Star Trek: Into Darkness Teaser Promises Too Much Action, Not Enough Brains.

The general malaise of the J.J. Abram’s Star Trek era, for me anyway, is exactly what is promised via the second teaser trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness: All adrenaline, and little actual thought or classic science fiction moral inquiry. The explosion and extreme risk-taking sells, sure, but it’s rather not what I’ve ever looked for or found exciting with Star Trek. I’d rather Abrams move to Star Wars where this attitude is a better fit, sooner rather than later. And get off my lawn!

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I agree with all of that, although, to be fair, the actionification of Star Trek began pre-Jar Jar Abrams – the ‘bigger, louder, more’ trend escalated during the Next Gen movies phase, really.
I’m still going to give them my money, though, so I can’t moan, can I?


I enjoyed Abrams first Star Trek film with the caveat that the enjoyment is largely superficial. I agree with your sentiments that Into Darkness looks like all action with little substance. This is particularly disappointing as Abrams said this film would be a more traditional Star Trek plot. In weak defence of the trailer it doesnt give away much at all, and if we err on the theory that the marketing is focusing on action and hiding a more intelligent story we may be happily surprised. Though I have been burnt by that thinking before.


I have been looking in vain at the pages and boards for this movie in a vain attempt to dredge up some sort of desire to see it when it comes out. I think it’s because I have enjoyed watching Star Trek since I was really little – I’m not that much of a fan anymore, but I still have some small scrap of sentimentality for a franchise that used to bring me so much joy.

I first started becoming disillusioned with Trek during Voyager. It started out with an interesting premise but quickly disintegrated once it became apparent that the writers didn’t give a damn (the actors didn’t either from what I have read). The scripts were rehashed stories that had been done to death since TNG, the characters showed promise but quickly became stale or annoying, then to top it all off the producers decided to introduce the ratings ploy in a catsuit in order to get teenage boys to watch the show. That’s when I stopped watching – and I was a teenage boy.

So after Voyager died I figured that, bereft of any original ideas or panache, the producers of Star Trek would let the franchise lie low for a while, maybe ten or fifteen years then give us something watchable. After all, Voyager was such a bust, right? Ha ha, no. They immediately gave us Enterprise, which was so bad that I refused to watch it after the pilot episode. This abomination ran for four years then was mercifully put out of its misery. Oh, and at the same time we got Star Trek: Nemesis which was the worst ST movie ever (worse than V! That’s really, really, bad).

So, Paramount will finally let Trek die, right? My god, man, this franchise is barely alive, just let it die! Nope, JJ Abrams goes and makes a “reboot” movie – which is the most creatively lazy thing to do in Hollywood today – just five years later, starring younger versions of the original characters in what can only be described as a naked money grab. There was no other reason for this to exist. Now, my biggest complaint about the 2009 movie wasn’t in the actors, although I don’t think that any of them save Karl Urban was close to matching the original portrayals. Nor was it the convoluted time travel element of the story – Trek has always had some bad, convoluted time travel stories so I knew to prepare myself for that. No, the main problem was that it wasn’t STAR TREK anymore. It was just a big, dumb action movie. In fact, it felt more like Star Wars than Star Trek (which is hilarious in hindsight now considering that JJ Abrams is going to direct Star Wars). Star Trek, even in the early days – when it didn’t have hokey stories about brain-stealing mini-skirted go-go babes – was capable of telling good, dramatic stories that explored the human condition and the implications of human actions when interacting with alien races on different worlds. Yeah, it wasn’t hard sci-fi most of the time but no one cared much because it was the only sci-fi on TV. Even the dumber episodes had an element of campy fun to them, an element that was sorely lacking in the 09 flick (maybe it needed some brain-stealing, mini-skirted go-go babes). Hell, even look at the original movies. Yeah, the original Motion Picture was slow and the acting wasn’t that great, but at least it was about something and had a quality of beauty about it. The second one was closer to an action picture but managed to work in about a hundred themes about life, death and sacrifice (among others) and actually managed to make you feel something while watching it and think about it after leaving the theater. The 2009 movie was just mindless bombast and empty spectacle. There was no wonder of discovery, no beauty, no real feeling. It even made the old nerd in me angry – why are all of the bridge crew roughly the same age? In the original show you have a wide variety of age in the cast, from the older (McCoy, Scotty) to the younger (Kirk, youngish but experienced) to the painfully young (Chekhov). Everyone in the 09 movie (except perhaps Bones) seemed to be the same age, and they all Went To School Together! Remember in The Muppets Take Manhatten when Ms Piggy wonders what it would be like if they all grew up together and gave us a scene that would be spun off into its own series (Muppet Babies)? Yeah, this movie was basically Star Trek Babies. You may say that it was another product of the alternate-universe-anomaly-thing, I call BS and say that it was another cash grab.

So there it is. Now we await another action movie that is Star Trek In Name Only. Even the fact that people are speculating whether the film’s villain is Khan or Gary Mitchell points to that fact that fans don’t expect any creativity out of Paramount anymore either.

He’s dead, Jim.

Andrew James

When was the last time Star Trek had any “big ideas”? More than 30 years. I’m avoiding these trailers, but I quite enjoyed the previous ST installment from Abrams. It’s a lot of fun and it looks good. ST has been devoid of really thought provoking ideas for some time and when they try, they’re boring and quite frankly not all that thought provoking.

Even some of the original crew’s movies are flat out terrible. What big ideas are in Star Trek III for example?

Nope, Star Trek II and VI are mostly just action movies at their core as well. “The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many” is played up as the central message in three of the six films.

So c’mon, not since the TV episodes (and maybe the first film) has Star Trek had any real brains to them.


Which makes this round of reboot squandering the potential to get out of that funk. Sadly, laser guns, extreme stunts and ‘Splosions seems the order of the day here.

Hopefully Benedict Cumberbatch will do better with his villain role than did Eric Bana.


The worst thing about the Abrams film was the betrayal of a promise to return to the spirit of the original TV show. It’s there somewhere, but gets drowned out by deafening CGI mayhem.

I don’t know about “”big ideas””, but I think part of the appeal of every Star trek series, and some of the early movies, was the positivism and/or thoughtful, peacetime approach to space exploration. Thinking their way out of sticky situations, learning as they go.

Maybe that doesn’t sell as well as Kirk leaping in front of a CG fireball to the sound of dramatic Inception foghorns.

Andrew James

“Hopefully Benedict Cumberbatch will do better with his villain role than did Eric Bana.”

This I am almost certain of.

Marc Saint-Cyr

Except it seems to me that Cumberbatch’s character is just a photocopy of Bana’s. Oh, great – it’s another bland, brooding bad guy who wants to crush the Federation. Who cares?


The first Abrams Star Trek had some really great moments. Overall, it was just a decent action sci-fi flick.

Still, a decent action sci-fi flick is better than most sci-fi out there.