Monday, May 20, 2013

On Star Trek Into Darkness...

Some general thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness. Spoiler ahead. Obviously...

  • I know a lot of lip service was given to trying to preserve The Prime Directive, but I don’t think anyone was really all that worried about violating it as the entire crew (save Scotty) thought hiding a massive starship under water less than a mile from the alien natives was better camouflage that outer space.
  • In Starfleet, you don’t just get demoted, you get sent back to school.
  • Starfleet evidently has its head honchos hold super secret meetings on the top floor of a very visible building that anyone can just look into.
  •  Amanda Marcus had to get naked in front of Kirk on that shuttle. You know, because.
  • Also, she’s inexplicably British now.
  • Apparently leaving the military in the future is as easy as saying “I’m out.”
  • And, getting a military grade shuttle is really, really easy.
  • And, getting into top-secret military installations doesn’t take much sneaking. In fact, you can fly your shuttle in formation from the wrong direction right in front of everyone and get right inside.
  • Just to be clear, Starfleet engineers and weapons designers needed to thaw out a guy whose last experience with technology was dial-up Internet to help build better star ships.
  • Again, just to be clear, the one guy they thawed out conquered two thirds of the planet back in the day. Not a lieutenant, not an underling, but the man himself. Jesus Christ…
  • Star Trek gets a new time line, Khan gets a new ethnicity!
  • As Kirk and crew descended to the surface of Kronos, we see the shattered moon Praxis. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the breaking of Praxis all but bring the Klingon Empire to its knees? I guess in the new timeline it just looks cool hanging there in shattered pieces of Kronos’ night sky.
  • Ok, so let me get this one straight; because of the incursion of Nero from the future with all his impossible future technology, the destruction of Vulcan and the attack on Earth, Starfleet got serious with looking out for possible threats against its way of life. Cool. Got it. SO WHY THE HELL DID NO ONE NOTICE EVIL ENTERPRISE ATTACKING REAL ENTERPRISE 200,000 MILES FROM EARTH?!
  • Did the designers of Evil Enterprise make a tiny hatch because they thought it would be funny?
  • What future secrets is old Spock trying to hide? This is a different reality. The future will never be the same. Not mentioning Khan is just the slightest bit dickish. Think about it; he knows that somewhere out there, waiting to fuck The Federation big time are threats like; The Borg, The Q, The Cardassians, The Dominion, a probe that’s gonna show up one day looking for hump back whales, a thing at the center of the universe that’s pretending to be God, and V’Ger. Old Spock is a raging asshole. The timeline is no longer his own.
  • Seriously? We're just gonna redo the most famous scene in all of Star Trek? Oh. I guess we are. Because why not, right?
  • Khan crashes to Earth, and holy shit, look at that! A perfectly fitted trench coat just like the one he lost just sitting on a cafĂ© table! Lucky!
  • Hey, look! Raiders of the Lost Ark ending!
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was a poignant movie because the cast and crew had 20 years together. There was a history there and Kirk had actually never made a major mistake in all that time. The movie ends with the villain defeated, but at a heartbreaking cost. Every emotion in that movie was earned over two decades. Into Darkness, as pretty as it is, is a rehash, a greatest hits movie that doesn't earn any of the emotions it asks the audience to feel. With Star Trek, J.J. Abrams made a promise of something new and different. He didn't fulfill that promise.


  1. You make very valid points. I thought with a different timeline and not having that 20 years of rapport, facing an enemy this big allowed Kirk to prove himself (and grow up) and bring the crew to where they would have been had the events of the first movie never happened. In Wrath of Khan, Kirk admits he has never faced a no win scenario but it was enough that he dealt with death because he'd had time to prove himself to his crew. Him being the one to make that sacrifice instead of Spock allowed him to become the person he was meant to be, IMO. I liked it. I thought it was clever and entertaining, if unoriginal and sometimes impractical.

  2. So many thoughts, I had to do a point by point response:

    •I thought the same thing, but my wife fixed this one for me – just imagine they put the Enterprise into the ocean miles away then moved near the village so bones & kirk could swim into the ship easily. Doesn’t make it much better, but it helps.

    •Agreed. What would that be like the first day a former captain walks into class and sits down with a cadet? Weird. But the last movie established that Starfleet has the weirdest promotion plan ever, so I guess their demotion rules are just as wacky.

    •Well you can’t look into it unless you’ve just happened to steal a gunship, then fly it up the side of the building with no one noticing, even though there’s a worldwide manhunt in place for you……

    •Carol Marcus……get it straight.

    •I like to think she was sent off to British boarding school. I like Alice Eve, so I’ll forgive it.

    •Again, Starfleet has some wacky rules….you turn in your little glass pad and you’re done.

    •Got no help for this one....

    •This definitely bugged me too. Scotty just flies the shuttlecraft right up to the shipyard, in full view of everyone, then gets into formation and no one notices? Be a little sneaky at least, or tell me that many Bothans died to get you the proper codes...

    •They needed his “savagery” – no one in the future could come up with the idea to “just put a bunch of guns on our ships.” Bunch of pussies in the future.

    •Well as we see, Marcus isn’t exactly the best decision maker.

    •I liken this to people complaining about Heimdall being black in Thor – if the actor is great, who cares. And Cumberbach is clearly the best thing in the movie.


    •Everyone in the future is a bunch of pussies, as we established. They noticed, they just didn’t have any guns to do anything about it.

    •Yeah, there’s really no reason for a giant hangar bay like that to have a hatch the size of a person.

    •Old Spock had no place in this movie. He didn’t inform anything, just said that Khan was a dick, which we already knew.

    •It’s like getting mad watching a Hulk Hogan match and he does the leg drop. Or the Rock doing the people’s elbow. It’s a Trek movie with Khan, gotta do it.


    •Well yeah, you gotta make sure he can come back later….and they were nowhere near Seti Alpha V.

    •See, I enjoyed it. You couldn’t make Khan the raging revenge lunatic that he was in 2 because Kirk stranded him on a shithole planet, since that didn’t happen. Making him a pawn in a war mongering admiral’s plan was interesting. Abrams has made Trek different; it’s much more of an action franchise with sci-fi elements that appeals to the mainstream. That shows with the movie making $84 million in its opening weekend. And the emotions with the death scene aren’t the same, even though it was structured the same for nostalgia purposes. In Into Darkness, Kirk is scared to die, realizing how much he really will sacrifice for his crew, growing into the captain he needs to be. Spock is letting his emotions back in, after not feeling them because the loss of Vulcan hurt so much. But yes, the “get out of death free” card was a little heavy handed and obvious.

    All in all, it is a big summer movie, and I thought it did its job well. I didn’t have the hate that a lot of people had for it. Did it have plot holes? Sure. Can I pick apart pieces of it? Of course. But I had fun in the movie, so I chalk it up as a win.

  3. I didn't not like it. I was just disappointed. I wanted it to not be another big summer blockbuster. And I totally get that Abrams is making it an action franchise... which is why I'm bumfuzzled about the decision to play with the big philosophical issues Trek is known for. Make an action movie! Make it big! Make it with lots of explosions! Again, that was the Trek you promised with the last movie, why the half-assed backtracking?

    And sorry for the Carol Marcus bit. I was typing fast and furious. I shall have to atone for that slip-up.


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