As Paramount gears up to release Star Trek Beyond this summer, they've put together a fairly sizable marketing campaign. To date, three trailers, a collection of posters, and details about the official soundtrack have been unveiled, hinting at a movie that hopes to blend the sci-fi action thrills of the newly-minted Kelvin Timeline with the best characteristics of the original series in a celebration of Star Trek's 50th anniversary.
Of course, a key part of the studio's promotional efforts (as with any massive tentpole) is raising awareness via television spots, premiering the first two earlier this month. With the film's debut a few short weeks away (as of this writing), the time has come to kick the advertising machine into overdrive. Three new Beyond TV commercials have now made their way online. You can watch the first one above. The others are below.
Rather coincidentally, each one plays essentially as a shortened version of the main theatrical previews. The one dubbed "Last Resort" features parts of Rihanna's new single "Sledgehammer," which was used in the most recent trailer. "Discover" plays up the movie's sense of fun and adventure, similar to the original teaser (though, without the Beastie Boys accompanying it). The final one, "Bold," is basically a truncated spin on the second trailer, which was the centerpiece of May's Star Trek fan event.
While these spots obviously vary in tone, they each do a good job of highlighting a particular side of the movie. Considering the final product can find an appropriate balance between the drama and humor, audiences could be in store for a well-rounded work that symbolizes Star Trek at its strongest, illustrating that the franchise is still relevant after five decades. After the divisive reception to the first trailer last December, Paramount refocused and made sure to emphasize the classic Trek feel with their following previews. For the most part, the response to the footage has been positive, even though some are still wary about how Justin Lin's (Fast & Furious) sensibilities will blend with well-known franchise tropes.
As we've said before, Star Trek is in a very interesting position in the current film landscape. Disney has the market for space operas cornered with their annual Star Wars projects and Guardians of the Galaxy becoming one of Marvel's most lucrative brands. With co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung looking to deconstruct Star Trek in Beyond, their narrative takes on a meta angle. In a time where Rey and Star-Lord far eclipse the box office hauls of the two Kelvin Timeline films to date, it's reasonable to wonder if there's still room for the Final Frontier on the big screen. If Paramount is to make Star Trek 4, Beyond has a lot to prove both critically and commercially.
That said, there isn't any reason why Kirk and Spock can't coexist with their Mouse House "rivals." Star Trek has endured for 50 years through several ups and downs and remains a staple of pop culture. Even if Beyond can't reach the heights of Star Wars: The Force Awakens or the first Guardians, it should still be very successful in its own right. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are reportedly on board for another installment after this, so the Enterprise could very well live long and prosper.
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22, 2016.