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Star Trek hits its 50th anniversary this year. In celebration, Paramount is pulling out all the stops. A new Star Trek series will premiere next year, and Star Trek Beyond hits theaters in a couple of months. Initially, many fans leveled a good deal of criticism against the third reboot after the first teaser leaked online before it was fully completed.

Fresh off its second more traditional (but still exciting) trailer, the cast and crew of Star Trek Beyond are licking their wounds and answering fan critiques. In addition to a new trailer, Paramount also announced a major coup regarding the film’s surplus of alien friends and foes.

In a recent interview with Wired (via The Playlist), director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) and co-writer Simon Pegg (Montgomery “Scotty” Scott) addressed some of the negativity surrounding the leaked teaser, especially from former Trek star George Takei (Kobo and the Two Strings). Lin, who worked with the actor on Finishing the Game, his Bruce Lee mockumentary, took his criticism heavily – especially in light of Takei’s status as a trailblazing Asian-American actor. The director says, “he was a huge part of my life, so for him to swing a sucker punch, that hurt.”

Pegg, who co-scripted the sequel along with Doug Jung, Roberto Orci, John D. Payne, and Patrick McKay, also lashed back at celebrity fans who he feels misjudged the film, saying he was:

Disappointed that Wil Wheaton, Patton Oswalt, and George Takei were slagging off the trailer, because they know a finished trailer is never a reflection of the finished film. Get a f***ing clue! It’s really good fun: thrilling and heartfelt.”

Pegg and Lin’s reaction is understandable due to both of their pre-existing Star Trek fandom. Naturally, it’s challenging to please hardcore devotees when re-imagining and then “deconstructing” a classic series. However, with a little help from the fans, the latest trailer shows a good deal more promise than its predecessor. Shown before a limited fan event on a Paramount lot, the trailer also coincided with a big announcement from the Star Trek’s official Twitter account. In honor of the franchise’s 50th anniversary, Star Trek Beyond will contain 50 different alien species. Check out some of the major announcements below, as well as insider moments from the fan event:

Free Poster (lucky!):

Leonard Nimoy is honored:

Chris Pine on parallel dimension Kirk:

Film stills on display during the Q & A:

J.J. Abrams arrives:

The presence of fifty alien species sounds a little daunting, but it’s unlikely many of them will have more than a few seconds of facetime. From the first trailer, we already saw what appeared to be a refugee camp or prison colony, so we may get a long pan of dozens of different aliens, including many fan favorites in all likelihood. In addition, rumors have it that the alternate crew will deal with the Federation directly, due to the alien threat posed by Krall (Idris Elba) – who apparently doesn’t much appreciate the Federation or Starfleet’s way of doing things.

Even with a trip to San Francisco, there are also a number of alien races which haven’t been featured or introduced into the reboot’s timeline, so it’s unlikely we’ll see villains like the Borg or the Jem’Hadar, antagonists like the Cardassians, or friendlies like the Bajorans. With all the major action scenes and impressive set pieces, though, trying to catch all the familiar faces could be a daunting task.

Despite the leaked first trailer and worries that a reshoot meant trouble for the anniversary Trek, the film looks crisp and will catch an early release date at Comic-Con this summer. Pegg and Lin may virulently defend the third film in the rebooted trilogy, but it will be the fans who truly make the call – whether Star Trek Beyond captures the feeling of the original series or falls short of the massive expectations required from a 50th anniversary Star Trek film.

Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters on July 22nd, 2016.

Source: Wired (via The Playlist), Star Trek’s Twitter, JoBlo’s Twitter

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