So, first things first: In our latest look at ‘Star Trek: Beyond,’ the Enterprise seems to take a devastating hit from an alien force—”something we’ve never seen before,” says Captain James T. Kirk, played with his signature blend of charisma and ego by Chris Pine, the star of our July/August 2016 issue. We’ll leave it to the Trekkies to figure out if those aliens are Klingons, but we do know they’re led by the blue-faced Krall, played by a virtually unrecognizable Idris Elba.
But the real hammer blow in this quick clip comes from a decidedly Earthly force: Rihanna and Sia, who teamed up (Sia did the writing) on “Sledgehammer,” the new single from the film’s soundtrack. (It is not to be confused with the 1986 song of the same name by Peter Gabriel, although it is equally awesome.)
That gut-wrenching ballad seems like the perfect auditory backdrop for the trailer, since we know this much: Our familiar crew is in some dire straits. Spock (Zachary Quinto) takes a bad hit in a crash landing, leaving Sulu (John Cho) to take the conn.
“I know this isn’t the last of my crew,” Kirk says in a captain’s log entry. “But this is my last report as the captain of the Starship Enterprise,” which does not bode well for everyone’s favorite Starfleet ship.
But it’s not all explosions and spaceships (even if director Justin Lin will likely bring that Fast & Furious vibe to J.J. Abrams’ already action-packed franchise reboot.) Kirk, it seems, is still processing what it means to be the cocksure commander.
“My dad joined Starfleet because he believed in it,” Kirk says stonily. “I joined on a dare.”
“You joined to see if you could live up to him,” growls “Bones” McCoy (Karl Urban, who has by now perfected the Enterprise doc’s tough love). “You spent all this time trying to be your dad. And now you’re wondering what it means to be you.”
What we’re wondering: Will RiRi herself make an appearance in the film?
Star Trek: Beyond, starring Pine, Elba, Urban, Quinto, Cho, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, and the late Anton Yelchin, is slated to hit theaters on July 22nd.