Did Gene Roddenberry ever imagine his franchise would one day attract one of the world’s biggest singers? Did anyone involved with last decade’s “Star Trek: Enterprise” think the entire world would one day care? Once the exclusive purview of nerds who’d wear pointy fake ears and buy books laying out all the technical specs of Klingon ships, “Star Trek” is now for everyone.
That’s why the final trailer for next month’s “Star Trek Beyond” doubles as an ad for Rihanna’s new song, “Sledgehammer.” Alas, it’s not a cover of Peter Gabriel’s 30-some-year-old hit, and it plays over footage of such brainiac images as ships exploding, other things exploding and Zoe Saldana’s Uhura screaming “NO!” while tilting her hair back in anguish. (There are also funky-looking white alien-humanoids, which, charmingly enough, look only slightly less cheap than a species that would appear on the original show.) On a somber note, it also reminds us of the recently late Anton Yelchin, whose Chekov is mostly in the background of shots when he’s seen at all.
This new roided-up tone is to be expected, seeing as the new series has switched from director J.J. Abrams — who was a little busy with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — to Justin Lin, who helmed four "Fast &/or Furious" movies. Even considering that we’ve been living in a world where the masses have cared about “Trek” since 2009’s movie reboot spectacular, it’s still weird. Looks like we’re all Trekkies now.
The new movie is out July 22. The trailer and its attendant song are below: