The third movie in the latest Star Trek film franchise launched a new trailer yesterday. Star Trek Beyond won’t premier until late July this year, but it is already hooking in the Baby Boomer and Millennial target audiences.
All Phasers locked on Baby Boomers
In an interesting shift from the previous two movies, this trailer hints that the movie will focus on the relationship between Bones and Kirk, rather than the Sprik dynamic that climaxed in Into Darkness’s role-flip of the iconic Wrath of Khan character development scenes. The entire first minute of the two minute, twenty-four second trailer is devoted to two older characters advising the young Kirk. The opening dialogue between Bones and Kirk delves into the young captain’s struggle to live up to his father’s legacy. Kirk self-deprecatingly claims “I joined [Starfleet] on a dare” and Bones corrects him, “you joined to see if you could live up to [your father].” Bones continues to advise Kirk, and the next voice added to the dialogue is that of an older woman ( 64 year old, new-to-the-franchise Shohreh Aghdashloo,) who also counsels Kirk on the dangers of space.
Later in the trailer, Dr. McCoy appears again to impart wisdom to a junior. This time, Spock claims, “Fear of death is illogical,” and once again, Bones counters the younger’s position: “Fear of death is what keeps us alive.”
Baby Boomers (and older members of Generation X) will connect with these moments of the new film’s narrative as they, too, evolve to play the societal role of elders and advisors in their own relationships. Also, they, like Spock and Bones, are beginning to grapple with the reality of their own mortality, as retirement and life-expectancy ages loom on the horizon.
Target Torpedoes to Hit Millennials right in the Feels
As with young people of all generations, Millennials struggle with fitting their lives into the roles fulfilled by those who have come before them. “You spend all this time trying to be your Father, and now you’re wondering what it means to be you,” Bones tells Kirk in the opening of the trailer. Older young adults (ages 18-30) will empathize with the struggle to find their way in a world that is indelibly altered from that of their parents.
In their youth, Millennials were markedly overwhelmed by the incessant changes the inception of the internet age wrought upon the world as they were struggling through self-development. NEETs and Boomerangs, in particular, never overcame this struggle, choosing to withdraw and pull-into themselves rather than to take a chance in the ever-changing landscape outside of their familial circles. Star Trek Beyond gives voice, value, and empathy to this generation’s feelings of uncertainty and isolation in a world ruled by a multitude of voices on social media: “It isn’t uncommon, you know. It’s easy to get lost in the vastness of space. There’s only yourself.” This theme of self-alienation was often echoed in the emo music and other art that emerged (read: plagued) during Millennials’ adolescence and young adulthood.
Star Trek Beyond is shaping up to cleanly fit within age-based and generational trends that transcend national borders, making this film as viable to international success as its predecessors. Certainly, the multigenerational reach of the narrative will achieve critical acclaim here in the US. Not only will the film resonate with Millennials and older generations, but the expected stunning visuals and actions scenes will satisfy the younger audiences, and the addition of a new female BAMF character alongside Uhura’s strong presence will appease feminists and raise the cast of characters to reflect modern realities.