Photo: Paramount Pictures

Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot points we can’t reveal in our review.

Why would anyone cast Idris Elba in a movie and then cover him up in layers of prosthetics and make-up? And isn’t it kind of silly that the USS Franklin, the antique Starfleet vessel found by the Enterprise survivors on the unknown planet, holds both a classic motorcycle and a copy of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” which the young Kirk blasted on a joyride in the first rebooted Star Trek? And what happened to the crew of the Franklin anyway?

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The answer to all three of those questions lies with Krall, who is actually Balthazar Edison, the captain of the Franklin. Extending his life (and distorting his appearance) with a technology left behind by an unknown alien species, Edison has waited all this time to exact his revenge. A decorated hero of the military force that predated Starfleet, Edison represents a link to the dark wartime past of the Federation, whose idealism he denounces as a hypocritical sham; they gave him a peacetime commission, but never came to rescue his downed crew.

He’s also a double for Kirk’s juvenile fantasies: a grown-up who had everything the Enterprise captain might have wanted as a kid. (Pointedly, Star Trek Beyond is set around Kirk’s birthday, on which he turns a year older than his father ever got to be.) All of this makes Krall an ideal villain—but also a mismanaged one, his most intriguing motivations brushed in the race from one breathless set-piece to the next.