Like the original series, the chief selling point of Star Trek Beyond is the impeccable synergy between all crew members.
With shame, I admit I watched Gene Roddenberry’s original series without ever catching his greater message. It did affect me subtly, I tend to be “international” in many of my viewpoints. But it wasn’t till the proliferation of the Internet that I learnt that Star Trek was Roddenberry’s vision of a world without racial or colour differences. A world in which conflict is resolved through (Vulcan-like) discussion and cooperation, not war. And in the case of Star Trek Beyond, also a world in which sexual orientation is irrelevant.
By honouring Roddenberry’s message in the story line, Star Trek Beyond would no doubt thrill die-hard fans. As well as earn the franchise a whole new generation of followers. Beyond the exuberance of phaser fights and spaceship crashes, though, one might start to wonder how seriously the movie itself takes this exhortation. Everyone works wonderfully with everybody else. There’s also always a perfect solution for every pinch. (Simon Pegg’s Scotty must be the most talented engineer throughout all Quadrants) Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t discount the entertainment value of the movie. It’s still a visual extravaganza, especially the space fights. Just that, you need to watch it the way you would do so with an episode of the original series. I.E. with buckets of enthusiasm and optimism. In the process, hopefully, you don’t end up questioning too much whether interracial and interspecies unity is nothing but an illusion. An illusion that is enticing, exciting, and uplifting. But in truth, probably no more than a boyish captain’s nebulous fantasy of always having the perfect crew buddies.
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