‘Star Trek 4’: Untitled Sequel To ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Now In Planning Stage [Opinion]

As reported recently by Slash Film, Star Trek 4 is now in the planning stages. According to Chris Hemsworth, producer J.J. Abrams presented him with “an amazing pitch” for the new Star Trek project. Despite the slight box office disappointment of Star Trek Beyond – the last Star Trek movie – the studio was encouraged by the critical praise for the film and is moving forward with the fourth film in the current series.

Star Trek Beyond Was An Improvement

The problems with Star Trek: Into Darkness may have turned many fans off the next Star Trek film. These problems included the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch was simply miscast in the role of Khan. Comments by Star Trek Beyond writer and co-star Simon Pegg, suggesting that the studio wanted to make it less “Star Treky,” probably didn’t help the box office either.

Simon Pegg as Scotty.
Simon Pegg as Scotty. [Image by Paramount]

This is unfortunate for Star Trek fandom, since Star Trek Beyond probably came closer than either of the two previous films in the new Star Trek universe to the spirit of the original Star Trek series. Star Trek fans who skipped this movie did themselves a disservice.

Given the positive ranking this last Star Trek movie has among fans and critics alike, it’s hardly surprising that Paramount decided to keep the franchise rolling with Star Trek 4. After all, it’s not as if Star Trek Beyond lost money. Although the current production of a new television Star Trek series might create some confusion about which is the “real” Star Trek.

What To Expect From Star Trek 4

We already know that James Kirk’s father is going to make a reappearance in this fourth Star Trek movie. In the first Abrams Star Trek film, George Kirk was played by then fairly unknown actor Chris Hemsworth.

Of course, since then Hemsworth has gone on the huge success as Marvel’s Thor. Getting him back now after he’s become a star is probably going to cost big bucks, but the studio apparently thinks he’s worth it.

For those who haven’t seen the original Abrams Star Trek movie – or don’t remember this particular detail – George Kirk sacrificed himself to protect the Federation from a marauding Romulan menace just as his son, James T. Kirk. was being born on an escaping shuttle.

Chris Pine in 'Star Trek Beyond'
Chris Pine in 'Star Trek Beyond' [Image by Paramount]

Under normal circumstances, you might expect this would present a major continuity problem for the movie, given that George Kirk is now unquestionably dead and gone. But fortunately Star Trek is science fiction, where virtually anything can happen.

For instance, time travel is a tried and true plot device in many Star Trek series and films. In fact, the new Star Trek films set up by J.J. Abrams began with a time travel anomaly created by the elder Spock – and the evil Romulans – going back in time and disrupting the timeline.

So it’s easy to see how time traveling antics could be trotted out again to allow James Kirk to go back in time and encounter the father he never got a chance to meet. On the other hand, it could work the other way, with a time traveling George Kirk being thrown into the future to meet the son who now outranks him.

Of course, that can’t be the entire plot of the movie or it will be another disaster like Star Trek: Into Darkness. Instead, there needs to be an overall plot point or problem that has to be addressed through the use of time travel in Star Trek 4. The encounter between George Kirk and James Kirk would – in this case – be purely a bonus for the two characters.

[Featured Image by Paramount]