Review – Star Trek Beyond

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. – IMDB

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond opens nearly three years into their five year mission to explore deep space. Except for the occasional bout of failed diplomacy, life on the Enterprise has becoming fairly routine. One might almost say boring. Fortunately for them they are getting some much needed ship leave and they head off to the newest Federation Space Station, named Yorktown.

The Space Station Yorktown
The Space Station Yorktown

Yorktown is enormous. In fact, someone on the bridge asks they didn’t just use a planet. Why use a planet when you can basically build one? That is the Federation way. The Enterprise easily fits within the docking tube of the massive structure. The architects seemed to have loved Inception and have decided that space and artificial gravity make for the perfect opportunity to bring that scene where the city is turned over on itself to life. Also, this massive space station seems to sit right at the edge of deep space. While convenient for the plot, did it fly there, or was there a massive construction effort going on right at the edge of deep space?

Anyways, Yorktown is the location for the inciting incident. I will now discuss things without context and out of sequence in order to avoid spoilers.

There are a few shout outs to previous Star Trek shows:

  • One of Kirk’s uniform shirts is torn, and he makes a comment that he tore another shirt. This is a reference to how often Kirk lost or ruined his shirt in TOS.

  • There is a brief mention of the Xindi conflict and of the special forces units known as MACOs, from Star Trek: Enterprice.

  • There is a image of Sulu’s daughter, who in Generations was shown to have grown up, joined Starfleet and serve as the helmsman of the Enterprise-B.

  • Old Spock has an image of the TOS crew posing for a picture, which is from at least Wraith of Khan. (sidenote: if Old Spock had any affection for Scotty he might warn him of the dangers of obesity)

There are probably more, but I didn’t catch them.

I want to talk for a moment about Star Trek: Enterprise, because it has been mentioned a few times across these new films. In Star Trek (2009) it is mentioned that Admiral Archer had a dog, this is presumably the same Archer who captained the NX-01 Enterprise (with his dog). During Star Trek Beyond a old derelict Federation ship is discovered with the designation NX-326. Scotty says it was the first Warp 4 ship. I don’t understand how the NX-01 can be the first Warp 5 ship, and then 300 units later, they’ve got a slower ship. I suppose if they hire the same people who are in charge of making video card models, it all makes sense…

The crew travel through a perilous nebula as a part of their mission. When they get to the other side it is clear space everywhere. I feel like they could have gone around this nebula, either above, below, or to either side. I read somewhere that space is three-dimensional, but you probably wouldn’t know that watching a Star Trek show (TV or film). I mean, there is a chance that traveling in an ellipse over the nebula would have greatly increased their travel time, but from the shots of the nebula, it didn’t seem like that.

This movie literally went beyond Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek: Into Darkness, in that it was able to introduce a main female character who remained fully clothed throughout the entire movie.

Jaylah doesn't have to show off the goods to be an excellent character in the film.
Jaylah doesn’t have to show off the goods to be an excellent character in the film.

Overall I enjoyed the movie, and maybe it is the best one yet of this new timeline. Continuity aside (no one expects continuity from Star Trek) it was a good story and had a lot of action. I wish the camera had been panned back a little from the fast scenes at times, but it still looked pretty good, and the scenes taking place in space were amazing.

Enterprise NCC-1701
Enterprise NCC-1701

5 thoughts on “Review – Star Trek Beyond

  1. Nice review! I agree that it is the best one in the reboot timeline thus far. About the Warp 4 discrepancy: I wondered about this too while watching the film, and I figured that perhaps the warp scale had been readjusted between the Enterprise and TOS eras, just as it had been between the TOS and TNG eras, and so Scotty’s “Warp 4” might be Archer’s “Warp 7”.

    Oh, and it’s actually MACOs — it stands for Military Assault Command Operations.

  2. I found this one a bit disappointing. Low points for me;

    • Fan-wank inclusion of the Beatie Boys as the method of dealing with the baddies.

    • The destruction of the Enterprise about four minutes into the film

    • End fight scene was a bit naff. Basically the guy is Peter Pan

    • Simon Pegg writing himself in as the film’s main character. Since when was Scottie the star of the show?

  3. “I wish the camera had been panned back a little from the fast scenes at times,”

    Does this mean turns green there was shaky cam work? Shaky cam always makes me a little woozy…

    But this sound like what the other movies were… fun adventures that you watch to switch the brain off for a hour or two and see things go boom! Oh and pretty spaceships!

    Good review! You warned me about the bad bits while still letting me know it is worth a watch!

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