Well, just when you thought you’d figured out your plan to pick up the best release of STAR TREK BEYOND in the coming weeks – weighing all the retailer-exclusive editions and deciding which is best for you – a new update to the digital listing of the film on iTunes is going to muddy the waters a bit.

Back in 2013, when Star Trek Into Darkness hit home media, video bonus content was spread between many different retailers in the USA – and one of the most coveted feature was the film’s audio commentary track, which was isolated to the movie’s digital release on iTunes and not available on any physical-media release of that film. (We reviewed that “Enhanced Commentary” in September of that year.)

commentary
The iTunes “enhanced commentary” menu for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
Fans who purchased the film in any of the physical releases all received a Digital HD redemption code that allowed for a free copy of the iTunes release – so an additional purchase wasn’t necessary – but that still meant that viewers without an Apple TV or device-to-TV capabilities were forced to watch the film with commentary on their computer, iPhone, or iPad.

When the Star Trek Compendium Blu-ray collection hit stores a year later, all the video content – along with the iTunes commentary, presented in a branching format – were all brought together in one packaged release, making those who waited a year for this expanded edition sigh with relief that their decision to hold off was a good one.

Just over a week ago, Paramount announced the home media release details for BEYOND, and there was a noticeable lack of audio commentary track on the press release – meaning there would not be on on the multitude of on-disc availability options, a strange and unexpected development as director Justin Lin has recorded audio tracks many of his other films.

Now, just days ahead of the October 4 Digital HD release of STAR TREK BEYOND, the iTunes listing for the newest Trek film has been updated with a new special feature: another “Enhanced Commentary” component.

itunes-byd
The iTunes launch screen for STAR TREK BEYOND, which goes live on October 4.
Once more, it seems that Paramount has chosen to hold one of the most desired bonus features from the physical-media edition of the film, and relegate it only to the iTunes digital edition.

For those of you who have no problems with iTunes – and care about media content over packaging or ship models – we now must recommend that you purchase the Target bonus-disc edition of STAR TREK BEYOND, and then redeem the digital code via iTunes to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the prepared bonus material.

While we again expect those who purchase any version of the BEYOND Blu-ray to receive a redemption code for a free download of this add-on, those who do not use iTunes – or those who chose not to watch the two-hour movie on a mobile device or computer – will miss out on this feature… that is, until the now-obvious re-release of BEYOND becomes available for purchase some time in the future.

The time has come again for you completionists to decide if you will buy BEYOND now, and collect all the various material where available – or wait until a new version of the Compendium collection is announced at some undefined point in the future.

We’re sure you’ve got some thoughts on this situation: sound off in the comments below!

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  • Fanboy

    God forbid Trekkies wait for something they want vs. satisfying their instant gratification and just spending money on whatever happens to be available.

    Approximately NO ONE is being forced to purchase anything. Buyer beware; if you get this edition, knowing full well there will absolutely be a double-dip, that’s on you and no one else.

    • Cabo 5150

      Perhaps not everyone has the same criteria for what they deem to be a reasonable release. Perhaps some Trekkies look at major releases from other studios with comprehensive extras in one package that won’t be expanded upon for many years.

      Maybe there are some who really enjoyed the film and simply don’t want to wait several more months for a future release – a triple pack compendium possibly? Forcing fans to re-purchase films they already own again. Some might view that as taking advantage.

      “Satisfying instant gratification” in the subjective opinion of some, but merely expressing an opinion on often used business practices for others.

      • Fanboy

        And yet, again, no one is being forced to spend their money on this. It absolutely amazes me every time this happens that Trekkies get so up in arms about this kind of thing when we have seen, time and again, that Paramount always inevitably offers a double-dip edition at a later time. Every time. There will be a double dip soundtrack too, I’m sure.

        It’s fine to buy the thing and lament what could have been on it; but getting angry well before you’ve even done so when you already know the item doesn’t have what you (the general “you”, not you specifically) want is ridiculous. Save yourself the aggravation, be patient, and then get the version you want when it’s available in a year.

        • Cabo 5150

          I don’t think anyone’s “angry” or “up in arms” – more a case of surrender, capitulation and resignation to what’s become a fairly predictable Star Trek release cycle.

          No, of course nobody’s “being forced” to purchase the initial release, but, IMHO, it’s certainly not “impatience” to feel slightly aggrieved at having to wait, as you state, approximately 12 months for a comprehensive version – which may only be available as a Kelvin Timeline multi-pack.

          • Steven Carter

            Anybody wanting to see the film on home entertainment IS being forced to buy the first half of a double dip otherwise missout & wait.
            I only brought 1 copy of into Darkness & waited for the Double Dip “Conpendium” but by the time it came out I was well over it & missed out on the complete Special Features experiance.

          • Coolgeek

            No one is being ” forced ” to buy anything.Im buying the film on regular blu Ray which already has extras.Thats enough for me as I buy the film to watch the film.Extras are not important to me.

          • Steven Carter

            So if it doesn’t matter to you why should anybody else matter. Right?
            Beyond Selfish.

          • C. B.

            I’m still wondering why the Compendium set a couple of years ago didn’t have the 3D IMAX version of Star Trek (2009). When they inevitably re-release the earlier films in some new Compendium with all of the Beyond Special Features, the fans should demand that they release the 3D IMAX version of Star Trek (2009).

    • Snap

      Bonus features aren’t the end all for a release and waiting for a future release could also mean missing out on another aspect. The new release of Wrath of Khan may be the superior product, but it is marred by the fact that it has truly hideous package art.

      With the Into Darkness debacle, I didn’t run out to get the movie the instant it was released, largely because I hated it and consider it the worst Trek movie to date (and still do) but I eventually got the Compendium release in order to get the full set of special features.

      I like the TMP-inspired art for the Best Buy steelbook, so that will be the version I get. I found what little I managed to make it through of the Into Darkness “enhanced commentary” to be dreadfully dull so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that it is being tacked onto the digital version. I’d rather have superior quality over a boring commentary anyway.

      • Steven Carter

        Your forgetting the IMAX footage.
        It want just about the Special Features.
        I brought the Zone 4 Standard Into Darkness DVD, the Steel Book Bluray which had a Digital Download because I like Steelbooks & the Zone 1 3D/Bluray/DVD/Digital/combo with Phaser for the Phaser.
        But I wanted all the Special Features & I didn’t want to watch the film with the IMAX footage on my computer so I eventually got the Compendium.

        Another thing that I think Hurt Star Trek Beyond was the Home Entertainment release of Into Darkness. Unlike the first film the fans didn’t get to enjoy the release because they were so disrespected by being forced to chase extras & pay again & again if they wanted to see all the features & still not be able to see everything.
        until years later.
        They should have just released a Standard. A 2 disc & maybe later an extra special edition to get people interested again & promote Beyond

        • Snap

          Well, I never go to any of the IMAX showing nor do I care about 3D presentations so, for me personally, I don’t care if those versions are absent in the package I get. They should be available, I agree, so people may get the versions they want, but I really couldn’t care less if the dreadfully dull “enhanced” commentary is absent from whichever physical release I get.

  • The Bandsaw Vigilante

    Yay, Paramount!

    Never change!

  • David Dennis

    Nice people over there. Always looking out for their loyal fans. Thanks!

  • John Dough

    Honestly, I saw it enough of times in the cinema to be willing to wait for it all to come out in one package at some point in the future. And honestly, what percentage of the fandom as a whole would listen to an audio commentary anyway?

    • archer923

      That is not the point. Every version of any release should have everything. DVD, BD, UHD, Digital.

  • Alastair McFly

    I’m actually happy about this! I haven’t bought anything on physical media in at least 5 years. As a Star Trek fan, I find it disappointing when physical media gets all the exclusives. It’s nice to know that people like myself who prefer to purchase content digitally aren’t getting short-changed.

    • Roger McCoy

      I wouldn’t mind it as much if they included it in non-iTunes digital versions. I don’t have any Apple devices, and even trying to watch the STID enhanced commentary on iTunes on my Windows laptop was a nightmare that I never quite succeeded in accomplishing. I redeemed on iTunes specifically for the commentary and basically still couldn’t watch it until I bought The Compendium a year later. :-

      • Alastair McFly

        That makes sense. Though I don’t have a blu-ray player, so when content is reserved specifically for blu-ray and doesn’t make its way into an iTunes release, that’s essentially how I feel. And those blu-ray exclusive features never really make their way into digital compendiums.

        The ideal solution would be for Paramount to release everything in all formats, both physical media and digitally.

        • Roger McCoy

          Could be worse, I guess. They could have featurettes exclusive to the 4K and 3D discs. Then you would need entirely new home theaters to watch everything.

          • Keith Lindow

            Dont give Paramount any ideas.

    • pittrek

      Well but why can’t both groups get the same stuff?

      • Creates more demand. Which is useful for when the full edition eventually (and inevitably) gets a worldwide release.

        • pittrek

          I would say that it actually creates more anger among the potential customers, and not more demand

  • Mrplatitude

    When the Compendium was released it seemed like it was Paramount trying to make up for their mistakes with the release of Into Darkness and evidence that they were learning from them. Guess not.

    • Admiral SnackBar

      Apparently, it’s just their $trategy.

    • hanshotfirst1138

      Yeah, that seemed for sure like they’d gotten the point. Apparently not.

  • Locutus

    EYEROLL! Stop spoiling the fun Paramount.

  • William Peck

    I’m just so over this!

  • pittrek

    How to say this politely …. f***ing c**ts.

    So will we get a more full release next year?

    • Admiral SnackBar

      I’m gonna guess just in time for Xmas 2017

  • pittrek

    In other words – Paramount doesn’t care about people who buy only physical releases and don’t care about any online bull stuff

  • Sykes

    Hmmm. Are we allowed to curse here?

    • hanshotfirst1138

      I was sorely tempted…

  • Admiral SnackBar

    I really do miss the days of “1 version released on a disc(s) that contains the movie and ALL of the extras – whatever those may be”. This is ridiculous.

  • archer923

    And not buying Beyond now. I don’t care that you get the itunes version free with a code. I toss those out and rip my BD discs myself. Paramount can go fuck off.

  • Pipe’sIDIC

    And Paramount continues to effed up Star Trek and their fans.

  • I’m waiting for a complete edition.

  • Fiery Little One

    I don’t listen to commentaries so I’m not particularly bothered by this, but I do sympathize with the people who are. I was somewhat annoyed with how Into Darkness was handled myself.

  • markwood

    Funny thing is that there has never been a release that gives all features on one format, ever.

    For example there has never been a digital release that includes all the extras, ever.

    Yet no ones seems to bitch about this. Yet the digital media normally costs just as much (and is far harder to find discounted, either at release or later).

    Regardless of this fact, this is still vastly superior then what happen with the release of Into Darkness.

    • Tallguy

      Funny. My copy of Civil War has everything digital that is on my discs. Including the commentary.

  • Snap

    I couldn’t make it more than 15 minutes through the Into Darkness “enhances commentary” until I was thoroughly bored and turned it off, so I couldn’t care less about an “enhanced commentary” for Beyond not being included on a physical release.

    The thing is, it’s a double-edged sword where the consumers are concerned. We can protest their practices by not buying any version of the movie, but that doesn’t mean it will sink through to Paramount that we are not pleased with their practice of splitting up bonus features, rather they could (and probably would) blame it on declining physical media sales and use it as an excuse to not release it on disc.

    The only release I plan to get is the Best Buy steelbook. I’m not a huge fan of steelbooks, but I like the TMP-inspired art and it doesn’t help that Target spectacularly failed to gain a foothold in Canada and vacated the country, so there is no option for the bonus disc unless Best Buy Canada also get the disc.

  • iMike

    Audio commentary has never been a huge deal for me. I’m more of a documentary guy when it comes to special/bonus features, but seriously what a load of crap. For those that enjoy audio commentary and want the bonus documentary features they have to double dip? Not cool … not cool at all. If I were into audio commentary, I might wait until next year to see if a more complete package is released.

  • Coolgeek

    I buy the film for the film.Not extras.

  • Michael

    Way to piss off the fans. Morons.

  • hanshotfirst1138

    Paramount really struggle with pattern recognition, huh?

  • hanshotfirst1138

    Is there a loophole that’ll at least let me redeem the iTunes AND the UV?

  • On one hand, I’m tempted to do what I did for Into Darkness, which is to wait. Of course, that was easier with Into Darkness, because while it wasn’t my least favorite Trek film ever (looking at you, Nemesis!), I certainly didn’t hold it in the highest regard. And with Into Darkness, we WERE eventually rewarded, even if I was then forced to buy the 2009 film over again. (Thank goodness there was a rebate, at least!)

    This time, though? I really LIKED Beyond. I want it in my collection. Yet I only collect physical media, and I want that damn commentary track. I suppose I could try waiting… But this is ONE feature, not like Into Darkness, where it seemed like the features got split between 70 different retailers across 20 different planets. (I may be exaggerating slightly…) Will there be nearly as much pressure, or will Paramount just not be forced to care?

    Finally… Beyond wasn’t as huge a success at the box office, if I recall. If everyone waits for a super inclusive edition that may or may not ever come, and thus sales of the home video release are likewise lackluster, will that decrease studio interest in future films?

    I genuinely don’t know what to do here. To buy, or not to buy? Pick up a lackluster product to support a film I enjoyed and want to see more of, or wait for a better product that is not guaranteed to come and risk helping the film be seen as a failure?

    • archer923

      Don’t buy. A 4th film is being made, regardless.

  • Zoidbert

    Down vote me to oblivion for saying it, but one of the reasons I’ve switched to iTunes for movies is that I get silent upgrades from time to time — added bonus material, remastered visuals, etc. — e.g., when the remastered version of “The Iron Giant” came out, I thought I’d wind up buying the new release, but it was already part of my original download when I checked next.

    With the Trek releases, they’ve slowly been adding bonus content (when I first bought the original 10 films, they were all lacking any extras). There’s also typically additional extras added when they become available.

    I don’t think it’s fair, at least at the original release, to have any exclusives to one store’s release or another’s, and I agree with everyone here that having the audio commentary as iTunes-only is just plain wrong. I’ve never liked the obvious cash-grab of Walmart having one set of extras, Target another, and BestBuy something different entirely. It’s just not right, but it’s a cash-grab, and we should not be surprised.

  • Pipe’sIDIC

    I fear CBS/Paramount really hates Star Trek movies so they couldn’t be bovered with them.

    Let’s turn Star Trek movies into space fratboys movies. Let’s have Kirk Skywalker. Let’s have Pike Obi Wan. Let’s have Darth Khan. Lol

  • Robert Dassler

    Since I’m not being forced to buy anything I will do just that… by not buying anything. If Paramount want my money then they can give me something that I want.

  • Oh, for the Prophets’ sake.

  • FoghornKeghorn

    Hey, this from the same jerks who won’t do a HD remaster of DS9 because the Dominion War Arc VFX would cost too much!

  • Ghost Robot Venture

    Doesn’t look like the Australian release is coming with a digital copy this time. Sigh.