Under the orange skies at dusk in San Diego on Wednesday, hundreds of fans were treated to a special outdoor screening of "Star Trek Beyond" with a live orchestra and fireworks, as the cast debuted the film at the annual Comic-Con.
"This is where the most intense fans are," actor John Cho, who plays Sulu in the film, told Reuters on the red carpet.
The convention is also celebrating 50 years of the hit television series and film franchise, "Star Trek."
"Fans saved Star Trek back in the day and they sort of invented fandom and invented conventions, fan conventions so it seems poetic that we end up here on the 50th anniversary so to bring it straight to the fans who have given us our lives and our livelihood," Cho said.
"Comic Con is the ultimate playground for someone that's a fan boy or girl," said Idris Elba, who plays the villain Krall in the new film.
"It's the playground of the imagination."
Actress Zoe Saldana, who plays Lieutenant Uhura, is also starring in the sequel to the smash Marvel Comics hit "Guardians of the Galaxy," and called herself "a geek at heart."
"By doing these films I'm always going to be surrounded by fans, and to me what fans represent are just true devoted human beings that choose to follow something because the message is so positive that it doesn't matter if it's real or not," she said.
Simon Pegg penned the screenplay on "Star Trek Beyond" as well as playing the engineer Scotty, and praised the franchise for being inclusive.
"Maybe we do actually get to put our differences aside and we become tolerant and loving and we all work together to do one thing, which is to explore the galaxy," he said . "It's an incredibly attractive idea because it's heartening to think that maybe we could to that because right now it doesn't seem like we can."
All the key cast and crew wore black Star Trek communicators in memory of late actor Anton Yelchin who died recently in a freak accident in June. The 27-year-old played Chekov in the film.
"Star Trek Beyond" is in theaters on Friday.