It’s been a while since the crew of the Starship Enterprise visited a strange new world in search of new life and civilizations. The Star Trek of television was full of strange new worlds; the Enterprise seemed to discover one every single week. The Trek movies, so focused on special effects, violence, and intricate revenge plots, have frequently strayed from Trek’s original mission. And while there’s plenty of action and excitement in Star Trek Beyond, there’s also a clear attempt to return this series to its core principles: Exploration, diplomacy, teamwork, and the hope for a better tomorrow. After the missteps of the punishingly bleak and the unfortunately rehashy Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a necessary and welcome course correction; a Star Trek back into the light.
Star Trek Beyond
It may seem a bit soon to be discussing the future of a franchise when the latest installment hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but the early buzz surrounding Star Trek Beyond is so positive that Paramount has already announced plans for Star Trek 4. Following the recent, tragic passing of Anton Yelchin, some fans have wondered how the Trek universe will address that loss, and producer J.J. Abrams has an answer.
Paramount has released the fourth and final trailer for Star Trek Beyond ahead of the film’s July 22 release, and if early word is to be believed (and we think it is), you have every reason to be optimistic about the new sequel. Shorter, punchier and more action-packed than the first three previews, the latest and last trailer may be the best of the bunch, and if nothing else, it looks like Justin Lin was definitely the right pick to replace J.J. Abrams in the director’s chair.
Producer (and former franchise director) J.J. Abrams has been teasing it during the Star Trek Beyond press tour and now it’s official: The new Star Trek series (now often referred to as the “Kelvin Timeline” movies) will get a fourth installment. And much like the fourth installment of the original Trek franchise, this one will involve time travel. Via a press release:
Good news for Star Trek fans: not only have the early reviews of the film been pretty positive, the last few days saw two final Star Trek Beyond clips hit the internet for those looking to dig a little bit deeper into the movie. So all those coworkers of mine who keep asking me, since I’m a film critic, if they should be worried about the lack of Star Trek Beyond coverage, relax! Things are looking pretty good.
The poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture is so dramatic. The faces of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock, and Persis Khambatta’s Lieutenant Ilia refracted through a rainbow spectrum of light. That image promises excitement beyond imagination. Adventure! Passion! Every color under the rainbow!
This week brought some great news for the future of diversity in Hollywood. John Cho announced his ‘Star Trek Beyond’ character, Hikaru Sulu, would be revealed as gay in the upcoming movie. But sadly not everyone was thrilled about it.
Well this is certainly unexpected. Earlier today, we learned that Star Trek Beyond will reveal that John Cho’s Sulu is gay, a move partially intended to honor the legacy of George Takei, the actor who originated the iconic role in the classic television series and who himself came out as gay in 2005. You’d think that Takei of all people would be thrilled by the decision, but that’s not exactly the case.
Some very cool news about this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, via the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun: They report that Beyond will reveal that John Cho’s Hikaru Sulu is gay. The character is also revealed to be “the loving father of a daughter with a same sex partner. And in typical trailblazing Trek fashion - it’s just not a big deal.” At least the daughter aspect fits with what little the previous Star Trek series revealed of Sulu’s private life; in 1994’s Star Trek Generations, Sulu’s daughter, Ensign Demora Sulu, serves as the helmsman on the Enterprise-B.
It is interesting that, given a reboot could theoretically go off in any direction it chooses, that the relaunched Star Trek has begun to repeat events from the first Star Trek movie series. Star Trek Into Darkness was essentially a revisitation of The Wrath of Khan; the movie not only reintroduced the title character, it also flip-flopped the famous end of Wrath of Khan where Spock dies saving the Enterprise. (This time around it was Captain Kirk who made the ultimate sacrifice ... for about 8 minutes, and then he got better.) Certainly the circumstances of the film are very different, but Star Trek Beyond shares one crucial ingredient with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, namely the destruction of the Starship Enterprise, and the shipwrecking of its crew on a distant alien planet.