Earlier this week, we saw the release of Star Trek Beyond's premiere trailer, and I think it's safe to say, it somewhat divided fan opinion. In fact, the first leaked trailer was in German, although in reality that didn't turn out to be a big issue, as the trailer hardly contains any actual story or dialogue.
Instead, we're treated to a frantic and frenetic mish-mash of action scenes involving the Enterprise exploding and aliens roundhouse kicking each other to the tune of The Beastie Boys 'Sabotage '. It was, it has to be admitted, not very 'Star Trek-y'. Check out the trailer again below to see what I mean:
Now, when I say 'Star Trek-y', I should point out I mean it wasn't very 'pre-2009 Star Trek-y'. This is of course when J.J. Abrams arrived on the scene to reboot the series with a slightly different approach to the franchise, with action and visual very much taking on new precedence. This slightly perturbed some of the more old school Trekkies who are used to a series based more around cerebral issues, ideological quandaries and character drama as opposed to gratuitous space battles and quipping.
Indeed, Simon Pegg, who plays Scottie in the rebooted series and co-wrote Star Trek Beyond, seems to share some of these concerns - especially when it comes to the trailer. In a discussion with HeyUGuys, Pegg revealed he thought the marketing boys and girls had slightly overdone the action and had downplayed the actual 'Star Trek stuff'. His message to all the Trekkies out there? "Hang in there, be patient". Check out the full interview below:
Personally, as someone who was brought up on Star Trek: Next Generation, I've always preferred the earlier iterations of the series, and I was particularly disappointed by Star Trek Into Darkness.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your opinion), Paramount have previously stated they are interested in toning down the 'Star Trek-y' elements of Star Trek in favor of creating a broader, more generic (and therefore more lucrative) sci-fi action movie. In an interview earlier this year, Pegg revealed why Paramount rejected Roberto Orci's original Star Trek 3 script, and what direction they saw the franchise moving in. He stated:
They had a script for Star Trek that wasn't really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little too Star Trek-y... Avengers Assemble, which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5 billion dollars. Star Trek Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there's still $1 billion worth of box office that don't go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why.
People don't see it being a fun, brightly coloured, Saturday night entertainment like the Avengers. [So they want to] make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it's more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent.
When I heard that Simon Pegg, a sci-fi fan who is known for his dedication to the Star Trek series, was charged with co-writing Star Trek Beyond, I did feel that perhaps the franchise was back in the right hands. For example, some of his, and director Justin Lin's, other comments concerning the Beyond story have been reassuring. In particular, they claimed the story would show a clash of ideologies that harked back to the original tone of Star Trek.
So, I really do want to believe him when he says there is a lot of 'Star Trek stuff' in there, however, after rereading those comments above, watching the new trailer -- and perhaps not tellingly of all -- looking at Pegg's facial expression, perhaps we're all being a bit naive?
I guess I'll have to wait until July 22nd, 2016 to find out.