Now that J.J. Abrams has the setup for his alternate reality edition of the Star Trek universe, where does he go next? If you’re as fearless as Abrams is, you dive head first into heavy Trek lore. In his first outing some people were put off by the fact that he basically dismissed over 40 years of history. What he really did was give himself a clean slate to bring Star Trek to a new generation (or would that be next?). Along with his original writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, this time Abrams may not be credited to the screenplay, but regular collaborator Damon Lindelof has been brought in to flesh out the new Trek and plunge the crew of the Starship Enterprise Into Darkness.
We meet up with Kirk (Chris Pine) and Bones (Karl Urban) on the run from a tribe of Nibiru after having stolen an ancient artifact to distract them away from their village while the rest of the crew assist Spock (Zachary Quinto) in freezing a volcano before it erupts and wipes them out. Afterward, back at Starfleet HQ, Kirk finds out that Spock has sold him out in his report and now Kirk is being sent back to the academy and Spock has been reassigned. Meanwhile, at the Royal Children’s Hospital in London, Thomas Harewood (Noel Clarke) has been told by the mysterious John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) that he can save his dying daughter, which leads to Harewood blowing up the Kelvin Memorial Archive. Starfleet knows it was Harrison, who used to be a member of Starfleet, and after an attack on HQ, commander Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) allows Kirk to take back the Enterprise and take Harrison out.
And that’s about all you’re going to get out of me. Abrams has really stepped up to the plate here to deliver one of the most solid sequels the Star Trek series has ever seen. Oh sure, the fanboys are going to rip this thing apart, but we all know they’re going to see it multiple times whether they like certain things or not. The rest of the crew makes their return of course — including Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) — and Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), the admiral’s daughter/science advisor/weapons specialist has been added for good measure. To walk into Darkness with a clean slate is highly advisable, stay off the Internet at all costs! And while I may have said before that Oblivion was ripe for seeing on IMAX, Star Trek: Into Darkness blows that right out of the water. With at least a half hour’s worth of IMAX filmed footage, here’s the one film you truly need to see on IMAX. So this weekend, respect the chair, and beam yourself Into Darkness immediately.
Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures