The Star Trek reboot films may have taken some narrative risks, but one of its stars has a very clear understanding of what makes the overall franchise great.
Karl Urban, who portrayed Leonard 'Bones' McCoy in the trilogy of films, recently addressed what he sees as the core of both Star Trek: The Original Series and the reboot films - the dynamic between Bones, Kirk, and Spock.
"I grew up watching [Star Trek] The Original Series." Urban revealed at this month's Star Trek Las Vegas convention. "And I always loved how that triumvirate worked together and essentially what [Gene] Roddenberry did was split Kirk's personality into three. He would have the two aspects of his brain argue out the dilemma of the week. Obviously with Spock having the cold, hard, rational, scientific, logical perspective. And with McCoy being passionate, altruistic, and human. And Kirk takes the best of both arguments and making a decision and proceeding with that. That was really the core of the show."
While Urban's version of Bones didn't always get to interact with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) in that same capacity, the actor feels that the reboot films adapted that dynamic in a new way.
"For the reboot, Spock became a lot more contemporary," Urban explained, "where he was a little bit more in touch with his emotions and a little bit more emotional. So it made that argument somewhat more difficult to play."
Urban then highlighted Star Trek Beyond - a film he is proud of possibly having be his last turn in the franchise - for providing an outlet to fully portray the triumvirate's dynamic.
"That is sort of why I was appreciative of Star Trek Beyond," Urban added, "and how we actually got to explore that together and some great interactions."
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In Star Trek Beyond, a surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that's aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet.