J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek scored big this weekend, and audiences were surprised with the revelation of a close relationship between the characters of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Trekkies are notoriously stringent about continuity changes, so what did the stars think about this particular story element?
“I had so many reactions and they run in different stages,” Saldana said. “The first one was that I really thought J.J. was out of his mind to do something like that. It was so bold. But then after reading the script and having all these characters sink in, Spock and Uhura really made sense to have this, whether you call it a misinterpretation of emotions, or a deeper friendship or simply love. It made sense to me, given their personality types. She’s very driven, he’s very logical. He’s excellent at what he does, she strives for perfection. She absolutely hates Kirk, so anything that resembles the opposite of who he is is something that she’s going to be drawn to. I was also overwhelmed at how dear it was for Spock to break in such a way and for her to be allowed to have that presence felt. For her to allow this man to be the only one to call her by her first name let you know there is a bond there that’s much bigger and deeper than we can imagine.”
Quinto had a similar reaction. “I think it was one of the boldest reimaginings of the characters as we’ve known them in the past, so for that I thought it was a risk,” he said. “I think the risk pays off on a number of levels, because I think it infuses the story with a certain amount of levity and humor between Kirk and Uhura and Kirk and Spock. Between Spock and Uhura, it provides a kind of depth, and Uhura presents a canvas onto which Spock can project the emotions he’s not able to otherwise express, and that, for me through the journey of this particular story, was really valuable.”
The most succinct response, however, came from Leonard Nimoy. When asked what he felt about the brand new romance between Spock and Uhura that had never existed in the original Trek series, he answered with one word. “Jealousy!”