Yesterday, the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond was released.
I’m really not sure what to make of this.
My first impression is very much ‘oh no, looks like the Enterprise is being destroyed, so much for the five year mission’, followed by ‘whatever happened to Star Trek’s mission statement?’
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
My understanding of Star Trek, both the original Kirk series and the 80s/90s ‘sequels’ was that it was about exploring the universe, whilst having something to say about us as humans.
Yes, it had drama, action, fights and comedy, but there was a sense of something more.
Obviously, you can’t judge a film on a 90 second trailer – and I recognise the need to appeal to a broad audience, but I’m not sure this feels like Star Trek. It feels more like an action-packed science-fiction comedy. In fact, it almost feels as if the makers of the trailer are appealing to those who were grabbed by Guardians of the Galaxy (a pretty fine film in its own right, I might add) rather than showing what is distinctive about Trek.
Maybe Trek in film has always had to fight the battle about ‘not being Star Wars’ (the first films in both franchises came out within a relatively short time of each other).
Well, we’ll see.
For the meantime, I think Wil Wheaton, Star Trek alumni himself, sums up my feelings with this tweet.