It is a big year for fans of Star Trek. With the 50th anniversary of the science fiction series well underway, big things are happening within the final frontier, giving fans plenty to be excited about as the year progresses. There’s the news, of course, that Trek will return to television next year — its first time on the airwaves since the cancellation of Enterprise in 2005 — via CBS’s new streaming service. The series is set to serve as a counterbalance to the spinoff universe established by J.J. Abrams in 2009, the third installment of which, Star Trek Beyond, hits theaters later this summer.
The Abramsverse is divisive among fans of the series, with many decrying the reliance of action movie tropes that seem to some fans to be the antithesis of the Star Trek philosophy. Still, other fans are hopeful that the latest installment, co-written by series co-star, and avid Trekkie, Simon Pegg will be a return to form for the alternate universe of Gene Roddenberry’s classic vision. The latest trailer for the film debuted last week, spiking the hopes of die-hards that Beyond will bring the traditional Trek elements to the big screen once again. While fans pored over the trailer, dissecting everything from the plot to Idris Elba’s Krall, there’ve been a lot of questions about the mysterious base seen orbiting a planet, and what role it might play in the movie.
Pegg discussed the space station, called Starbase Yorktown, in an interview with IGN. The starbase is said to be on the edge of federation territory and plays a key role in both the film and the future of the Federation, according to Pegg.
“It’s a kind of diplomatic hub. It’s where all the most recent Federation inductees can come and mingle with each other and learn about each other. It’s a kind of lovely… it’s basically a place where they can go, where they can better understand what being part of the Federation means. It’s an important kind of tactical establishment for the Federation. It’s been built locally, so it’s very interesting to look at, but it’s where the Enterprise docks up. [This is] the first time in like 10 months [that the Enterprise has] had kind of proper contact with other people, and that’s where the story begins.”
Pegg is certainly talking the Trek talk with this discussion. So far, the Abramsverse has featured earth-centric Star Trek stories, with most of the narratives taking place in familiar space. From the sound of things, Yorktown will serve as an apt jumping off point for the introduction of exploration in the film.
Fans have been analyzing the starbase with great interest since its debut in the latest trailer, discussing the unique and intriguing design of Yorktown — a gyroscopic series of concentric circles — which Pegg also addressed in the interview. He spoke on the design from concept to execution, giving some insight into the process and what it takes to bring the world of Star Trek to life.
“Designing that—you know, you say that in a screenplay, you describe it, and then you get it to a production designer, and they come back with these amazing concept designs. That was the most amazing thing for Doug and I. You know, you write away and write away, and then suddenly you see all these boards with this beautifully designed, incredibly imaginative stuff, and you kind of feel like you can take credit for it. [Laughs] Even though you shouldn’t!”
While the success of Star Trek Beyond will hinge on more than the look and concept of the film, it’s hard not to fall under the spell of Pegg’s excitement. Hearing details like the ones provided for Starbase Yorktown are enough to provide reason to hold out hope that Star Trek Beyond will find the series going boldly where no one has gone before.
Star Trek Beyond is set to hit theaters on July 22 of this year.