Science and science fiction are colliding head on, on the set of J.J. Abrams’ as-yet untitled Star Trek sequel. The production is currently filming scenes at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. Don’t expect much news form the location, however, as security surrounding the film and crew are ultra-strict. No media, random stragglers, or really anyone who isn’t part of the production or facility staff, are allowed.
According to their website, the mission of LLNL is:
…strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to: enhance the nation’s defense; reduce the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; and respond with vision, quality, integrity and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance.
Abrams and crew are filming in the lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), which is large enough to fit three full football fields. This is a place “where scientists are using ultraviolet laser light from the world’s largest laser to produce thermonuclear ignition at temperatures and densities similar to those in the sun.” I’m not entirely certain I understand all of that, but it sounds suitably advanced and impressive, technology wise, to stand in for a setting in the Star Trek universe. It will be exciting to see what they come up for this locale, and if audiences will be able to distinguish the actual lab from sets constructed specifically for the film.
“It’s very futuristic in there, so I can see how that would be a good backdrop,” said Dale Kaye, president of the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce.
All of the key players from 2009 Star Trek reboot are back for another voyage. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, and Simon Pegg are all reprising their roles (as Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Bones, Chekov, Sulu, and Scotty, respectively), with newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch playing the familiar villain Khan.
Star Trek 2 is scheduled to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no man has gone before in movie theaters in May 2013.