#writinglessons: Star Trek Beyond

I finally watched Star Trek Beyond and loved it!

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What a great movie. Right amount of laughs, tension, action and heart-racing fear to keep me engaged. Even the bad guy made sense in the end.

So, what did I learn from the movie?



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Characters: Three of the main characters were struggling with demons. (ALERT: Spoilers ahead).

Captain Kirk – he’s bogged down with what has become a monotonous existence and wants a change.

Spock – he’s confounded with the destruction of his planet and his race and wants to do something to reignite Vulcans and their culture.

Krall – he’s a soldier who feels abandoned by the Federation and seeks to return humanity back to a time when things made sense for him.

The movie gave us Kirk & Spock’s demons up front, but we had to wait to the end to understand Krall. That worked for me and I enjoyed seeing these demons come into play throughout the film.


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Nemesis: When beloved characters come across a foe with unrelenting strength and technological capacity, it sets the tune for a great ride. I think back to The Expanse series (tv show) and the unknown villains who landed on the Martian ship with bigger guns and wiped out a big battle ship and it’s crew. It’s the equivalent of the Bogeyman – terrifying, yet a challenge for the heroes to defeat. The filmmakers took the crew right up to the brink of that moment when all is lost and as a viewer, I enjoyed seeing them fight their way back to a win.

Plot: This film did something that’s been recommended in quite a few writing craft books but the filmmakers implemented this technique flawlessly. HAVE THE WORST POSSIBLE THING HAPPEN TO YOUR CHARACTERS IN THE VERY BEGINNING and then have readers/viewers/consumers see what happens in the aftermath.

When the worst happens, things can only get better from there, right? Wrong! Try losing your ship, then losing your crewmates, then discovering that the villain is going to destroy millions of people and the only thing standing in the way is a small group of people with a prehistoric spaceship.

Yup, I’ve got to figure out how to apply this formula and yes, it is a formula that plays out in many books and films over and over. Why? Because it works (gotta remember that!).

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Romance: There was just a smidge and that was very, very good enough for me.

Tributes: The film also managed to pay homage and give a tasteful tribute to two members of the franchise that passed away – the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin who plays Chekov.

Artwork: I’ve shared some of the posters from the movie above and they all create a sense of action, movement, foreboding, heroism, triumph blah, blah, blah.

Image result for link to star trek beyond poster

Note to self – can you convey that in book covers? You’ve got to try.

Okay, I think it’s time I stopped fangirling about this movie and get to work.

5 thoughts on “#writinglessons: Star Trek Beyond

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