When it comes to Trekkies, William Shatner might have said it best when he went on “Saturday Night Live” in 1986 and addressed his fiercely loyal fans thusly: “Get a life, will you people? For crying out loud, it’s just a TV show!”
This weekend, a new [movie id=”305755″]”Star Trek”[/movie] is getting ready to take off on the big screen, fueled by slick action, sexy stars and soaring reviews . And when you ask the people behind the film how they were able to resurrect a franchise that has spent most of this decade on life support, their answer is a surprising one.
“I was never really a fan of ’Star Trek,’ ” admitted [movieperson id=”206514″]J.J. Abrams[/movieperson], the “Lost” mastermind who serves as director of the high-profile sci-fi reboot. “This is one of those things that I’m gonna get killed for saying, but I didn’t really pay attention to the recent films — which I probably should have. But I just didn’t. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t as much of a fan as friends of mine were of the ’Trek’ films.”
“I wasn’t really into sci-fi; I was probably a geek in other ways,” [movieperson id=”325559″]Zachary Quinto[/movieperson] added, saying he similarly had only a peripheral knowledge of “Trek” while growing up. “I spent a lot of time running around and making up stories and building forts and bike jumps. … I was a huge ’Fraggle Rock’ geek. I still have the DVDs, and I have a dog that I almost named Sprocket.”
“Here’s the beauty of it, and you might find this quite shocking,” echoed Eric Bana, the film’s villain. “I have not seen a single ’Star Trek’ movie.”
Bana and several others in the new “Trek” crew confess, at most, to only having an affection for the original “Trek” TV show. And those who were hard-core on Abrams’ set opened themselves up to some “get a life!” comments.
“It was between Karl or Simon,” [movieperson id=”343087″]Chris Pine[/movieperson] said when asked who the biggest Trekkie was.
“Yeah, [movieperson id=”208047″]Karl Urban[/movieperson] or [movieperson id=”271878″]Simon Pegg[/movieperson],” Quinto agreed. “I mean, Karl Urban had a model of the Star Trek Enterprise that he stole from his son when we were in New Zealand and took with him on the rest of our trip! He would take pictures of it, take pictures of himself, and you’d wake up and there’d be the ship and Karl with the camera.”
“We’d be sitting on a 14-hour plane ride, and we’d just hear ’snap-snap-snap,’ ” Pine laughed.
“I didn’t know there had been 10 films,” laughed Abrams, explaining that although he and his stars all held the “Trek” canon sacred, they were freed by their lack of awareness. “I’ve gotta tell you, approaching it from a non-fan point of view allowed me to be a little less precious about it. I didn’t feel like I had to adhere to exactly what had been done already for four-and-a-half decades. Instead, I could go into it with a little bit more of an open mind.
“Our goal was to honor and respect what [the ’Trek’ fans] love so much,” Abrams said. “And yet, make our own statement.”
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year’s ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It’s up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
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