Tuesday 15 December 2015

Director Justin Lin on Star Trek Beyond's themes

So after seeing ninty seconds of Star Trek Beyond I hope many of you are looking forward to what looks to me to be some fun character focused romps, a pleasing dose of humour, exploring an actual strange new world, and yes, some budget-busting action. Yes? Good, well, for the doubters, Birth Movies Death has posted an enlightening interview with director Justin Lin, shedding light on his approach to Star Trek, some of the themes of the new movie, and more - If he makes a film as good as he talks about all those things I think we're in very safe hands. For instance, it sounds rather like the overriding theme of Star Trek Beyond is going to be an exploration of the ideas of globalisation (but at an interstellar scale) and colonialism, which should be a pretty good starting point!:
What would happen if you go on a five year journey and you’re trying to not only explore but also maybe introduce other people to your way of thinking? What would that mean? What are the consequences of that? You’re spreading a philosophy that you think is great - are there going to be any philosophies that counter you? That was something I thought about since I was a kid, and we got to explore that.
In particular this is manifested in the motivations of the villain, who is apparently called something like Kraal (spelling unknown):
It’s about building him and having a philosophy and a point of view. I really like his character because he’s challenging the Federation’s philosophy, and it’s something growing up I wanted to see. He’s a character that has a distinct philosophy. Sometimes I watch Trek and I see utopia in San Francisco, and you think “They don’t have money, so how do they live, how do they compete?” Those are things that his character, in a way, has a very distinct and valid point of view about.

When someone is really challenging a way of life, how the Federation should act, I can see - right or wrong - that this is a valid point of view, and that’s a point of entry.
Those ideas at the core of this theme are long standing issues in our society, going back centuries of national and corporate expansion into the rest of the world, and of course how the world reacts to those forces changes over time. Lin's Trek will make its commentary on the society of the today distinct from what has come before. He articulated this in his description of the attack on the Enterprise:
Star Trek has a very 1960s sensibility - who has the bigger ships wins. But if you look at the attack, these ships are 40 feet long but there are 40,000 of them. I think even in the way they’re being encountered… What makes Star Trek scifi great is that you can acknowledge what’s happening today. The way we are as a country and the way we engage in conflict, in this Star Trek you see that it’s different.
You can read more from Lin on Birth Movies Death, who also posted a couple of other sections of the interview discussing some of the things that haven't carried over from Into Darkness in what will apparently be two-and-a-half years in-universe (it seems Carol Marcus will have moved on to other endeavours in that period). A few further snippets confirm that despite the apparent legalese that maintains writing credits in the trailer for Roberto Orci, J.D. Payne, and Patrick McKay, their script was indeed entirely abandoned in favour of what Lin concocted with Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. /Film have also posted an interview from the same press event, where Lin expands on some of choices for the trailer, and his own history with Star Trek.

To keep track of all the latest information on Star Trek Beyond, check out my Star Trek Beyond guide page.


mark bernero said...

The next Enterprise in this universe should be built like the USS Defiant with no neck or pylons to get cut off like that!

Unknown said...

I dont even know where to start with this film....im sure it will be a fun action film...but now that the enterprise (I`m guessing) is not the only vessel returning home after the 5 year mission...its place in history looks to be very different.

Unknown said...

Two words : Prime Directive

Unknown said...

This guy needs to watch some TOS before he can have a vision of Trek.

Dan said...

Nicholas Meyer had never seen an episode of TOS.

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