I liked most of Star Trek Beyond, but I wasn't thrilled about the climax, when the crew

used ancient RF tech and rock music to destroy advanced enemy ships

I didn't enjoy it because it's so implausible, but I'd be more comfortable if it was a nod to an event in the original timeline. So, has this trope been used before in Star Trek?

  • 3
    – calccrypto
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 7:09
  • 1
    JJ Trek pays homage to things other than Trek more so than Trek and in particular comedy parodies of sci-fi stuff for the most part.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 11:04
  • 3
    Star trek nope. But there was mars attacks where ancient music and technology defeated superior tech :)
    – Thomas
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 18:25
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    "Implausible". I don't think that word means what you think it means.
    – user40790
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 23:06
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    Because traveling back in time to get whales is definitely more plausible. Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 22:54

4 Answers 4


Not really, no. The use of the track was obviously a nod to the first film in the reboot series but beyond that, there's been next to no contemporary music in any of the Star Trek shows or films.

It [Sabotage] is in the DNA of this canon. It was in the ’09 Trek, and we went through different iterations of the teaser and I wanted to make sure whatever here is using all the elements from the film. It’s been a part of this Kirk’s journey and so I felt it was very organic, and it will ultimately be in the finished film.

Justin Lin on ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Criticisms: “We Are Trying to Be Bold and Take Risks”

Similarly, while the "take down the swarm" sequence bears some passing similarity to a scene in DS9: Sacrifice of Angels (where the self-replicating minefield is destroyed), there doesn't seem to have been any conscious attempt to reference any prior Trek property.

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It really couldn't be. The song blasted over the radio is from 1994. The original series was filmed from 1966 thru 1969 and the films from 1979 (The Motion Picture) to exactly 1994 (Generations).

There's a nod to the 2009 reboot, but definitely not to TOS.

I do like McCoy's comment about this being "classical music".

  • 1
    The "classical music" gag seemed like a nod to Futurama.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 11:59
  • @Valorum - I'm sure the gag is older than futurama, but not sure where I heard it.
    – Jules
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 12:03

It could be seen as a nod to the fact that the Borg are weak to conventional projectile weapons. This is shown in Star Trek: First Contact, when Picard uses the Holodeck (with safeties off) to get access to machine guns.

Similarly, the Borg seem to be vulnerable to bladed weapons, like the Klingon Bat'leth.

Both these and the music scene involve using older weapons to defeat an enemy that has tech that stops the higher tech weapons of the day.


It might be a nod to TNG: The Best of Both Worlds where

the crew destroys the attacking Borg Cube by sending an unauthorized command to regenerate via a hacked wireless data connection between Locutus (assimilated Picard) and the Cube.

It could also be a reference to Mars Attacks where

the Martians are defeated by bad music broadcast via sound and radio.

which in turn is probably a reference to The War of the Worlds where

the Martians are defeated by bacteria.

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