Star Trek Into Darkness

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Star Trek Into Darkness
Star trek into darkness poster.jpg

J.J. Abrams


J.J. Abrams


Paramount Pictures

Release Date:

May 16, 2013



Star Trek Into Darkness is the first sequel to the Star Trek reboot movie.


Act One

While Kirk and McCoy lead natives of a low-tech planet away from a volcano, Spock beams into the caldera of the volcano and plants a cryogenic device to neutralize its eruption, saving the natives from extinction. Volcanic activity, however, makes it impossible for the shuttle that dropped him off to retrieve him before the device detonates. The Enterprise could retrieve Spock if it left hiding to get close enough for transport, but Spock advises Kirk to leave him to his fate, so the native culture will not see a starship, and the Prime Directive will be observed. Kirk chooses to rescue Spock, flying the Enterprise directly over the native population, resulting in a change in their culture.

Upon return to Earth, Kirk receives a reprimand from Captain Pike for his actions, which were explained in Spock's report of the incident. Kirk is relieved of command, causing strife between him and Spock.

Act Two

A man named John Harrison saves a man's daughter with a blood transfusion. In return, the man plants a bomb in a Federation archive on Earth. Starfleet goes on full alert, calling all of the commanding officers in the system to a meeting at Starfleet headquarters. Knowing how Starfleet would respond, Harrison attacks the meeting from an aerial gunship. Kirk is able to disable the craft and force Harrison to retreat via long-range transport, but Captain Pike and many other officers are killed.

Admiral Marcus returns command of the Enterprise to Kirk and orders him to deal with Harrison, who has been traced to an unpopulated region of Quo'nos, the Klingon capital. Kirk is to eliminate Harrison with a long-range torpedo strike, using special torpedos provided by Marcus. Carol Wallace also joins the crew to look after the new weapons.

Although everyone advises Kirk that these orders are illegal and wrong, he still takes the torpedoes aboard (for which Scotty resigns in protest) and takes the ship to the Klingon border. At the border, the warp engines fail.

Between the precarious situation and the constant urging of his crew, Kirk decides to try to capture Harrison instead of killing him with a long-range torpedo strike. Their attempt to sneak onto the Klingon homeworld to capture him is unsuccessful, and Kirk, Spock, and Uhura are nearly captured by Klingon soldiers, only to have Harrison unexpectedly attack the Klingons. Harrison routs the Klingons almost single-handedly, then surrenders to Kirk.

Act Three

Against Spock's advice, Kirk decides to interrogate Harrison. Harrison explains that he is actually Khan Noonien Singh, an augment who left Earth on a sleeper ship. Admiral Marcus discovered the ship and had Khan awakened to help advise a special division of Starfleet on preparing for a confrontation with the Klingons that Marcus considered inevitable. Originating from a time of war, Khan was far more suited to seeing the military applications of Federation technology than Starfleet engineers who had not seen war in generations. Khan helped design a new starship and new weapons to protect his followers, who were essentially being held hostage by Marcus, but he eventually escaped and sought a way to free his friends. Khan says his story can be proven by examining one of the special torpedoes brought on board and by investigating the secret base of the new starship.

Dr. McCoy and Carol examine one of the torpedoes and find a cryogenic capsule inside containing one of Khan's people. Kirk gets in touch with Scotty and asks him to investigate the secret base, which he discovers.

Admiral Marcus abruptly arrives on the scene in the new starship, the USS Vengeance. He confirms much of Khan's story, but he also claims that Khan is a madman attempting to gain power for himself. He demands that Kirk hand Khan over, but Kirk chooses to flee to Earth at warp speed, instead.

Act Four

Unknown to Kirk, the Vengeance is able to follow and attack another starship at warp speed. Before they reach Earth, the Vengeance overtakes the Enterprise and fires, knocking the Enterprise out of warp. Admiral Marcus plans to destroy the Enterprise to cover up his plans, but Carol reveals that she is actually his daughter, and destroying the Enterprise would kill her. Marcus avoids the problem by beaming her off the Enterprise and resumes his attack, causing severe damage, but the attack abruptly halts due to sabotage by Scotty, who not only found the Vengeance, but managed to sneak on board. Unfortunately, his sabotage will only buy a few minutes.

Running out of options, Kirk decides to space jump from the Enterprise to the Vengeance to find a way to stop Marcus, and he chooses to take with him the only person available who knows the layout of the Vengeance: Khan. Left in command of the Enterprise and needing information, Spock consults his future counterpart for information about Khan.

Despite trouble avoiding debris along the way, Kirk and Khan successfully make the jump, and Scotty opens a hatch to let them aboard. Not trusting Khan, Kirk orders Scotty to stun him as soon as they take the bridge. The three successfully fight their way to the bridge (Khan doing most of the fighting), where Scotty stuns Khan and Kirk confronts Marcus. Unfortunately, a phaser stun is not sufficient to incapacitate Khan, who abruptly attacks and beats everyone on the bridge, killing Admiral Marcus in the process. He then contacts the Enterprise and demands that Spock allow him to beam over all of the torpedoes containing his people in return for Kirk, Scotty, and Carol. Spock agrees and the exchange takes place, after which Khan resumes firing on the Enterprise with the weapons of the highly automated Vengeance. Anticipating treachery, however, Spock rigged the torpedoes to detonate after the transport, crippling the Vengeance.

Act Five

Still critically damaged, the Enterprise begins to fall into Earth's gravity well. Kirk and Scotty race through the damaged ship to reach the warp core to get it restarted. The core is contaminated with lethal levels of radiation, however. Kirk knocks out Scotty so he can go in and make the repair, allowing the ship's fall from orbit to be stopped. Unfortunately, Kirk dies from radiation poisoning soon after, while speaking to Spock through the safety door.

Meanwhile, Khan has sought to avenge his people by crashing the Vengeance into Starfleet headquarters. Due to the damage the ship has sustained, however, it crashes well short of the target.

A vengeful Spock beams down to Earth to finish Khan. McCoy, meanwhile, discovers that Khan's augment blood is a powerful healing agent in normal humans. He quickly has Kirk put into one of the cryogenic tubes from the special torpedoes, which were removed from the torpedo casings on Spocks orders before the torpedoes were beamed to the Vengeance. One of Khan's followers is removed from a tube and kept sedated while Kirk is put in his place.

On Earth, Spock catches up to Khan and a fight ensues. While Spock can match Khan's strength, he is no match for Khan in fighting experience, and the battle soon goes against Spock. At that point, Uhura beams down with a phaser and repeatedly stuns Khan, disabling him enough for Spock to knock him out.

McCoy is able to use a blood transfusion from Khan to revive Kirk. Khan is placed back into cryogenic sleep with his followers and placed in a secret vault. Having learned a lesson in humility, Kirk is placed back in command of the Enterprise after it is repaired, and the crew begin a five-year exploration mission.


  • Star Trek Into Darkness is shamelessly derivative of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Warp 4 appears to be a high warp speed in the new continuity.
  • At this point in "new Trek", the ability to engage in ship-to-ship combat at warp speed is unique to the USS Vengeance. It follows that warp strafing is not a viable tactic.
  • Scotty's formula for long-range transport reappears, used by Khan to escape capture on Earth and transport all the way to Quo'nos.
  • It's refreshing to see Kirk actually suffer some consequences (and even be exploited) for his recklessness and disgregard for regulations.