The ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Teaser is Less Like ‘Star Trek’ Than Ever

Of all the complaints that Star Trek fans have had with the recently rebooted movie franchise, the fact that it doesn’t always feel like Star Trek is probably the most serious concern. Fifty years ago, Gene Roddenberry created a vision of the future filled with hope, filled with philosophy, filled with diplomacy, filled with intelligence. And the new movies replaced most of that hope, philosophy, diplomacy and intelligence with balls-to-the-wall action sequences and nostalgia throwbacks.

But with J.J. Abrams departing the franchise to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which seems to be a little more his speed), fans were hoping that Paramount would right the franchise with a film that, at the very least, marries the needs of contemporary blockbusters with more of what made the original series great enough to reboot in the first place.

We probably should have been more concerned: the first teaser for Star Trek Beyond has just arrived and it’s filled with kung fu fights and motorcycle stunts (to clarify: motorcycle stunts), all set to the tune of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys. The tone of the trailer has less to do with Star Trek and sci-fi in general and a lot more to do with the tone of the Fast and Furious movies, which Justin Lin had previous directed with enormous success.

Related: New ‘Star Trek’ Series Coming to CBS All Access in 2017

And yet, although a fun ensemble cast was always part of the Fast and Furious charm, there are more elements that make up Star Trek and they are being completely ignored during this leg of its marketing. The trailer is scheduled to appear in front of prints of Star Wars: The Force Awakens this weekend, in an apparent attempt to appeal to an audience that cares less about big ideas and more about energetic fantasy that just happens to be set against a backdrop of futuristic technology and space travel. 

It’s entirely possible that this gambit will pay off, and audiences will flock to Star Trek Beyond in droves now that it finally doesn’t look a damned thing like Star Trek. But one does have to wonder what the point of making another Star Trek is, if not to actually make Star Trek. There are other, easier ways to make money after all.

Watch the trailer, make up your own mind about it, and keep an eye out for Star Trek Beyond when it hits theaters – apparently very hard, and possibly with a motorcycle – on July 22nd, 2016.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.