The first thing which amazed me while watching Star Trek (2009) was the exactly same looking young Enterprise crew. It made me happy because it meant that we didn't lose the legacy. Some doesn't look same like Christopher Pike and Scott, but if you look at Kirk, McCoy and Spock (the main characters (also favorite of all) who are on-screen most of the times)... Spock is easy one, but Kirk is difficult one.

How did they choose exactly same looking crews? Are there SFX effects involved too?

  • 5
    a) I differ with you on how closely they match up. b) Hair, makeup.
    – Politank-Z
    Nov 26, 2015 at 7:44
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    Selective breeding. It's what happens when you get a bunch of hardcore nerds
    – Peter
    Nov 26, 2015 at 8:31
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    “exactly same looking crews” — have you been to the opticians lately? Nov 26, 2015 at 10:01
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    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433: “ if you look at the main characters for long, they give the feeling of the original ones” — sure. But that’s not “exactly same looking”. Nov 26, 2015 at 10:11
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    +1: the perception may be wrong, but the questions seems a legitimate one Feb 20, 2016 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


The short answer... they didn't.

The long answer (which does't include SFX beyond "hair and make up").. they chose actors to fit the characters for Kirk (Corn fed Iowa farm boy), Spock (Tall dark & impassive) etc. Then they go through hair and makeup, this makes them superficially similar to the actors you know and love.

Then the real magic happens. The actors play their parts, and embody the characters.

For example, the actor Karl Urban doesn't look much like the actor DeForest Kelley
picture of Karl Urban black and white picture of DeForets Kelley

But Urban's portrayal of Doctor Leonard "Bones" McCoy is incredibly convincing, and arguably the best "new for old" character in the movie.

Also be aware that you were expecting to see those characters, so your imagination helped complete the illusion that the new actors were so very similar to the old.

Also the movie's Wikipedia page has examples showing how the characters were interpreted differently by the new actors

Pine felt he had to show Kirk's "humor, arrogance and decisiveness," but not Shatner's speech pattern, which would have bordered on imitation


Like Pine, Urban said of taking on the role that "it is a case of not doing some sort of facsimile or carbon copy, but really taking the very essence of what DeForest Kelley has done and honoring that and bringing something new to the table".

There's lots more on the movie's Wikipedia page.

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