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Star Trek 4 Plot Gag Revealed


You may have seen various clickbait articles about the unmade Star Trek 4 script by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, now that the writers (who are running the Amazon Lord of the Rings show) spoke a bit about it.


This was going to be the next Star Trek movie after Beyond, but it didn’t happen.


Long story short, James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his father, George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) were going to have a buddy-adventure together. And the plot gag to connect them?


George had been stuck in the transporter, a la Scotty in the TNG episode, “Relics.”



J.D. Payne: There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “Relics” where they find Scotty, who’s been trapped a transporter for a couple of decades, and they’re able to have cool adventure with him. Our conceit was, “What if right before the Kelvin impacted with that huge mining ship, George Kirk had tried to beam himself over to his wife’s shuttle where his son, Jim Kirk, had just been born? And what if the ship hadn’t completely exploded—what if it left some space junk?” Think about when you send a text message and you’ve typed it out, but you haven’t quite hit send. On the other side, they see those three little dots that someone has typed. It’s like the transporter had absorbed his pattern up into the pattern buffer, but hadn’t spit him out on the other side. It was actually a saved copy of him that was in the computer.


I don’t want to judge a movie that was never made and a script I haven’t read. I just want to say...I read that explanation and rolled my eyes.


All of us who grew up reading comics books—we know how it is: Nobody’s ever really dead, so nothing ever really matters. The writers make up anything they need to make up to tell the stories that they want to tell, or that they are required to tell for business reasons.


That’s sort of how it has to be—and the only way it should be.


But it cheapens the whole thing.

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Mark So
Mark So
Oct 26, 2022

I hate those movies so so so so much.

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Ian Whitcombe
Ian Whitcombe
Oct 25, 2022

It worked in "Relics" because there were no stakes to Scotty being alive or not, and the technobabble was in typical TNG fashion. For them to try to pull it off in a movie would undo the whole first scene of ST09.

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Ariel Sokol
Ariel Sokol
Oct 25, 2022

Conceptually the idea of the senior and junior Kirk is great, and really would tie up the franchise. After all, the Kirk from the Kelvin timeline originated because of the absence of the father. It would be similar to "Yesterday's Enterprise" (Tasha Yar in an alternate universe) in some respects where the elder Kirk would make decisions knowing what would happen to him in the future


The problem is that rather than do a time travel episode, they have a cockamamie approach.


I attempted to watch Rings of Power and somehow managed to watch to the end of the second episode. A real struggle. Not shocked in any respect that the folks who would have done 4 did ROP.


Star…

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Replying to

That's your opinion though. The new TREKs are terrific, particularly STRANGE NEW WORLDS and LOWER DECKS. PRODIGY doesn't talk down to its audiences, and the worst I can say about PICARD and DISCOVERY is that they can be wildly uneven. TREK is fun again and more importantly new and relevant again. TNG, DS9 and ENT all took a while to find their footing and it took a lot more episodes at that!

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Scott McIntyre
Scott McIntyre
Oct 25, 2022

Yeah no offense pros but that just stupid. We watched the entire heart rending sequence unfold before our our eyes. He didn't leave his seat until impact. He couldn't leave the controls, he had to fight off Nero's forces. That was the entire point. There are plenty of timey wimey ways for Jim and George to meet again, but that? Cue Buster Crabbe "Not really falling into the pit of fire" cliffhanger resolution.

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