Paramount Pictures | Release Date: May 15, 2013
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 1525 Ratings
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1,237
Mixed:
177
Negative:
111
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10
aerynchianaMay 18, 2013
As a big Trek fan, I truly enjoyed this alternate timeline's second installment. There was never a slow moment. I was certainly surprised by several developments but ultimately a very satisfying experience. I look forward to more adventuresAs a big Trek fan, I truly enjoyed this alternate timeline's second installment. There was never a slow moment. I was certainly surprised by several developments but ultimately a very satisfying experience. I look forward to more adventures with this crew. Expand
39 of 56 users found this helpful3917
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8
RadarE33May 17, 2013
When I saw the reviews that were coming in for Star Trek Into Darkness, I rolled my eyes. The first one got good reviews and in my opinion, that movie was a mess. So my expectations were low going into this film; "just another stupid popcornWhen I saw the reviews that were coming in for Star Trek Into Darkness, I rolled my eyes. The first one got good reviews and in my opinion, that movie was a mess. So my expectations were low going into this film; "just another stupid popcorn movie that will sully the name of Star Trek". I was even ready to go get a refund and go watch Iron Man 3 if need be. Boy was I wrong. This outing was thoroughly entertaining, flowed logically (a huge issue with the last film), and even had some good character moments. People also acted like people in this film, and Kirk was less of an idiot this time around and actually grew as a character. Story was pretty solid; some of technical details were off but I can't complain. Reveals were well paced and the action was handled well. There was one moment near the end that had me rolling my eyes and wondering what the hell the writers were thinking (hint: it isn't very original). However, upon reflection it made sense, and the reactions of the characters was believable. Though, one will have to accept that time has passed between this movie and the last, so the non-nonsensical character dynamics in the last film have evolved and been fine tuned into something sane and rational. Also, the main villain has been given a lot more menace and demonstrates why he's a major threat (you'll see what I mean when you watch the film). Overall, 8/10. A lot better than the first. Expand
22 of 35 users found this helpful2213
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0
OzTrekMay 16, 2013
Not so boldly going where we've already gone before. Dumbed down from a highly intelligent and thoughtful franchise. More cliche characters. Inconsistent with 45 year old characterisation (No, split reality does not excuse everything). BoringNot so boldly going where we've already gone before. Dumbed down from a highly intelligent and thoughtful franchise. More cliche characters. Inconsistent with 45 year old characterisation (No, split reality does not excuse everything). Boring plot with "homages" which are word-for-word and judging by the "twist" in the last act JJ Abrams and his writers either think we're stupid or have short term memory loss. Expand
19 of 32 users found this helpful1913
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1
g_r_a_yMay 20, 2013
It's like a bunch of dumb drunk guys sat around watching the original Star Trek and got a wild hair to recreate the show using the old action figures as puppets. The characters are only similar to the originals in slight cartoonish ways. IIt's like a bunch of dumb drunk guys sat around watching the original Star Trek and got a wild hair to recreate the show using the old action figures as puppets. The characters are only similar to the originals in slight cartoonish ways. I know, I know, alternate universe--which here is just an excuse to pull any cheap thrills they wanted and have an excuse for it. Tradition aside, the script of this movie was so ponderous, half the dialogue was used to inflict plot points on us. The jokes don't work because the movie is in a contrived tizzy state almost the whole time, and there's almost no relief from it. And the jokes are not funny anyway, they're played out. Also, where's the science? The ship's broken at one point and no one knows why and we never find out. The explorative and intelligent part of Star Trek is gone in this movie, replaced with frantic and inane running around. In general, the characters were whiny and spineless and hard to pull for--like they dropped out of any stock poorly-written TV show. The whole experience was so fake--I'm bummed. I gave this a 1(instead of 0) because the scenes with Jim and Christopher Pike were good. Expand
20 of 37 users found this helpful2017
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3
Richard_OntarioMay 16, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness isn't just a bad movie, it also a poor addition to the Star Trek franchise. Along with over the top visuals and poor 3d, the audience experiences bad acting from all the cast, and a finesse performance by BenedictStar Trek Into Darkness isn't just a bad movie, it also a poor addition to the Star Trek franchise. Along with over the top visuals and poor 3d, the audience experiences bad acting from all the cast, and a finesse performance by Benedict Cumberpatch. I know the first film by heart, so I know that this film isnt going to make it with the greats of film history. Here's why; The film's emphasis is predictable and cheesy, you will notice this within the first 20 mins, don't be fooled as it attempts to overshadow all the bad plot-lines with great effects, but the effects look the same as everything else now days. And there is a sprinkle of "camp" and "cheese" throughout the film, where every character is generic and resembles more of a comic book. Sex, Visual Effects, Ego is all you will see at the end. Goodbye Star Trek TOS nice knowing you. Expand
18 of 34 users found this helpful1816
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3
amazingrandoMay 16, 2013
If you're a fan of past Star Trek movies and TV series, save yourself $11. Instead, (re)rent Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan. Abrams' re-imagining lacks any of the philosophical and ethical dilemmas of earlier Star Trek, or the clever battle ofIf you're a fan of past Star Trek movies and TV series, save yourself $11. Instead, (re)rent Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan. Abrams' re-imagining lacks any of the philosophical and ethical dilemmas of earlier Star Trek, or the clever battle of the wits between Kirk and his nemesis. Instead you have many characters who act in ways very different from the philosophy of Starfleet, unnecessarily (and poorly) reimagined species like the Klingons, inexplicable plot points, excessive fight scenes, and way too many lens flares. The intriguing backstory of the villain explored in earlier Trek is glossed over here resulting in a two dimensional baddie, despite Benedict Cumberbatch's otherwise excellent acting. If you're looking for an intellectually stimulating space adventure, look elsewhere. If you're looking for over the top action, eye numbing visual effects, and goosestepping-inspired uniforms, then it might be just what you're looking for. Expand
32 of 63 users found this helpful3231
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4
VNVNationMay 17, 2013
I'm a big fan of the original 'reboot' and I expected this to be a pretty decent sequel. Massive disappointment. The 'plot' is unintelligible and seriously lacking. Effects and CG is okay but nothing we haven't seen before. Overall, IntoI'm a big fan of the original 'reboot' and I expected this to be a pretty decent sequel. Massive disappointment. The 'plot' is unintelligible and seriously lacking. Effects and CG is okay but nothing we haven't seen before. Overall, Into Darkness is uninvolving and uninteresting. Expand
17 of 43 users found this helpful1726
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3
AlienSpaceBatsFeb 15, 2014
The voyages continue: Star Trek for people who don't like Star Trek. A big, dumb summer popcorn flick with zip, wiz, bang action, lots of explosions, fist-fights and running around. One of the most beloved 'Trek instalments (The Wrath ofThe voyages continue: Star Trek for people who don't like Star Trek. A big, dumb summer popcorn flick with zip, wiz, bang action, lots of explosions, fist-fights and running around. One of the most beloved 'Trek instalments (The Wrath of Khan) gets the prison shower treatment by the conclusion of Into Darkness. Unintelligent, formulaic, forgettable. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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0
MaestroVolpeJun 8, 2014
I'm glad JJ Abrams was able to promote Lt. Uhura from communications officer to "eye candy completely irrelevant to the plot".

Her two scenes in the entire movie are kissing a guy and then screaming at her boyfriend to stop punching a guy.
I'm glad JJ Abrams was able to promote Lt. Uhura from communications officer to "eye candy completely irrelevant to the plot".

Her two scenes in the entire movie are kissing a guy and then screaming at her boyfriend to stop punching a guy.

The original Lt. Uhura was such an inspiration that when she wasn't sure if she should keep doing the show, actress Nichelle Nichols was implored by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to continue the role so that Americans could see a future in which one's sex and race are not restrictions to just how far you could go in society and through the galaxy.

I'm so glad JJ Abrams was able to suffocate this inspiring piece of civil rights and cinema history by completely smothering the Lt. Uhura character.
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4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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2
ShaulGarFeb 23, 2014
Star Trek as nothing but an endless series of action shots, if you want a war movie set in the Star Trek universe than this is for you. It's not Star Trek, it's a over done over utilized ghost of what the series should be. Lots of shooting,Star Trek as nothing but an endless series of action shots, if you want a war movie set in the Star Trek universe than this is for you. It's not Star Trek, it's a over done over utilized ghost of what the series should be. Lots of shooting, blowing things up and fist fights, lots and lots and lots. I found my sympathies going for those apposed to Kirk and in support of Khan and those who thawed him out. Do not spend money on this, if you want to still see it, wait for it to come out on cable for free. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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5
Just_MeJan 6, 2014
I really wanted to enjoy this movie. Encouraged by Abrams and company's claims that anything could happen in this new Trek universe, I was looking forward to a new take on an old character. Instead, the movie goes out of its way to compareI really wanted to enjoy this movie. Encouraged by Abrams and company's claims that anything could happen in this new Trek universe, I was looking forward to a new take on an old character. Instead, the movie goes out of its way to compare itself to "Wrath of Khan," to the point of using the same dialogue, and, in the end, it comes up short. "Khan" was thrilling, suspenseful and surprising, leading to a shocking ending. "Into Darkness" ends up being a mere shadow of the original, that not only fails to thrill (because we know where its going), but carefully puts all of the pieces back the way it found them at the end, so as not to upset the audience. It other words, it plays it safe. Too bad, because the first two thirds is actually a decent film. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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3
jasonbowden1000Oct 6, 2013
A timid movie at its core, Star Trek: Into Darkness cynically milks the Star Trek cash cow with another bare bones kill-the-monster plot, propelled with melodramatic danger scenes. It is designed to please two large groups of moviegoers:A timid movie at its core, Star Trek: Into Darkness cynically milks the Star Trek cash cow with another bare bones kill-the-monster plot, propelled with melodramatic danger scenes. It is designed to please two large groups of moviegoers: obsessive geeks giddy over references to previous Star Trek installments, and those casually looking for a special effects spectacle. We don't find any science in the science fiction, not even fantasy physics, just Cowboys and Indians in space, with any kind of arbitrary magic used to serve any plot point. The fanboy references ruin this version of Star Trek as a standalone universe, as they invite undesirable comparisons to earlier incarnations of the characters, which makes everyone seem like either a cartoonish facsimile or an inauthentic knock-off. Nothing holds the film together thematically. Thankfully, outstanding acting from the ensemble prevents a total disaster. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
StarTrekScienceMay 25, 2014
While much better than the 2009 film (which was an AWFUL Star Trek film), it still lacks the intelligence of the original films / series. It too, while fun to watch, has a few homages to the originals ... which some could feel insulted by,While much better than the 2009 film (which was an AWFUL Star Trek film), it still lacks the intelligence of the original films / series. It too, while fun to watch, has a few homages to the originals ... which some could feel insulted by, but I liked them. Not for every Trekkie; for the general audience; sure! Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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3
MascalzoneJun 23, 2013
There is no consistency in the plot at all: while some prompts are given during the film, no explanation on the most interesting hints are made: what's the role of the Klingons? What's behind those Federation treason? Which is the argumentThere is no consistency in the plot at all: while some prompts are given during the film, no explanation on the most interesting hints are made: what's the role of the Klingons? What's behind those Federation treason? Which is the argument between Uhura and Spock? Just: Spock I saved you. Well: Kirk let me just do the same. In between: 120 minutes of harassment and the topic clearly copied and pasted (backwards) from the most appreciated Star Trek movie ever. Expand
6 of 7 users found this helpful61
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4
berkoughJun 14, 2013
J.J. Abrams should team up with Michael Bay, since now they both seem intent on destroying my entire childhood... This movie is basically Abrams taking a big fat on the entire franchise and re-writing the most well known movie. This isJ.J. Abrams should team up with Michael Bay, since now they both seem intent on destroying my entire childhood... This movie is basically Abrams taking a big fat on the entire franchise and re-writing the most well known movie. This is nothing new, it's just a remake. I genuinely enjoyed the first movie because it was fresh and a different perspective. This movie however, blatantly takes scenes and dialog from Wrath of Khan. If you really want to see Wrath of Khan and you haven't, do yourself a favor and do not go to see this movie. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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5
Brutus54May 29, 2013
Bit of a disappointment. I am a Star Trek fan, I liked the last instalment a lot, and I like Benedict Cumberbatch as well. So what is the problem? Fundamentally, this is a Star Trek by the numbers movie. Lots of noise, lots of action, lotsBit of a disappointment. I am a Star Trek fan, I liked the last instalment a lot, and I like Benedict Cumberbatch as well. So what is the problem? Fundamentally, this is a Star Trek by the numbers movie. Lots of noise, lots of action, lots of inside jokes but not a lot of soul, to be frank. Altogether too easy to lose interest as the endless banging and clattering and explosions and shouting and improbable plot devices get trotted out one after another. In many respects the plot was a bit incoherent or possibly irrelevant, as the emphasis was mostly on racing to a truly ludicrous punch up with a superman surrogate on top of a flying something or other. And the reverse spin on getting exposed to serious radiation poisoning (as in Star Trek 3) in the ship's core was not all that well handled either. Shame. Could have been better, if anyone had cared enough to put some light and shade in it. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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5
skinybarfJun 10, 2013
This is a semi-coherent 30-minute cartoon adaptation of 50 years of Star Trek, served as a 2 hour package with strong focus on action and soap drama. No science, interesting plot or much moral questioning is to be found. Somebody did aThis is a semi-coherent 30-minute cartoon adaptation of 50 years of Star Trek, served as a 2 hour package with strong focus on action and soap drama. No science, interesting plot or much moral questioning is to be found. Somebody did a Michael Bay with this one. The concoction delivers a generic 50 percentile action movie. Use Mr. Bays work as a reference if you are undecided. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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2
IraSJun 2, 2013
Here they are rebooting the series (TOS and movies), and for no reason at all the makers of this film obviously felt compelled to re-write Wrath of Kahn, and they did not even do a good job of it. Also, too much of characters talking aboutHere they are rebooting the series (TOS and movies), and for no reason at all the makers of this film obviously felt compelled to re-write Wrath of Kahn, and they did not even do a good job of it. Also, too much of characters talking about the personality traits of Kirk and Spock when, in one of the few things they did right, they had Kirk and Spock display their respective personalities. And, like a lot of "science fiction" over the last decade or so, "into Darkness" treats its live action characters as "impervious to injury" cartoon characters. Expand
6 of 8 users found this helpful62
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0
alex77005Jun 8, 2013
"Bromance" invades Star Trek in a bad manner. The number of characters "about to die" is too high and idiotically operatic, since WE KNOW they are not going to die. The confrontation with the "bad guy" did not live up to its resolution."Bromance" invades Star Trek in a bad manner. The number of characters "about to die" is too high and idiotically operatic, since WE KNOW they are not going to die. The confrontation with the "bad guy" did not live up to its resolution. Special effects are good, but not worth $11.00. There HAS GOT to be a point when Leonard Nimoy will hang his Vulcan Ears and retire with dignity It doesn't matter, last Star Trek movie I ever watch. Back to the DVD's of older installments of the series. Expand
5 of 7 users found this helpful52
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1
holodocMay 22, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Absolutely insulting in every possible way, even if you approach watching it with clean slates. Full of plot holes, ridiculous action scenes and useless characters. The first movie was actually likable even though it had its fair share of problems but this one... Oh my...

In all honesty the movie deserves a 3/10 but I gave it a 1/10 simply because of the degree of incompetence demonstrated at the end. I mean you create a whole new timeline just to be able to answer every cannon related question with "its a whole new timeline and anything can happen" but then all you can come up in your rebooted version is recycling content from the original movies?

It hurts even more if you are a Trekkie. If you expect a movie to deliver anything that Star Trek stood for (moral and philosophical themes wrapped within an immersive and interesting story) then stay away from this one because the only thing it will deliver is a two hour kindergarten fun. You wan't to enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness? Then simply rent "Star Trek: Wrath of Khan" instead.

Live long and prosper but don't expect to see another good Star Trek movie in the near future (at least until Abrahms is shaping them).
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7 of 10 users found this helpful73
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7
TokyochuchuJan 10, 2014
Star Trek Into Darkness is a decent space adventure for Kirk and Company. Benedict Cumberbatch is especially cool as a re-envisioned Khan. A major downside, however, is the clumsy reworking of scenes from the original Wrath of Khan, which inStar Trek Into Darkness is a decent space adventure for Kirk and Company. Benedict Cumberbatch is especially cool as a re-envisioned Khan. A major downside, however, is the clumsy reworking of scenes from the original Wrath of Khan, which in turn opens up the movie to direct comparisons with the former classic... and that inevitably reflects badly on the Into Darkness. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
loxMay 9, 2014
Star Trek Into Darkness was inferior to its '09 predecessor, but with a superior villain. I disliked how Abrams alternately rehashed plot points from Wrath of Khan though, and felt that the predecessors secondary characters felt even moreStar Trek Into Darkness was inferior to its '09 predecessor, but with a superior villain. I disliked how Abrams alternately rehashed plot points from Wrath of Khan though, and felt that the predecessors secondary characters felt even more minor here, and a certain shoe-horned eye-candy scene had me rolling my eyes. Despite Cumberbatch's excellent performance, why did he have to play a character who's supposed to be North Indian? Despite these gripes, Into Darkness was a fun watch with beautiful visuals, a solid climax and exciting action sequences. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
AaronWasserman2May 3, 2014
Star Trek into Darkness has alot going for it. There are so many positives in this movie but unfortuantly there are alot of negatives. Into Darkness is very messy and has an unfocused narrative. While the movie is fun it does tire you out.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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5
FurrygopherMay 20, 2013
Bad trek, bad science fiction, bad direction, good action.

Adjust your expectations this is a action film that plays lip service to trek by lifting entire scenes and elements from wrath of khan jumbles them up and sprinkles
Bad trek, bad science fiction, bad direction, good action.

Adjust your expectations this is a action film that plays lip service to trek by lifting entire scenes and elements from wrath of khan jumbles them up and sprinkles underwear,running around and action on top without understanding or even caring about its source material, plot consistency, physics or even potentially its own future as a film series.

Leaving out the obvious about how the film is made to make a good trailer for a film not a good film, its total rehash of ST2 and going straight in on the lack of consistent use of plot, the film attempts to broaden the scope of the action introducing a room full of captains whose ships are available and are never used even when the finale is unfolding within spitting distance, takes iconic trek tech and continues to bastardise it, like beaming direct from Earth to Qo'nos effectively means that tech will need suppressing for future movies or you won't even require a star fleet if you can beam bombs across the galaxy.

Warp drive continues its unabated exponential speed increases, Janeway would give her left leg to get a hold of it and would have been home in days.

The ship itself continues to get dumber, in addition to engineering in the first film being a death trap in case of emergency decompression now the saucer section is too with internal open spaces riddling the ship existing only to add tension to later scenes, the only logical reaction would be to don your space suit and wear it constantly for fear of sudden death.

Moving away from the fantasy physics of Star Trek to just fantasy physics of film, everything is spread up 1000x for effect and plot tension an object falls unpowered from the moon to earth in minuets anti gravity going offline causes ceilings to become floors while in free fall, even accounting for rotation that's dumb.

That said I am giving it a 6, perfectly watchable dumb action film Scotty is solid, Pike is perfect, sulu gets the biggest character progression of anyone, everyone else retraces their arcs from the first film.

Oh wait a minuet, the plot hook is magic blood, that loses a mark your getting 5 into darkness.
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14 of 22 users found this helpful148
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0
crispinMay 24, 2013
The movie starts out well but quickly degrades into a mess of bad writing and out right copying of Wrath of Kahn. This movie is an insult to one's intelligence.
5 of 8 users found this helpful53
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6
greygooseMay 22, 2013
This movies LOOKS GREAT. The special effects are some of the best I've seen in awhile. It looks like space, it feels like space. Costumes and sets are used in the tradition of the original Star Wars movies, and any CGI is not distracting, ifThis movies LOOKS GREAT. The special effects are some of the best I've seen in awhile. It looks like space, it feels like space. Costumes and sets are used in the tradition of the original Star Wars movies, and any CGI is not distracting, if noticeable at all. On a visual level JJ nailed it. I just wish I gave a about anything that happened to the characters etc. My friend and I looked over at each other after about an hour and a half of constant action and said, "I'm not invested in this at all." A bummer, cause the first movie was pretty fun. Suspense seems to be missing from recent blockbusters. Especially since anything that makes enough money overseas or here, gets a sequel so we know we don't have to worry about any of the character's fates. They're all gonna live and be back in 2 or 3 years to do this again, worse. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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1
pvsMay 20, 2013
Please JJ, if you can't keep your crayon within the borders, don't consider the resulting scribble to be "art". I don't buy your "alternate timeline" bs. You have managed to make a cheap, throwaway version (or two) of "Star Trek", and youPlease JJ, if you can't keep your crayon within the borders, don't consider the resulting scribble to be "art". I don't buy your "alternate timeline" bs. You have managed to make a cheap, throwaway version (or two) of "Star Trek", and you are ruining its heritage in the process. Roddenberry must be aghast! Please, JJ, leave Star Trek to people who actually care. What a shame! Expand
14 of 26 users found this helpful1412
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8
BrandonBonaseraMay 15, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness isn't just a great movie, but also a great addition to the Star Trek franchise. Along with stunning visuals and somewhat suitable 3D, the audience experiences brilliant acting from all the cast and a villainouslyStar Trek Into Darkness isn't just a great movie, but also a great addition to the Star Trek franchise. Along with stunning visuals and somewhat suitable 3D, the audience experiences brilliant acting from all the cast and a villainously brilliant performance by the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch. Since I don't remember much of the first film (which was great), so I cannot really compare the two. But I am sure that this sequel is certainly up there with all the other great films in the franchise. The film does have a couple flaws in it such as being a little predictable at times and even a little cheesy. Star Trek Into Darkness is a massive event film that fans with surely enjoy and audiences with surely love. Expand
13 of 26 users found this helpful1313
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4
samichsupernovaMay 15, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film was all over the place, and not in a good way. There's not a single interesting moral or philosophical idea or crisis to be found in its entire plodding run time. It felt like four stretched-out episodes of an artless TV series with the budget of BSG, until screenwriters Lindelof, Kurtzman, and Orci ran out of ideas and decided to spend half the movie remaking (one of) the most beloved of Trek films without having earned any of its heart or soul.

Spock x Uhura falls flat this time around; their romance could have been so much more interesting than the bickering taking place onscreen. Pegg's Scotty is great, but Urban's Bones, Cho's Sulu, and Yelchin's Chekhov (all fantastically cast in the first outing) don't have enough to do. For all the Sherlock fangirls out there, Cumberbatch's talents are sadly wasted. We never get enough of his motivations, but then when his exposition dump rolls around, anyone who's seen the Trek film this material was based upon can guess how the rest of the film will play out. It's a far cry from the original, much better portrayal of this character, and the blame rests solely on the shoulders of the film's lazy screenwriters. If the movie gets one thing right it's the bromance between Kirk and Spock Pine and Quinto try their very best. But not even the best performers can polish subpar material. J.J. and his partners in crime clearly don't care enough about this universe (or didn't have the time) to fix numerous plot holes, (i.e. why would all of the top brass need to meet in person with holographic technology? Oh, because it's a plot convenience that allows us to cram more events into a film that has no room to breathe).

The 2009 film (which I also disliked) is better in almost every way. Perhaps most telling is that even Michael Giacchino's score this time around sounds rushed. I have never once before taken a disliking to one of Maestro Giacchino's tracks, but this is not his best stuff here.

Also, the action scenes and even the CGI are not as well filmed as those in the 2009 film.

Sadly, there's no sense of the humanitarian/colonial themes of the original Trek series anywhere. As a character puts it, since the events of the first film Starfleet has become more of a military force, which means stocking the Enterprise with mysterious warheads.

Dear fellow filmmakers, why were you denying the rumors regarding you-know-who? As it turns out, you just knew that once the cat was out of the bag, we'd all see the Emperor's new clothes for what they were. Guess what, screenwriters? You're officially writing AU slash fanfic.

To be perfectly honest, I love Star Trek (my fave is TNG) but Star Wars is closer to my heart. To me it's infuriating to think that these schmucks are going to be in charge of Star Wars now (officially, Michael Arndt's writing the script to that one based on a story by George Lucas, but Abrams will almost certainly have Lindelof advising him.)

PS: Mr. Abrams, I know there is good in you. Get back in gear.
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11 of 22 users found this helpful1111
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0
BrianWardMay 17, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Into Darkness and the 2009 film which preceded it represent much more than simply the abandonment of almost 50 years of meticulously-maintained canon. Instead, something far less tangible and far more devastating has been lost.

What is it about this show that compels people (like me!) to obsess over it? And why is it so difficult to explain to others why it means so much to us? Or why we think that there is something unique and special in Star Trek.

It’s not easy to articulate an answer for that question. I’ve seen many interviews where even the actors who play the characters in the shows have trouble explaining it in a way which really outlines the totality of the premise.

I think the biggest problem is that we currently lack the shorthand language needed to express certain ideas represented by Star Trek at its best to other people in a way which is clear and simple to understand.

Star Trek showed us the world through a very wide angle lens, so we saw much more. I’m not speaking of the physicality of the place, but of the ideas. Star Trek brought us out of the pettiness of our own small daily lives to consider ideas different than those we might normally encounter. After watching at length, one might begin to realize that it’s actually a way of thinking; a different approach to the world.

There is a certain amount of optimism about our ability to solve our own problems together as a species. Because many of our contemporary problems have been solved, there are new problems to face. While they live in a utopia from our present day vantage point, I think the crew of the Enterprise would argue that they face problems all the time theirs is not a perfect world. They do have problems, but theirs are different.

Although Star Trek has fallen short in many ways over the years in presenting this idea. It had seemed that the core thought had managed to survive for a while. It was very clear from very early on what the basic idea was. A good summation about the mission of the show was given in a very early episode by a character named Keeler:

“One day soon, man is going to be able to harness incredible energy maybe even the atom. Energy that could ultimately hurl men to other worlds in some sort of spaceship. And the men that reach out into space will find ways to feed the hungry millions of the world, and to cure their diseases. They’ll be able to find a way to give each man hope and a common future. And those are the days worth living for.”

While very interesting, taken on its own, Keeler’s charter probably didn’t resonate as easily with people as “…to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

In the 1960s, Keeler’s was a message that you just did not see on television. You had your all-American families, your spy shows, and your mysteries. Science fiction itself was confined to the domain of strange aliens who always seemed hellbent on killing the Earthlings.

Even today, we still haven’t appeared to move much beyond this place in our media. When people think of science fiction, it is seen as either being an action adventure in space or some esoteric about a madman who wants to change the nature of being human or otherwise offend our present day sensibilities.

J.J. Abrams’ understanding of Star Trek appears to fall within these bounds. Gone are the stories about unmasking self-proclaimed gods, or the stories wherein the abandonment of the future’s ideals is seen as a wrong rather than a somehow heroic and necessary evil but not totally evil because our hero is infallible.

His vision of Star Trek is more about some nebulous battle and seemingly unending war between good and evil a theme which seems to resonate well in our culture. It’s a very simplistic message: Our guy (Kirk) is good, the other guy (this time, Khan) is bad.

But Star Trek is about bigger things than this round-robin. Said Gene Roddenberry: “Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”

We cannot go out into the universe and try to impose our will upon it with the gut certainty of being absolutely right. This will only lead to more conflict and probably our destruction by some far more powerful species.

Star Trek was an appeal to us to look at things as they could be and to ask… why not?
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