Star Trek Into Darkness: A Very Close Look At The Teaser Trailer

Some silhouettes in a circular corridor bear the brunt of a big explosion. Not nice.

…indeed, cutting directly to this shot of Uhura and Scotty in tears suggest that something rather horrible has happened. Even if the connection between these two shots doesn’t stay clearly in mind, the cut has injected even more of a downbeat flavour into the trailer.

And here we see Kirk reaching out… the explosion suggests that he’s too late, or too far away.

And amidst all this tragedy, a reminder of the film’s villain, acting absolutely brutally.

Here’s Kirk, apparently coming in to face the villain. Note once again – we’re on Kirk’s eye level, Cumberbatch is elevated, and looking pretty naughty to boot.

After the villain voice over asks “Shall we begin?” and the eye-to-eye with Kirk is done, that whole sequence suggesting his confident challenge, the throwing down of the gauntlet to our young Captain, then things start blowing up. We’re looking at a terrorist here.

It seems like there’s some indication that the destruction is coming, too, as there’s a crowd looking up. Can they see something flying in for impact?

The big bang.

The city is taking a whooping. Has a space craft been flown into a building? Is it a bombing? I feel it’s the former.



And the cut leads us to the Enterprise, or so it seems, crashing into the water.

Can we presume the crew (ie. Scotty) repair it under there, and it later rises up, as seen earlier in the trailer?

What follows is only included in the Japanese edit of this teaser.

So… what do you think Kirk is looking at, amidst the lens flare and “red for danger”?

The voice over here mentions family, which brings us to that theme for the first time. Do note that the official plot blurb said:

Sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Obviously of some significance here.

And finally, a clear homage to the death of Spock in Wrath of Khan, the second Star Trek movie in the “first run.” I’ve put an image from that scene below.


And there ends the trailer, with a strong suggestion that this storyline, somehow, follows Wrath of Khan. Do we think they’re going to kill Spock off? I’m not even sure that’s Kirk’s hand on this side of the screen.

In fact, we don’t even know which side of the screen is which. Maybe things have been flopped here, and it’s Kirk in the old Spock position…? That ties-in with him wanting to sacrifice himself for his “family.”

The shot was almost certainly included as a nod to Khan, and we did hear, early on, that the villain in this film would be Khan.

And after a week or so of being pretty sure that Cumberbatch was going to be playing Gary Mitchell, I’ve changed my mind. Now I think he’s Khan. Again.

At the same time, I do think Alice Eve is playing Elizabeth Dehner, though. She was always part of the Mitchell story but a recent spin-off project appears to have shown us how things are different here. This new time line is all jumbled up from the original series.

There is a Star Trek comic, published by IDW, that is set in the Abrams’ movie continuity and canon. Producer and writer Roberto Orci has said recently that what goes in the comic stands in the movies.

In the first two issues they introduced Mitchell and then, almost as quickly, killed him off.

But unlike the original TV version of the story, Dehner didn’t appear. It was explained that she didn’t come on board the Enterprise because she has a romantic history with Bones that had turned bad.

That certainly chimes with the beat in the trailer where Alice Eve is flirting with Chris Pine and Karl Urban is looking grumpy about it.

The comics’ Mitchell used electricity from his fingers to fight. This character is always using weapons, including guns. That’s not a good match either, if you ask me.

One good visual clue is the collar of the jacket Cumberbatch wears. Look at original Khan’s get up here.

Then look at this design.

I think costumier Michael Kaplan has done this on purpose.

And we should also listen to the voiceover.  ”For I have returned to have my vengeance” seems like a reference to Khan’s exile, for sure.

Though this would mean that the voice over comes from later in the film’s story as the new continuity hasn’t adapted the story of Khan’s origin and exile in Space Seed yet, and I think it most likely would.

Do note that a sequence in Space Seed sees Kirk trapped in the decompression chamber. That may be the source of the hands-on-glass sequence above.

As to Khan’s ethnicity… well, do remember that he was genetically engineered. Any little tweak is possible in this new design.

And… actually, I’ve started to convince myself he’s Garth of Izar. The only thing I’m really sure of is that JJ Abrams and co. have messed my head up.

This teaser trailer certainly teases, and I don’t know how close I am to having fit the pieces together snugly. We’re just a week away from the unveiling of the film’s 9-minute opening scene, however. That’s bound to be the end of at least a couple of the big mysteries.

Star Trek Into Darkness will be released in full next May.