As the Star Trek franchise enters its 50th year, it seems like a good place to take stock of its mission and legacy. Has this property truly gone where no man has gone before? Is there still life in the movie franchise that saw its 2nd entry of the reboot fall kind of flat. Well judging by the film I saw, I am happy to say there is indeed a lot to look forward to and like about the way the franchise is going. In front of a packed audience at Comic-Con, Star Trek Beyond managed to dazzle and electrify.

Star Trek Beyond finds the crew of the Enterprise in year 3 of their 5 year deep space mission and things are going well if a bit mundane. It’s of course at this time when the crew responds to a distress call and ends up being attacked by the villain Krall, spreading the crew apart and forcing them to engineer and fight their way back to each other, to stop Krall from using a biological weapon.

What perhaps energized me most about this movie was that it managed to be what I think the Tv series managed to be when it’s at its best. I’m so glad the series appears to have moved on from wanting to homage everything about past timelines and focused on how to make this group work. The teamwork shown in this film made me so happy, in part because it gave every character something to do and motivated the action. I would watch umpteen movies of this group of actors figuring out how to jump start a ship or how to disrupt some alien technology. They even managed to include the new character Jayalah in so seamlessly it felt as if she’d fit in all along. This is due in part to many of her scenes requiring her and Scott to be active in fixing things. This movie is whip smart with its scoff and technical jargon. Though you may not understand it all, the movie leaning so heavily on this allows the characters to really pop. Yes, these are space explorers and they should act as such! This combined with the humor and teamwork are what really make the movie fly. Justin Lin can mystify you with shots and beautiful action, but he realizes the strengths of the Simon Pegg and Doug Jung script and maximizes them.