Mar 21 2013 9:55am

New Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer Reveals More Plot Points, Starfleet Internal Struggle

Okay, it looks like we're finally getting somewhere with all these “mysterious Cumberbatch is mysterious” teasers for Star Trek Into Darkness. The current international trailer reveals a bit more about Villain-batch's background (inlcuding a possible connection to Starfleet), Kirk's personal investment in hunting him down and... possibly Carol Marcus in her underwear? If she is Carol Marcus. We're just going to call her that for now.


Savy fans have noticed that embeded in the new trailer is a secret Easter Egg link which takes you to a brand new International poster! Check it out below. (And doesn't it look like Star Trek Into Die Hard?)

Charles Moore
1. Shadeofpoe
So is he playing with the idea of Section 31 you think?
2. Isengrim
My own theory for BC's identity:

Future Spock warns Starfleet about Khan and his Augment buddies on the Botany Bay, who are recovered before Kirk ever meets him.

Starfleet put them to work as a special forces team of some kind (hence the footage of him fighting Klingons), but at some point they get betrayed, and BC (who is Khan, or one of Khan's followers) embarks on his mad quest for revenge.
Jenny Thrash
3. Sihaya
So, even in alternate universes, the Enterprise crew winds up landing in the ocean.
Christopher Bennett
4. ChristopherLBennett
@1: Section 31 is a secret, extralegal cabal within Starfleet. If Admiral Marcus is calling this guy one of their top agents, then presumably he's with Starfleet Intelligence, the actual, official intelligence agency.

@2: I'm very skeptical of the Khan speculations. They arose mainly as a self-fulfilling rumor -- people started wondering, years before the script was even written, if the second movie in this series might use the same iconic villain as the second movie in the previous series; and if you repeat an idea often enough, people start to think it's true, even if there's no basis for it at all. Granted, there are a couple of lines in the movie, a couple of things we've heard, that make it seem possible that Harrison might be an Augment or working on their behalf, but maybe it just seems that way because we've been preconditioned for years to expect Khan to be involved. It's always best to be skeptical of any conclusion that fits our preconceptions. Not to mention that both Simon Pegg and Alice Eve have flatly denied that he's Khan. And it doesn't seem like they'd have reason to lie outright when they could've simply been cagey and avoided saying anything, like everyone else involved.

Anyway, it's only 56 days until the movie comes out and we'll actually know, which is always better than speculating.
Chris Nelly
5. Aeryl
I'm telling ya, continuing Abrams "five year mission" to turn to Star Trek into Star Wars, Cumbervillain is George Kirk(NEW TIMELINE!!!!)

Kirk, has a history with Starfleet, and has a beef with how his shithead kid is sullying his name.
Kit Case
6. wiredog
But speculating is fun.

More fun than testing this custom Oracle patch installer, anyway.
Nathan Martin
7. lerris
My own ( admittedly ridiculous ) theory:

Smaug survived the black arrow and hid for millenia in human form awaiting his chance for revenge.
James Kirk is a direct descendant of Bard of Dale.

Definitely not true, but it amuses me more than the Khan idea.
8. Dianthus
I grew up on "encore presentations" of Star Trek, so I was very wary of the reboot at first. Imagine my delight when it didn't suck!
I'm really looking forward to this, regardless of who/what Cumberbatch turns out to be.
Lee VanDyke
9. Cloric
I'm a bit confused. I thought it was confirmed that Alice Eve was playing Carol Marcus. I must have missed something along the way.
Christopher Bennett
10. ChristopherLBennett
@9: Yes, Abrams personally confirmed, at a press event back on December 10th, that Ms. Eve is playing Carol Marcus. You didn't miss anything.
11. spress
So now Uhura is part of the core characters and McCoy is relegated to what? I like Uhura, but it's kind of sad that she was catapulted to that role because of her relationship with Spock and the possible tension of Kirk wanting her as well. Even whatever flirtations existed in the original series were based on long-term professional relationships and not this soap opera drabble.

Destroying Vulcan remains one of the worst ideas ever in the ST franchise. It's like a fan fiction twist to get Spock to act irrational and unpredictable for long periods, it kind of robs the character.

I've heard that BC's Gary Marshall? Which is interesting because of his appearance in the comic last year. That is actually a clever twist, but I also kind of think it's too early to take this new version of Trek and turn Starfleet in on itself. I want to see some bold new adventures and aliens, not constant self-referencing.
Christopher Bennett
12. ChristopherLBennett
@11: Gary Mitchell (the second-pilot navigator, not sitcom producer Garry Marshall) is one of the characters that have been rumored to be John Harrison's secret identity, but of course we don't know yet because it's a secret.

As for the characters' relationships, the movie format allows less room to develop an ensemble cast and its motivations than a weekly series does. Plenty of characters have been underutilized in prior movies or had their relationships oversimplified. But as this is a sequel and the basic relationships are already established, that gives the filmmakers an opportunity to deepen the characters. As with everything else, we should wait to see what they actually do before we jump to conclusions about its merits.
13. Raylion
I don;t know about you all -- but it is terring me up to keep seeing the Enterprise go down. man, it's the second movie dammit!! Why do we have to keep going through this -- just keep the darn thing up in space where it belongs.

Is that so much to ask
14. SueQ
I hatedit when they destroyed Vulcan and killed Amanda.
I loved the original Amanda: now we will never see her setting McCoy up about the 'Vulcan teddybear' that Spock was fond of as a child. (They are alive and have six-inch fangs.)
15. John E Bailor
My vote is Khan, but I'd be ok with Mitchell too.

Maybe it will be a completely new character. I'm looking forward to finding out!
Christopher Bennett
16. ChristopherLBennett
@14: Of course you'll still see Amanda setting McCoy up about the sehlat. Just watch "Journey to Babel" again. The new timeline doesn't erase or replace the old, it coexists with it. Even if that weren't true in-universe (which it is), it would certainly be true in real life, since nobody's going around destroying copies of the original episodes.

@15: Here's Simon Pegg's latest statement on the villain:
“It’s been fun seeing people try to figure out who he is playing and all the time it just being a very simple answer. John Harrison is indicative of a thing going on in society today, which is the enemy within. Not…a multi-horned alien or another country or whatever. It’s the idea that the threat can be one of us and can come from inside.”
That doesn't sound at all like Khan to me. Sure, you could argue that Khan came from Earth and is "one of us" in that sense, but that's a stretch; he's an outsider to 23rd-century society, and an outsider to the un-Augmented human race. A threat from inside, in this context, would mean someone from the 23rd century, from within Starfleet. There was an Enterprise crewman named Harrison mentioned in a couple of episodes (McCoy demanded a report from him in "The Naked Time" and Kirk recorded a commendation for him and the rest of the bridge crew in "Space Seed"), and it could be that they're just taking this guy who was an extra in one universe and revealing an unexpected side to him in this other universe. Which could be the "simple answer" Pegg is talking about, the simple truth that some ordinary guy you'd never give a second glance to could turn out to be the next mad bomber or school shooter.

Although that doesn't work in light of the line in the trailer that he's "one of our top agents." But then, that line sounds like it's edited from two different sentences, and it's not like trailers have never misrepresented things before.
17. Gweilo
So, the second JJ Trek is the same as the first: some guy with a grudge against the Federation/Starfleet is out to destroy it, and only Kirk and Spock can stop him. How tedious. So much for the "mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." Now it's just "Die Hard IN SPACE".
Christopher Bennett
18. ChristopherLBennett
@17: Star Trek: The Motion Picture was about saving the Earth from an entity that was out to destroy it.
The Wrath of Khan was about fighting a guy with a grudge against Kirk and a yen for interstellar conquest.
The Search for Spock was, among other things, about keeping a weapon of mass destruction out of enemy hands.
The Voyage Home was about saving the Earth from an entity that was about to destroy it.
The Final Frontier was about preventing a dangerous and powerful entity from escaping its prison and conquering the galaxy.
The Undiscovered Country was about preventing a conspiracy from stirring up interstellar war.
Generations was about stopping a madman from destroying an inhabited planet.
First Contact was about saving the Earth and Federation from an alien race that was out to conquer and absorb them.
Insurrection was about saving a small population from being exploited by more powerful civilizations.
Nemesis was about stopping a tyrant seeking to destroy the Earth and build an empire of conquest.

So tell me: When has any Star Trek movie ever been about exploration?

This is nothing remotely new. It's not about Abrams, it's about the nature of motion pictures versus series television. Movies demand simpler stories with higher stakes. And ever since Star Wars, SF/space opera movies have been expected to be action-driven. So that's what Trek movies have pretty much always been since Abrams was in junior high.
Sarah H
19. gryphyn
As much as I like reboot #1 and will go to see this one, I think what I dislike most about the new timeline is this unremitting plunge into doom and gloom. This really goes back to DS9 (later seasons) for me. Roddenberry invented the ST universe to show that we might make it to the future in one piece. Sure there are competing powers and whatnot but it was fundamentally a positive non-dsytopian future. Ever since he died, the franchise IMO has moved away from that. I get that it's easier to create tension that way and it reflects current societal views but it still makes me sad.
Christopher Bennett
20. ChristopherLBennett
@19: Well, let's see. The "utopian" original series gave us:

Repeated messages about how humans were too intrinsically corrupt to be trusted with great power ("Where No Man Has Gone Before," "Space Seed").
A pimp selling drug-addicted mail-order brides ("Mudd's Women").
Race hatred lingering a century after a brutal war ("Balance of Terror").
Immoral brainwashing experiments on a penal colony ("Dagger of the Mind").
Assassinations of the survivors who could identify a disguised mass murderer ("The Conscience of the King").
Humans inadvertently mass-murdering alien babies ("The Devil in the Dark").
The Federation-Klingon cold war engulfing and corrupting a less advanced planet, with Kirk's full complicity ("A Private Little War")
Multiple corrupt, rogue starship captains and other Federation citizens ("Bread and Circuses," "Patterns of Force," "The Omega Glory").
Scourges that have destroyed entire populated planets and millions, even billions of lives ("Operation -- Annihilate!," "The Changeling," "The Doomsday Machine").

And that's not counting the episodes with tragic or nihilistic endings like "The Man Trap," "Charlie X," "What Are Little Girls Made Of?," and "The City on the Edge of Forever." The brightness of the original Trek has been exaggerated in retrospect, shaped more by how the Trek universe was portrayed and perceived in the TNG era. Sure, it was optimistic by '60s standards in that it showed a future where humans didn't destroy themselves with nuclear war and learned to overcome their hatred toward other human races, religions, and nationalities, but there was still plenty of darkness, death, and depravity that the heroes had to face and overcome. Note that most of the bad stuff I listed above was perpetrated by human characters, something that would never have been allowed in TNG.
Sarah H
21. gryphyn
@20 - You have valid points. But still. Rodenberry had a vision, which was much better realized in TNG not surprisingly considering how much society had changed by then, about a world that didn't blow itself up, managed to join an interstellar union, and that union didn't go out and try to conquer everything in its path. And I wasn't leaving out TNG. I was explicitly including it. IMO, it's the later seasons of DS9 (and after GR's death ) where things really to change. I've also read _way_ too many of the novels. :) They may not be canon but they've definitely impacted my outlook on TOS and TNG.

Finally, I'm just not into dystopias. I'd rather strive towards a positive (if flawed) future and I feel that the Star Trek universe has shifted towards the dystopian end. As to Reboot #1 there's also just a visceral "OMG I hate that they blew Vulcan up!" issue for me as well. Great flick though and I'm sure I'll see #2 in the first week or two it's out.
Christopher Bennett
22. ChristopherLBennett
@21: I don't see the movies as dystopian. I see them as being, like all fiction, focused on crisis and danger. Even in an optimistic, utopian future, the actual stories are still going to focus on the times when things go wrong, when dangers threaten that better existence and heroes have to defend it.

And let's not get careless about definitions. The word "dystopia" does not just mean "a story where bad stuff happens," because all stories are about bad stuff happening. A dystopia is, specifically, a world or society where the bad stuff is intrinsic to the society or government itself. If a free, enlightened, peaceful world is attacked or destroyed by an evil madman, that's not a dystopia. It's only a dystopia if the society itself is responsible for its own woes, if its policies oppress or harm its people or endanger their survival. I don't see anything like that happening in Trek, either in the movies or in the literature. True, there has been the occasional story where some element of the Federation government has engaged in unethical or oppressive behavior, but they've pretty much always been exposed and removed from power, and the Federation itself has remained benevolent and enlightened and acted for the good of its people, even though other forces have placed them under threat. There are dystopian societies within the Trek universe, like the Cardassian Union pre-"What You Leave Behind" or the Romulan Star Empire or the Dominion or the Borg (or, in recent novels, the Breen and Tzenkethi). But those societies exist in contrast to the Federation, as its foils.
23. Rene Robles
Into Darkness possible backstory and premise: Star Fleet, not necessarily Kirk, finds the Botany Bay ship. They decide to exterminate the crew because they are considered criminals and dangerous, knowing all about Khan and his followers from history. But at some point before this, John Harrison and maybe other crew members are awaken from cryosleep. He then vows revenge. He infiltrates star fleet as a agent and eventually turns on them to bring it down.

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