‘Star Trek: Beyond’: Why Trekkies Could Hate This Movie

Star Trek: Beyond trailer 1

It’s never been a better time for fandoms. Everything from comic books to Star Wars are finding their way into reboots and sequels, with each month featuring some sort of blockbuster release. It’s easy to forget that in the shuffle of all this, Star Trek numbers itself among these reboots, kicked off back in 2009 with J.J. Abrams’s feature-length film. Now going on the third movie in the new franchise, it almost seems like the full head of steam Star Trek previously had ground to a surprising halt, marked by the release of the first trailer.

Star Trek: Beyond releases in July 2016, and yet the online debut of its first teaser was met more with rolled eyes and scorn than the typical excitement we usually see. With Justin Lin of The Fast and the Furious fame at the helm, already we’re seeing backlash against his decidedly more action-oriented style of filmmaking. Despite getting just 90 seconds of footage in the teaser, we see motorcycle jumps, explosions, and a decided lack of story or depth that’s previously come to define the Star Trek franchise. The most biting commentary didn’t come from just anyone though; original Next Generation cast member Wil Wheaton weighed in on Twitter, with some apt thoughts.

Based on what we’ve seen, Wheaton isn’t entirely wrong. One blog even took it a step further, calling the trailer “beyond terrible,” in a lengthy screed against the new-look Star Trek universe. Even so, to Lin’s credit, he provided a similarly lengthy explanation in an interview with Slash Film, where he correctly points out that “with trailers, you’re putting a two-hour movie into a minute and a half.” We obviously don’t have the full picture, and with only a handful of facts in hand, we’re left to draw potentially spurious conclusions.

[Update, 6/27/16: Added two more trailers (see below)] Paramount has since released two other full-length trailers that may assuage some fans’ worries. However, there are still fears that director Justin Lin’s upcoming movie is further pushing the traditionally “hard” sci-fi franchise further into action movie territory.

Star Trek: Beyond trailer 2

Star Trek: Beyond trailer 3

Star Trek Beyond Spock

Spock | Source: Paramount

Of all the fandoms in pop culture, Star Trek‘s number’s itself among some the most vocal. Its roots put it decidedly more in “thinking man’s sci-fi” territory, and because of this, its diehard fans can be difficult to please at times. For J.J. Abrams’s reboot films, we’ve heard everything from “they divert too much from the canon” to “they’re just repeating everything from the canon,” so the spectrum is wide in terms of the perceived issues of the franchise. It’s safe to say that the time travel aspects of the first Abrams film establish a new, alternate universe for the crew of the Enterprise, the result being a bit of a diversion from the Trek vibe we’re used to.

Our first look at Star Trek: Beyond though is something else entirely. While Justin Lin works overtime to dispel the notion of him being the metaphorical bull in a china shop, the limited information we have access to is enough to give us pause. We have an action director with Lin, an action writer in Roberto Orci (Transformers), and a trailer that does little to convince us this will be anything less than a straightforward action movie. And while Simon Pegg’s presence on the writing team covers us in the fan service category, the deck seems stacked in favor of an action audience.

All this being so, we could get to July and find ourselves completely off base. Any director taking on Star Trek is aware of the testiness of the fandom he or she is catering directly to. Even J.J. Abrams drew a fair amount of ire for his first two tries at the helm, and he’s proven himself to be nothing if not a fan himself in the director’s chair. With Lin though, we’re treading into some uncharted territory. Whether it’ll prove to be the right move remains to be seen, but initial reactions are far from positive.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:

Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox.