April 7, 2009 / 3:03 PM / 8 years ago

Star Trek crew comes of age

<p>Cast and crew pose at the world premiere of "Star Trek" at the Sydney Opera House April 7, 2009.Tim Wimborne</p>

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The eleventh Star Trek movie in 30 years held its world premier in a makeshift cinema in the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday, with a cast markedly younger-than-ever-before.

Chris Pine, 28 who plays a cadet-aged James T. Kirk, admitted he's never met the original character for the role, William Shatner, who starred in the 1960s television series and the first Star Trek movies, though he watched the TV show "quite a bit" -- almost to a fault.

"All it was doing was making me think about what's the best way I could do a William Shatner impersonation," Pine said. "It wasn't helping bringing this story to life."

Hundreds of fans (only one wore Spock ears) waited for hours to meet the leading men, who spent nearly one hour walking the red carpet, signing autographs and talking with journalists.

"It's hard to believe Eric Bana plays a meanie when he comes across as such a nice guy," said Alicia Wetherley, who drove from central Australia to be on the steps of the Opera House for the premier.

Bana plays Nero, the film's heavily-tattooed Romulan villain bent on avenging the destruction of his planet.

He said all the film's cast "did everything they could" to come up with something fresh this time around.

The plot follows the young lives of the original cast from Gene Roddenberry's TV show as they find their places on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise as junior officers.

It was directed by J.J. Abrams, director of "Mission Impossible III" and "Lost."

"I was never a huge Star Trek fan growing up and so what I hope people will experience when they see the movie is one that stands on its own," Abrams said.

"It's a huge action, spectacle but at the core it is got a big heart," said Abrams.

Zachary Quinto plays Spock, the role made famous by Leonard Nimoy, 77, who has a cameo in the film.

Nimoy had joined a campaign for the movie to hold its premiere in the small farming town of Vulcan in Alberta, Canada, that proved unsuccessful, partly as the town had no movie theater.

Gavin Vonhoff, a 27-year-old IT engineer from Canberra said he hoped the film would carry "a message of hope to all Star Trek fans that Roddenberry's spirit was still alive" 18 years after his death.

The ashes of Roddenberry and his late wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry will be shot into space in about a year and a half, in accordance with their wishes.

"This film is about many cultures and nations coming together in a peaceful mission and I think it reflects the times and is something we need," said John Cho, the Korean-American who plays a swashbuckling Crewman Hikaru Sulu.

"Star Trek" opens in Australian cinemas on May 7, one day before opening in the United States.

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