New ‘Star Trek’ shines beyond basic sci-fi elements

Published by adviser, Author: Cassandra Thompson - Rocket Contributor, Date: August 2, 2016

“Hailing this movie on all frequencies!” Whether you’re looking for nostalgia or a fresh take on an old classic, Star Trek Beyond is the can’t-miss movie of the summer. It truly is a perfect balance of new and old.

Although series reboots are always tricky, from the start the new Star Trek movies have done nothing but wow loyal fans as well as critics. The first film of the new trilogy started off with pretty perfect casting, and somehow our beloved characters aboard the Starship Enterprise have grown and developed in a way that both reminds us of the original actors and gives the characters new and greater depth that was previously unexplored.

I can honestly say that this movie has something for everyone. Though it has been branded as a sci-Fi/action movie, I would label it more for the wit and humor brought out in script by our very own Scotty (actor and co-writer Simon Pegg).

Even romantic elements are not left untouched, and – though they are subtle – the conflicting feelings Spock has for Uhura end up cleverly saving the crew in the end (spoiler alert).

Although seeing the previous two movies or being a fan of the original series definitely enhances your movie-going experience, the film also does an incredible job of standing on its own. Much like a single episode of the TV series, Beyond continues the subplots of the previous films while focusing on the new conflict brought about by nebula baddie Krall (a nearly unrecognizable and pretty terrifying Idris Elba).

The crew of the Enterprise is learning about its new rival at the same time the audience is, which not only allows newcomers to enjoy the film but also creates sympathy between the audience and the characters; their shock and confusion is ours as well.

The only part of the film I felt myself disappointed by was Sulu, one of my favorite characters dating back to the original TV series. In the weeks leading up to the film’s release, it was getting tons of press when it was revealed that Sulu would have a husband in the film and not a wife. Although even the original (and openly gay) actor George Takei felt like it was breaking canon, most fans were thrilled at the inclusion of an LGBT character, even though he had not been written that way several decades ago.

Unfortunately the husbands barely had a warm embrace let alone anything suggesting the two were romantically involved, and current Sulu actor John Cho revealed later that a kiss between the two had not made the final cut of the film.

I do applaud Paramount and the writers for envisioning a future (this is 2263, after all) where the appearance of a lead character’s husband is so commonplace that it doesn’t even need mentioned, but sadly the audience is still living in 2016 and this addition could have been a huge win for the LGBT community that was squandered.

Despite one minor disappointment I felt from the film, overall it was a visually stunning and vastly entertaining film. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that you’ll be in the minority if you head back to school without seeing this killer reboot, so beam yourself to the movie theater while you still can!


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