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This weekend, audiences are preparing to re-board the Enterprise and explore the deepest reaches of outer space when Justin Lin's Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters. The interesting thing about Beyond is that it's the continuation of the series, J.J. Abrams launched back in 2009, but we already know that a Star Trek 4 is in the early planning stages. So, will we get a tease for that recently announced sequel via the always popular end-credits sequence?
No, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't stay for the end credits sequence of Star Trek Beyond, because two special things to happen early on in the process. It's not breaking news that the Star Trek family lost two very important members recently. Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, died of complications to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2015, while Beyond was still in production. And then, tragically, current Chekov Anton Yelchin was killed in an automotive accident in June, leaving his Star Trek colleagues reeling. While there is no footage in a post-credits scene, both Nimoy and Yelchin receive memorial cards in the credits of Star Trek Beyond. The movie's actually dedicated to Yelchin with the touching "For Anton" added at the last minute.
This is to be expected. The Star Trek family has been vast and supportive for 50 years now, and the series is celebrating a milestone anniversary all year (including special events here in San Diego at Comic-Con). Remembering recently deceased cast members is a beautiful recognition of their contributions to the sci-fi franchise's legacy. The cast, led by producer J.J. Abrams, even held a lengthy and touching moment of silence for Anton Yelchin at the world premiere in San Diego. It was a heartfelt and genuine moment.
But now you know that if and when you go see Star Trek Beyond this weekend (or in the coming weeks), there's not footage or official tease that will set up the next mission of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the members of the U.S.S. Enterprise. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of places that the movies can go. Star Trek Beyond is a little episodic, in that it doesn't build on what Abrams started, so much as it just gives us more time in the presence of the rebooted versions of these classic characters. The next movie can, and should, do more of that. And end-credits scenes should be saved for comic-book movies.
Star Trek Beyond opens everywhere on July 22.