Eric Webb’s Star Trek XIII
During the interim between 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, ideas were bandied about regarding what story should be told in the third installment of the Kelvin Timeline film series. Paramount was moving at warp speed to get the next film out in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Prior to Beyond being made, Eric Webb – a fellow Star Trek fan who recently passed away – had an idea. Here, we exclusively share Eric’s vision for the next adventure of the Enterprise crew. The story, which Eric did submit to Paramount, was written by him and developed alongside Christopher Curtis and Chris Bramante.
Star Trek XIII by Eric Webb
It is four years after the events of Into Darkness. Near the edge of the Klingon Neutral Zone, a Federation listening post – after getting word to Starfleet that a Klingon invasion fleet has crossed the border – is destroyed.
The Enterprise completes a mission on a backwater planet when Commodore Mendez informs Kirk that the Romulan Star Empire, five years after the devastating attack on the Vulcan people by the time-traveling Nero, is extending an olive branch to reunify the Romulan and Vulcan peoples. Informed of this plan, the Klingon Empire, fearful that such an alliance will spread, has begun an invasion of the Federation. Spock claims it is logical to consider the survival of New Vulcan – which, according to this treatment, is reddish with blue rings – and the remaining Vulcan people.
Later, Spock confesses to Uhura that he feels torn between his commitment to Starfleet and the desire to help rebuild the Vulcan race. (A similar conversation appeared in Star Trek Beyond, but between Spock and McCoy.)
En route to New Vulcan, Captain Kirk receives a Captain’s-Eyes-Only communique from Starfleet Admiral Richard Barnett. Kirk is ordered to sabotage negotiations between the Romulans and Vulcans by any means necessary.
Since the Vulcans are aware of the impending Klingon attack, the Enterprise arrives at New Vulcan and is greeted by a Vulcan fleet as well as numerous orbiting weapons platforms. A Romulan vessel is also in orbit, with its delegation currently on the planet’s surface. Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and McCoy take a shuttle down to help with negotiations.
In the Vulcan capital, the landing party is greeted by the Vulcan High Council, which includes Spock’s father, Sarek, and the Romulan delegation, led by Pardek, a young political reformer. Pardek offers the Vulcan people the chance to reintegrate with their Romulan cousins, while preserving the Vulcan culture. The Romulans depart and Kirk insists that the Romulans cannot be trusted. A mysterious figure appears and agrees that the Romulans should be treated with trepidation. That mysterious figure is Spock-Prime.
After mind-melding with Pardek, Spock-Prime returns to inform the Vulcan High Council that the Romulan is sincere in his intentions. But before he can, a Klingon fleet decloaks, opening fire on New Vulcan and the Enterprise. The Klingons simultaneously attack on the surface. Kirk, Spock, and Uhura join in the defense of the Vulcan capital.
The fight does not go well. Kirk orders the Enterprise to leave the area and call for Starfleet reinforcements. While the Enterprise retreats and a Romulan vessel sacrifices itself so that Klingon vessels don’t pursue, the tide of the battle slowly turns in favor of the Vulcans.
Although the Klingons (taking heavy losses) are at first forced to cloak and retreat, they then gain control of the orbiting Vulcan ships. The Klingon invasion commander, Kor, declares martial law. He demands that the Vulcans immediately surrender and turn over Spock-Prime. Spock-Prime has, however, disappeared. The Council is given six hours to surrender and produce Spock-Prime, or the Klingons will fire on unprotected settlements.
Having escaped, the Enterprise, with Sulu in temporary command, is ordered to rendezvous with a Starfleet task force in the Hromi Cluster. The ship arrives and is met by the starship Excalibur, commanded by Captain Grant, Sulu’s husband.
On New Vulcan, Kirk is granted an audience with Commander Kor. To prove how far the Federation was willing to go to avoid war, Kirk divulges his orders to sabotage the Reunification talks. Kor reveals the reason why the Klingons want Spock-Prime – the foreknowledge of the future would prove a valuable asset, and he must also answer for an attack referred to in the 2009 film, in which Nero destroyed forty-seven Klingon warbirds.
Thanks to a mind meld carried out by Spock-Prime, the Romulans are exposed to be duplicitous. They have planted a bomb on the Enterprise, and a cloaked fleet has been in orbit of New Vulcan during the entire incident.
The Vulcans regain control of their commandeered vessels, and the Klingon, Federation, and Vulcan ships join forces to defeat the Romulans. After a solar flare exposes and damages their cloaked vessels, the Romulans surrender, ending the battle.
Sarek contacts the Enterprise and implores Kirk and Spock to beam down. Spock-Prime is dying and expresses regrets over his failures, though he doesn’t regret seeing Kirk again. He also mind-melds with the younger Spock, giving him all his future knowledge. Spock-Prime’s memories appear onscreen, including a never-before-seen discussion between him and Kirk-Prime, set moments prior to the start of Star Trek Generations.
The first peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire is negotiated by the Vulcans. The Enterprise crew is there to witness the historic moment. With his newfound knowledge, Spock decides to help New Vulcan and promptly ends his relationship with Uhura. The Enterprise‘s senior staff awaits Spock in the transporter room, with Kirk and Uhura the last people to receive a goodbye from him. Kirk promotes Sulu to first officer, even though McCoy tells Kirk that Spock will be back.
This film treatment by Eric Webb feels like it would have been an action-heavy, spectacular space epic. And above all, we would likely have seen Spock-Prime die on screen for the second time in Star Trek history. The film feels like a big-budget version of the classic episode “Errand of Mercy”, and rightfully so. This could very well have served as the basis for a spectacularly made film. With the Kelvin Timeline cast having signed a three-film commitment, it would have put a nice cap on that. However, this didn’t come to pass.
Eric revised the story outline as a writing sample when he applied for a writers’ assistant position on Star Trek: Discovery in 2016. However, that sadly didn’t come to fruition either. In 2021, he stated, “Since it’s for the Kelvin Timeline movies, it wouldn’t be appropriate for Discovery (being original timeline and pre-TOS). It also heavily featured Leonard Nimoy’s Spock-Prime, which is no longer possible. I did think of a way to rework the story so that his presence would be felt even if he wasn’t on screen, but never got around to doing the rewrite.” Nonetheless, this story idea remains a bold and exciting glimpse into what could have been. Bravo, Eric Webb. May your spirit live long and prosper.
Please donate to Eric Webb’s GoFundMe page to help pay for his funeral expenses.
Wes Huntington has been a Star Trek fan since he was born, thanks to his parents (both of whom are still very much alive and are big Trek fans themselves). He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, with his wife and cat. He is also a co-host of the Twin Cities Trekkies podcast, which launched in February 2021 and talks about all things Star Trek. You can find Twin Cities Trekkies via Facebook, Instagram, or anchor.fm/twincitiestrekkies.