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Star Trek Producer David Fein Discusses The Franchise's Staying Power - Exclusive

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" changed "Star Trek" canon forever. From the music to the concept of wormholes, it was uniquely "Trek" in a way only the original cast could've managed while still carving a distinct place for itself within science fiction mythos. Few people understand the significance of the movie as much as producer David Fein, who's worked on 2001 director's edition of the film as well as the 2022 4K Ultra HD remaster. 

The most recent edition of the film makes it stand out more than ever before. It's a delight for the eyes and ears as it truly makes "Star Trek" look like it takes place in the far-off future. Looper had the chance to speak with Fein to talk about all of the changes that were made to the remaster. Along the way, we also asked him about what's stayed the same over all these years. Namely, we wanted to know why he thought "Star Trek" has remained so beloved after decades on the air. 

It all comes down to optimism

For David Fein, it really comes down to the idea of optimism. A lot of science-fiction focuses on what can go wrong with technology and society, but "Star Trek" was brilliant in how it always showed the wonders that were possible in the future. As Fein put it, "Optimism — absolutely optimism ... 'Star Trek' always inspires, and it always inspires us to be better than we are, and in the world where we try to do our best, to just be better."

Moreso than inspiring, "Star Trek" also possess the ability to teach. Over the course of its run from the original series to the modern shows, "Star Trek" typically maintains a moral throughout its episodes for the audience to learn from. In regards to the original series, this was very much intentional, and as Fein believes, a way for creator Gene Roddenberry to impart words of wisdom upon the public. Fein continued, "That was one of the things that Gene [Roddenberry] was doing in classic 'Star Trek': 'I'm going to tell stories about Vietnam. I'm going to tell stories about interracial relationships. I'm going to show stories about intolerance but have it be aliens.' By telling it about some other race, anybody can accept it because it's not us — when it really is a story about us. That's a certain amount of brilliance in the storytelling that 'Star Trek' has always inspired."

With plenty of shows, from "Strange New Worlds" to "Picard," carrying on the original's legacy, it's clear "Star Trek" has plenty of inspiring left in it. 

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director's Edition" on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray™ is available now, complete with new and legacy special features from Paramount Home Entertainment. Additionally, the "Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture Collection," featuring all six big-screen adventures with the original series crew, is also available on 4K Ultra HD.