Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ Movie May Be Inspired by 1 Classic Episode

Quentin Tarantino is making a Star Trek movie. That’s a sentence fans of the franchise never thought they would read, as the Tarantino brand doesn’t exactly seem like it would fit with Star Trek.

But Tarantino himself loves Star Trek. In fact, he has gone on record as saying that there’s one episode of the show that he would love to turn into a two-hour film, and looking at that episode gives us a good idea of what he’s got cooking. Here’s the Star Trek episode that Tarantino will likely draw inspiration from for his new movie.

Tarantino pitched the idea for this new Star Trek movie

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino created the concept for the new movie. | Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Tarantino won’t be writing the new Star Trek film. He’s only going to serve as its director. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not involved in the story at all.

According to Deadline, Tarantino came up with the idea for the new movie, and he pitched it to J.J. Abrams and Paramount Pictures. They liked his concept so much that they immediately began assembling a writer’s room to put together a screenplay.

So the movie might not be as chock-full of Tarantino-isms as you’d expect, considering it will be the first film he directs without also writing. Still, the thrust of the movie comes from his brain. The film will also have an R rating, like all of Tarantino’s work.

Next: He revealed he’s thought about making a Star Trek movie before.

He previously admitted he’s thought about making a Star Trek movie

William Shatner in Star Trek

Tarantino is a big fan of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk from the original series. | CBS

Just two years ago, Tarantino was interviewed on the Nerdist podcast, and a listener asked him whether he’d ever want to direct a Star Wars movie. Star Wars came up because the interview took place right before The Force Awakens was released.

Tarantino said he likes Star Wars but that if he were to ever make a movie like this, he’d prefer it be Star Trek. “I’m definitely a fan of the original series — in particular, a fan of William Shatner,” he said. “That’s my key into this series is William Shatner.”

At the time, Tarantino also said that he had actually thought about doing a Star Trek movie before and even mulled over an idea for it. Clearly, that’s coming to fruition now.

Next: The one episode everyone would think of to remake.

He suggested some classic episodes could be adapted into a movie

Kirk and Spock in "The City On The Edge Of Forever"

Kirk and Spock in “The City On The Edge Of Forever” | CBS

During that same podcast interview, Tarantino went on to say that some of the classic episodes of the show are so good, they deserve a feature film treatment.

“Some of those episodes are fantastic, and the only thing that limited them was their ’60s budget and eight-day shooting schedule,” he said. “You could take some of the great, classic Star Trek episodes, and easily expand them to 90 minutes or more and really do some amazing, amazing stuff.”

Tarantino then said that the one episode everyone would think of to remake would be The City on the Edge of Forever. That’s the episode of the original series where McCoy travels back in time and accidentally alters the present. So Kirk and Spock have to travel to 1930s New York to undo the damage he has done. “It’s one of the classic stories of all time, and one of the great time travel stories,” Tarantino said.

However, that’s not the episode that Tarantino focused on. There’s one from The Next Generation, which sounds like it truly inspired his movie idea.

Next: This episode deserves a two-hour film treatment.

He said ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ deserves a two-hour film treatment

The crew in "Yesterday's Enterprise"

The crew in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” | CBS

Tarantino named one particular episode as being one of the best ever written: “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” from The Next Generation Season 3. In that episode, an Enterprise-C ship travels through time and inadvertently alters history. As a result, a war between the Klingons and the United Federation of Planets is now underway.

We find out that the Enterprise-C ship originally went down protecting Klingons. Because of this, the Klingons never went to war with the United Federation of Planets. But when a rift in spacetime brings the Enterprise-C ship ahead and prevents that from happening, the war takes place. So the only way to prevent the war is to send the Enterprise-C crew back in time to their demise.

“I actually think that is one of the great … not only space stories, but the way it dealt with the mythology of the whole thing — that actually could bear a two-hour treatment,” Tarantino said.

Next: Will a character in the movie try to fix the present timeline?

His movie may involve a character making a difficult decision to fix the present timeline

Spock and Kirk in Star Trek (2009)

Spock and Kirk in Star Trek (2009) | Source: Paramount

The podcast appearance ended before Tarantino had a chance to explain what his take on “Yesterday’s Enterprise” would be. Presumably, his movie wouldn’t just be a direct remake of that episode. But it sounds like that’s the episode he would draw the most inspiration from.

It’s worth noting that Tarantino only mentioned two episodes: “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” He didn’t end up explaining why he used those as examples when asked what he wanted his Star Trek movie to be. But they both involve characters making a difficult decision after their timeline is messed up.

In “The City on the Edge of Forever,” the reason history changes is because McCoy saves a woman named Keeler, and her survival causes a sequence of events that leads the Nazis to win World War II. So Spock and Kirk must allow her to die in order to save millions. With “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” all those aboard the Enterprise-C must be allowed to die in order to prevent a war.

It seems like no coincidence Tarantino pulled out two episodes that deal with this very specific theme. So his movie, it seems, probably has something to do with time travel and making a difficult decision in order to make the timeline right again.

Next: Rumors about what the next Star Trek movie already involved.

The next Star Trek movie reportedly already involved time travel

Chris Pine in Star Trek Beyond

Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk may time travel to meet his father in the film. | Paramount Pictures

Interestingly, before Tarantino came on board, the new Star Trek movie was already going to be about time travel. Variety reported back in 2016 that the fourth film in the new series would co-star Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth.

Hemsworth played James Kirk’s father, who died in the opening scene of the 2009 Star Trek. So the only way he would be returning to star opposite Pine would be via time travel. Paramount announced in 2016 that in the new movie, “Pine’s Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father.”

Presumably, the idea for the new movie has changed now. But it’s possible that Hemsworth could still play a part in Tarantino’s version.

Next: Will Kirk need to send his father to his death?

It could involve Kirk needing to send his father to his death

Chris Hemsworth in Star Trek

We may see Chris Hemsworth’s James Kirk once again. | Paramount Pictures

One great theory about the new film’s plot was posited by Birth.Movies.Death. The idea is that the film will basically be “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” but with a twist: The ship that comes forward in time is actually the ship that James Kirk’s father is on when he dies at the beginning of 2009’s Star Trek.

This could make for a moral dilemma in which Kirk, after bonding with his father for the first time, realizes the only way to prevent a war is to send him back in time to his death. The movie would, therefore, deal with the same themes Tarantino has expressed interest in, but with an even greater emotional resonance. And it would bring the new rebooted franchise full circle by revisiting the opening scene of the very first movie.

At the same time, it’s possible Tarantino’s film will simply be another reboot or an alternate timeline story dealing with a new cast. A lot of questions about it remain unanswered. But it seems like a safe bet that the project will explore time travel and its consequences in some way.

Next: Classic Star Trek lies you shouldn’t always believe.

Because it’s such a groundbreaking series, there has been arguably more supplemental information released than there is actual content from the Star Trek show itself. Fan theories, fiction, scholarly papers, and countless sites offer up detailed examinations of Roddenberry’s universe. Unfortunately, as you probably know, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet — in fact, there are some well-established pieces of lore that are actually false. Here are five common assertions about Star Trek that are not entirely true.

Star Trek fans are nerds

A group of Trekkies

A group of Trekkies | Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images

What do you think of when you picture a Star Trek fan? Most likely you think of a nerd in their parents’ basement who spends their free time dressing up as their favorite character and throwing the Vulcan salute at anyone who passes by. The concept of a “Trekkie” — a Star Trek fan that shies away from normalcy and social interaction — has long been part of our pop culture, but the stereotypes that have been perpetuated are both inaccurate and unfair.

Sure, fandom can be nerdy; but these days, it’s a lot more socially acceptable to embrace geekiness of all kinds. And Star Trek, like any other big entertainment franchise, has an impressively diverse fan base. NASA scientists, billionaire Richard Branson, and celebrities like Mila Kunis all count themselves as Trekkies. In other words, there’s no wrong way to be a Star Trek fan — and absolutely nothing wrong with being one, either.

Next: How much did the original series really cost?

The series was cheap to make

Star Trek

Star Trek | CBS

One of the frequently cited reasons for Star Trek‘s awesomeness was that it was a pretty low budget production. Given the relatively outdated look of the sets and costumes, and the fact that episodes cost about $190,000, it looks and certainly seems like a pretty easy claim to make. The rationale behind this argument isn’t exactly sound, though.

For one thing, Star Trek‘s budget was equitable with many other series at the time, like Lost in Space and Mission: Impossible. Plus, it’s important to consider inflation — in 2016 dollars, the average episode budget was equivalent to about $1.4 million. That’s still lower than the average for many popular TV shows today — but it’s not exactly chump change.

Next: A classic catchphrase is born through mutation.

‘Beam me up, Scotty!’

Members of the enterprise crew being beamed up in a scene from 'Star Trek'

Star Trek | CBS

Even if you’ve never seen Star Trek, you’ve heard the catchphrase. You probably even have a vague understanding of what it means. But despite its widespread pop culture use, “Beam me up, Scotty!” was never actually said on the series.

That’s not to say there weren’t nearly verbatim iterations of the famous phrase. At varying times in both the TV show and the original Star Trek movie, we heard “Beam us up,” “Beam me up,” and even “Scotty, beam me up” when Kirk or other crew members needed a little transportation assistance from the Enterprise’s engineer. Ultimately, though, they never uttered those iconic words in the order that so many fans seem to remember.

Next: Take a closer look at Captain Kirk’s gold uniform.

Captain Kirk’s gold uniform

Captain Kirk (William Shatner) aboard the Enterprise

Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk | CBS

Some of the most instantly recognizable elements of the Star Trek universe are those unmistakable Enterprise uniforms. The bright colors worn by varying ranks of command and the simple yet somehow futuristic logo are permanently burned into any Trek fan’s memory. But though we all think we remember them well, there’s one crucial detail that we’ve had wrong without even knowing it.

Captain Kirk’s oft-worn gold uniform wasn’t actually gold at all — it was an avocado shade of green. This one may seem mind-bending — after all, it sure does look gold. But series veterans and those who’ve seen William Shatner’s costume in person can attest to the fact. When the studio lights hit Kirk’s uniform during filming, it ended up reflecting an entirely different hue. If you need further proof, look to the green tunic-like uniform that Kirk occasionally donned; it was decidedly green, just like his other outfits were supposed to be.

Next: Is this really a kiss of death?

Redshirts automatically mean death

Captain Kirk (William Shatner) stands before a line-up of crewmen in red shirts in a scene from 'Star Trek'

Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk and the “redshirts” | CBS

The presence, and often the untimely fate, of the “redshirts” is one of the most beloved inside jokes within the Star Trek fandom. It’s spawned numerous pop culture references on series, memes, and more than a few awesome Halloween costumes.

But even though it’s commonly believed that the Enterprise crew members were prone to death, that isn’t exactly the case. Eagle-eyed fans have run the numbers and have reached varying conclusions about the likelihood of a redshirt biting the dust. While they’ve concluded that about 73% of characters that died were, in fact, wearing the dreaded color, only about 10% of redshirts actually died. So in conclusion, they died a lot — but not as much as we’ve been led to believe.

Additional reporting by Katherine Webb.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook! 

More Articles About:   ,