J.J. Abrams has departed, but Star Trek 3 is going ahead. A full script has been completed and sliming will start in six months' time, according to Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in the first two movie, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.
What seems clear, however, is that after the first two Star Trek movies acted as a sort of extended origins story [Star Trek 3](movie:817262) will be the first to see the Enterprise crew in their most familiar roles, boldly going out into the universe, seeking other life forms, and facing difficult moral dilemmas.
Speaking about the plot for Star Trek 3, the movie's co-writer J.D. Payne has said:
We're trying to set up a kind of situation where you really could — and not in just an 'everything's relative' sort of moral relativism — you could be a good person of any creed or philosophical background and come down on both sides of how you should respond to this opportunity that the crew has.... that also has some pitfalls to it. Where you could argue very, very, very compellingly that 'this' is what you should do, and if you're advocating 'this' then it's actually evil.
So a fully established team of humans and aliens guide their ship into deep space, where they face a complex ethical choice, it sounds very Star Trek - but is there any chance of putting some meat on the bones of that plot?
Let's take a look at a couple of the best moral dilemmas ever faced by a Star Trek crew:
Warning - If you haven't seen these episodes, this may contain....
In the Pale Moonlight: Deep Space Nine
This episode, first aired in 1998, saw Captain Sisko in despair at the Federation's war with the Dominion, and raised an ethical question that would prove particularly relevant a few years later the U.S. and Britain's decision to invade Iraq.
Captain Sisko decides the only way to end the war with the Dominion is to bring the neutral Romulan race into the war. In order to do this, he fakes a holographic record of the Dominon discussing an attack on the Romulan forces and presents it to the Romulan Senator, Vreenak.
Vreenak, however, quickly spots the fake, and attempts to leave in his spaceship. As it turns out, however, Garak, the spy that Sisko plotted with, had planted a bomb on Vreenak's ship.
Vreenak is killed, and the Romulans discover the holographic record and believe it to be real. Sisko has achieved his aim, but is wracked with guilt.
Could a similar plot be used in Star Trek 3?
Tuvix: Star Trek Voyager
This more personal story comes from Star Trek Voyager. Lieutenant Commander Tuvok and Neelix are sent down onto the surface of a foreign planet to collect botanical samples - but when they are beamed back up, the plants they collected cause their modules to be combined into one being, Tuvix.
Tuvix is Tuvok and Neelix combined, but he is also his own man with his own personality. At first, the crew of the voyager are disturbed by this new man and the loss of their friends, but they slowly come to accept him.
When the Doctor discovers a way to separate Tuvix back into the two original men, Tuvix is forced to plead for his life - the other men are gone, does Tuvix not deserve to live?
Could we see a similar ethical dilemma in Star Trek 3?
There are many other profound moral or ethical dilemma through Star Trek - A Private Little War, would be another good example.
So are there other Star Trek plot lines you would like to see used in Star Trek 3? Have your say below the line!