By Justin Trombetti
It’s no secret that 2009 kicked off a string of Star Trek reboots that have shamelessly nodded at the franchise’s previous installments. Setting the stage for an alternate timeline after a separatist Romulan named Nero attacks the U.S.S. Kelvin, we’ve seen major plot line reworks as well as scattered Easter eggs that connect the alternate timeline to several original movies and series.
The internet is wrapped up in Star Trek Beyond Easter eggs like the surprise cameos and Futurama references. Check out what you may have missed is that the film; much in the same fashion that Into Darkness connected to The Wrath of Khan, shares several parallels with the Nimoy-directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (TVH).
Don’t believe me? Take a look at this list of Star Trek Beyond Easter eggs below.
1.) Cloaked Ships Make Great Bases
Did anyone notice that the base of operations while the Enterprise crew is stranded in Beyond is an out-of-date, barely functioning, cloaked ship? Does that remind you of anything? How about the sets of those ships?
Finally, you might notice that Sulu’s expert piloting to get things moving is essential to the safe return of the crews of both movies. Whether it’s a free fall or a slingshot around the sun, it’s safe to say that Sulu has done this before.
2.) “You look like a cadet review.”
You might have taken note of the fact that a significant portion of the Beyond is spent on the surface of a planet, not in space. Not to mention the fact that for most of that time, the main cast is split into several small teams. Is that ringing any bells?
Is it a stretch to say that this alone is enough to count as a real nod towards TVH?
Maybe, but not when you also consider the crew interaction. You might recall a quite humorous scene between Spock and Bones aboard the stolen Klingon vessel about the concept of humor and Spock’s first-hand insight on death. Is it coincidental, then, that as Spock is mortally wounded in Beyond that we not only get banter between the characters regarding perspectives on death but a sincere laugh from the Vulcan?
3.) Shields Up
You might remember at the conclusion of the original cast’s trip to modern Earth that they narrowly save the lives of a pair of humpback whales (not people, Mr. Scott) with a last minute cloaked descent in the Bird of Prey to block a whaling ship’s harpoon.
You might also remember Sulu saving the day in the Franklin looking something like this.
4.) Moving Up in the Ranks
Kirk has always been “a man of deep feelings”, but you’ll notice in both the original II-IV story arc and Beyond, we see a dissatisfied and apathetic Kirk contemplating the nature of his position in Starfleet. While these inner struggles are vastly different in nature, the result is the same: James T. Kirk happily retains his command of the Enterprise instead of an admiral position.
5.) The Dark Ages
Bones is the pessimist we’ve all grown to love, but Beyond is not the first time the character has been faced with a life-and-death medical situation with a fellow officer with nothing but old or primitive treatment options.
In fact, during the rescue of Pavel Chekov from San Francisco’s Mercy Hospital, McCoy keenly responds to an elderly woman’s account of kidney dialysis with a snide remark about “The Dark Ages.”
Again, we see an almost exactly similar response from Beyond’s McCoy aboard the Franklin.
6.) Alphabetical Order
This should be the most obvious allusion to TVH in the entirety of Beyond for any fan of the franchise. You might notice that both films close out with an introduction to the iconic NCC-1701 A. Yes, it seems that this served a purpose beyond (no pun intended) just guaranteeing another sequel.
7.) The Heroine Saves the Day
You might not have noticed immediately, but the much adored new character, Jaylah, shares more in common with The Cetacean Institute’s Jillian Taylor than you think.
Notice how the two characters happened to Kirk and company by chance, helped save the day with their firsthand knowledge, and both end up with an admission to Starfleet Academy?
That’s girl power.
8.) Scattered References
While not major plot points, there are quite a few more Star Trek Beyond Easter eggs you might not have caught onto throughout the movie that, once again, nod to The Voyage Home and other franchise installments.
I feel it almost unnecessary to point out the irony behind a birthday toast, from Bones nonetheless, to “good eyesight,” directed at the friend who would eventually receive eyeglasses as a present from the doctor, and then later pawn those glasses for 20th-century currency.
In both films, we begin to see Spock embracing what you might call…colorful metaphors (though Quinto’s Spock seems to embrace the more crass ones).
While the parallel is fairly negligible, it’s also worth pointing out that be it a densely populated starbase or a small vessel whose crew is in distress; we get a “Yorktown” dropped in both films.
Finally, you’re going to notice a lot of character development parallels when you compare the two films. In addition to Kirk’s bounce between the admiral and captain ranks, early in both films, we get a relatively somber, strained account from a James Kirk that is apparently cracking beneath the weight of his duties, be it an extended space journey, or an extended exile. We also have Spock, who, memory in tact or not, is struggling with re-embracing his role in Vulcan culture, and balancing that with his Starfleet duties and his human side.
Was all of this intentional? Does this suggest that we might get a loose rework of another fan favorite, The Undiscovered Country, in the 4th installment?
It’s hard to know, but in the meantime, die-hard Trekkies can pray that we don’t see any remnants of The Final Frontier in future Star Treks, and enjoy the homage paid to our favorite franchise classics with these Star Trek Beyond Easter eggs.