Star Trek Beyond is the next film installment in the long-running sci-fi franchise – which turns 50 in 2016 – and the first in the rebooted Star Trek movie continuity to not be directed by J.J. Abrams (who produced only this time around). Fast & Furious veteran helmsman Justin Lin called the shots on the new Star Trek adventure while Abrams went to work on Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, drawing from a screenplay written by Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty in the rebooted Star Trek films) and relative newcomer Doug Jung.
The Star Trek Beyond trailer will screen in theaters with The Force Awakens, as will the latest trailers for several other anticipated 2016 tentpoles. Paramount Pictures has also unveiled the Beyond teaser online, and you can watch it above.
In terms of concrete story details, there’s not a lot to be gleaned from the Star Trek Beyond teaser. The trailer is more focused on showcasing action clips, whether it’s showing the U.S.S. Enterprise being torn apart by swarms of tiny spaceships (forcing its crew members to escape and land on a mysterious nearby alien planet) and/or highlighting the fighting abilities of the extraterrestrial character played by Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Sofia Boutella – who, by the look of it, joins forces with Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) after the Enterprise crashes and its crew members are separated.
We also get a glimpse of a villainous alien character in the Star Trek Beyond teaser trailer; one who, it would seem, is Idris Elba in makeup as the main antagonist. The teaser is clearly aiming to paint the film as fun and fast-paced thrill ride, complete with some moments of levity to allow viewers to catch their breath (like a clip featuring some classic Bones/Spock humor), and the footage being set to the tune of “Sabotage” – the same Beastie Boys song that young Kirk listened to when he stole his father’s car, in the 2009 Star Trek reboot.
Star Trek Beyond will be the first of the rebooted Star Trek movies to take place after the Enterprise crew has begun its five-year mission to explore new worlds. Pegg has said that Star Trek Beyond will in turn aim to be “a story about frontierism and adventure and optimism and fun” more in the vein of the original 1960s Star Trek TV show for related reasons – but has also indicated that he, Lin, and Jung are shooting to attract a crowd that extends well beyond the die-hard Star Trek fanbase. In fact, an earlier script draft co-written for the project by Roberto Orci – who was in line to direct the film before Lin was hired – was dropped because it was, as Pegg put it, “too Star Trek-y” for Paramount studio heads.
The Star Trek Beyond teaser does indeed have a decidedly “un-Star Trek-y” feel, selling the movie as more of a Fast & Furious-style sci-fi/action film that features Star Trek characters – rather than a Star Trek movie that includes more action and comedy, a la Abrams’ Star Trek and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. From a business perspective, though, it’s understandable that Paramount would want to cast a wider net with Star Trek Beyond, especially since the competition during Summer 2016 is going to be fierce – with films like the Ghostbusters reboot and Bourne 5 playing in theaters near the same time as Beyond (while sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence will have opened a month earlier).
Question is, can the team behind Star Trek Beyond manage that task without also sacrificing what made Star Trek unique in the first place? Or is it better to approach this as a fun-looking sci-fi action thrill ride first, a traditional Star Trek movie second? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Justin Lin is directing Star Trek Beyond from a screenplay by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg. The cast includes Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, Deep Roy, and Joseph Gatt.
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters on July 22nd, 2016.
Source: Paramount Pictures