Another day, another Star Trek Trailer. We now have our first full length trailer for Star Trek Beyond which has given us our first real look at the movie. For some reason it got released late on a Friday night, but that was probably to let the trailer leak slowly into the mainstream and hopefully avoid the controversy surrounding the first one. What a shock — it didn’t work. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad.
This is now our third Trek in the Abramsverse. A new trailer isn’t going to go far to changing people’s minds. If you hated the first two movies this will not change your mind. That being said, I can’t help but feel like this trailer was carefully made not just to target a wider audience, but also Trek fans. We don’t get Beastie Boys as the trailer’s backing track. We get shots of the Enterprise that aren’t exclusively it exploding, but more than that, we get a snippet of a conversation between Kirk and McCoy about why he joined Starfleet.
Is This Film Going to be More Introspective?
Possibly. Back to the conversation with Bones and McCoy, it sort of feels like the one between both those characters in The Wrath of Khan. In that film the conversation is about growing old. In this film it seems to be about growing up. Kirk thinks the reason he joined Starfleet was on a bet, McCoy rightly asserts that it was to honor his father. My problem with Kirk in these movies is that he’s what I’d like to refer to as an igit. He has never possessed the tactical acumen, nor the moral/ethical fortitude of the original. Now before you start saying that this is a “young kirk” take, think about this. Chris Pine is four years older than William Shatner was in season one of the original series (35 vs 31). At this point to continue the young, inexperienced captain schtick is to risk making Kirk look like a man child that’s not only never going to grow up, but someone who is dangerously incompetent. The fact that they look like they’re going to address some of this in this movie makes me feel much better about its direction.
A Great Villain
I love Idris Elba, and although we don’t get much time with him in the trailer, he seems sufficiently scary, and a interesting new take. Though I’m not a fan of the constant 9/11-ization of every major franchise, Star Trek is the perfect place for metaphorical takes. Based on the “death by a thousand cuts” death the Enterprise faces, and comments made by Justin Lin about the direction of this new species, it seems like this new enemy is mean to challenge the notion of the Federation as a civilizing cultural imperialist institution that keeps sticking it’s nose where it doesn’t belong. Its turning the mirror on the Federation and saying, “is this a good thing to be doing? What gives them the right to push into space?” I also love that this is something that has rarely been explored in Trek (outside of a few episodes of Deep Space Nine).
It still looks like a remake of Star Trek: The Search for Spock. You have the crew stranded on a planet after their ship is destroyed trying to get off. Now it doesn’t appear that they’re going rogue, or that Klingons are involved, but most of what we see seems to be a mash up of Star Trek 3 and a scifi version of Fast and Furious. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if The Rock shows up in a Klingon Bird of Prey looking for the secrets of the Genesis device.
What is the other ship?
We know from leaks and interviews, and the other trailer, that the crew find a derelict ship on this planet named the U.S.S. Franklin. Though concept art from the movie makes it look like a whole new class, comments by Simon Pegg make it seem that this may be a redesign or refit to the NX class from Star Trek Enterprise. At a very minimum it’s clear that the NX class served as a basis for the design.
Either way, I have a ton of respect for Simon Pegg, and the whole production crew is starting to understand they need the fans on board if this movie is going to be a success. I’m going to see it.
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