Star Trek Beyond film celebrates 50 years of Star Trek

Star Trek Beyond cast at UK premiere, July 12: (l-r): Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Sofia Boutella, John Cho, Idris Elba, director Justin Lin, Simon Pegg, Lydia Wilson, and Chris Pine.

Star Trek Beyond cast at UK premiere, July 12: (l-r): Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Sofia Boutella, John Cho, Idris Elba, director Justin Lin, Simon Pegg, Lydia Wilson, and Chris Pine.

Star Trek is a wildly popular and iconic American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. It all began some 50 years ago in 1966 with the television series Star Trek, now known as Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS). The franchise so far includes six TV series, totaling 716 episodes across 30 TV seasons, as well as 13 feature films. The Star Trek franchise also includes a large number of novels, comic books, video games, and other materials, generally considered non-canon.

Star Trek Beyond was directed by Justin Lin, best known for his work on the Fast and the Furious franchise, from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. In the film, the crew of the USS Enterprise, halfway into their five-year mission, are attacked by a seemingly unstoppable wave of unknown aliens, forcing them to abandon ship. Stranded on an unknown planet and with no apparent means of rescue, the crew find themselves in conflict with a new and ruthless enemy, portrayed by Idris Elba. Anything else would be a spoiler.

Chris Pine returns as Captain James T. Kirk, commanding officer of the starship Enterprise, as do Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, first officer and science officer; Zoe Saldana as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, communications officer; Karl Urban as Lieutenant Commander; Dr. Leonard McCoy, chief medical officer; Simon Pegg as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott, second officer and chief engineer; John Cho as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, third officer and helmsman; the late Anton Yelchin as Ensign Pavel Chekov, the main navigator of the Enterprise.

Idris Elba is new for this fim as Krall, a ruthless alien military commander, along with Sofia Boutella as Jaylah, Shohreh Aghdashloo as High Command of the Federation, Deep Roy as Keenser, Harpreet Sandhu as Bridge Crew, Ashley Edner as Natalia, Jason Matthew Smith as Hendorff, Bryce Soderberg as Satine, Joe Taslim as Manas, Lydia Wilson as Kalara, Danny Pudi, Kim Kold, and Shea Whigham.

Pegg was asked to make the new film “more inclusive,” 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.”

On Rotten Tomatoes, at press time, the film had a rating of 91%, based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10; it also had a 99% audience Want To See rating. On Metacritic, the film had a score of 71 out of 100, based on 16 critics’ reviews: 12 positive, 4 mixed, and none negative.

“Rihanna dropped the full track for ‘Sledgehammer,’ her contribution to the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack on Monday morning (June 27) and the wait was definitely worth it,” says Gil Kaufman on Billboard.com, referring to it as a “powerful ballad.”

The film had its Australian premiere in Sydney on July 7, and opens in the US on July 22 in 2D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D, also in Dolby Cinema format in selected theaters. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, see it now at your local Carmike Cinema.