One huge franchise returns to theaters next summer with Star Trek Beyond, the third installment in the Star Trek film reboot series and the 13th installment overall of the Star Trek franchise. This film has already undergone a few changes, and is directed by Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious), as JJ Abrams - who directed the first two films - stepped into a producing role due to his commitment to working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The screenplay also went through a few iterations, until Simon Pegg (who also plays Scotty) and Doug Jung took over to write the final version.
New highlights and details have been slowly doled out, primarily though Omaze, as part of the the “Star Trek: To Boldly Go” campaign that supports nine global charities, all hand picked by the actors. Thanks to the fundraising video we now have another clue as what types of aliens we can expect to see on the big screen this summer.
Click on the video above to see the Star Trek Beyond cast joking around during the promotional video in a series of outtakes. To see the new alien creature, skip to the 1:55 mark. A man ambles on set holding the alien bust, then glances at the camera and takes exaggerated steps out of the shot. While it's just a side profile of the head, you can clearly see the elongated skull and ridges arching from the temple all the way around to the chin.
It seems safe to assume that the alien glimpsed is one of the new races introduced in Star Trek Beyond. This is the first film in the rebooted series that revolves completely around the U.S.S. Enterprise crew leaving Earth and having missions and adventures that diverge from the existing Star Trek cannon. While much of the films plot remains shrouded in mystery, we do know that Idris Elba will be playing the main villain, and that he will not be playing a Klingon (or so we're told...).
The introduction of new aliens in the latest Star Trek movie signals a welcome change from its predecessors. 2009's Star Trek was essentially an origins story introducing Captain Kirk and his first encounters with his crew; it was a fun action romp but still took place largely on earth with the audience already well aware that Kirk would eventually become a Star Fleet Captain. The follow-up, Star Trek Into Darkness, had many elements of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and neither film captured the magic of discovering new planets and people quite like the classic Star Trek television show did. Having the crew venture into new lands with Star Trek Beyond is the clearest way to keep the franchise interesting and growing.
Of course, even with new alien races, the film could easily retread old Star Trek themes and tropes. We will have to wait and see if the final product delivers on the promise of a fresh world. Still, even the glimpses of unfamiliar life forms are an exciting reminder that Pegg and Lin will at least attempt to boldly go where they haven't already gone.
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters on July 8th, 2016.
Source: Paramount Pictures