‘Star Trek Beyond’ Deconstructs The Federation, As CBS Clings To Roddenberry’s Tenets

As the 50th anniversary of Star Trek draws near, CBS and Paramount are revving into warp speed with their separate but not completely unrelated projects.

From the Star Trek Beyond feature film, to the new series being created for CBS, there will be no shortage of Star Trek sagas for fans to rally behind in celebrating the Gene Roddenberry created franchise. But, while the film seeks to further set itself apart from the original concepts upon which Roddenberry based his 1966 series, it seems CBS is eager to return to a more traditional Star Trek timeline.

Simon Pegg And Justin Lin Leak Plot Details For Star Trek Beyond

Returning to the J.J. Abrams created alternate timeline, Star Trek Beyond brings Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise back for more action.

Teasers from Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote the film’s script) and director Justin Lin suggest the very existence of the Federation may come under threat this time around. As Star Trek Beyond starts out, the Enterprise crew are two years into their five year mission and taking some well deserved rest at a Federation outpost, but it isn’t long before the crew finds a new threat requiring their attention.

The villain in Star Trek Beyond is manifested as Krall, a blue-skinned alien played by Idris Elba. Krall sees the United Federation of Planets as a threat and decides to take out his hatred for the organization on the crew of the Enterprise. As Star Trek Beyond uses this story arc to explore the very existence of the Federation, Pegg hints that this timeline may not bode well for the Federation.

“What’s the point of it all?” says Pegg of the Federation. “We’re gathering a great community within the galaxy, but to what end? What does it all mean?”

Director Justin Lin is almost as critical of the Federation as Star Trek Beyond villain Krall, and his comments on the theme for this new Star Trek theme seems to imply that Vulcan won’t be the only casualty in this new alternate timeline.

“This is the 50th anniversary,” the Star Trek Beyond director says. “I felt like it was important to really deconstruct the idea of Star Trek, the idea of the Federation and why it’s special. We’ll really be poking at a lot of different things.”

CBS To Recreate A Faithful Star Trek Universe

In a recent talk, Trevor Roth, who is serving as executive producer on the upcoming CBS Star Trek series, was asked what the new show will look like and, while the Star Trek showrunner couldn’t go into detail just yet, he was able to ease the minds of Star Trek fans eager for a return to Gene Roddenberry’s vision.

“But I think at the end of the day there are certain tenets of Star Trek that make it what it is. I think that continuing of those tenants and create a cast that are truly relatable to people, regardless of their species and alien makeup,” says Roth. “For those characters to go through journeys that are relevant to people, for us to create a show that is a smart show and something we can be proud of, yet still entertain people. These are all the balances that teeter-totter that into everything that Roddenberry does.”

Speaking of the original vision shared by Roddenberry, Trevor seems devoted to bringing Trek back to those ideals which first filled a generation with hope and an eagerness to look to the stars. Roth seems to imply that the new Star Trek series will not take place in Abrams’ alternate universe, though there is still the question of which generation this new Star Trek series will explore.

“We’ve made graphic novels and TV shows, and all these kind of things. In a perfect world and an ideal setting, we are making good on the promise of Gene Roddenberry’s name. To me, that’s the show we’re looking for,” says the Star Trek showrunner. “That’s a lot, but I think we’re up to the challenge to do it.”

Star Trek Beyond will warp into theaters on July 22.

[Image by Paramount Pictures]

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