Star Trek Beyond arrives in U.S. theaters tomorrow, but some lucky Comic-Con attendees enjoyed an open-air premiere of the movie last night at the Embarcadero Marina, behind the San Diego Convention Center. The cast, along with director Justin Lin and producer J.J. Abrams, were in attendance at the premiere, all wearing black Star Trek pins in memory of Chekov actor Anton Yelchin, who was tragically killed in a vehicle accident earlier this year.
As established in 2009's Star Trek movie reboot, the current series of movies takes place in a divergent timeline (dubbed the Kelvin Timeline) where events and characters can vary from those of the original series. The Kelvin Timeline allows the new series to have its cake and eat it too: feature a brand new cast and storyline, while still maintaining a connection to the established Star Trek universe.
Also in attendance at the Comic-Con premiere was screenwriter Doug Jung, who co-wrote Star Trek Beyond with actor Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty). Screen Rant got a chance to speak with Jung on the red carpet, to ask him about the logistics of the Kelvin Timeline, and what the franchise means to him.
How would you define the spirit of Star Trek?
Doug Jung: The spirit of Star Trek, to me, it's a world vision that's one of unity and progressive thinking and inclusion, and it's everything that we should aspire to as humans, it's a hopeful vision of the universe. You think back in the fifty years, and any time in those past five decades, [Star Trek] felt relevant - just like it does today.
Now that the mythos of the Kelvin Timeline is established, will it continue to be an active element in future storylines?
DJ: I don't know, and I don't know if it needs to be, because I think what J.J. did so brilliantly was really carve out this kind of space, and I think almost in a way what's more interesting is to see this characters and let what timeline they're on and what the future holds for them come to fore, as opposed to looking back and trying to adjust itself to past stories.
So does that mean no more cameos from original timeline actors?
DJ: Well, you never know! It's an alternative universe, not a completely different one, so there could be instances where some things that are familiar cross over. Simon and I tried to adjust and to put a lot of that into this movie. So certainly it's hinted at that those things that came before exist in some fashion, but maybe slightly left of center or slightly different.
We've just heard that Star Trek 4 is on the way. Will you be involved with that at all?
DJ: I just kind of heard about it the other day, so I'm incredibly excited, it sounds like a really cool story, but there are some other things I've been working on that might tie into that. We'll see.
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters July 22nd, 2016. Star Trek 4 has been announced, and Screen Rant will keep you updated on all information related to the film as it becomes available.