SAN DIEGO — The world premiere of “Star Trek Beyond” blasted off at Comic-Con with an orchestra, fireworks, lasers and tributes to the series’ late stars.
The sci-fi sequel premiered Wednesday night to more than 3,500 attendees at a flashy invite-only event held at San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park just outside the site of the four-day pop-culture convention.
Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and other “Trek” stars introduced the film on stage before the San Diego Symphony performed selections from the score amid a flurry of fireworks and lasers.
“I can’t imagine a better place to premiere it than here at Comic-Con,” said Quinto while on the red carpet beforehand. “I thought it was going to be mayhem, but there is such a beautiful hush here.”
The 90-piece orchestra accompanied the film as it was projected on the first-ever outdoor Imax screen. The mammoth screen was erected especially for the event.
“Oh my God,” said Urban on the red carpet. “It’s like the largest screen on the planet for the ‘Star Trek Beyond’ premiere. I’m so excited.”
The crowd erupted with laughter and cheers at various moments during the threequel, including when Pine’s starship boss James T. Kirk pulls off a daring escape on a motorcycle and as John Cho’s helmsman Hikaru Sulu embraces his never-before-seen husband and daughter.
“It’s fun when you get to come here and show off a film that you enjoy with your friends,” Pine said.
Before the extravaganza commenced, the cast and crew memorialized late “Trek” stars Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin, who died June 19. Quinto reflected on original Spock actor Nimoy, while filmmaker J.J. Abrams led a moment of silence in honor of Yelchin, who plays navigator Pavel Chekov in the rebooted “Trek” movies.
“There is something missing tonight,” Abrams said. “There is someone missing tonight.”
“Trek,” which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will continue to have a massive presence at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Several “Trek” sessions are planned inside the San Diego Convention Center, including a Saturday panel featuring actors from each “Trek” installment, such as William Shatner, Michael Dorn and Jeri Ryan.
“It’s really a special moment in the series’ history with the new film, new comics and the new series coming to CBS All Access,” said Rod Roddenberry, the son of late “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
Comic-Con officially begins Thursday and continues through Sunday.