Thanks to CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals), I got to attend a small screening of Star Trek Beyond at Paramount studios.
I won’t get into the story itself, but I must say to all my Trekkies: my solid ice cold anti-Trek reboot heart is starting to melt. I understand how this film had a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, making it a ripe tomato.
I suppose one of the not great things was that my brain couldn’t keep up with the loopdy-loops and I got a little bit dizzy… I’m sure millennials, roller coaster fans, and fighter pilots will have no problem with this.
On the whole, my actor/storyteller side was very satisfied with this film. It laid out everyone’s goals, hopes, and aspirations set out in the film with as little dialogue as possible and let the actors do their work. Yes, I saw elements of Ender’s Game alongside a nice nod to Picard, but I’m sure I missed a bunch of other ones that I’ll read in other blogs and reviews.
What was especially satisfying with Pegg and Jung’s writing was the payoff of going along for the ride. The beginning and end were tied together into a satisfying bow, from the jokes to the life decisions to the renewed conviction.
As far as the gay Sulu topic, as I predicted, it was a passing thought of sorts. It’s not like Sulu got married or was on a first date. It just ‘was’ which, I guess, is fine because we’re are now in an alternate universe that is apart from Gene (Roddenberry)’s universe.
So finally, what melted my heart?
When JJ Abrams rebooted the series by negating what had come before, it broke my heart. <i>Into Darkness</i> didn't have the same spirit that Gene had instilled in the series. JJ really wanted to make it 'his' and he did, but he lost Trekkies like me in the process.
Justin Lin did a wonderful job doing right by Trekkies by recognizing what had come before through Spock. Lin recognized what had come before in the form of an alternate universe. There's a final scene in the film when Spock (Quinto) is silently looking at Ambassador Spock's (Nimoy) belongings that have been bestowed upon him. There's a photo of the Enterprise crew comprised of Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Walter Koenig, William Shatner, DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, and Nichelle Nichols. It let me know that this crew existed in an alternate timeline and hopefully the soul of Gene Roddenberry's <i>Star Trek </i>will continue on in the next film.
Before I walked over to the screening room, I went by the Roddenberry building and took a photo. Happy 50th Anniversary, Star Trek!