“I need another ticket.”
This is usually not the first thing you would say to your host, but after getting invited to the world premiere of the new Star Trek Beyond film in California, at the San Diego Comic Con, I came upon a sight variance in my anti-matter containment unit.
The invite, extended to Geek Culture via UIP Singapore when we were invited to cover the Star Trek Beyond 50th Anniversary Fan Event in Los Angeles, came in pairs.
I decided to make it a family trip for my wife and two year old, and a third ticket was needed. I repeated my request and wished that I had a universal translator with me.
But it worked as the Paramount staff recognised my fervour, and presented me with three tickets to the IMAX screening.
And boy was it a screening. Embarcadero Marina Park looks to be a hot spot at the San Diego Comic Convention, especially when almost the entire crew of the USS Enterprise was in attendance. Star Trek (Kelvin Timeline) producer JJ Abrams led the entourage, and was followed by Chris Pine (James Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott) and newcomers Justin Lin and Idris Elba, the latter who defied the weather and came dressed in bermudas.
Naturally, Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov) was not forgotten, and a one minute tribute was given to the recently departed star. The outdoor event, which saw over 3,000 people flooding the park was hosted by a surprise guest, Conan O’Brien, who kicked things off by stating that everyone attendance officially became the largest group of people at a location not playing Pokemon Go.
But what made the screening special was not the IMAX screen nor the stars.
On the side of the stage was the San Diego symphony orchestra, who complemented the movie by playing a live soundtrack during the film presentation. Anytime there was music playing in the movie, it was muted and replaced by the live orchestra. It was also a great party with food and drinks provided by Paramount. Check out the dinner and movie that they invited Geek Culture to!
And just before the lights dimmed, the skies ignited in a volley of fireworks and laser lights worthy of a National Day celebration. Scratch that. The fireworks went on for much longer, probably because the sky was still not entirely dark by 8pm, the official start time of the premiere. There was even a joke by Conan that all the promotional budget was blown up in the sky. I mean, fast and furious thrills and explosions – what else would anyone expect from the new master of disaster, Justin Lin?
The only person missing from the show was Rihanna herself, whose song, Sledgehammer, was played at the start of the night. Now that is someone I wanted to see perform live tonight.
It was a surreal moment to watch a new movie to a 50 year old franchise, and be in the same audience with the stars, director and producer in attendance, at one of the biggest geek event in the world.
And that wasn’t all. Check out the swag bag presented to everyone in attendance at the premiere. There was a cap with the Vulcan Salute, a lanyard with a guide to Trek, a t-shirt with the USS Enterprise, a pin of the USS Franklin as well as four Blu-ray titles – the first two reboot movies, Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness, from the Kelvin timeline, Star Trek Origins and Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan Directors Cut.
Star Trek Origins is an upcoming title, slated for launch on Sept 10, that features five classic episodes from The Original Series – “The Cage,” the original Star Trek pilot (featuring Pike and Spock); “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second pilot (which featured Kirk and aired as the third episode of season one); “Space Seed,” which gave fans their first glimpse of Khan; “Errand of Mercy,” in which the Enterprise crew, and fans, met the Klingons; and “The Trouble with Tribbles,” which first unleashed the cute but problematic Tribbles.
All in all, it was a great night for Geek Culture, and for fans of Star Trek, and we’re glad to have been a part of this special 50th Anniversary, first of its kind outdoor IMAX premiere.