The new Star Trek succeeds on a number of levels, one of which (and it’s fairly significant) is the establishing of the relationship between Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s Spock. As was the case with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, there’s an instant rapport between the two actors that translates on screen. And in terms of the characters, there is a whole new level of connection made by the fact that Nero is responsible for the death of Kirk’s father and Spock’s mother. Interestingly, the inspiration for this, according to co-writer Bob Orci, was the relationship between Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
“We looked at John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s friendship as part of our model for Kirk and Spock,” says Orci. “They were opposites and they bonded very young because they both lost their mothers when they were teens. They might not have actually gotten along at the time had it not been for that kind of a bond. They were the only ones who kind of understood each other’s pain about having lost their mother, so they were definitely an influence on Kirk and Spock. You know, Star Trek and the Beatles were products of the ‘60s, so sometimes you have to tie it all together.”
So, which of the Star Trek team is Lennon and which is McCartney? “The more you read about them, the more you realize how they each had elements of the other,” Orci notes. “The Yin and Yang each have elements of the other color within their spot. I think it depends on the day. On the one hand you can say that Lennon was the intellectual like Spock, but on the other hand he was also kind of the leader of the band, so you can say he was Kirk in that way. And certainly Paul had more of the Spock haircut and the eyebrows. I guess we’ll be able to answer that one later, when we see how Kirk and Spock develop.”
But Orci considers this question a moment longer before adding confidently, “You know what? Spock is Lennon, because Paul is the optimist who can kind of see through the pain and still keep his chin up. That’s Kirk. Spock is a little more fatalistic with his logic, as John Lennon was.”
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