Star Trek Beyond is truly fitting for Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary and is a moving tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek: TOS (The Original Series) while carving new ground in the fantastic genre that is all its own.
Yes, you can say Star Trek invented its own genre: the Trek genre.
And as the movie begins 966 days into the five-year voyage of the space pioneering craft, the USS Enterprise, we are reminded of when her maiden voyage really took place in September of 1966, or 9/66.
This Star Trek Beyond film talk includes spoilers.
First let us dismiss the heinous odd numbered movie curse that was considered by many to have been placed on the Star Trek odd numbered films.
Thank producer and director J.J. Abrams for dispelling this with his reboot into an alternate universe in such a perfect way with the 11th film in the franchise, Star Trek, that no fan of The Original Series could be unhappy with the amazing new twist that still breathes new life into our favorite Gene Roddenbury characters of legend.
Star Trek: TOS is alive in spirit, in shape and form and even in story.
For the 13th film in the franchise, which aired 50 years after its debut, Star Trek Beyond is an amazing movie and piece of the Trek history.
There was little to expect from director Justin Lin and co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung who began work on a script just six months before shooting.
But the long history of Star Trek: TOS was utilized to delve out interesting new backstories and throwbacks to the original cast and crew of the USS Enterprise, while the story itself was fresh, engaging and forging new territory.
Tune back to see more about the new film in a future write-up on Rune Works News & Reviews here.
This was a bloodier, grittier Trek story, and it centered around two things that characters Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock grappled with in their own previous TOS episodes and films . . . leaving Star Fleet.
At the heart of Star Trek Beyond is Spock learning that Ambassador Spock, his older self from another timeline and played by the original Spock, himself, Leonard Nimoy, has died.
Recruiting Vulcans to rebuild their society was Nimoy’s pivotal role that had freed his younger version of Spock to spend his time with Kirk his best friend, and the crew, his lifelong friends, to live that remarkable life, in which Kirk needed him every bit as much as Spock needed Kirk.
This is no longer feasible once Ambassador Spock has died.
The passing away of Leonard Nimoy was a loss that could never be fulfilled as his art from Star Trek and countless other productions are fiercely loved today, as they were decades ago.
And Pegg and Jung centered their script on the premise that if Nimoy is gone, so too is Spock’s chance at the Enterprise life, and he must fulfill his duty to his species.
He will leave Star Fleet after its last mission.
And at the same time, Kirk feels lost aboard a ship in the void of space and grows tired of his heavy labors and responsibility. He too will leave the ship for a desk job at Star Fleet.
It is heart wrenching.
Spock nearly dies in the film, but is saved by having his heart where his liver would be if he was human (a great nod to Star Trek: TOS), and he has an unlikely emotional moment when he peers at his predecessor’s effects.
Ambassador Spock has kept among his possessions a picture of the original cast and crew from Star Trek: TOS aboard the bridge of the Enterprise after they had grown old together, smiling, in one of the last films of Star Trek: TOS.
How we all miss Leonard Nimoy.
This truly tear-jerking moment is not lost on the young Spock who remembers his mentor advising him to live that life with Kirk and his friends.
The events of the TV show and the Star Trek: TOS films all happened, just in another timeline where Leonard Nimoy’s Spock will always remain one of the most intriguing characters in science fiction and in the Trek genre at large.
We lost a great artist and man in Leonard Nimoy, and Star Trek Beyond pays tribute to all of the greats, from Uhura, to Scottie, to Sulu, to Chekov, and of course to William Shatner’s unflappable Kirk and his courageous but disgruntled Dr. McCoy, Bones, who constantly nudged Spock as being a green-blooded Vulcan.
Spock studies the picture and decides against leaving Kirk and Star Fleet.
And somewhere, in another timeline perhaps, Leonard Nimoy is smiling and possibly wiping away an un-Vulcan-like tear.
"Star Trek Beyond Is A Moving Tribute to Nimoy & TOS" was written by R.J. Huneke.
P.S. For as long as I can remember the voice of Leonard Nimoy spoke to me: whether it was documentaries into unknown mysteries of earth or the universe, or Star Trek: TOS the TV show and the movies, and then later on as a fantastically brilliant, dangerous, and vastly intelligent villain on another J.J. Abrams work of genius, Fringe.
Mr. Nimoy was there throughout my whole life.
Seeing him in Abrams reboot Star Trek, and how cool the premise of having two Spocks and the original Spock living in a new timeline with the younger version of himself was a thrill I never expected and was so spoiled to relish.
I knew he would be back again and again.
Sadly, Star trek Into Darkness would be Nimoy's last Trek film, and tears are welling in my eyes right now to think of that bitter truth.
Mortality comes for us all in the end, at least in this form, in this timeline.
And I miss the work of an artist who was one of a kind and a friend that I never really had, but enjoyed the company of all the same for my entire life.
We miss you, Leonard, and we are so grateful for you and your work.
Even the newest Star Trek voyage could not have taken place without your influence.
Thank you, wherever you are.
Live Long and Prosper,
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