Kirk and Spock were quintessential Star Trek
The 2009 Star Trek movie caused a lot of feathers to be ruffled. Die-hard Trekkies had no interest in a film that wasn’t about the original Captain Kirk and Spock (William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) because those two characters could not be replaced. But they were…with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto with Karl Urban taking over as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Needless to say, many fans refused to see the movie, especially when director J.J. Abrams said that he preferred Star Wars.
Abrams originally joined the Star Trek movie because he wanted to help the writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and producer Damon Lindelof. The director said he’d never seen Star Trek: Nemesis, though, and felt that Star Trek had disconnected from the original series. He believed that Star Trek was about Kirk and Spock but admitted that he wasn’t in love with the pair.
J.J. Abrams’ love for Kirk and Spock grew with Star Trek
It wasn’t until he directed the 2009 movie that rebooted the franchise (another sore spot with fans) that he began to see what all other Star Trek fans had seen for a long time.
“I knew this would work, because the script Alex and Bob wrote was so emotional and so relatable. I didn’t love Kirk and Spock when I began this journey – but I love them now.”
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams later turned down an opportunity to be involved with Star Wars Episode VII, and one of his reasons for doing so was because of his loyalty to Star Trek. So things definitely changed with the director, but that doesn’t mean fans of the original series and the follow-up series have accepted his vision of the franchise.
While the Kelvin timeline movies have their fair share of fans, many original Trekkies still maintain their disapproval for how the original timeline was jettisoned as well as the replacement of Kirk and Spock. Of those fans, many still contend they would rather have seen another movie with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy than a rebooted version that only included Nimoy. And after three movies in that new timeline, they haven’t changed their tune like Abrams did.