Like the original series, the chief selling point of Star Trek Beyond is the impeccable synergy between all crew members.
Star Trek Beyond Synopsis
After applying for promotion to vice admiral, Captain James T. Kirk is dispatched on a rescue mission to an uncharted nebula from which an escape pod has drifted out of. On nearing an asteroid field in the nebula, the Enterprise is brutally attacked by a swarm of small ships, resulting in it crash landing on the planet Altamid. With most of his crew captured or separated from him, Kirk decides to raid the camp of Krall, the mutated former captain of the Federation responsible for the attack. After rescuing his crew, Kirk determines Krall’s real intention. In possession of an ancient bio-weapon, Krall intends to raid the nearby Yorktown Federation base, before launching an all-out attack on the Federation itself.
I admit with great shame that I watched Gene Roddenberry’s original series, decades ago, without remotely catching his greater message. In a way, the original stories did have a livelong effect on me, I tend to be “international” in many of my viewpoints. But to be honest, it wasn’t till the age of the Internet that I learnt that Star Trek was Roddenberry’s vision of a world without racial or colour differences. A world in which conflict is also resolved through (Vulcan-like) discussion and cooperation, and not war. All that was lost on me when I obsessed over Star Trek as a kid. I purely saw Kirk’s rowdy adventures as space-faring drama.
I was reminded of this while watching Star Trek Beyond. “Beyond” the exuberant space battles and star ship crashes, this latest movie in the Trek universe is obviously a revisiting of Roddenberry’s aspirations, the most evident example being that little detail about Sulu. Needless to say, I’m pleased by the nostalgia invoked, one that’s made fuzzier by the enthusiastic performance of the cast.
A complaint, though. And please don’t take this as nitpicking. Pleased as I was, I can’t help but feel the story is frequently too similar to the original Kirk episodes, as in everything works out perfectly way too quickly. (Scotty is really the most talented engineer in all the quads, ain’t he?) But given the theme is ultimately about cooperation and optimism and all that, I suppose such flimsiness really doesn’t matter too much. The story of the intrepid and boyish space captain with the perfect crew still invokes joy, and I believe it will continue to be so for many years to come.
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