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.)

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.

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!


Star Trek Beyond
on Blu-ray!

Star Trek Beyond
on 3D Blu-ray!

Star Trek Beyond
on 4K Blu-ray!