“Star Trek Beyond” has officially hit theaters. Fans of the series can now head to their local theaters and check out the next adventure for Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto’s Commander Spock and the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise.
It is the third film in the series, and in my opinion, the best. Everything about the film was fun, entertaining, and “Star Trekky”. Fans of the original will surely find joy in the latest installment, as there are many references and nods to the old crew. While I may not have seen all of William Shatner’s work as Captain James T. Kirk, my dad who has, was very impressed with the film.
And there was certainly a lot to talk about at the end of the movie. The list goes on and on, but here are the top five reasons to go see “Star Trek Boyond”!
The honoring of Leonard Nimoy
Early on in the film, we learn of the passing of Ambassador Spock, who was portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, aka the original Spock. It was a clear nod to the real life passing of Nimoy himself, who appeared in the second installment of the series. And it was this passing that was a clear motivating factor for Zachary Quinto’s Spock throughout the entire film.
Spock’s initial plan was to step away from the Federation and essentially take over for Ambassador Spock. But he never found the time to tell Kirk, and going through the events of the movie helped him realize Kirk needs him. It was towards the very end of the film that we received the biggest nod to Leonard Nimoy and the entire original Star Trek crew.
Spock opened up a box that belonged to the late Ambassador Spock, and found a picture of his entire crew. Giving Nimoy one last on-screen appearance with the crew that stood beside him during his most iconic role was a very nice touch by director Justin Lin. The credits then began with a message that dedicated the film to the late, great actor.
The interactions between Spock and Bones
These scenes were by far my favorites, and hands down the most humorous. Spock and Bones are essentially polar opposites, so whenever they intact with one another makes for movie gold. So needless to say, when the crew gets split up early in the film, and Bones is left with Spock, I was extremely happy in my seat.
The two bounce dialogue off one another with such ease. Bones is straight to the point, and does not pull any punches when he talks to people. And Spock is very literal. Based off of their personalities, Bones becomes very fed up with Spock in a highly entertaining manner.
Towards the end of the film when Spock offers to be beamed into one of the baddies ships, Kirk and Uhara are not happy to let an injured Spock go, even if he does know the inside of the ship the best. The crowd erupted in laughter when Spock suggests bringing someone who knows about both his injuries and the ship: as we all knew he was talking about Bones.
Then Bones’ reaction is exactly what you would expect. He wanted nothing to do with it, and was furious with Spock when he figured out it was his idea. This scene is the perfect example of the relationship these two share. Any time these two share the screen, make sure you are paying attention.
The subtle, likely unintentional nod to Anton Yelchin
For those who do not know, actor Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov, tragically died just over a month ago in a freak accident. The young actor was truly enjoyable in the role of Chekov, and the franchise and fans will miss him.
Early in the film there is a scene between Kirk and Bones. Bones had stolen a bottle of Scotch from Chekov’s locker, and the two share a drink. Bones pours three glasses: One for himself, one for Kirk, and one for Kirk’s late father. Kirk’s birthday was approaching, and his father died on his birthday. Kirk was about to turn a year older than his father ever was, hence the drink, and the extra glass.
When this scene was filmed, that was the sole purpose of it. But the fact that the Scotch came from Chekov’s locker helps give the scene a little extra. It helped serve as a nice subtle honor to the late Yelchin. While not everyone will know about Yelchin’s passing, if you are, this scene means a little more.
I know when I saw the men clink their two glasses of Chekov’s Scotch against the extra one, I could not help but think it was the casts way of saying goodbye to their fallen friend. I know it was not the intent when it was filmed, but when all is said and done, this is what I took away from it.
After they honored Nimoy at the end of the film, they also had a quick line of text that said “For Anton”. While I was expecting a little more during the credits, I am glad that scene was there.
The introduction of Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah
Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah was a fun new character to be introduced. The first time we meet her she gets to interact with Simon Pegg’s Scotty. The two had great chemistry together on-screen and it was certainly a good pairing. Her character wanted to get off of the planet that Krall, the main baddie, stranded her and her crew on. She was the last survivor of her crew, and sought vengeance against the man who killed her father, who happened to be Krall’s right hand man.
So her character had a clear backstory. She joined the fight for a reason. And her personality made her sort of a female version of Kirk. She was not one who liked to play by the rules. Her interactions with Scotty were fun and amusing.
And at the end of the film she is offered a spot on the USS Enterprise crew. And since a fourth film in the franchise has already been announced, it is safe to say we will be seeing more of her. She will add a much-needed alien presence to the crew going forward. More interactions with Kirk and Scotty will be welcome, as well as interactions with the characters she did not get to share any time with in this one.
A complex villain
Now going into the climax of the film, I was a bit torn on Idris Elba’s villain, Krall. He did not get much screen time early. When he was given something to do, he was shown as a pretty destructive force. However, he often would leave the dirty work for his soldiers. His plan to take down the Federation was pretty unclear for most of the film, as a true purpose was not established.
And then came the reveal of his true identity. He was a former Captain of the USS Franklin, whose name was Edison. His ship became stranded on the planet where a good portion of the film takes place, and he knew the Federation had no interest in saving him. He was a former soldier who was built on survival.
So he survived and vowed to take down the Federation, who he felt portrayed a false message. Now I am not sure I understood the full story of Krall, and I think a second viewing would strongly help. But this is what I like in a villain. He was not a one-dimensional baddie who just wants to destroy the good guys for no real reason.
He had a purpose and it was hidden beneath several layers. He despised our heroes and he had a reason for it. He did not like what they stood for, as they betrayed him years ago. They were not there when he needed them, and he wanted to take his vengeance out on them.
Like I said, to fully understand his character, you probably need to see the film twice. And based on how much I enjoyed it, I would have no issue doing just that.
This list could keep on going and going. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I would highly recommend going to see it. Whether you have seen the originals or not, it is an entertaining movie nonetheless. While the plot was fairly cookie cutter and easy to predict, there was plenty to offset that.
It has its fair share of action. It has plenty of solid character interactions to go along with great portrayals by the actors. And it just had the overall Star Trek feel that the movie needed. It went to deep space and introduced new alien species, making you feel like this is the movie you paid to see.
So if you were on the fence about going to see “Star Trek Beyond”, I seriously would recommend.