Trekkies and Trekkers stormed the gates of Paramount Pictures last Friday night for the ultimate fan event, and Famous Monsters was front and center for all of the excitement.
Pitched as “a special evening in celebration of STAR TREK BEYOND,” the night was full of unexpected treats for fans, who were promised a first look at the new, full trailer for the film, plus “special guests” and other surprises. All were invited to step into historic Stage 31 — where STAR TREK (The Original Series) filmed a majority of its scenes over its three-year run between 1966-1969 — through a recreated U.S.S. Enterprise hallway, leading into a theater-in-the-round–styled stage. MYTHBUSTERS star Adam Savage hosted the event, which opened with a tribute video to TREK. Stars including Rihanna, Stephen Colbert, and mohawked NASA mission controller Bobak Ferdowsi shared their favorite memories of the influential show —alongside TREK stars Zoe Saldana and Simon Pegg — and a brand-new, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE–inspired BEYOND poster was revealed to the crowd.
Next, STAR TREK BEYOND executive producer (and franchise shepherd/former TREK films director) J.J. Abrams came out to greet the fans and introduce the franchise’s newest helmer, Justin Lin (FAST & FURIOUS). Lin declared of his choice to take on the project, “I just couldn’t resist hopefully contributing something. It’s been around for 50 years and hopefully we can build something that can continue it for another 50 years.”
Abrams also delivered good news to fans on two fronts. First, he declared that Paramount’s high-profile lawsuit against the unofficial STAR TREK fan film AXANAR would be dropped — at the urging of Lin himself. “The fans should be celebrating this thing,” said Abrams. “Fans of STAR TREK are part of this world; so [Justin] went to the studio and pushed them to stop this lawsuit and, within the next few weeks, it will be announced this is going away, and that fans [will] be able to continue working on their project.”
Abrams also announced to the audience that STAR TREK BEYOND will have its world premiere at Comic-Con at an outdoor IMAX venue with a live orchestra — and each and every one in the room was invited!
Another neat detail revealed: For the 50th anniversary of TREK, 50 different alien designs were created for BEYOND, the most ever for any TREK film.
Next, fans were treated to the eye-candy trio of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban (aka Kirk, Spock, and McCoy), who shared some perspective on working with Lin and taking their characters into new directions and situations. In BEYOND, the crew find themselves stranded and divided on an alien planet. Among those required to team up include Spock and Bones, who classically do not see eye-to-eye. “These are two characters who are historically pretty diametrically opposed,” explained Quinto, “so I think there’s also a lot of humor that comes from that. … And I really do think they finish this film with a deeper appreciation for one another than when they started it.”
Pine, asked by a Twitter fan what other TREK character he’d like to play from the films or shows given the chance, responded with glee, “I wanna play Evil Kirk! In a bad, bad way.”
After a few audience questions, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD’s Scott Mantz ran a fun, frenzied trivia quiz to give out prizes from the film. And after an emotional tribute to the dearly departed Leonard Nimoy (who, of course, originated the iconic role of Mr. Spock), the audience was led outside to witness the unveiling of a newly named street at Paramount called “Leonard Nimoy Way.” In the presence of Nimoy’s family, Quinto said a few choice words, and all raised a glass of champagne to toast the occasion.
Cut to the arrival of a dozen green-skinned, anti-piracy “Orion Slave Girls,” who locked up everyone’s phone before they could file into the next soundstage and watch not only the new-and-improved STAR TREK BEYOND trailer — but 10 minutes of never-before-seen scenes from the film. After seeing this footage, anyone who may have had doubts about the direction of the franchise following STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS were surely swayed in the right direction.
Last, but certainly not least, the fans were treated to a great party — with delicious eats and beverages, props and costumes on display from the film, photo ops in Kirk’s command chair and the Enterprise Transporter, a silkscreen T-shirt station, and exclusive swag bags that included toy tribbles, Spock ears, downloads of the first two TREK films, and a limited-edition version of the new BEYOND poster.
The STAR TREK BEYOND fan event will no doubt live long and prosper in the memories of fans for quite some time. At least until STAR TREK BEYOND beams into theaters on July 22.
Until then, get ahold of our exclusive interview with STAR TREK BEYOND’s John Cho, who details the making of the film, along with a 50th-anniversary tribute to the original STAR TREK in the new issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland, on sale now at CaptainCo.com and available on newsstands and digitally on Magzter.com on June 7.