Zoe Saldana has truly become the queen of the science-fiction genre. Having had major roles in the Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Trek franchises, she’s only continuing to build her vast resume and stature in Hollywood. Her latest appearance will be in Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond later this summer, where she reprises her role as Uhura.
Unlike the original films, the rebooted series that began with J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and Into Darkness has Uhura in a crucial spot in the storylines, which has allowed Saldana to give the character a lot of depth and complexity. She stars alongside a huge cast that includes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg (who also serves as a co-writer), and Karl Urban, but her spotlight is never dampened by their imposing shadows. In a recent interview with Collider, she elaborated on Uhura and the big changes in her relationships.
I think that’s going to be there. Every relationship in this movie will be tested on a very, very high scale. The great thing about this installment is that it’s not only Kirk and Spock and J.J.’s Spock and Uhura, his twist, it’s also Chekov and Scotty. It’s Sulu. So I’m really excited about this because now it’s an ensemble more than ever. Everybody’s relationship, all of their dynamics are tested. Spock and Uhura are going to be tested as well. To what extent? I don’t know. But I mean they made it in the show. They were old in the show. [laughs] What more can I say without giving it away?
Into Darkness showed the deepening relationship of Spock and Uhura, so there’s no telling how it may develop in Beyond and future films. Saldana went on to discuss how this film is different from Abrams’ installments and the addition of having Pegg as a co-writer.
I was excited. First, I understood the action from the first read. I was like, ‘Oh, OK. I won’t need 20 days to understand this.’ I was also very proud that Simon was one of the cowriters. And it felt like a very fresh way to seeing all of us. I hope it makes sense. I think it will once you guys see the move. I think every installment that we’ve done has been very unique in terms of where they’re at, where each character is at in their own personal lives, and also as a crew.
Beyond is no doubt going to be a fun time, especially since it looks to be going down a very different road in terms of style, tone and direction. Lin has helmed many of the installments in the Fast & Furious franchise so he definitely knows how to handle a ensemble cast like this, as well as confidently handle the epic action sequences that Beyond has. Saldana talked more about her excitement about what Lin is bringing to the table.
But Justin is amazing. I feel like with his repertoire of films, we haven’t really had an opportunity to see what he can really do as a director. I feel like this Star Trek is going to give him that chance to kind of seal that stamp, like, ‘Not only can I do action, I can also follow up, keep up with an ensemble cast of characters and their trajectories, and how they all align together and how they are all individuals as well.’ He’s doing a very amazing job.
It should be interesting to see how this latest installment actually differs (or possibly compares to) past Star Trek films, for better or for worse. But Saldana is nevertheless a huge point in its favor by bringing a strong feminine presence and just a superb performance. As the release date nears, there should be more interviews with Beyond‘s cast and crew so we will keep you updated with the latest talks and buzz.
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters on July 22, 2016. The film will have its world premiere at Comic-Con.