Star Trek Beyond is a 2016 American science fiction action film directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, based on the series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series after Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain James T. Kirk and Commander Spock, with Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin reprising their roles from the previous films, with Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella joining the cast.
Set three years into the 5 year mission (that we saw they were setting out on at the end of the previous film) Kirk finds himself bogged down by the endless monotony of being the captain of a ship in space. The Enterprise docks at the new (and humongous) starbase The Yorktown to replenish their supplies and give the crew some much needed shore leave. Kirk has applied for the deskjob post of Vice Admiral of the Yorktown and meets Commodore Paris (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who command the starbase. He recommends Spock as his successor to command the Enterprise. Meanwhile we see Sulu meeting his husband (yes Sulu is revealed as gay here, in a nod to George Takei) and daughter Demora. Spock and Nyota Uhura deal with the end of their relationship, upon which Bones jokingly ribs Spock. An escape pod heads to the starbase and an alien female named Kalara comes out of it asking for help to save her people who are stranded on a planet in a nebula. Enterprise is sent to rescue them but fall into a trap.
The Enterprise is attacked by a swarm of ships and sustains massive damage. The swarm’s alien commander, Krall, boards the ship in order to retrieve an alien artifact Kirk had obtained in a recent mission. The Enterprise is ripped apart by the swarm and the saucer section crashes on the planet. The crew is scattered on the planet as their escape pods land and most of them, including Uhuru and Sulu are captured by Krall’s men. Kirk and Chekob search for the artifact that Kirk says he had hidden in the ship and discover that Kalara is an ally of Krall and escapes when she reveals herself attempting to retrieve the artifact. Kalara is killed as the two escape from the damaged ship and evade their ambushers. On the planet Spock is wounded and bleeding badly and is helped by McCoy as they try to find shelter and the others. Spock confesses to McCoy that Ambassador Spock has died, and Spock intends to leave Starfleet to take up his position among the Vulcans. Scotty meanwhile runs into some of Krall’s men but is rescued by an alien named Jaylah. She takes him to her makeshift home when he tells her he is an engineer; the home turns out to be the USS Franklin, an old starfleet vessel which has been missing for 100 years.
Scotty reunites with Kirk & Chekov and on fixing some of the ship’s systems is able to beam aboard Spock & Bones. using the ship as a base. The group plans to raid Krall’s camp on the planet to rescue the crew and transport them to the Franklin to escape the planet. Krall has managed to find the artifact, hidden with one of the crew members, bu threatening to kill Sulu and reveals what the artifact actually is -the missing half of an ancient bioweapon that can disintegrate a humanoid lifeform in seconds. He demonstrates the effectiveness to Uhuru by killing the crew member who hid the weapon. Krall, who rants about the Federation intends to attack the Yorktown and kill its inhabitants, and with its advanced technology go on to attack the Federation and destroy its unity. Using Jaylah’s advanced evading tactics as a distraction and a dirt bike (????) from the Franklin, Kirk and crew are able to get the crew beamed aboard the Franklin safely. Krall and his crew set off in the swarm ships towards the starbase, followed closely by the Franklin.
Discovering the way Krall’s drone vessels coordinate, the group disrupts their communications using a Beastie Boys song, causing mass confusion in the fleet that results in its destruction, and Krall and his remaining officers crash in Yorktown with the Franklin. The swarm ships cause havoc and destruction and some people are killed but starfleet crew manage to destroy or capture them. Only Krall escapes and heads his way to the ventilation system, where he attempts to unleash the bioweapon on the entire station. From the Franklin’s logs Uhuru and Kirk find out that Krall is in fact Balthazar Edison, the captain of the Franklin. A human soldier from before the Federation’s formation, Edison became disillusioned with his life and purpose following the establishment of peace with humanity’s enemies, and when he and his crew were stranded in the nebula, he became convinced he had been cast aside. Having sustained his life using the alien technology on the planet that also deformed him, Krall/Edison now plans to destroy the Federation in revenge for their perceived betrayal.
Kirk is able to stop Krall and ejects him into space where the former starfleet captain is engulfed by the bioweapon and is consumed by it. The Yorktown and most of the people are saved and the crew of the Enterprise is lauded for their efforts. Kirk is offered the promotion to Vice Admiral, but declines in favor of retaining his captaincy. Spock decides to remain in Starfleet and resumes his relationship with Uhura while Jaylah is accepted to Starfleet Academy on Scotty’s recommendation. As the crew celebrates Kirk’s birthday, we see them looking on as the USS Enterprise A is being constructed in the starbase.
Way better than the previous one, this movie harks back to a lot of the good points from the original series. The camaraderie and chemistry between the cast is there to see, more natural now after two films. The storyline has faults and I do not like the fact that yet another human is the big villain. Also swarm ships – from where did Krall and his men get this technology? The Franklin is conveniently just a few hours of repair away from being fixed. Dirt bikes in outer space – dear lord!!! Beastie Boys music is the cure for interrupting signals of the bad guys? Still it’s a fun movie to watch and the heart strings get tugged when you see the tribute to Spock and the original cast. And yes, young Anton Yelchin who was taken away from us so soon. I give this movie an 8 outta 10!