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‘Star Trek Beyond’ Review, Release Date of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘Star Trek 4’, with the Future of the Trek Franchise

( [email protected] ) Jul 25, 2016 09:09 AM EDT
Star Trek Beyond was the number 1 film last weekend, and there is a review of it below with why it is a good Star Trek film.  There is also news on Star Trek 4, or whatever the new film in the J.J. Abrams rebooted universe will be named.  This weekend was also Comic-Con, and with it, news about the newest Star Trek series with Star Trek: Discovery and its release date.
Star Trek Discovery coming to CBS in January. CBS/Paramount

Star Trek Beyond was the number 1 film last weekend, and there is a review of it below with why it is a good Star Trek film.  There is also news on Star Trek 4, or whatever the new film in the J.J. Abrams rebooted universe will be named.  This weekend was also Comic-Con, and with it, news about the newest Star Trek series with Star Trek: Discovery and its release date. 

Review of Star Trek Beyond (with spoilers)

I'm going to be honest and say that I didn't expect to like this film as much as I did.  The problem was that I didn't like its predecessor of Star Trek Into Darkness, as I felt that it didn't do a good job with retelling the Khan storyline, and offered nothing original. 

It feels like Star Trek Beyond took everything that we loved about Star Trek, and yet still made it feel very original.  Unlike the Ghostbusters reboot, Star Trek Beyond is really focusing on being original and embrace its grittier universe, and not trying to make pointless references to the old one. 

In fact, the film opens with Kirk (Chris Pine) negotiating some peace treaty with some aliens that look like something more out of Star Wars than Star TrekStar Trek has many alien races that are usually just people in makeup rather than the CG creations at the beginning, and it is clear that the film is saying "we're doing something new here, deal with it". 

To establish this even more, the film then has Spock (Zachary Quinto) hearing that his future self of Ambassador Spock has passed away.  Considering that Leonard Nimoy has died since the last film, this was a smart move on the creators. 

Yes, Star Trek works when the characters have their time to shine and develop, and it is revealed through Kirk's log entry that he is growing tired of going through space.  This is something that hasn't really been discussed on any Star Trek series, but every person has doubt about their job from time to time.  Kirk is being tempted to settle down as a Vice Admiral at a huge space station known as Yorktown, and Spock is planning to take a job on New Vulcan to help his race develop more since the planet was destroyed. 

I will have to say that the film has brilliant special effects, and the space station of Yorktown is this place that has cities that join together at intersecting points with different gravities.  I can't really describe it, but it has to be seen, and they did a good job of establishing shots, and I will recommend seeing this film in 3-D. 

Once the crew is in Yorktown, they receive a distress call and find an alien who has been attacked by a mysterious force.  This leads the crew of the U.S. S. Enterprise to a nebula, and in Star Trek, this is where a lot of mysterious stuff happens. 

The Enterprise then meets this swarm of ships that is like nothing seen in any other science fiction film.  It also does what a lot of films don't do, and they destroy the Enterprise.  Yes, Star Trek III and Star Trek: Generations blew up their flagships, but it was closer to the end of those films.  This film just gets it out of the way, and it's kind of a relief and really cranks up the serious on their situation. 

The destroyed ship allows the crew the chance to split up into small teams on a Class M planet.  This was a good way to get Spock and Bones (Karl Urban) together alone, and the interaction between them is great.  Normally, the focus is on the differences between Kirk and Spock, but it is Spock and Bones that have the greater schism, and they get to work together. 

Kirk and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) manage to get Spock and Bones, as well as Scotty (Simon Pegg) and a new ally named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), who is a pretty cool character.  The rest of the team, like Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), have been captured by Krall (Idris Elba).  Krall wants this weapon which is on the Enterprise, which is a pretty weak McGuffin device.  Yeah, these new Star Trek films aren't really good at making decent, non-one-dimensional villains.

I will have to say that the film has very decent action, but the ending feels kind of drawn out.  The thing is that the film feels like Star Trek, like what it is supposed to be, and the perfect way to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary.  It brings out that part in us that wants to explore instead of settling down, which is the film's appeal.  It would have been easy to take some old original series plotline and make a new film out of it, but it didn't. 

The Future of Star Trek Movies

Some might remember the original Star Trek movies, as Star Trek IV really turned the series into something with a lot of mainstream appeal.  What is interesting is that Star Trek 4 in the new J.J. Abrams rebooted universe is already being discussed. 

There is a report on Slashfilm that Chris Hemsworth will return as George Kirk.  Of course, he died in the 2009 Star Trek film, and the fact that he is coming back shows that there could be some kind of time travel going on.  You know, like Star Trek IV had time travel in it. 

Wouldn't it be interesting if the film discusses the possibility of undoing the timeline established in the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek films?  That, or perhaps a trip to the Mirror Universe.  There are a lot of possibilities, here. 

Star Trek on TV again with Discovery

This weekend, at Comic-Con, the newest Star Trek show officially got itself a new title with Star Trek: Discovery.  The show, headed by Bryan Fuller, says that the new series are going to take place in the "prime" timeline, the one that didn't get changed in J.J. Abrams  films. 

Star Trek: Discovery is set to debut its premiere episode on CBS in January before streaming the rest of the season on CBS All Access, according to CNET.  So far, there isn't much known about it, and they really should have revealed more.