Movie Article

Inspirations for a Whole New Enterprise

How the old ''Star Trek'' influenced the new film

Star Trek's writing team dove deep into the Trek canon to develop this new film. The plot remains secret, but their influences provide some intriguing clues.

Balance of Terror, TV Original Series Episode
Kirk and the Enterprise crew come face-to-face with Romulans, an alien race Earth has warred with but has never actually seen. The Romulans have sophisticated technology, but Kirk's tactical brilliance saves the day.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Movie
The best of the original films, Khan imported a strong villain from the TV series and refocused the franchise around the Kirk/Spock friendship, establishing a mythic arc for future installments. Spock's tragic sacrifice provides the emotional wallop.

Unification, 'The Next Generation' TV Episode
Spock (Leonard Nimoy), now an aged ambassador, tries to reunify the fractured Romulan/Vulcan cultures through unsanctioned cowboy diplomacy. The two-part episode ends with Spock grieving for his dead father by mind-melding with Captain Picard.

Yesterday's Enterprise, 'The Next Generation' TV Episode
This twisty time-travel narrative brings Picard's new Enterprise into contact with an older model of the ship that has leapt into the future through a ''temporal rift.'' The quantum fiasco creates an altered timeline that must be rectified.

Best Destiny, Novel
Published in 1992, this Star Trek novel finds an older Kirk on the verge of retirement and involved in an adventure that will reveal details about his troubled teenage years and serious father issues. The screenwriters also drew from the 1990 Trek novel Prime Directive.

Originally posted Oct 17, 2008 Published in issue #1017 Oct 24, 2008 Order article reprints