After directing the first two installments of the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, J.J. Abrams left the third movie to a different director’s vision.
Despite the new direction and being a threequel, “Star Trek Beyond” still maintained the same general level of critical and box-office success as the first two movies, scoring an 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earning over $150 million in theaters.
This is thanks to the work of Justin Lin, who previously found success as the director of multiple installments in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. But despite Lin’s prior accomplishments, Abrams leaving “Star Trek” to instead direct the reboot of “Star Wars” certainly could have set the entire enterprise on an ill-fated course.
In an exclusive clip provided to The Huffington Post to promote Tuesday’s digital release of “Star Trek Beyond,” Abrams finally explains his philosophy for needing to detach himself from the helm.
“It was clear that having made two of these movies, that having another director come in to bring his or her point of view and voice to the proceedings was the right move,” Abrams says in the clip. Instead of keeping the reins steady, Abrams believed his involvement would have made the series stale.
He almost never directs sequels to his work, the only one being “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which debuted in 2013. Instead, Abrams favors transitioning into an advising producer role as he did for “Star Trek Beyond.”
In the clip, Abrams further explains that what appealed to him most about Lin was not necessarily his directing skills, but that “he grew up a lifelong fan” of the “Star Trek” universe and would try to treat the characters with the care of a true Trekkie.