Actor cut from 2009’s Star Trek, Victor Garber, says it “wasn’t fun” learning Klingon for the film. J.J. Abrams was the man called upon to revive the Star Trek movie franchise with his 2009 reboot film. The film, with a new cast in the role of the classic Enterprise team, grossed $385 million worldwide.
Of course, “Star Trek” fans well remember the most controversial aspect of Abrams’ 2009 film: the introduction of the so-called Kelvin timeline. Indeed, echoes of this divergent timeline are still being felt in Star Trek lore and have definitely set the stage for further canon changes made by other Star Trek properties, including a new list of small-screen franchise offerings. But no matter how many changes Abrams managed to make to Star Trek, not all of the director’s potentially controversial ideas were embodied in the finished 2009 film. Indeed, Abrams originally intended to feature newly redesigned Klingons in the film, but eventually these Klingon scenes ended up in the editing room. Abrams later showed fans his new Klingons in Star Trek: Retribution.
One of those saddened to see the Klingons from Star Trek 2009 cut from the film was Garber, a longtime associate of Abrams. As Garber recently explained to CinemaBlend, he put a lot of effort into playing a Klingon bad guy in the movie, and even learned real Klingon at Abrams’ insistence. But ultimately his hard work was in vain, as his scene now exists only as an additional DVD. Now Garber can laugh about this experience, although he is still annoyed that he is forced to learn Klingon for the film:
Well, it didn’t ruin my relationship with JJ. [Abrams], but pretty close [laughs]. No, it was something where he said, “I have a funny idea,” and whenever any director tells you that, [you go]: “Entertainment for whom exactly,” and then I had to learn Klingon. I was disappointed because it would have been fun to be a part of it and it was hard work. And learning Klingon was something I would never, ever do again. it wasn’t fun. It was a labor of love because I would do anything, JJ. asked.
Garber, of course, first worked with Abrams on The Spy series, a project that apparently also put the actor through some difficult stages, mainly because he didn’t fully understand the story and especially its mysterious Rambaldi arch. Although Garber didn’t make it into Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek,” he later played Admiral Halsey in Seth MacFarlane’s “Journey-inspired” series “Orville.” And, of course, given that Star Trek 4 is in development, Garber still has a chance to get a job in the franchise, although it seems he would prefer not to play as a Klingon.
Klingons in general have obviously become somewhat problematic among Star Trek fans, given the changes that have been made to classic warrior types in various films and shows over the past decade. By this point, the best move for Star Trek may be to completely lag the Klingons and focus on new alien races with empty backstories. But the Klingons’ place in Trek history probably guarantees that future Trek projects will want to revisit them. Hopefully, future actors will have a better experience than Garber, who clearly didn’t like immersing himself in Klingon culture for the Star Trek scene, which ultimately didn’t even make it to the screens.