'Star Trek Beyond' to Ask the Big Questions About Series' Setup

Star Trek Beyond Still 1 - Sofia Boutella and Simon Pegg- h 2016
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Is Starfleet really a good idea?

Star Trek Beyond will mark the half-century birthday of the beloved science fiction franchise by asking one very simple question: Just what is the point of Star Trek, anyway?

Talking to Empire, director Justin Lin said, "This is the 50th anniversary. I felt like it was important to really deconstruct the idea of Star Trek, the idea of the Federation and why it’s special. We’ll really be poking at a lot of different things."

Co-writer and star Simon Pegg offered a little more detail, saying that the movie picks up two years into the Enterprise's five-year mission of exploration, and sees the crew feeling the effects of such a long journey into the unknown.

"They've come to rest at a Federation outpost, a sort of diplomatic hub," he explained, adding that the questions driving the crew during the movie are "We're gathering a great community within the galaxy, but to what end? What does it all mean?"

But don't worry about the movie being just two hours of existential ennui; while Chris Pine's James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto's Spock and Karl Urban's McCoy are questioning their purpose quietly, new bad guy Krall (Idris Elba) will be doing so with a lot more force. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elba described the character as one who has a "hatred — in my opinion, a well-earned hatred — for the Federation," and is "predatory" in achieving his goals.

Star Trek Beyond boldly goes into theaters July 22.