Star Trek is a 2009 American science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams, written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise and features the main characters of the original Star Trek television series, portrayed by a new cast. The film follows James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) aboard the USS Enterprise as they combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from their future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The story takes place in an alternate reality due to time travel by both Nero and the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy). The alternate timeline was created in an effort to free the film and the franchise from established continuity constraints while simultaneously preserving original story elements. Development for Star Trek originated in 1968, when creator Gene Roddenberry announced plans to produce a prequel modeled after the television series. The concept resurfaced temporarily in the late 1980s, when it was postulated by Harve Bennett as a possible plotline for the movie that would become Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, but was rejected in lieu of other projects by Roddenberry. Following the critical and commercial failure of Star Trek: Nemesis and the cancellation of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, franchise executive producer Rick Berman and screenwriter Erik Jendresen wrote an unproduced film, titled Star Trek: The Beginning, which would take place after Enterprise. However, after the split between Viacom and CBS Corporation, former Paramount president Gail Berman convinced CBS to produce a feature film. Orci and Kurtzman, both fans of the Star Trek series, were approached to write the film and Abrams was approached to direct it. Kurtzman and Orci used inspiration from novels, graduate school dissertations, as well as the series itself. Principal photography commenced on November 7, 2007 and ended on March 27, 2008. The film was shot in various locations around California and Utah. Abrams wanted to avoid using bluescreen and greenscreen, opting to use sets and locations instead. Heavy secrecy surrounded the film's production and was under the fake working title Corporate Headquarters. Industrial Light & Magic used digital ships for the film, as opposed to the previous films in the franchise. Production for the film concluded by the end of 2008. Star Trek was heavily promoted the months preceding its release; prerelease screenings for the film premiered in select cities around the world including Austin, Texas, Sydney, and Calgary, Alberta. It was released in the United States and Canada on May 8, 2009, to very positive reviews. Critics praised the character development as well as the storyline in the film. Similarly, Star Trek became a box office success, grossing over $385.7 million worldwide. It was nominated for several awards, including four Academy Awards at the 82nd Academy Awards, ultimately winning in the category for Best Makeup, making it the first Star Trek film to win an Academy Award. The DVD and Blu-ray for the film was released on November 17, 2009. Following the success of the film, its cast members signed on for two sequels, making Star Trek the first of a planned trilogy.
In 2233, the Federation starship USS Kelvin is investigating a "lightning storm" in space. A Romulan ship, the Narada, emerges from the storm, and attacks the Kelvin. Narada's first officer, Ayel, demands that Captain Robau come aboard to discuss a cease fire. Once aboard, Narada's commander Nero kills Robau when he mentions the stardate, and resumes the assault on the Kelvin. The Kelvin's first officer, Lieutenant Commander George Kirk, orders the ship's personnel evacuated via shuttlecraft, including his pregnant wife, Winona. Kirk sacrifices himself by steering the Kelvin on a collision course, while Winona gives birth to their son, James Tiberius Kirk, aboard a shuttlecraft. On Vulcan, Spock, despite being discriminated against for being half-human, is invited to join the prestigious Vulcan Science Academy. However, upon learning that the Academy views his human mother Amanda Grayson as a "disadvantage," he decides to join Starfleet. On Earth, Kirk has become a reckless but intelligent young man. After a bar fight involving friends of Uhura, a Starfleet cadet, Kirk meets Captain Christopher Pike, who encourages him to enlist in Starfleet Academy. Three years later at the Academy, Commander Spock accuses Cadet Kirk of cheating during his Kobayashi Maru simulation. The disciplinary hearing is interrupted when Starfleet receives a distress signal from Vulcan. With the primary fleet out of range, cadets are mobilized to crew ships waiting in orbit. Leonard McCoy and Kirk board Pike's ship, the Enterprise. Realizing that the "lightning storm" observed by Vulcan is similar to the one when he was born, Kirk convinces Pike to raise the shields and thus be ready for the waiting trap. The Enterprise arrives at Vulcan to find the rest of the fleet destroyed and the Narada drilling into Vulcan's core. After the Enterprise is attacked by the Narada, Pike surrenders, gives Spock command of the ship and promotes Kirk to first officer. Kirk, Hikaru Sulu, and Chief Engineer Olson perform a space jump onto the drilling platform, disabling it. However, Nero launches "red matter" into the core and creates an artificial black hole, destroying the planet and killing most of its inhabitants. Spock manages to rescue the Vulcan high council and his father Sarek, though his mother falls to her death. As Nero tortures Pike to gain access to Earth's perimeter defenses, Kirk is stranded on Delta Vega after attempting to stage a mutiny. Kirk encounters Spock Prime, who explains that he and Nero are from 129 years into the future, when Romulus is threatened by a volatile supernova. Spock intended to use "red matter" to create a black hole to stop the supernova, but failed, and the blast destroyed the planet, killing Nero's wife and family. The Narada attacked Spock's vessel, and both were caught in the new black hole, sending them back in time. Nero captured Spock and stranded him on Delta Vega to watch Vulcan's destruction. Reaching a nearby Starfleet outpost, Kirk and Spock Prime meet Montgomery Scott. With Spock Prime's help, Kirk and Scott beam onto the Enterprise while it is at warp speed. Following the elder Spock's advice, Kirk mocks Spock's lack of emotion to provoke an emotional response. Spock attacks Kirk, then realizes that the destruction of his planet and death of his mother have compromised him emotionally, and relinquishes command to Kirk. After talking with Sarek, Spock decides to help Kirk carry out a sneak attack on the Narada. While the Enterprise hides itself under the gas clouds of Titan, Kirk and Spock beam aboard the Narada; Kirk rescues Pike while Spock uses the elder Spock's ship to destroy the drill. Spock leads the Narada away from Earth and then programs his ship to collide with the Narada. Just before impact, the Enterprise arrives and beams Kirk, Pike, and Spock away. Spock Prime's ship and the Narada collide, igniting the "red matter" and creating a black hole. The Enterprise escapes, but the Narada and its crew are destroyed. On Earth, Kirk is promoted to the rank of Captain and given command of the Enterprise, while a wheelchair-bound Captain Pike is promoted to Rear Admiral. Spock encounters his older self in a Starfleet hangar; Spock Prime has selected a planet for the surviving Vulcans to colonize. He persuades his younger self to continue serving Starfleet, encouraging him to do what feels right, instead of what is logical. Spock remains in Starfleet and becomes first officer under Kirk's command. The Enterprise goes to warp as the elder Spock narrates the "where no man has gone before" monologue.