I’ve just had the pleasure of watching the latest film in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Beyond.
Three years into its five year mission, the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown, a massive space station, for resupply and shore leave for her crew. Struggling to find continued meaning in the endless nature of their mission of exploration, Captain James Kirk has applied for a promotion to Vice Admiral and commanding officer of Yorktown. He recommends Spock as the new captain of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu reunites with his family, Montgomery Scott works to keep the ship operational, and Spock and Nyota Uhura amicably end their relationship; Spock also receives word from New Vulcan that Ambassador Spock (Spock’s future self from another timeline) has died.
The Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission after an escape pod drifts out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The survivor, Kalara, claims her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet within the nebula. The rescue turns into an ambush when the Enterprise is quickly torn apart by a massive swarm of small ships. Krall and his crew board the ship, and unsuccessfully search for a relic called an Abronath that Kirk had obtained for a failed diplomatic mission. Krall captures and removes many crew members from the ship. Kirk then orders for the crew to abandon ship as the Enterprise’s saucer section hurtles towards the planet.
On the planet’s surface, Sulu, Uhura, and other survivors are captured by Krall. Kirk and navigator Pavel Chekov, accompanied by Kalara, locate the wrecked saucer section. Kalara is discovered to be Krall’s ally when she tries to retrieve the Abronath. To escape Krall’s soldiers, Kirk activates the still functional boosters, causing the saucer to lurch forward, crushing Kalara. Meanwhile, a wounded Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy search for other survivors. Spock confides to McCoy that he intends to leave Starfleet to continue the late Ambassador Spock’s work on New Vulcan.
Meanwhile, Scott is rescued by Jaylah, a scavenger who previously escaped Krall’s encampment. She takes Scott to her makeshift home, the grounded USS Franklin, an early Starfleet vessel reported missing over a century earlier. Scott is reunited with Kirk, Chekov, McCoy, and Spock. Using the ship as a base, they plot to raid Krall’s camp and transport the crew to the Franklin, then escape the planet in the repaired ship. Meanwhile, Krall coerces Ensign Syl to hand over the Abronath that she had kept hidden for Kirk.
The Abronath is the missing half of an ancient bioweapon, created by the planet’s original inhabitants which can disintegrate a humanoid. With the device complete, Krall intends to attack Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and, using its advanced technology, go on to attack the Federation. Kirk and the others free the crew as Krall launches into space with the bioweapon, leading his drone fleet to Yorktown.
The Starfleet crew pursues Krall in the Franklin. Scott transports Spock and McCoy into one of Krall’s drone ships. After dispatching the pilot, they learn that VHF transmissions can disrupt Krall’s communications and destroy his fleet. Krall and his three surviving officers crash in Yorktown. As Krall flees into the city, Uhura and Kirk discover from the Franklin’s logs that ‘Krall’ is actually Balthazar Edison, the former captain of the Franklin.
A pre Federation human soldier, Edison became disillusioned with the newly founded Federation, rejecting its principles of unity and cooperation with former enemies. When he and his crew were stranded on Altamid by a rogue wormhole, he believed the Federation had deliberately abandoned them. The three survivors prolonged their lives with the technology of the planet’s extinct natives (at the cost of their crewmates and their human physiology), and repurposed that species’ dormant drone workers into the swarm.
Krall now plans to destroy the Federation to resume galactic conflict. Kirk pursues Krall into Yorktown’s ventilation system, where Krall activates the bioweapon. Before it can be unleashed, Kirk ejects the weapon and Krall into space. Spock and McCoy save Kirk moments before he is also sucked into open space.
Kirk opts to remain as captain, and Spock chooses to stay in Starfleet and resumes his relationship with Uhura. Jaylah is accepted into Starfleet Academy based on Kirk’s recommendation. As the crew celebrates Kirk’s birthday, they view the construction of their new ship, USS Enterprise-A.
It was a very enjoyable film, that made use of a terrific soundtrack and some clever directing by Justin Lin. The acting from all involved was excellent, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella all giving great performances. This film was always going to be difficult for me to watch, having being a friend to Anton Yelchin – but I am pleased that his performance shone in the film, as his character was given a more significant role than in previous installments. There were a number of great moments to commemorate the late Leonard Nimoy, and also moments that will be looked back on in the future to commemorate Anton. It was a very good film, and a superb addition to the Star Trek franchise. It’s certainly a film that I’d recommend.
Thanks for reading.
In loving memory of Anton Yelchin x