Star Trek tells a story about integration and “infinite diversity”

Su Jin Jang, Aug. 16, 2016, 10:21 a.m.

Star Trek tells a story about integration and “infinite diversity” that resonates in today’s world more than ever, according to the actors of “Star Trek Beyond,” the latest installation in the science-fiction film franchise set for local release Thursday.

Cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin discussed the film’s core values at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. 

“It’s a franchise with all the hallmarks of a summer blockbuster but also has a lot of heart,” said Quinto, who plays Cmdr. Spock. “It’s rooted in a message of connectivity, unity, optimism. There’s no time like this one for that kind of message to be resonant.” 

Pegg, who plays Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott, added that the series’ mantra was one of “infinite diversity,” depicting a future “where we all live together with total tolerance, total acceptance. That should be our goal as a species.” 

Star Trek, originally a TV series created by Gene Roddenberry, follows humans and aliens who collaborate to bring peace to an interplanetary federation. It features a mix of adventure and morality tales, with protagonists who ultimately harbor altruistic values. Since its 1966 television launch, the series has spiraled to cult popularity and has been rendered into books, comics and a massive film franchise, with a devoted following of fans who call themselves “Trekkies.” 

This latest film, the third in the “reboot” film series which kicked off in 2009, follows the crew of the Enterprise spaceship after a surprise attack forces them to land on a mysterious world. 

Of the Star Trek trilogy, this film is the first to be helmed by Vietnamese-American director Justin Lin, previously known for “The Fast and the Furious” film series and television series “True Detective.” The previous two films -- “Star Trek: The Beginning” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” -- were directed by J.J. Abrams, who produced the latest film. 

“(Lin) was great in taking over the reins,” Quinto said. “He had a sense of story and a desire to draw on all of our relationships. It was a seamless transition.” 

Lin wanted to blend the human story with action blockbuster, while acknowledging the original Star Trek spirit, he said. 

“The more we go out there (into space), the more it’s an exploration of (the characters) as human beings,” said Lin. “I think that’s the one thing the audience will really embrace.

“I’ve done enough sequels to know it’s not something you just do. It’s something you earn and a relationship you build with the audience, globally,” he added. 

On playing the imperturbable vulcan-human Spock, Quinto said it was a challenge to express emotions “distilled to a minimal range” and took it upon himself to laugh as much as he could between tasks. 

“Luckily I was surrounded by an ensemble of beautiful clowns and we take great joy in making each other laugh.”

The actors also talked about spending the day in Korea’s capital Monday. 

“I bought a pair of shoes and a pair of sunglasses,” said Pine, who is visiting here for the second time. He also had “a wonderful lunch” and “an insanely beautifully crafted coffee” and spent time at a bar in the evening, he added. 

The film additionally features Korean-American actor John Cho as Lt. Hikaru Sulu, Zoe Saldana as Lt. Nyota Uhura and Idris Elba as mutated alien creature Krall.

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