‘Star Trek’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

We take you from the reboot's birth to the franchise's future before the film hits theaters.

Notorious “Star Trek” villain Khan Noonien Singh was stranded on Ceti Alpha V for 15 long years; loyal fans who have waited feverishly to see J.J. Abrams’ “Trek” reboot, which finally hits theaters Thursday night (May 7), know exactly how Khan felt.

But you wouldn’t want to head into battle opposite a Romulan army with phasers set to stun, and you don’t want to go into Abrams’ “Star Trek” without knowing what to look for. So, without further ado, we present the official MTV Cheat Sheet for “Star Trek” — all the backstory, videos, photos and interviews you need to put yourself in the captain’s seat.

Booting Up a Reboot
The story of the new film really began in March 2007. “Lost” mastermind J.J. Abrams was handed the keys to the franchise, and yours truly wrote an open letter giving him advice. Now that I’ve seen the film, I take full credit for everything he did right.

After rumors swirled for months, Abrams’ vision of the future began to come into view. The “Trek” writers got an official green light and revealed to us that we could all stop calling it “Star Trek 11,” as the movie would simply be called “Star Trek.” We were in Hall H at Comic-Con 2007 when Zachary Quinto got an epic introduction as the new Spock , having the torch passed to him by Leonard Nimoy in front of a roaring crowd. Suddenly, the space race was on.

The Stars
The young cast of “Trek” began to fill out in the ensuing months, as Anton Yelchin landed the role of Pavel Chekov, Zoe Saldana became the new Uhura, Simon Pegg and John Cho were cast as Scotty and Sulu, and Chris Pine and Eric Bana joined on to play the hero and villain.

The Secrets
Did you know that Adrien Brody was almost Mr. Spock? Or that Matt Damon nearly became Captain Kirk ? In October 2007, Quinto told us about putting on the ears for the first time — and George Takei revealed his thoughts on the John Cho casting.

The whole world wanted to know what Simon Pegg would sound like as Scotty, and he revealed his voice to us — well, kinda. Anton Yelchin stopped by the MTV studios to confirm that Nimoy was the only original castmember in the new flick — and that he had happily replaced all the V’s in his script with W’s.

We caught up with Quinto again at Comic-Con 2008 and had the honor of unveiling the man’s poster to him for the first time. He told us his take on Spock was as a man “on a collision course with himself.” A few months later, a new “Trek” trailer exploded all over the Web — and, naturally, we gave it our shot-by-shot treatment .

As things escalated, we got our first look at many of the characters on the U.S.S. Enterprise bridge; Abrams told us that the film would run two hours; and producer Bryan Burk promised warp speed, transporter beams, tricoders and all the other beloved gadgets. This past March, we even dug into the film’s early release trading cards to uncover some key plot points.

The Spectacle
The studio behind “Trek” rolled out the red carpet — or black carpet, actually — for the film’s massive Hollywood premiere . Chris Pine enjoyed sharing the spotlight with his actor dad and a who’s who of Hollywood Trekkies. The premiere in Sydney wasn’t skimpy when it came to spectacle, either.

The Visions
The film’s spine-chilling first trailer teased us with historical sound bites and a peek at technicians preparing the Enterprise for a new voyage. A little while later, we got a high-profile Super Bowl spot that actually gave us scenes that were in the movie. Then, the final trailer revealed the film in all its sleek, sexy goodness.

We unveiled numerous “Trek” clips that showed Kirk hitting the bottle, McCoy’s fear of flying and Spock demanding answers. We also met Nero and made a sleek space jump with Kirk and Sulu. Finally, some behind-the-scenes “Trek” footage took us where no fan had gone before.

The Future
More than a month before the new “Star Trek” hit theaters, producer Damon Lindelof told us that ideas for a sequel were already being thrown around. At this point, it seems, “Trek” is ready to live long and be prosperous at the box office.

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.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Star Trek.”

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