She’s tough. She fights with a staff. And she’s good at fixing spaceships. If it weren’t for all the striped alien makeup on her, you might confuse her for Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Rey. But instead, her name is Jaylah, and she is one of the main new characters introduced in Star Trek Beyond, which opens next Thursday.
Watch: Meet Rey — er, Jaylah — in a new Star Trek Beyond featurette; plus the first “reviews” are in on Twitter
Today’s the day that Star Trek 13 starts shooting here in Vancouver.
One month after Paramount announced that they would release a new Star Trek movie in July 2016, the film has a screenwriter. Two screenwriters, in fact. And one of them is Simon Pegg, the actor who currently plays Scotty.
This is interesting, in light of some of the rumours that have been flying around ever since Roberto Orci ankled the project, and in light of how these films have been developed in the past.
First, let’s get what should be obvious out of the way: you don’t need a villain to make a good Star Trek story. Indeed, the top-grossing entry in the franchise ever, prior to J.J. Abrams’ reboot a few years ago, was Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), and there were no villains in that film unless you count the human race, which had hunted humpback whales to extinction.
Likewise with the original TV series, in which some of the best-loved episodes, such as ‘City on the Edge of Forever’, didn’t have any villains whatsoever, while others — such as ‘The Naked Time’, ‘The Enemy Within’ and ‘Amok Time’ — were primarily concerned with the conflicting passions within our heroes and not with any external antagonists that they might face. (You could even toss ‘Mirror, Mirror’ into that last list; the Mirror Universe counterparts to our heroes might be villains in some sense, but they also suggest something about our heroes’ darker sides, and the episode itself is primarily concerned with getting each set of characters back to the universe in which they belong, not unlike how Kirk’s better and darker halves are restored to their proper balanced relationship to one another in ‘The Enemy Within’.)
The trailers say this isn’t your father’s Star Trek, but they could just as easily have said this isn’t your grandfather’s Star Trek. The series really is that old: it has been 45 years since Gene Roddenberry produced the first of two pilot episodes for the original TV show, and as James Bond could tell you, that’s a long time to let a franchise run without taking things back to square one and giving yourself a fresh start. So now, here comes the reboot: directed by J.J. Abrams (producer of Lost and Cloverfield) from a script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the Transformers movies), the new Star Trek is a hotter, sexier, flashier, more youth-oriented version of the sci-fi series than we have ever seen before. But it doesn’t completely sever its ties with the original series — indeed, it puts those ties front-and-centre — and the result is a movie that may leave Trek fans feeling deeply ambivalent.