As the latest and most modern incarnation of the Star Trek franchise, “Star Trek Beyond” starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Idris Elba, Simon Pegg and newcomer Sofia Boutella has upped the ante when it comes to using Gene Roddenberry’s original premise of new universes, galaxies and interplanetary species as a means to convey the message that we do better together versus divided.
Zachary Quinto, who reprises his role as Spock to the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock Prime, put it best in defining what Roddenberry had in mind when he first conceived of Star Trek as a television series in 1964.
” I think that the message is the same as it was when it began. It’s just that we have more room to explore and express it than they did at the time,” stated Quinto, adding: “It’s shocking to me how divisive our culture has become and I feel like “Star Trek” maintains a position of inclusivity and unity that is as resonant today as it was in the late sixites.”
In a timely take on that inclusion, the ways that both alien and human species accept and reject diversity is a central polarizing theme in “Trek Trek Beyond” with Rap Music taking as surprising role as a tangible element when it comes to preserving liberty between galaxies. New franchise character Jaylah, as played by Sofia Boutella is the character who discovers the Public Enemy Anthem “Fight The Power,” as an important plot point in the movie.
Another theme explored in “Star Trek: Beyond” is the politics of gender and sexuality as seen directly through the prism of integral crew members of the USS Enterprise via Hikaru Sulu, as played by John Cho and Lieutenant Nyota Uhura as played by Zoe Saldana . While the narrative decision to reveal Sulu as an openly gay man had a risk when it came to possible social media backlash, “Star Trek Beyond” writers Doug Jung and Simon Pegg as well as director Justin Lin and producer J.J. Abrams, saw the reveal as a very organic progression of the Star Trek universe.
“I think it was hugely important but I think one of the things in how we approached it was to not really make that big a deal of it,” stated screenwriter Jung, who also plays Sulu’s partner on the big screen in “Star Trek Beyond.” “If you really think about it on a couple of levels, in this future of the Roddenberry universe, it wouldn’t be something that would be a big deal. So to not address it as something that had a spotlight on it felt true to the nature of what “Star Trek” is, but also to me seems like the natural progression of hopefully where we are headed ourselves in real life, ” concluded Jung.
When it comes to the politics of gender, both Saldana’s Uhuru and Boutella’s Jayla, whom writer Simon Pegg has revealed was inspired as a character by actress Jennifer Lawerence’s character in “Winter’s Bone,” are exciting to watch as top notch physical threats paired with creative military intellect. In short, you get feeling that either of them could more than save the day or the universe despite the complex emotional stresses that they along with their male counterparts are struggling to overcome and survive.
But don’t just take out word for it. Take a look at AllHipHop’s video coverage of Beverly Hills Press Conference where the cast and crew of “Star Trek Beyond” discuss everything that it took to make “Star Trek Beyond” come alive:
“Star Trek Beyond” opens nationwide in theaters on July 22, 2016.