacitation, but tells Nero that the drill had reached Vulcan's core. Nero orders the release of the "red matter", and the return of the drill. Chekov discovers what the "red matter" is doing: creating a black hole in the middle of the planet. Vulcan will be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Just as Kirk and Sulu are to be beamed off, the drill moves and Sulu falls. Kirk jumps after him. Catching up, Kirk activates his parachute but unable to take the weight of two people, it snaps off. As they can't get a transporter lock, Chekov races to the transporter room and mathematically works out how to do so. The two officers are rescued just before they hit solid rock.

Right after Kirk and Sulu are beamed aboard, Spock beams down to save the Vulcan Council, which includes Sarek and his mother, Amanda. They were taking refuge in a cave which they could not simply beam through. Several of the elders in the Council are killed by falling rocks and statues, but Spock gets five of them to safety, including his parents. As the transporter is about to pick them up, the rock his mother is standing on collapses, causing the transporter to miss her. Spock stands on the transporter pad in shock, having lost his mother.

Act Three

The Enterprise crew watch in horror as Vulcan implodes into oblivion. Spock records his first log entry as Captain of the Enterprise, stating that over six billion Vulcans were killed, and only around 10,000 remain. He notes he is now a member of an endangered species. Soon after, Spock leaves the bridge, and he is followed into the turbolift by Uhura. She stops the turbolift and embraces him, hoping to console him. When she asks what Spock needs, he answers only that he needs the crew to continue to work "admirably".

Pike, still a prisoner of the Romulans, is officially listed as a hostage of a "war criminal". Nero asks Pike for the security codes to defense systems around Earth, but Pike refuses to give them to him, disgusted by Nero's act of genocide on Vulcan. Nero speaks about how the Narada, in his time, was a mining ship, and he was laboring to support his wife, who was expecting his child, before they were killed when Romulus was destroyed. He placed blame on the Federation for doing nothing, and accused Spock of betraying them, promising himself retribution. Pike pleads that Romulus still exists, but Nero only knows that his world — the Romulus of the future — was destroyed, and he intends to destroy every world of the Federation, so that others will know his pain. Forcing a Centaurian slug down Pike's throat which will help coerce Pike to give out the security codes, Nero orders the Narada to continue to Earth.

Spock leads the bridge crew in trying to brainstorm what happened. They have determined that the Narada is heading for Earth. Judging from their "black hole" technology, Spock reasons that the Narada must have travelled back in time from the future. He states that they must regroup with the fleet, but Kirk says that in order to stop Nero they must go after him first. Kirk believes that any delayed action will result in Earth being destroyed. This culminates in an argument which ends in Spock ordering Kirk's removal from the bridge, but Kirk fights off his security escort. Spock ends it by delivering the Vulcan nerve pinch to Kirk, before placing him in an escape pod. The pod is launched and Kirk awakens to find himself on a snow-covered world, known as Delta Vega, another planet in Vulcan's system. Picking up his gear, Kirk heads for the Starfleet station 14 kilometers away. He is chased down by a "polarilla" which is in turn is attacked by an even larger insectoid animal. It chases Kirk into a cave, and when it finally attaches a tendril to catch him, trying to consume him, it is spooked off by an elderly man wielding a lit torch. The man reveals himself to be Spock, Kirk's old friend, but the latter is skeptical.

Spock melds with Kirk so that he understand why he is here. He explains that 129 years in the future, in the year 2387, an impending supernova of the star Hobus threatened to destroy the home worlds of the Romulan Star Empire and throw off the political balance of the galaxy. Spock developed a stockpile of "red matter", a substance that can be ignited to form a singularity, a black hole that would mop up the matter of the supernova. However, the star exploded while he was en route, and Romulus was destroyed. Spock launched the red matter from his ship, the Jellyfish, to prevent further damage. Immediately, Spock was confronted by a surviving Romulan mining vessel, the Narada, captained by Nero. Spock tried to escape, but fed by the mass of the supernova, the resultant black hole captured both the Jellyfish and the Narada, creating a disturbance in the space-time continuum which sent both ships into the past. The Narada exited over 150 years in the past, where it confronted the Kelvin. Spock's ship entered moments later, but what appeared moments to him, were 25 years after the Narada had entered. Nero then captured Spock's ship, but kept Spock alive, marooning him on Delta Vega, so that he could witness the destruction of his own home planet, Vulcan, just as he had to witness the destruction of Romulus. Kirk explains he was left on the planet by the Spock he knows, who is in command of the Enterprise. The elder Spock is surprised, knowing that Kirk should be in command of the ship. It is then that Spock realizes that when Nero exited the wormhole and confronted the Kelvin, he altered history and created an alternate reality.

Kirk asks Spock whether his father lived in the original timeline. Spock confirms that George Kirk saw his son take command of the Enterprise. Spock leads Kirk to the Starfleet base. They are met by a short alien officer, Keenser, who leads them inside, where they meet this timeline's Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. A transporter genius, Scotty was "exiled" to Delta Vega after beaming Admiral Archer's beagle to an unknown location during a transporter experiment. Spock informs Kirk that he must relieve the Vulcan's younger self of command by provoking him and showing everyone that Spock is too personally and emotionally compromised to lead the mission and captain the ship. Giving Scotty the formula for "transwarp beaming" — an operation originally devised by the older Scott — Spock sends Kirk and Scotty back to the Enterprise. Not too long after they are transported to the Enterprise, the two are spotted and eventually captured by security personnel, led by the one who got into a bar fight with Kirk three years previously.

They are taken to the bridge where an astounded Spock attempts to find out how the two were able to transport on board the ship while it was in warp. Kirk refuses to answer and recommends Scotty do the same, and then proceeds to ask why Spock doesn't feel any anger or have any emotion over the destruction of his planet and the death of his mother who was murdered. He keeps pushing and provoking Spock until he finally snaps, starts beating on Kirk, then strangling him to the point of nearly killing him, before he is stopped by Sarek. Realizing how far he has gone, Spock relieves himself of duty and leaves the bridge. Kirk assumes command.

Chekov, Kirk, Scott, Bones, Sulu, Uhura

The Enterprise crew regards Spock when he returns to the Bridge.

Following his outburst, Spock returns to the transporter room, where Sarek talks to him. Spock feels a rage he cannot control over the death of his mother. Sarek says that his mother would have said not to bother controlling it, and admits that he married Amanda because he loved her. Meanwhile, on the Bridge, Chekov figures out a plan to get the Enterprise close to the Narada without them noticing: they can follow the Narada and stop at Saturn's system, remaining undetected by its magnetic field. Spock returns, confirming the logic of Chekov's plan, and offers to beam over to the Narada to get the "black hole device" and save Earth, the only home he has left. Kirk says he will go as well, to rescue Pike.

The Romulan ship deploys its drilling rig directly over San Francisco, and begins to drill its hole near the Golden Gate Bridge. Warping into Titan's atmosphere, the Enterprise indeed remains undetected, and Kirk and Spock prepare to beam over to the Romulan ship. Before they leave, Uhura tells Spock on the transporter pad that he better come back. In his reply, he calls her "Nyota". Kirk, who overheard, then asks Spock if that's her first name; Spock refuses to comment.

Scotty thought he would be beaming Kirk and Spock to the Narada's cargo bay, which would've been quiet, but it turns out to be an occupied portion of the ship. After a brief firefight, Spock uncovers the location of the black hole device and Captain Pike by melding with an unconscious Romulan. When they board the Jellyfish, it recognizes Spock as its captain, and the Vulcan finally figures out what is going on, as the ship's computer confirms its origin stardate as 2387. As Spock commandeers the Jellyfish and blasts its way out of the Narada, Kirk runs into more trouble as he finds the Romulan's "bridge", where Nero and Ayel are waiting. Spock destroys the drilling rig before it can reach Earth's core, then goes to warp, and Nero orders pursuit. Kirk manages to gain control of Ayel's disruptor during a brief fight and kills him. He then heads off to rescue Pike.

The ships drop out of warp, and the Jellyfish turns to intercept and collide with the Narada. Nero orders all weapons to be fired, even though the ship still has "red matter" on it; with his plan for revenge ruined, now he only wants to kill Spock. The Enterprise arrives on scene and destroys the missiles, allowing Spock to carry through with his plan to ram the Narada. Inside the Narada, Kirk finds Pike, alive but injured due to his earlier torture. Scotty successfully beams back Kirk, Pike and Spock from their two different locations, right before the Jellyfish collides with the interior hull of the Narada and explodes.

The explosion of the Jellyfish ignites the entire stockpile of "red matter" on-board, creating a black hole. Kirk offers Nero to rescue the Narada, but Nero refuses, saying he'd rather watch Romulus die a thousand times, than accept his help. Kirk opens fire, blowing the ship apart with phasers and photon torpedoes. The Narada is finally destroyed, but the gravitational pull of the black hole begins tugging on the Enterprise, keeping it from escaping, even with its engines running at warp speed. Scotty ejects the warp core and detonates it near the black hole. The resulting explosion pushes the Enterprise to safety, and the black hole implodes.


On Earth, Kirk is commended by Starfleet Command and given command of the Enterprise. He relieves Pike, who has been promoted to Admiral and is now recovering in a wheelchair. The elder Spock meets with his younger self and tells him that he helped Kirk directly so the two would form a friendship. He also advises his younger self to put aside logic once in a while and do what feels right. The older Spock then raises his hand in the familiar Vulcan salute, but notes that the unusual circumstances do not lend themselves to such a gesture, so he simply wishes his younger self "good luck". As the older Spock leaves to help the remaining Vulcans establish a colony, the younger Spock returns to the Enterprise and asks Kirk if he could join him as his first officer, to which Captain Kirk says it would be his honor. The Enterprise is then seen warping away into what lies ahead.

Memorable Quotes

"Look at this ship. Are you familiar with this craft?"
"Who is your commander? Is that him?"
"I will speak for Captain Nero."
"Then ask Captain Nero: What gives him the right to attack a Federation vessel?"
"Do you know the location of Ambassador Spock?"
"I'm unfamiliar with Ambassador Spock."
"What is the current stardate?"
"Stardate? Twenty-two Thirty-three zero four. Where are you from?"

- Ayel and Richard Robau during Robau's ill-fated surrender to the Narada

"We could name him after your father."
"Tiberius? You kidding me? No...that's the worst! Let's name him after your dad. Let's call him Jim."

- Winona Kirk and George Kirk

"What is your name?"
"My name is James Tiberius Kirk."

- Cop and Kirk.

"Spock, you are fully capable of deciding your own destiny. The question you face is: which path will you choose? Only you can decide."

- Sarek

"If you don't give me a name, I'm gonna have to make one up."
"It's Uhura."
"Uhura? No way! That's the name I was gonna make up for you!"

- James Kirk and Nyota Uhura

"Oh, relax cupcake, it was a joke."
"Hey! Farmboy! Maybe you can't count, but there are four of us and one of you."
"So get some more guys and then it'll be an even fight."

- James Kirk and Security Guy

"You can whistle really know that?"

- James Kirk after Captain Pike disperses the brawling Starfleet cadets.

"Your father didn't believe in a no-win scenario."
"Well, he sure learned his lesson."

- Pike and Kirk.

"Your father was captain of a starship for twelve minutes. He saved eight hundred lives, including your mother's and yours. I dare you to do better."

- Christopher Pike

"I don't need a doctor, damn it, I am a doctor!"

- Leonard McCoy, being forced to his seat from the lavatory of the Cadet shuttle at Riverside Shipyard

"I suffer from aviophobia. It means fear of dying in something that flies!"

- Leonard McCoy

"I may throw up on you."
"I think these things are pretty safe."
"Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. Solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait till you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles, see if you're so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding. Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence."
"Well, I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in space."
"Yeah. Well, I got nowhere else to go. The ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I've got left is my bones."

- McCoy and James Kirk
Kirk later says nearly the same to McCoy while en route to the Enterprise: "I might throw up on you."

"Oh, Jim, I think I love you."
"That's so weird."
"Lights. Did you just say 'that is so weird'?"

- Gaila and James Kirk

"Who was that pointy-eared bastard?"
"I don't know...but I like him."

- James Kirk and McCoy, after meeting Spock for the first time.

"Authorization code Nine-Five-Wictor-Wictor-Two."
"Access Denied."
"Okay... Nine-Five...Victor...Victor-Two."

- Pavel Chekov, accessing the ship's all-call system, and the Enterprise Computer

"This is Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterprise."
"Hi, Christopher, I'm Nero."
"You have committed an act of war against the Federation. If you agree to stand down, we can arrange a conference with Romulan leadership at a neutral site."
"I do not speak for the Empire. We stand apart."

- Nero and Pike

"Kirk, I'm promoting you to First Officer."
"Captain? Please, I apologize. The complexity of human pranks escape me."
"It's not a prank, Spock. And I'm not the are."

- Pike, Kirk and Spock

"So what kind of combat training do you have?"

- James Kirk and Sulu

"Olsen is gone, sir!"

- Chekov, reporting the death of the over-enthusiastic crewman

"Acting Captain's Log, Stardate 2258.42. We have had no word from Captain Pike. I therefore classified him as a hostage of the war criminal known as Nero. Nero, who has destroyed my home planet and most of its 6 billion inhabitants. While the essence of our culture has been saved in the elders who now reside upon this ship, I estimate that only about 10,000 Vulcans have survived. I am now a member of an endangered species."

- Spock, in an early log entry

"What do you need? Tell me."
"I need everyone... to continue performing admirably."

- Uhura and Spock

"Out of the chair."

- Spock catching James Kirk in the Captain's chair

"Damn it man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!"

- McCoy

"An alternate reality?"
"Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed."

- Uhura and Spock

"Stardate 2258.42... four uh, four, whatever. Acting Captain Spock has marooned me on Delta Vega, in what I believe is a violation of Security Protocol 49.09 governing the treatment of prisoners on-board a starship."

- James Kirk recording one of his first personal logs

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

-Spock Prime

"I am Spock."

- Spock Prime and James Kirk

"Are you out of your Vulcan mind?"

- McCoy

"So, the Enterprise has had its maiden voyage, has it? She is one well-endowed lady! I like to get my hands on her ample nacelles if you'll pardon the engineering parlance."

- Montgomery Scott

"You coming back in time and changing history, that's cheating"
"A trick I learned from an old friend. Live long and prosper."

- James Kirk and Spock Prime

"What is it like not to feel anger? Or heartbreak? Or the need to stop at nothing to avenge the death woman who gave birth to you"
"Back away from..."
"You feel nothing! It must not even compute for you! You never loved her..."

- James Kirk provoking Spock to show he is emotionally compromised and unfit for command.

"Either we're going down...or they are."

- James Kirk addressing the crew before the battle with Nero.

"I like this ship! You know, it's exciting!"

- Scott, after Spock leaves the bridge following a ferocious fistfight between Spock and Kirk.

"Congratulations, Jim! Now we've got no Captain and no goddamn First Officer to replace him."
"Yeah, we do."

- McCoy and James Kirk directly before Kirk sits in the Captain's chair as Captain of the Enterprise

"I sure hope you know what you're doing... Captain."
"So do I."

- Uhura and James Kirk after Kirk takes the Captain's chair

"Speak your mind, my son."
"That would be unwise."
"What is necessary is never unwise."
"I feel as conflicted as I was as a child."
"You will always be a child of two worlds. I am grateful for this...and for you."

- Sarek and Spock

"You once asked me once why I married your mother. I married her because I loved her."

- Sarek explaining to Spock the real reason he married Amanda

"James T. Kirk was considered to be a great man, who went on to captain the USS Enterprise... but that was another life. A life I will deprive you of just like I did your father!"

- Nero


- Nero's reaction after Spock steals the Jellyfish

"This is Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Your ship is compromised and too close to the singularity to survive without assistance which we are willing to provide."
"Captain, what are you doing?"
"Show them compassion might be the only way to earn peace with Romulus. It's logic Spock, I thought you'd like that."
"No, not really. Not this time."

- Captain Kirk and Spock

"I would rather suffer the end of Romulus a thousand times. I would rather die in agony, than accept assistance from you."
"You got it. Arm phasers, fire everything we've got."

- Nero and James Kirk, immediately before the Enterprise opens fire on the Narada.

"I am not our father."

- Spock and Spock Prime

"Spock, do yourself a favor: put aside logic, do what feels right."

- Spock Prime advising Spock

"As my customary farewell would seem oddly self serving, I will simply say... good luck."

- Spock Prime to Spock

"Bones... Buckle up!"

- James Kirk, to McCoy, his first words on the bridge of the Enterprise as its assigned Captain.

"Space: the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before."

- Spock Prime (final lines)

Background Information

The only actors to participate on both this film and the first Star Trek film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was Majel Barrett and Leonard Nimoy. In The Motion Picture, Barrett played Dr. Christine Chapel and she voiced the Enterprise computer in Star Trek, while in both films, Nimoy played Spock.



The first poster, designed by J.J. Abrams.

Development on Star Trek began in 2005 when Paramount contacted Roberto Orci (who was working with J.J. Abrams and Alex Kurtzman on the studio's Mission: Impossible III at the time), asking for ideas on how to revive the franchise. [1]

The initial report announcing an eleventh Star Trek film being developed by J.J. Abrams was released by the Daily Variety on 20 April 2006. This report stated that not only was Abrams set to produce, co-write, and direct the next Trek film, but the story would revolve around the iconic characters of James T. Kirk and Spock during their days at Starfleet Academy. [2]

Several days later, Abrams confirmed some parts of the report while denouncing others, stating that the announcement was an unofficial leak and was "not entirely accurate." He also stated that, while he was given the option to direct the film, he had not decided to do so at that time. [3] [4] He ultimately announced his decision to direct on 23 February 2007.

Fans got an official look at the movie's direction when Paramount released a poster for the new film on 22 July 2006: the teaser bore the Enterprise crew uniform insignia from the original series, against a background half command gold and half science blue. It hinted at a film to be set in the 23rd century which might feature the legendary Enterprise herself. The poster was designed by the film's director/producer, J.J. Abrams. [5]

The film was greenlit in late February, at which time pre-production officially began. [6] Paramount's press release on 27 February 2007 confirmed that production was under way, with Abrams directing, for a target premiere date of Christmas Day 2008. [7]

By 3 May 2007, some of the art department – still being filled by production designer Scott Chambliss – were already working, mostly from home; offices on the Paramount lot weren't finished before mid-May. [8] [9]

Soundstage set construction began in September. Most design work was complete by 12 October 2007. The budget is estimated between $120 to $150m, higher than any prior Trek film. [10]

Story and script

The original treatment for the film (the initial story outline) was completed in August. By the 24th of that month, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman had begun working on a first draft of the screenplay, which was completed by 12 December 2006. [11] A second final draft was complete by 8 October 2007. [12] [13] In total, the script took approximately four months to write. The final script was about 128 pages long. [14]

In an interview posted 8 March 2007, the writers stated that the "intended title" for the film was always simply Star Trek, without any colons or subtitles. [15] This was to encourage newcomers that they didn't have to watch any other film before it. [16]

This is the first Star Trek movie since Star Trek Generations to feature characters from the original series and to feature scenes set in the 23rd century. It is also the first in the film series to be set before the other films.

Co-writer Alex Kurtzman said the script draws inspiration from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He and Roberto Orci hoped to recapture the spirit of The Wrath of Khan for this particular film. [17] Other inspirations for the film include the novels Prime Directive and Spock's World, [18] and the TOS episode "Balance of Terror" and the TNG episode "Yesterday's Enterprise".

The writers said their goal was for the film to appeal not just to Trek fans, but to new audiences as well. [19] [20] They hoped to bring the feel of the original Star Wars trilogy into the movie, since Abrams has often said he's more a fan of Star Wars than Star Trek. [21]

Scenes featuring Kirk's former CO, Garrovick, and Kirk's service under Garrovick aboard the USS Farragut are not in the film as first reported. These elements, which were included in early drafts of the script, were removed in rewrites. [22] The character of Carol Marcus was also included in early drafts of the script, but she did not make it into the shooting script, either. [23]

Rumors that the film's story involved the Guardian of Forever from the classic episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" prompted the episode's writer, Harlan Ellison, to demand compensation if elements from his story were used in the film. [24] [25] The rumors ultimately turned out to be false, however.

According to Roberto Orci, the most difficult characters to write for were the film's villain (Nero) and James T. Kirk. [26] One source which Orci and Kurtzman utilized during the entire writing process was this website, Memory Alpha. The writers also occasionally referenced Memory Alpha during the film's production. [27]

Even though this film takes place in an alternate timeline, Orci has stated that any canon changes made in this timeline will not affect the former timeline, arguing that the scientific theory of quantum mechanics permits the existence of parallel timelines and universes. He also believes that this theory allows for the continuance of a timeline even after a change is affected and an alternate timeline is created. In addition, he argues that, although the timeline has changed, the true nature of the characters does not change and that Kirk and company are the same people they are in the original timeline. [28]

See also


The film's production was designed by Scott Chambliss. Ryan Church was the primary designer of the USS Enterprise and other starships, while Trek veteran John Eaves designed the various shuttlecraft.


J.J. Abrams stated the difficulty of depicting the future was that much of modern technology was inspired by the original series, making it seem outdated. As such, the production design had to be consistent with the television series while also feeling more advanced than the real world technology developed after it. [29] Specifically, he felt that the original series had a "kitschy quality" to it which had to be abandoned for the sake of realism. [30]

According to production designer Scott Chambliss, redesigning the Enterprise and especially the main bridge began with laying out a framework of ground rules: the sets had to reflect the optimism of the original series, while also having a real functionality to them. "There was a strong, sleek, modernist vision at play in the 1960s when the television series began," says Chambliss. "That was something we wanted to infuse in our look." As such, the Enterprise draws inspiration from the work of Pierre Cardin and the sets from the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Production notes)

Chambliss maintained the layout of the bridge from the original series, but added more consoles and glass data displays to increase its functionality and make it more "busy." He also altered it aesthetically, with brighter lights and colors. The main viewscreen was turned into a window that could have images projected on it to make the space environment palpable. The bridge set was built on gimbals so the ship's rocking motions when it was attacked or when it accelerated to warp were more realistic. More railings were added to the bridge set to make it appear safer. [31] [32]

The Romulan ship, the Narada, was designed as purely practical with visible mechanics, as the Romulans were on a very specific mission, unlike the Enterprise crew, who give a respectable presentation on behalf of the Federation. [33] In designing the Narada, Chambliss was heavily influenced by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí, who created buildings that appeared to be inside out: by making the ship's exposed wires appear like bones or ligaments, it would create a foreboding atmosphere. The ship's interior was made of six pieces that could be rearranged to create a different room, thus allowing the production to utilize a single stage for the set. (Production notes)

Different art directors were responsible for the sets of each ship: Dennis Bradford was responsible for the Federation starship sets (the Enterprise and the Kelvin); Gary Kosko handled all the Vulcan-related sets; and Curt Beech oversaw the shuttlecraft sets. They were all supervised by Keith P. Cunningham, who ensured everything was organized and running properly. (Production notes)


Like the ships and their sets, the props seen on the original Star Trek series were redesigned, as well, including the communicator, the tricorder, and the Starfleet phaser. All props were the responsibility of property master Russell Bobbitt.

Bobbitt collaborated with engineers at Nokia to redesign the original communicator, creating a $50,000 prototype. For the tricorder, Bobbitt brought the original prop to the set, but the actors found it too large to carry when filming action scenes. Bobbitt then approached technical advisor Doug Brody, who redesigned a smaller version of the prop. [34] The phaser props maintained the basic shape of the original props, but were designed with spring-triggered barrels that revolve and glow as the setting switches from "stun" to "kill".

A tribble can be seen in the film, sitting in a cage on Scotty's desk in the Delta Vega Station. [35] The production made use of the Aptera Typ-1, a prototype electric vehicle. The Aptera was used on location at the CSUN campus, which was standing in as part of Starfleet Academy. [36] [37] [38]


Abrams selected Michael Kaplan to design the costumes because Kaplan had not seen any of the films, meaning he would approach the costumes with a new angle. For Abrams, "The costumes were a microcosm of the entire project, which was how to take something that's kind of silly and make it feel real. But how do you make legitimate those near-primary color costumes?" [39]

Kaplan used the Star Trek Encyclopedia to get a sense of the evolution of the Starfleet uniforms and to look for repeated motifs. (Production notes) For the Enterprise uniforms, Kaplan followed color coding used on the original series. The uniforms were comprised of dark gray (almost black) undershirts and pants and colored overshirts showing each crew member's position. Kaplan wanted the shirts to be more sophisticated than the originals and decided to have the Starfleet emblem patterned on them. [40]

When designing the uniforms for the crew of the USS Kelvin, Kaplan drew inspiration from the retro-futuristic designs of 1940s and 1950s science fiction films. For the Romulans on the Narada, Kaplan wanted worn and rugged clothes because of their mining backgrounds. He found some aged, greasy-looking fabrics at a flea market, and commissioned the makers of the clothes (who were based in Bali) to create his designs using their fabrics. For the Vulcans, Kaplan designed costumes which shared the eloquent and austere qualities of the Vulcans themselves, while creating a new, corseted shape for the Vulcan women. (Production notes)


The Vulcan and Romulan makeup was created by Joel Harlow, while Barney Burman designed and created the prosthetic makeup for other alien characters. Mindy Hall was the head of the makeup department. Both digital and physical makeup was used for aliens.

Burman and his team had to rush to create many of the aliens, because originally the majority of them were to feature in one scene towards the end of filming. Abrams deemed the scene too similar to the cantina sequence in Star Wars, and decided to pepper aliens throughout the entire film, requiring Burman to design the aliens earlier than anticipated. [41]

The Romulan characters in the film were all bald to better distinguish them from the Vulcans, and their heads and faces are covered with tattoos. They lack the forehead ridges that were seen on Star Trek: Enterprise and in the TNG-era series and films. The Romulan actors spent two and a half to four hours getting their makeup done; the actors had three prosthetics applied to their ears and foreheads, while Eric Bana had a fourth prosthetic for the bite mark on his ear that extends to the back of his character's head. [42] [43]


In a highly controversial decision, this is the first of any Star Trek production to re-cast the regular characters of a Trek series. Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were given consultation rights for the recasting of their roles. [44] Casting for the film began as early as October 2006. [45]

Star Trek has Leonard Nimoy portraying his iconic role of Spock for the first time since 1991. He came out of retirement to assume the role, having given up acting in favor of photography in 2000. He later gave three explicit reasons for doing this project: the fact that it is Star Trek, his admiration for Abrams, and an "essential" and "interesting Spock role". [46] Abrams has stated that the casting of Nimoy is "critical if we’re going to look at reintroducing these characters", noting that, to make this a "great film", it must "both please the fans and those who have never seen Star Trek... having Leonard in the film shows that this film exists in a continuum of Trek history, as opposed to an absolute, page 1 reinvention." [47]

The first actor cast in the new film was Heroes star Zachary Quinto, who plays the younger Spock. His casting, and that of Nimoy's, was officially announced at San Diego's Comic-Con International on 26 July 2007. Quinto also signed up to play Spock in any potential sequels to this film. [48] The last recast member of the original series crew to sign on was Karl Urban as Leonard McCoy. [49] Rehearsals were held week of 19 October 2007. [50]

On 10 December 2008, Variety announced that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry reprised her role as the voice of the Enterprise computer. [51] [52] This announcement came just eight days before Barrett's death at the age of 74.

April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg oversaw the casting of the principal actors. Hollywood Operating System (Hollywood OS) and Headquarters Casting (HQC) were the agencies working in conjunction to hire extras for the film. They held an open casting call for extras on 10 November 2007, an event which hundreds attended, numbers that haven't been seen since Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. [53]

Rumors and gossip

As the buzz around the film was building and word spread that the characters of the original Star Trek series were to be recast, rumors as to who would play the younger versions of these iconic characters also arose while a number of actors reportedly expressed interest in participating in the film.

  • J.J. Abrams' childhood friend Greg Grunberg expressed interest in playing a Klingon, Scotty, or a Vulcan. [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] Although he was to have appeared in the film, Grunberg bowed out to star in, produce and co-write another film. [59] However, he did manage to acquire a role in the film during post-production, as the voice of James Kirk's step-father.
  • Actor Matt Damon was rumored as Captain Kirk, even soliciting William Shatner's aid in signing him up. [60] Damon himself denied having been approached for the role, [61] although he later told Sci-fi Wire that he would be interested in playing a young Captain Kirk if the script met with his satisfaction. [62] In March 2007, Kurtzman, although not confirming that Damon will play Kirk, stated that he was "the hugest Matt Damon fan. If he became [Kirk], great." [63] In a subsequent interview with IGN, Damon stated that the filmmakers were looking for someone younger than Damon. [64]
  • Mike Vogel was a contender for the role of Kirk before the role went to Chris Pine. [65] [66]
  • Actors Ryan Gosling and Sam Rockwell also showed interest in portraying Jim Kirk. [67] [68]
  • Adrien Brody was rumored to be in talks to play Spock. Brody later confirmed that he had indeed have a discussion with J.J. Abrams about the role. [69] [70]
  • Oscar-nominated actor Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, CSI: NY) was rumored in talks to play the role of Dr. McCoy. [71] Sinise subsequently denied the rumor. [72]
  • During a short phone interview with J.J. Abrams on his show, The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert jokingly expressed that he felt he was perfect for the role of Dr. McCoy.
  • Alias star Kevin Weisman expressed interest in portraying Scotty. [73]
  • Scottish actor James McAvoy was rumored as being sought to play Scotty, which McAvoy's publicist subsequently denied. [74] [75]
  • Scottish actors Greg Hemphill and Martin Compston were also reportedly up for the role of Scotty. [76] [77]
  • Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise guest actor and current Lost star Daniel Dae Kim was named as a contender for the role of Sulu. [78]
  • Heroes actor James Kyson Lee expressed interest in playing Sulu. [79]
  • Sources reported that Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman may have a role in the film, possibly as a doctor (but not "Bones" McCoy). [80]
  • There was a rumor that the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, was interested in a role. [81]
  • Actress Jennifer Garner, who starred in Abrams' Alias television series, said she would "absolutely" sign up to appear in Star Trek if she were asked. [82] Garner later expressed interest in showing up as a Klingon, even if it was just a quick walk-on role. [83]
  • Abrams thought it would "be awesome" if he were able to cast his Felicity and Mission: Impossible III actress Keri Russell as a Klingon. [84] Russell later told IESB that she she was indeed in talks for a role in Star Trek but she and Abrams had decided not to go through with it. [85]
  • Actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier auditioned for a role in the film, [86] possibly Uhura. [87]
  • Ben Affleck was rumored to have been approached for a role in the film. [88]
  • Abrams' Mission: Impossible III star and producer, Tom Cruise, was frequently rumored to have a cameo in the film. He was even rumored to be appearing in the film as Captain Christopher Pike. Both Cruise and his publicist have denied any involvement in the film. [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96]
  • It was reported that Paramount was attempting to sign up Oscar-winner Russell Crowe to play the film's villain. [97] Crowe said he was "apparently" up for the role, but that he had yet to read anything and could not make a decision until he did. [98] Eric Bana ultimately won the role.
  • Actor Josh Lucas was being considered for the role of Pike, although he was never the leading candidate. [99] [100] The role ultimately went to Bruce Greenwood.
  • Starburst Magazine reported in its 356th issue that George Takei would be appearing in the film, reprising his role as Sulu in "a flash forward sequence" opposite Leonard Nimoy. This was later found to be incorrect. [101] [102]
  • Star Trek: Enterprise star Dominic Keating auditioned for the role of Jim Kirk's stepfather, but he did not get the part. [103]
  • TOS actress Nichelle Nichols stated that she and J.J. Abrams discussed the possibility of Nichols making an appearance in the new film, perhaps as the grandmother of Uhura (the character she originated on TOS). Due to the writers' strike, however, her inclusion into the script was not possible. [104]

Shatner controversy

Yet another actor who has expressed interest in a role is William Shatner himself. [105] In an interview with Time magazine, Shatner claimed to have been approached by Abrams for a role in Star Trek. [106] Shatner even reported several times his belief that Abrams was planning for both him and Leonard Nimoy to appear in the film, although they would have to be meaningful roles. [107] [108]

Shatner learned he did not have a role in the film while discussing the script with Leonard Nimoy over the phone. [109] According to Nimoy, although Shatner does not have a role the film, Shatner is not "furious" about it as some have reported. [110] The film's writers have stated their wish for Shatner to be a part of the film's shoot, and the filmmakers were looking for a way to include Shatner in the film. [111] [112] [113] [114] It has been implied by Nimoy that the reason Shatner does not have a role in the script is due to the events of Star Trek Generations, which featured the death of Captain Kirk. [115] This suggested that Nimoy's scenes as Spock might have taken place in the 24th century. As it turned out, the backstory for the movie did indeed start in the late 24th century in the year 2387. Kirk's appearance and subsequent death in the 24th century occured in the year 2371, sixteen years prior.

In an interview with then-executive producer Stratton Leopold, the Savannah Morning News stated that "studio executives still hope to convince William Shatner to suit up as Captain Kirk one more time." [116] This contradicted previous reports stating that Shatner was the one attempting to convince Abrams and crew to find a way to put him in the movie. It is possible that the Savannah report was merely mistaken or that the line was taken out of context.

The fact that Nimoy has a role in the film and Shatner does not has disappointed Shatner and has also caused an uproar from some fans on forums and discussion boards.

In an interview with IGN, J.J. Abrams finally put an end to the rumors by stating that William Shatner is not in the movie at all and Leonard Nimoy is the only actor from the original series who was. [117]

In another interview with AMC, Abrams admitted there was a scene written for Shatner, but he and the writers decided not to use it because "it didn't feel right" and they still had to respect canon. In addition, Shatner was vocal in his unwillingness to be involved unless he had a substantial role in the film. [118] Abrams called the omitted scene a "flashback", although co-writer Roberto Orci later stated that wasn't a technically accurate term. [119]

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman eventually said that Shatner's scene was in the movie and then was written out in a later draft. It would have been at the very end of the movie when Spock Prime meets the younger Spock and speaks to him about the long and enduring friendship that Spock and Kirk needed to form. Spock Prime would have said "Don't take my word for it" and produced a small holographic device that would have projected a message from the elder Kirk. [120]


Principal photography began 7 November 2007 [121] and wrapped 141 shoot days later on 27 March 2008. Second unit and VFX plate shots continued until 17 April 2008, under the direction of Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett. Since it was the principal photography that had been reportedly scheduled to wrap in April, writer and executive producer Roberto Orci stated:

"Well we always add a few weeks for the studio, just in case. This is a lesson we learned from Scotty... this way we can appear like miracle workers." [122]

Shooting was once set to start summer 2007 [123] before the filmmakers made clear it could actually begin in April. [124] Shooting would have started on 5 November [125] but was postponed two days.

This was the first film in the Star Trek franchise which Paramount Pictures made in collaboration with a production partner, let alone two (Bad Robot Productions and Spyglass Entertainment). This was also the first Star Trek project which writer/director Rick Berman has not been involved with in over twenty years, and the first Trek film since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country made without his involvement. In addition, this is the first film since Star Trek Generations that is not composed by Jerry Goldsmith, who passed away in 2004.

Crew notes

Many of the crew members whom Abrams selected to work on this film are those he had worked with in the past, most notably writers/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, producer Damon Lindelof, executive producer Bryan Burk, composer Michael Giacchino, cinematographer Dan Mindel, production designer Scott Chambliss, editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, and casting directors April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg.

Stratton Leopold, a collaborator of Abrams' on Mission: Impossible III, was initially unit production manager and an executive producer for the film. [126] Before filming began, however, Leopold left the production and was replaced as executive producer by Jeffrey Chernov [127] and as unit production manager by David Witz. [128]

Originally, Vic Armstrong was to coordinate the stunts for Star Trek. He was looking forward to working with Abrams again, having served as stunt coordinator on Mission: Impossible III (2006), but Joey Box was ultimately given the job. (source: Vic Armstrong)

The first three months of shooting on Star Trek took place during the 2007 writers' strike. None of the filmmakers could make any changes to the film's script during the strike period, meaning the common practice of revising the script during production was not possible. Although Abrams complained about not being able to add new dialogue, the strike for the most part did not affect the film's production. Since it was one of the studio's "high priority" films, Paramount strove to help it despite the writing stoppage. [129] [130] Writers Kurtzman and Orci were able to stay on set without strikebreaking as they were also executive producers on the film. While they could not change any lines themselves, they could "make funny eyes and faces at the actors whenever they had a problem with the line and sort of nod when they had something better." [131]

Secrecy and security

Security on the set was very tight in order to keep aspects of the production a secret from the general public. Cast and crew members on location were not allowed to leave the set for cigarette breaks, [132] and actors could not walk in public in their costume – they were driven to and from set in golf carts, hidden behind black canvas. [133] Some actors, including Jennifer Morrison and Sonita Henry, were only given the part of the script containing their scenes, which they had to return at the end of the day. [134] [135] The script was also protected with members of the main cast, including Simon Pegg, who had to read the script with a security guard nearby. [136]

During its production process, the film was codenamed "Corporate Headquarters". [137] This was the official fake title chosen by Bad Robot, although various other fake titles were also used throughout the production. Each of the Key Assistant Location Managers was allowed to choose an additional fake title for paperwork, permits, and signage in an effort to thwart paparazzi and to protect the secrecy of the movie: Kathy McCurdy named the movie "Untitled Walter Lace Project" after her grandfather; Rob Swenson used "Christa & Christan's Big Adventure" after his twin step-daughters; Scott Trimble used "The Ernest Castelhun Chronicles" after his great-granduncle who drowned in beer at the Anheuser-Busch factory in 1937; and Steve Woroniecki named it "Untitled Blake Allen Project" after his son.

TOS stars Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig, TNG star Jonathan Frakes, and veteran Trek writer and producer Ronald D. Moore were among the few who were permitted to visit the Star Trek set. Other celebrities who visited the set include Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, Harrison Ford, Michelle Monaghan, and Steven Spielberg. Ford dropped by the set during the last week of shooting; Spielberg was on set during filming on the Enterprise and assisted Abrams with the action of one of the scenes. [138] [139]

Sets and locations

The production used a total of eleven soundstages. [140] Most filming took place on the studio lot, specifically on stages 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 18. These are stages where Star Trek has filmed in the past. Plans also reportedly included use of a Universal Studios stage for 'planetary' shots needing more room, [141] but that location was never used.

A source told that more ship interiors were created for this film than any other Trek film. There was also a minimal amount of redressing used. [142]

Abrams has stated that his goal with this film is to make Star Trek "real." As such, he used live sets and location shooting rather than green- and blue-screen sets wherever possible. [143] The first days of shooting occurred on location in a Long Beach building. [144] California's Vasquez Rocks was used for a birthing scene involving a number of Vulcans. Vasquez Rocks has appeared in past Trek shoots, including the original series episode "Arena". [145])

Approximately four weeks out of the twenty weeks of shooting took place on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. [146] The last day of shooting on the set of the Enterprise bridge was 25 January 2008. Scenes filmed included the intended final scene of the movie. During filming on that day, hosted a live chat in which J.J. Abrams, other crewmembers, and some of the cast answered fan-submitted questions from the bridge set. A transcript of this chat included a brief glimpse of the set - the first such on-set image - showing Abrams using his laptop at one of the stations. [147]

In addition to the bridge, other areas aboard the Enterprise seen in the movie are sickbay, crew quarters, corridors, engineering, and the transporter room. All of these sets were built at Paramount Studios, with the exception of engineering, which was done on a redressed industrial location. [148] That location was later revealed to be the Budweiser beer plant in Van Nuys, California. (Production notes at

The bridge of the USS Kelvin reflects an earlier design than the Enterprise and is described as "a lot busier." This bridge set was redressed for use as the mock-up starship bridge in a scene depicting the Kobayashi Maru scenario. [149] Other areas we see on the Kelvin include sickbay, engineering, and some corridors. The Romulan ship, the Narada, utilizes an interior design that is different from traditional TNG-era Romulan ships and is described as "surreal." Scenes were also filmed on sets built to represent a medical shuttle and a transport shuttle. [150]

Some scenes were shot in a large Orange County hangar. Production later returned to Long Beach for scenes at its city hall. Filming there wrapped on 14 December 2007, with several city staffers invited to the shoot, all of whom signed nondisclosure pacts. [151] [152]

During the week of 18 March 2008, parts of the film were shot at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), with the university's Oviatt Library standing in as part of Starfleet Academy. Although blue screens were placed on the sides of the lawn, light fixtures were modified, and emblems sporting the Starfleet emblem were hung on streetlights, little else was modified for the film. There was also a "futuristic kiosk" placed in the lawn. [153] Photos of the filming at CSUN feature dozens of extras dressed in red cadet uniforms (as well as some in more militaristic gray uniforms) as well as a futuristic-looking vehicle. [154]

Four of the filmmakers, including production designer Scott Chambliss, first assistant director Tommy Gormley, then executive producer Stratton Leopold, and eventual second unit director Roger Guyett, scouted locations in Iceland during early Summer 2007. Despite some reports, J.J. Abrams never actually visited Iceland himself. Companies such as Pegasus-Panarctica Pictures (run by Snorri Þórisson), Sagafilm (Kjartan Thor Thordarson), Labrador (Pétur Hafsteinn Bjarnason), and Truenorth Productions (Leifur B. Dagfinnsson) vied for the opportunity to provide local production services. This would have been the first time a Star Trek movie was filmed outside of the United States. The plan was that two weeks of filming would take place there during Spring 2008, but, as it turned out, no filming whatsoever was ever done in Iceland. A location scout was also sent to British Columbia, Canada, but, in the end, the movie was filmed entirely in the United States. [155] [156] [157]

In early April, some second unit work took place on location in Bakersfield, California, which is standing in for Iowa (the birthplace of James T. Kirk). While shooting in Bakersfield – near Highway 119 – on 8 April 2008, an automobile accident occurred in front of the set in which a car being driven by the location's site manager (a local official in charge of the site) crashed head-on into a truck. A passenger in the car and the driver of the truck were injured but survived, and the crash did not disrupt filming. [158] [159]


Industrial Light & Magic provided the special visual effects for the film. This was the company's seventh film project for the Star Trek franchise, the last being 1996's Star Trek: First Contact. Santa Barbara Studios did the VFX for Star Trek: Insurrection and Digital Domain provided the effects for Star Trek Nemesis. Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett anticipated that Star Trek will use about 1,000 visual effects shots, [160] though the number had increased to over 1,300 by August. [161]

The first cut of the film was completed in July 2008. This cut was screened for studio executives at Paramount Pictures sometime in the last week of July and received a very positive response. [162]

Post-production on Star Trek was completed on 23 December 2008. The film spent just under nine months in the post-production process, the second longest in the franchise behind Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The final step in the process was sound editing, provided by Academy Award-winning sound designer Ben Burtt (best known for his work on the Star Wars films) and supervising sound editor Mark Stoeckinger. [163]


See also: Star Trek (soundtrack)

The film's score was written by Academy Award-nominated composer Michael Giacchino. He used the original theme by Alexander Courage in the score, merging it with the new themes he created for the film. Giacchino admitted personal pressure in scoring the film, stating "I grew up listening to all of that great [Trek] music, and that's part of what inspired me to do what I'm doing... You just go in scared. You just hope you do your best. It's one of those things where the film will tell me what to do." [164] [165] [166]

The score was recorded at the Sony Pictures Scoring Stage in Culver City, California. The scoring session was comprised of a 107-piece orchestra and 40-person choir. Giacchino composed new themes for the film, some of which were stylistically created as subtle homages to past Star Trek composers, Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner. An erhu was used to create the Vulcan themes; the same instrument was used for the Romulans, except in their case, the sound was processed and distorted. Several members of the music wore clothing resembling Starfleet uniforms during the scoring session. [167] The score was released by Varèse Sarabande Records on 5 May 2009.

References to previous Star Trek episodes and films, and other media

  • The tests which the young Spock takes early in the film are a reference to the tests taken by an older Spock during the retraining of his mind in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • The Kobayashi Maru scenario test scenario was also taken by Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This film reveals how Kirk cheats by reprogramming the test, and the beginnings of Starfleet's investigation into this cheating. It is unknown if this was the same way he reprogrammed the test in the previous timeline, or if he later received a commendation for it in the new timeline. It is also revealed that Spock was the one who programmed the test for the past four years. This may also explain why a dying Spock in Wrath of Khan tells Kirk he never tried the Kobayashi Maru test.
  • Cadet Kirk eating an apple while taking the Kobayashi Maru test for the third time may be an homage to the scene in Wrath of Khan, where Kirk explains to Saavik -- while munching on an apple from the Genesis cave -- how he beat the Kobayashi Maru.
  • During his defense of cheating on the test, Kirk says he doesn't believe in the no-win scenario, the exact words Kirk said to Saavik in Wrath of Khan.
  • In order to bring Kirk aboard the Enterprise as a patient, McCoy injects a vaccine to protect against viral infection from Melvaran mud fleas. The fleas were previously mentioned in ENT: "Canamar".
  • During their argument on the bridge of the Enterprise, Spock tells Kirk "I am aware of my responsibilities, Mister." This is the same line that Saavik says to Sulu in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan during her own Kobayashi Maru scenario. The subject that prompts each response is the same as well: The responsibilities of being captain.
  • Hikaru Sulu reveals that his advanced combat training is in fencing. Sulu is seen fencing in TOS: "The Naked Time".
  • When Kirk and McCoy first see the Enterprise in space the scene resembles the scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture when the Enterprise refit is shown for the first time.
  • The external design of the Enterprise in this film is far closer in appearance to the "movie" Enterprise and later Starfleet vessels, rather than the look of TOS. Examples of this include the more metallic look, visible hull plating, and blue lights on the nacelles.
  • The sequence where Nero forces the creature down Captain Pike's throat is almost the same as the Ceti Eel sequence from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, even including similar dialogue.
  • After Spock maroons Kirk on Delta Vega, an incredulous McCoy asks him, "Are you out of your Vulcan mind?" The original universe's McCoy used the same line on Spock in TOS: "Elaan of Troyius" as well as prior to his self-sacrifice in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • At one point in the discussion on the bridge Spock says "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains – however improbable – must be the truth." referencing a line from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country almost exactly. The remark ultimately derives from the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which Data also referenced in TNG: "Data's Day"
  • Even though Delta Vega shares a name with Delta Vega from TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" it is in no way the same planet, as the two are in completely different sectors of space.
  • In this film, Spock maroons Kirk on a planet in the Vulcan system named Delta Vega. In the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Kirk maroons Gary Mitchell on another planet named Delta Vega – at the insistence of Spock.
  • Spock Prime tells Kirk "I have been, and always shall be, your friend.", which is what he said to an older Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • On Delta Vega, Montgomery Scott mentions that he had used "Admiral Archer's prized beagle" to test his long-distance transporter theories, though the beagle had yet to turn up as of his meeting with Kirk and Spock Prime (which he speculated led to his "exile"). Writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have confirmed that this line was a reference to Star Trek: Enterprise.[168] Jonathan Archer would've been 140 years old at the time of Scotty's exile, but humans are long-lived in Star Trek, and even if he had passed away, Starfleet service tends to be a family tradition. The beagle, however, can't possibly be Porthos, who would have to be 108 (human) years old at the time, but the reference is obvious. At the end of the novelization by Alan Dean Foster, the beagle reappears aboard the Enterprise.
  • When the younger Spock approaches the pilot's seat in the Jellyfish, the location's design is that of the IDIC, a symbol of the Vulcan people. Also, in reaction to the ship's controls, Spock says "Fascinating..."
  • At the end of the film, Admiral Christopher Pike is in a wheelchair. This is a reference to Fleet Captain Commodore Christopher Pike from the original timeline who was crippled by delta radiation when a baffle plate had ruptured and then confined to an advanced wheelchair. However, unlike in the original series, Pike isn't scarred or mute and may only be recovering temporarily in the wheelchair. The Admiral's uniform worn by Pike is similar to that worn by Admiral James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")
  • Sarek's dialog to the child Spock, regarding logic offering "a serenity humans seldom experience" originally appeared in the animated episode "Yesteryear". Additionally, Sarek's explanation to Spock of why he married Amanda, that it was "logical," echoes the same reasoning heard in TOS: "Journey to Babel".
  • During all of the scenes in the USS Kelvin opening, the crew uses communicators that are very similar to those used in The Original Series.
  • Chief Engineer Olson, who dies almost instantly on an away mission, is conspicuously dressed in a red space jump suit, a nod to the original series phenomenon of a hitherto unknown ensign dressed in red always being the first to die in any away mission.
  • Gaila is chided by Uhura for her promiscuity, a nod to sexual appetites of the Orion slave girls first seen in TOS: "The Cage"/TOS: "The Menagerie, Part II".
  • Uhura comments that she decoded a message from a Klingon prison planet, Rura Penthe, previously seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and ENT: "Judgment". The reference was to a scene that was filmed but deleted from the final cut, in which a captive Nero escapes Rura Penthe, killing many Klingons and destroying a number of their ships in the process.
  • Captain Richard Robau's "Number One" is his Navigator George Kirk. Captain Pike's "Number One" also worked at the Navigation and Helm console.
  • Uhura orders a Klabnian Fire Tea, three Budweiser Classics, two Cardassian Sunrises, a Slusho, and a Jack Daniel's at the Shipyard Bar. JJ Abrams has previously used Slusho in the film Cloverfield and the television series Alias.
  • Spock discusses with Spock (Prime) aspects of cheating, lying, implying, etc. Spock (Prime) has had previous discussions with other Vulcans about the same thing: Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Spock's reference to the Kohlinar as well as his decision to enter Starfleet and to not pursue the discipline are a reference to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • Kirk offers to beam Nero and his crewmen off the Narada as the black hole begins to form. This parallels his offer to rescue the crew of the Romulan Bird-of-Prey in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror". In both cases, the offer was refused.
  • Uhura's first name (Nyota) is revealed canonically for the first time. Perhaps as a nod to the ongoing mystery over what it was - or indeed whether she even had one - a running joke plays out in the film as Kirk attempts to find out what it is. The name Nyota first appeared in print in Star Trek II Biographies, a licensed spin-off work by William Rotsler issued to tie-in with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, although Nichelle Nichols herself is credited with first publicizing the name at convention appearances. Much earlier non-canon books gave Uhura the first name of "Penda," and the shooting script for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (scene 87) gave her first name as "Lorelei." [169] (This was a script note and not spoken dialogue). The only other on-screen usage of the name Nyota was in the fan film "Of Gods and Men" when Captain Chekov refers to Captain Uhura by that name.
  • The idea of cadets being pushed into service due to an emergency situation echoes a similar scenario depicted in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Wrath of Khan also has Kirk being required to take command of the Enterprise from Spock due to a Starfleet regulation.
  • Chekov's difficulty in pronouncing the letter V through his accent ("Victor Victor") is an allusion to the scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where he has difficulty pronouncing "nuclear vessels."
  • As Kirk climbs out of the shuttle on Delta Vega, his back-pack reads, "NCC-1701-D," a reference to Picard's Enterprise.
  • The number 47 is referenced several times throughout the film.
  • This is the first "TOS" reference to the Cardassians, when Uhura orders a Cardassian drink. The Cardassians debuted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation -- though they were mentioned in the 22nd century by the Organians, and one was seen at a repair station the Enterprise NX-01 visited.
  • Spock enabling Scotty to develop his transwarp transport system is similar to when Scotty himself gave Dr. Nichols the formula for transparent aluminum in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • The Federation council's decision to give command of the Enterprise to Kirk because of his efforts to save Earth from destruction, despite his previous insubordination, at the finale of the film, strongly resembles the finale of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • As Spock leaves the Narada's shuttle bay in the Jellyfish, several T'Plana-Hath type ships from Star Trek: First Contact and ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly" (mirror universe), are visible on landing platforms.
  • Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) recites the famous "Space, the final frontier..." monologue at the end of the film for the first time since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • During Spock's conversation with his mother on Vulcan, he mentions that feeling "fine" is not acceptable. In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the test that Spock is taking asks him "How do you feel?" Spock is unable to provide an answer until the end of the film: "I feel fine."
  • Majel Barrett voices the Enterprise computer, as she did in all five Star Trek series.

Deleted and expanded scenes

Spock's Birth

Kirk's Stepdad

Klingon Sub-Plot

Nero on Rura Penthe


The novelization of the film, written by Alan Dean Foster, shows several expanded sequences including some of these deleted scenes. Also in the novel in several instances after Kirk is commissioned by Captain Pike, Kirk is referred to as "Lieutenant Kirk." Also after Spock resigns command and leaves the bridge, Uhura and Sulu demand to know how Kirk got aboard the Enterprise and Kirk reveals to the bridge crew about the future Spock and what he told Kirk about Nero and how the past had been changed in an attempt to gain their trust. Kirk also told them about how they cannot tell their Spock about the elder Spock's presence and the bridge crew agrees not to do so. At the end of the book, when the elder Spock speaks to his younger counterpart, the young Spock asks Spock Prime if he might call on him occasionally for advice and Spock Prime agrees, saying "Who better to consult with you than yourself?"

The novelization also states that Winona was given an inhibitor that would help slow the birth of James until the Kelvin's return to Earth. However, the impacts to the ship by the Narada's attack caused her to go into early labor.


Release delay

At the time production began, Star Trek was set for a nationwide theatrical release on 25 December 2008. Later, Paramount was reportedly considering bumping up the film's release date one or two days or moving it to 19 December 2008. [170] On 13 February 2008, however, Variety magazine reported that the film's release would be put back, from 2008 to 8 May 2009, in order to take advantage of the summer movie season. [171]

A Paramount spokesperson has stressed that the release date change has nothing to do with the film's production or its script. The spokesman states that the decision "is all about box-office potential" and that Star Trek is in the same league as such past summer blockbusters as Spider-Man, Shrek, Transformers, and the Star Wars prequels. [172] Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore revealed to Entertainment Weekly that another reason the movie was pushed back was so they could "educate people that this is a whole new franchise." [173]


The gala world premiere of Star Trek took place on 7 April 2009 at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. The film's cast and crew were in attendance. [174] This was followed by a number of additional premiere events around the world - Austria; Belgium; France; Germany; Japan; Korea; the Netherlands; New Zealand; Russia; Spain; London, UK: 20 April 2009 [175]; Los Angeles, USA

A few hours prior to the official premiere in Sydney, fans in Austin, Texas were given a surprise screening of the film. The event had been announced as a ten-minute preview following a showing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, hosted by writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. However, after two minutes the film of The Wrath of Khan appeared to melt. Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelhof proceeded to vamp for a few minutes but were interrupted by a surprise appearance of Leonard Nimoy, who asked the audience if they would like to watch the new film instead. [176]

The official American premiere was held at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on 30 April 2009. Attending the event were J.J. Abrams, most of the film crew, and nearly the entire cast. [177]


Although the United States release date was set for 8 May 2009, advance screenings of the film began at 7pm on 7 May 2009. [178] However, the first worldwide release was in France, Belgium and the French-speaking parts of Switzerland on 6 May 2009. [179]

For the first time, a Star Trek film was released in IMAX as well as conventional theaters. Although the film was not shot with IMAX cameras, the film was able to be converted to the 70mm IMAX format. This was the first Trek project since the abandoned Star Trek: IMAX to be considered for the medium. [180] [181]


Star Trek has received nearly universal acclaim from film critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek has a 95% "certified fresh" rating based on 252 reviews, with an average critic's rating of 8.1 on a scale of 10.[182] Based on the findings of Rotten Tomatoes, Star Trek is currently the best reviewed mainstream film of the year.[183] On the review aggregator website MetaCritic, Star Trek has a metascore of 83 out of 100 based on 37 critics' reviews.[184]

Box office

Star Trek topped the North American box office in its opening weekend, grossing $75.2 million from Friday through Sunday. It also earned an estimated $4 million from its Thursday night advance screenings, for a total of $79.2 million over its first three and a quarter days.[185] It marked the highest opening weekend box office gross of any film in the franchise, surpassing Star Trek: First Contact's opening weekend of $30.7 million (approximately $50 million when adjusted for inflation).[186] Star Trek currently has the second highest opening weekend of 2009, following the previous week's release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Included in Star Trek's opening weekend gross was $8.5 million from 138 IMAX venues, setting a new weekend record for IMAX. It surpassed the previous benchmark set by The Dark Knight, which earned $6.3 million from IMAX screenings in its first weekend. In addition, Star Trek yielded the most-attended start ever for a movie debuting in the second weekend of May, topping 1996's Twister.[187] Star Trek also managed to top many overseas box office charts in its first weekend, grossing $35.5 million from 54 international markets.[188]


Main article: see untitled Star Trek sequel

On 30 March 2009, it was announced that Paramount was moving forward with a sequel to Star Trek. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have again been hired to write the screenplay, along with the first film's producer, Damon Lindelof. J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk will again be producing via Bad Robot, along with Orci and Kurtzman. [189]

Advertising and marketing


As of July 2008, Paramount has distributed several teaser posters at various conventions to promote awareness and hype about the film. The first, as stated above, was released on 22 July 2007 (see early discussion and speculation above). A second teaser poster for the new film was introduced at the Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, on 27 July 2007. This poster features a white background with the words Star Trek written in the TOS-style font and comprised of a star field backdrop seen throughout the original television series.

In August 2007, a third teaser poster, this one containing the title inside the arrowhead-shaped Starfleet insignia, was created especially for distribution to the attendees at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. As with the second teaser poster, the Vegas poster features the film's release date hyped as "Stardate 12.25.08".

A fourth teaser poster was given away to attendees at the San Francisco Wondercon on the weekend of 24 February 2008, sporting the new official logo, the tagline "Under Construction", and a date of "Summer 2009".

Four teaser posters, each featuring an image of a cast member from the film (Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, and Zachary Quinto), were distributed at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con from 24 through 27 July 2008. When combined, the four posters form the delta shield emblem of the USS Enterprise (and later of all Starfleet). There is also a single one-sheet version of the poster available via mail order from Comic-Con in conjunction with the Intel Corporation. [190] Four similar posters featuring John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and Karl Urban were distributed at the Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas the following month. [191]

On 10 November 2008, Paramount released the first teaser posters for the films designed for display in theaters, one featuring Pine as Kirk and the other featuring Quinto as Spock. Both posters were black and white, bearing nothing else save for the release date, the official site address, the production company logos for Paramount and Bad Robot, and the Starfleet delta shield emblem. [192]

A cardboard standup promoting the film was also made for display in theaters. The standup consists of the title in large cut-out letters, with each letter featuring the face of a different character from the film (Kirk on the "S", Nero on the "K", etc.) The title is placed upon a dais which contains the tagline ("The Future Begins"), the release date, and an orbital view of Earth. [193]

On 26 March 2009, European posters for Star Trek were posted online. [194] A day later, the US poster for the film was also revealed on MySpace Movies. The poster features the USS Enterprise within a warp effect against a white background, with the tagline "The future begins." [195]

Websites and viral marketing

Mysterious Corridor

The mysterious corridor that appears briefly on

A promotional website dedicated to the new film went live at 8:05pm EST on 16 January 2008 and can be found at The site introduced the new official logo for the film, which was also seen in the teaser trailer. [196] Paramount has also set up a page for the movie on the social-networking website Facebook where fans may congregate. [197] [198]

Following the launch of the film's teaser trailer, the official website contained a hidden link to, a viral promotional site supposedly containing "surveillance footage" of the Enterprise under construction. The site features four screens, each for a different "surveillance camera", but only three are active at a time. The inactive camera, however, will sometimes come online and, for a brief instant, reveal an image of a dark corridor. [199] The corridor actually belonged to the USS Kelvin, seen very briefly during George Kirk's brief command of the ship.

Originally located on a subdomain of, the official site moved on 19 February 2008, its address becoming On 18 July 2008, the site was updated with wallpapers and icons depicting the images from the Comic-Con Star Trek posters in addition to an overall redesign of the site. [200]

Promotional images

The first official promotional images from the film were released on 15 October 2008, at six separate movie websites. The images showed Pine, Quinto, Urban, Pegg, Saldana, Yelchin in costume on the Enterprise bridge; Quinto and Pine; Bana in makeup as Nero, Pine on an icy planet, the USS Kelvin engaged in combat, and a view of the Enterprise bridge. [201]

On 16 October 2008, released two new images, another of the Kelvin in action, and one of Cho in his role as Sulu. [202]

Yet another load of images were released on 17 October 2008, when Entertainment Weekly put up more promotional pictures of Pine, Quinto, Cho, Bana, and Pine and Urban. [203]

Teaser trailer

File:Star Trek XI Ent composite.JPG

The film's teaser trailer was completed by 30 November 2007. [204] It debuted in theaters on 18 January 2008, attached to Paramount's Cloverfield which, like Star Trek, is produced by J.J. Abrams. [205]

On 21 January 2008, the teaser was made available for viewing at the official site and at Yahoo! Movies. Empire Online uploaded the United Kingdom's version of the teaser that same day. Paramount made the teaser available on a wider basis on 22 Janaury. [206]

The teaser trailer features a glimpse of the remodeled USS Enterprise as it is being constructed, with the construction taking place in a drydock on Earth. Several sound bites recorded during the space race of the 1960s can be heard in the background leading up to a new recording of Leonard Nimoy reciting the famous line, "Space... the final frontier." The opening notes of the original Star Trek series theme music begin playing during Nimoy's voiceover and the unveiling of the Enterprise's saucer section, followed by the sound effect of the original series transporter as the lines "Under Construction" and "Christmas 2008" appear on-screen.

The teaser was shot in October, prior to the start of principal photography on the film. It was filmed on Paramount Stage 25 and also used a part of the Paramount backlot. Half of the stage was enveloped by greenscreen and greenfloor for the insertion of CGI effects, and a giant greenscreen was utilized in the backlot. The shoot involved real welding and the handling of actual welding equipment, so experienced welders were required.

The first welder seen in the teaser was played by Anthony Vitale. Vitale's scene was shot by the film's director, J.J. Abrams. This is unusual since scenes for trailers are generally directed by assistant directors. The rest of the teaser was directed by First Assistant Director Tommy Gormley, however. [207]

According to co-writer Roberto Orci, the message of the teaser is that the future as presented in Star Trek is not as far off as it once was. He also explained the logic of having the Enterprise being built on Earth rather than in space, noting that components of the ship can be built on Earth and assembled anywhere and that the Enterprise is not "some flimsy yacht that has to be delicately treated and assembled." He also feels that it makes more sense to construct the ship within a natural gravity well rather than an area that will require an artificial gravity field. In addition, Orci states that the term "Under Construction" used in the teaser is to convey both a "literal interpretation" that the movie is currently being put together and to convey the idea that the future of Star Trek may be coming soon. [208]

Theatrical trailers

The production team was to begin working on the first theatrical trailer in January 2008 with the hopes to have it complete and in theaters by early or mid-summer, [209] however these plans changed once the film's release was pushed back to May 2009.

Editing on the first theatrical trailer was reportedly completed by 4 August 2008, although the visual effects to be seen in the trailer had not yet been finalized. [210] The trailer was enclosed with Quantum of Solace, the latest James Bond film, which opened in the US on 14 November 2008. [211] [212] It became available for viewing in high definition on the official movie site on 17 November 2008 at 10am PST. [213]

An alternate version of the first theatrical trailer was made available for view at Ain't It Cool News on 25 November 2008. This version is the same as the original for the most part, except that the final shot of Eric Bana's Nero proclaiming "The wait is over" is placed earlier in the trailer and in its place is a shot of Leonard Nimoy as the elder Spock, giving the Vulcan salute and proclaiming the famous line "Live long and prosper." [214]

The incidental music used in the first theatrical trailer was a re-orchestration of Brian Tyler's score from Children of Dune, created by Two Steps From Hell, and titled "Down With the Enterprise". [215] The use of Tyler's score in the trailer came about from its use as a temporary scoring track in early post-production on the movie. [216]

A second theatrical trailer for Star Trek was released on 6 March 2009 in front of select screenings of the film Watchmen. It was originally intended to premiere online the Monday after its release on Apple's Star Trek page, but, after an international version was released ahead of schedule, the online release was made on the same day. As with the first theatrical trailer, incidental music was provided by Two Steps from Hell, being a modified version of the track "Freedom Fighters" from their album Legend. [217] [218]

In a press release, Paramount announced that the second theatrical trailer broke all existing download records at The HD version of the trailer had more than 1.8 million downloads during its first 24 hours on and has had over five million downloads in its first five days. This makes the Star Trek trailer the most popular HD download in the history of the site. [219]

Super bowl spot

A thirty-second trailer for the film aired during Super Bowl XLIII on 1 February 2009. It showed footage from the film not previously seen in the earlier trailers. Star Trek is the first film in the franchise to be given a Super Bowl spot, emphasizing the studio's attempts to draw in a larger audience.

Merchandising and promotional partners

The film's merchandising campaign is expected to be the biggest since Star Trek: The Motion Picture back in 1979. [220]

A toy license was awarded to Playmates Toys and at least one other company. Playmates will be creating action figures for the film, as well as prop toys, playsets and ship models. [221] [222] Corgi's current Star Trek license will include this film, primarily for its Master Replicas brand of collectibles. [223] The company will be producing replicas of the USS Enterprise and a hand phaser. [224]

Pocket Books will be publishing a novelization of the film written by Alan Dean Foster. IDW Publishing is planning two comic book tie-ins for the movie: an adaptation to coincide with the film's release in May 2009 and a four-issue prequel series entitled Star Trek: Countdown that was released from January through April 2009. Rittenhouse Archives will produce collectible cards for the movie. T-shirts marketing the film will be handled by Junk Food. A video game, Star Trek D.A.C will be released by Naked Sky Entertainment. The motion picture soundtrack will be released by Varèse Sarabande Records on 5 May 2009.

Burger King will have a kids meal tie-in for this film. It will be the first time Burger King has promoted the film. [225] It will also be the first time either one of the two major fast food chains (Burger King or McDonald's) have marketed Trek since the first film's release in 1979. [226] It was revealed in 2009 that the Burger King Star Trek commercials were shot on the set of the Enterprise. Dan Mindel, the cinematographer for Star Trek, also directed photography for the commercials. [227] Alex Beh is an actor who appeared in the Burger King television commercial. [228]

Besides the Burger King deal, Paramount has also signed up Kellogg's as a promotional partner to bring Star Trek movie-branded products to grocery stores. A number of Kellogg's brand products offer Star Trek merchandise and memorabilia either by mail or included within the package. Specially-marked boxes of Kellogg's cereals contain a "Beam-Up Badge" (essentially, a Star Trek-themed laser pointer), of which there are five different designs. Boxes of Frosted Krispies offer a red or blue Starfleet tee by mail, while boxes of Frosted Flakes and packages of Keebler cookies feature offers for a Star Trek 1GB flash drive wristband. Kellogg's various Eggo waffle products offer a 3D Warp Speed Plate by mail, and boxes of Kellogg's Pop-Tarts offer a free pass to see the film. A varying amount of tokens are needed for each mail-order product. [229]

In addition, Paramount has been promoting the film in collaboration with auto insurance company Esurance, communications companies Nokia and Verizon Wireless, and computer technology companies Lenovo and the Intel Corporation. All of these companies have held Star Trek-related contests and sweepstakes and all have pages on their sites containing Star Trek-related content. [230] [231] [232] Esurance Star Trek commercials have also played on television and on public radio.

Links and references

Cast and crew

See Credits for Star Trek (film)

Uncredited Cast
Uncredited Stunt performers
Uncredited Crew

Unconfirmed cast and crew

Unconfirmed cast
  • Tansy Alexander as Lt. Alice Rawlings (hmm...)
  • Leslie Alnes as a nurse
  • Jonathan Baca as a Starfleet cadet
  • Stefon Benson as a student cadet
  • Jeffrey Boehm [236] as a Starfleet cadet
  • Troy Brenna as a Klingon soldier
  • Fallon Brooks as a Starfleet cadet
  • Sarah Abrams Char [237] as a prisoner (uncredited)
  • Terryl Daluz as a Klingon guard (scenes deleted)
  • Talon DeSoto' as an engineer (uncredited)
  • Ian Fisher as shipyard worker #1
  • Cole Fritch as a Klingon prison guard
  • Robert Grant as a Starfleet officer
  • Monte Hunter as a Starfleet cadet
  • Paul Kumar as a Kelvin cadet
  • Aaron Lynch as a Flight Operational Air Safety Conductor
  • Owen Martin as an alien cadet / Enterprise crewmember
  • Andrew Mew as a Starfleet cadet
  • Jessica Mika as Enterprise bridgeport cadet
  • Duane Ram as a Starfleet cadet
  • Shanequa Reed as a Starfleet cadet
  • Larramie Doc Shaw as a war builder
  • Joseph Stephens, Jr. as a Starfleet cadet
Unconfirmed stunt performers
  • Derek Graf - Stunts
  • Henry Kingi, Jr. - Stunts
  • Justin Riemer - Stunt Performer
  • A.J. Verel - Stunt Performer: Enterprise crewmember
Unconfirmed crew
  • Erik Aguirre - Assistant Construction Buyer
  • Nigel Albermaniche - Sound
  • Damon Allison - Propshop Foreman
  • Michael Avallon - Driver
  • P. Scott Bailey - Leadman
  • William D. Barber - "C" Camera Operator
  • Ted Basso - Production Van Driver Operator
  • Daniel Beals - Production Assistant
  • Matthew E. Bell - Look Development/Color & Lighting
  • Michael Boggs - Scanning Manager
  • Tony Bohorquez - Model Maker
  • James Bolt - Additional Sound Mixer
  • Dana Bonilla - Key Set Production Assistant: Kerner Optical
  • Mateo Bourdieu - First Assistant Camera
  • Lindsey Jayne Boyd - Production Assistant
  • Tony Bridgers - Construction Foreman
  • Margaret Bright-Ryan - Digital Artist
  • Kieran Brown - Paint Gang Boss
  • Ryan Bruce - Makeup Lab Technician (possibly for Proteus FX)
  • Alex E. Burns - Transportation
  • Tony Capasso - Construction Gang Boss
  • Mark Carlile - Lighting Technician
  • Derek Casari - Sound Stage Engineer
  • Lyle Christensen - Shotmaker Driver
  • Carol Collini - Makeup Artist
  • Greg Crawford - ADR Mixer (Atlanta)
  • Mark Cueto - Electrician
  • Roxy D'Alonzo - Special Makeup Effects Artist
  • Ginger Damon - Hair Stylist
  • Patricia Dehaney-Le May - Hair Stylist
  • Val I. Deikov - Sculptor
  • Doug Devine - Set Dresser
  • William Doyle - Location Consultant
  • Jessica Drake - Dialect/Language Coach
  • Scott Dropkin - Remote Camera Technician (Sparrow Head)
  • Earl Ellis - Makeup Artist
  • Randy Eriksen - Second Unit Property Master
  • Christian G. Ervin - Driver
  • Anaïs Ganouna - Second Unit Camera Production Assistant
  • Anthony Genovese - Studio Set Carpenter
  • Danny Gonzalez - Electrician
  • Kevin Haggerty - Camera Operator (uncredited)
  • Randy Haynie - Go Cam Rigger
  • Cynthia Hernandez - Makeup Artist
  • Courtney Harrell - Visual Effects Production Coordinator
  • Kurt Herbel - Cable Video Assist
  • Teressa Hill - Hair Stylist
  • Patrick Hoeschen - Electrician
  • Tom Holzhauer - Production Assistant
  • Debra James - Production Manager
  • Jim C. Johnson - Gang Boss
  • Chris Jones - Special Effects Technician
  • Simeon Jones - Production Assistant
  • Kory Juul - Lighting Artist: Evil Eye Pictures
  • Tex Kadonaga - Set Designer
  • Jimmy Kaminsky - Driver
  • Rick Kelly - Second Unit Second Assistant Director
  • René Dashiell Kerby - Makeup Artist
  • Lawrence Kim - Art Department Researcher
  • Colleen LaBaff - Key Hair Stylist
  • Toby Lamm - Special Make-up Effects Artist
  • Scott M. Leonard - Grip
  • Frank Leasure - Propmaker
  • Alex Lee - Additional Production Assistant
  • Damon Liebowitz - Electrician
  • Eric Lozano - Set Dresser
  • Michelle Maloney - Additional Set Production Assistant
  • Canyon Martens - Set Dresser
  • Matt McDonald - Visual Effects Supervisor: Evil Eye Pictures
  • Frank McEldowney - Greens Foreman
  • Chuck McSorley - Second Unit Property Assistant
  • Vanessa Meier - Second Unit Script Supervisor
  • Michael R. Melamed - Second Unit Second Second Assistant Director
  • Vicky Menke - Assistant Set Production Assistant
  • David Mesloh - Special Effects Technician
  • Ricky Dean Monsey - Production Assistant
  • Melissa Montague - Costume Aging and Dying
  • Glenn T. Morgan [238] - Sound Effects Editor
  • Michael Mosher [239] - Makeup Artist
  • Joe Murray - Production Assistant
  • Dillon Neaman - Production Assistant
  • Andrew Nelson - Costumer
  • Christopher Allen Nelson - Special Makeup Effects Artist
  • Mark Nelson - Pre-visualization Artist
  • Timothy Oakley - Set Graphics
  • Tony Oberstar - Production Assistant
  • Bill O'Donnell - Production Assistant
  • Rhonda O'Neal - Hair Stylist
  • Jason Pomerantz - Digital Artist (IMAX version)
  • Grace Pyke - Additional Costumer
  • Paul Pytlik - Digital Artist (IMAX version)
  • Norbert F. Quiban - Rigging Electrician
  • Chris Quilty - Second Unit Boom Operator
  • Justin Raleigh - Specialty Costume Supervisor: Quantum Creation FX
  • Greg G. Reeves - Rigging Electrician
  • Graham Robertson - Set Dresser
  • Erik Rogers - Senior Digital Intermediate Producer: Company 3
  • Ben Rosenblatt - Post-Production Executive
  • Michael Roundy - Special Effects Technician
  • Maury Ruiz [240] - Concept Artist
  • Paul Samaniego - Underwater Camera Production Assistant
  • Scott Schutzki - Set Dresser
  • Paul Sinnott - Costume Assistant
  • Mike Smithson - Makeup Artist
  • Maciek Sokalski - Digital Compositor: Svengali FX
  • Scott Solan - Sound Utility and Second Unit Sound
  • Justin Stafford - Special Contact Lens Painter
  • Chad Stansbury - Sculptor
  • Mike Steaheli - Unit Medic
  • Christopher A. Suarez - Special Effects Technician
  • Donna Tegan Set Production Assistant
  • Thomas "Noe" Welch - Set Dresser
  • Richard Blake Wester - Set Dresser
  • C. Jerome Williams [241] - Rotoscope Artist: Lola Visual Effects
  • Mark J. Williams Production Assistant
  • Steve Wolfe - First Assistant Camera
  • Chris Qi Yao - Matchstick Technical Director
  • Daphne Yap - Concept Artist
  • Dennis Yeager II - Special Effects Technician
  • Ryan Young - Production Assistant
For unconfirmed Digital Domain crewmembers, see Digital Domain#Unconfirmed crew
For unconfirmed ILM crewmembers, see Industrial Light & Magic#Unconfirmed crew


Uncredited companies

Unconfirmed companies

  • Executive Assurance - Security
  • Filmtools - Expendables
  • - Product Placement
  • On Tour Productions - Transportation Services
  • Panavision Remote Systems - Supertechno Cranes
  • Sessions Payroll Management - Extras Payroll Services
  • Star Waggons - Cast Trailers
  • Transportation Resources - Transportation Equipment


2233; 2240s; 2255; 2258; 2387

academic suspension; Andorian shingles; Antares, USS; apple; armada; autopilot; aviaphobia; Battle of Vulcan; beagle; bean; Beastie Boys; black hole; Budweiser Classic; Cardassian sunrise; Centaurian slug; Centaurus, USS; Chandra, Nensi; Chapel, Christine; commendation; Corvette; cupcake; Delta Vega; Earth; Enterprise, USS; Farragut, USS; Federation; Gilliam; grapefruit; hobgoblin; Hood, USS; hovercycle; Iowa; James; Jellyfish; katric ark; Kelvin, USS; Kentucky Derby; Kirk, Tiberius; Klingon; Klingon warbird; Kobayashi Maru; Kobayashi Maru scenario; kohlinar; Komack, James; Lei, Gretchen; lightning; McGrath; Medical Shuttle 37; Melvaran mud flea; mining vessel; Moore; Narada; Nokia; numb tongue; Odyssey, USS; Orion; Petroski; police; Rawlins, Alice; red matter; Regula I; Riverside; Riverside Shipyard; Romulan language; Romulus; Sabotage (song); Saurian brandy; Shuttle 9; Shuttle 12091; Shuttle 70172; Shuttle 78072; Slusho; stardate; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; supernova; transporter; transwarp transport; tribble; Truman, USS; Vader; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan Science Academy; Walcott, USS; xenolinguistics

External links

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Star Trek Nemesis
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Untitled Star Trek sequel
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