Let me first thank all of my loyal followers; I am pleased to have hit the 100 mark. This is my 162nd post in just about three years and I’ve still got a ways to go! I hope you all are enjoying these and much as I am enjoying re-watching them!
Star Trek Beyond
The film released the same year as the fiftieth anniversary of the original series. Idris Elba (Heimdall in the MCU) joined the cast as villain Krall. Sadly, Leonard Nimoy passed away the year previous, but Spock Prime is mentioned in the film, and this was the last appearance of Anton Yelchin as Chekov; he passed away in an accident about a month before the film released.
The film begins with a goodwill mission gone awry, but still funny (and Chris Pine has a devil of a time saying the alien race’s name). Alas, Captain Kirk is getting a bit jaded after 966 days in deep space; he’s starting to wonder what are they trying to accomplish. But maybe some leave on the Federation station Yorktown will bring a reprieve. Or as Bones classifies it, a snow globe in space waiting to break…ever the optimist. Bones and Kirk toast to Kirk’s birthday, a little early considering the circumstances, sharing some of Chekov’s Scotch (acquired without his knowledge possibly). Jim is now a year older than George ever became and he is seriously wondering what he believes in. In Yorktown you seriously have to wonder which was is “up” and we discover that Spock and Uhura have broken up. Sulu has a family and Chekov likes to flirt with alien females. Spock also receives word that Ambassador Spock has passed away (in deference to Leonard Nimoy’s passing).
We, the audience discover that Kirk has applied for a Vice Admiral position, but the discussion is put on hold while the Enterprise embarks on a rescue mission through a nebula. But the victim is a traitor. There is a swarm of enemy ships waiting above the planet on the other side of the nebula. They attack the Enterprise. Kirk orders the crew to abandon ship after fighting off the invaders, led by Krall. They are searching for the artifact he brought back from the last mission. First, Kirk tries to separate the Bridge dish from the ship to give it a fighting chance, but the enemy is ruthless and cuts everything to pieces. Then they take the escape pods. The battle ends with survivors crashing to the surface and the dish of the Enterprise sliding into a field. [Within the first half hour, they have utterly destroyed the Enterprise, again. Why must every Star Trek film destroy the ship?]
Scotty finds an alien woman, Jaylah, who is willing to help him. She wants to get off this planet as much as the Enterprise crew. Spock and McCoy escaped together and Spock was injured. The pair manages to get along, though they snip at each other all along the way, as they are wont to. McCoy even gets Spock to reveal the reason behind his break-up with Nyota; Spock feels it is his duty to help repopulate New Vulcan and he wishes to step away from Starfleet. [So both Spock and Kirk are planning on leaving, but haven’t told anyone…nice going.] Uhura and Sulu are with the remains of the crew, held prisoner by Krall. Chekov is with Kirk. They make their way to the saucer supposedly to find what Kirk stashed, but it reveals their guest’s treachery.
Uhrua and Sulu discover why Krall wanted the artifact; with the technology left by the inhabitants of the planet, he can suck the life-force from his prisoners and extend his own. With the artifact, he can do so on a grander scale. And plans to attack Yorktown. Scotty discovers that Jaylah has been living in the remains of the U.S.S. Franklin; a wreck over a hundred years old. They eventually meet up with Kirk and Chekov (and there’s a wordless battle over the captain’s seat) and begin to plan their escape. Scotty manages to find Spock and McCoy just as they are about to be attacked. McCoy patches the Vulcan up a bit better and Spock reveals that he gifted Uhura with a rare gem from Vulcan, which emits low level of radiation, meaning they can lock on to that signature to try to beam out their crew. Short version? He low-jacked his girlfriend…which Bones helpfully points out.
Kirk gets to ride a motorcycle as a distraction against the guards, using Jaylah’s holographic technology and Jaylah gets to kick some butt. Scotty beams the crew out of danger. Then just comes the task of getting a spaceship that was never meant to take off from land and hasn’t run in a hundred years to fly back into space. To start, just tip yourselves off a cliff and hope to reach terminal velocity before hitting the bottom. The crew pulls it off and race after Krall, who has already left for Yorktown. And worse news, Krall used to be Captain Balthazar Edison of the Franklin. He feels that the Federation forgot about him and thus swears vengeance upon the Federation.
Once the Franklin passes through the nebula, they have to disorient the swarm ships. They beam Spock and McCoy onto one enemy ship, cutting off Bones’ famous line “Damn it, I’m a doctor, not a -” And in order to drown out the swarm’s communication, they blast rock music, which is classified in the twenty-third century as “classical.” It is rather awesome to see the enemy ships just explode in a wave of sound and the Yorktown shields repel them in a similar fashion. But a few of the enemy make it into Yorktown. McCoy and Spock do what they can, but the Franklin has to burst out of the water to take them out. But Krall now looks like Edison and blends in with the crowd. He’s going to take the device to the central air circulator, hook it in, and watch everyone disintegrate in Yorktown. It comes down to Kirk chasing after him and a midair fight between the two. Kirk does attempt to talk sense into Edison, but the man is too far gone. So Kirk attempts to vent the device into space and almost follows himself; better to die saving lives than live taking them, he declares to Edison. That is the world Kirk was born into. Edison is not so lucky. Spock and Bones catch Kirk before he can go splat on the “ground” in Yorktown. “What would I do without you, Spock?”
The recent events have proved to Kirk that he is not ready to settle down as a Vice Admiral. His place is in the stars, with his crew. We shed a few tears as Spock goes through Spock Prime’s final effects, and finds a picture of the original crew (from the fifth movie. Only four of the original main cast of the Original Series are still alive. James Doohan, the original Scotty, passed away in 2005. DeForest Kelley, the original Bones, passed away in 1999. That leaves William Shatner, the original Kirk, Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura, Walter Koenig, the original Chekov, and George Takei, the original Sulu).
A fairly happy ending; Bones has arranged a celebration with the rest of the crew for Kirk’s birthday. It appears as if Spock and Uhura are back together and the command crew all stand alongside each other, watching the new Enterprise being built for their continuing mission. Both Spock and Kirk have decided to stay aboard. All of the main cast share reading the ending titles. In the middle of the crawl, the movie is dedicated in loving memory of Leonard Nimoy and for Anton.
I appreciated the small moments they inputted in memory of Leonard Nimoy because he was a huge pop culture icon (and frankly, without him, there may not be any Star Trek.) But this movie seemed to drag compare to the previous two. Krall seems a stereotypical villain and while I’m okay with Kirk saving the day, can we give the poor guy a break? And stop breaking his ship! That part annoyed me the most. I am ultimately glad that the crew is staying together because it would just be sad if they broke up. To me, the best parts are when the command crew is all doing their job, surviving together through a crisis. And the theme is still amazing!
On the plus side, I have discovered some amazing fanfiction stories (and I want to investigate some more). I highly recommend checking out
What Sulu Sees by IsmayDeVain
beamirang’s stories, particularly Genesis if you can find them
And I just discovered kcscribbler’s works on AO3; they are wonderful and leave me laughing for a full minute at times.
Next Time: A slight change in plans; I’m going to go ahead and start Star Wars, pending my schedule. And yes, it may be a bit controversial, but to me it is the most logical, and I will progress in episode order, inputting Solo and Rogue One between Episode III and Episode IV.