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4 Important Lessons Star Trek 4 Can Learn From Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond crew
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Chris Pine may have only recently learned about Star Trek 4, but Paramount assures us that this Star Trek movie is definitely happening. This means we’ll get to see the Kelvin timeline cast back together again for at least one more adventure, marking their first reunion since the release of Star Trek Beyond in 2016. 

Beyond is the latest film we have to go on, so in many ways, it’s a good indicator of what to and not to do in regards to the next movie in the Star Trek franchise. With that in mind, let’s talk about the positives the third Kelvin film brought to the franchise, and in what ways a fourth film could improve upon it. 

Uhura and Sulu in Star Trek: Beyond

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek 4 Should Try Its Best To Keep The Crew Together

If there’s one minor gripe I have about an otherwise great Star Trek Beyond, it’s that a bulk of the crew is divided throughout the course of the adventure. Sure, I get that isn’t new territory for a Star Trek adventure, but there are times in Beyond where a few characters go most of the movie without interacting with some of their shipmates. Granted, this served to Beyond's benefit and made it feasible for these actors to commit in spite of their busy schedules. 

With that all being said, I get the sense the upcoming Star Trek 4 feels like the last hurrah for the Kelvin group. If we’re able to get all the stars back together for this final movie (which is still hard to believe given all the past false starts on Star Trek 4), we need to see the crew together as much as possible. I’m not saying there can’t be a couple of times where the crew is separated, but I know I’d like to see everyone from Kirk to Sulu share some tender moments before the credits roll.

Chris Pine in Star Trek Beyond

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Paramount Should Treat Star Trek 4 Like It’s The Last One Of The Kelvin Crew

Paramount Pictures announced Star Trek 4's existence days before the release of Star Trek: Beyond. At least six years, maybe even seven, will have passed before we see Star Trek 4 in theaters. While there are several reasons for that, another big factor is that Chris Pine, Zoe Saldaña and many others of the Kelvin Enterprise crew are in high demand in Hollywood. If this movie happens, it feels entirely possible this is the last time we see this crew together in a Star Trek film. 

Based on that, I can’t think of any reason not to work on something that gives some sort of conclusive ending to the saga of Kirk’s Kelvin crew. Star Trek Beyond was a good romp, but there wasn’t any real finality to the adventure or conclusion to it all. I guess that’s largely because the sequel was announced before the threequel's official release, so there was probably little doubt at the time that more was coming. Now that we’ve seen just how hard it is for that to happen, maybe this is the time just to go all out.

Uhura in Star Trek: Beyond

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Pave The Way For The Future

It’s possible this is the last ride for Captain Kirk’s Kelvin crew. With that said, I’d find it hard to believe that Paramount wants to spend as long of a time between Star Trek movies, especially now that the television sector of the franchise is thriving on Paramount+. The future of Star Trek on television looks bright, but if Star Trek 4 is indeed the last time we see Chris Pine’s crew, what would be the next plan for this corner of the franchise? 

Some fans might argue now’s the time to work on movies that re-incorporate the casts of popular shows and try to bring a Star Trek: Discovery or Strange New Worlds movie to the big screen. I’m not exactly against the idea, though with all-new Trek shows on accessible with a Paramount+ subscription, it only seems that any movie made with those properties is exclusive to that platform. Plus, those shows are for more the dedicated Star Trek audience, while the Kelvin universe is catered to both fans and more casual enjoyers of blockbuster science fiction movies. 

As such, it seems like a good idea to pave the way for the future of the Kelvin universe and keep it in the space of a zone that can entice casual and diehard fans at the same time. I think the most obvious move is to introduce the Kelvin version of The Next Generation, but there are plenty of other characters who could be introduced to the Kelvin timeline. Whatever option Star Trek opts for going forward, it’d be nice to get a glimpse of that plan in Star Trek 4, especially at a time when the franchise is as strong as it's ever been. 

Spock in Star Trek Beyond

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Keep It Fun, Even If It Doesn’t Always Make Sense

Star Trek Beyond is a well-liked movie both by critics and audiences, but it isn’t without its flaws. Many viewers like to point out how improbable it was the crew was able to get the Franklin ship working in under ten minutes in order to take the fight to Krall. Let’s also not forget Scotty’s great escape via a photon torpedo, which would’ve absolutely killed him once it struck the surface. There’s a lot that happens in Beyond that doesn’t make sense, and yet, does it really shape how much we enjoy it in the present? 

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people still hold Beyond in high regard. This is in light of its shortcomings and feasible plot holes, though it’s worth noting you’d be hard-pressed to find a science fiction series or movie that doesn’t have a few questionable moments that require a reasonable suspension of belief. What’s important is that the movie is a fun thrill ride with a fair amount of action, though of course it wouldn’t hurt to have any of the above stuff I mentioned as well. If Star Trek 4 can do all that, I can’t imagine anyone will be upset. 

Aside from the movie being development and scheduled for December 22, 2023, there's very little we know about Star Trek 4 at the moment. That means there’s plenty of time to check out other Star Trek works on Paramount+ (opens in new tab). For anyone who is remotely interested in the tons of new Star Trek arriving in 2022 and beyond (pun intended), it’s a must-have.

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.