Weekly Trek – May 30-June 5, 2016

I want to spend this week’s post discussing the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond that was released recently.  If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out HERE

I wasn’t a fan of the first trailer, as I made plain in THIS POST.  This one is markedly better in the character moments side of things.  Captain Kirk’s lament about why he entered Starfleet brings up some good points and reminded me a bit, at least in spirit, to the discussion that Captain Christopher Pike had with Dr. Boyce in the first Star Trek pilot, “The Cage.”  Kirk’s comment sets up his arc for the film (I presume) as he finds meaning in his work other than the dare that took him to the academy in the first place.  The trailer didn’t give much of a sense of the other main character’s stories, but I sure they will all have their moments in the film.

When it comes down to it, though, so far I don’t like the story that this movie seems to be telling.  I don’t want them to destroy the Enterprise, which is sure as hell looks like they do.  And I’m not thrilled what it appears happens to most of the crew, who seem like they spend the movie imprisoned and undergoing various torments at the hands of their captors.  As a general rule, I don’t enjoy films and shows that spend their time torturing characters that I like.  That’s why “Plato’s Stepchildren,” in which beings with godlike powers treat the Enterprise crew like puppets to be hurt and humiliated, is my least favorite episode of the original series.

That said, I trust Simon Pegg, who cowrote the new movie, and what he and director Justin Lin have been saying in interviews about wanting to examine the Federation and Star Trek’s philosophy and ultimately why they are important sounds intriguing.  Lin and Pegg are both fans and have been long before either of them actually got to work on Star Trek.  I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I try not to judge movies by their trailers, which tend to be cut by marketing folks rather than the filmmakers themselves.  While I wasn’t a fan of the trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice either, the reason I didn’t see that film ultimately came down to reviews and word of mouth from people I know and respect.  For Star Trek Beyond, I absolutely cannot imagine not going to see it, even if the reviews and audience reactions are abysmal.  It’s still Star Trek, and it being made by people who truly love the franchise.

I want this movie to be good.  I want to enjoy it.  And I want it to be a proper celebration of Star Trek’s 50 anniversary. 

I just hope Star Trek Beyond can deliver.

- Alan Decker

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