What If the Old Star Trek Movies Were Remade in the New Continuity?

Recently, IDW Star Trek comics’ writer Mike Johnson mentioned there are hints to the direction of the new film in the current comics series, which has been re-telling classic 60’s Star Trek episodes with the current cast/continuity. A lot of the story details have been different, because as Johnson explains “the new timeline is moving in a radically different direction.”

So let’s have fun for a bit. What if the next Star Trek films were total remakes of the old Star Trek films with the current cast and alternate universe continuity? What would they be like? Who would play David Marcus, Saavik, Gorkon, and so forth? Read on to find out how I see topsy turvy versions of classic Trek films in the 21st century.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’s Friend


Guest Stars:
Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan’s Friend
Kristen Bell as Carol Marcus
Asa Butterfield as David Marcus
Ellen Page as Saavik

Obviously the big rumors about the actual Star Trek sequel have focused on Khan—and the possibility of Cumberbatch playing Khan. But maybe this movie could combine both “Space Seed” and The Wrath of Khan into one movie, but somehow exclude Khan himself. Fans will recall that when the Enterprise first picked up the Botany Bay, a bunch of the suspended animation life-canisters stopped functioning. This means several genetically engineered supermen actually died before we got to know them! So maybe in the new timeline, Khan is one of the people who dies and his genetically engineered friend (Cumberbatch) lives and decides to take revenge on the Earth, and Kirk specifically, for letting Khan die.

The Genesis device gets incorporated into the plot because the Vulcans want to turn a dead planet into an exact copy of the old planet Vulcan. This could get tricky because Kirk’s ex-girlfriend Carol Marcus (Kristen Bell) is working on the project, and it turns out he totally knocked her up and she didn’t tell him! Because Chris Pine/Kirk is younger than Shatner was in the old Carol Marcus storyline, this David Marcus is a little kid played by Asa Butterfield. The academy flashbacks to Carol and Jim’s old relationship would be easy, because everyone pretty much looks the same and it would be cool to see more of the three years we missed in the first movie.

Of course we get Saavik in this movie, who is half-Romulan, which creates some tension with the crew because of the whole Nero thing. She and Spock actually don’t get along in this version and she’s played by Ellen Page.

Does Spock still die at the end? Sorta. Instead of him dying, he’s sucked into the Genesis vortex set off by Cumberbatch in an attempt to blow up an innocent planet. But this time the Genesis device creates a rupture between universes, meaning the movie ends with a big question mark about Spock’s whereabouts, lost somewhere in the multiverse….

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Across the Multiverse With Old Spock Helping


Guest Stars:
Jewel Staite as Saavik
Asa Butterfield as David Marcus
Kristen Bell as Carol Marcus
J.K. Simmons as Captain Styles
Leonard Nimoy as Old Spock

Now Spock is hopping between multiple realities, including one in which his mother (Winona Ryder) is alive and Vulcan was never destroyed. This could all have a very “City on the Edge of Forever” feel to it because Spock slowly becomes aware that some of these alternate timelines aren’t quite the way they are supposed to be.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew is ordered not to try and find Spock by journeying into parallel realties because the Genesis technology and the subsequent parallel universe stuff has been outlawed. Kirk, of course, defies this order and with the help of old Spock they start traveling into other universes. Awesome bizzarro world stuff can ensue here, including Kirk fighting evil Kirk and young Spock with a beard. Eventually, they find the right universe with proper Spock in it, but his mind has been really messed up by the journeying across the dimensions. How will they cure him of his newfound crazy? Well, Old Spock mind-melds with him and gives him his entire katra in order to save him. Tragically, Old Spock dies. Again.

Both David and Carol Marcus can be in this one too, but they are tragically lost in the alternate universe of Original Series continuity in which they merge with Prime David and Prime Carol. Also Saavik is randomly being played by Jewel Staite in this movie to uphold the tradition of Saavik being played by more than one person.

Finally, instead of having a crazed Klingon pursue Kirk, there is a Starfleet Captain Styles (J.K. Simmons) of the Excelsior pursuing Kirk and company through the multiverse in order to arrest them for messing with temporal laws. It’s a drag because J.K. Simmons isn’t reunited with his Juno co-star Ellen Page. But come on, you can totally hear J.K. Simmons saying “How can you have a yellow alert in space dock?”

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home to the Proper Universe


Guest Stars:
Katee Sackhoff as Dr. Gillian Taylor
Paul Giamatti as Dr. Nichols
Jewel Staite as Saavik
J.K. Simmons as Captain Styles

After having sort of fixed Spock’s brain and returned to their own universe, the Enterprise is still being tailed by Captain Styles and the Excelsior, but suddenly a giant alien probe shows up and screws up the pursuit. This probe is flying around messing up all kinds of stuff on Earth, and here the plot is pretty much the same as the original Star Trek IV. Again, Spock figures out they need to go back in time and save the whales, which is great, but instead of going to 1986, they go back in time to our present day, here in 2012. The only problem is this time around they don’t have a cloaking device, so Earth is totally alerted to the presence of the Enterprise and shoots it down with nukes, hardcore. Everyone manages to beam off just in time, but all randomly in different parts of…California.

Kirk, Spock, and Bones meet a marine biologist named Gillian Taylor (Katee Sackhoff). The challenge now becomes to not only get access to her whales, but figure out a way to transport everyone into the future with no spaceship! Scotty comes up with a crazy scheme that involves encasing everyone in a kind of Star Trek-version of carbonite and putting them on ice for centuries. Like the original plotline that involves acquiring transparent aluminum, the guys have to consult with modern day scientists to get what they need. The analog for Dr. Nichols (the “Not now, Madeline!” guy from the original movie) will be played by Paul Giamatti, who will be an expert in suspended animation. The climax will involve the Feds closing in on Kirk, Gillian, and the crew as they attempt to activate their big freezing chamber and seal themselves and the whales in an undersea cave. They’re successful, of course, and come out of hibernation just at the right time. They release the whales who speak to the Probe and send it on its way.

Starfleet isn’t mad at Kirk anymore for breaking the temporal laws, because it’s really ballsy to freeze yourself and your entire crew AND some whales for centuries and hope you wake up at the right time. Styles returns with the Excelsior and reveals he has an empty Enterprise in tow on a tractor beam. He saved it right before the nukes got it. Everyone gets back on the Enterprise and heads off into the final frontier.

Star Trek V: Mommy, Where Do People Come From? (The Center of the Galaxy!)


Guest Stars:
Jewel Staite as Saavik
Tom Hardy as Kane
Maggie Smith as God

With the reset button hit, Kirk and the crew decide to vacation on Earth. Instead of camping, though, Kirk, Spock and Bones go out and hit the bars. Uhura isn’t crazy about this and we get the impression that she and Spock are going to break up. Gillian from the past didn’t come to the future with Kirk, so everyone is single and having a good/slightly depressing time. Suddenly the bar in which the boys are hanging in gets half blown up by a terrorist bomb. It’s the Klingons! And now, they’re punishing the Federation for trying to “contain the basic violent nature of all humanoids.” (It’s Star Trek V, so it needs to be little preachy/misguided, right?)

Anyway, the Klingons, with the help of the now aggressive turncoat Saavik steal the Enterprise and head off to the center of the galaxy with a fleet of their ships in an attempt to prove to the Federation the existence of the One True God, who they believe will be a hedonistic, malevolent motherf*cker. They take Kirk and the crew as hostages in an attempt to embarrass the Federation. Naturally, Kirk and company attempt to take over the ship and fight a bunch of Klingons along the way. However, a lot of what the Klingons have to say about everyone giving into their feelings and being total heathens appeals to some of the crew, so there’s some resistance. The leader of the Klingons? He’s played by none other than Tom Hardy, returning to Star Trek this time as a Klingon named Kane. Bringing Tom Hardy and Chris Pine back together after This Means War also makes everyone happy.

In a twist on the original version, the Klingons are appalled to find a nice, kindly little old lady at the center of the universe who is a weird alien amalgamation of all the Star Trek races. (She has pointy ears and a Bajoran nose, and is played by Maggie Smith.) She is from a super-old alien race who scattered their DNA across the galaxy (like in the TNG episode “The Chase”) She doesn’t think people should be mean and violent and give into their worst urges, but instead be good. Chris Pine/Kirk agrees with her and gets to give his version of Shatner’s “I won’t kill…today!” speech from “A Taste of Armageddon.” But then one of the rogue Klingons shoots the Maggie Smith alien, creating an all-out battle to the death both on the planet between the out-numbered Starfleet people and the Klingons. Saavik is killed somewhere in here, making everyone pissed, even though she was kind of betraying them.

After taking out a few Klingon ships, the Enterprise narrowly escapes in Federation space. But we now know: It’s all-out war with the Klingons.

Star Trek VI: To Be or Not to Be


Guest Stars:
Idris Elba as Gorkon
Robert Downey Jr. as Trelane of Q
Maggie Smith as God

This one will be action-packed. The movie begins with the Enterprise on the run from a fleet of Klingon ships. Stuff is blowing up, people are dying. The Enterprise only has one nacelle or something similarly embarrassing. It’s not looking good, at all. Kirk is now an Admiral and in command of the entire Starfleet. He’s basically just attempting to keep the Klingons from making it into Federation space. Out of nowhere, however, the Klingons suddenly call for a truce and ask Kirk to meet their special envoy one-on-one on an icy asteroid called Rura Pente. He reluctantly agrees and there meets with Gorkon, a formidable Klingon played by Idris Elba. Gorkon tells Kirk that they will fight to the death in order to determine the fate of the quadrant.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a being of pure energy appears calling himself Trelane of the Q (Robert Downey, Jr.). He tells Kirk and Gorkon that their time is up and the galaxy is to be enslaved by the Q unless the Klingons and the Humans can pass a simple test. Robert Downey, Jr. is hilarious and the arguments he has with Chris Pine are awesome and funny. Obviously some of this stuff parallels TNG’s “All Good Things,” which is totally the point.

Naturally, Gorkon doesn’t really care and tries to kill Kirk anyway. Kirk gets beamed up to the Enterprise only to discover another Kirk already in his place. Starfleet locks up our Kirk, and while in his cell the Maggie Smith God-alien from the previous film appears to Kirk and tells him to not give in, and reminds him of how he beat the Kobayashi Maru. With the help of Uhura and Spock, real Kirk breaks out and confronts fake Kirk. He demands fake Kirk shoot him and hand over Federation space to the Klingons. He figures rule under Trelane of Q will be just as bad, so what’s the difference? Gorkon realizes what Kirk is doing and tells his forces to surrender to Starfleet because it can’t be worse than being under Trelane of Q. The fake Kirk melts into Trelane of Q, announcing they have passed the test. The Maggie Smith God-alien appears and reveals that she and Trelane are both from the same species, but one represents chaos and the other order. (This is all very Babylon 5).

Maggie Smith pats Robert Downey, Jr. on the head and says it’s time for them to go. Everyone is happy until suddenly Trelane of Q snaps his fingers, sending the Enterprise light years away from their current position. Gotcha.

Kirk and the crew realize that they’re several galaxies away from where they were and truly, where no one has gone before….

Phew! I think Mike Johnson was onto something by pointing out how different the timelines could be based on little changes at first. Who would have thought reading a little interview would lead me to casting Ellen Page as Saavik?

Ryan Britt is the staff writer for Tor.com and has really lost his mind on this one.


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