Simon Pegg Asked Fans to Fact-Check 'Star Trek Beyond'
The screenwriter called-upon the fan database Memory Alpha for help with his script
In something that sounds like a scene from Galaxy Quest, Simon “Scotty” Pegg enlisted the help of hardcore Trekkies to him keep him honest and make Star Trek Beyond’s screenplay as legitimately nerdy as possible.
While writing the script for Beyond, Pegg specifically reached out to Memory Alpha, the largest, most comprehensive Star Trek fan-created database online. Founded in 2003 by Dan Carlson and Harry Doddema, Memory Alpha rapidly grew to become the definitive source for all Trek information — so definitive, that Simon Pegg privately used it to work on the story for Star Trek Beyond.
But, when Pegg needed a unique Vulcan mineral to use in the film as a plot device, digging through the wiki wasn’t enough. Instead, Pegg reached out to Carlson and Doddema specifically for help. “I already knew that he’d been co-writing the next Trek movie, and the email – addressed to me and Harry – thanked us for starting Memory Alpha and described how he’d been using the site as a resource for writing the new movie,” Dan Carlson wrote in blog post for TrekCore, “But more than that, he was looking for a little help with with creating an element in the story!”
After some back and forth, Pegg, Carlson and Doddema managed to develop a mineral based on existing Star Trek episodes, and a close-study of the Vulcan language. The result was the mineral vokaya, which you might remember as the slightly radioactive Vulcan pendant/tracking device Spock gives to Uhura as a “present” in the film.
Carlson and Doddema’s story is truly touching. Lifelong Star Trek fans seeing their hard work payoff and contribute something back to the series they love is one of the best parts about being in any fandom. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities like this in the future of Star Trek.