Quentin Tarantino Prefers ‘Star Trek’ Over ‘Star Wars,’ Discusses How He’d Direct It

Imagine, a parallel dimension full of rare, exotic pleasure. For one shining moment, let us perchance to dream a little dream… Captain Kirk rampaging around as a bloodthirsty assassin eating Royales with cheese. Spock, an enigmatic Vulcan martial arts guru, schooling Starfleet Academy cadets on the most lethal way to deliver Viper Clan death blows. A skant clad, temptress Deanna Troi dancing a 24th century Twist with a besotted Cmdr. Will Riker. It could happen, if celebrated film writer/director Quentin Tarantino was given free reign to tackle one of his beloved pop culture icons – Star Trek.

Scotty! Beam me the hell out of here!

It’s what some Star Trek fans might cry, while many would gladly rejoice. The simple fact is renowned moviemaker Quentin Tarantino – multiple Oscar winner, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Saturn Award-winner dearly loves his Star Trek.

Mutha’ f@*#ing Fascinating!

On an episode of the Nerdist podcast that recently resurfaced, The Hateful Eight director spoke fondly on the narrative heft of Gene Roddenberry‘s original series – especially praising William Shatner’s James T. Kirk – the first, and still for so many, the only true Captain Kirk in any galaxy.

When asked what kind of story he’d want to tell if given the chance to helm a Star Wars film, Tarantino said:

“The actual answer to the question is that I would be more inclined to direct a Star Trek… rather than Star Wars.”

On what he’d do with a Star Trek movie:

“I’m definitely a fan of the original series… in particular a fan of William Shatner’s. That’s my key into the series – William Shatner.” said Tarantino, creator of Kill Bill, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

Tarantino goes on to say though he liked J.J. Abrams’ first big Star Trek film from 2009, the second installment, Star Trek: Into Darkness didn’t thrill him. Specifically, he was bothered by the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch. “It really bothered me that [he] was playing Khan. It really bothered me. And part of the reason that it bothered me was like – well, wait a minute, that just doesn’t work… The thing that I liked about the first one is that Chris Pine is playing William Shatner and Zachary Quinto is playing Leonard Nimoy as Spock… so, Benedict Cumberbum can’t be Khan.”

Tarantino praises writer Harlan Ellison and his Original Series entry, “City On The Edge Of Forever” and also Star Trek: The Next Generation. In particular, he loves TNG’s time-tripping episode, “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” and he could definitely see the popular time-travel tale as a springboard for a big feature film.

Catch Tarantino’s full Star Trek musings embedded below.

What do you think a Tarantino-helmed Star Trek film would look like? Tell us in the comments section below.

Will is an Emmy Award nominated screenwriter, book author and content producer. He’s written for magazines, the web and for several highly respected TV shows, most notably for the Star Trek franchise.

Will penned episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and he was one of the few freelancers to work on episodes for both landmark Hollywood series, born of visionary Gene Roddenberry. He’s pitched to Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine & for USA Network’s show, Stephen King’s The Dead Zone.

His articles & celebrity interviews appear in national magazines, websites, newspapers and he’s written extensively for publications such as: Yahoo! News, McCall’s Quilter’s Home, American Chronicle, Bayonne Style, OMG, Shine, Hudson Reporter, The Last Reel & Sci-Fi Pulse.

His new book, Star Trek Sex: Analyzing The Most Sexually Charged Episodes Of The Original Series, is published by Bearmanor Media.

You can follow Will on Twitter @willstape.

5 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Will Stape

    Listening, I couldn’t help but do a little daydreaming of my own. Here’s my QT Star Trek movie idea – sort of a fun mashup of ‘Amok Time’ and ‘The Gamesters of Triskelion’.

    ‘Star Trek: Spock Unchained’

    When an irresistible alien power marauds into Federation space looking for participants in an all out galactic grudge match, Starfleet’s best fighters are chosen to represent Earth: Kirk’s classic fighting style, Sulu noted for his swordplay, and a super strong half human, half Vulcan – Spock. The 24th century MMA combatants train a grueling schedule to stand ready to engage in a cosmic Bloodsport, a Game of Death, until something unforeseen happens….

    Spock goes into Pon Farr.

    It’s much more than the usual lusty alien spell – it’s Pon Farr to a horny, violent extreme. Bones is gobsmacked, ‘Jim, Spock shouldn’t have gone into his damn, green blooded Vulcan heat for another 2 years!’ A search for answers. Sabotage? Did someone genetically modify the potent Vulcan to ensure victory? Soon, it won’t matter, because the ‘Game of Pain’ commences, and even if Spock wins, now in his compromised state, he’ll slaughter all in his path – including his Captain and crew.

    Star Trek enmeshed in the bloodsport kumite? Captain Kirk, Spock and an entire crew battling for their lives in a kind of Enter The Dragon and Thor: Ragnarok spectacle? If anybody can pull off such an audacious romp, it’s the one and only Quentin Tarantino.

  • Aaron Walker

    Actually, it might be pretty cool! It would definitely have some “Sci-Fi” action! Nothing says Q.T. than Some heavy Phaser shootouts, and some exploring…Toss in a decent space battle that would make a Star Wars jedi $#It their robes! Then I’m sold Muther-F@$$k€r !!! Give it a (R) !

    • Will Stape

      Exactly.

      A talented storyteller and filmmaker such as QT could bring amazing new life to the franchise. I’d love to see it happen. Maybe bring Uma on to mix it up! ; )

  • Cecilia Jarra

    I liked Cumberbach in the role a lot. I am a huge trekkie and I thought he did a great job capturing the unrepentant arrogance and disdain of Khan in a ‘alternate dimension’ kinda way – much like Zach, Chris, John, Zoe and so many of the others did. I mean the original bones is bones, but the new bones was a beautiful alternate version – etc. So for me all 3 movies have been perfect so far in that light. I am so jazzed they are going to do a 4th and I hope many more to follow!

  • Demode

    He could do a film with Chris Pine as Kirk, and jump back and forth through time, with Shatner’s scenes all firmly placed in the future, and Chris’s scenes in the past. Perhaps a mystery that starts with young Pine and ends with older Shatner.