How Simon Pegg Called on Star Trek Fans to Shape Star Trek Beyond

Simon Pegg teases Star Trek Beyond and reveals how he enlisted the aid of Star Trek fans to get it right

Although the new film remains largely shrouded in mystery, Star Trek Beyond star and screenwriter Simon Pegg made an appearance at last week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, presenting the “Showman of the Year” award to longtime collaborator J.J. Abrams. caught up with Pegg backstage and learned a few details about the new film that should delight Star Trek fans. After all, it turns out that Star Trek fans themselves were instrumental in getting Beyond exactly right.

“We had the entirety of ‘Star Trek’ history at our disposal and it’s always there online,” says Pegg. “There’s an amazing Wikipedia online called Memory Alpha. It became Doug [Jung] and my resource and the place that we’d turn to whenever we wanted to know, ‘What kind of weapons does an NX vessel carry?’ Memory Alpha has it. We actually wrote to the Memory Alpha guys and got them to name a certain device in the movie. I sent them a letter saying, ‘Can you come up with this for me?’ In two hours, they came back with an entire etymological history of what the thing was. It’s beautiful. It’s fantastic to have that support network.”

Does this mean that an NX vessel will factor into the plot of Star Trek Beyond? Concept art revealed by The Trek Collective earlier this year showed off a ship that certainly bears a resemblance to the “original” Enterprise, NX-01. The fate, meanwhile, of the film franchise’s NCC-1701 has yet to be revealed. Recent CinemaCon poster artwork shows the Enterprise taking on some heavy damage. Star Trek fans should not assume from that iconography, however, that Star Trek Beyond will mirror The Search For Spock in the same way that Star Trek Into Darkness drew from The Wrath of Khan.

“No,” said Pegg when asked about potential Search For Spock parallels in Beyond, “although we were obviously aware of the coincidence of those two films. That might be a little nod for fans perhaps, but it’s certainly not something that the film depends upon or has any relationship to the plot of the previous ‘Star Trek III.'”

As 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, Beyond won’t be the only source of excitement for Star Trek fans. As announced back in FebruaryBryan Fuller is developing a new Trek TV series that will debut in early 2017. We asked Pegg if the new show affects what’s happening on the big screen in any way.

“Absolutely not!” he says. “Star Trek has existed for 50 years in very different iterations. There are so many different points from the history of the Federation, from the very beginnings in ‘Enterprise’ to much later on with ‘Voyager’ and ‘Next Generation’. This is a story that will go on and on. It’s a continuing mission. It must have life on television as well as film. It started out as a TV show. It’s home was television. I’m overjoyed at that news and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions film, Star Trek Beyond is also set to feature the return of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin and John Cho along with new roles for Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella and Joe Taslim. J.J. Abrams, who directed the last two films, is producing the third film in the rebooted franchise with Justin Lin directing from a script by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung.