The 2009 “reboot” of Star Trek by J.J. Abrams and his creative team (Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof) made money for Paramount Pictures. So, the powers at Paramount, always looking for more green stuff, sent the Enterprise, and its Kelvin crew back into action. As we all know, J.J. loves to take old stuff that we all love and repackage it into something new. Believe it or not, 2009’s film had much more original content and ideas than its sequel — Star Trek Into Darkness.
The entire “original” Kelvin crew returned, including Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Star Trek Into Darkness grossed $467 million worldwide, which made it the top Trek money-maker.
The film starts out with Captain James T. Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) embedded within an indigenous human-like tribe on the planet Nibiru. They were “made” as they immediately start running for their lives — since if they were discovered, they would have violated the Prime Directive. Their mission was to move the natives away from a volcano, which Spock, Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), and Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) were working to neutralize the thing before it erupted and destroyed this young species.
Sulu piloted a shuttlecraft above the volcano and dropped Spock into it with the device. Spock was wearing a super-cool suit of armor, which protected him from the heat.
NOTE: The designer of this suit must have been a Marvel Comics fan, specifically, an Iron Man fan, as Spock’s suit bears a striking resemblance to a mid-80s Iron Man suit. Not a bad thing, to base this fire suit on Iron Man. The “Silver Centurion” suit never made it into the Avengers or Iron Man films. But it made its way into Star Trek instead.
As soon as they began to lower him, ash built up into the shuttlecraft’s engines. Sulu, who served the Enterprise as its primary pilot, told Spock that they would have to pull him back aboard. Spock said that he would not come back, as this was the only way they could save this new species. Sulu ignored Spock, and started to reverse engines and pull Spock out … but Spock’s line to the shuttlecraft broke, and the Enterprise’s First and Science Officer fell into the volcano.
Sulu and Uhura both had to jump out and swim, as Sulu announced that they were going to “ditch” the shuttlecraft.
Meanwhile, Kirk and Bones jumped off the side of a cliff into the ocean. They had small thrusters (or something like that), which propelled them into the deep, where the U.S.S. Enterprise was waiting for them.
As they got in, the ship’s chief engineer, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Simon Pegg), began to complain about the saltwater damaging the ship’s skin. Uhura, the ship’s communications officer (and Spock’s girlfriend), tried to contact Spock, but the heat was interfering.
Kirk said that they ought to beam Spock back aboard. Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) said they might be able to if they tried line of sight; Sulu protested, since hovering above a volcano was super-dangerous. Spock argued against it as well, saying that the indigenous species will see the massive ship. McCoy said, “we’re trying to save you!”
Spock responded: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Communications were then lost due to the volcano. Uhura gasped.
NOTE: That line, to all Trek fans, was a blatant call back to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This would be more than just foreshadowing. And there would be more of this — a lot more.
Kirk asked McCoy what Spock would do if their roles were reversed. McCoy said that Spock would let Kirk die. This may be true in this Kelvin Universe, but in the “Prime” timeline, we just don’t know what Spock would have done.
Anyhow, the Enterprise emerged from the water, and the tribe stood there and watched in complete awe. Just before the lava overtook where he knelt, Spock was beamed out, and the cold fusion device froze all of the molten rock.
Rather than thank anyone, Spock was upset that the tribe saw the Enterprise.
The story shifted to show a family in London, whose daughter had some sort of terminal illness. And if it could not be cured with the medicine of the 23rd Century, then you know it must be bad. Anyhow, a mysterious dude (Benedict Cumberbatch) approached the patriarch, saying that he could save the child’s life. The father agreed.
Later, the mystery man gave the father a vile (of his blood) and a ring. Dad took the blood and put it into the daughter’s medicine drip, and her vitals miraculously improved. The dad went to work the next day and used the ring to destroy the Starfleet facility, which he worked at.
Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock got hauled before Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), who yelled at Kirk and took away command of the Enterprise. Spock blabbed about Kirk breaking the Prime Directive on his Nibiru report. Kirk his submitted his report and did not mention the Prime Directive. Oops!
NOTE: Check out the striking similarities in Pike’s uniform and William Shatner’s from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Pike’s suit is almost like an updated version of what the original Kirk wore back in 1979.
Kirk went to some dive bar to get blasted (much like he did in the previous film), but Pike found him. Pike lectured him about doing the right thing and following orders. He also told Kirk that he was now the First Officer of the Enterprise, and he was captain. Spock got transferred to the U.S.S. Bradbury.
While they were drinking, Pike got a priority call from Starfleet, saying that there was to be a big meeting at Starfleet Command H.Q. at Daystrom with all the top brass. Pike and Kirk were to be part of that meeting.
When Kirk arrived, he saw Spock, and blasted the Vulcan, saying that Spock “threw him under the bus.” Spock said that he didn’t know that Kirk was not going to be truthful in his report. He also said that where he comes from, friends don’t “stab each other in the back.”
The meeting finally started, led by Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller), who said that the explosion (set off by the dad of the sick child) was a terrorist act that destroyed a data archive and killed 42 personnel. Marcus said the one responsible for the attack was Commander John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Marcus had no idea why Harrison would attack Starfleet.
“In the name of those we lost, you will run this bastard down. This is a manhunt, plain a simple,” said Marcus. “So, let’s get to work.”
As Marcus gave more details on Starfleet’s reaction to the attack, Kirk looked at photos from the attack. He saw a photo of Harrison in the streets after the explosion, carrying a bag. Kirk asked Pike why Harrison would attack a data archive. Marcus heard them whispering and told Kirk to speak to the group.
Kirk asked why Harrison would attack a data archive, which held information that was public record.
“If he really wanted to damage Starfleet, this could just be the beginning,” Kirk said. As Kirk spoke, a jump ship rose to the story of the building they were all in. It was Harrison in the ship, and he fired at will, killing Pike and wounding many more.
Kirk eventually threw fire suppression equipment into the ship’s engine. But Harrison beamed away. As Pike died, Spock mind-melded with him. Kirk ran over, checked Pike’s pulse, and cried.
The next day, Scotty called Kirk and Spock to say that Harrison had gone to the one place they could not follow — Kronos, the Klingon homeworld. Kirk ran to Marcus to ask for his command back so he could hunt down Harrison. Spock said Harrison was hiding in a Klingon province that was not inhabited. Kirk noted that Harrison went to Kronos because Starfleet won’t follow him — but he would.
Marcus said that war with the Klingons was “inevitable,” and then listed off all the run-ins that Federation ships have had with them. While he said that, he was staring at a model of an enormous ship on his desk. That ship, the U.S.S. Vengeance, would be seen again.
I wonder if they will bring back the Vengeance design in a later film (known as the Dreadnought Class). It would be very nice to see Mr. Sulu with his own ship (as we saw in ST:VI and Voyager). Using a Dreadnought Class ship would mean that there was some kind of enormous war going on, perhaps with the Romulans. Maybe the Enterprise and a Dreadnought Class ship in the same film on the same side would give us the giant ship-to-ship battle that Trek has yet to deliver in the movies — but we did see in Star Trek: Discovery – Season 2, Episode 14.
He also admitted that the attack in London was not on an archive, but rather, it was against Section 31. This was a secret division of Starfleet whose purpose was weapons development, training, and other military-specific operations.
As Pike mulled over Kirk’s request, he showed off a new “untraceable” torpedo that Section 31 developed. Marcus agreed to let Kirk take the Enterprise to the edge of the Neutral Zone, fire the torpedoes on Harrison’s position, and then “haul ass.” Kirk asked that Spock be reinstated as his First Officer. Marcus agreed.
While Kirk got to the shuttle bay to take off for the Enterprise, McCoy attempted to examine him. When he got into the craft, Spock “strongly objected to the mission parameters.” Spock made a bunch of good points, including condemning Harrison to death without a trial. Kirk was like, “yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Then suddenly, a new character joined the story. As Kirk and Spock were arguing, Science Officer Carol Wallace (Alice Eve) introduced herself, said that Admiral Marcus assigned her to the Enterprise and sat between them. Spock didn’t like it, but Kirk said, “and yet, the more, the merrier.”
When they arrived, Scotty was refusing to allow the new torpedoes on board the ship, as he could not scan them and determine their power source. The guy from Starfleet who loaded them said it was “classified.” Eventually, Kirk ordered Scotty to sign for the weapons, but Scotty resigned. Kirk put Chekov in charge of engineering instead.
Wow, what a big moment! Scotty not aboard the Enterprise? That’s like peanut butter without jelly! It was a mini-shocker that let us all know how serious Mr. Scott was about these torpedoes.
Kirk and Uhura got into the turbolift together, and he told her that Scotty just quit, and Spock was second-guessing everything he did. Uhura agreed that Spock was difficult, and revealed to Kirk that she and Spock had been fighting. Funny!
After they left spacedock, Kirk addressed the crew. He told them of their mission, which would avenge the death of Pike and bring Harrison back to Earth for a trial. That was different than what he pitched to Marcus! When Kirk said this, Spock said he had made the “right decision.”
Later, while Science Officer Carol Wallace was inspecting the torpedoes, Spock snuck up and asked what she was doing. “Verifying the torpedoes,” she said. Spock cut her off and told her that he knew that she forged her transfer documents and that her real name was Carol Marcus.
This was soooo cool because Carol Marcus was one of Kirk’s love interests, which audiences only got to hear about. Carol appeared in ST:II, but she and Kirk had agreed long ago not meddle in each other’s affairs. Oh, and they had a child together named David (who would be killed by the Klingons in ST: III).
Before she could explain why she was there, the Enterprise suffered some sort of warp core problem, which stranded them 20 minutes from Kronos. Chekov didn’t know what caused the problem but started looking into it.
Kirk decided they were close enough to do the job and selected a few redshirts, Spock, and Uhura to go to Kronos and capture Harrison. Kirk asked them if it would be a “problem,” Uhura and Spock working together.
Uhura glared at Spock and said, “Absolutely not.” She then stormed off.
Spock looked at Kirk. “Unclear,” he said. TOO FUNNY! Kirk left Sulu in charge and told him to send Harrison a message after they left, saying that they’d launch the torpedoes if he didn’t surrender.
Sulu said: “Attention John Harrison, this is Captain Hikaru Sulu of the U.S.S. Enterprise. A shuttle of highly trained officers is on its way to your location. If you do not surrender to them immediately, I will unleash the payload of advanced, long-range torpedoes, currently locked onto your location. You have two minutes to confirm your compliance. Refusal to do so will result in your obliteration. If you test me, you will fail.”
McCoy leaned over to Sulu, who was seated in the captain’s chair and said, “Mr. Sulu, remind me never to piss you off.”
Kirk and his team used a small craft that they captured during the “Mudd incident” (a reference to their old TOS friend Harcourt Fenton Mudd). They did not wear Starfleet uniforms, because they didn’t want the Klingons to know this was a Starfleet sanctioned operation.
They boarded the ship and detected Harrison right away. During the flight, Uhura attacked Spock, saying that he did not care about dying since he was willing to sacrifice himself in the volcano. Spock pushed back, saying that when Pike died, he joined with Pike and felt all of the admiral’s final experiences. Spock said that he’d felt those sensations before when Vulcan was destroyed and did not want to feel like that again.
As they flew toward Harrison, a Klingon fighter began to chase, which was a surprise, as this area was supposed to be uninhabited. They lost the Klingon, by pulling the same, exact stunt that the Millennium Falcon did in Empire Strikes Back — by flying through a space, which was too small. Come on J.J.! Come up with something else.
When they arrived on the other side of the tunnel, the Klingons were waiting. I guess that part was different from the scene in Empire, as the Tie-Fighters all were destroyed.
They landed, and Uhura left the ship, in an attempt to bargain with the Klingons. The Klingons didn’t care that humans were trying to capture a criminal human. Their leader grabbed Uhura and was going to filet her with his giant knife when Harrison popped up with a massive gun and started attacking.
A second on the look of the Klingons. They were a bit different than the standard “look” that audiences have been used to (since 1979). Their pupils were snake-like, and they had rings in each bone ridge on their forehead. I was fine with it, but some Trek diehards had heartburn. I figure that not all humans look the same either, so can’t there be different Klingons, too?
Anyhow, there was a big fight, which saw Harrison annihilating the Klingons by himself. He eventually surrendered to Kirk when they confirmed what Sulu said; they had 72 torpedoes trained on their position.
Kirk accepted Harrison’s surrender, and then attacked Harrison with his fists and knees. Harrison stood there and took it until Kirk was too tired to go on. Kirk ordered that McCoy meet him in the brig, and he told Uhura to contact Starfleet, so they knew Harrison was in custody.
While Harrison gave McCoy a blood sample, he asked why the ship was not moving. He asked if there happened to be an unexpected malfunction in the warp core. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy walked away. As they did, Harrison said that if they ignored him, everyone on the ship would get killed.
Kirk went back to Harrison and told him to shut his mouth, as Harrison was alive because Kirk allowed it. Harrison scoffed and said that he surrendered to Kirk because Kirk has a conscience. He then gave Kirk coordinates that Harrison thought Kirk should look into. “23, 17, 46, 11 … coordinates not far from Earth.”
The captain asked Harrison why he should believe him. Harrison said he could give 72 reasons why, and they are all on the Enterprise. Harrison told Kirk to open one up.
Kirk called Scotty, who was partying with Keenser in San Francisco. Scotty agreed to look into the coordinates.
“You don’t think I can remember four numbers?” Scotty asked. “Ye of little faith! What was the third one?”
Kirk then asked Spock and McCoy why they thought Harrison would want them to open a torpedo.
“Are you outta your cornfed mind?” McCoy asked Kirk. “You’re not actually going to listen to this guy? He killed Pike — he almost killed you — and now you think it’s a good idea to pop open a torpedo because he dared you to?”
McCoy thought that Harrison wanted to destroy the Enterprise. Spock said that perhaps “the admiral’s daughter” could help solve this and open one of them. She was a weapons expert, after all.
“What admiral’s daughter?” Kirk yelled.
Spock explained who Carol Marcus really was. Kirk went to her and asked what she knew about them. She knew little but admitted that was why she forged her transfer onto the Enterprise. She explained that her father used to give her access to all of his programs, except these torpedoes.
Marcus said that Kirk was smarter than his reputation would lead one to believe. She said that she knew Christine Chappell, who transferred the outer frontier to be a nurse and is much happier. (Another well-timed T.O.S. reference!) They boarded a shuttle.
She asked Kirk if the shuttle was prepped to fly. Kirk said that it was. She told him to turn around and told him that she could open a torpedo on a nearby planetoid, but she would need help. She said all of this as she was changing from her standard uniform into an away-team gray suit. Kirk turned around and found her in just bra and panties. She told him to turn around “now!”
This scene was actually quite controversial as it was released, and some said that actress Alice Eve had been “exploited.” She said that she did not feel that she was, but later the producers of Into Darkness apologize for the scene.
Later Marcus and McCoy went to the planetoid to dismantle a torpedo. As they worked, McCoy got his arm stuck inside the device, and Marcus had to disable the self-destruct. She was able to disarm it, and as she did, a new panel opened, revealing a human in suspended animation.
By the way — Chekov figured out there was a leak in the warp core system, which he said he’d fix.
Meanwhile, Scotty took a shuttle out to those coordinates, and it turns out it was some kind of secret base near Jupiter. He snuck inside.
McCoy and Marcus took apart the torpedo completely in sickbay. Bones said that the man was alive, but if he tried to wake him from the sleep in the wrong sequence, he would die. McCoy said this tech is “beyond” him — since it was 300 years old.
Kirk stormed back to the brig and asked Harrison why there was a man in the torpedo. Harrison said that there were men and women in all of the torpedoes. It was at this point when Harrison revealed that he was a “remnant of a time long past” named Khan Noonien Singh!
Spock and Kirk did not react like audiences. In fact, casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan may have been a reason why Into Darkness did not make more money. You see, the original Khan, as portrayed by Ricardo Montalban, was supposed to a Sikh with brown skin. Cumberbatch is not brown. There was a lot of talk on this; many said that the producers white-washed the film by not casting someone Sikh or Indian. Even the original Sulu himself, George Takei, agreed. Like the bra and panties scene, the filmmakers eventually apologized.
I thought Benedict Cumberbatch was an obvious choice… as he is one of the “hot” young actors of this era. He’s in Marvel flicks too (Dr. Strange). But I did think that they could have cast a dashing unknown from Bollywood to play Khan instead of the lily-white Cumberbatch. Perhaps this was why for Star Trek Beyond, the filmmakers chose Idris Elba as the main bad guy. However, depending on who you ask, Elba is “hot” as well.
Anyhow, the boys didn’t know who Khan was, so he explained that he was a genetically engineered superman who was exiled a long time ago. This film didn’t get into specifics like S.T.:II did since the Eugenics Wars never did happen in the 1990s as Space Seed said it did.
Khan said that after the destruction of Vulcan, Marcus and others started to search around, and they found him and his crew all frozen. They revived him and held the rest of the crew hostage so Khan could develop weapons and strategies for Starfleet and the war to come with the Klingons. Khan said that Kirk and the Enterprise were part of a set-up, which would start the big war with the Klingons that Marcus wanted.
As soon as Khan was done talking, Sulu called to say that an unknown ship was warping in fast. Kirk ran to the bridge just in time to see the U.S.S. Vengeance coming out of warp. And wow, that Vengeance is a fantastic ship! It looks so cool!
It was Admiral Marcus in command of the Vengeance. He was angry that Harrison was still alive, which was not what Kirk said he would do. He demanded to know why Harrison still lived, and Kirk said that when their warp core failed, they had to improvise. That’s why Khan was still alive, and they planned to take him back to Earth for a trial.
“Well, shit… you talked to him,” said Marcus. “This is exactly what I was hoping to spare you from. I took a tactical risk and woke that bastard up, believing that his superior intelligence could help us protect us now from whatever came at us next. But I made a mistake, and now the blood of everybody he’s killed is on my hands. So I’m asking you … give him to me so that I can end what I started.”
Kirk asked what he ought to do with Khan’s crew. Marcus grew angry and told Kirk that Khan was “playing him.” Kirk told Marcus that Khan was in engineering (he wasn’t) and that they would move him to the transporter room (which they wouldn’t). Kirk ordered Sulu to keep the shields up (which prevents beaming).
Kirk checked with Chekov to see if the ship could warp out; Chekov said they could. He then ordered Sulu to set a course for Earth at warp speed. In sickbay, Khan told McCoy and Marcus that the Enterprise was not safe at warp. Marcus ran to the bridge to tell Kirk that the Vengeance would overtake them, and her father would kill everyone on the Enterprise unless she spoke to him.
Right as she said that, the Vengeance attacked. And this is such a fantastic scene! Could two ships traveling at warp speed in their own warp bubbles fire on one another? I don’t know, but it looked awesome.
The Enterprise got knocked out of warp about 200km from Earth. Marcus continued to attack, punching holes in the Enterprise’s hull, causing the crew to be blown from their stations into space. Carol Marcus finally talked them into hailing the Vengeance, and the firing stopped.
She told the admiral that she couldn’t believe that her father would kill all these innocent people aboard the Enterprise. She said that if she’s wrong, then he’ll have to do it with her on board. He said, “actually Carol, I won’t.” The Vengeance then beamed her off the Enterprise.
Marcus then told Kirk what he was being charged with going rogue with the fugitive John Harrison in enemy territory. Marcus had no choice other than hunting Kirk down and destroying him. Kirk begged Marcus for mercy, saying that it was his plan, not his crew’s. He asked to be punished, but the crew be spared.
The admiral was impressed but told Kirk that he wasn’t going to spare the Enterprise’s crew. The audience then saw a big-ass cannon come out from beneath the hull of the Vengeance. Kirk apologized to the crew, and just at the moment they all should have died, the Vengeance lost power to its weapons systems.
NOTE: This weapon looks eerily similar to the canons aboard the Star Destroyers in Rise of the Skywalker, which was also directed by J.J. I guess then Wars fans may feel the same “come on man” feeling that Trek fans did with Mudd’s ship acting out a scene from Empire, as mentioned earlier.
It was Scotty who saved the day! He hitched a ride on the Vengeance at Jupiter and shut down the power to its weapons. He contacted Kirk to say that he wanted off the Vengeance. Kirk said they couldn’t beam him over but would work on it.
Kirk left the bridge, saying that even though they could not “fire or flee,” there was another option. He placed Spock in command, who knew what Kirk was going to try. Spock said that Kirk would need someone with knowledge of the inside of the Vengeance… Spock knew the only one who did was Khan.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said Kirk.
“An Arabic proverb attributed to a prince who was betrayed and decapitated by his own subjects,” Spock fired back.
“Still, it’s a helluva quote,” said Kirk.
Spock stopped Kirk to tell him that he would not allow for the captain to act this way. Kirk agreed, saying that this was why Spock was now acting captain. Kirk had to do something, even if this was just “a gut feeling.”
Kirk went into sickbay and said that he could guarantee the safety of Khan’s people if he’d help out. Khan scoffed.
At the same time, McCoy was futzing around with a dead tribble, injecting it with Khan’s blood. Hmmm. That’s not strange at all! We are at red alert, and the beds are full in sickbay after the attacks, but Bones is playing around with dead tribbles.
Khan agreed to help. He and Kirk were going to jump into space and be pushed to the Vengeance by the air from the trash exhaust tube. POOF! They flew through space, and Scotty let them in on the Vengeance. It was a pretty cool scene, and Scotty had a bunch of funny lines.
Once they got onto the Vengeance, Kirk told Scotty to “drop” Khan after they had taken over the ship. The three fought their way to the bridge. Once they got there, Scotty stunned Khan, and Marcus lectured Kirk on war with the Klingons. Khan came to and beat up Scotty and Kirk, smashed Carol’s leg, and squashed Admiral Marcus’s head… just like in Blade Runner. “Come on, J.J.,” fans everywhere thought. He lifted from Wars and now Blade Runner?
While all that was happening, Spock contacted Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and asked him about Khan. Old Spock said he was the most dangerous adversary that they ever faced. Honestly, what a cool scene. Bringing back Nimoy again was a huge surprise. Young Spock came up with a plan. He needed McCoy to help him, who protested.
After Khan’s beat down, he contacted the Enterprise and proposed a trade — crew for crew. And he also had a phaser to Kirk’s head. Khan beamed all the torpedoes to the Vengeance and beamed Kirk, Scotty, and Carol Marcus back to the Enterprise.
“Well, Kirk,” said Khan. “Seems apt to return you to your crew. After all, no ship should go down without her captain!”
Khan then locked phasers on the Enterprise. Then Spock detonated the torpedoes on board the Vengeance. Khan! You’re a dummy. You beamed over a bunch of torpedoes that Spock rigged up. McCoy helped Spock remove the 72 members of Khan’s crew from the torpedoes before they beamed over.
No sooner did they see the Vengeance exploding everywhere, then the Enterprise began to get pulled into Earth’s atmosphere. Another cool scene. But (spoiler) they got the ship going because Kirk crawled into the warp core and re-aligned the housings. Instead of falling and crashing, the Enterprise rose from the clouds.
Scotty called to the bridge and told Spock, “you’d better get down here.” Which is, of course, the same thing that Scotty said to Kirk in S.T.:II. I understand that some Trek fans got upset, but I laughed out loud. I thought it was great!
“Well, Kirk,” said Khan. “Seems apt to return you to your crew. After all, no ship should go down without her captain!”
Just before the radiation killed him, Spock ran down to engineering to see what happened. He demanded that Scotty open the door, which Kirk leaned on. “You’d flood the whole compartment,” said Scotty. HA HA HA!
Kirk told Spock that he was scared. But this time, Spock was the one living, and he dropped a tear. I think that may have been what pushed the diehards over the edge. A sober Spock hasn’t shown emotion like this since “The Cage.”
Eventually, Kirk died, and Spock yelled — “KHAAAAAAN!” It was almost Shatneresque.
Anyhow, Khan piloted the Vengeance into San Francisco and Starfleet Headquarters and smashed it right through the city. It was Saturday Night Live alumnus Bill Hader who was the voice of the computer onboard the Vengeance. Nice!
Eventually, Kirk died, and Spock yelled — “KHAAAAAAN!” It was almost Shatneresque.
This may be the best crash scene in all of Trek. It was spectacular. And yes, Khan destroyed Alcatraz while he was on the way down.
Spock was pretty sure that Khan would make it out alive — and he was right. Sulu zoomed the viewers onto the Vengeance just in time to see Khan leap out of the saucer section and slide out. Uhura, who was in tears, told Spock to “go get him.”
The angry Vulcan beamed down, and the chase and battle was on. It was wonderful. I think the best humanoid on humanoid chase seen in all of Trek. They fought on some sort of flying construction equipment.
Back on the Enterprise, the tribble, which McCoy was playing with, came back to life.
Meanwhile, Spock tried the Vulcan neck pinch and a mind meld to slow down Khan, but nothing seemed to work. Khan was beating Spock until Uhura showed up and shot Khan a bunch of times. Then Spock gained the upper hand.
McCoy called down to say that he needed Khan alive so they could save Kirk. At this point, Spock was beating on Khan (like Ralphie beat on Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story), but Uhura got him to stop.
Thanks to Khan’s super-blood, McCoy brought Kirk back. Spock was in the room also, allowing Kirk to thank him. The screen faded to a warehouse somewhere packed with torpedoes. As the camera panned back, we saw the final one housed Khan — the great and powerful! Funny that he survived in this version of the story. Perhaps the producers thought they’d bring him back for a threequel. But after the public outrage of the casting, that will likely never happen.
We then saw Kirk speaking in front of pretty much everyone in Starfleet, as they rechristened the U.S.S. Enterprise. At the end of his speech, Kirk said that when Pike gave him command, the old admiral made Kirk recite the lines from the Captain’s Oath:
“Space. The final frontier. These are voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission, to explore strange new worlds… to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Finally, audiences are treated to a few last moments before Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew launch a fixed-up Enterprise on its five-year mission. As Bones complained of going out for five years, Carol said she was glad to be a part of the Enterprise family. Kirk ordered Sulu to take them out.
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
I very much enjoyed Into Darkness! I realize that many people had problems with borrowing from the previous Star Trek II, but I was fine with it. People do the same stuff in different universes, I supposed. Khan was terrible in both.
In a way, this film was much like TOS, as it tackled real world problems in the guise of the 23rd Century and space. Khan was essentially Osama bin Laden; Starfleet, was the United States. Admiral Marcus trying to wield more power was like the politicians who created the Patriot Act in response to bin Laden. Some felt that those new governmental powers were too much. The destruction of Starfleet Headquarters was not unlike the destruction of the Pentagon.
Without getting into all of that, S.T.:I.D. was a lot of fun, action-packed, and had plot twists and turns. The effects, music, sets, production design, and everything were very, very good. Like any movie, it was not perfect, and they could have omitted some of the scenes that irked the old Trekkies, and it still could have been a great film.
RATING: 4 out of 5