'Star Trek: Beyond' Prop Master on Paying Homage to the Original Series

One of the highlights of any Star Trek film, including the 2016 installment, are the inventive gadgets and futuristic costumes. That’s one of the reasons why Yahoo was excited to welcome Andy Siegel, propmaster of Star Trek Beyond. Siegel, as he put it, was “responsible for anything the actor touches on a film: sunglasses, phasers, telephones. Anything you touch, and all of the way that interacts with costumes, with special effects, makeup. That’s the big thing about props, we have to interact with every other department.” Siegel brought by some fun items from the movie. Let’s go over his thoughts on each of them.

Communicator

Communicator
The communicator used in Star Trek Beyond.

“On Into Darkness, we took all of the things — phasers, communicators, tricorders — and we tried to give them a 2.0. The one thing that we did add in this is the mesh in the insignia, because that mesh was sort of a cool design component from the original series. We added it to the communicators, as sort of a nod to that.”

Phaser

Phaser
A phaser, currently set to stun.

“We updated it slightly. We thought the weapons should look a little more grounded. We took the color more to the blacks and silvers, made them less shiny. So they look a little more real-world and dangerous. [The] real design change was that we made stun and kill the same actual piece, just a color change. In the other two movies, these were actually different nozzles. [We] made it a little sleeker, a little smaller, a little easier to handle.”

Swarm soldier weapon

Swarm soldier weapon
A swarm soldier weapon.

“Originally, [Beyond director Justin Lin] was thinking about having the weapon the swarm soldiers use be a part of their costumes. … These are almost all made out of rubber.”

Survival suit

Anton Yelchin and Chris Pine
Anton Yelchin and Chris Pine wearing the survival suits in Beyond. (Paramount)

“Justin and Sanja Hays, the [costume designer] sort of wanted a gunslinger vibe to both Kirk and Chekov. We found this belting which matched the colors Sanja was going for. Then we found a different kind of buckle, because we wanted something that looks cool and Trekky and unique.”

Jaylah’s costume and staff

Yahoo host Khail Anonymous (l) and Star Trek Beyond propmaster Andy Siegel flank Jaylah's costume.
Yahoo host Khail Anonymous (l) and Star Trek Beyond prop master Andy Siegel inspect Jaylah’s costume.

“Jaylah’s costume had a lot of back-and-forth, because she had her image refractors that she had to be able to use, she had her pouch to throw out the refracting discs she throws out in her first fight, and she had her staff.”

Jaylah's staff
Jaylah’s staff.

“So we put this little control box on. She used that one time, when she lets Kirk and Chekov out of their frozen state. And we also wanted to build something that looked like she could piece this together from parts. So there’s some alien writing up there. This piece was actually based on an airsoft muzzle of a gun we picked up in [Alhambra, Calif.]. We based a lot of Jaylah’s design off that.”

Uhura’s costume

Uhura's costume.
Uhura’s costume.

“Not many props [on this dress]. The insignia’s the big one. It’s just a matter of sort of “2.0-ing” it each time. You know, you start off with your embroidered insignia, and you move onto your 3D-printed one and you move up to a metal-plated one.”

Star Trek: Beyond is available on Blu-ray and Digital HD.

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So did any of the stars take home props? Siegel told us no, but did note, “Simon Pegg likes to say that he stole one of the insignias from Into Darkness, but we gave it to him.” Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Khail Anonymous, on Twitter.

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