Simon Pegg and Doug Jung spoke with the official Star Trek magazine for its June issue and provided a bit more detail about the movie.
There will be spoilers below.
In the beginning of the film, the crew is brokering a treaty between two planets, Teenax and Fabona. “They’re right out at the edge, near a big nebula called the Necro Cloud, constantly pushing into unknown territory and uncharted space, and they’re pretty tired,” said Pegg. “It’s been a very successful, but quite an exhausting three years. We really wanted to examine the effects of long-term space travel. They’re the first of the NCC-17 deep space missions. They were almost like guinea pigs, in a way – no one had ever been out that far, or been out that long before, and we wondered what that would do to them. They’re out there, away from their families, their homes, for a long, long time. We wanted to address how they would feel at this point.”
The Enterprise arrives at a “prototype starbase, called Yorktown, which is a Federation hub on the very, very edge of Federation space,” said Pegg. “It’s a place where all the new Federation inductees, or anyone who’s in the area and fancies picking up a leaflet, can go in and learn about it. That’s where the Enterprise picks up the mission that forms the bulk of the story.
In Star Trek Beyond, the characters have “spent a lot of time with one another, and had time to develop…relationships.”
“We were really excited about breaking [the characters] out into relationships that you don’t normally see,” said Jung. “Just by doing that, you get a greater understanding of who those characters are, because they have time to talk. That was really like a breath of fresh air to write. A lot of times in Star Trek the primary crew tends to move as a group – there might be discussion or debate within the group, but they are essentially moving in a group, and we went against that.”
Star Trek Magazine is available here.