Paramount Pictures presents the World Premiere of ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ in San Diego, CA on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. .(Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
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The Best Opening For Comic-Con: Honoring Anton Yelchin

The whole cast of Star Trek Beyond was on the improvised stage at the Embarcadero Marina Park, where the folks of Paramount built an impressive open air theater for 5000 people – including the first ever outdoor Imax Screen built for the purpose of showing  the film to the lucky guests  of the World Premiere, the night before the official opening of Comic-Con 2016.

There was one shadow over the party, though. A notable absence, as producer J.J. Abrams: reminded everyone. That person was Anton Yelchin, the young star who was killed one month ago in front of his home in Studio City in an awful domestic accident involving his car. After explaining that his parents were among the audience, Abrams asked for a moment of silence to remember Anton – and for a minute, everything was mute. It was an honest and heartfelt remembrance for the talented young actor. A few minutes earlier, Zachary Quinto had  mentioned how important it was for him to meet Leonard Nimoy in the early stages of development of the new franchise, and how they became close friends besides sharing the same character.

These were the only sad moments in a night marked by the uplifting spirit of Comic-Con. The people present, including hardcore fans and contest winners, were there to celebrate the 50 years of an amazing franchise; and best of all, none of the them knew what to expect.

It's not usual to have a premiere in an open space like the Embarcadero Park and as soon as they arrived, guests received a strange device, which blinked with lights that changed colors in unison, it was meant to be worn on the arms. Onstage, the members of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra were waiting for the show to start. Vouchers were handed out for a box with a turkey sandwich and chips, which gave to the whole thing the feeling of a night at the Hollywood Bowl. Most people, specially the fans, waited for hours for the event to begin, watching on the huge screen episodes of the TV show that started it all.

When the sun finally set and Conan O'Brien showed up, it was clear the premiere was about to start. With his typical sense of humor O’Brien introduced Abrams, director Justin Lin and the members of the cast in attendance: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba and Sophia Boutella. Right after the moment of silence, it was clear that this premiere was special. Smoke started to flow over the audience, as the orchestra began to play. Soon, a laser show created a ceiling over the audience, while fireworks exploded in the air. Music, laser and fireworks created a special atmosphere for a few minutes and when it was over, O'Brien joked that Paramount had spent the whole publicity budget of the film in a few minutes. But it was not the case: the orchestra stayed , playing live the complete soundtrack of the film as it was shown on the screen.

Unfortunately, Rihanna couldn't be present to perform her theme song, Sledgehammer, had she been it just may  have been too much. Composer Michael Giacchino – a Golden Globe winner for the score of Up – was also in attendance, and the Star Trek cast and filmmakers stayed put until the end of the screening.

When the lights came up, the orchestra was still playing when a burst of applause greeted both the movie and the hard work of everyone who worked on it. People left happy, looking forward to several days of celebration of comics, movies, TV shows and the worlds of the imagination. 

See the cast's reactions to the film's premiere and the loss of Anton Yelchin.