Karl Urban has ventured in to deep space, where no man has gone before, but he is rather adamant that he has no interest in visiting a galaxy far, far away. In a recent interview, Urban explicitly states that he does not want to be in J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, or any future chapters in the franchise.
Urban has a close relationship with Abrams, having appeared in both of the director’s Star Trek films, but when IGN asked if he was he had tried to leverage that friendship into a part in Episode VII, he delivered an emphatic, “No, absolutely not.”
That’s a rather vehement answer, one without a lot of room for interpretation. Such a response could lead one to believe that the South African born actor has something against the franchise of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Darth Vader. That, however, is far from the case. Asked if he is a fan, Urban replies:
Oh my God, yes…I grew up watching it. That was the Holy Grail for me. I was a fan of Star Trek growing up. Star Wars was it. Star Wars was like…I remember waiting for two/three years for that next installment, for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I’ve seen every single Star Wars film, even the animated, The Clone Wars, and all that sort of stuff. I just love that universe.
So that’s good, we can still like Karl Urban, but there are definite reasons for his stance. Having already made a commitment to Star Trek, one that he fully intends to see through to the end, he wants to keep the two worlds separate. He says, “Being in Star Trek, to suddenly be in Star Wars wouldn’t feel right to me.”
Even though Abrams links the two properties, Urban differentiates between the behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera personalities.
I wouldn’t want to do that do an audience. I, as an audience member, wouldn’t want to see an actor from Star Trek in Star Wars. I just wouldn’t. When I go into a Star Wars movie I want to be completely enveloped. I don’t want to be taken out of the picture by going, ‘Oh my God, there’s Scotty, what’s he doing in Star Wars?’
Though Urban was reticent to offer a guess as to who might helm Star Trek 3, he was confident that Paramount will have the film in theaters by 2016, which marks the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Talking about that film, he is looking forward to a story that is more wholly original than the last one. While Into Darkness tipped its cap to Trek history with the inclusion of Khan, Urban wants the next film to “Strive to be something different and new.” He points out that Star Trek was supposed to be “about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film, so that we do something different than a revenge-based picture.” I think all of us would like to see that.
Urban is, obviously, no stranger to genre fare. In addition to Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, he’s appeared in the likes of Riddick, Lord of the Rings, and Dredd. This fall we’ll see him in Abrams and J.H. Wyman’s (Fringe) robot buddy-cop series Almost Human.