Always pay extra for the upgraded Hemsworth model.
Before he was Thor for The Avengers, before he was racing and man-whoring for Ron Howard in Rush, and before he was the hilariously dim secretary in the new Ghostbusters movie, Chris Hemsworth made his big screen debut in the pre-credits scene of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot as the ill-fated George Kirk, the heroic and idealistic father of Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk.
Even though George didn’t make it past the opening logo of that first movie, his legacy has loomed over the rest of the franchise ‐ his father’s heroism a driving force, for better or worse, for Captain Kirk. It’s something explored in the most recent trailer for Justin Lin’s upcoming entry, Star Trek Beyond.
There’s a whole lot of daddy issues at play in those first 10–15 seconds, and quite possibly through the entire film. Which is why it isn’t a huge surprise that Paramount announced that the next film ‐ the fourth entry in the rebooted universe ‐ will explore this with greater depth. It will also undoubtedly bring back one of the oft-criticized tropes of Abrams’ ’09 film: time travel. How do we know this? Because the Paramount press release also announced that Chris Hemsworth will return as George Kirk and star “alongside” Chris Pine.
More specifically, they provided this logline: “In the next installment of the epic space adventure, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father.”
The doubling down on Hemsworth is understandable. Now that Marvel has his Thor wig figured out and other franchises are using his wide range of talents, he’s become a force to be reckoned with on the big screen. The doubling down on time travel however, might be a big risk for the franchise, especially as it seems to be about to get its mojo back. Consider this reaction from noted Trek enthusiast and critic Jordan Hoffman:
STAR TREK BEYOND does something magical: has big, bold action but puts these characters in, basically, a TOS episode. For me it was a dream.
That Trek is embracing its roots works against much of what J.J. Abrams did by playing with his action figures in the first two movies. This sentiment alone should delight longtime Trekkers. This is the same group that was a little put-off by the timeline looseness of the original film. So suffice it to say that the fourth film’s story will be a gamble.
Now if they can just get Shatner to cameo for one scene with Pine and Hemsworth, it’ll be worth it.