A TiT’s Musings About Star Trek Beyond

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* WARNING – SPOILER ALERT! *

I have been a very excited little TiT these past few weeks. The release of Star Trek Beyond marks the first “new Trek” that I have experienced since becoming a Trekkie in Training and fully-fledged TrekkieGirl. It was great to see my excitement and enthusiasm mirrored in two such hardcore Trekkies like Sam and Carole.

Having sadly been unable to attend the EPIC world premiere in San Diego because of the quite serious potential to loose both jobs and husbands following our whirlwind trip to LA, we had to settle for the next best thing – the very first screening of Star Trek Beyond at our local cinema, the Vue at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth. There was no discussion to be had, we would attend the triple bill screening including both Star Trek and Into Darkness, before the hotly anticipated Beyond.

As somebody said to me just recently, any new Trek is good Trek. I personally like both of the first films, and so I knew that I was going to love this one. I just wasn’t really prepared for how much it would totally and utterly blow me away – I LOVED it!!

Let’s just get this bit out the way first – gay Sulu. WHAT was the big deal? I think they could have actually left in the deleted “kiss” and it would still have been completely un-shocking. In the context – of a military or service person greeting their loved one after a period away – what could be more natural? Regardless of gender or sexuality. As John Cho said when speaking to news.com.au:

“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations.”

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand where George Takei is coming from, but I hope that now he’s seen Beyond, he can take the whole thing as it was intended. I’m sure that Sam and Carole will fill me in on his response when asked THAT question during his panel at STLV!

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Following on quite nicely from that, I really liked the way they handled the tribute to Leonard Nimoy – so thoughtfully done. It was beautiful to watch Spock grieving for his future self, just as I’m sure Zachary Quinto grieved for his predecessor in real life (it’s no secret that he was close to Leonard and sees the Nimoy’s as “his family”). You could see real emotion in all the cast member faces, not just Quinto, but he did admittedly do an amazing job. Nimoy would have been proud. It was also lovely to see the photographic ode to the TOS cast – TrekkieGirl Sam was literally in floods of tears at this point!

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In a way, I’m envious of Sam and Carole. As lifelong fans, they can take so much more away from the movies than I can? All the subtle references to Enterprise that I just didn’t get, or the “Easter Eggs” that go straight over my head. I hope that this wave of new Star Trek continues so that one day I might enjoy it in the same way they do.

The character development in Beyond was really top-notch! A fact I think you can attribute to the film being co-written by the awesome (and out and proud Trekkie) Simon Pegg. Right from the very beginning where Kirk is explaining what it’s like having been in space for 966 days (loved the bit where he spilt his coffee – I just HAVE to get me one of those mugs!!). The ‘birthday drink’ between Kirk and Bones was a real nod to TOS and the relationship that the two characters had when played by Shatner and Kelly – namely, the “glasses / Romulan Ale” scene in Wrath of Khan – yes, that was one Easter Egg I did pick up on!!!

As TrekkieGirls we had expressed our excited anticipation at the unfamiliar on-screen pairings: Kirk-Chekov, Spock-Bones, Uhuru-Sulu, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The increase in screen time given to Bones was well deserved – I’m so glad Karl Urban agreed to sign up for Beyond (I believe it was in doubt at one point?). That guy is frickin’ hilarious?! He had, without doubt, the best lines!? The sparring between Bones and an injured Spock, stranded on Altamid, again, was a real throwback to the Kelly / Nimoy era and fantastically done! I think these scenes were some of my favourite of the whole movie!

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Something that did irk me a just little bit – every time the (a) ship was going terrifyingly fast, the camera would cut to Uhura screaming whilst all the men sat there stoically as if it were just another day at the office? I love Uhura because of her ballsyness, her feistiness, and don’t get me wrong, she demonstrates plenty of that in the film, but I just think these scenes were a little bit insulting? There was something “helpless female” about it? A bit too “Troi” for my liking? It just really stood out to me. Surely there is another way of demonstrating the impending peril of the ship? Maybe it’s just me…

Conversely, fickle like I am, I loved seeing the vulnerability in Spock – faced with his own mortality with the passing of Ambassador Spock, torn between head and heart, and seeing how both he and Kirk feared letting the other down.

Side note: (I guess this happens when you watch all three films in a row) how well-matched is young Spock in the first movie, to Zachary Quinto?! In the “emotional” scenes in Beyond, he is the spitting image of him! Fantastic casting!

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Speaking of which, I absolutely LOVED Jaylah!!! And the friendship that she formed with Scotty. It was great that he seemed more impressed by her engineering capabilities than by the fact that she is a smokin’ hot badass?! He’s SUCH a geek?! I really hope Sophia Boutella returns in the next movie as a fully-graduated-from-Star-Fleet member of the Enterprise crew.

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Okay, I’ve been putting this off because as you know I get quite emotional about it: Chekov. Anton really came in to his own in this movie. Being the youngest member of the cast (I think he was just 17 when he began filming the first movie?), he really has grown up, in to a man, before our very eyes over the course of the movies. I loved the direction they took with the character in Beyond – he’s almost turning in to a young Kirk? (Funny that the two of them should be stranded together?) I may have been imagining it, but I’m sure he was the guy being kicked out of the green girls’ room, during Kirk’s “daily life aboard a Starship” scene? And the way he looked Jaylah up and down – he was certainly becoming a little bit of a ladies man. I am so sad, as I feel like there was so much more to come from the character, so much more Anton had to give, that will sadly never be realised. I personally am happy that they won’t be recasting the role. I just couldn’t bear to see anybody else playing this Chekov now. So long as there is some plausible explanation for his absence.

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Of course, I’m not forgetting one very important character – the quite simply terrifying, Krall.

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Being a Psychology graduate, I was absolutely fascinated by this character, both fearing and pitying him at the same time. Despite possibly always having been a megalomaniac, I think he was clearly suffering from some of PTSD, having been a soldier before the formation of Starfleet. You’d think by the 23rd Century we would have worked out a way of solving that problem? Okay, so they didn’t foresee his ship getting marooned on a planet so far away, and the subsequent effects of this isolation were perhaps inevitable. However, expecting him to just adapt to this new “peaceful” way of life, all of a sudden, when all he had known was war and battle, was somewhat ignorant and negligent I feel?

I loved the parallel that could be drawn between Kirk and Krall (or rather his human self, Balthazar Edison) – you could see that Kirk felt a certain empathy for what he had been forced to endure, bearing in mind the apathy he had started to feel in his own role as a Captain. When the almost-back-to-human Krall, saw his face in the shard of glass, I thought he was going to have some sort of epiphany, realise the error of his ways and try to help Kirk stop the release of the bioweapon. But sadly not. You see that’s the difference between Kirk and Krall – Kirk is inherently good, Krall, whatever the reasons, is stark raving bonkers.

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So, there you have the TiT’s review of Star Trek Beyond. I hope my musings amuse you?! Needless to say, I am super excited that there’s going to be a forth film, and even more excited that it’s going to feature the gorgeous Chris Hemsworth!

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One more thing before I go…

Again, watching the three JJ films together, I was left wondering – what is the obsession with gravity in these films? From the gravity-defying stalactite-type buildings on Vulcan in the first film, to the mind-bending design of Starbase Yorktown – I mean, what’s with that place?! I couldn’t work out which way was up and which way was down? Also, on more than one occasion throughout the three films, there were scenes where you assume the ship is “above planet” and then the camera pans out and does this weird twisted angle thing to show that actually the ship is at the Southern pole of the planet, and is effectively upside down? Let me see if I can find a demo of this…

I guess when you are completely oblivious to these “Easter Eggs”, you notice other things? However, it all left me wondering, if, when you’re in space, do you ever really know which way is up and which way is down? Is there even an up/down in space? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt… Maybe Tim Peake can help me out on that?!

STLV – we have landed! 

  
Both Sam and Carole have now beamed in to Star Trek Las Vegas’s 50th anniversary celebration. It is like Star Trek on viagra here! 

We spent Wedsnesday getting our bearings and keeping Sam awake! 

We won’t post detailed pictures of the venue because our pictures come out rubbish and you can get better ones from official sources but the halls are massive! 

The vendors hall is probably the size of a galaxy class starship. The centre peice is the MAC cosmetics stand which resembles a bridge shape along with its own transporter set, ten forward and a smokin hot Seven of Nine model! 

  
  
    
 
We went to check out the range which you can buy ahead of its release in September. When we heard they were running dangerously low on ‘Khaaaan’ lipgloss and ‘Where no man has gone before’ lipstick we had to make an emergency purchase. Although we do admit to feeling a bit like Harry Kim when he almost bought those rare gems from Quark in Voyagers pilot. 

Still, Kristen from MAC was very nice and had a detailed knowledge of the product… And she made us feel special and …. Goddamit they warned us about this at the academy. 

Still, no regrets. Lipgloss and lipstick are lush! We’ll say review more on that later. 

Quarks bar is very good, obviously it’s not the Quarks from the experience days at the Hilton but it is still very good. Just don’t drink the wine! 

The place to drink is the Masquerade bar where you can enjoy the cocktails from old Quarks including our favourite Tranya!

Thursday’s day is just beginning and already streams of Trekkies are filling the corridors and food outlets of the Rio. Stay tuned for more updates. 

Shore leave: Star Trek Las Vegas

We can hardly believe this is happening, Carole is already in the States and I fly this Wednesday as we prepare for the most epic of away missions/shoreleave of them all. Creation Entertainment’s Star Trek Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Convention!

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I went to my first STLV in 2008 and that was a turning point for me as a Star Trek fan. This TV program that I love, suddenly felt so much bigger. It wasn’t just a TV show anymore, it was a community. I returned with Carole and other friends in 2010 when I coincided my wedding so I could go to STLV for my hen (bachelorette) party.

I met so many amazing people during those events and even though it was for a brief period of time, through the power of social media I never feel too far from that community.

It also seems that half of the United Kingdom will be there too! So many of our friends who we only get to see at the few and far between cons here in Europe are also making the pilgrimage.

The schedule has been published over the weekend and we’re honestly blown away. Also muttering our favourite Counsellor Troi quotes about time and lack there off! There’s so much to see and do we doubt we’ll have time to eat! (don’t worry we’ll make time for drinks at the bar as usual!)

We are particularly keen to get to the Roddenberry Stage which boasts “Champagne, Cake and Chase Masterson” – does it get any better!?

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We assume Roddenberry means for fans like us and not ‘us’!?

The schedule was released over the weekend and there are numerous highlights we are looking forward too, besides the obvious guest star panels which everyone wants to see we are also looking forward to:

Panels:

The early fans that made Star Trek live for 50 years. (Weds 17.00, DeForest Kelley Theatre)

MAC demonstation (Thurs 13.45 Leonard Nimoy Theatre).

Startrek.com present the Star Trek: Encyclopaedia (Thurs 16.10, DeForest Kelley Theatre)

Cocktails and Charades (Thurs 17.00, Roddenberry Theatre)

Missing Footage Archive (Fri, 10.30,  Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Panel with co-owners of Creation Entertainment (Fri, 14.15 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Rod’s Toast (Fri, 18.00 Roddenberry Theatre)

Memorial to those lost in 2016 (Sat, 9.15 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Larry Nemecek’s Fast Trivia Game (Sat, 10.15 DeForest Kelley Theatre)

Women In Star Trek Panel (Sat, 10.50 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

The interplanetary Tanya Symposium and Cocktail Hour (18.15 Roddenberry Theatre)

The Costumes of Star Trek (Sun 14.10 Roddenberry Theatre)

Inside the Writers Room (Sun 14.55 Roddenberry Theatre)

Tribute to Gene Roddenberry (Sun 16.00 Leonard Nimoy Theatre)

Ok we meant to list a ‘few’ highlights but got carried away! Those are just the panels! The evening entertainment looks superb with both official and official events scheduled. Chase Masterson and ‘The Roddenberries’ are set to perform each night at Quarks. Also, depending on tickets theres also the Nevada Pops 50th anniversary tribute on Saturday night.

Sunday night Creation Entertainment are putting on a special ‘end of the convention party, free for all (whoop!) featuring the Star Trek Rat Pack – perfect for Vegas!

If you’re going, we’ll see you out there! If not, feel free to live through our updates!

Here is a handy pocket guide timetable kindly made by Trek Geeks, Shoes and Starship and Women at Warp.