The first two installments of Star Trek's Kelvin Timeline were directed by J.J. Abrams. After completing 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, the filmmaker traded the Enterprise for the Millennium Falcon to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens, meaning that someone new would have to be brought in for the third entry in the rebooted series: Star Trek Beyond. Initially, Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the scripts for Star Trek and Into Darkness was to call the shots, but he voided the director's chair shortly before production was scheduled to begin. Justin Lin was brought in to replace Orci.
Though the Kelvin Timeline has earned mostly positive reviews from critics and scored the largest box office hauls in Star Trek movie history, the action-heavy approach to the stories proved to be divisive amongst the longtime fans. The hiring of Lin, a veteran of the Fast & Furious franchise, raised some eyebrows, particularly after the teaser trailer premiered late last year. But Lin is a lover of Star Trek, having grown up with the property, and if the early reviews for Beyond are anything to go by, he was the right choice. For those still unsure, a new featurette (watch it above) just may be the final proof needed.
The 60-second video includes sound bites from Abrams (who is a producer on Beyond) and various members of the cast talking about Lin and what qualities he brought to the project. It appears Lin was given the job based on two aspects: his experience with big budget movies and his admiration for the series. Obviously, it's not a prerequisite for a director to be a fan of a franchise before helming an installment, but it certainly can help. Abrams, coming off of the highly successful Episode VII, knows this better than most.
Lin's impact on Beyond was more than just making sure the threequel was a fun, entertaining ride with great characters. He had a role in keeping the Enterprise crew together for one more film. Karl Urban, who plays Bones, stated earlier that Lin's vision was what convinced him to sign on for Beyond. Given that Bones is one of the strongest elements of the Kelvin Timeline, it's difficult to envision a Trek film without him. Some pundits say that Beyond doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, but whatever Lin has in store, it must be at least somewhat special if it appealed that much to one of its stars.
In addition to the behind-the-scenes look at Lin, Paramount also release a new clip from Beyond, which you can see below. It depicts the calm before the storm that's been teased numerous times throughout the marketing campaign. The Enterprise is approaching a Class M planet with "limited to no life forms on the surface" when an unidentified ship comes straight towards them. Realizing that it's an attack, Captain Kirk quickly orders shields to be raised as he prepares for an assault. The clip ends right before the action shown in the previews begins.
All in all, Beyond is shaping up to be the course-correction Star Trek needed to ensure it lives long and prospers. With response to the film enthusiastic, the announcement that Star Trek 4 is on its way (with a surprise co-star!) couldn't have been timed any better. Fortunately for all parties involved, the Final Frontier is going to celebrate its 50th anniversary in style, making the San Diego Comic-Con premiere event a true celebration.
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters July 22, 2016.
Source: Paramount Pictures