Fast-Paced STAR TREK BEYOND Trailer Warps Us to 1994

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The very first thing we hear when we begin watching the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond (which just hit the web today) is the Beastie Boys. It’s unclear whether or not this music is diegetic, although Kirk seems to approve. Don’t believe me? Fine, check it out for yourself.

If this trailer feels a bit different than what you’d expect after the last two movies, that’s because J.J. Abrams is no longer directing. He’ll be the producer for this outing, but the director’s chair has been helmed by Fast and Furious veteran Justin Lin. Which probably explains why Kirk seems to have an old-school motorcycle with him on a foreign planet. The script was written by Doug Jung and Simon Pegg, which also might explain the trailer’s heavy emphasis on humor.

Early in the trailer, there’s a bit of a twist in that the Enterprise seems to be destroyed and the crew separated from one another. This could be disastrous to those who feel as if the dynamic of the series depends upon their interactions with one another, but fear not. As we soon see, this will result in some unexpected team-ups such as Karl Urban’s “Bones” McCoy and Zachary Quinto’s Spock. The quick disappearance of Spock from the scene may cause us to wonder how long these team-ups will last, but my guess is that Lin will make the most of them. We also probably get to see characters such as Bones and Simon Pegg’s Scotty participate in some nice action beats, something they haven’t had much chance to do before. This is evidenced by a scene in which Bones is surrounded by ships, as well as an early shot of Scotty gripping a ledge.

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Some characters barely get an appearance in the trailer. We know that Zoe Saldana will be returning as Uhura, John Cho will be returning as Sulu, and Anton Yelchin will be returning as Chekov, but their roles in the film are not too clear. As for Chris Pine, it appears as if Captain Kirk will be spending the bulk of his time with an attractive new female alien played by Sofia Boutella. If you saw Kingsman: The Secret Service, Boutella was the amputee with the sword for a leg. Unsurprisingly, her role in Star Trek Beyond appears to be incredibly action-heavy, and she kind of steals the show for most of the trailer.

The one thing we don’t get a good look at is Idris Elba’s new villain, who only appears for about two seconds. For those who don’t know, Elba played Heimdall in the Thor movies and Avengers: Age of Ultron. His other previous sci-fi roles include Pacific Rim, Prometheus, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. He also had a role in DC Vertigo’s The Losers. He’ll also be playing Shere Khan in 2016’s The Jungle Book, the same character played by Benedict Cumberbatch in 2017’s Jungle Book: Origins. So it appears that the two Star Trek villains have something else in common. And yes, some of Elba’s movies suck. But he’s always been one of the better actors in his crappy movies, so it’s still exciting to see him in this one.

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As for the villain’s role in the story, that remains to be seen. He tells Kirk that “this is where the frontier pushes back.” It appears that he has a major problem with the crew’s five-year mission, but there’s more than that going on. A few lines from Boutella’s character indicate something of a mystery regarding the crew’s presence on this strange planet. They also aren’t the only ones there, as we see a pretty crowded shot in which just about every person on the screen looks confused. Whatever’s happening, we’ll at least get to see a couple of new species. And newcomers Boutella and Elba should round out the cast quite nicely.

One thing is for sure—Star Trek Beyond is bound to be one of the more action-packed Star Trek movies ever made. And given how many questions are raised by this 94-second trailer (I don’t even know what those things swarming the ship are supposed to be), you can bet dollars to donuts that another one will likely be right on its heels. Until then, this one has us ready to explore new frontiers when it hits theaters next summer.

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Star Trek Beyond releases on stardate 2016.204, or July 22, 2016. And yeah, I’m using the reboot’s stardate method. We’re three movies deep now, deal with it.