In a recent interview with Time magazine, out Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto talks about the upcoming Star Trek: Beyond and the unsettling ways in which the film mirrors the starkly divided U.S. political climate — including an adversary who calls to mind the divisive tactics of Republican presidential candidate Donal Trump.
“Our adversary in this movie is a being who’s diametrically opposed to the Federation,” Quinto explains. “He wants to destroy a place that’s a hub for different species and races—people from all over the galaxy coming together and inhabiting this one place. It’s weirdly parallel to what’s going on all over the world right now.”
While the film is intended as a fun summer flick and doesn’t dive deep into the themes of nationalism, xenophobia, fear, and intolerance that run through it, Quinto says that Star Trek still carries a broader message.
“At the end of the day, this is a blockbuster summer popcorn movie—we’re not trying to delve into any of these themes explicitly,” he explains, “but what Star Trek represents is the idea that unity will always overcome hatred.”
That’s a viewpoint that Quinto shares off-screen as well. Despite the “bleak and dangerous moment in our geopolitical landscape” that the Trump-Pence ticket represents to the actor, he’s still cautiously optimistic.
“It’s absurd to me, but I have to have faith that we’ll endure and triumph,” Quinto told Time. “I have to feel like people will look at these two old white men, who represent everything that is negative in history, and say there are more people who want to go a different direction. I hope so. I am scared. I don’t take anything for granted.”
Rather than holding on to blind hope, Quinto said it’s important to take action to prevent a dire political outcome.
“I have a lot of people in my life that think there’s no way Trump will win. I don’t believe that for a second. We have to fight with everything we have to continue the path that we’ve been able to gain such ground on in the last five to ten years,” Quinto said. “It’s unprecedented in our lifetime how precariously we’re all perched—not just here in this country but around the world.”