‘Star Trek’ Writers Answer Five Burning Questions

We go straight to the sources to get details on five key plot points.

SANTA MONICA, California — No doubt about it: [url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/305755/moviemain.jhtml"]“Star Trek”[/url] was rebooted this past weekend with a hugely successful hit that has made the five-decade-old franchise hip again. But, in keeping with the brainy nature of the sci-fi series, the film’s plot machinations can sometimes get a bit fuzzy.

Did you leave the theater wondering how Spock and Kirk just happened to end up on the same moon with Scotty? Why one character wouldn’t warn another about his death? With such matters in mind, we got “Trek” writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to stop brainstorming on the sequel for a moment and address five spoiler-heavy, burning questions for fans who’ve seen the flick:

MTV: In the movie, the Romulans place a bug into the mouth of Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood), saying it will force him to tell the truth. Is it the same sort of bug Khan placed in the ears of Chekov and Captain Terrell in “The Wrath of Khan”?

Orci: It’s a cousin of the bug.

Kurtzman: It’s a distant, distant cousin twice removed by marriage. We definitely thought when we were kids, and we watched Khan put the Ceti eel in Chekov’s ear, it was about the scariest thing we’d ever seen. We thought, “We’ve gotta do something like that, at least to pay homage to that.” Because it was such a cool moment — and then we had a plot reason to do it in this movie, because he’s trying to get Captain Pike to tell the truth.

MTV: According to long-held “Star Trek” lore, Captain Kirk was born in Iowa — a whole town even uses it as their claim to fame. So why do we see Kirk being born in space?

Orci: Well, he would have been born on Earth — except for Nero, played by Eric Bana, coming back in time and interfering before he can get back to Earth so he can get born. Part of our mandate in our minds was to try and do as much of the canon as we thought we could do — but in a way, harmonize with the canon. So whereas in the original universe Kirk is born on Earth and dreams of being in space, here he is born in space — literally in a battle.

MTV: Out of the entire universe, how do Elder Spock and Kirk happen to get stranded on the same planet? Are we expected to believe it’s just a coincidence?

Orci: Why was Spock put on that planet by Nero? Because of its proximity to Vulcan. And where was the Enterprise leaving when they decided to kick Kirk off the ship? Then it’s not a coincidence, is it? Their proximity to that moon is very much by the plot.

Kurtzman: One of the things we’re playing to is the theme of destiny … the idea that it wasn’t actually random chance. It seems like random chance if you run into Spock in that cave, but it wasn’t. And in some way, the time stream is trying to mend itself.

MTV: And how about Scotty? Is it a coincidence that he happens to be on that moon as well?

Kurtzman: It goes back to the idea that the time stream is trying to mend itself. These characters are essentially destined to find each other in one way or another — and that fate is literally bringing them together.

Orci: If you read about quantum mechanics, you would have a further understanding of how there’s a mathematical basis for destiny.

MTV: Doesn’t Elder Spock know how Captain Kirk dies in the “Generations” movie? Shouldn’t he warn young Kirk to stay away from Dr. Tolian Soran?

Kurtzman: No, because remember — it’s an alternate timeline now. So this future is totally different. There’s no need to mention it; there’s no boulder [fall] to warn him about.

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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