Star Trek Into Darkness Review Week: Eric Bricmont

Where Star Trek Has Gone Before


Stop now if you haven’t seen the movie. Bookmark this, go watch it and then return.

I love Star Trek. I love it. If you follow the blog then you already know I’m not a Trekkie, for Trekkie doesn’t even sum it up. I had to create an entire religion (Trekkism) to explain my devotion for the franchise. So in 2009, when J.J. Abrams released his rebooted version of the original series, I was skeptical. I remember the nervousness I felt watching the first few minutes, thinking to myself, “Ok, here we go. Please don’t screw this up!” By the end of the first 15 minutes, I could clearly see where he was going, with his alternate timeline/parallel universe. Later in the movie, they even take the time to spell it out on screen for anyone that hasn’t figured it out yet. This development in the plot was equal parts predictable and pleasing. Every fan in the audience was relieved; here was our out. Now Abrams could do whatever he wanted (within reason) and we could enjoy the ride.

So why in Vulcan would they take the opportunity to create a totally original and amazing story and toss it out an airlock! Did someone seriously watch The Wrath of Kahn and think, “Hey! Let’s take Kahn plus a way overdone story line from the last few seasons of DS9 and blend them together. Oh and Klingons, we should throw them in somehow! Oh, oh, and let’s take Kirk and Spock and shift the roles they already played out in a previous movie!”  It’s enough to make you Picard facepalm. Perhaps in a parallel universe they went with a totally original story rather than relying too heavily on old ideas.

Reused plot aside, Abrams made some very usual decisions with Into Darkness, for starters, the Klingons. We know from events in Star Trek: Enterprise (100 years before the split in the timeline), the Klingons should have smooth foreheads due to genetic engineering. That’s why I appreciated Abrams giving them masks with the forehead ridges crafted into them. Too bad they didn’t leave them on. I honestly would have been fine with TNG looking Klingons; I take issue with them looking like some sort of Romulan/Klingon hybrid teenager going through a rebellious stage. Then we find out Benedict Cumberbatch’s character John Harrison, is not a totally amazing original character but rather a totally non-Indian Kahn. A white, pasty, British Kahn. Did I mention he wasn’t a muscular North Indian Sikh of incredible Ricardo Montabon-ness?

Now unlike the first movie, I have no out. I have started trying to come up with explanations for the discrepancies. Maybe Kahn altered his appearance? He did try to ethnically cleanse the world, 300 years ago. Did the Klingons use some of Nero’s Romulan DNA to kick start their forehead ridges? Well, they did have him in custody for over 20 years

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