Star Trek: Discovery has taken plenty of risks in its first four episodes, and it took a unique source of inspiration to get there.
In a recent interview with TrekMovie, Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman talked about his experience working on the first Star Trek reboot film - particularly, creating an alternate canon of storytelling.
"We went through a really interesting process when we went through the first film [Star Trek (2009)] because obviously we created the alternate timeline and that meant making some incredibly bold choices, like blowing up Vulcan and creating the alternative timeline." Kurtzman explained. "We knew we would either be crucified for it or ultimately rewarded because people would understand we were making it out of love and protection of Trek and of canon."
According to Kurtzman, those involved with the film knew they were taking a risk, but they learned a pretty strong lesson along the way.
"When we pitched it to Leonard Nimoy, knowing if he said 'No' we couldn’t do that version of the movie, and he understood where it was coming from and blessed it and we felt that we could do it." Kurtzman added. "What it taught me was you can push at the edges of canon, but you have to have a really good reason. And you can make really bold choices, but you have to have a good reason."
And as Kurtzman pointed out, the narrative decisions on both the reboot films and Discovery were with good reason - and approved by the many Trek fans working on those projects.
"You can’t make those choices independently." Kurtzman revealed. "You must run them through many, many people – many Trek fans. And we happen to have the benefit of many Trek fans on staff, so every choice is constantly questioned and analyzed. 'What happens if we do this?' and 'What will people think, is this too much of a violation or not?' 'Can we go further or have we gone too far?' Knowing where that line is, is probably what I got from the experience of working on those films."
New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.