When JJ Abrams’ Star Trek came onto the scene in 2009, almost 40 years after the original series went off the air, it took audiences to a time that hadn’t been shown before. The movie introduced the future Captain James T. Kirk, a corn-fed Iowan boy who had to be convinced to join Starfleet. Kirk did finally leave Earth in the movie and would go on to meet Spock, Uhura, McCoy and the rest of the USS Enterprise gang. But in a spin on the 1960s series, most of the film ended up taking place on or near planets already established in the franchise.
Its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness didn’t fare much better in recapturing the original series’ theme of space exploration, instead deriving much of its storyline from the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. So despite the fact that the two movies were based on a show about a five-year exploratory mission, the reboot has so far managed to play it safe by sticking close to home. Yet this will all reportedly change with Star Trek Beyond.
In three weeks, director Justin Lin begins filming Star Trek Beyond. And he tells Deadline that growing up watching the original series with his family is the reason he took on the project: “All my friends were ‘Star Wars’ kids but I didn’t go to the movies, so I was the ‘Star Trek’ kid. Thinking about this, it became a very personal and very emotional decision.”
So the question now is how will Lin’s past influence make this new movie different than the first two. In his answer, Lin promises that Star Trek 3 will get back to its TV show roots:
“They haven’t really gone on their five-year mission, so what we experienced in the TV show hasn’t been touched on yet. That sets up an opportunity for exploration and the deeper you go, the more you are examining humanity. Those are the things that I absorbed as a kid and hope to tap into and embrace and celebrate.”
Lin also confirms that the third movie will get away from the old Trek lore:
“It’s all new and fresh. The Klingons, Romulans and other species are great, but it’s time to go further. It has been fun to focus on creating whole new worlds and species.”
While many Star Trek fans have enjoyed the new film series, some have complained that the reboot has strayed too far from the original source material. ‘It doesn’t feel like Star Trek’ is a common protest, but it sounds like Lin plans to deal with this problem. Now that much of the backstory is out of the way, the Enterprise is free to depart on its five-year mission in the new movie.
Some of the first two movies’ issues can also be traced to Abrams himself. The director has stated in the past that he was never a huge fan of Star Trek, so it’s not too surprising that he wouldn’t know what the series is supposed to look like. In creating the last two movies, Abrams did manage to breathe new life into the franchise, but it might have come at the expense of old fans. Perhaps this new movie can please both sides.
But what do you think, Screen Rant readers? Were you happy with the first two movies? Or would you like Star Trek 3 to explore new worlds and new civilizations? Let us know in the comments.
Star Trek Beyond will be in theaters July 8, 2016.