May 28 2024

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Kurtzman: Expanding Star Trek’s Vision

3 min read

Alex Kurtzman is doing press after the nomination of Star Trek: Short Treks (Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series) and he spoke to Deadline about the vision of Star Trek and how those creating Star Trek: Short Treks are trying to spread that idea.

“I think the mission is to make the world better,” said Kurtzman. “Roddenberry’s vision of this was, ‘I’m going to create something that can show us the best of who we are, and can act as a compass that we can follow toward a future that’s better than the one we’re living in now.’ And we need that vision, now more than ever. I think it’s our responsibility to uphold it, and to allow future generations of kids, and past generations of adults who are long-term fans, to be reminded of how important it is to see the world through Gene Roddenberry‘s eyes.

“So, that’s the mission, right? Let’s show people a future that’s better.”

One Star Trek: Short Treks, Children of Mars, showed how adversity could unite people, in this case, two schoolgirls. “By allowing the event [attack on Mars] to be experienced through the eyes of children in a totally surprising way,” said Kurtzman; “where you don’t actually realize what you’re watching until you get to the very end, and you see this extraordinary connection that emerges from people who, up until that moment, had really been enemies. I think it’s profoundly moving. But it also speaks to the core essence of what Star Trek is, which is about people overcoming their differences to come together, and recognizing that in the face of tragedy, and in the face of triumph, we really are all the same.”

We can take a lesson from Star Trek in our own time of pandemic. “Certainly, when you think about analogies to what we’re experiencing now globally, with coronavirus, everyone’s realizing that nobody is immune, and therefore, we’re all in it together, and I think that’s something that Star Trek has been saying for a really long time. It’s been speaking to that very fact since its inception, and I think all of these shorts, in one way or another, look to capture the spirit of what Roddenberry was trying to express.”

Star Trek: Short Treks is just one of several new Trek shows on now or coming in the next two years. Kurtzman explained there is a reason why there are several shows coming as opposed to just one long series. “There are quite a few, and I think the idea for us is that it isn’t just about expansion for the sake of expansion,” he said. “It’s actually about exploring different corners of the universe, in the same way that the Short Treks explore different corners of the world of Star Trek, the idea being that each show should have its own unique identity, and you should not be thinking that you can get from one show, what you can get in another.

“Everything has to feel different, unique, special and specific, and yet you want it all to be of a piece, and tie into the larger Trek universe. So, it’s been a very coordinated effort, on a lot of people’s parts, to make sure that the shows feel different, and are about different things, and are saying different things, and feel different, and look different, and sound different. So, that’s been really fun and really rewarding.”

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