After literally getting dragged into darkness the last time around, the first trailer Star Trek Beyond appears to be bringing a sense of adventure back to Star Trek.
I am going to try and get through this post without ranting about how awful Star Trek Into Darkness was.
Suffice to say, the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond, the third film in the reboot series teed off by current Star Wars director J.J. Abrams, appears to be a massive course correction for the series after Into Darkness, one of the most dour blockbusters in recent memory. It opens with a callback to perhaps the most famous scene of the original – Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” being played on the deck of the Enterprise.
And indeed “Sabotage” sets the tone for the whole trailer. I’ve long since accepted that Star Trek is now an action franchise, and frankly never had an issue with it on principle, but thus far being an action series has somehow been incompatible with the sense of wild adventure of the original Star Trek series. Both prior films were deadly serious affairs, with even the first Star Trek’s moments of exhilaration being tempered by doomsday plots and Serious Villains.
Which isn’t to say Star Trek Beyond won’t still have those things. The Enterprise is still destroyed in the opening scene of the trailer. The plot involves the entire crew of the Enterprise being trapped on an alien world. You don’t hire Idris Elba to play your bad guy if you don’t want a seriously threatening presence, but even his one line in the trailer – “This is where the frontier pushes back” – has a hint of levity to it. The colors pop in ways that ooze 50s and 60s science fiction, the alien world outlandish in design, and the trailer leans heavy on humor in a way that the previous films never did. Hell, even the title plays on a more adventurous tone than previously – Beyond! Not Into Darkness, even though they still kept the stupid “no colon” title scheme.
I have to imagine this has to do with the new creative team muscling in on the Abrams/Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman turf. Co-written by Simon Pegg and directed by Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame, there is a certain energy to this trailer that the previous films never had. An energy that matches “Sabotage.”
If this is where we’re boldly going, then I’m all ready to go.