Before J. J. Abrams breathed new life into the Star Trek film franchise, there was Star Trek: The Beginning. The project was scrapped in favor of Abrams’ Star Trek, but being longtime fans of the series, we were curious about the Star Trek that almost was. Website Giant Freakin Robot got their paws on a copy of the script, which is set between the end of Star Trek: Enterprise and the beginning of the original series. It details a war between humans and the Romulans. The protagonist is Tiberius Chase, an ancestor of William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk and a starfighter pilot in the United Earth Stellar Navy. We’ll let GFR take it from here:
The script opens with Chase competing in a sailboat race against several other UESN cadets, and we see Chase demonstrate both the leadership and the cunning refusal to lose that we know so well from one James Tiberius Kirk. Unfortunately, while Tiberius is a brilliant pilot, he’s being held back by his family: he grew up among some hardcore Earth-first xenophobes, and the brass of UESN don’t trust him or intend to let him forget it. We meet several of Chase’s friends and peers over the course of script, but Chase is by far the major player, and it’s his actions — and his disregard for the chain of command — that eventually turns the tide in the brewing war between Earth and the attacking Romulans.
Oh, and there’s also a love interest. Penelope Gardner, daughter of Chase’s commanding officer, is a “school teacher from Iowa” — Kirk’s hometown. That’s the gist of it — a tale more deeply based in military actions than the traditional Trek film. Word has it that the project was shelved due to the studio’s concern over the lack of established characters. The only familiar faces were Andorian commander Shran (played by Jeffrey Combs in Enterprise) and Vulcan ambassador Skon, father of Sarek (father of Spock). Enterprise’s Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) is referenced, but never seen. GFR has detailed a lengthy analysis and other plot details that you can geek out over on their website. Should the studio revisit the project, or is this one better left as an interesting, fun bit of Trek history that denotes a time of great change and possibility for the franchise before Abrams’ tenure?
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