3,500 lucky fans attending Wednesday night’s Star Trek Beyond premiere were treated to a specular outdoor IMAX screening with the score performed live by a 90-piece orchestra. Conan O’Brien kicked off the event by introducing stars Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Zachary Quinto and the rest of the movie’s main cast, along with director Justin Lin, and producer J.J. Abrams.
There were celebratory fireworks and a laser show before the screening, but the proceedings were somber at times, with Abrams and the cast paying tribute to their late co-stars Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy.
“As wonderful as it is to be here with all of you, and to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, there is something wrong tonight,” Abrams said. “There is something missing tonight, there is someone missing tonight. Anton Yelchin should be here.” Fans gave a moving round of applause as Abrams told the crowd that Anton’s parents, Irina and Victor, were in attendance, before joining in a shared moment of silence.
Spock star Zachary Quinto acknowledge the passing of Nimoy. “The first time I ever came to Comic-Con was in 2007,” Quinto said, “and it was the first time I ever met Leonard Nimoy. The role of Spock bonded us — no pun intended. Here’s to Leonard!”
The invite-only event was held at San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park, just outside the convention center, where the world’s first outdoor IMAX screen was assembled. “It’s going to blow your mind,” Urban told fans before the screening.
Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on Friday.