Star Trek Guide

William Shatner Defends Quentin Tarantino's R-Rated Star Trek Movie

Director Quentin Tarantino has confirmed that his proposed Star Trek movie will be rated R if he has anything to do with it. This idea has split Star Trek fandom, with some believing any movie with an R rating can’t convey the inherent wholesomeness of Star Trek. Star Trek’s original captain, William Shatner, disagrees.

A fan on Twitter brought the debate to Shatner’s attention. He seemed unimpressed with the outrage, pointing out that Star Trek: Discovery has had its fair share of profanity. “Why are people plotzing about this?” he tweeted. “It’s my understanding that Star Trek: Discovery has used expletives in some episodes. Why aren’t people melting down over that?”

What do you think? Here’s the tweet thread:

Shatner is correct. Star Trek: Discovery has taken advantage of living on a streaming service rather than network television by having its characters drop a handful of curse words, including the franchise’s first F-bomb. And some fans did react negatively to that profanity, saying that Star Trek is meant to be a family-friendly franchise.

But Shatner's point remains valid. If Discovery can get away with some profanity on television, why shouldn’t Tarantino have the same freedom in a movie?

But despite this discussion, profanity may not be the main reason for Tarantino’s Star Trek receiving an R rating. Star Trek film star Karl Urban has in the past suggested that the R-rating would be more about Tarantino being able to communicate the horrors of space travel.

“You shouldn’t worry that it is going to be full of obscenity and stuff,” he said. “He wants an R-rating to really make those beats of consequence land. If it’s not PG, if someone gets sucked out into space, which we have all seen before, we might see them get disemboweled first…It allows some breadth…gives him some leeway to do that. To me, that was always one of the things I loved about what DeForest Kelley did. He would actually capture the horror of space. That look in his eyes of sheer terror always struck me when I was a kid.”


Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the films, has also been optimistic about Tarantino’s R-rated Star Trek. “We're waiting on specifics,” Quinto says. “I'm thrilled that we might have the opportunity to work with [Tarantino] and see what he would do with us in this universe. It's going to be an R-rated version of Star Trek, which would be the first (in) the movies, and that's exciting. I've been a fan of his for years, and I'm really inspired by his originality. Take that originality and mix it with this world full of incredible ideology and colorful characters, and the result could be pretty thrilling.”

What do you think of Quentin Tarantino making an R-rated Star Trek movie? Let us know in the comments.


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