The marketing for Star Trek: Beyond fell worryingly silent after the first trailer dropped, but in the last few weeks Paramount has revved up the hype machine, revealing new posters and a bunch of hints from the cast and crew. And now, finally, we have a second trailer to give us a better idea of what this enigmatic film will be about, and so far it's looking really great.
With plenty of nods to the original films, along with a bunch of cryptic hints, Beyond's second trailer sets up the themes and plot of the movie.
So, let's count out all the Easter Eggs as we break down the trailer!
Deep Space Yorktown
It seems as though the Enterprise's journey starts from Yorktown Base, a space station somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant. We saw plenty of shots of this in the trailer, both exterior and interior, as the Enterprise sets off on this stage of the Five Year Mission.
And Shohreh Aghdashloo's mysterious character from the scene reshoots? It seems as though she's the commanding officer of Yorktown Base, as we hear her giving Kirk a pep talk in her office. She seems to have a map of the galaxy, so it's possible she and Kirk are planning the next stage in the Enterprise's mission.
"It isn't uncommon, you know. To get lost, in the vastness of space. There's only yourself, your ship, your crew."
Not only does this set up an interesting theme about the effects of long-term space travel, this line also follows on from Justin Lin's comments that Beyond will develop the characters, examining their relationships more closely than the previous films did. Which is awesome.
As the Enterprise sets off on the next stage of its journey, we catch a glimpse of an interesting subspace distortion.
With the history of Star Trek littered with subspace distortion plots (pick an episode of The Next Generation at random and it's bound to feature something like this), we have to wonder: Is this a weird space anomaly? or just a cool new way of depicting warp travel? Only time will tell.
The Swarm Attacks
And now we're getting to the good stuff. The crew doesn't boldly go far before the Enterprise is attacked by "the Swarm," a host of drones that tear the ship apart.
The Enterprise is boarded by alien forces sent by Kraal, Idris Elba's ominous villain. Side note: anyone else getting a Borg vibe?
This feels very First Contact, right down to the plucky one-movie-wonder character who's bound to steal the show. And speaking of which...
Who Is Jaylah?
Sofia Boutella's alien, called Jaylah, already looks set to be that cool standalone character we all fall in love with. First discovered by Scotty on the planet, she seems to have a history with Kraal.
"Everyone who goes there, he kills."
Is she a survivor of Kraal's other attacks? From what we know of the villain, it seems he has a vendetta against the Federation, but it could be that he's on a mission of conquest throughout the galaxy.
Jaylah is probably an inhabitant of the planet the crew crash lands on. And if she's on a mission to avenge her people, it looks like she gets to have a showdown with Kraal himself later on.
That guy Jaylah is kicking in the face? He definitely looks like Kraal rather than the grunt soldiers. I cannot wait for this moment.
Kirk & Chekov Find The Saucer
Ok, we've got away from the chronology a bit so let's bring it back. Once they crash land on the planet, the crew split into pairs. Kirk and Chekov find the saucer section of the destroyed Enterprise, but it seems to blow up later on.
Luckily, there's a handy replacement ship just hanging around somewhere on the planet — but we'll get to that later.
Is Kraal Framing Kirk?
While Kirk and Chekov explore the wreckage, Uhura and Sulu get captured by Kraal's forces. Uhura seems to escape, only to come face to face with Kraal himself later on. She stands her ground, telling him Kirk will show no mercy when he comes to save his crew. And Kraal, instead of being intimidated, seems encouraged.
Why is Kraal "counting on" Kirk being ruthless? It could be that he wants to expose the brutality of the Federation to the galaxy, framing Kirk and showing him as a vicious conquerer. This would line up neatly with the post-colonial themes of the film.
'Fear Of Death Is Illogical'
Meanwhile, Bones and Spock are chocking up some bonding time on the planet's surface. We got a snapshot of some of their classic banter in the first trailer, but stuff gets serious as they contemplate the likelihood of their survival.
The two seem to be trapped somewhere, possibly in Kraal's base, as they contemplate their deaths.
"Fear of death is what keeps us alive."
The relationship between Spock and Bones is fascinating, and not just because of their sizzling retorts to each other. They represent two distinct yet vital perspectives — while Spock favors logic and distant rationality, Bones has far more emotional and compassionate values. It looks like Beyond will represent this duality perfectly.
Kraal Attacks Starbase Yorktown
Though the crew manage to escape the planet, Kraal's in hot pursuit and we later see his attack on the Yorktown base.
The base is immense, with its own atmosphere. But something's up with the gravity, as we see Kirk falling sideways off a tower. Whatever Kraal's doing to the starbase, it seems to be working.
Going Back To The Start
And here's the most exciting thing for me: There's an old NX model starship hiding beneath the planet's surface, which the crew use to escape. This is the USS Franklin, which was actually revealed last year.
The presence of the Franklin in the plot isn't just a cool nod to Star Trek's past (specifically Enterprise, as this prematurely cancelled show was set aboard the first NX-01 to explore the galaxy).
We're invited to wonder, why is the Franklin on the planet in the first place? Does this play into Kraal's vendetta against the Federation? It's possible that during the Franklin's early exploration of the Alpha Quadrant, the crew encountered Kraal's species and they clashed on Starfleet's vaguely colonial philosophy. Also, we get this awesome moment on the Franklin's bridge, as Jaylah casually assumes the captain's position.
(Did I already say how excited I am for Jaylah in this movie? Because she's gonna be awesome.)
All in all, this trailer sets up plenty of interesting themes in addition to teasing an exciting story. It'll be really interesting to see how the Franklin's history plays into the plot, and how Kraal's mission affects the Federation's standing in the galaxy. Roll on July!