Simon Pegg Explains Giant Starbase in Star Trek Beyond

When the new Star Trek Beyond trailer dropped, many fans were quick to notice a massive space station. But, what exactly is that thing? Simon Pegg reveals the newest Starbase, and confirms some spoilery photos we saw during the Dubai shoot. [SPOILERS]

Beware of spoilers!


That gigantic space station, space ship, starbase thing we got a glimpse of in the second Beyond trailer? It turns out, according to the film’s co-writer and co-star Simon Pegg, that it’s the massive Starbase Yorktown. In an interview with IGN, Pegg explains that Yorktown is located on the very edge of Federation space, and it’s here that Beyond‘s narrative begins when the Enterprise docks with the base.

“It’s a kind of diplomatic hub,” said Pegg. “It’s where all the most recent Federation inductees can come and mingle with each other and learn about each other. It’s a kind of lovely…”

When asked if the Yorktown is anything like a certain other famous spaceport, Mos Eisley, Pegg laughed and responded, “No, no — that’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy! This is the opposite of that.”

“You can imagine — me and [co-writer Doug] Jung joked that there were various aliens with leaflets, handing them out to other aliens like, ‘Come and see our world!’” Pegg said. “But it’s basically a place where they can go, where they can better understand what being part of the Federation means. It’s an important kind of tactical establishment for the Federation. It’s been built locally, so it’s very interesting to look at, but it’s where the Enterprise docks up. [This is] the first time in like 10 months [that the Enterprise has] had kind of proper contact with other people, and that’s where the story begins.”

We’ve already seen the Yorktown
Back in October, we got our first glimpse at Starbase Yorktown, via photos leaked during the film’s shooting in Dubai.

And, to get an idea of how big the Yorktown really is: remember all of those outdoor scenes? Yep, all of that is onboard the Yorktown.

Starfleet officers running about during shooting in Dubai

The Yorktown under attack, as see in the second Beyond trailer

Watch the new trailer, and this time keep an eye out for scenes on the Yorktown!

Read the full interview at IGN.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is extremely cool and very Star Treky.

Looking good

It looks a lot like the new Deep Space Nine from the novels.

I have to disagree. The DS9 in the novels is ugly. I hate the design.

There’s a different design for DS9 in the novels? It’s been many years since I last read a Star Trek novel but why would they do that?

It is a new station, the old DS9 was destroyed.

Ok it maybe cool but is it practical? *mumbles* it looks like 6 or 7 new Macross-class vessels mid colitis in there…

~Pensive’s Wetness

“but is it practical?”



It must be practical, otherwise Starfleet wouldn’t have build it that way :)

Think about it… you’re gonna pull in a vessel powered by something that would melt the interior of that station, if it lit up accidently. Warp Core Breach Smoothie, anyone?

Spacedock was built that way since Star Trek 3, so nothing different here. They were lucky in 100110101010 or whatever that episode of TNG when the NCC-1701-D was able to get evacuated and ejected b4 it blew. I wonder of the docking port tube on Yorktown are airtight to create a sort of drydock for the spaceships to easily work on them instead of needing eva suits and what not?

The station has that frontier vibe…very original-esque….

A very impressive space station.

““It’s a kind of diplomatic hub,” said Pegg. “It’s where all the most recent Federation inductees can come and mingle with each other and learn about each other. It’s a kind of lovely…””

Even better, this sounds like Babylon 5 :)

It could be one of countless starbases in different franchises.. Deep Space 9 for example.

It was the last, best hope for peace.

Naw, sounds like b5.

Ok. That starbase is m-a-s-s-i-v-e. Its also really great to see how they spent some of that $200M budget. It kind of reminds me of TMP and the attention to detail the models had that made you feel you were really in space.

And one more thing, let’s hope some of that budget goes to some decent makeup for the crew. I do not want to see Chekov’s beehive sized neck pimple and blemishes that he had in the last movie. If I were the actor, I would’ve demanded that they at least CGI erase those blemishes. If they can spend $100K back in ’91 to slim Shatner’s behind, at the end of VI, it should cost less than that today to fix Chekov.

What happened to the G in Gareth Thomas’ name on the wall? Oh wait, the missing G clearly means we’re “Going back to the Prime Timeline.” YAY!!!!!!!

It’s like Deep Space 9 had a baby with Halo or something. It even kinda’ looks like DS9 is in there, if you look at it a certain way. Judging by the trailer, it has some wonky gravity. It may be reasonable to suspect the climax of the movie takes place there. Very interesting.

Yeah I thought that too, but looks good none-the-less :)

Very excited for this movie. Can’t wait.

Reminds me a bit of the early Design sketches of ds9, when they still hat the vertical ring(s).

I gotta admit, I’m sad they didn’t take the opportunity to sneak some easter eggs into that wall of names of the fallen, like Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, James Doohan, and DeForest Kelley. Granted, those might’ve been obvious, but it’d still be nice.

Also, based on the description, the starbase reminds me of the planet Babel, as far as purpose goes.

@ SciFiBrony: Looking through the names I wonder if these are some of the movie production crew. The names don’t sound very alien (if the station is supposed to be built locally). E.g. there are 3 Peters and 3 Scotts on there. My guess is we won’t see that wall long enough in the movie to read any of them.

Very much like the look and feel of the second trailer and the other material coming out for this film. Perhaps I can go in on July 22nd with more hope and less dread than the last time around? If nothing else, Jaylah has my interest. ;)

Cool but very spoilery the swarm ships attack Yorktown so that means either:

1: The Yorktown is docked above the unknown planet where the Enterprise crashes (unlikely as we know the Enterprise warps away to the unknown planet after Shore Leave). The new trailer shows the Enterprise travelling @ Warp that is most likely after it leaves Yorktown. Its very unlikely to be the hero shot from the end of the movie where they get a new or repaired ship & warp off!
2: This means the Swarm somehow finds the Yorktown & attacks setting up the trailer external shot with the NX class ship returning to defend the Yorktown! So that gives away the big climax of the movie & the stakes at play (lives of everyone on the Yorktown & the base itself).

@ Paul: I’ve read speculations that Kirk and company use that NX class ship to get off the planet where Enterprise crashes. They return to Starbase Yorktown and are followed there by the swarm ships. Of course, it might also be the other way around, that the swarm ships go there first and are followed by that NX class ship.
In any case, Yorktown is probably at stake at some point in the movie. Gotta have big stakes in these kinds of movies. At least, it seems that Earth is not the one in danger this time around.

The swarm ships go blue when the franklin is shooting them, the same blue that Kirk’s hologram riding the bike changes to when shot.

Are the swarm ships actually holograms??

Everything and everyone is a hologram! All the reboot movies are actually The Doctor from Voyager’s holodreams.

It is not an NX, google Star Trek Beyond USS Franklin.

That dedication wall made me facepalm….200 million dollars and they still can’t spell correctly……
H-O-N-O-U-R is how you spell honour.
At least NASA didn’t drop the “u” when they named one shuttle “Endeavour” .

Otherwise, can’t wait.

@ Lone Browncoat: I don’t know if you’re trolling or don’t know: “Honor” is the correct spelling in American English. “Honour” is the traditional British spelling. Star Trek has always been quite American in style even though it’s supposed to represent the future of not only all or Earth but even a multitude of planets. I can’t remember which spelling they used in previous movies/series.

Endeavour was named for Captain Cook’s ship, so it kept the British spelling.

US Military uses Honor, and Starfleet is based on the USN. I like the british spelling better myself!

It’s correct in American English… Anyway, language isn’t static, it’s vivid. Probably, some hundred years in the future we won’t extinguish between BE and AE anymore…

Scene 2, Approaching Yorktown Space Station

Kirk: Looks like it’s heading for the space spider web.

Spock: That’s no spider web Captain, it’s a space station.

Kirk: It’s too big for a spider space station.

McCoy: I’m getting a bad feeling about this.

That second trailer is growing on me more and more each time I watch it.

It’s almost like a manmade planet like the voyager episode ‘thirty days’ but a space station. It has mini ponds of water in the city as well as containment fields for gravity.

It’s a very cool design, however it looks extremely impractical. Maybe Star Trek producers should consider hiring actual construction designers to design their spaceships and stations.

Also, Yorktown isn’t a ship in this timeline? Can a station and a ship share the same name?

In what ways does it look impractical?

Yeah, this strikes me as another misunderstanding of the universe. Even if there’s a good explanation, like some battle occurred where the station was established, which destroyed the Yorktown, it’s still a choice made completely counter to what fans are used to. It’s like using the name delta vega completely out of context from the original because it’s familiar to the fans watching the new film.

I don’t think its as much as misunderstanding of the universe as much as the Delta Vega thing— did we ever even see the USS Yorktown on screen or was it just mentioned offhand a couple times? Its not like they are naming Voyager station to replace the USS Voyager or some other “more known” ship. Maybe the Yorktown was destroyed at the spot where they build the station and they named it after it?

“I don’t think its as much as misunderstanding of the universe as much as the Delta Vega thing…” — CaptainSheridan

Which Orci has repeatedly said was done on purpose. So are you asserting Lin is doing the same, i.e. purposely messing with established Yorktown canon?

No. Naming a constructed object Yorktown (giving the name to a starbase/spacedock instead of a starship) makes much more sense than renaming / moving a planet.


In reply to your comment uniquely identified by the following URL:

Well, I suppose it all boils down to whether the Yorktown construct is regarded as a city is in our times. For example, Arlington, is a very common city name in the United States, as in the point being there’s more than one.

And somehow the US Navy dealt with the possible name confusions of its ship coming to port in Yorktown, Va. for which it was named.

Clearly the station is named in honor of those who perished on what appears to be an actual starship Yorktown. I already stated that appears to be the case. And it doesn’t matter to my point since ANYTHING can be explained, just as Delta Vega was. However, yes, we did see the actual starship Yorktown in TOS, as well as in subsequent Trek series where it was referred to as a starship. Add to that among the fan base it is common knowledge that Yorktown held a special place for Roddenberry, even supposedly being rechristened at the end of Star Trek IV as the Enterprise. And yes Disinvited, I think Lin and/or Pegg are doing the same thing as Orci was guilty of doing.

What episode was the Yorktown in? I remember it being mentioned in one episode and I think we saw her captain on screen in Star Trek IV? I don’t recall ever seeing the ship onscreen. I like how they are using the name for the starbase… it makes sense much more than relocating a planet (Delta Vega).

Curious Cadet,

Don’t forget that the ship that fascinated Roddenberry was named for the famous American Revolutionary War battle that took place there at Yorktown, Va. so it’s plausible the starship and starbase are both likewise named after that event ultimately.

Again, I’ve acknowledged that the use of the name can be explained, but that’s not the point. Considering how the name Yorktown was consistently used in the Prime universe, this is fan pandering of the same sort as reusing Delta Vega in st09. It has a familiarity factor to appeal to long time fans and make the film feel more Treky without actually being so. there seems to be a lot of that going on with this film, even in the poster art derived from iconic TMP.

Interestingly a friend of mine who is a bigger Trekkie than me but very pessimistic about STB was annoyed at the naming of the Yorktown, saying it was a ship in Star Trek so why use it as a space station. Doesnt bother me. At least they are using a recognizable name. The other option if the intent is to throw bones to the fans would be to make it a “Deep Space” designation. Deep Space One, I guess would work.

@ Curious Cadet, 6:36 am: The TMP-style poster was designed specifically for and handed out to the fans at the special fan event. So that was definitely fan pandering if you want to call it that.

This just seems so stupid. Capital Ships (Aircraft Carriers) and other ships (Cruisers) have been named after battles in U.S. history. Yorktown was the name of a Federation Starship in Star Trek. In recent history Yorktown has had the distinction of being the name of a WWII Aircraft Carrier and a modern day AEGIS Cruiser, the former Mr. Roddenberry so admired. NSWC Yorktown is the name of a Weapons Station because it’s in YORKTOWN, Virginia! You don’t name a Starbase after a ship that perished. So, you don’t name a Starbase “Yorktown”. It’s stupid. I really do like Mr. Pegg’s work, but he needs to PLEASE enlist some military consultants who are Star Trek fans. Mr. Roddenberry understood the military so I’m confident that he understood the things I’m pointing out here. It seems as if little things are not making it to the writers. This is evident in Star Trek (2009) and STID (2013). I mean at the end of Star Trek, when Kirk says “Take us out.” and we pan to the exterior of the Enterprise… take us out of what?!!! There’s nothing around her! Did they run out of money that they couldn’t put a starbase or SOMETHING in the shot???!!! I know that’s Mr. Abrams and before Mr. Pegg was writing any scripts for this movie. I’m just not getting a warm and fuzzy from this film and I want this to be good. Lastly I’ll say this, DESTROYING THE ENTERPRISE?!!! Come on, really?!!

Man that Station would make an Awesome snow globe!

I am going to be very disappointed if we don’t see a Centauri or Narn somewhere in the background of a crowd shot…

@ SelorKiith: Contact Justin Lin or Simon Pegg on Twitter. If they like your idea maybe they’ll add something in post.

Love it! Fresh and different.

The swarm ships go blue when the franklin is shooting them, the same blue that Kirk’s hologram riding the bike changes to when shot.

Are the swarm ships actually holograms?

Anyway, who is the female voice that starts speaking at ca. 0:38 in the trailer? Though I know of course that it wouldn’t fit at all timeline-wise, I find it amusing to imagine it to be Admiral Janeway. She of all people should know all about being “lost in the vastness of space”! ;-)

That voice is of the Iranian actress playing High Command.

Shohreh Aghdashloo is playing the head of Star Fleet as Harry said.

What a very nice Starbase!

The NX-01 is back!!

DS9 is/was a cardassian built station…the federation came on board after the cardassion occupation of bajor


So, this means that NONE of the movie takes places on Earth? That would be fantastic!

Its been confirmed a small part of the film does, but sounds very small and it may not be the crew them self at Earth but other characters.

Do you have a source for that?

So far, the only film without any contact with Earth has been Insurrection. It would have been nice if this film could have been the second.

it seems odd to me that a Starfleet rooted on a planet that patented the concept of “winning” a nuclear war by overwhelming the enemy with a swarm of nukes, suddenly has no effective countermeasures when the attack concept’s been updated to a swarm of drones?

Maybe they do, but since swarms are not common they don’t have those counter-measures readily available. Plus nukes are old school tech by the time this takes place. It would be like a modern day country having counter-measures standing by in case someone starts using trebuchets against them.


Oh but in the prime universe they did have nuclear trebuchets, errrr…missiles tossed at them. If I recall correctly in BALANCE OF TERROR wasn’t one of the Romulan commander’s last ditch efforts to try to hide a nuclear missile in debris to try to blow up the Enterprise and John Gill, a history professor, was able to get the Ekosians to nuclear arms status in nothing flat which they in turn launched at the E in PATTERNS OF FORCE. Not to mention Kirk having Scotty turn an entire Starship into one and crowing about it in the final scene of THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE.

And aren’t we forgetting those new dronified torpedoes that Kirk was supposed to use in the previous movies? Something as big as The Yorktown doesn’t have a stockpile of those or even the ability to replicate them on demand?

Wow! Correct me if I’m wrong, but the interior of the Federation station Yorktown reminds me of those of Terra Venture in “Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.” “Go Galactic!”

I presume the Yorktown can move wherever it needs to be moved? If so does it have warp engines? Impulse might be useful but only within a solar system. Otherwise, I’m hard pressed to understand the need for deep space stations of this complexity, though I’m sure there’s a logical explanation. We never saw such outposts in TOS, so this is a MAJOR technological leap forward from anything we saw depicted in the Federation. It’s even pretty far afield of anything we saw in TNG from which era this technology was supposedly derived. But from a practical standpoint, even K-7 didn’t make a lot of sense considering the reality of warp drive that cuts the trip from Kronos to Earth down to a few hours at most. DS9 likewise only made sense for a Federation presence where no terrestrial accommodations were being made — i.e. an Embassy where none were permitted planet-side. And it’s even more complicated when one considers the alt universe is one where starships are launched from the surface of planets, and transporters can beam people across vast distances. Obviously, a negotiated base on a planet in the vicinity of operations is more practical than maintaining a fragile space station with limited resources, which is also vulnerable to attack. So there would have to be a pretty significant strategic reason to have one in deep, planet-less space, when a few more minutes by warp drive would get a ship to a more defensible planet. I’m not blaming this on the alt verse at all, since it seems to be a general star trek problem, but the alt verse technology makes it more complicated, as well as potentially another major break with preexisting canon. That said, it’s pretty cool.

@Curious – Yup, Nero’s arrival caused a massive leap in technological achievement in Starbase design!

Hello, Curious Cadet. I meant the atmosphere part, the outdoor part.

First chance I’ve had to comment on the 2nd trailer.

I loved the music and initial voiceover dialogue very much, and sorely wish this had been everyone’s first look at the footage instead of the fast n’ furious ‘Beastie Boys’ teaser. Such a big improvement with the choice of music in this one, thankfully.

The downside is I’m still mourning the fact that the ever-watchable Idris Elba has been rendered unrecognisable by the bumpy-headed mask and eye contacts. And the ridiculously over-the-top ‘cliff-hanging jump’ moment for Scotty is as laughable as the motorcycle jump antics and nuKirk’s “Do it! Do it!”, unfortunately. Did Pegg write this particular ‘action beat’ for himself, or was it mainly Lin’s input I wonder? Either way, I’m hoping it’s possible to re-edit that out for myself eventually, just like I removed nuKirk’s ‘cliff-hanging’ in the 2009 movie. ;)

As for this ‘alternate timeline’ spacebase design, I quite like it.

Doesn’t seem that Star Trek to me. The Federation has a habit of building small-ish space docks/stations, that are exactly that. This is more like they built an artificial planet. Cool, but what is the point when there is an abundance of planets everywhere? Wouldn’t it be simpler and more sensible to just take one of those rocks, terraform it if necessarily and build stuff on it?

That giant mushroom space dock that first appeared in Star Trek IV was pretty massive, but not planet sized. yeah, this one looks like a mini-planet or at least a city in space.

Shades of Babylon 5……

B5, DS9, UN, Babel …

And how many millions of people die when THIS one gets blown up? These people just don’t get Rodenberry’s idea of Star Trek; it’s just explosions to them. I’m through with this crap, it’s not getting ANY of my money.

@ Charley W: How do you know this one gets blown up? Right, you don’t. But hey, don’t watch it when it actually comes out. Might save you 2 hours of “crap”. On the other hand, you might also miss if they don’t blow it up.

There have been some theories that the movie ends on the in-tact station. I agree with you on the cheapness of life in this series of movies though. I’m hoping for a reset button for the Enterprise herself. Otherwise, the destruction of the ship would cut the five-year mission short and trigger a court martial, robbing the crew of that which made their prime counterparts legendary.