20 Things We Learned from the “Star Trek Beyond” Press Event
On July 13, 2016, the exuberant Trekkie and my good friend, Scott Mantz, moderated the two part Star Trek Beyond Press Conference. Having someone moderate the conference who is so passionate about the franchise was a treat in itself. Mantz is incredibly knowledgeable about the source material and was beyond (see what I did there) happy to be part of the action which in my eyes made the experience that much better.
The first half of the press conference featured most of the main cast. Mantz was joined by Karl Urban, John Chu, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, and Simon Pegg. The second half of the press conference featured many of the behind the scenes crew. The second conference included director James Lin, producer J.J. Abrams, executive producer Lindsey Weber, co-writer Doug Jung, and of course, co-writer/star Simon Pegg. Between the two press conferences, the event lasted about 90 minutes and while there were a lot of great moments for sure. I decided to cherry pick the 20 best takeaways from the Star Trek Beyond press conference.
20. According to Simon Pegg, it was very important to honor the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. He stated that “we (the cast and crew of the film) wanted to try to create a hybrid of original series with a cinematic event.”
19. *In the film, it has been 966 days that the Enterprise has been out which is a nod to the Liftoff of the Starship Enterprise on September 8th, 1966.”
18. There is a huge battle scene featuring the song Sabotage from the Beastie Boys and it is a link back to Kirk’s past.
17. Leonard Nimoy died during the writing process. If Leonard were well enough to be part of the film, he would have been a part of it. It became important for everyone to do a tribute to his memory and is worked into the narrative of the film. It became and is an integral part of the story.
16. Simon Pegg was opposed to blowing up the Enterprise at first.
15. When discussing the evolution of the character, Sulu, John Cho says, “The idea came up that Simon pitched it and then I was told of it through Justin pretty early on. I thought I was a beautiful idea and was just concerned with how it would be received. It was the handling of it that was most important to me. Its nonchalant posture towards it is the best thing about it. The fact that it is normalized, but if you rewatch it in 10 years, you won’t think anything of it. That’s the best thing about it. There’s no music queue, no up close.”
14. Zoe Saldana in regards to Sulu: The one thing that has taken a secondary position, its not that we revealed that he’s gay, but we also revealed that he is a father. I also feel quite puzzled that were having a bit of a fit over who he fathered a baby with.
13. Anton Yelchin was planning on directing his first film this summer.
12. Simon responds to a question about Tim from Spaced: There’s a line in Spaced where Tim said, “as sure as eggs is eggs, as sure as day follows night, as sure as every odd numbered star trek film is shit.” Simon points out that he wrote that in 1998 and in 2016 and he wrote an odd numbered Star Trek movie and is honored to say Tim from Spaced is wrong.
11. The costumes in Star Trek Beyond: It’s looking ahead into what Star Trek can become with very specific nods to the past.
10. In the past three films, there has been a lot of discussion about colors of yellow for Kirk’s shirt and the cut of the shirt. And this one is a very specific nod to the original series. It’s not the bright fantastic yellow; it’s lovely yellow Kirk-ian mustard green.
9. The women in Star Trek Beyond all have ranks on the uniforms.
8. The social commentary on this iteration of Star Trek is that we are better together. It’s about collectivism and about this era of Brexit and talk of building walls in certain places. Now, more than ever, we should be thinking about the value of collectivism and cooperation. The villain in Star Trek, we could’ve called Brexit.
7. Simon believes that “there aren’t enough women in Star Trek”
6. Doug Jung had never co-written anything before Star Trek Beyond.
5. There are 50 aliens for the 50 years of Star Trek in Star Trek Beyond.
4. Chris Pine has a black eye in the film that was actually a real black eye.
3. Justin Lin mentioned that his kids are big Star Wars fans and is trying to convert his kids to like Star Trek over the next week. My son Oqwe, on fast movies, he’s always the kid looking at cars. He wanted to be an alien and he was so adamant. We shot it and later on he finally said he wanted to be Yoda.
2. Justin Lin said, “My family moved to the states when I was 8 and they had a little fish and chips shop. From 8 to 18, our family time was watching Star Trek. Moving to a new country I felt like it was just the 5 of us. But watching Star Trek kind of instilled in me that family is not just blood, it’s through shared experiences. That’s what Star Trek gave me. My engagement was through reruns. That sense of discovery and exploration that was a big part of growing up.”
1. Star Trek Beyond features a lot of pairing of characters. The Spock and Bones pairing was a homage to some of the greatest moments from the original series and Pegg wanted to make sure they were included in this film.