UPDATE: 5/19/2013-The movie is out now. Head here to check out our spoiler-free review.
UPDATE: 5/2/2013 – The massive ship piloted by Cumberbatch in the trailer has a name. That name? The U.S.S. Vengeance. I guess the U.S.S. Wrath and U.S.S. Retribution were taken, and the U.S.S. Khan was too on the nose.
Here is the part where I say stuff and you wait for it to end so you can get to watching the video. Well, I think that about covers it then. Here is the final theatrical trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness:
From the 1 minute, 15 second mark, what the hell is this?
Tor.com is arguing the giant black ship, which Benedict Cumberbatch captains in the trailer, looks an awful lot like the Enterprise E, i.e., the version of the Enterprise used by the Next Generation crew in the films Star Trek: First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the Enterprise E, but the design similarities suggest it could be an Enterprise from the Mirror Universe. I don’t know about all that. Frankly, I’ve always thought the various star ships in Star Trek look pretty similar – saucer-shaped primary hull connected to a narrow or fat body supported by two elongated jet propulsion-esque parts called warp nacelles. That describes more than just the Enterprise in the Star Trek universe. However, there is a definite similarity here which is likely intentional. It creates an effective, almost comedic juxtaposition in how out-gunned Kirk & company are going to be in their fight against not-Khan-but-probably-is-Khan.
The last time we saw Khan in the Star Trek universe (in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan) he was on the deck of the
Enterprise USS Reliant, a Federation starship he had commandeered in his plot for revenge against Kirk. Cumberbatch’s villain in the new movie happens to have a ship which looks an awful lot like a Federation starship, albeit a hybrid one. Doesn’t mean he will turn out to be Khan, of course. Just something I thought I’d point out.
At the 1 minute, 56 second mark of the trailer Simon Pegg’s Scotty indicates the Enterprise might be destroyed or made unusable, likely as a result of Cumberbatch’s “You call that a ship? Now, this, this is a ship!” battle advantage. If such a thing does come to pass, it won’t be the first time the Enterprise has been destroyed in one of the movies or tv shows. Below is not a list of every single version of the various starships to be called Enterprise in Star Trek, but instead a list of those which we have actually seen destroyed in battle:
The ship survived a bald woman (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and a bare-chested Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan) but could not make it past Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock).
Oh, Enterprise C, we hardly knew ya. You showed up in the Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” in which you, too, were destroyed in battle with the Klingons.
We followed you through seven seasons of Next Generation and waited patiently during the speech-y Star Trek: Generations only to see you destroyed in battle with the Klingons. As the Simpsons version of Captain Kirk once said in a parody of Star Trek, “[exasperated sigh] Again with the Klingons?”
So, the Klingons have been behind every destruction of the Enterprise in the Star Trek universe, and the Enterprise appears likely to perish in the new film. You know what this means? Cumberbatch’s character in Into Darkness must be a Klingon. Granted, he does not look like a traditional Klingon, but that hasn’t stopped Star Trek before:
Okay. I am only kind of joking, but I may actually be right. As I was writing this article Hollywood.com published a very thorough argument that Cumberbatch’s character in the new movie is either a Klingon or aligned with the Klingons, who we see in the trailer as the anonymous foot soldiers wearing the shiny helmets. Check it out here. The following is my summation of their argument:
1. In the original continuity, Klingons naturally look like Worf, pictured above. However, in response to human genetic testing they uncovered and interpreted as a threat they began experimenting with splicing Klingon and human DNA to produce deep-cover agents who could infiltrate Starfleet. The experiments, although initially successful, morphed into a virus which affected the entire Klingon community. By the time of the Original Series, most if not all Klingons looked human. This negated the intent to place deep cover agents as there is no element of disguise when all Klingons look human. At some point between the Original Series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture the Klingons were able to reverse the effect.
2. What if in the new J.J. Abrams continuity the Klingons genetic experiments were successful but did not produce a virus? What if the John Harrison character played by Cumberbatch is actually a Klingon in deep cover in Starfleet? The trailer indicates Harrison might be working in alliance with the Klingons, but what if he is actually one of them?
If you consider the Abrams films tied to the continuity of the TV shows and prior films then actions from the show Enterprise negate this. However, if you consider the Abrams films free to do whatever they want this is certainly a possibility. We have not actually seen what the Klingons in this new universe look like, and they already heavily altered the appearance of the Romulans in the first Star Trek.
When will we absolutely find out for sure? On 5/17/2013 when Star Trek Into Darkness is released in the USA, with a mixture of earlier and later release dates for other regions of the world.
Theorize with us in the comments.
Editorial Note: 4/23/2013-The above article originally stated that in Wrath of Khan the ship commandeered by Khan is the Enteprise. A commentator responded to the article to point out that Khan actually captains the USS Reliant. In response, the offending text has been corrected. We hang our heads in shame, and kindly hand in our Star Trek fan badge and phaser.
Star Trek: Into Darkness News: An Earlier Release Date, Early Reviews & A Look at the Klingons (weminoredinfilm.com)