In an interview from the ’80s, Leonard Nimoy shared the simple secret to making the best Star Trek movies. Alongside the likes of William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes, Leonard Nimoy’s name is cemented into Star Trek‘s rich history, and he occupies a legendary status within the franchise.
From the first ever Star Trek series, right up until the J.J. Abrams science fiction movies, Leonard Nimoy was an ever-present as – arguably – the best Star Trek character Spock. Over the decades he even turned his hand to directing, and while speaking to the BBC in 1989 he shared some keen insight into what separates the better Star Trek movies from the less good ones.
Reflecting on the varying success of the movies, in particular The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home, Nimoy explained, “I think when the first Star Trek movie was made there was a sense that we could not have fun.”
The actor and director continued, “It was the first time we were making Star Trek in something like 11 years, and the sense was: Stanley Kubrick made a very important film called 2001 and [showed] if you want o be important you’ve got to be serious, and do it very ponderously which we did.”
“But,” said Nimoy, “it wasn’t a heck of a lot of fun. We began to have fun again with Star Trek 2, more with 3, and still more with 4.”
Straight from the mouth of the legend himself, the key to making good Star Trek movies is to have fun. This is absolutely demonstrated within the best movies of the series, which manage to retain a sense of adventure and glee while also telling serious, well-crafted stories.
This is also reflected in the Star Trek TV series too, and often the greatest episodes combine thoughtfulness with fun and adventure. Hopefully, with new movies like Star Trek Section 31 and the apparently cursed Star Trek 4, the people doing the creative work take note of Nimoy’s advice.
For more on Star Trek, check out why you should give Strange New Worlds a chance if you loved Picard season 3, before learning all about the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 release date. Or, take a look at our picks for the best Star Trek captains and best Star Trek starships.