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April 26, 2013

“Star Trek” has always been about more than a spaceship crew hurtling through the cosmos — over the decades, the sci-fi series in all its forms has tackled earthly issues such as race, gender and the Vietnam War.

When it comes to shining a spotlight on contemporary conflicts, the film and television franchise’s newest entry, the movie “Star Trek Into Darkness,” is no exception.

As with so much in the fictional worlds Abrams creates (“Lost,” “Super 8”), many details around the movie have been cloaked in mystery, including the true identity of Cumberbatch’s character. But on a breezy afternoon in March, on the roof of a Hollywood photo studio, Pine and Quinto shared insight into John Harrison — and the movie’s present-day parallels.

“This film is about earthbound terror,” said Pine, speaking weeks before the real-life bombing at the Boston Marathon. “It’s about terrorism, about issues we as human beings in 2013 deal with every day, about the exploitation of fear to take advantage of a population, about physical violence and destruction but also psychological manipulation. John Harrison is a terrorist in the mold of those we’ve become accustomed to in this day and age.”

Much of the humanity in Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” origins movie, which was the 11th film in the franchise, came from the rivalry and ultimately the friendship that developed between reckless young Kirk and analytical young Spock.

The new film from Paramount Pictures is rich with action — Kirk and Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) race through fields of scarlet foliage, a Starfleet ship rises from the ocean, Spock descends into an erupting volcano.

“In this movie, Kirk really needs to learn how to be a captain, not just sit in the captain’s chair, and Spock needs to learn how to be a friend, not just be accountable and reliable and responsible,” Quinto said. “In the first movie, it was about all of us coming together, unifying to defeat an enemy. This movie is more about the way an enemy splits us apart. We have to divide in order to conquer in this film.”

In conversation, Pine and Quinto share an easy affinity — when Pine noted that they had been able to avoid being typecast despite playing such memorable characters, Quinto raised his eyebrows. “This from the guy who doesn’t have to wear pointy ears,” he said.

Over the years, Pine and Quinto’s off-screen friendship has helped them establish an on-screen rapport — the two met before they were cast in “Star Trek,” at an event writer-producer Norman Lear organized to showcase his copy of the Declaration of Independence.

“I remember feeling, as I got to know Chris more, so impressed by his intelligence, which isn’t always the case with such a traditional leading man,” Quinto said. “I remember being pleasantly, not surprised, but …”

“You thought I was just a dumb blond,” Pine interrupted. “Actually, I have many more Spockian qualities than I do Kirkian qualities. We were two peas in a pod,” he said of Quinto, “in that we think about things way more than we should. We analyze.”

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1 Comment to "Chris and Zach Talk Film’s Real-World Parallels with LA Times"
  1. Angel says:

    LOL, that last exchange between Chris and Zack is so true. Chris is very intelligent, far more so than most of his peers. That’s the main reason why I like him so much, as an actor and a person. Nevermind the obvious swoon factor, I’d like to just sit down with a coffee and talk with him about anything and everything. 🙂