Hey, you know what the Star Trek franchise needs? A feature take from Quentin Tarantino. Because when you think about the 50-plus years of the science-forward, progressive, and incredibly optimistic sci-fi title, you can’t help but think that it’s missing out on opportunities for gratuitous violence and colorful language, right? Well if the two-time Oscar-winner makes good on his idea for a Star Trek movie, we might just end up seeing what that looks like, for better or worse.
Who knows, if his vision for a Star Trek movie ever gets made, maybe Tarantino will surprise audiences with a complete 180 from his previous films. Something new, something fresh, something original … or at least as original as you can get when working within the existing framework of a decades-long franchise. And as for what we know so far, Tarantino’s own idea for a Star Trek movie would likely pull from an existing episode, if this 2015 Nerdist podcast episode is any indication. (H/t to BMD.)
During the interview, Tarantino, who is a self-described fan of the original series and specifically William Shatner, said he’d much rather tackle a Star Trek movie than a Star Wars film. Then, after admitting his distaste for Star Trek Into Darkness (which is something most folks can agree on, I’d think), he digs into the franchise’s moments in which the crew of the USS Enterprise deals with time-travel and alternate realities. It’s no surprise that this has been used as a clever little storytelling device in the past and that Tarantino’s idea plans to do the same. But which episodes specifically would he be looking towards?
Here’s one contender:
“I do think, what could be done, rather than just hokey space stories … You could take some of the great, classic Star Trek episodes and easily expand them into 90 minutes or more, and really do some amazing, amazing stuff. The obvious one would be “City on the Edge of Forever.”
But here’s another, one that Tarantino seems to have put at least slightly more thought into.
“It’s one of the great stories of all time, and one of the great time-travel stories. However, in thinking of that concept even further though, I think one of the best episodes of Star Trek ever written was for ‘Next Generation.’ … ‘[Yesterday’s] Enterprise.’ I actually think that is one of the great, not only space stories, but the way it dealt with the mythology. That actually could bear a two-hour treatment …
“Because they screwed up with the timeline, everything changes. It turns out that the Klingons and the humans on Earth have been having this hundred-year war that’s been going on, it’s just the bloodiest war imaginable in the history of any universe. Worf, he’s not there because there’s no friendship going on. The uniforms are militarized and fascistic …”
Tarantino goes on to rehash the highlights of said episode without expanding on what new ideas he’d bring to the table. It’s not a pitch, it’s a fanboy session.
Basically the episode itself centered on a change to a timeline as a result of the crew’s actions that then thrust the humans and Klingons into a bloody war. “Bloody war” and fascism are in Tarantino’s wheelhouse, so that’s a pretty good guess as to the basis of his feature film idea.
During the interview, he says the episode could be pumped up to a 90 or 120-minute movie, which would be on the shorter side of the runtime of the director’s filmography. At 90 minutes, it’d be his shortest film yet, undercutting the 99-minute Reservoir Dogs; at 120 minutes, it’d be only slightly longer than Death Proof and Kill Bill: Vol. 1. But if Tarantino really gets rolling with all the time-travel, alternate universe-spinning, and reveling in bloody human-on-Klingon combat, there’s every chance his Star Trek take could spiral into something much longer.
Some folks might already be sold on a Tarantino-directed Star Trek movie, and I’m happy for you, but I’ll at least wait for a coherent pitch to decide one way or the other. Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!