As fans count down the days until Star Trek Beyond hits theaters later this month, Paramount is giving them plenty of footage to check out. Entering the home stretch of the marketing campaign, the studio has released several television spots, clips, and character videos recently to give moviegoers a taste of what to expect from new director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious).
Most of the promotional materials have done a good job of highlighting both the style and substance of Beyond, hinting at a strong character story for Kirk (trying to escape the shadow of his father) as he and his crew deal with the menace of Krall, a villain who vehemently opposes the Federation and everything it stands for. Those sides are on display in a pair of new TV commercials, once again teasing a well-rounded adventure through the Final Frontier.
The first, titled "Fly" (watch it above), is more humor-based, showcasing the bits of comedy co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung have come up with. It's hard not to crack a grin at Sulu's response to Kirk asking if he can fly the ship they're in. That implies the Enterprise crew will have a new vehicle at some point in the film, which isn't surprising considering that Krall decimates the Enterprise during his attack. This spot also has a funny interaction between Kirk and Bones, which perfectly captures the dynamic and spirit of the two characters. In the Kelvin Timeline, they've been friends from the first day, and that's apparent here.
In contrast, "Big Attack" features a somber tone that underscores the stakes of the team's situation. Details are scarce, but it would appear that a "rescue mission" assignment is what leads to the Enterprise encountering the wrath of Krall. From the looks of it, part of their task could be to eliminate Krall and liberate the planet, which obviously is more difficult than they're prepared for. After crashing on the surface, the main group is split up into different pairs and they have to work to get back together and save the "millions of lives" that are in danger.
Beyond is arriving at the multiplex in time for Star Trek's 50th anniversary, but the celebration may not be too enthusiastic. According to the first box office projections for the movie, it's expected to bring in between $48 - 60 million in its opening weekend, which would be considerably below both 2009's Star Trek and 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness. Still, it could exceed those expectations, especially if the San Diego Comic-Con 2016 world premiere is a roaring success. It's worth keeping in mind that Star Trek has never been one to set records, and it isn't poised to become a flop. Beyond should do just fine commercially, and hopefully the word-of-mouth will be there to give it a boost
At this point, there isn't much left to do other than wait and see how the final product turns out. There's no denying that the Kelvin Timeline has been divisive so far, meaning the reaction to Beyond will go a long way in determining the future of Star Trek on film. With a passionate creative team diving into their love for the property and a cast with terrific chemistry, the pieces are certainly in place for a highly entertaining film. In a summer full of disappointing sequels, fingers crossed Star Trek can reverse that trend.
Star Trek Beyond hits U.S. theaters July 22, 2016.