It's Star Trek But Not As We Know It!

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Tom Pheby's on the starboard bow...

If you are a committed and devoted Trekkie, like I am, you will have had some major concerns about the third installment of the Star Trek reboot. Especially after the initial trailer was released last December.

Firstly, Simon Pegg as co-writer? My initial thoughts on that one were unprintable. Having amassed a fine body of work in the comedy genre, I had and still have a number of deep rooted reservations as the last thing I want to see is an intergalactic version of Hot Fuzz.

It has been said that Paramount and writer/director Robert Orci had an artistic spat over the direction of the new Star Trek film, they wanted it a little less 'Star Treky' - which kinda defeats the object of the franchise! Apparently Paramount wanted it to be a little bit more Marvel in its approach, which is a dangerous rejig and something that may have fans searching for the transporter room in haste.

Pegg said recently that the strategy was 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."
Umm, it's based on revenue then?

Secondly, Justin Lin is the director. Lin is best known for the Fast and Furious films which are among my least favourite franchise based films of all time. This makes me wonder if we will see Sulu in driving gloves, hunched over the console with a set of fluffy dice suspended from the roof of the Enterprise bridge.

Last but not least, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys is included as part of the soundtrack. This is a decent enough shouty, screamy, urban anthem but it's possibly better suited to some petrol infused yarn rather than a galactic adventure.

So something of a misfire in the Paramount promotional department sent Trek fans around the world into panic. All of them waiting for the real trailer, and at the weekend it arrived. I viewed it with an air of trepidation...

Initial thoughts? It appears to be a dynamic, action packed ride which ticks most of the Trekkie boxes. I've been trying to establish what the story line may be all about and I have to admit that it's like working on a jigsaw puzzle without a pictorial point of reference, but we'll give it a go.

Somehow and for some reason the Enterprise disintegrates and the crew have to abandon ship, ending up hither and dither in the far reaches of space. Meaning this installment is less of an ensemble piece and more of a fragmented individual interplay featuring the main characters.

It looks like that old chestnut again, they seem to be forever blowing up the Enterprise or crash landing it. At least they usually save that for the final act but here it appears 'the dissolving' may occur early on. The thought of having a Star Trek movie without the Enterprise is as appealing as having a bread sandwich. It's always been there through thick and thin and offers some security to fans that the fictional universe maintains a degree of balance. The thought of being without it for a large part of the film feels slightly disturbing and uncomfortable, similar to the the notion of imagining myself sitting on a hedgehog in my pants.

Kirk, it appears, is plagued by the memory of his late father and his need to measure up to his achievements, as well as trying to establish who he is and what he stands for. Not what you want in a moment of crisis from a Starship Captain, especially when he is minus both his vessel and crew. This type of deconstruction could well be an attempt to get seriously script happy and fuse a deep meaningful story to the usual whizz, bang, cinematic summer blockbuster.

The make up department has obviously been kept busy with the various alien latex creations, especially for the characters of Jaylah and Krall, played by Sofia Boutella and Idris Elba respectively. You'll recognise Elba's voice in the trailer but you certainly wouldn't recognise the star, who seems to be playing some kind of reptillian character with a serious nasty streak. Elba's appearance bodes well, so that's something. Perhaps he can now afford to decline films like the dreadful Pacific Rim and turn his considerable talents to far worthier projects.

Quite where Star Trek Beyond goes from there and how it slots together is really a mystery, but perhaps that's the point? The studio is trying to redefine the series by taking it 'boldly' in another direction to increase its longevity. On July 22nd we will find out if their gamble has paid off.

Script Writer, Poet, Blogger and junk television specialist. Half English, half Irish and half Alsatian, Tom is well known for insisting on being called Demetri for reasons best known to himself. A former film abuser and telly addict who shamefully skulks around his home town of Canterbury after dark dressed as Julie Andrews. Follow Tom on Twitter

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