In a 2016 interview with TrekCore, Jung elaborated on these plans while offering insight into how the Swarm functions: “Justin’s idea was that [the Swarm soldiers] were sort of like drones in a way and that they don’t actually have a lot conscious thought of their own. That sort of answers how Krall would be able to come in and take all this stuff.” That’s also why, in the film’s climax, the Enterprise bridge crew disrupts the Swarm with a signal playing the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage.” The Swarm has command signals, not thoughts, and is a hive mind more easily felled than the Borg.

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Jung confirmed the idea of the Swarm was “Star Trek Beyond” director Justin Lin’s: “[Lin] liked that idea of like asymmetrical warfare and he kind of made sense. He’s like, ‘Why would you have that big ship going around? Why not just get a bunch of little ones?'”

As for how Edison took control of the Swarm and perverted them, turning them from harmless miners into vicious attack dogs, Jung explained: “[Edison] was taking his skills as an ex-soldier and applying them in a way that he probably never thought he would have to do.”

This backstory is briefly alluded to in “Star Trek Beyond,” where Kirk (Chris Pine) and Scotty (Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote the movie) find Edison’s final captain’s log aboard the Franklin, where he mentions that the “indigenous race” of Altamid “left behind sophisticated mining equipment and a drone workforce.” In his TrekCore interview, Jung also refers to Altamid as an abandoned “mining colony.” This helps explain why the Swarm’s creators abandoned it; it was never their home.

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