Star Trek Beyond marks 50th year of franchise

by - 16:09

Star Trek fan Richard Chua is currently attending the San Diego Comic-Con in California and he’s been invited to catch the premiere of Star Trek Beyond on July 20 (July 21 in Malaysia)! Chua will be sending updates to throughout the event – the film’s stars and director are rumoured to walk the red carpet – so stay tuned for some exclusive news and pictures.

Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the reboot franchise of a TV series created by Gene Roddenberry that started 50 years ago.

To mark the golden anniversary, this J.J. Abrams’ produced-film attempts to answer some of the big questions that were established at the beginning of the mythology.

Actor Chris Pine explained in an interview transcript provided by UIP Malaysia why Beyond’s theme is concurrent with the celebration: “This is about a Federation made up of disparate peoples, and this asks the questions, ‘Does it work? Is it meaningful? Where are we going from here? Are the same things that motivated us then still working for us now?’

”So, they’re larger questions, which are grander in scale and very existential in form, and they make sense for the 50th.”

Directed by Justin Lin, Beyond sees the starship U.S.S. Enterprise’s captain and crew three years into their five-year journey of exploring the uncharted territories of the vast space, that final frontier if you may.

Besides leading his men into these planets, Captain James T. Kirk (Pine) is also trying to figure his own headspace. When he first got the job as the starship’s captain, he was trying to prove himself – living up to the legacy of his father, an esteemed captain in the Starfleet.

“Now, with all that static gone, he’s quietly sitting down for the first time just thinking, ‘Oh my God, what is this all for? It all seemed to make so much sense when I had all these demons to battle. I don’t have so many demons anymore, and I don’t really need to live up to my father anymore.’ So, who is James Kirk without that? That’s big human stuff.”

All that thinking is somewhat halted (or perhaps realised) when Kirk comes face-to-face with a new ruthless enemy named Krall (Idris Elba) who is intent on the destruction of the Enterprise and the whole Federation if possible.

Chris Pine. Photo: UIP Malaysia

Chris Pine.Photo: UIP Malaysia

Does the fact it’s Star Trek’s 50th anniversary add an extra layer of pressure for you?

No, not for me. My job is to fulfil the duty of the scriptwriters’ and the director’s vision, and I leave it there. Because once you start getting into that then you’re really screwing yourself. It’s the limitless blank space, and you just can’t fill it up; there’s no way to win.

Simon Pegg both co-wrote the film and stars alongside you. Simon said he asked everyone if there was anything they wanted written in. Did you take that opportunity?

No, because usually that never works out. Every writer will do whatever the hell they want to do (laughs).

I’ve always wanted to do dark Kirk, evil Kirk, like in the first individual series, but that is yet to happen.

Humour, always, was my big thing. I talked to J.J. about that, and Simon obviously knows where I come from. I just want to have the most fun that we can.

That humour was always there in Star Trek wasn’t it?

It’s all over the place. I think (William) Shatner especially is one of the most underrated comic actors out there.

I think some people just take it for who Shatner is, and perhaps it became part of the character after a while, but he’s doing a lot of funny stuff in there, and his interplay with straight man Spock is some of the best.

How do you get yourself into that claustrophobic mindset of a five-year non-stop journey?

Well, we talked about the idea that on a submarine tour they go for six months under water basically.

There’s a sketch called Star Trek After Hours, which is precisely some of the stuff we tackle in the film, which is like, on their days off when they’re not fighting evil, they’ve got to wash the floors and iron their shirts, and there’s a cafeteria, and they’re drinking coffee and going over the day’s plans, and it’s pretty boring.

And they get into interpersonal spats. It’s hard to be around the same people for that long! Anyway, I thought that was super funny.

Did you have many action scenes?

Action wise, the most fun for me was riding the motorcycle. I got a lot of time on the bike in this one, and got to learn from two guys that are like motocross champions. Any time you get to work with anyone who’s the best in their field, that’s a lot of fun, and really scary.

I’ve ridden a lot, but I only really ride in movies. I’ve now clocked a lot of hours on motorcycles, so I know I may way around them a little bit.

What does it mean to play one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history?

It’s not normal, I know (laughs). I guess I don’t think about it too much, because if I were to think about it, then there would be the pressure of living up to something. It is quite something.

It is so diametrically opposed to what I ever thought I would end up doing, and it may be the most definitive part of my career. It’s so far from what I thought that it’s a laugh, man.

I grew up watching the Harrison Fords of the world, and to be the rogue, to play that – it’s a dream, it’s a blast. It’s an absolute blast, and on top of it – and I really mean this, this is not hyperbole – to do it with such a great crew, to be able to get paid to have that much fun.

You’re always looking over your shoulder and wondering like, “This has got to be a trick of some kind.” But it’s great fun.


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