‘Star Trek Beyond’ drops a new trailer that promises brave new frontiers

When Star Trek Into Darkness was released, I found it frustrating because I liked so much of the energy of it, and I love the cast that JJ Abrams put together for his 2009 film. While I think they made some very strange choices regarding the use of Khan in the film, there are still plenty of things I enjoy about the film”s approach to both the classic Star Trek characters and the world itself.

Friday night on the Paramount lot, there was a huge fan event for the series, and one of the key pieces of the evening was the premiere of the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond, which is a fairly important film for the franchise overall. After all, this is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek in the first place, and this is the first film of this new Star Trek series to not have JJ Abrams directing. I forget why he was busy.

Instead, Justin Lin is at the helm this time, and that”s a hell of a smart choice by Paramount and Bad Robot. Lin is becoming a reliable action director on a blockbuster scale, and with JJ Abrams making the jump to directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they needed to find someone who would attack this new film with that same degree of enthusiasm and energy. I have spent a good portion of Lin”s career apologizing for simply not digging his first film. Roger Ebert not only disagreed, but he was willing to fight anyone at Sundance who didn”t immediately see Lin”s potential. It”s good for a critic to be able to look back and say, “I was wrong,” and that”s definitely the case with Lin.

I”m excited to see what he does with this Star Trek film, especially now that we”ve seen this trailer. There are some gorgeous images in it, and I like that we”re encountering a brand-new race for the first time. For me, the best version of Star Trek sees the crew of the Enterprise out on the fringe of known space, running into brand-new civilizations. That”s what that opening voice over on the original series promised, and that”s what caught my attention when I first encountered the series.

Here”s the groovy new poster for the film:

There are some call-backs to the first film by Abrams in this trailer, and I like that they”re going to push Kirk even further along his moral development. I think Chris Pine was the big discovery of the series, and no matter what else Hollywood”s tried to do with him, Chris Pine remains at his best when he”s playing James T. Kirk. I love that Simon Pegg was involved on a script level. I think Pegg is very smart when it comes to story structure and character, and if he wants to give Scotty some fun things to do in the process, I certainly won”t complain. It looks like they”ve carried several ideas over from the first two films, including the relationship between Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), but for the first time in this version of the series, they”re actually heading into deep space to explore.

I don”t think I want to know anything more than we”ve already seen. Idris Elba is a bad guy, so that”s cool. And it looks like the Enterprise takes a beating again. So that”s cool, too. Other than that, I don”t know, and I don”t want to know. I just want to boldly go, and it looks like there”s plenty of that this time around.

Star Trek Beyond is in theaters July 22, 2016.