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Chris Pine puts his own spin on ‘Trek’s’ Kirk

J.J. Abrams is hoping to create a whole new galaxy of fans with his reboot of “Star Trek.” But, according to Chris Pine, who plays Capt. James T. Kirk in Abrams’ re-imaging of the franchise, old-school Trekkers should expect something different from this new “final frontier” adventure.

“I’m not well-versed in the ‘Trek’ canon,” Pine admitted to The Wall Street Journal, “but we’re venturing into territory that’s only been covered in these paperback novels they sell. It’s definitely not going to please everyone.”

But Abrams’ “Trek” world could appeal to fans looking to see an edgier and grittier take on the franchise’s iconic characters, according to Pine.

“There’s a scene where my character is in a bar and he’s definitely inebriated and under the influence of his own arrogance. It’s him becoming the Kirk everyone knows,” Pine said. “In my book that makes the journey a little more interesting. If he’s a clear-cut leader from the beginning, you don’t have anywhere to go.”

Pine believes the new movie will give audiences a sense of hope — something he feels has been lacking in other sci-fi box office hits.

“Unlike other genre movies, ‘Star Trek’ has always represented an incredible amount of optimism. In the late ‘60s, in a time of unrest, it represented this utopian world. As opposed to ‘The Dark Knight,’ which I enjoyed, but was so bleak and didn’t speak kindly of humanity,” Pine said. “Kirk is so iconic because he’s the head of this fantastical utopian team. They aren’t superheroes, they’re men and women trying to achieve something good.”

Though Pine is bringing his own spin to the character, he said he tried to retain many of the same qualities that made Kirk so famous — except for maybe that often-mocked Kirk cadence.

“There’s a lot of humor, arrogance and decisiveness. I tried to bring in these qualities, but with this new element of a young man coming into his own — he’s a leader who doesn’t know he’s a leader yet,” Pine said. “But the speech pattern? Absolutely not. In that territory it becomes an impersonation. I can only do my version of it.”

Pine’s version includes a volatile relationship with Spock, played by “Heroes” star Zachary Quinto.

“This version is very contentious, with Spock and Kirk not enjoying each other’s company at first,” he added. “The arc is that they find common ground through great conflict.”