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Easter eggs you totally missed in Star Trek Beyond

After 50 years of Star Trek, it's become increasingly difficult to boldly go anywhere no man has gone before; in fact, it would've been highly illogical for Star Trek Beyond writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin to ignore the original TV series, the first six movies and the endless array of spinoffs that followed. Instead, they packed this installment with a ton of Easter eggs and inside jokes that make watching it a lot like a virtual scavenger hunt.

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Stardate: particularly significant

Early in Star Trek Beyond, Kirk mentions the mission takes place on Day 966—that's about halfway through the five-year mission to "explore strange new worlds," "seek out new civilizations" and "boldly go where no man has gone before." And although those are the iconic lines William Shatner voiced at the beginning of each episode of the original series, this is the first time the reboot has actually ventured into those five years. As CantonRep notes, Day 966 is also a reference to September 1966—when Star Trek debuted on NBC.

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50 for 50

Unless you're a master at counting cards with an encyclopedic knowledge of all the alien races in Star Trek, there's little chance you would've ever been able to catch this one. There are definitely a lot of new faces in Star Trek Beyond, and from the tiny CGI aliens in the opening scene to the pivotal character Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), it's clear that director Justin Lin wanted a more diverse universe. As Movie Pilot reports, Lin revealed the true Easter egg: There are 50 new alien races in the movie; one for each year since Star Trek debuted.

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Things feel a little episodic

Co-written by Simon Pegg ("Scotty" in the reboots), Star Trek Beyond definitely has traces of the dry, self-referential humor he brought to Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and Paul (2011). He gave Kirk one of the best lines in the movie, and it's only funny because it's an obvious Easter egg. During his opening Captain's log entry, Kirk describes the monotony of a five-year mission in the outer reaches of space and worries that he and the Enterprise crew are in a little bit of a rut. He says that after a while, things begin to feel "a little episodic." Clearly, it's a nod to the Star Trek TV series and the many syndicated spinoffs that preceded the recent cinematic reboot.

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Listen, all y'all, it's Beastie Boys

In the rebooted Star Trek universe, the Beastie Boys are bigger than the Beatles. Despite being set 200 years in the future, each of the three films have included a song by the venerable rap trio. In Star Trek Beyond, when Spock and Bones learn the secret to disrupting Krall's drones is to play discordant noise over radio waves, Scotty knows "just the thing": the Beastie Boys' 1994 hit "Sabotage." Kirk says it's a "good choice," and he would know: When we first meet him as a reckless kid in Star Trek (2009), it's the song playing on the radio in the car he just stole. Some believe the line about the song being "classical" music is a reference to Futurama, but we're not so sure. You can also hear a remix of the Beasties' "Body Movin'" in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

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Damn it, Jim. I'm a doctor, not a bartender

When you're chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise, you should apparently spend about half your time in surgery and the other half at the liquor store. In Star Trek Beyond, it's Kirk's birthday, and although the captain is feeling melancholy about it, Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban) treats him to a drink and a pep talk. If that all sounds vaguely familiar, that's because it's a direct reference to an identical scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Back then, Bones (DeForest Kelley) even unleashed one of his classic zingers: "Damn it, Jim, other people have birthdays. Why are we treating yours like a funeral?"

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The ubiquitous Greg Grunberg

Even though producer J.J. Abrams deferred directing duties to Justin Lin, there was at least one decidedly Abrams-esque element in Star Trek Beyond: actor Greg Grunberg. Abrams and the Heroes co-star grew up together, and when the young director created the WB teen drama Felicity (1998), he gave his pal a recurring role. Since then, Grunberg has popped up in nearly everything Abrams has done: he spent five years on Alias, he played the pilot on Lost and he had roles in Abrams' Mission: Impossible III (2006) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2016). While he only appears in Star Trek Beyond for a few quick scenes, Grunberg's presence instantly makes it feel like an Abrams flick—even without the lens flare.

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Sharp-dressed spaceman

At the end of the movie, Kirk, Spock and Bones are all cleaned up and taking in the scenery, but it was probably hard for you to see anything beyond the wide-collar jackets and gold chains they're all sporting. That wasn't just a random, quasi-futuristic choice by the costume designer: Karl Urban revealed that the outfits were directly inspired by what Bones and the boys wore in the later installments of the original film series from the '80s.

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The gang's still here

It's actually impossible to miss this one, but easy to overlook if you aren't paying attention. When Spock (Zachary Quinto) is going through the possessions of his future self (it's a long story), he comes across a photograph of the Enterprise crew in their later years. It's actually a cast photo from 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but it does the trick. And after the death of the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, during pre-production for Star Trek Beyond, along with the previous losses of James Doohan ("Scotty") and DeForest Kelley ("Bones"), it offered a bittersweet moment of tribute to the actors who made those roles iconic.