Justin Lin talks Star Trek Beyond; Villain name revealed


Trek fandom has been ablaze since the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond hit the interwebs yesterday.  Today, director Justin Lin shared more about the film, including the name of Idris Elba’s character.  More after the jump.

Lin spoke with Birth.Movies.Death‘s Devin Faraci and revealed all sorts of interesting things about the new movie.  Let’s get the most interesting thing out there first:

 His name is Kraal, and he’s not a Klingon


From the moment Idris Elba was cast there was speculation about who and what he would play, with many suspecting that he was playing a Klingon or some other race/character from Star Trek‘s storied history.  Turns out that he’s playing someone named Kraal (which is Faraci’s guess at how it’s spelled) who, despite the Klingon-sounding name, is from a species we’ve never seen before.

Lin says that Kraal is going to question Kirk and crew about the Federation’s ideology:

 I really like his character because he’s challenging the Federation’s philosophy, and it’s something growing up I wanted to see. He’s a character that has a distinct philosophy. Sometimes I watch Trek and I see utopia in San Francisco, and you think “They don’t have money, so how do they live, how do they compete?” Those are things that his character, in a way, has a very distinct and valid point of view about…when someone is really challenging a way of life, how the Federation should act, I can see – right or wrong – that this is a valid point of view, and that’s a point of entry.”

Lin speaks further about the philosophical underpinnings of the movie and more here.


Magic blood? What magic blood? 


 Lin says that the film will deal with some of Star Trek Into Darkness‘s more controversial elements (i.e. magic blood and interstellar transporters) by, well, not really dealing with them at all:

[Co-writers]  Simon [Pegg]  and Doug [Jung] and I have spent some time on that. [laughs] Star Trek has been around for 50 years, and every filmmaker that comes on has a different point of view, and it’s a universe that can support many points of view and journeys and adventures. I embraced what JJ has brought – without him this whole group wouldn’t be together – so I’m definitely very appreciative of him. At the same time, do we address it? No, but we don’t discount it. We don’t sit there and say it doesn’t exist, it’s part of this universe now.

More, including whether Carol Marcus will return, and if Spock and Uhura are still a couple, can be found by clicking this.

Orci not involved in STB script


Many have noticed that Roberto Orci, John Payne, and Patrick McKay are listed as co-writers in both the trailer and a recent IMAX press release.  According to Lin, the film’s writers are Simon Pegg and Doug Jung:

The WGA has to figure it out, because I don’t know who those writers are, I never met them. I came on, I had an idea and then Simon and Doug came on. I had one conversation with Orci after I came on, and that was it.

When asked if any elements whatsoever were reused from previous scripts, Lin is very clear:

Nothing was refurbished [from the first script[ because I don’t know what was done before I came on.

Ultimately, the script will go to arbitration and the Writer’s Guild will make the final call on who receives screenwriting credits, but it appears that the Star Trek Beyond script is exclusively a Pegg/Jung production.

Star Trek Beyond arrives at theaters across North America on July 22, 2016.














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Elba is such a fine actor it’s a shame his face is covered up with all that make-up.

Unless this movie is radically different with multiple characters (think Star

Wars) and real depth then you can be certain it will be forgotten just like all

the others and rightly so. The world of Trek is too small and predicable.

The Orci, Payne, McKay thing is curious. For that to make it all the way to the trailer without something they contributed not being in the film, is very strange indeed.

Once again, it doesn’t matter if Lin doesn’t know what was in the Orci & Co. script. He could have all original ideas, but if any of his ideas, or Pegg’s or Jung’s tread on Orci’s then the studio might take the safe way out.

Because at the end of the day, Orci is a producer, and Abrams is a producer, and they both know what Orci wrote. And so do the studio development executives. And as long as people who are shaping the screenplay know what came before, that’s all it takes. Abrams having a conversation with Lin suggesting a scene that came right out of Orci’s script, which influences the rest of Lin’s story is enough. There were a lot of cooks in this kitchen, which Pegg substantiated in several interviews, about all the things he was being asked to accommodate. So Orci’s stuff could have very easily ended up in the script without Lin ever knowing its source.

I don’t see how the other writers could get credit if their work was not used. I think like 75% of a person’s work has to be in the film to get credit.

Well. I like Justin Lin as a Director. We will just have to see how he handles Trek.

I don’t care who get’s the credit for Writing. As long as this is a great Story. If it sucks and everyone hates it. ThenI bet some people will not want to take credit.

Not a fan of that over-the-top “mean looking” make-up…it evokes feelings of deja vu from similar alien/monster designs seen in countless science-fiction/fantasy/horror films over the years. And why bury and limit an actor’s most precious commodity, his expressions? Nope, not a fan…I do hope it looks better in close-ups.

@6. Jonboc

RE: Actor’s performance in a mask

Darth Vader by David Prowse
C-3PO by Anthony Daniels
Odo by Rene Auberjonis

And so on…

Very odd they would cast a guy like Elba and bury him under so much make up.

Lin seemed oddly dismissive of the former writers one of whom is a producer on the film (in name only?)

#2: That’s not how it works.

I thought that in this day and age, mocap was the way to go and not rubber masks, they look phony for modern audiences, specially on a main character. Weird choice… it might be a disguise for the villain? Because any other way is not reasonable.

Another thing, they said that it will ‘politely ignore’ Into Darkness events… like beaming to other planets… but it came earlier from 2009 Star Trek, it’s the Prime Spock’s trans-warp beaming… are these guys actually know what they are doing? Are we going to have an alternative-alternative timeline?

calling it now, there is no possible way this movie will be ok, well apart from a couple of things

1) it destroys the enterprise… well ok but it was practically destroyed in the prior movie, why destroy it again? I personally never liked its scale or really anything about it alas it is a central character why do this?

2) music… jesus star trek fast and furious..

3) plot just plan sucks from what i see, gives away too much, another cookie cutter sci-fi.. trash

i hate this

Is it me or does the alien makeup look too much like a cross between the Joker and the Green Goblin in Spiderman? Not very creative. For some reason, I can’t play the trailer in fullscreen to see detail.

Again, the Enterprise looks like its being beaten to a pulp in some space battle. Why is it the Enterprise is always treated like this? Its supposedly the Federation flagship and should be able to sustain itself in a fair combative situation.

Not sure what the story is about. I suppose its not that important now as this is just a teaser. I suspect we’ll get more trailers attached to future Paramount films until the movie comes out…and more story detail.

As usual, the visual fx and production design are what they should be and I doubt they will disappoint.

Perhaps, this will play better on the BIG screen in a few days at the playing of the new Star Wars movie.

Okay. Justin Lin is awesome. I read through the linked article. This may turn out to be the best Trek ever. The trailer appears to have been an attempt not to scare off the low-brow crowd. Because this movie sounds like an absolutely inspiring joy. Oh wow, I hope the writers made it work.

I want to see what kind of character arcs and development our heroes have gone through from 2009, STID and Beyond.

I dislike the look of the new villain, it just feels like the villain of the week in a Star Trek episode.

Star Trek is a space opera with awesome classical music, shakespear style acting and drama. I just wish the first teaser trailer would have shown Star Treks strenghts instead of trying to dress it up like a action star ship troopers with insects and motor bikes and non trek music.

I am sure Lin means well and maybe had orders from stupid suits but so far what has been released sucks. Prove me wrong. What is wrong with embracing Star Trek has talky and cheesy? The first teaser of 2009 with Nimoy and Enterprise being built was epic, this trailer was not epic. This feels rushed and not well executed, I am hoping I am wrong and this is the best Star Trek yet.

Stop blowing up the Enterprise, we have seen that in almost every movie, what is wrong with a equal battle in space with Kirk barely losing or winning?

Gee. Might be nice if a certain someone would not be so silent about his contributions to Beyond. I am a bit surprised at you Harry. You should have brought this up already. Although I do agree with you on the makeup FX.

Now I got to get back to Galaxy Quest.

I agree re: Elba in a mask being unfortunate. Darth Vader is not exactly a reasonable comparison, because Dave Prowse very much a package deal with James Earl Jones’s in that case.

I have decided to embrace the trailer as an ad to attract the non-Trekker crowd. I simply hope the importance of the 50th anniversary is not lost on Lin. He seems to know what Trek “is,” so we have a chance of seeing something worthy of our wayward franchise next July.

wish I could remember where I left that jacket… hmm…

I’m surprised at the extent of Elba’s makeup too, but I’m willing to give it more than 1/2 second’s chance. He’s an excellent actor and I’m eager to see what he does with it.

My initial reaction is that it looks a lot like Narn makeup from B5, and it’s reassuring to remember that Katsulas’s performance under Narn makeup was one of my absolute favorites.

17. @boborci. Haha. Nice jacket. With Mr. Abrams and Mr. Burk busy on the other Star movie, I figured you were the “point producer” if you will. Was that not the case? Did that fall to Goldberg and Ellison? Mind you, this question is coming from a HUGE fan and supporter of yours. I want you to be as involved as much as possible! You’re one of us!!

18. You will have to pour through Hillary Clinton’s emails to answer such a classified question:)

But seriously, you shouldn’t dismiss JJ’s and Burk’s contributions alongside David and Dana’s.

#15 TMMW

Okay, I’ll bite, TMMW.

Who are we talking about?

We had a chat about the trailer, the short version of it all being – even if you think the new Trek movies stink, there isn’t technically much of anything to react to in the teaser. They threw together a short reel of explosions because they knew it’d be playing before Star Wars. I’m cautiously optimistic that they’re hiding all of the actual Star Trek in the actual movie.


This is a motion picture. And the 21st century. It has to appeal to a broader audience. I like the new movies and I’ve been a fan since I was little. What they are doing is good for the big screen. Let the traditional trek come out in the new series. I will definaly see this movie. Can’t wait.

21. boborci: I figured you wouldn’t answer. Can’t blame me for trying though:-) the support is real though. You’re one of the best things to happen to Trek.

This movie will be so awesome, Kirk is back on a bike, a sexy alien doing kung-fu, Scotty being such a badass jumping mid air and hanging on a cliff, and that scary monster face villain gives me the creeps, and he seems to have super-strength too! never saw anything like it. The enterprise being destroyed to pieces was so awesome, with people being sucked out to space and dying, with SABOTAGE over it! I watched a dozen times already, I even danced with it. they should destroy the Enterprise more often. So awesome. and who wants to see people seated on space chairs, btw?

Thank paramount that they get rid of you, boborci, people want awesome fun like a tasty saucy Bigger Big Mac, no old trek turds, old man. ST: BEYOND will make Guardians of the Galaxy to be forgotten like a fossil. It will make billions on box office, mark my words, even my octogenarian mom is gonna watch, and her mother too! Everybody should give sloppy kisses on Lin’s feet for creating such extravaganza so fast and furiously. but above all, you guys at Paramount deserve the Nobel Prize for Fun, for trowing out all that dull stuff that plagued Trek and giving us fun, Fun, FUN!

Bye boborci! No hard feelings, is that you just wasn’t fun enough

Good luck finding your jacket

Cardassian villain?

I can’t stand it I know you planned it
I’m gonna set it straight, this watergate
I can’t stand rocking when I’m in here
Because your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear
So while you sit back and wonder why
I got this f****** thorn in my side
Oh my God, it’s a mirage
I’m tellin’ y’all it’s sabotage

I love the Beastie Boys. As long as they stick to their word about the meaning of the film I am 100% aboard.

I’ll wait to see the film before I judge it.

The trailer, however, was an obvious ploy to get the non-trek fans on board.

A trailer is always deisgned to get all kinds of people on board,so it does do it’s job. It’s a TEASER trailer.

Gee,I always thought this fandom was open minded and not so judgemental. Guess I was wrong. This is Star Trek,and when the new series comes along,that’ll be Star Trek too.

And the Enterprise hasn’t been destroyed in a while,so maybe it’s about time,lol. It’s been beaten and bruised,but not totally destroyed. Yes,there’s a difference,lol.



“I dislike the look of the new villain, it just feels like the villain of the week in a Star Trek episode.”

Nothing can be worse than the ST2009 villain and his visual style. If you ask me, it’s a good thing that the vilain resembles the villain of the week in a Trek episode.

“Stop blowing up the Enterprise…”

Look at the bright side. That ugly Apple bridge is gone as well.

21 boborci

Now that Justin Lin says there is no connection to your script, can you divulge it?

I really like Justin Lin, he seems to deeply care about the franchise and that’s what it needs, not someone who starts every interview by saying he was never a fan of the original series, which I understand, but JJ did it so much for ID that it started to come off as negative advertising, even though he would ultimately state he had grown to like it.

Lin didn’t speak to Faraci only, it was a group interview and you can read everything Lin said and more details here too for those who don’t care about Faraci rants:


Slashfilms also has an article about it.

Kraal looks like G’Kar from Babylon 5:


@21 boborci

What did you think of the trailer Bob?

I thought it was very fast, and very furious but I’m optimistic (as all Trek fans should be, by definition, shouldn’t they?!) that the ‘Trek’ part of the story will come out in the film!

So yesterday’s trailer (clearly) was for the airheads, and today’s interview about “philosophies” is for the fans? ;-)

The only question is, which one is fooling us more about the focus this movie is going to have?

Another villain of the week movie huh? How much do these writers get payed to squirt out crap to fill the same old mould anyway? I think i’ll save myself the bother wasting 2 hours of my life like I did with the last movie.

It’s spelled Krall.

Hi Mr. Orci,

Is any part of your script used in the new film? If not, do you plan on releasing it for us fans to read?

I understand if you can’t comment on this at this time.

Keep on Trekkin!

@ 15. somethoughts – December 15, 2015

Stop blowing up the Enterprise, we have seen that in almost every movie, what is wrong with a equal battle in space with Kirk barely losing or winning?

You mean like STID?

Mr. Orci,

Can you give us a synopsis of the script that ultimately got you removed from the 13th Star Trek movie?

@ 22. Harry Ballz

Boborci, of course.

He is openly mentioned in the article and posts here all the time, yet still will not comment on the hot topic.

It’s simple. Exactly what was your writing contribution in Beyond, Boborci?
It would be acceptable to postpone your FULL response until after the 50th.

Bob Orci — when the dust settles, do you think you’ll turn your unused script into a Trek novel? Surely, there’s some value in that in an age where all media is hungrily consumed. Curious to know about “the Star Trek script Paramount didn’t want you to see.”

Still seeing a few posts from people that seem to think the only films that appeal to general audiences are mindless blow em ups.

This makes me more excited than the trailer did. It reminds me of Eddington comparing the Federation to the Borg.


I would really like to know, someday, at least the general outline of your original story. With all the tinfoil-in-the-radars, it’s hard to separate rumor, speculation, and assumption from fact, but the rumblings about the “original” story being “too Trekky” and then comparing it to this trailer can’t help but make me wonder what’s going on at Paramount with the direction of the movie franchise. I’d really be fascinated to know what that unused story was all about.

And if someone had told me that a Star Trek movie would include an Evel Knievel motorcycle jump as a trailer-worthy plot point, I’d have laughed out loud…while kinda crying at the same time.

I’ll see “Beyond,” but I’d be lying if I said this trailer induced much enthusiasm. I will see it, I won’t condemn the movie out of hand, and hold out hope it was a trailer custom-cut for the SW audience, but my *honest* reaction after seeing it? A deep, heavy, sigh.

We’ll see.

This trailer is a discrace…didnt like the padt 2 films…trek has died…

Can reveal nothing right now. just here as a fan:)