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Can ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Save The Reboot?

Hang onto your phasers girls and boys ‘cause this July Kirk and Spock are back in Star Trek Beyond. In case you’ve been under a sci-fi rock for the last decade, this is the third installment in the Star Trek Reboot franchise produced by J.J Abrams, following the successful Star Trek (2009) and considerably more controversial Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

The latest trailer shows a non-stop action movie directed by Trek newcomer Justin Lin, known for directing the Fast and Furious franchise and the pilot episode of TV series Scorpion. It seems J.J Abrams who directed the first two movies was a bit too focused on Star Wars: The Force Awakens to make time in his schedule. The film is set two years into the Enterprise’s five-year mission when the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew stranded on an alien world facing a new mystery antagonist, Krall, played by Idris Elba (under a lot of makeup).

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There’s an actual new mystery antagonist this time. Director Lin puts it this way: “I wanted us to be bold, I wanted us to take chances”, hence the name Beyond. That’s a definite improvement on the not-really-twist of Cumberbatch playing Khan in the last movie. Our new villain ominously declares in the trailer: “This is where it begins Captain. This is where the frontier pushes back.” Also joining the cast is Sofia Boutella, featured in the trailer playing badass alien Jaylah as an ally to Kirk.

It’s hard not to get a little excited knowing that we have a few really interesting new characters in the universe and that the filmmakers are putting a lot of effort into helping steer the franchise into new territory. In addition, there has to be a bunch of great new material for Bones and Kirk and Scotty to flex their comedic chops.

jaylah

Whether you love the trailer song or hate it: “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys makes it into the third movie with the blessing of director Lin. And this isn’t the first time, remember the infamous young Kirk joyriding scene in the red Corvette back in ‘09. Yeah, that’s the song.

In the third movies’ favor:

  • Simon Pegg is one of the writers on set so expect plenty of humor.
  • A new director and an original plot means a fresh start after the less favorable fan reaction to Into Darkness. (Remember the gratuitous retelling of The Wrath of Khan and an unnecessarily half-naked Alice Eve).
  • Expectations are in check.
  • They’ve let their hair down and are focusing on adventure over the “Mystery Box” concept.

So far some Trek fans have criticized the movie, claiming that it is simply a Fast and Furious movie set in space. However Simon Pegg replied at the London premiere of The Force Awakens, telling the press that here’s a lot more to the film than the action packed trailer suggests, of “what I would call ‘Star Trek stuff’”. Anyone else see the irony there?

Star Trek Beyond is going to be released on July 22, and I for one am looking forward to it.


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