UHURA: Hi. I’d like a Klabnian Fire Tea, two Cardassian Sunrises and three Earth beers, no slim-shots, anything on draft.
VOICE (O.S.): That’s a lot of drinks for one woman. Wearing those boots.
JAMES KIRK’S FACE leans in: at 22, he’s charming, witty, dangerous, rebellious. He grins at her, flirty. Uhura gives him a look, then back to the bartender:
UHURA: And a shot of Jack, straight up.
KIRK: (to the bartender) Make it two — her shot’s on me.
UHURA: Her shot’s on her. Thanks but no thanks.
KIRK: Don’t you want my name before you completely reject me?
UHURA: I’m good without it.
Damn, he likes her already.
KIRK: You are good without it. It’s Jim. Jim Kirk. (long beat) If you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up.
UHURA: (beat) Uhura.
KIRK: Uhura? No way — that’s the name I was gonna make up for you. Uhura what?
UHURA: Just Uhura.
KIRK: They don’t have last names in your world?
UHURA: Uhura is my last name.
KIRK: They don’t have first names in your world? Wait, let me guess. Is it “Jim”?
That makes her smile. So he moves closer to her:
KIRK: Okay, so you’re a cadet. Studying. What’s your focus?
UHURA: Xenolinguistics. Lemme guess: you don’t know what that means.
KIRK: Let me guess: study of Alien languages: phonology, morphology, syntax– it means you’ve got a talented tongue.
UHURA: And for a moment I thought you were just a dumb hick who only has sex with farm animals.
KIRK: Well. Not only.
UHURA: You think you’re smart.
KIRK: Oh, baby, I’m the smartest.
Something sad in that. A BURLY STARFLEET CADET appears.
BURLY CADET: This guy bothering you?
UHURA: Beyond belief, but nothing I can’t handle.
KIRK: You could handle me. That’s an invitation.
The Burly Cadet spins Kirk around:
BURLY CADET: Hey. You mind your manners.
KIRK: At ease, Cup Cake, it was a joke. Like your hairline.
Uhura turns back. The other cadets, seeing trouble, approach.
UHURA: Hey — Jim: enough.
BURLY CADET: What was that?
KIRK: You heard me, Moon Beam.
BURLY CADET: You know how to count farm boy? There’s five of us… and one of you.
KIRK: Okay, so go get some more guys, come back and it’ll be an even fight.
The cadet swings his fist but Kirk HEADBUTTS HIS HAND, BREAKING IT — another Cadet PUNCHES KIRK, then THROWS HIM into a table, which Kirk FLIES OVER, landing hard — another Cadet GRABS HIM, pulls him up — Kirk SLAMS FIVE FAST PUNCHES that send the Cadet back — when ANOTHER CADET PUNCHES HIM — yet another HOLDS KIRK — and that last punch is repeated THREE– then FOUR times –
UHURA: Enough! STOP!
Another punch and Kirk FLIES TO THE FLOOR – he’s out of it, but won’t give up.
— Star Trek (2009), screenplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, based on the series created by Gene Roddenberry
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is bar fights, suggested by Dean Scott. Today’s suggestion by Vic Tional.
Trivia: The film has its roots in the 1968 World Science Fiction Convention, where Gene Roddenberry declared he would make a film prequel to Star Trek. The concept would not be heard until the late 1980s, between Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. David Loughery wrote a script titled “The Academy Years,” but it was shelved due to objections from the original cast and the fan base. Finally in 2005, after the failure of Star Trek: Nemesis and the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, development got underway. Another novel treatment of the beginnings of Kirk’s command of the Enterprise was described in the novel “Enterprise: The First Adventure” by Vonda N. McIntyre which was based upon a Star Trek movie script that was to be used if a contract could not be reached with the original cast after the first set of movies were made.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Vic: “Plenty of screenwriting takeaway: clever spin on a meet-cute; great use of minimal action lines (‘Damn, he likes her already’, ‘Something sad in that’); better writing than most people probably give these particular screenwriters credit for. But, crucially, some women are well worth getting in a fight for, and Zoe Saldana is most definitely one of them.”