'Star Trek Beyond' Trailer Breakdown: Boldly Going Through The New Trailer Frame-By-Frame

The new trailer for Star Trek Beyond arrived late on Friday night, instantly washing the dreadful taste of the first trailer out of our mouths. Unlike the initial teaser, this footage looks like it comes from an actual Star Trek movie and you know what that means – there is a whole bunch of stuff to sift through if you go through the whole thing frame-by-frame and shot-by-shot.

Since we haven't seen the movie, this post will contain all kinds of speculation and over-analysis, which means it could be loaded with potential spoilers. Just trek cautiously. And if you want additional reading, Peter Sciretta's newly published set visit report sheds additional light on the film (and even directly answers and clarifies some of the observations below).

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.47.28 PM

There is no better way to open a Star Trek trailer than a shot of the USS Enterprise flying over the camera while en route to some kind of alien planet. Finally, one of these movies decides to leave the general vicinity of earth for once! We know that Star Trek Beyond will pick up a few years into the ship's famous five-year mission, so we'll be dealing with crew who have been exploring the galaxy for some time.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.47.47 PM

Although director Justin Lin has made a few changes to how the crew and the Enterprise looks (we'll dwell on the uniform modifications in a bit), he seems to be staying mostly true the aesthetic J.J. Abrams established in the first two movies. This Enterprise still has the whole "Apple Store" thing going on, but I've always been fond of this clean, sterile look. The future world seen in Trek is supposed to be composed and elegant and put-together...which makes it hurt all the more when it falls apart.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.48.05 PM

"My dad joined Starfleet because he believed in it. I joined on a dare." Star Trek did a fine job of introducing the friendship between Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Star Trek Into Darkness...well, it didn't have time to dwell on things like "character interaction." Seeing Kirk and Bones sharing a drink recalls some of these characters' most famous interactions and serve as a reminder that Kirk is a member of a triumvirate. His friendship with Spock only makes sense because he's also close with McCoy. We're overdue for a scene where these two have a heart-to-heart.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.48.24 PM

This shot of the Enterprise traveling through at warp speed, the space around it literally bending along with the laws of physics, is magnificent. The best thing you can say about this trailer, and for the original 2009 reboot, is that the aesthetics couldn't be more different than that of Star Wars. Trek is very happy being its own thing, thank you very much.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.49.21 PM

This is as good an opportunity as any to talk about the modified crew uniforms. They aren't hugely different, but the subtle differences are many. Note the higher collar, which has replaced the deeper "v" of the neckline. The uniform of the material has also changed, which allows for a different texture. The heavier stitching right before the sleeves replaces the stitching that used to go across the shoulders. The result is a uniform that looks more like a coat than a form-fitting shirt. It's a slightly more militaristic look.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.49.58 PM

No modern science fiction movie is complete without a scene where characters gather around a holographic map of the galaxy. It's not clear in the wide shot who is in this room, but we can use context clues to discern that someone (a member of the Enterprise crew, most likely) is visiting the head honcho of a Federation outpost (note the Starfleet and Federation logos in the foreground). We'll talk more about this outpost in one moment.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.50.10 PM

This moment actually. Here is the Enterprise, sliding into the space dock of some kind of station. You can make out some minor details the station itself in the background, but we'll get a better look later in the trailer. In any case, the real treat is seeing the Enterprise actually docking in orbit like a proper starship – seeing it constructed on ground in the first film and seeing it casually enter a planet's atmosphere (and even park underwater!) was enough to make a serious Trek nerd's blood boil. This ship wasn't built to leave space!

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.50.28 PM

J.J. Abrams may have vacated the captain's seat, but his spirit lives on in the form of lens flares! To be fair, this is the only prominently featured lens flare in the entire trailer (and they never bothered me like they bothered so many other people), but you just know this is Justin Lin cheekily paying homage to the former director of these movies.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.50.48 PM

A corridor illuminated by red emergency lights, complete with sparks falling from the ceiling. Yep, that's a classic Trek scenario if I've ever seen one. Sometimes, it's the simple things that come out of nowhere and activate the pleasure sensors of your brain.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.51.14 PM

There's a reason so many scientists and engineers have embraced Star Trek over the decades – this is a series that has often gone out of its way to showcase the nuts and bolts of how these ships work and operate. Even when it's fantastical, there's a blueprint floating around that offers some kind of explanation for how something works. You can get lost in the mechanics of this theoretical world. Which is my longwinded way of saying that I really enjoyed this brief show of a space dock arms unclasping from the Enterprise.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.51.32 PM

For those who are curious to take a look, here's a fairly decent wide shot the bridge, which looks similar enough to the previous versions to not raise too much of a fuss. There are tiny differences – it seems a little dimmer, leaning more heavily on blue and blacks and ditching the glowing fluorescents of Abrams' movies – but it looks like the result of a basic refurbishment, not a redesign.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.51.45 PM

Few things make me as happy as seeing Star Trek crew members out of uniform and in their civilian clothes. It's one many reasons I whole-heartedly love the genuinely bonkers Star Trek III: The Search For Spock and the even bonkers-ier Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – you get a taste of who these people are when they're not on duty. This appears to be from a sequence where our main triumvirate are on leave at the Federation outpost where we see the Enterprise dock. Can we cross our fingers for a scene or two of these gentlemen painting the town red?

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.52.24 PM

Yes, this is a stylish shot of the Enterprise zooming toward the camera, but note the spherical structure behind it. This certainly looks like the Federation outpost they docked at earlier and since the the ship is still intact, it seemingly occurs early in the film. We'll get another good look at this place in a little bit.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.52.46 PM

Of course, all of the out-of-uniform time spent in space dock at a friendly place must eventually come to an end. As glimpsed in the previous trailer, the Enterprise is soon attacked by a swam of robotic drones, that proceed to absolutely decimate the ship. This isn't the first time the Enterprise has been destroyed in a Star Trek movie (it met its end in Star Trek III: The Search For Spock and Star Trek: Generations), but those scenes were presented with a certain degree of nobility. The ship went down fighting. Here, the most advanced ship in Starfleet appears to get caught with its pants down by an enemy nobody sees coming. This is the first time the Enterprise has been destroyed as the first act from a villain. And I'll be honest: it's one hell of a way to introduce a new villain.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.53.00 PM

Seriously. This isn't pretty.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.53.42 PM

This trailer lays out more details of the assault, which also includes a boarding party consisting of these guys, whose body armor looks like something out of Halo. Like the robotic swarm that caught the Enterprise off guard, these guys look fast and merciless and don't hesitate to start firing phasers on everyone in sight. They certainly know how to make an entrance.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.54.20 PM

Ouch. Right in the deflector array. This scene looks cruel because every recognizable element of the ship, from the nacelles to the saucer, gets torn to shreds. If nothing else, Justin Lin is making it very clear that the USS Enterprise is a complete and total goner. It can't come back from this. Also in the midst of this quick-cut montage, we see various characters bailing in escape pods...and a few enemy fighters snatching those escape pods right out of the sky.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.54.40 PM

What I like about the look of the planet where the Enterprise crew is stranded (and presumably where they spend the bulk of the film) is how it looks torn straight out of the original series. I say this as a compliment: this resembles a big-budget version of the kind of papier-mâché alien landscapes that populated the original run.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.54.52 PM

"I know why we're here. Why we're all here." Here's our first look at Jaylah, played by Kingsman star Sofia Boutella, a brand new character to the Star Trek mythos who looks to have a huge role in the film. Her motivations remain unexplained, but we do know that she dislikes the villain of Beyond enough to team up with the scattered crew of the Enterprise. As she implies, everyone is here for a reason. It's certainly no accident that he first appearance here involves her beating the crap out of a few guys. She does a lot of that in trailer.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.55.17 PM

And from the look of things, she'll be doing a lot of it with Montgomery Scott by her side. If you're the kind of a person idiotic enough to go through this trailer frame-by-frame and screen cap it and write your observations down, you'll note that the trailer does a pretty find job of laying out where everyone ends up and with whom. In any case, the fussy Scotty and badass alien warrior woman seem like a fine pair, indeed.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.55.32 PM

"Our captain will come for us. Mercy will be the last thing on his mind." While Mr. Scott gets to go on an adventure, Uhura gets to be held prisoner by the villain. To be fair, most of the cast seems to be held prisoner by the villain. Hopefully, she'll get to be more than a simple damsel in destress. Anyway, this appears to be the Big Bad's lair.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.55.46 PM

Here's the trailer's grand reveal of Krall, the main villain of the film. He has a few things going for him. One: he's played by the great Idris Elba. Two: his alien make-up is killer and it's always fun to meet a new Star Trek species. Three: he's a completely new character who won't have to live in the shadow of the iconic baddie he's supposed to represent. That last one is the most important – Elba will be allowed to build Krall from scratch. Rather than play with our nostalgia and memories of past villains, he has the chance to create something new and special.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.56.05 PM

"I am counting on it." Look, someone is going to write a think piece about how Star Trek Beyond is the second 2016 film (after X-Men: Apocalypse) to cast a popular and charismatic actor as a villain and cover him with several pounds of make-up and run his voice through a filter. But it won't be me. I'd rather concentrate on how cool Krall looks and sounds. Heck, I'd rather concentrate on how ruthless efficient he appears to be and how his motivations (and hatred for the Federation) reportedly exist in a shade of grey that keep him from being a simplistic monster.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.56.21 PM

Since Star Trek Beyond takes place deep in the galaxy and far from Earth, we can safely assume that this shot is of the Federation outpost glimpsed earlier in the trailer, the one visited by Kirk, Spock and McCoy in their civvies. Note the giant spires in the background, which align with what we saw in those previous shots. Anyway, it looks like it's in trouble and those fighters look an awful lot like the ships that were present during the destruction of the Enterprise. It seems that part of Krall's plan involves directly attacking the Federation, starting with this base.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.57.05 PM

I'm still not used to seeing Scotty do the action hero thing, but if I was Simon Pegg and I was writing the screenplay, I too would find all kinds of exciting derring-do for my character to get involved in.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.57.30 PM

As we saw in the 2009 reboot, Chris Pine's Captain Kirk has an affinity for motorcycles. Luckily, this distant alien planet just so happens to have a motorcycle he can drive through an exciting action scene. I know some fans aren't fond of Kirk-on-a-motorcycle, but let's face it – William Shatner's Kirk is the exact kind of guy who'd have a sweet motorcycle in his garage. Anyway, this appears to not be an ordinary motorcycle, a someone fires a phaser it at...

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.57.43 PM

...and it vanishes, only to reappear further down the path. So, Kirk seems to have found a teleporting motorcycle. Maybe. It's honestly hard to tell in this footage. Talk it over amongst yourselves.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.57.59 PMStar Trek has a long history of creating alien races by finding new and silly ways to modify actors' foreheads and Jaylah is no different. Still, as far as aliens-with-weird-crap-on-their-foreheads go, she's top-notch. This shot really lets you admire just how cool she looks, from the strange white hair to her yellow eyes.Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.58.14 PM

Since Star Trek Beyond takes place far from Earth, we can once again assume that this shot comes from that unnamed Federation outpost. If you look closely, you'll notice two figures walking sideways along the side of that building. Since this is man-made structure floating in the middle of space with no gravity, the film looks like it will take advantage of this unique setting to allow characters to do impossible things in the name of action. You should also note how the surface below curves (this is a spherical base after all), making certain buildings meet at odd angles.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.58.52 PM

The next few shots tell us that one of those tiny figures is Captain Kirk, who ends up plummeting from the building and toward certain doom. And since we're dealing with an environment with artificial gravity, Kirk actually plummets upwards, away from the surface.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.59.04 PM

"Fear of death is illogical."

"Fear of death is what keeps us alive." In all seriousness, McCoy gets more cool stuff to do in this trailer than he did in the entirety of Star Trek Into Darkness. From the look of things, he'll be spending his stranded-on-the-planet time with Spock, finally giving Kirk's right hand and left hand a chance to talk over their differences. The dynamic between these two, the logical vulcan and the hot-blooded doctor, was always a bright spot of Star Trek episodes and movies. It finally appears to be getting a spotlight.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 3.59.39 PM

Uhura may get captured by the bad guys following the destruction of the Enterprise, but at least she doesn't go down without a fight. Here she is beating the crap out of a member of the boarding party. Hopefully, she'll prove equally tough and resourceful throughout the rest of the movie.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.00.12 PM

A fallen Enterprise must fall somewhere. Here is the ruined saucer of the great ship, bathed in moonlight and flames. You can't make it out too well in a still image, but there are are few figures on the surface of the wreckage, exchanging phaser blasts with someone...

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.00.34 PM

Yep, that's Captain Kirk and he's pulling some real action hero stuff here, sliding down the ruins of the ship he used to command while shooting at an enemy. While Justin Lin is a self-professed Star Trek fan who used to watch the original series with his father, he's still the director of gleefully insane action movies like Fast Five – the man has an eye for action and he's not afraid to let his characters look cool.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.01.04 PM

These gentlemen appear to be the same species as Krall (although significantly less spiky), which means they're probably a few of his anonymous henchmen who get to be dispatched by the Enterprise crew at some point in the movie. This guy appears to be doing homework on this James T. Kirk fellow, the guy who has giving them so many headaches lately. This is like one of those scenes in an early Steven Seagal movie where the villain suddenly learns the backstory about the guy they're fighting and realizes "Oh, shit."

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.01.32 PM

You could be forgiven for thinking that only the major characters survived the destruction of the Enterprise, but nah, here's the rest of the crew. This appears to be some kind of prison, although it's not yet clear why Krall is keeping them alive and what he plans to do with them. However, Jaylah does tell Scotty "Everyone who goes there, he kills," so we have a pretty good idea of what will happen if a rescue isn't staged soon.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.01.55 PM

Although Sulu gets a few moments in the trailer, this shot reveals where he probably spends the bulk of the movie: hanging out in Krall jail with Uhura. Considering the relationship between Justin Lin and John Cho (they first worked together on Better Luck Tomorrow), I sincerely hope Sulu is given his fair share of stuff to do than hang around with the other secondary characters before getting to fly the ship into the third act climax.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.02.13 PM

In case you needed more evidence of the film's third act probably having something to do with Krall's fleet assaulting a federation outpost, here's another shot of those fighters flying through the city. Take note the giant structure in the hazy sky – that certainly looks like one of the space docks we glimpsed earlier.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.02.32 PM

"Unity is not your strength. It is a weakness." Krall seems to have a very, very low opinion of people coming together and working for the common good. No wonder he's in direct conflict with the Federation.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.03.11 PM

"I think you're underestimating humanity." Let's use this opportunity to talk about the new uniforms that certain members of the crew acquire at some point in the movie. Not everyone gets one of these nifty new jackets, which means that they are somehow found on the planet. However, the Starfleet insignia on the arm makes it clear that these don't belong to just any random alien species. Heck, Kirk even snagged a uniform with the yellow "command" coloring. We'll talk about where these probably came from in a moment, but they look terrific, looking like something from a less streamlined past and directly recalling the uniforms seen in the TV series Star Trek: Enterprise.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.03.35 PM

We know from earlier images that this area Kirk is ramping over with his motorcycle is the prison where his crew is being held. So what once looked like a silly stunt forced into the movie by the guy who made four Fast and Furious movies is now clearly an homage to The Great Escape. Yeah, I feel foolish for pre-juding that one, too.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.03.47 PM

R.I.P. USS Enterprise.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.04.08 PM

This shot may not look like much, but there's actually a lot to take in here. Let's start with the object in the background, which is our best look yet at the Federation outpost we've been glimpsing throughout the trailer. Note the spherical surface, which probably helps create the hazy grey-white sky seen in all of the city shots. Also note that the ship heading toward it is not the Enterprise and it doesn't look like one of Krall's ships. In fact, it looks like an NX-class Federation starship, which were used in the earliest days of the Federation. Once again, think Star Trek: Enterprise-era.

Since we're all friends here and we're spitballing, it certainly looks like the crew finds a long-crashed NX-class ship on Krall's planet, borrows a few of those old uniforms, and uses their new ride to take the fight directly to Krall since the Enterprise is now a pile of rubble. This is not a new theory. Heck, if the internet is to be believed, we already know the name of this ship: the USS Franklin.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.04.52 PM

While Kirk if off galavanting on his motorcycle, it looks like Spock and McCoy are getting their hands dirty actually rescuing the rest of the crew. Considering the number of glimpses we see in the trailer, this prison break looks like it will be a huge action sequence.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.05.20 PM

Pardon the fuzziness of the screen cap, but here is another look at the supposed USS Franklin flying into action, dodging attacks launched by Krall's forces. They may have lost the Enterprise because they were taken by surprise, but Kirk and the crew now know what to expect. They just have to make a centuries-old ship work for them.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.05.45 PM

Yes, the gag with Jaylah sitting in the captain's chair is a good one, letting us know a great deal about this mysterious character in just a single moment. However, note their surroundings. This is not the Enterprise, with its shiny white walls. This is something older and comparatively ancient. Yep, this has to be the bridge of the USS Franklin, shortly before the crew absconds with their new vessel.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.05.57 PM

Saved for posterity: McCoy's reaction to Jaylah sitting in the captain's chair.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.06.06 PM

Also reserved for posterity: Spock's reaction to Jaylah sitting in the captain chair. And then there's Chekhov in the background wearing one of the new/old uniforms. This is also our first evidence that Chekhov actually survives the destruction of the Enterprise. Hi, Chekhov.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.06.17 PM

"He likes that seat."

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 4.06.40 PM

And finally, the trailer concludes with the supposed USS Franklin taking off from certainly looks like a hiding spot in some trees nestled behind some mountains. We'll know how all of this comes together when the film actually opens on July 22, 2016.