Star Trek Beyond
We’ve come a long way since 1966! This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek and to bring it in, Justin Lin and Simon Pegg present Star Trek Beyond. As a fan of the original series (which I saw in the 80’s during its reruns) I expect nothing less that the best Star Trek movie that Paramount can deliver. And I can say without a doubt, Star Trek came back to the big screen in a big way! Let’s talk about what worked great, what didn’t quite make sense. This will have some spoilers! I will try and keep it generic to the best that I can.
What worked great:
- The crew of the Enterprise is well seasoned and their interaction with each other shows that they know each others strengths and weaknesses. Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest of the crew’s interactions are priceless and reminiscent of the old Star Trek, yet in a refreshing way. Spock and McCoy argue and respect each other, Kirk and Spock are a team that cannot be broken, and the rest of the crew seems to legitimately care for each other’s well being in the movie.
- New character reveals that are not from the old series take place are tasteful and don’t distract from the story.
- The Federation seems more in tact and is back to exploring the galaxy and making peace, even though there is still conflict
- Great references to Star Trek Enterprise and historical references before Nero came back in time and changed everything.
- The movie takes place three years into their five year mission. I think that’s a great choice on the writers part as I would interpret that the crew of this “Kelvin Timeline” would most likely have followed a lot of the same path as the original crew. It also feels like it takes place after the original run which only lasted three years
- I only got a glimpse of the new Enterprise, which while has minor changes, It looks better, most noticeable was the nacelles. I didn’t like the huge look of them in the first two movies, and I think the new/small design changes will pay off in the next movie.
- Tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Old Spock. Touching moment with a picture of the old crew as well.
What didn’t quite work out:
- The Villain, Krall. I’ve heard this from a lot of folks around and I tend to agree, the villain’s reason for hating the Federation makes some sense, but to go to the extremes that he does to get his hands on a bio weapon, seems a bit far out there. I could have used a bit of backstory on how Krall recruited his minions in the first place.
- The new uniform look. I just didn’t really think the uniform needed a minor change. Seems a bit pointless.
This is a great way for the franchise to get back in the theater. I recommend that if you are Star Trek fan and you are still on the fence about the new crew, then have no fear. They are able to bring their own flavor to each character yet keep it reminiscent of the history of Star Trek. Star Trek 13 doesn’t carry any bad luck and shows that odd numbered Star Treks can be a lot of fun too.
Live long and Prosper!
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I wasn’t going to see Star Trek Beyond. As a matter of fact, I was actively going to avoid it. Why you ask? The disappointment became saturating. As an avid fan, Trekkie more than Star Wars, the new movies were the dumbed down run-and-gun fests tailor made for popcorn and summer. Star Trek was created to show that humanity could come together as explorers, discoverers, and sans-discrimination and turmoil. Even the worst of the Star Trek films retained this theme – they were just bad movies.
Star Trek Beyond seemed to buck the trend. The internet won me over with its assurances this movie was not like the others. Simon Pegg won me over during press events as he sold his script as a marked departure from the past popcorn movies. Justin Lin, however, did not. I didn’t need Fast and Furious with my sci-fi.
I can safely say I was not disappointed. Make no mistake, this is a decent amount of action. In some cases there is too much, but when taking center stage, action sequences at least have meaning. Beyond is closer to some of the earlier movies than TV shows. There isn’t that much jargon, lesson learning, and discovery. I was also unmoved by the main villain revelation. We’ve had the Starfleet villain twice in a row now. Move on, please. Additionally, I would have liked to see the Enterprise remain afloat for longer. The interaction between the away team and space docked Starship crew is classic Star Trek. This dichotomy also provides the ability to tell two stories at once. An opportunity missed, I believe.
Overall, the movie met a specific purpose. Bring the series, somewhat, back to its roots and disenfranchised fans who made the series what it is. The attraction of new fans is terrific, but a disservice was done in sidelining the original intent of Star Trek. Star Trek Beyond takes a step closer to to the purpose of the 5 year mission that began 50 years ago.