For fans concerned that Star Trek Beyond will be more action and less character development, worry not, says Justin Lin.
“I don’t know if I see myself as an ‘action director,’ you know,” he said. “I think it’s my job as a filmmaker to make sure I bring something unique and different, you know, and Star Trek was a big part of my life growing up.
“I wanted to make sure that with all the choices that I have…to make sure that with this film, I can contribute something, hopefully, new to the franchise.”
Lin went on to speak about the characters and the challenge of making sure that they aren’t just on screen because they’re part of “huge ensemble.”
“I wanted to make sure that everybody – regardless of screen time – when you see them, that they exist for a reason and they have valid feelings and emotional connections to the audience,” said Lin; “so after you see the movie, you feel like you actually have a great relationship with all these characters.
“You might think of Star Trek as a big film, but to me, it’s very much character-based.”
Actor John Cho confirmed the emphasis on character development. “What you’re going to get when you ask Simon Pegg to pen a script is a very human touch,” he said. “And a warm touch. And that can come out in comedy, but doesn’t necessarily have to. And there are some funny moments. But I think he and [co-writer Doug Jung], from what I could tell, were constantly looking for connections between the characters.
“And that, from the cast perspective, was what was spectacular about asking Simon and Doug to do it. It just felt like they were looking for human moments.”
According to Cho, watching Star Trek Beyond will be like watching the original series. “When I read the script,” he said, “my emotional impression was that it felt very much like the best of the original series. It felt like the series felt to me.”
Cho admitted that “…the first [film] that we made didn’t entirely feel like that to me.”