This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, we continue our Abrams timeline profile series with Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott.
Scotty comes aboard the Enterprise late in the Star Trek 2009 movie, becoming the last regular crew member to join the others. After losing Admiral Archer's dog in a transwarp beaming experiment, Scotty is abandoned on Delta Vega with a single companion Keenser. This is implied to be the same Archer as in Enterprise, which means...POOR PORTHOS!
In the most unlikely and criticized of plot twists, Delta Vega is a cold blizzard world that is close enough to monitor Vulcan, which just happens to be a convenient place for Kirk to get marooned and for Spock to be placed by Nero. That allows Spock to watch the destruction of Vulcan and then later find Kirk. Indeed, it is prime Spock's advice about the future relationship between Kirk and Spock that allows Kirk to become captain and later friends with Spock.
Although Spock prime does allow Scotty of this timeline to discover the formula for transwarp beaming a few years before Scotty would have invented it anyway (again, to advance the story), Scotty makes some mistakes when learning how to become a master technician of long distance beaming. However, he proves intelligent and innovative enough to win the job of Chief Engineer from the deceased prior engineer Olson, who was killed in action during a mission to sabotage Nero's drill.
Ironically, Scotty spends much of the Into Darkness movie on the sidelines and off the Enterprise as well, following a scuffle with Kirk over allowing the mysterious cryotube torpedoes on the ship. However, much like being stranded on Delta Vega, this story line allows Scotty to be an inside agent in the Vengeance ship when Kirk and John Harrison need to sneak aboard. We also get to see Scotty and Keenser in their spare time drinking, a pastime for a Scotsman that traverses into this timeline as well.
When the third Abrams movie is made, it will be nice to see Scotty stay aboard the ship and not be just a convenient plot solution and comical relief. Those roles are important, but we need to see Scotty actually being an engineer to cement his miracle worker character. Plus, more Keenser is a good thing.
Our notable quote this week comes from Star Trek 09:
"Kirk to Engineering. Get us outta here Scotty."
"You bet your arse Captain!"
"I'm giving her all she's got, captain!"
Actor: Simon Pegg plays Scotty, and he is a perfect fit for making a slightly more comic Scotty following his series of camp movies Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and upcoming The World's End. Pegg has also appeared in two Mission Impossible movies.