We’re a little over a week away from the release of Star Trek Beyond and in addition to simmering controversy over Sulu’s onscreen sexual orientation, we’ve also just been hit with a bunch of new short promos for the film.
The four new TV spots run the gamut of extreme sentiment, to flippant jubilance, to nail-bitting action.
What kind of chimera of a Star Trek film are we dealing with? When the first trailer leaked, there might have been furrowed brows from those who love Star Trek’s more cerebral themes that director Justin Lin would make nothing more than a Fast and the Furious in space. While that still might be true (the film comes out July 22), these latest TV spots tick more than just the box marked “EXPLODING SHIT.”
Here’s everything we spotted in the new footage:
A Somber Tone
In “We Change,” the tone seems to focus on heavy sentiment that Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) has for every member of the crew. Notable in this footage is a great shot of Pine as Kirk and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov standing pensively as little floating furry pink things surround them.
It’s a lovely shot and (intentionally or not) is evocative of the profound sense of loss everyone feels about the untimely death of Yelchin. Kirk’s use of the word “family” in this trailer is a bit eerie, too, since it’s a theme touched on extensively in the Fast & the Furious franchise, which Lin is primarily associated with. In any case, if you’re a Star Trek fan, this you can’t help but getting a little choked up here.
This footage also shows off two other notable events. First, we see Sulu back in command of what looks to be the Enterprise. This is a nod to the original Sulu (George Takei) being made captain of his own ship, the Excelsior back in 1991. Sulu also took command of the Enterprise in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.
And, for those of us nerding out about the second starship featured in the trailers, we get our best shot of the U.S.S. Franklin, the older Star Fleet ship that Kirk and crew seem to be commandeering at some point in the movie.
But It’s a Fun Movie, Too
The footage in the TV spot called “Skills” is mostly about the new alien character Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and how it seems like her “alienness” is being leveraged for comic relief. As “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys plays over the trailer, she’s seen telling Simon Pegg’s Scotty that she likes “the beats and the shouting,” and also doesn’t understand basic human phrases like “welcome mat.” All of this might read as a little cheesy, but having non-human characters in Star Trek misunderstand human stuff is pretty common throughout every single iteration of the franchise.
This footage also gives us more of the this crazy Mad Max-style motorcycle chase, making fans of a certain age wonder why the movie wasn’t titled Star Trek: Beyond Thunderdome.
Spock is Rescuing Uhura, or Is It the Other Way Around?
In a brief clip from the UK, we see Spock telling Uhura that he’s there to “rescue” her. And yet, it looks like from the way this all goes down, the opposite is what’s happening!
We already know from previous footage that Spock and Uhura might be breaking-up in this film, so maybe in the course of all the death-defying danger they’ll get back together?
Bringing it All Home
The final new TV spot doesn’t have a whole bunch of new footage, but it does sort of unite the various tones of the other footage. Here we get a serious trailer that is also “fun” because Scotty gets to say “lassie,” in reference to Jaylah. Seriously, when is the last time Scotty said “lassie?” Here, everything seems to be about the entire crew figuring out how to find each other. Star Trek Beyond might not have the most thought-provoking science fiction plot, but it does seem like it’s going to dip deep on everyone’s collective love for the classic Trek characters.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s been reported that the Korean trailer for Star Trek Beyond features a shot of Sulu’s husband and daughter fleeing from destruction at Starbase Yorktown. Reportedly, the actor playing Sulu’s husband is the film’s co-writer Doug Jung. To be clear, this is totally unconfirmed! (And seems strangely contrary to previous reports that Sulu would have an adult daughter.)