Star Trek is the very cornerstone of Geek Culture, and without it this site wouldn’t even exist; Kevin and Michael met at a Star Trek convention in Glasgow, Brian sat behind Michael on opening day of Star Trek Generations, and we met both Maggie and Les through their involvement in local fan groups. Prior to the release of JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film, opinion was divided even before a single frame had been released to the hungry public, but upon release it won over many who had been prepared to dismiss it by virtue of the excellent casting choices, his affectionate appreciation and enthusiastic understanding of why the original show was so beloved, and for making the film just so darn enjoyable and exciting, a key factor which George Lucas and Michael Bay have forgotten to include. The first teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness was released today, and we asked our writers for their first impressions. Please feel free to add your own opinions in the comments section.
Brian Robinson – Interesting stuff. I like how Cumberbatch has kept his accent. Does this exclude Gary Mitchell? I hope so. The Japanese trailer has some extra footage, including two hands (one in a blue sleeve and with fingers in a suspiciously Vulcan salute and the other black) both trying to touch through glass. The massive shadow of Wrath of Khan lurks, but if this is some kind of callback to that, why do I get the impression that the roles have been reversed? Cumberbatch’s character also has a little line about what “you would do for your family.” He’s definitely been wronged (in his eyes) and is after some justice/revenge, but thankfully he does not appear to be Khan.
Very nice visuals, especially with the ominous shot of the starship (possibly the Enterprise, do we know for sure?) ploughing into the sea. Light on the lens flare (thankfully, again) and lots of quick head shots of familiar characters looking very worried/anxious/terrified/distressed. This trailer is promising, some real oomph in terms of drama and possibly emotion. Let’s just hope they’re not imitating the story and character decisions taken in Nick Meyer’s masterwork and that Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman are doing their own thing. The shots of the lava world do look a little Mustafar-ish (Revenge of the Sith).
The poster itself is definitely a step away from traditional Trek posters but it is simply too reminiscent of more than one Batman poster (the Joker, back to us, head half turned, from The Dark Knight. Devastation forming the series’ logo, à la The Dark Knight Rises).
But rather promising.
Maggie Symon – Production quality in the flash bang looks excellent, FX great as it should be, but it is a trailer and they will show all the glossy bits and leave out the substance. Benedict Cumerbatch is gloriously nasty, and I think he probably enjoyed the part, but I have absolutely no interest in going to see the film based on that. I am interested in character and depth rather than a special effects and explosions film. If I don’t recognise the characters in the film as mine (I don’t care if they are supposed to be alternative universe) and I have no empathy with the characters I do see on the screen, the film is not going to work for me.
What Brian said about Batman, funnily enough I can see what he is talking about, which isn’t Trek to me. If they want to make films like that they should be original about it and screw Viacom or whoever owns Trek now who assume fans will just go to anything because of the name.
Les Anderson – First impressions – it all looks a bit like a computer game trailer crossed with Revenge of the Sith with a bit of Battlestar Galactica thrown in. I appreciate this is cut together to appeal to a certain demographic but for that reason they’ve selected certain generic moments (emphasising 3D spectacle) that probably don’t reflect the film as a whole. I am reserving judgement till a proper trailer is put out.
But the ship crash looks amazing – I imagine it is the Enterprise. If it’s even half as well-made as the first film it’ll be superior to everything else out there. I suspect the Wrath of Khan visual quote with the hands is a wee red herring – probably put in to get the fanboys into a froth but will likely be subverted in the film itself. It’s just too obvious. I mean, the online tirades about the bluray mastering of The Next Generation Season 2 before it has even been released do make me despair, so there is a certain core element who will get worked up about it long before they see it in context.
Michael Flett – It opens in San Francisco, home of Starfleet, which I guess is nice, grounding it and linking it to the first film, but there’s not a single shot of stars, of space, in the whole trailer. It doesn’t feel like true science fiction, let alone Star Trek. I want to see stars, explore strange new worlds. That is the promise of Starfleet, that we have a life and a future beyond this planet, this solar system.
While initial speculation had Alice Eve pegged as either Janice Rand or Christine Chapel, the sight of her with that haircut puts me in mind of Elizabeth Dehner from Where No Man Has Gone Before, and she’s wearing the correct science blues, but even more so Yeoman Smith from the same episode, either of which would lend credence to the supposition that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Gary Mitchell – he is in a Starfleet cadet uniform – but there’s no overpowering reason that he still couldn’t be Khan in a stolen uniform and Alice Eve is Marla McGivers gone blonde. I do find her scream disconcerting – she should be a trained officer, and that is uncharacteristic behaviour. For that matter, the whole thing could be a huge tease, and they could all be playing original characters with no links to the show whatsoever – without evidence, we’re shooting blind. It may be that no one can hear you scream in space, but apparently we can still debate.
The focus is on Chris Pine, Zacahry Quinto and Benedict Cumerbatch without doubt – Kirk, Spock and the bad guy. Uhura is in a few shots, Scotty and Sulu in one, Bones in the background for a moment, but no Chekov. It’s too little to judge, but I want this to be an ensemble for the whole crew; having waited four years, I don’t want it to b
e a glory piece for just the command staff.
The effects are certainly spectacular – the lava is more convincing than that in Revenge of the Sith, as is the motion of Cumberbatch as he leaps into the air – but it feels terribly generic, and it gives away nothing of the story or character. It definitely is a teaser, designed to generate buzz across the board, not a trailer to sell to the dedicated audience.
The ship crashing into the bay is impressive (an echo of the Bounty in the finale of The Voyage Home) as is the ship rising out of the water – we can see it’s an NCC registry, so presumably Enterprise, though the crashing ship seems thave the nacelles connected directly to the primary hull, though it may be that the angle is deceptive. I’m not sure how I feel about starships in atmosphere – the issue of the Enterprise being constructed on Earth in the first film raised a lot feathers and was never addressed, let alone resolved satisfactorily.
Whatever, it’s certainly got me talking and thinking and eager to see the film. I just hope it doesn’t disappoint, but I feel we’re in good hands.
Adam Dworak – Revenge, again. How many Star Trek movies have we seen about revenge? Wrath of Khan, Ru’Afo in Insurrection, Shinzon in Nemesis, Nero in the last film – how long can we ride the same horse? It’s time for something fresh and original.
The trailer didn’t feel epic enough for me – there were no stars, no space battles. I saw people on streets, people screaming, people running, but where was the epic feel of Star Trek? I go to the cinema, I want to see something big. It is more teaser than trailer, but even as that, it didn’t tease me enough.
I don’t understand the cult of Kirk and his crew on board the Enterprise – there is a whole universe out there. If they’ve reinvented it so drastically, why not just boldly go where no man has gone before with someone new and learn their story?
Star Trek Into Darkness is scheduled for release on May 17th, 2013