Star Trek Into Darkness -- the sequel to 2009's Star Trek -- out in theaters across the United States on May 17. Will it live up to four years of pre-release hype? Are the crazy rumors about the film's main villain true? Is it actually dark? On Thursday morning, we saw an advanced screening of Star Trek Into Darkness, so, here, as always, we answer every question that you could possibly have about Star Trek Into Darkness. (Warning: Some references are made to plot points that could be considered a spoiler, considering how secretive the plot of this movie has been.)
Q: Is Star Trek Into Darkness as dark as its title teases?
A: Not really. It's basically at the same level (or non-level) of darkness as 2009's Star Trek.
Q: Are the rumors about a villain in Star Trek Into Darkness true?
A: The rumors are true: There is a villain in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Q: Are the rumors true that the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness is a villain we've seen in another Star Trek movie?
A: I mean, look, that rumor has been floating out there for a while. And if you use your Google machine, you'd be able to find out the answer to that pretty quickly at this point. All that I'll say is this: Do you think the villain in a summer blockbuster with a reported budget near $200 million is a British guy named John Harrison, a.k.a. the most boring name in the world?
Q: For the rest of this piece, will you refer to the villain as "Most Boring Name In The World?"
Q: Does Star Trek Into Darkness begin just like the preview that ran before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?
A: Strangely, no. The two scenes that you saw in that 10-minute preview are now flipped. The film starts with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) running for their lives from the natives of an unidentified world, while Spock (Zachary Quinto) attempts to extinguish a volcano before it erupts. After that, we are introduced to a mysterious man named
John Harrison Most Boring Name In The World (Benedict Cumberbatch) who offers his help to a family with a dying daughter.
Q: Is the crew of the Enterprise on its five-year mission that we see in the original series?
A: No, but Kirk certainly wants to be a part of that five-year mission. His aspirations, though, are put into jeopardy after what happens in the opening scene on that unidentified world.
Q: Does Kirk break any rules on that planet?
A: Kirk broke a lot of rules. Then, he lies about it. Spock, on the other hand, chooses to tell the truth, which results in Kirk being demoted. Before you ask, Kirk's demotion doesn't last long -- he's the captain of the Enterprise again soon enough -- but this does create some interesting friction between Kirk and Spock about the nature of friendship.
Q: Does Kirk's reinstatement as Captain have anything to do with Most Boring Name In The World?
A: A lot. Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) puts Kirk in charge of finding Most Boring Name In The World, who is accused of two terrorist attacks against Starfleet.
Q: Marcus? Any relation to Carol Marcus?
A: Admiral Marcus is the father of Carol Marcus (Alice Eve; played by Bibi Besch in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of
The Most Boring Name In The World Khan), who is on the Enterprise when Kirk and crew depart to find Most Boring Name In The World.
Q: Where is Most Boring Name In The World hiding?
A: Qo'noS, which presents some problems.
Q: Because that's where the Qo'noSians live?
A: It's where the Klingons live. At this early stage in Star Trek history, Klingons and The Federation are not on good terms. Going to Qo'noS in an effort to find Most Boring Name In The World could start a war.
Q: Are you giving too much of the plot of Star Trek Into Darkness away?
A: Everything I've referenced happens in the first third of the movie.
Q: How fast does the plot of this movie travel?
A: Around warp seven, I'd say.
Q: Did you like Star Trek Into Darkness more than Star Trek?
A: Yes. But only because of what I personally like about Star Trek as a franchise.
A: Though there is a Tribble in Star Trek Into Darkness, no. What I love about Star Trek actually kind of mirrors what I love about Star Wars: the relationship between the three main characters.
Q: So Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia Organa appear in Star Trek Into Darkness?
A: Sadly, I'll have to wait two more years to find out what J.J. Abrams decides to do with those three. In this case, however, it's the relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Q: Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in the first movie, too. Did you not know that?
A: My favorite scene of the first movie is the final one, when Kirk walks onto the bridge of the Enterprise, wearing his yellow uniform, and starts barking orders at the crew. This scene basically establishes that all of these characters know each other now. The movie that came before that moment was about getting to that point. I don't want to see Kirk and Spock fight each other; I want to see Kirk and Spock fight for each other. In Star Trek Into Darkness, Kirk and Spock fight for each other.
Q: What's the worst thing about Star Trek Into Darkness?
A: The Most Boring Name In The World's plan seems, let's say, unnecessarily complicated.
Q: Is this a plot hole?
A: No, actually. The more I think about it, the more it does make sense. But there is a lot more "Why did this guy do what he did to those guys?"-type questions than you'd expect after a Star Trek movie. Again, though, the plot moves along so quickly, that these kind of questions are only things that are thought about after the movie is over.
Q: Do Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) have much to do in Star Trek Into Darkness?
A: Uhura has a major role, which has a lot to do with her ongoing affair with Spock. The other three all have nice moments to varying degrees, but the show belongs to Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
Q: How does Star Trek Into Darkness compare to, say, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
A: Here's the thing: it really is impossible and unfair to compare these two movies (even if there are similar tropes throughout the two and it feels like Into Darkness does welcome the comparison).
Q: But you will do it anyway?
A: Look, J.J. Abrams' version of Star Trek isn't the same as the one William Shatner stared in -- we have known this for four years. And those clamoring for Shatner's version would most likely hate the final result because Pine, Quinto and Urban are not Shatner, Nimoy and Kelly.
Q: Do you have a master's degree in "stating the obvious"?
A: Sadly, the University of Missouri discontinued its master's program in "stating the obvious" right after I earned my bachelor's degree in "stating the obvious."
Q: Do you have a point?
A: Probably not. I will say that before Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the original cast had filmed 79 episodes of the original series, lent their voices to 22 animated episodes, plus filmed a full movie. There was a chemistry there because those actors knew each other and liked each other (or, in some cases, hated each other) so much. This is only the second time this group of actors have worked together. If the new cast tried to pull of a direct clone of what the original cast did, it would be a miserable failure.
Q: What's the stupidest thing about Star Trek Into Darkness?
A: That I'm forced to refer to the villain in this movie as Most Boring Name In The World.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
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