Star Trek Beyond: To Explore Strange New Worlds

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Brief Synopsis:
The three Star Trek reboot films are a mixed bag for me. It's great to have new adventures of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and all of the Enterprise crew. It's a treat to see the Trek universe with modern SFX. It's endearing to see the camaraderie and (some of) the callbacks to the original series. It's a joy to discover (many of) the updates they made, e.g. Uhura still looks awesome but now her input is frequently essential to the story.
But... the storylines are weak, the villains uninteresting, camera work distracting (and already feels dated), too many scenes feel more Star Wars than Star Trek (the worst offender being the Millenium Falcon shaped ship trying to escape the Klingons through a "canyon" in Wrath of Khan Reboot).
Then again... it is more Trek, new Trek. So it'd be great to add these movies to the list of "let's rewatch them every once in a while, in rotation with other ST shows".
The mission then: to improve pacing, trim the most distracting camera work, and more. This fanedit of ST Beyond is improved by a calmer camera style: reduced moving shots in action scenes (less Fast & Furious). Trimmed jokes, less time spent crashing the Enterprise, less time stuck on the planet, smoother final battle: all improve the pacing. Krall's dialog improves his motivation. Extended shot of the Yorktown, because wow!
Additional Notes:
Note: This fanedit uses no material from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I started sketching out this edit 5 years ago, before the excellent Pike series was announced, and gave the sub-title based on the fact that in this movie, we catch up with Kirk & crew during their five-year mission "to explore strange new worlds".
Special Thanks:
TM2YC for tremendously improving ST Into Darkness and showing that these Trek films have plenty of room for improvement.
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Change list:
- Trims to moving camera shots. To create a calmer visual style (less Fast & Furious).
- Trims to jokes that run a line too long. The camraderie works better when not every funny moment has a punchline.
- Trims for pacing. Less time spent crashing the Enterprise, less time spent stuck on the planet.
- Replaced shot of Bones, Kirk, Spock looking at Yorktown with a shot of Yorktown itself (retain Bones-Kirk dialog). Yorktown shot taken from the 4K disc, slowed to halfspeed with Flowframes, zoomed-in with Vegas Pro. It's amazing, it deserves more screentime!
- Alter Krall's alien-language subtitles to add mention of the weapon earlier in the story.
- Cut story about Jaylah's dad, so Krall's second-in-command is no longer a personal vendetta for her.
- Several trims to Krall's dialog to reduce his far-fetched motivations. Cut his belief that the Federation abandonded him and his crew.
- Cut Kirk's talk with the villain at the start of the final fight. Annoying script-writing!
- Not cut: Kirk and Krall floating/flying inside the starbase. The slipstream concept is not very clear, the actions and dialog add little to the story, and it's possible to cut this seamlessly. But when I did, the final fight felt too short. It was clear that something was missing. So I restored (most of) the scene.
- Cut non-Paramount logos at the opening. I don't care if Abrams's production company got a slice of the proceeds, for me Trek will always be a Paramount affair.
- Cut song from end credits. Cut planets-animation portion of the end credits because the swooping camera upset my stomach the way a rollercoaster does.
- Total # of changes: 100+.
- Updated English subtitles.

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Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
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The edited Swarm vs. Enterprise is a masterclass in less-is-more action editing. It flows better, feels more urgent, but still packs the visual punch we expect. In general, this is true for the entire fanedit, though some less-than-seamless audio edits betray several cuts and draw attention to the process. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this edit. It's at least as good as the original, and flows along with better purpose.


For the file size (3+ GB) the quality was acceptable on both fronts.


The vast majority of the changes go unnoticed (in a good way), though there were several that drew my attention to the editing and took me out of the experience momentarily. A few subtle pops were present, though they were not especially distracting.


As with the audio, there were likely dozens (or more) video cuts and changes that breezed by unnoticed, but I did see one flash frame, two small continuity issues, and a cut to the action that left me wondering about the fate of a character for more five minutes (only to find him totally unharmed in his next scene but without any mention or flashback to his close call).


The story flows better, with fewer dead-ends, and I didn't once feel like I was missing anything.


I'm afraid it remains the weakest of the three Kelvin timeline films for me, and overall I would say my enjoyment of the edit is roughly the same as the original, so I score this 9/10 (8 = less enjoyment, 10 = more enjoyment).

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