the Little Red Reviewer

new Star Trek Into Darkness trailer.

Posted on: April 17, 2013

There’s a new trailer out for Star Trek Into Darkness.  It’s a pretty fucking epic trailer.

go watch it over at Wired.

Looks awesome, yeah?  i want to stand up and applaud after watching that.

but do these J.J. Abrams movies feel like Star Trek?

And does it matter?  Does Star Trek have, for lack of a better term, umami, that is or should be present in the J.J. Abrams films? and if yes, what is that particular flavor?



I’ll go first. You know how a lot of people were annoyed with the X-Men prequel that came out a couple years ago? Long time fans said it didn’t jive with the cannon story line and ret-conned a bunch of stuff. my only experience with X-Men is the movies, so if characters and plotlines were changed from the comics I had no way of knowing.  The way Abrams is handling Star Trek makes me really sympathize with those X-Men fans.


20 Responses to "new Star Trek Into Darkness trailer."

One of my first real exposures to Trek was the 2009 film. A couple years later, I discovered TNG and that’s what made me a Trek fan.

The Abrams films may not have that blend of social commentary and humanism the franchise has always had–I’ve seen this in my Star Trek Saturdays series and I’m not even past the first season of TOS–but I would argue they don’t need to. In the popular consciousness, Trek has become pigeonholed as being all about speechifying and technobabble, and if the way to correct that is to make these high-octane action films with Trek trappings, then I’m on board.

Now here’s something I’m upset about: WHY are there no tie-in books set in the alternate timeline of the Abrams films outside of a novelization of the first film? What the heck, Pocket?


Novels were planned but cancelled by Paramount.


Did it have something to do with Bad Robot?


Ron Moore (who worked on TNG, DS9 and did this little show called BSG) recently said that the movies won’t ever capture what made the shows so great. The movies don’t have time to delve into the characters as much or really delve into some of the bigger ideas that the series could.

That said, I saw the trailer and I’m officially excited for the new movie.


Yep, that is crazy cool! Makes me want to pull out the blu ray tonight and watch Star Trek. This is the movie I’ve been looking most forward to (barring the Hobbit films) since the first one came out in 09. Thanks for sharing that!


No, it isn’t Star Trek. It is Star Wars meets Die Hard meets The Avengers meets The Transformers meets Generic SF Action Film – and it also looks like they’ve recycled some ideas from the 2009 film (Kirk in the spacesuit). Revenge is a common theme in these films, however (Kahn, The Search for Spock, The Undiscovered Country, First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis right on to the present) and in spite of Cumberbatch’s effective voice, it seems a little worn. Why is someone always out for revenge?

The 2009 film had so many plot holes, but all was forgiven since it was a ‘reintroduction’ to these characters. Where it went *grossly* wrong was Kirk being given his first captaincy while only a third-year cadet without any real experience. He got lucky on that adventure because they were dealing with an idiot. A lot of experienced Star Fleet officers (including Spock) got passed over for that job and it never felt right. I hope this is addressed in the new film, and if it is, then Kirk is undermined as a character because he is in a position he doesn’t deserve (and keeps having to earn, from the looks of it).

But back to the ‘revenge’ theme – there might be something to it, as a reflection of our present reality, which is what Roddenberry really intended Star Trek to be. Our corrupt world is haunted by acts of vengeance, of terror and the fear that it will devastate us all. Who will be the hero to save us? This is the fantasy of it, of course, where Star Trek becomes Iron Man or Superman, the convenient geniuses who, after a little battering, still manage to save the day.

The series never pretended to be about superheroes, but offered us a positive vision of humankind – how we overcame our pettiness, ignorance and apathy to build a better world. The problem with that, of course, is, where is the conflict? The devil is always lurking around, somewhere.

I do think it’s a shame that a younger generation is now experiencing Star Trek in this way, and not its full flavor: what about the ‘five year mission’ to explore the galaxy – seek new life and new civilizations? With the original Star Trek (and to a lesser extent, TNG) we were along for an exciting ride into the New as well as exploring the questions of our past behavior and where it might lead us. I miss the adventure of it. All the ‘epic’ action and special effects and lens flare in the world won’t make me forget that. They are no replacement for going where no one has gone before.


THIS. This exfuckingzactly.

the Abrams movies are fun rollicking scifi action movies. they don’t feel like Star Trek.


I was a fan of TNG and DS9 long before I’ve ever heard of Abrams. I haven’t seen his film and I won’t be seeing this one, either. It’s a real shame Paramount has chosen to go back in time rather than moving forward with the franchise.


I really like J.J. Abrams and can’t wait to see this movie, but I’ve never been into Star Trek until the new movies.


I have been watching Star Trek in one form or another as long as I can remember. While I love the original (series and movies) and TNG, DS9, and STV, they were always comfort food. Things always turned out OK, there weren’t as serious as other stuff, and had this underlying social commentary on how to be a good person.

I like that the 2009 movie drifted from that a bit, being a bit more serious in some things, showing the devastation that could and would be unleashed with technology of a galaxy-conqueroring race.

And yes, i am very excited about the upcoming movie.


I’ve always pledged my fidelity to Star Wars, and mostly ignored Star Trek (except for Next Generation, of which I was a fan), but I very much liked the most recent Star Trek prequel and will definitely see the next one. So, not being a rabid fan, how the director chooses to handle it won’t affect me much. Now, when Disney starts spitting out new Star Wars movies, then you better believe I’ll have something to say if they don’t get it right.


I was never a rabid Trekkie until Abrams showed up. he’s just not doing it right!!!


I’m all over the place on this one (at least when comparing ST & XM).

I’m with you on ST, Andrea. While I enjoy JJ’s ‘take’ on the movies — they are an interesting re-invention — they are NOT the Trek I grew up on. They lack the gravitas, though I can understand how gravitas has become unfashionable these days.

It’s funny on XM, I have a brother-in-law who knows them mainly by the cartoon series, which differs from the original comics in major ways. The timeline is totally different. He doesn’t get that I experienced much of their history differently. Then along comes the movies, that differ from both.

I guess I was primed by my ongoing B-i-L conversations that they would too be taking liberties. As much as I like the ST gravitas, I love the Bryan Singer humor of the first 3 movies. Though I have to explain to newbies that some of the students in the movies (Angel, Ice-Man) were actually X-Men before Wolverine, Storm, and Nightcrawler.

Despite the huge liberties taken with original (and all) timelines in X-Men: First Class I thoroughly enjoyed that movie and it’s unique play on the overall mythos.

Long story short, I am against not liking something just because it differs from your warmly-held memories. Like it ’cause you just don’t like it, but be open-minded enough to understand that attitudes, mores, language, etc. change over time and need a revamp for a series concept to stay up with the times.


The (90s? I think?) cartoon was how I came to X-Men, I’m completely clueless about the timeline. i might get frustrated by some of the new ST fans who came to it through Abrams, but I’m *that* person w/ XMen, so who am I to talk, you know?

I think Abrams’s movie making style just grates on me. lots of explosions and running and quippy dialog, but not much depth. I give him a big giant MEH.


As my too-quick-for-my-own-good typing should have said: “DON’T like it ’cause you don’t like it”. Those are legit objections you have for not liking the JJ take on things. You have reasons other than “well it’s not exactly done in the Roddenberry mold”.


no worries, I knew what you meant from the context. 🙂


To me the new film came across as not particularly well-written fan fiction (nothing against fan fiction and I’m sure many fans could do a better job than Abrams) but the characters seemed like rather superficial interpretations of the originals, rather than a genuine attempt to get to grips with who these people are. I just kept thinking, but this isn’t Spock, this is someone’s opinion of Spock and I don’t happen to agree!

It doesn’t have the humanist moral center of Star Trek either which is just so fundamental to the show.

I went to see the first film because I thought I’d be seeing the early adventures of characters I loved and I lost interest as soon as I realised that wasn’t going to be the case (due to splinter universe). Then I just felt exploited by the whole thing.


“the characters seemed like rather superficial interpretations of the originals, rather than a genuine attempt to get to grips with who these people are. ”

I couldn’t agree more. I rewatched Star Trek III: The Search for Spock the other night, and I really felt like I knew who these people where, what they cared about, what their motivations were. Also, it promoted a morality I agree with. sure, the new movies are fun, but I couldn’t tell you anything about the people in it other than that “they like adventure”.


It’s no secret that Star Trek movies (particularly the JJ Abrams ones) are more action-focussed with an epic feel. There is less focus on exploring strange new world and more focus on saving the galaxy. This is nothing new if you look at a lot of the old movies. Some have criticised them for that. I think it’s just a fact of the medium. People expect big-screen stories to be more epic, to have greater stakes, to be faced-paced with lots of spectacle. I have no problem with that.

Star Trek on the big screen is incredible fun, but it’s ultimate home is on TV. That’s where writers have the time to do more classic Trek stories. I’d love to see Star Trek on TV again some day so we can see more of these stories, but for now I’m really enjoying what I’ve got.

Without giving anything away, I think the end of Into Darkness potentially opens up for a third film that is more classically Trek. I’d like to see JJ & Co do a movie that combines the epic action they do so well with an exploration story. I think they could pull it off.


I’m not at all surprised the end of Into Darkness keeps the storyline open for a 3rd movie.


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