After pouring through the ninety-minute-plus interview with Star Trek 3 co-writer J.D. Payne recorded at the LDS Film Festival back in February, we found two more segments of interest to Trek film fans: not only does the writer offer some details into the script development timeline, but he also drops some of the first hints towards the movie’s plot!

Payne:  “We’re trying to set up a kind of situation where you really could — and not in just an ‘everything’s relative’ sort of moral relativism — you could be a good person of any creed or philosophical background and come down on both sides of how you should respond to this opportunity that the crew has…. that also has some pitfalls to it. Where you could argue very, very, very compellingly that ‘this’ is what you should do, and if you’re advocating ‘this’ then it’s actually evil.

It’s sort of the Adam and Eve thing, where should we eat the fruit or not eat the fruit? Well, there are some very compelling reasons why they should and why they shouldn’t. So, similar kinds of things here that really give the whole movie and opportunity to sort of play with that, and have people come down on different side and wrestle with it; then come to an ending where you can walk out and say, ‘You know, I don’t know what I would do.'”

What kind of pitfall-filled “opportunity” awaits the Enterprise in the next Trek film? Does Captain Kirk get offered a pass to the Q Continuum? Is the Enterprise faced with another planet-killing Prime Directive choice? Perhaps more time travel to go save planet Vulcan?

We’ve got two years to find out.


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  • Sounds interesting! I’d love to see a Trek movie where we argue afterwards about the moral implications of the plot, rather than about whether lens flares are lame, whether the characters have been altered out of all recognition, and whether destroying Vulcan is stupid or inspired.

  • John Hughes

    I would love to see a Q continuum plot…it opens a whole bunch of ideas snd moral dilemmas…

  • Christopher Roberts

    Being presented with an opportunity to avert the Kelvin’s destruction perhaps?

    • Darkthunder

      A “rehash” of Yesterday’s Enterprise. Where the morality comes down to, if Kirk saves the Kelvin, his timeline will irrevocably be altered. Allowing the Kelvin to be destroyed (and his father dies), preserves his timeline (the JJ timeline).

      Personally, i’d love to see him actually change history (and not “restore” it). I don’t mind the events of the JJ-timeline, but to (many), perhaps a more familiar timeline may be better.

      • Christopher Roberts

        Nothing wrong with a retelling of “Yesterday’s Enterprise” in my book. That was the film that should’ve been. In terms of moral dilemmas, they don’t come any bigger than…
        You suddenly find yourself in September 2001, with all the knowledge of what is to come.

    • phyfell

      Yes; avert the Kelvin’s destruction, and thereby ensure that the whole “Abramsverse” never existed in the first place. I LOVE IT!!! I’ll pay money to see the last five years undone! Oh, and Corylea: lens flares ARE lame, the characters HAVE been altered beyond all recognition, and destroying Vulcan WAS stupid. I see no basis for argument there. 😉

      • Oh, I agree. But plenty of people argue the other side. 🙂

        • Trek_Gugu

          Still doesn’t mean that they were smart decisions. The movies were a lame attempt to modernize the original series, so much more could have been done if someone only thought of the bigger picture. Dumbed down Trek isn’t Trek.

          • Some days, I think we need the Organians to come make peace between the supporters of classic Trek and the supporters of new Trek. 🙂

    • Jacob Stevens

      however, wouldn’t this cause a paradox, essentially nullifying the chain of events that led Kirk to correct the timeline…what have you

  • KH

    You know what I’d like to see from one of these movies? The Trek fans who don’t like them managing to not be completely condescending towards those who do.

  • J Skagnetti

    Arg! I hate how people call it Star Trek 3. It’s the 13th film. Star Trek 13. Star Trek 3 was The Search for Spock.

    • Until there’s an official title, “Star Trek 3” will be how we refer to it — it’s the third Abrams movie in the new continuity. TSFS will remain as “III”.

      • J Skagnetti

        *facepalm* Just seems a disservice to the films that came before. Nobody called Star Trek Generations ‘Star Trek 2’ because it was the second TNG film. Anyway, it’s not a dig on your site. I love TrekCore. Everybody calls it Star Trek 3. They all called the last film Star Trek 2 instead of Star Trek 12. Drove me nuts then too.

        • Robert

          You could also argue that 13 being an unlucky number and actors and crew generally being very superstitious people may wish to refrain from it. Besides, third movie was kind of a let down. Not horrible like 5 was horrible but kind of how Insurrection and Nemesis kind of fizzled.

  • Nythawk

    Star Trek 3 plot: Original Kirk and Enterprise NCC-1701A in the 23rd century intercepts a movie broadcast from the year 2009 and the year 2013 where it shows the voyages made into a movie. Kirk shouts AAAbbbraahhmmsss!!! The Enterprise A sling shots around the sun and goes back to the year 2005 before the discussions of a reboot started. Kirk kidnaps JJ and all the studio executives. Spock gives them all a mind meld and tells them to forget anything related to a reboot. The timeline is restored. No Nero, no Khan reboot, and Vulcan doesn’t explode. Live long and prosper.

  • MJ

    To everyone here on Trekcore:

    I am real happy to now be participating on Trekcore. This is my new Trek fan home. Some of you may remember me as a regular poster for years on I got a little carried way with my behavior on that site, and got kicked off. I won’t make excuses on what happened; and if I was the moderator on Trekmovie, I would have kicked me off the site as well. I am turning over a new leaf here, and am getting back to my personal IDIC principles which I let slip over on Trekmovie…and I want to discuss Star Trek in a positive way again, and am looking forward to participating with all the other fans here as we get all the stories as the buildup continues to Trek 3 in 2016.

    I am very encouraged by Payne’s words here on Trek 3. I think that they may have hit a home run with the guy!

    I hope to bring my uncannily correct predictions and deduction to this site over the next two years concerning Trek 3. I predicted Khan as the villain, based on some very minor clues, over 2 years in advance of STID.

    So, I’m really excited to becoming now a regular poster here on Trekcore.


  • Adam

    I think something like ‘A Taste of Armageddon’ that talks about how people can become desensitised to war and conflict could be very topical right now. Something that doesn’t present the Federation as straightforward good or evil but drops the Enterprise into the middle of a situation that they have to figure their way out of with no out-and-out ‘villain’.

    • MJ

      Well said!

  • Zoidbert

    Adam & Eve? It’s a remake of “The Apple”! 🙂

  • Robert Fitzsimmons

    Can I be in the next star trek movie.been into it all my life 62 now and would be a life dream to be part of something that has meant the best hope, thought in sci fi fantasy, for a future of and humanity at its best.sounds silly but has been that to do many.hope you can get me in someplace.thank you

  • Jfc

    That’s is the most rediculous bunch of nonsensical jiberish I have ever heard why can’t they just tell us what the plot is instead of spewing nonsense like that! Dose he think he sounds profound and we will all be impressed by that crap ! Just tell us what the plot is for god sakes!!!

  • Jfc

    I think at the end of the third movie they should tie in to the 68 tv show like going to talus4 that would be cool or at the end have Charlie beemed over and Kirk introducing himself that would be a cool ending! What do you think?