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Star Trek Into Darkness

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Star Trek Into Darkness
Release date: 16 May 2013
12th of 12 Star Trek films
728th of 728 released in all  
STID domestic poster.jpg
Written By
Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof

Directed By
J.J. Abrams

Produced by
J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
2259.55 (2259)
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Beyond the darkness, lies greatness.

A series of terrorist attacks on Earth places Captain James T. Kirk on a mission to deal with the culprit. Nothing is as it seems, as the Starship Enterprise is entangled in covert machinations to ignite war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, with an ancient enemy in the mix. With alliances tested, relationships strained and differing motives clashing, how costly will the thirst for vengeance prove?


Act One

Nibiru village

The temple raided by Kirk and McCoy

During early 2259, on the Class M planet of Nibiru, Captain James T. Kirk is being chased away from a temple located at the base of an active volcano by native Nibirans. He is startled by an animal, and stuns it with his phaser. Behind the animal is an upset Leonard McCoy; Kirk has just stunned their "ride", forcing the two of them to flee on foot. Kirk had stolen a scroll sacred to the Nibirans.

Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu is piloting a shuttlecraft into the volcano, with Spock and Nyota Uhura on board. Spock, protected by an environmental suit, is preparing to detonate a cold fusion device inside the volcano that would stop a cataclysmic eruption from extinguishing life on the planet. Kirk tells them of their plight, using the communicator. Spock reminds Kirk about the Prime Directive, as the Nibirans are a primitive civilization. Kirk assures his first officer that he and Dr. McCoy were disguised; they were merely leading the natives further away from the volcano. With the shuttlecraft's thruster being choked by ash, Spock has to act fast. After a kiss from Uhura, he is lowered by cable into the volcano. During the descent, the shuttlecraft takes too much damage, and Sulu attempts to abort the drop. The cable Spock is hanging by abruptly snaps, dropping him into the volcano. Surprisingly, he survives the fall in his protective suit, and the cold fusion device is still operational. Sulu and Uhura are forced to abandon the shuttle; Uhura promises they will get Spock out.

Nibiru volcano

Harbinger of death

Satisfied they were far enough from the volcano, Kirk hangs the scroll he stole off a tree. The Nibirans cease their pursuit, allowing Kirk and McCoy to get away, jumping off a cliff into the ocean. Using miniprops and breathing apparatuses, they swim to the Enterprise and board through an airlock. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott is still not happy that they are hiding at the bottom of an ocean, complaining that the salt water may impede their ability to launch. The officers return to the bridge. Spock arms the cold fusion device, which has a three-minute timer. The volcano has a small eruption, with pyroclastic ejecta destroying the temple in which the group of Nibirans had been worshiping. Nibiru has a very strong magnetic field that was jamming their transporters; the only way they can save Spock is by revealing themselves to fly above the volcano, which would violate the Prime Directive. Kirk asks Dr. McCoy what Spock would do if Kirk were the one deploying the device; Bones replies that Spock would let him die. Spock was indeed prepared for that likelihood. The cold fusion device would freeze and kill him, along with the volcano.

USS Enterprise resurfacing on Nibiru

The Enterprise surfaces from the sea

The Nibirans are shocked when they see the Enterprise rising out of the ocean and above the volcano and draws its figure on floor with their stick. Right before the cold fusion device is activated, Spock is beamed aboard the Enterprise, and they make their getaway. Kirk and McCoy join him in the transporter room. Spock is shocked that Kirk has blatantly violated the Prime Directive. Uhura tells them that the cold fusion device has successfully detonated, but the crew is irked by Spock's apparent lack of gratitude. The native Nibirans begin to worship an image of the Enterprise they have drawn in the soil, accepting it as their new deity.

The stardate is 2259.55. Back on Earth, Thomas Harewood, a Starfleet officer living in London, goes with his wife to Royal Children's Hospital, where his daughter is currently in a coma with a severe illness. After visiting her, Harewood is stopped by an unknown individual. The man says he can save Harewood's daughter.

Pike dressing down Kirk

Pike dresses down Kirk

Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, Kirk is waking up in his apartment after a night spent with a pair of Caitian women. They are annoyed when he answers a call from Starfleet. He and Spock are summoned to the office of Admiral Pike. Kirk is convinced they are going to be given Starfleet's first five-year mission of deep space exploration, though Spock is doubtful. When they arrive, Pike reveals that there are discrepancies between the captain's log on Nibiru, and a report Spock filed about it; namely being, the former said that it was 'uneventful', while the latter detailed a breaking of the Prime Directive. Kirk is dismayed by Spock's apparent betrayal. After a brief argument, Pike dismisses Spock, and proceeds to dress Kirk down for his lack of humility and respect for the chair. Kirk counters that Pike convinced him to join Starfleet because of his maverick attitude. However, Starfleet Command saw it differently. The head of Starfleet Command, Admiral Alexander Marcus, formed a tribunal that did not include Admiral Pike. They relieved Kirk of his command, and ordered him to return to Starfleet Academy. Pike tells Kirk pointedly that one day his reckless leadership is going to get his entire crew killed.

Kelvin Memorial Archive

The Kelvin Memorial Archive

Back in London, the unknown man extracts a vial of his own blood, and places it in a package along with a ring. The package goes to Harewood, who adds the vial's contents to his daughter's IV. As it begins to enter her bloodstream, her vitals return to normal. Harewood kisses his daughter's forehead in relief, knowing she will now be all right. Not long after, he goes to work at the Kelvin Memorial Archive, catching sight of the unknown man before entering, and takes a long elevator down below the archive. He goes to his workstation with a glass of water. After sending a message to Admiral Marcus, he drops the ring into the water, which quickly fizzes, then causes a massive explosion at the Kelvin Archive.

Kirk is drowning his sorrows at a local bar in San Francisco. He is about to talk to another woman when Admiral Pike sits between them. Kirk is surprised he found him; Pike simply says he knows Kirk well, recalling the bar fight with Starfleet cadets back in Iowa before Kirk enlisted. He reveals that Starfleet gave the Enterprise back to Pike. Kirk suggests keeping Spock as first officer isn't a good idea, but he's been transferred to the USS Bradbury anyway. Pike pulled some strings, and got Kirk assigned to be his first officer on the Enterprise. Kirk is speechless, something Pike says is a first. He then gets a call from Starfleet. They are summoned to a meeting in the Daystrom Conference Room at Starfleet Headquarters.

Alexander Marcus

Admiral Alexander Marcus, the head of Starfleet

On their way up to the conference room, Kirk meets Spock and tells him about his demotion. Spock is relieved the punishment was not more severe. Kirk is still upset that he was betrayed. Spock admits he should have warned Kirk beforehand that he would file a truthful report about the Nibiru incident. After a brief meeting with Frank Abbott, captain of the USS Bradbury, Kirk admits he'll miss Spock, though is irked when Spock is left speechless. Admiral Marcus opens the meeting. The message he received from Harewood was a confession, and informed him of who put him up to the attack: John Harrison, a Starfleet officer that has gone rogue. The officers present look over images taken of the scene after the attack, where 42 people were killed. Kirk notices Harrison in the images with a bag, and asks Pike about it. Admiral Marcus notices and asks Kirk what the problem is. Kirk begins to express confusion as to why Harrison would target just an archive. Kirk says Harrison must have known that a terrorist attack on a Starfleet facility would result in this kind of meeting.



Before Kirk can elaborate on his concerns, a jumpship appears outside their conference room, and opens fire, killing Captain Abbott. The officers take cover, and security personnel enter to combat the jumpship.

Chris Pike dead

Pike is killed by Harrison

Kirk takes up a phaser rifle and attacks it from the side to little effect. He sees the jumpship's engine intake, and gets an idea. He opens one of the fire hose units and ties it around his rifle. As he works, Admiral Pike is fatally shot, and Spock pulls him to safety. Kirk throws the rifle and fire hose, which get sucked into the jumpship's intake. It takes the entire hose, then yanks its base out of the wall and through the engine, disabling the ship. Kirk gets a look at Harrison as he beams out of the falling jumpship. In the meeting room, Spock does a mind meld with Pike right before he dies. Kirk then arrives, and breaks down at the death of his mentor.

Meanwhile, Harrison materializes on a completely different planet, lifts up the hood of his longcoat and walks away.

Act Two

Kirk and Spock meet with Marcus

Kirk and Spock meet with Marcus

Kirk is recovering emotionally from the attack alone in his apartment, when he gets a call from Spock. Scotty was investigating the wreckage of Harrison's jumpship, and found a portable transwarp beaming device on board. Its destination is set somewhere they normally cannot follow. Kirk and Spock head to Starfleet Headquarters, and they tell Admiral Marcus where Harrison ended up: Qo'noS, the homeworld of the Klingon Empire. Marcus was afraid this would happen. Spock notes Harrison materialized on a nominally uninhabited province of the planet, and Kirk says he is not afraid to go after him. Marcus comes clean about the true nature of Harrison and Harewood's target. They bombed a secret facility of Section 31, Starfleet's black ops division, which was researching weapons and tactics for a potential war with the Klingons. As far as he is concerned, the war was already beginning. He has a new variety of advanced long-range torpedoes that Kirk can use to covertly take out Harrison. He gives Kirk back the Enterprise, and Kirk requests Spock be reinstated as his first officer.

Carol Marcus, alternate reality

Dr. "Carol Wallace" joins the crew of the Enterprise

As they prepare to return to the Enterprise, Spock expresses his misgivings with killing Harrison without a trial, and insists Kirk take some of the time on the way to reconsider. Dr. McCoy joins them, telling Kirk he missed his check-up, which he does on the shuttlecraft. They are joined by Doctor Carol Wallace, a weapons expert who was assigned by Admiral Marcus as an extra science officer. Spock is alarmed by this turn of events. Kirk is just as surprised, but (as always with Kirk) noticing that Wallace is a very attractive young woman, welcomes the extra help. When they get on board, Spock heads immediately to the bridge, while Kirk talks with Scotty in engineering. Scotty is unwilling to allow the photon torpedoes on-board, because he cannot examine the shielded devices, and the Section 31 personnel refuse to tell him what they are fueled by. He does not want to risk firing unknown weapons around the warp core; any instability could wreck it and kill everyone on board. He is also upset that his transwarp equation was appropriated by Starfleet Command, ending up in Harrison's hands for his crime spree. When Kirk insists the torpedoes be loaded in, Scott resigns, with Keenser following suit. Scotty begs Kirk not to use the torpedoes before he departs.

Kirk and Uhura in turbolift

"Sometimes I want to rip the... bangs off his head."

Kirk returns to the bridge with Uhura in a turbolift. He tells her of Scotty's resignation, and his recent issues with Spock. She lets on that she and Spock have been having problems recently as well. Before they can discuss it in more detail, they arrive. Kirk promotes Pavel Chekov to chief engineer, since he had been shadowing Scotty recently, and tells him to put on a red shirt and head to engineering. They depart and proceed to Qo'noS. Kirk issues an all-call with his general orders for the mission. When they arrive at the edge of Klingon space, they will take a craft to Qo'noS and apprehend John Harrison on the planet. If he refuses to go quietly, then they will use the missiles. Spock is relieved that he reconsidered Admiral Marcus's original orders, and suggests he could join him on his mission. He then goes back to engineering, where he confronts Carol Wallace. The identity she presented Kirk was fake; Admiral Marcus is her father, and Wallace is her mother's maiden name. Her real name is Carol Marcus. He demands to know why she is really on the ship.

Before she can give her reasons and before the Enterprise can reach Qo'noS, the ship drops out of warp. Chekov found a coolant leak in the warp core, and stopped it manually. They are still twenty minutes away from Qo'noS. Kirk recruits Uhura, who knows Klingon, to join him and Spock. He gives Sulu command for the first time, with orders to contact Harrison before they arrive to demand his surrender. Dr. McCoy is concerned, but Kirk is sure Sulu is up to the task. They use a vehicle that they had confiscated a month before in the "Mudd Incident". He orders two other officers, including Hendorff, to remove their red shirts and change into more casual clothing; they cannot have any obvious connection to the Federation on this mission, lest they start an interstellar war. Chekov assures Kirk he will try his best to repair the engines before they return.

Spock, Kirk and Uhura in K'normian ship

Spock and Uhura quarrel

As Kirk pilots their vehicle to Harrison's location, Sulu sends his message, giving Harrison two minutes to surrender, or he will be wiped out with new advanced weapons. His message is assertive enough that it startles the previously skeptical Dr. McCoy. While flying around Qo'noS, Uhura and Spock begin to argue, much to Kirk's dismay. Uhura is upset at Spock's apparent lack of feelings recently, especially after his rescue at Nibiru. She also tells Spock that Kirk is upset with him too. Though Kirk doesn't want to be dragged into it, he admits that she's right. Spock tries to assure her and Kirk that they are mistaken by his attitude. He recalls his mind meld with Admiral Pike, and how he felt Pike's final emotions before his death. They reminded him of how he felt when Vulcan was destroyed. He assures Uhura that he simply does not want that kind of despair anymore, and his feelings for her are still as strong as ever.

Qo'noS patrol officer, 2259

"Why should I care about a Human killing Humans?"

Their relief is short-lived as their ship comes under fire from a D4-class Klingon vessel, apparently on a random patrol. Without any offensive capabilities, Kirk is given access to all the ship's fuel cells to evade the patrol's fire and try to outrun it. He finds a narrow space and squeezes the ship through it, evading capture. Kirk thinks they have escaped, but Uhura suggests they may be jamming sensors. They are soon surrounded by three more D4 ships, ordering them to land. Uhura tells them they will be tortured, interrogated and killed. She insists she be allowed to try to reason with them. They land, and Uhura leaves the shuttle, confronted by about fifteen Klingon warriors in full-face armored helmets. Spock warns Kirk not to interfere, lest he incur their wrath and Uhura's. Still, Kirk gets some phasers ready just in case. Uhura tells the Klingon patrol that they are on the planet to arrest a criminal who has put both their planets in danger. The leader of the patrol, who removes his helmet, tells her he has little concern for Humans killing Humans. She counters that the criminal has no honor, hoping to play on the Klingons' strong traditions. However, the unimpressed Klingon leader grabs Uhura and draws a knife, prepared to kill her.

Khan on Kronos

Harrison rescues the Enterprise party

Suddenly, somebody shoots down the Klingon patrol: it's Harrison, armed with a rapid fire rifle and a larger beam cannon. The Enterprise officers attack, in a mix of phaser fire and hand-to-hand combat. Kirk has little luck physically, but is able to shoot several Klingon warriors armed with disruptors and various blade weapons, including daggers and bat'leths. Harrison proves to be incredibly adept with his phaser cannon as well as hand-to-hand. Other Klingon ships drop reinforcements, but they are killed as well. Harrison kills the last few Klingons with their own knives. He turns his cannon on Kirk, and asks how many of those torpedoes he has. Spock replies after Kirk doesn't saying that they have 72. Harrison immediately surrenders unconditionally. Kirk accepts, then attempts to knock Harrison out by punching and beating him repeatedly, none of which has any effect on him whatsoever.

Kirk confronts Harrison in brig

Kirk confronts his mysterious prisoner

Harrison is returned to the Enterprise and taken to the brig. Dr. McCoy takes a blood sample, to try to figure out the prisoner's physiology. Harrison insists that he be allowed to speak with Kirk. Spock thinks he wants to get into Kirk's head, but Kirk agrees. Harrison somehow knows about the damage to the warp core, suggesting something is amiss. He tells Kirk two things. First, Harrison gives Kirk a set of coordinates: 23-17-46-11, a point near Earth. Harrison says Kirk can find some answers there. He then insists they open one of the photon torpedoes to find out exactly what is inside. Back on Earth, Scotty is at a bar with Keenser. Scotty is upset that Keenser allowed him to go through with resigning. Kirk contacts Scotty and gives him the coordinates Harrison gave him. He admits Scotty was likely right about the torpedoes, which he accepts as an apology, though he cuts the conversation short. Though Scotty is in no mood to do Kirk any favors, Keenser insists they help anyway.

Augment in cryotube

"Why is there a man in that torpedo?"

The Enterprise is still hobbled, but has enough power to go to a nearby planetoid, where they can safely examine one of the photon torpedoes. Kirk assures Chekov that the engine issues are likely not his fault. They sent a message to Admiral Marcus that they captured Harrison, but have received no reply. Spock reveals the true identity of Carol Marcus, and suggests she and Dr. McCoy can try to open a photon torpedo. Marcus directs the surgeon in cutting a necessary wire. The moment he does, the compartment slams shut on his arm, and the torpedo arms with a thirty-second timer. Marcus disarms it with only 2.57 seconds to spare, and it opens, revealing a cryotube with a frozen person inside.

Khan in brig reveals identity

"My name is... KHAN."

The coordinates take Scotty to Jupiter, where he finds a large shipyard. Following a sortie of similar shuttlecraft, what Scotty (but not the audience) sees alarms him. Back on Enterprise, Dr. McCoy examines the cryotube. The body preserved inside is still viable, but Humans have not needed cryogenic technology since they became warp-capable. The person inside is three hundred years old. Kirk and Spock return to Harrison for answers. He says all the torpedoes contain his old crew. He reveals himself to be Khan, a genetically-engineered Human. He and his crew were exiled into space at the end of the 20th century. His cryoship was found by Admiral Marcus after the destruction of Vulcan, and he alone was awoken. Marcus wanted his savagery as well as his intellect to prepare for potential war with the Klingons. He also reveals that Marcus wanted Kirk to fire those torpedoes on Qo'noS and purposely sabotaged the Enterprise's warp core, leaving them stranded for the Klingons to find, igniting the war that Marcus desires. Kirk refuses to accept it and condemned Khan's actions. Khan states that Marcus held his crew hostage to force him to do his bidding. He put his crew in the torpedoes for their protection, but had no idea they would be found. He escaped alone. Khan says he committed his terrorist acts on the assumption that his crew had been killed.

Enterprise and Vengeance face off

The Enterprise is confronted by the USS Vengeance

A ship approaches the Enterprise, but not from Klingon space. Kirk has Khan moved to medbay under heavy guard. The ship is an enormous unmarked Starfleet vessel, the USS Vengeance. Kirk is hailed by Admiral Marcus; he has the communication broadcast throughout the ship and recorded. He tells Admiral Marcus that engine issues had prevented him from killing "Harrison", revealing he knows the man's true identity. He also suggests Marcus knows what's going on. In turn, Marcus accuses Kirk of being affected mentally by Khan, and insist he be killed immediately. He then orders Kirk to turn Khan over, but the Enterprise's transporters are down. He falsely tells Marcus that Khan is in engineering, before breaking communication, and asking Chekov if they can go to warp. Chekov says they can, but the warp core is still hobbled, so it's risky. They go to warp anyway, and head to Earth.

USS Vengeance fires on the USS Enterprise

The Vengeance fires on the Enterprise...

The USS Enterprise damaged by the USS Vengeance

...with devastating results

While on their way, Khan reminds Carol that they are not safe at warp speed. Carol runs to the bridge, and warns Kirk that the Vengeance has the ability to engage other ships at warp speed. Indeed, Vengeance catches up, and proceeds to fire upon the Enterprise; its first volley causes a major hull breach in engineering, killing dozens of crewmembers, before the second volley cripples the Enterprise's starboard warp nacelle, causing it to drop out of warp speed between Earth and its Moon. Carol tries to contact Admiral Marcus, not believing her father would destroy the Enterprise if he knew she were on-board – he simply beams her aboard the Vengeance. Marcus then accuses Kirk and his crew of being in league with "Harrison" and sentences them all to death; Kirk attempts to plead for the life of the Enterprise crew, but Marcus admits that he intended to destroy the Enterprise with all hands from the very start, and cuts communications.

Before it can destroy the Enterprise, though, the Vengeance's systems are reset. Kirk immediately gets contacted by Scotty, who had sneaked on-board Vengeance. It will take time for its systems to restart, so they have an opening to stop Admiral Marcus. Kirk puts Spock on the comm. Spock is resistant, but Kirk insists the Enterprise needs somebody who "knows what they're doing" at its command. Kirk heads to sickbay, and asks Khan about the Vengeance's capabilities. It is a Dreadnought-class, twice as big, three times as fast, and far more heavily armed than the Enterprise. At the same time, McCoy injects Khan's blood into a dead tribble to examine his blood's effects. Kirk asks for Khan's help, assuring him this is only opportunity to save his crew.

Kirk and Khan in thruster suits

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The two will traverse space to board Vengeance. The ship maneuvers enough to line up their waste exhaust with one of Vengeance's airlocks, and have Scotty stationed to open it manually. Kirk and Khan don thruster-powered spacesuits and navigate the debris field to Vengeance. During the flight, Kirk's helmet is hit by a piece of debris, knocking out his heads-up display. Khan is also knocked off course, but reestablishes himself and encourages Kirk to align himself with his course and enter the airlock together. Inside Vengeance, Scotty is caught by a lone security officer, but he is able to actuate the airlock, allowing Khan and Kirk in, while also blowing out the security officer.

Spock 2259 alternate reality

Spock Prime warns his younger self about Khan

Spock asks Uhura to patch him through to New Vulcan and reaches his counterpart from the prime universe, Ambassador Spock. He asks about Khan and if his elder self had encountered him before. Although he did not want to alter his younger self's destiny, he makes an exception in this case. He reveals that Khan is none other than Khan Noonien Singh and was the most dangerous adversary ever faced by the crew of his Enterprise; he is brilliant, ruthless and will not hesitate to kill everybody aboard. The elder Spock says they defeated Khan, but at a terrible cost.

Act Three

Kirk, Scotty and Khan on the Vengeance

Kirk, Scotty and Khan head to the bridge of the Vengeance

On the bridge of the Vengeance, Admiral Marcus confronts Carol, who simply slaps him, and expresses her shame for being his daughter. Khan, Kirk and Scotty head toward the Bridge on foot, with Khan navigating them through the engine compartments where weapons cannot be safely used. They succeed in one fistfight with Vengeance crew. Khan jumps ahead of them briefly. Kirk tells Scotty to stun Khan the moment they secure the Bridge. Spock orders all his medical personnel to engineering, and asks Dr. McCoy to work on arming the torpedoes. Right when the Vengeance's weapons come back online, Kirk and his crew make it to the bridge, and stun everyone except Admiral Marcus and Carol. Scotty then stuns Khan as ordered. Kirk places Admiral Marcus under arrest, and orders him out of the chair, not wanting to take him by force in front of his daughter. However, Khan is not as stunned as they had hoped – he gets up and attacks Scotty and Kirk. He then breaks Carol's leg, and crushes Admiral Marcus' skull, prompting a horrified scream from Carol.

USS Vengeance detonating

The Vengeance detonating

Khan hails the Enterprise, and orders Spock to give him the photon torpedoes. Spock refuses, but Khan says he can get them himself without his help by disabling the Enterprise's life support system and wait for them to suffocate before retrieving them himself. Since his crew is frozen, they don't need the air anyway. Spock complies, and assists Khan in locating the torpedoes. He beams them safely aboard, then beams Kirk, Scotty, and Carol Marcus onto the Enterprise, before attacking it again. However, unbeknownst to him, Spock had the photon torpedoes armed before beaming them to the Vengeance. They explode, hopelessly disabling the ship and leaving Khan anguished over the apparent loss of his crew. Dr. McCoy then tells Kirk that Spock had the cryotubes removed, and they are now safely in medbay.

USS Enterprise falling to Earth

The Enterprise begins to spiral down to Earth

At that point, the engines go completely down, and main power fails, with backup power severely crippled. With the ship having been station keeping over Earth, it promptly begins to fall toward the planet. Spock orders all personnel to abandon ship, but the crew refuses, willing to go down with him. Kirk and Scotty make their way to engineering, a difficult trip with the ship tumbling. While there, they end up hanging from the walkways when the ship is upside down, but are saved by Chekov. When they reach the warp core, they find the injectors broken. Kirk decides to fix it himself. However, the chamber is loaded with lethal radiation. Kirk overrides Scotty's objections by knocking him out, then enters the warp core chamber. He manages to knock the dislocated side of the injector back into place, and it fires back up. The ship enters Earth's atmosphere, but stops falling just below a cloud deck and stabilizes.

Kirk's hand on glass, Spock salutes

"I'm scared, Spock..."

Spock screaming Khan


The Enterprise's systems gradually return online. When he wakes up, Scotty calls Spock urgently to engineering. He goes to the door to the chamber, where Kirk is lying against it. They cannot open the chamber until it is decontaminated. Spock tells Kirk he saved the ship. Kirk commends Spock's action of using what Khan wanted against him; Spock replies that it's what the captain would have done. Kirk offers that sacrificing himself to save the crew is what Spock would've done. Knowing he's going to die, Kirk tells Spock he's scared, and asks him how he is able to not feel. Spock, himself in tears, admits he doesn't know, and is failing to hold his emotions. Kirk then begins to tell Spock why he saved his life on Nibiru, but Spock knows - "because you are my friend." Kirk reaches out to Spock as the Vulcan presses his hand against the partition in the salute of his world. Kirk then succumbs to radiation poisoning and dies. In Spock, all the rage and hate felt towards the man he now blames for his friend's death erupts to the surface in a primal scream of Khan's name.

Khan sets Vengeance on collision course


Vengeance comes to San Francisco

The Vengeance crashing into San Francisco

The Vengeance falls past the Enterprise, out of control. Khan, now bent on revenge for his crew, targets his ship on a suicide run at Starfleet Headquarters. The Vengeance crushes Alcatraz and skims across San Francisco Bay and through the city, leveling everything in its path. Spock, returning to the bridge, orders Sulu and Chekov to find Khan, believing him to be capable of surviving the crash. Sensors locate him, but, there is too much interference to beam him up to the Enterprise. Instead, Spock elects to beam down to Earth and take Khan out. After a chase through the chaos that has now engulfed the heart of Starfleet, Spock catches up with Khan on-top of a moving rescue vehicle. Khan quickly relieves Spock of his phaser, leaving the two to struggle hand-to-hand.

In medbay, Kirk's body lies in an open body bag, surrounded by Dr. McCoy, Carol Marcus and Scotty. Feeling deeply the loss of his friend, McCoy dejectedly resigns to his desk... only to notice the dead tribble he tested Khan's blood on beginning to purr. Realizing the effects of the genetically enhanced blood, he orders one of Khan's people removed from its cryotube, reanimated and held in a medically-induced coma. He freezes Kirk to preserve his brain function, but he doesn't have any more of Khan's blood - he needs Khan back alive.

Spock neckpinches Khan

Khan proves to be Spock's physical equal

Spock continues to fight with Khan in an evenly matched battle. Khan tries to jump to another transport vehicle, but the Vulcan follows, proving physically to be Khan's equal. The crew cannot get contact with him, so Uhura beams to the transport vehicle. As the battle intensifies and Khan becomes dangerously close to killing Spock, she opens fires on Khan with a phaser set to stun. Although he is not knocked out, he is distracted enough for Spock to turn the tide. He breaks Khan's arm and starts to beat on him in a rage. Uhura screams for Spock not to kill Khan; that they need him to save Kirk. Upon realizing that Kirk could be saved, Spock regains his emotional control and finishes Khan with an uppercut, knocking him out.

Khan in cryotube

Khan is returned to stasis

Two weeks later, Kirk wakes up in a hospital bed in San Francisco. Dr. McCoy had created a serum from Khan's blood to revive the captain. Kirk thanks Spock for saving his life. In turn, Spock expresses gratitude that Jim is alive. Elsewhere, it is shown that Khan has been returned to his cryotube, and he and his crew lay frozen at an unknown location.

Kirk and Spock embark on five year mission

The five-year mission begins

Nearly a year after the events, Kirk addresses a gathering at the rechristening ceremony for the rebuilt USS Enterprise. He says that Starfleet should not let enemies pull them away from their true mission of exploration. Soon after, Kirk returns to the Enterprise, where all is in order to begin their five-year mission in deep space. He relieves Sulu from the captain's chair; Sulu admits the power is addictive. Dr. McCoy is dismayed by the length of their mission. Scotty, who has returned as chief engineer with Keenser, reports the engines are "purring like a kitten". Kirk welcomes Carol Marcus aboard as part of their crew and family. Spock expresses his trust in Kirk's "good judgment" on where to begin their exploration. With that, Kirk orders Sulu to take the ship out.

Memorable quotes

"If Spock were here, and I were there, what would he do?"
"He'd let you die."

- Kirk and McCoy, prior to rescuing Spock from the volcano on Nibiru

"Oh, come on Spock. They saw us. Big deal."

- Kirk, on his decision to save Spock and violate the Prime Directive

"Tell me more about this volcano. The data says it was highly volatile and if it were to erupt it would wipe out the planet."
"Let's hope it doesn't, sir."
"Something tells me it won't."

- Pike and Kirk

"Had the mission gone according to plan, Admiral, the indigenous species would never have been aware of our interference."
"That's a technicality."
"I am Vulcan, sir, we embrace technicality."
"Are you giving me attitude, Spock?"
"I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously. To which are you referring?"

- Spock and Pike, discussing the Nibiru mission

"Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass you are?"
"I think so, sir."
"So tell what you did wrong. What's the lesson to be learned here?"
"Never trust a Vulcan."

- Pike and Kirk, on Kirk's mistakes during the Nibiru mission

"You think the rules don't apply to you, because you disagree with them."

- Pike, informing Kirk of his demotion

"You don't respect the chair. You know why? Because you're not ready for it."

- Pike to Kirk about his recklessness

"That was an epic beating."
"No, it wasn't."
"You had napkins hanging out of your nose. Did you not?"
"Yeah, that was a good fight."

- Pike and Kirk recalling their first meeting

"What did you tell him?"
"The truth. That I believe in you. That if anybody deserves a second chance, it's Jim Kirk."
"I don't know what to say."
"That IS a first... it's gonna be OK, son."

- Pike, telling Kirk that he has convinced Marcus to let him remain on the Enterprise as his first officer

"You got something to say Kirk, say it. Tomorrow's too late."

- Marcus to Kirk about his outburst


- Kirk, just before Harrison's attack

"All-out war with the Klingons is inevitable, Mr. Kirk. If you ask me, it's already begun. Since we first learned of their existence, the Klingon Empire has conquered and occupied two planets that we know of, fired on our ships half a dozen times. They are coming our way."

- Marcus to Kirk about the tensions between the Federation and the Klingons

"Jim, for the love of God, do not use those torpedoes."

- Scotty, warning Kirk about the dangerous cargo the Enterprise is taking on

"Wait, are you guys... are you guys fighting?"
"I'd rather not talk about it, sir."
"Oh, my God! What is that even like?"

- Kirk and Uhura discussing Spock

"Ears burning?"

- Kirk, to Spock referring to the conversation between himself and Uhura

"Go put on a red shirt."

- Kirk, promoting Chekov to chief engineer

"Alright, let's go get this son of a bitch. Kirk out."

- Kirk, to the crew of the Enterprise about their mission.

"Mr. Chekov, did you break my ship?"

- Kirk, asking Chekov what happened when the Enterprise violently drops from warp

"Jim, you're not actually going down there are you? You don't rob a bank when the getaway car has a flat-tire."

- McCoy to Kirk about his mission to apprehend John Harrison

"Jim, wait, you just sat that man down a high-stakes poker game with no cards and told him to bluff. Now Sulu's a good man, but he is no captain."
"For the next two hours he is. And enough with the metaphors, all right? That's an order."

- McCoy and Kirk about putting Sulu in charge

"Attention John Harrison. This is Captain Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise. A shuttle of highly trained officers is on its way to your location. If you do not surrender to them immediately, I will unleash the entire payload of advanced long-range torpedoes currently locked on to your location. You have two minutes to confirm your compliance. Refusal to do so will result in your obliteration. If you test me, you will fail."
"Mr. Sulu... remind me never to piss you off."

- Sulu and McCoy on Sulu's speech

"We’re outnumbered, outgunned. There’s no way we survive if we attack first. You brought me here because I speak Klingon. Then let me speak Klingon."

- Uhura to Kirk on Kronos

"I am here to help you. With respect, there is a criminal hiding in these ruins. He has killed many of our people."
"Why should I care about a human killing humans?"
"Because you care about honor. And this man has none."

- Uhura speaking in Klingon, to the Klingon commander on Kronos

"Let me explain what's happening here. You are a criminal! I watched you murder innocent men and women; I was authorized to end you! And the only reason why you are still alive is because I am allowing it; so shut... your... mouth!"
"Captain, are you going to punch me again over and over till your arm weakens? Clearly you want to so tell me: why did you allow me to live?"

- Kirk and John Harrison

"23-17-46-11, coordinates not far from Earth. If you want to know why I did what I did, go and take a look."
"Give me one reason why I should listen to you"
"I can give you 72. And they're on board your ship, captain. They have been all along."

- John Harrison and Kirk

"Well now, if it isn't Captain James Tiberius... 'Perfect Hair.' Did you hear that? I called him 'Perfect Hair!' Ha!'"

- An intoxicated Scotty, speaking on the communicator to Kirk after his resignation as engineer

"What, you don't think I can remember four numbers? (chuckling) You of little faith! ... What was the third one?"

- Scotty, posturing to Kirk

"'John Harrison' was a fiction created the moment I was awoken by your Admiral Marcus to help him advance his cause - a smoke screen to conceal my true identity. My name is Khan."

- John Harrison, revealing the truth

"My crew is my family, Kirk. Is there anything you would not do for your family?"

- Khan to Kirk on his devotion to his crew

"We both know who it is."

- Khan, to Kirk upon hearing that the Enterprise is being intercepted

"Per Starfleet regulations I'm planning on returning... Khan... to Earth to stand trial."
"Well... shit... you talked to him..."

- Kirk, exposing the plans of Marcus

"Sir, my crew was just following my orders. I take full responsibility for my actions but they were mine and they were mine alone. If I transmit Khan's location to you now, all I ask is that you spare them. Please, sir. I'll do anything you want. Just let them live."
"That's a hell of an apology. But if it's any consolation, I was never gonna spare your crew. Fire when..."

- Kirk and Marcus, with the former pleading for his crew, and the latter coldly refusing

"I'm sorry..."

- Kirk to his crew as the Vengeance prepares to destroy the Enterprise

"You're a miracle worker!"

- Kirk to Scotty as the latter sabotages the Vengeance

"It’s not easy! Will ya give me two seconds, ya mad bastard!"

- Scotty, responding to Kirk’s request to open the USS Vengeance's air lock

"Mr. Spock."
"Mr. Spock."

- Spock Prime and Spock greeting each other on the Enterprise's viewscreen

"I will be brief. In your travels, did you ever encounter a man named Khan?"
"As you know, I have made a vow never to give you information that could potentially alter your destiny. Your path is yours to walk and yours alone. That being said, Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you."
"Did you defeat him?"
"At great cost, yes."

- Spock asks Spock Prime about Khan

"The minute we get to the bridge, drop him."
"What, stun him? Khan? I thought he was helping us!"
"I'm pretty sure we're helping him."

- Kirk and Scotty on the Vengeance

"You... you should have let me sleep!"

- Khan, crushing Admiral Marcus's skull

"You betrayed us!"
"Oh, you are smart, Mr. Spock."

- Spock and Khan

"Your crew requires oxygen to survive, mine does not. I will target your life support systems located behind the aft nacelle and after every single person aboard your ship suffocates, I will walk over your cold corpses to recover my people. Now... shall we begin?"

- Khan, delivering the Enterprise his ultimatum

"Well Kirk, it seems apt to return you to your crew. After all... no ship should go down without her captain!"

- Khan to Kirk before returning him to the Enterprise

"The ship's dead, sir! She's gone!"
"No, she's not!"

- Scotty and Kirk, on the Enterprise's precarious situation

"I'm scared, Spock. Help me not to be. How do you choose not to feel?"
"I do not know. Right now, I am failing."
"I wanted you to know why I couldn't let you die... why I went back for you..."
"Because you are my friend."

- Kirk and Spock


- Spock, experiencing rage at Kirk's death (In The Wrath of Khan it is Kirk who screams this over being marooned on Regula One)

"Go get him."

- Uhura, to Spock, before he beams down to San Francisco to pursue Khan

"Spock, stop! STOP! He's our only chance to save Kirk!"

- Uhura, trying to stop Spock from killing Khan

"Don't be so melodramatic. You were barely dead."

- McCoy after Kirk regains consciousness

"Are you feeling homicidal, power-mad, or despotic?"
"No more than usual."

- McCoy and Kirk

"Uhura and I had something to do with it, too, you know."

- Kirk (to Spock), with McCoy piping up

"It's hard to get out of it once you've had a taste, isn't that right Mr. Sulu?"
""Captain" does have a nice ring to it. Chair's all yours, sir."

- Kirk and Sulu

"Scotty, how's our core?"
"Purring like a kitten, captain. She's ready for a long journey."

- Kirk and Scotty, as the Enterprise prepares to embark on a five-year mission

"Five years in space... God help me!"

- McCoy

"Where should we go?"
"As a mission of this duration has never been attempted, I defer to your good judgement, captain."

- Kirk and Spock



The sequel's development was announced on March 30, 2009, over a month before the first film was released. Writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof were aiming to deliver the script to Paramount by December 2009 for a possible summer 2011 release, but the release changed to 2012 as no script had been written when that initial target neared. [1] [2] Orci attributed the initial delay to other projects they wanted to do; then deciding if the initial story they thought of was the best one; and the "scary" notion of a new timeline where they had absolute freedom. "Since we freed it from the original timeline we had narrative freedom, which is sometimes worse. Absolute freedom is sometimes scarier than what you have to do," he said. [3]

Lindelof said the jumping off point for the story was deciding whether Khan Noonien Singh would be the villain, and they weighed the pros and cons of him appearing. [4] Abrams felt "It'll be fun to hear what Alex and Bob are thinking about Khan. The fun of this timeline is arguing that different stories, with the same characters, could be equally if not more compelling than what's been told before. [...] Certain people are destined to cross paths and come together, and Khan is out there... even if he doesn't have the same issues." [5] Lindelof added another important decision was deciding whether to dedicate the film entirely to the fallout of Vulcan's destruction, or letting it simmer for another film. [6] He stated the planet's destruction "cast a pallor over this entire Federation that needs to be reconciled. So I think, in a lot of ways, Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise is fighting for the soul of Starfleet in this movie." [7]

Alex Kurtzman commented, "Sequels are about the bad guy. [...] In a second movie, the reason the bad guy is so important is because he tests them. And that is always the joy of the best sequels." [8] He added Kirk has "never sent men and women to their deaths before, so what's going to happen when that kind of question comes up for him?" [9] Chris Pine said that "I'd say the threat is even greater in this one. The force [the crew] are met with is much more frightening." [10]

Abrams and Orci told the Los Angeles Times they heard that fans would like modern, relevant issues to be explored in the sequel. [11] At the Blu-ray/DVD launch for Star Trek, Lindelof indicated some of the film may be set during the time frame of the previous film, which was from 2233 to 2258. Orci told Anthony Pascale he was looking at novels by Arthur C. Clarke or Larry Niven - such as The Mote in God's Eye, in a reply made on Pascale's forum - for inspiration. He also rewatched the original episodes, examining how they would unfold in the alternate reality, [12] and looked for Star Trek novels he hadn't read yet for further inspiration. [13]

In February 2011, Orci and Lindelof announced they were in the process of writing the script for the the film and had relocated themselves to a hotel room for five weeks in order to better do it without any distractions. They also asked for fan input on what the general consensus is for the "proper" name of the main deflector dish that has been an integral part of starship design throughout Star Trek. [14] Orci indicated that filming would begin in fall 2011. He added the film would build on the previous one, but it still had to attract new fans and stand by itself without relying on its predecessor. [15]

The film's pre-production or "prep" began in April 2011, based on a detailed seventy-page outline of the story. Orci stated they were awaiting Abrams' approval on a completed script, as he was preoccupied with completing Super 8. [16] After that film's release, Abrams estimated that making Super 8 had put the Star Trek sequel "probably six months behind". [17] Orci, Kurtzman, and Lindelof added that while Abrams could begin filming that September and have the film out the following June as he did on Super 8, ultimately it may not be best for the film, as Star Trek would naturally require more intensive post-production. [18] After the release of Super 8, it was announced Abrams would direct in September 2011. [19]

According to Lindelof, originally the climax would've included a Klingon fleet heading to Earth, "only to be turned around via diplomatic intervention by Uhura. We dropped it pretty early on, as it didn’t feel intimate, cool, or earned."[20]


Khan in brig

Benedict Cumberbatch as "John Harrison"

All of the major actors in the first film – namely, those portraying the command officers of the USS Enterprise (John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoë Saldana, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin) – returned for the sequel. [21] Bruce Greenwood reprised his role as Admiral Christopher Pike. [22]

On November 4, 2011, Variety reported that Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro (Traffic, Che) would be offered the role of the villain in the sequel. [23] Latino Review reported that Del Toro would play Khan Noonien Singh, a report which Abrams said was "not true." [24] Soon thereafter, it was revealed that del Toro's deal fell through and that he would not be appearing in the film. [25] Edgar Ramirez and Jordi Molla were named as possible replacements, [26] but on January 4, 2012, Variety announced Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing the villain. [27]

On November 30, 2011, it was announced that Alice Eve had been selected for a lead role in the film. [28] On December 5, Peter Weller was announced as having joined the cast in an unknown role. [29] Weller previously played John Frederick Paxton on Star Trek: Enterprise. Following press screenings of the film's first half hour in Brazil, it was confirmed he was playing Admiral Marcus. [30] On January 4, 2012, Variety reported British actor Noel Clarke will be joining the cast as a family man with a wife and young daughter. [31] Two days later, Entertainment Weekly announced that Nazneen Contractor will be playing the wife of Clarke's character. On 10 December 2012 it was reported by that Eve's character would be Carol Marcus. [32]

On April 30, 2012, it was reported that Cumberbatch's role in the film is that of Khan Noonien Singh, [33] [34] but Simon Pegg shot down this report, calling it "a myth." [35] Karl Urban stated "He's awesome, he's a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary." [36] He later said, though, that "I did that interview after a 22-hour flight from New Zealand. I literally hopped off the plane into the interview." [37] Orci reiterated Urban's latter statement, while confirming Cumberbatch and Eve's characters had appeared in Star Trek canon. [38] When interviewed himself, Cumberbatch continued the secrecy by merely pointing to a promotional image and stating he played "that person there." (The One Show BBC One, broadcast 24th August, 2012) On December 10, 2012, released a photo featuring Cumberbatch's character in a holding cell with Spock and Kirk looking on from the other side. The site also reported that Cumberbatch's character is named "John Harrison", in apparent contrast to Orci's previous comment that his character had previously appeared in Star Trek canon. [39] Cumberbatch's real character was revealed in late April 2013. [40]

Leonard Nimoy initially stated that he did not expect to return as the original Spock in this movie, [41] but, alongside the Khan report, it was confirmed that he would indeed be returning for the sequel. [42] [43] His cameo here marked Nimoy's final appearance as Spock and his final role overall prior to his death in February 2015.

It is unknown at this time why Ben Cross chose not to reprise his role as Sarek for the twelfth installment since he had reportedly expressed interest in doing so. (citation needededit)

With the announcement of the sequel, fans once again began a campaign to bring Christopher Doohan back to the Enterprise, stating that the Enterprise needs a Doohan. IMDb states that Christopher Doohan did indeed get a role as a Transport Officer. Chris noted on his twitter page @chrisdoohan that he would not have got the part without the help of Simon Pegg and thanked fans on their Facebook page. [44]

Michael Dorn was contacted for a role during the start of filming, and was asked to play "an officer – a soldier." Eventually it was decided that "they didn’t want to mix the old with the new": Dorn had played Worf and his grandfather in the previous films and television series. [45]


Abrams noted that if they make a sequel, "it would have a subtitle instead of a number." [46] At the end of the Star Trek audio commentary, Damon Lindelof jokingly refers to the sequel as Pineapple. By 2012, the writers had not settled on a title. Lindelof commented Star Trek 2 was taken by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and did not want a colon in the title. "Not that Star Trek: Insurrection or First Contact aren't good titles," he said, "it's just that everything that people are turned off about when it comes to Trek is represented by the colon." [47] During production, the film was codenamed Project HH. [48] Star Trek Vengeance was considered, but Abrams vetoed it because of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, although it was used as the film's title in Russia. [49]

On 7 September 2012, it was announced that a title had been chosen for the sequel. [50] Later that day, the title was rumored and then confirmed to be Star Trek Into Darkness. [51] [52] Abrams acknowledged the title was "odd", but declared "It definitely feels like the title's appropriate: this is a story about these characters being challenged and tested and taken to a place that's about sacrifice and life and death." Additionally, Into Darkness was ambiguous enough to not spoil the story. "I remember there was a movie, An Innocent Man, and I was like, doesn't that kinda ruin everything?!?" Abrams joked. [53]


On November 23, 2011, it was reported that the sequel would be shot in 3D for a 17 May 2013 release. [54] Abrams later clarified the film will be shot in 2D and converted into 3D during post-production. [55] It will be the first official 3D Star Trek production. Abrams was convinced to convert the film to 3D after watching converted footage of the scene in Star Trek where the USS Enterprise arrives at Vulcan. After shooting each scene, Abrams did a pass with a 3D camera which replicated the original camera moves, to help the conversion process. [56] Filmmaker Edgar Wright visited the set and got to direct a shot for the film. [57]

TrekMovie reported that shooting of the sequel started on January 12, 2012. Due to the permanent sets of NCIS: Los Angeles on Paramount Stage 8 and 9 the production will also be filming at the Sony Studios in Culver City. The larger Sony Stage 15 enabled the filmmakers to build interconnected interiors for the Enterprise, similar to the original television show. [58] It also appeared that Hawaii was not chosen for "jungle scenes" but a location in Southern California. [59] Paramount officially announced the start of principal photography on 14 January 2012. [60] Other filming locations include Budweiser Brewery, Dodger Stadium, Long Beach City Hall, MCAS Tustin, and the Vasquez Rocks [61] as well as the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. [62] Leonard Nimoy's cameo was filmed at the offices of Bad Robot. [63]

On Thursday 2 February 2012 and Tuesday 7 February 2012, Headquarters Casting, owned by Carla Lewis, sought background talents for the Trek sequel. According to the casting note they were searching for "attractive / refined / upscale or exotic talent ages 35-55 who are well postured / athletic to thin. Men should be in good shape, ladies must not be overly busty or curvy. The wardrobe is fitted so we need performers who are in great shape and/or on the thin side. Seeking a wide array of different ethnicities for this group, including ethnically ambiguous talent. The work date(s) are TBD, but could be numerous depending on the scene you are selected for. Would require at least one wardrobe fitting. We are submitting additional photos and the photos MUST be current and representative of how you look NOW. Some of the spots that will be picture picked will be quite featured. This is background work and we are seeking both SAG & Non-Union talent. It's possible that non-union performers may need to work SAG (depending on the work day(s) they are ultimately fit for and the number of performers working that day.)". The open call was held at 3108 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, California 91505. [64]

In the final week of January 2012, NASA astronaut and engineer Gregory Chamitoff visited the set of the Star Trek sequel. Following the appearance of several images from the filming, [65] a short video clip also appeared on the web showing a fight scene between Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch. [66] [67] More pictures from behind the scenes appeared on the web showing Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine. [68] [69] In addition, OnLocationVacations confirmed the filming location of the previously seen images. The large green screen and the fighting scenes were filmed in Marina del Rey, California, along Jefferson Blvd. and near Grosvenor Blvd. on 23 February 2012. [70]

On 16 April 2012 a new photo from the filming went online showing Zachary Quinto in a Starfleet space suit on a wire in front of a green screen. According to the description from On Location News a volcano is somehow involved. [71] On 17 April 2012 Go for Location reported that the Star Trek sequel is filming exterior and interior scenes all week in Downtown Los Angeles, especially Bunker Hill and the historic core areas [72] [73] and at Flower and Olympic. [74] They're also filming on multiple units at Raleigh Studios PlayaVista lot. [75] On Friday, 20 April 2012 production filmed at 710 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles (7:00 am – 10:00 pm). [76]

On 21 April 2012 the cast and crew filmed scenes at 710 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles (4/21 - 4/22/2012, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm), 650 S. Spring St. (4/21/2012, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm), in the Grand Ave. Crosswalk, between Cal Plaza and Wells Fargo Plaza (4/21 6:00 am – 10:00 pm) 350 S. Grand Ave. (4/21 6:00 am – 10:00 pm), 333 S. Grand Ave. (4/21/2012 6:00 am – 10:00 pm), 523 W. 6th St. (4/21, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm). Base camp was set up at Grand and 8th Ave. [77]

Several photos from the set in Marina del Rey, California appeared on the web showing red prop trees which were used for the surface of a red planet and a storm scene. According to a crewmember the production will wrap in Los Angeles this week and heading to the San Francisco area for the final week of filming. According to On Location Vacations there was a radio casting call in San Francisco for a big motion picture and shooting will start on 1 May 2012. [78] Just a few days later, On Location Vacations reported that an anonymous source reported about a location filming at National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California prior to the filming in San Francisco. [79] [80] They will also film in Pleasanton. [81]

Pegg and Quinto tweeted that filming wrapped on May 8, 2012. [82] Afterwards, second unit filming began in Iceland for visual effects shots. Abrams previously considered filming Delta Vega exterior sequences in Iceland for the previous film: this marks the first time a Star Trek film has shot outside the United States. [83]


At the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con, Roberto Orci hinted at changes to the Enterprise design and the opening credits. [84] He commented upon commencement of filming that the engineering designs have been altered. [85] Designer Neville Page has said if there were Klingons, he would have to explore a rationale for their appearance such as their long hair, and give their species a varied appearance, perhaps with different races. [86] Industrial Light & Magic began working on visual effects in November 2011, starting with shots of outer space that would not require live-action elements. [87] In an October 2012 interview on the talk show Conan, Abrams stated that the film was in the editing process, and debuted a three-frame clip of Spock in a volcano. [88]

Music and sound

Michael Giacchino confirmed he would return to compose the film's music score before filming began. [89] Giacchino composed new themes for Harrison, Admiral Marcus, and the Klingons, as well as a more "personal" arrangement of Kirk's theme. The Klingon music incorporates Klingonese lyrics sung by a choir, which was written by music editor Alex Levy. [90] Giacchino also incorporated a theme from the TV show: "I had just finished writing and shut off my computer and said I'm done done. I went downstairs and went on Twitter and someone tweeted to me 'Can you please use one of the themes from one of the old series in the new movie'... and I thought 'OK, OK' and so I went back upstairs and there was one I always particularly loved... so that will be there for you to find." [91] The theme in particular is the "fight to the death" music from TOS: "Amok Time" heard during the climactic fight between Spock and Khan.

Depending on where the film was screened, a different song was played in the scene with Scotty and Keenser at the bar. For example, the UK edition used "The Rage That's In Us All", by Bo Bruce, while the Australian version was "The Dark Collide" by Penelope Austin. [92]

Business Wire announced that Star Trek Into Darkness would be released with Dolby Atmos "to deliver a more natural and realistic soundtrack that moves sound around and above audiences, transporting them into the outer regions of the universe". [93] [94]


  • Admiral Pike, last seen in a wheelchair at the end of Star Trek after his ordeal with Nero, has regained his ability to walk and is now seen using a cane.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness continues to use the same stardate system devised by the screenwriters for Star Trek. According to Roberto Orci, in that system, stardate 2259.55 would be February 24. 2259. [95]
  • Admiral Marcus's model collection includes the Ares V, the Phoenix, the USS Enterprise XCV 330 the Enterprise NX-01, the USS Kelvin as well as the Vengeance.
  • Spock tells McCoy that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". Spock Prime told Kirk this in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Admiral Marcus reveals that the Kelvin Memorial Archive was really a base of Section 31, the Starfleet Black Ops division that existed as early as 2151, when a young Malcolm Reed was recruited by them. Section 31 was first introduced during the later seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but Section 31 agent Luther Sloan claimed that the organization has existed as a secret black ops division of Starfleet Intelligence since the founding of Starfleet. The prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise later established that this did not simply mean the beginning of the "Federation Starfleet", but the foundation of the predecessor United Earth Starfleet, which later grew into the Federation Starfleet after that organization's creation.
  • En route to Kronos (Qo'noS), Spock pronounces Uhura's first name, Nyota, differently than he did in the previous film.
  • Chekov, established as a "whiz kid" at the age of 17 in Star Trek, continues to demonstrate his proficiency by learning enough about Engineering systems to be Kirk's choice to replace Scotty as chief engineer.
  • The dialogue in the scene where Kirk dies in the radiation chamber uses some verbatim quotes from a very similar scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Likewise, when calling Spock down to engineering after Kirk’'s sacrifice, some of Scotty’s dialogue, such as, “You better get down here, better hurry,” “You’ll flood the whole compartment” and more, is verbatim dialogue spoken by McCoy in a very similar scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • The number of torpedoes containing Khan's old crew - 72 - is the same number of Augments that had survived with Khan nearly three centuries of suspended animation when Kirk discovered the SS Botany Bay in TOS: "Space Seed".
  • Starfleet Command meets in the Daystrom Conference Room. Richard Daystrom was introduced in TOS: "The Ultimate Computer" and mentioned in other Star Trek episodes as well.
  • Christine Chapel is mentioned by name as one of Kirk's former conquests, having told Carol all about him. She has apparently transferred and is now working as a nurse.
  • In the previous film it was revealed that Uhura speaks "all three dialects" of Romulan; in this film it is revealed that she also speaks Klingon.
  • The Klingon homeworld, Kronos (Qo'noS), features the remains of an exploded moon in its orbit. This may be a homage to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in which the Klingon moon Praxis was destroyed by over-mining and insufficient safety procedures.
  • "Cupcake" – Security Officer Hendorff – who Kirk met in the bar fight in Iowa, is still serving aboard the Enterprise and accompanies Kirk to Qo'noS.
  • John Harrison takes refuge on Qo'noS in the Ketha Province. In the "Prime" reality, Ketha lowlands was the birthplace of Chancellor Martok.(DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")
  • The Vengeance destroys Alcatraz as it crashes to Earth. In VOY: "Endgame", a future version of Kathryn Janeway from the year 2404 told her past self in 2378 that one could see Alcatraz from USS Voyager's ready room on a clear day, because Voyager was a museum located on the Presidio in that timeline.
  • In the film, McCoy calls John Harrison as a superman. In "Space Seed" Spock refers to Khan and his people as supermen.
  • As Kirk wakes from his coma near the end of the film, he can hear his mother and father speaking about him moments after his birth.
  • At the San Francisco bar, among the other drinks on Scotty's table is a Budweiser. Uhura ordered a Budweiser Classic in the previous film, and both this film and the previous film used a Budweiser plant for scenes in engineering.
  • McCoy uses his medical skills to assist Carol Marcus in performing "surgery" on a torpedo, something he also assisted Spock with in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Scotty sabotages the Starfleet prototype USS Vengeance to help save the Enterprise. He also sabotaged the prototype USS Excelsior to help the Enterprise escape in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  • In San Francisco, trolley cars are still in use, and were seen as early as 1986 in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • In the film's London scenes, the "London Eye," a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames, built in 1999, is clearly visible and still in use.
  • Among the pedestrians in San Francisco is an Orion woman.
  • Pike tells Kirk that Starfleet Command returned the captaincy of the Enterprise to him by saying "They gave her back to me", which is also what Kirk told Scotty when he regained command of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • The Enterprise spiraling down to Earth with the engines off-line is reminiscent of TOS: "The Naked Time" where the prime-universe Enterprise spiraled down to Psi 2000 after its engines were turned off.
  • Kirk risking his life to save the Enterprise is something his prime counterpart did in Star Trek Generations.

Deleted scenes

Khan shower

Khan in a shower

Responding to criticism that the scene in the Enterprise shuttlecraft in which Kirk catches a glimpse of Carol Marcus in her underwear could be viewed as sexist, J.J. Abrams revealed during an interview on Conan on May 23, 2013 a segment of a deleted scene from the film in which Khan is seen taking a shower. [96]

Carol Marcus is highlighted in a deleted scene explaining that her parents had separated, thus leaving Carol to be raised by her mother alone in England. The scene thereby addresses why Carol has a different accent from her prime-reality counterpart. [97] The explanatory deleted scene is the only one involving Carol Marcus. [98]

Several deleted, expanded and alternate scenes appear exclusively through the film's Xbox SmartGlass second-screen app. [99] The opening scene at Nibiru originally ended with Kirk at the bridge recording a captain's log entry, untruthfully stating that the crew never set foot on the planet's surface and that the mission was "uneventful". In an alternate cut of the scene where Kirk loses his command, Pike personally demoted him and took control of the Enterprise, immediately relegating Kirk to first officer. According to the iTunes commentary track of the film, this was changed to help maintain the father/son dynamic between Pike and Kirk.

The scene where Thomas Harewood sits as his station at the Kelvin Memorial Archive originally included a video chat in which Harewood explains to Admiral Marcus that "He [Harrison] said you'd know why he did this", right before activating the explosive device disguised as his Starfleet Academy ring. The sequence where Harrison fires upon several Starfleet officers from a jumpship was recut: in the earlier version, Kirk witnesses Pike get shot and is by his side as Pike dies; Harrison swoops back to the scene and resumes fire, prompting Kirk to take down the ship.

Uhura's exchange with the Klingons originally involved her lying to them by stating that she was seeking out a lone Klingon who was her lover and had stolen from her. Uhura's ruse is interrupted when Kirk decides to exit the K'normian ship and attack the warriors with his crew members. The ensuing fight halts when two Klingons hold Kirk to the ground and put a rifle to his head. As Kirk's crew comes out from behind cover, the Klingon commander shouts an order and a redshirt is shot in the chest. The commander also orders Kirk to be killed, but the Klingons are shot by Harrison as he appears.

The scene where Scotty approaches the secret hangar containing the Vengeance included a sequence where he bluffs his way in by stating he was delivering "hull plating and the coffee cells for the food synthesizers". The end of the film originally contained a scene at the commemoration ceremony where Kirk speaks with Rima Harewood and her daughter Lucille; the latter of whom appears to have been restored to good health.


The film premiered at the George Street Event Cinema in Sydney, Australia on April 23, 2013. Additional premieres took place in Moscow (April 25), Berlin (April 29), and London (May 2), before wide release in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK on May 9. It premiered in Los Angeles on May 14, [100] before its release in the Philippines and North America on May 16. [101] IMAX 3D preview screenings in North America took place on May 15. [102] Paramount announced that the film will join its World War Z in an one-week-only "Ultimate Double Feature" from August 30th to September 5th. [103]


Spock in Volcano Suit, silhouette

The first image released from the film

IDW Publishing solicited a four-issue prequel comic book to the film titled Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness. Like the previous film's comic book prequel, Star Trek: Countdown, it was written by Mike Johnson and drawn by David Messina. Johnson also wrote the ongoing comic book and said the first, fourth, and twelfth issues contained hints of events in the film. "They are more retroactive, in the sense that after you see the movie you can go back and see where things were set up. Some are very direct; others are more thematic." [104] [105]

Hasbro released Kre-O and Fighter Pods toys to promote the film. Mattel released three new Hot Wheels Star Trek Into Darkness starship models, and Quantum Mechanix announced plans to release a number of prop replicas based on historical flight models that were seen in Admiral Marcus' office. [106]

A video game, Star Trek, was released before the film. Its story and development cycle was independent of the films, but its release was delayed to promote Into Darkness.

Alan Dean Foster wrote the novelization of the film. [107]

The soundtrack was released by Varèse Sarabande Records.

The first nine minutes of the film was shown before IMAX 3D screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on 14 December 2012. [108] The first trailer was shown before non-IMAX screenings of the film. [109]

While showing scenes from the film at CinemaCon on April 15, 2013, members of the cast and crew expressed discomfort at promoting the film just hours after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Chris Pine acknowledged the parallels between the film's plot and the real world: "Terrorism is a huge part of our lives, and we all know the effects of that." [110] Before the film's Australian premiere, Abrams commented the parallels were "horrible and unfortunate and heartbreaking [...] but I would argue that it is also one of the reasons we go to the movies - to look at our lives, to ask questions about things we are trying to figure out, to find ways to make some sense of these things." [111]


Box office

Within hours of tickets going on sale in the UK on April 9, 2013, the London IMAX's website crashed due to heavy traffic. [112] Following its opening in the UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria, and German speaking Switzerland, Into Darkness set international records for the series with a gross of approximately $31.7 million. [113] Reports indicated ticket sales were 70% higher than for the last film. [114]

After tickets to the US IMAX previews sold out, the film's wide release was moved up a day from its initial May 17 date. [115] The film grossed $81.1 million over its four-day opening, lower than Paramount's expected $100 million, but the film also already outgrossed its predecessor in markets such as Russia, Taiwan and Mexico. [116] The film's North American opening (three-day) weekend was actually less than the $75 million opening of the first film, while attendance by audiences under the age of 25 dropped ten percent to 25%. [117] The film dropped to third place during the subsequent four-day Memorial Day weekend, but grossed $47 million. [118]

The film has grossed a total of $458.7 million worldwide, with a domestic gross of $228.7 million, which places it as the 11th highest-grossing film in North America for 2013; and $231.3 million internationally, ranking it in 14th place worldwide, and making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise.[119] The film was less successful than its predecessor in North America but exceeded it in other countries such as Russia and China, overall bringing the worldwide total to a larger amount than the first film a month after its release. [120] [121] Forbes argued that Into Darkness's disappointing performance in North America was due to Abrams' refusal to spoil that John Harrison was Khan, so Paramount was "forced to craft a generic campaign based around Benedict Cumberbatch as 'Generic Bad Guy', so the excitement never took hold [...] it made fans and general moviegoers less excited about Star Trek 2 than they were four, three, or even two years ago." [122]


The film has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 7.5/10. [123] The film has a "generally favorable" score of 72/100 on Metacritic. [124]

Among cinemagoers, the film earned an "A" rating from those polled by CinemaScore. [125] The year after its release, a poll to find the 301 greatest movies of all time by Empire readers ranked the film at #245. [126]

On his twitter account, former Star Trek showrunner Rick Berman reviewed the film, saying, "Very exciting, great production and VFX. Fabulous acting. But is it a Star Trek film? Maybe. Only time will tell." He also contemplated how Gene Roddenberry might have reacted to the film, commenting, "At its soul, is it a movie that Gene would have given his blessings to? He very well might have. I really don't know." [127]

Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer commented on the film's role reversal of a pivotal scene in that film that "You have to be flattered that somebody wants to sort of try and make your movie again. But the difference is between a rip-off and an homage is that you are supposed to add something." [128]

Merchandise gallery

Awards and honors

Star Trek Into Darkness received the following awards and honors.

Year Group Award Nominee(s) Result
2012 California on Location Awards Location Team of the Year - Studio Feature Films Supervising Location Manager: Becky Brake, Location Manager: Steve Woroniecki, Key Assistant Location Managers: Taylor Boyd, Leo Fialho, Peter Gluck, Kathy McCurdy, Golden Robert Swenson, Scott Trimble, Assistant Location Managers: Shelly Armstrong, Christina Otteson Won
2013 Golden Trailer Awards Best Summer 2013 Blockbuster Poster Empire Design, Paramount Pictures Nominated
Best Summer Blockbuster 2013 TV Spot The AV Squad, Paramount Pictures
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Zoe Saldana
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Chris Pine
Britannia Awards British Artist of the Year Benedict Cumberbatch (For Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) Won
Hollywood Film Festival Hollywood Movie Award J.J. Abrams
Key Art Awards Best Sound Design Paramount Pictures, The AV Squad (For "Return:30 - Superbowl") [129] Nominated
Best Spot
Best Trailer Paramount Pictures, Transit (For "Illusion") [130]
Paramount Pictures, mOcean (For "Moments") [131]
Best Audio/Visual Technique Paramount Pictures, Pusher Media (For "Trailer 2") [132] Won - Silver
Best Trailer - Audio/Visual Paramount Pictures, The AV Squad (For "Destiny Trailer 3"/"Assume the Position") [133] Won - Bronze
Best Innovative Media Paramount Pictures (For the Star Trek App) [134]
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Visual Effects - Nominated
Best Stunts -
BAFTA Children's Awards BAFTA Kids Vote - Feature Film -
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Visual Effects Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Movie -
Favorite Movie Duo Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto
Favorite Action Movie -
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Actor of the Year Benedict Cumberbatch (For Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Visual Effects -
Best Action Movie -
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie -
Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in Animated Effects in a Live Action Production Industrial Light & Magic: Ben O'Brien, Karin Cooper, Lee Uren, Chris Root
Industrial Light & Magic: Dan Pearson, Jay Cooper, Jeff Grebe, Amelia Chenoweth
ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards Fantasy Feature Film Production Designer: Scott Chambliss, Supervising Art Director: Ramsey Avery, VFX Art Director: James Clyne, Art Directors: Lauren Polizzi, Kasra Farahani, Michael E. Goldman, Harry E. Otto, Andrew E.W. Murdock, On Set Art Director: Jason Baldwin Stewart, Assistant Art Directors: Natasha Gerasimova, Steve Christensen, Illustrators: Andrea Dopaso, John Eaves, Nathan Schroeder, Ryan Church, Christopher Ross, Victor Martinez, Steven Messing, Set Designers: Karl Strahlendorf, John Chichester, Tex Kadonaga, Kevin Cross, Andrew Reeder, Anne Porter, Jane Wuu, Richard F. Mays, Allen Coulter, Karl Martin, Scott Schneider, Lorrie Campbell, Easton Smith, Tammy Lee, Tim Croshaw, Lead Graphic Designer: Clint Schultz, Set Decorator, SDSA: Karen Manthey
VES Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture Roger Guyett, Luke O'Byrne, Ron Ames, Ben Grossmann
Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture Bruce Holcomb, Ron Woodall, John Goodson, Thomas Fejes
BAFTA Film Awards Best Special Visual Effects Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
IFMCA Awards Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film Michael Giacchino
Satellite Awards Best Overall Blu-ray Paramount Home Entertainment Won
Academy Awards Best Achievement in Visual Effects Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton Nominated
Empire Awards Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy -
MTV Movie Awards Best Villain Benedict Cumberbatch
Saturn Awards Best Science Fiction Film -
Best Director J.J. Abrams
Best Supporting Actor Benedict Cumberbatch
Best Costume Michael Kaplan
Best Special/Visual Effects Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton

Links and references




Stunt performers



Production companies



208; 2259; 2 News; 7 News; advanced long-range torpedo; AF; aircar; Air Defense Team; airlock; Alcatraz; Alpha Quadrant; Andoria Prime; Angel Island; antimatter missile; applied physics; Applied Sciences Division; Arab; Ares V; Armstrong-type; artificial gravity; ash cloud; auxiliary power; Ayt; BA-36; bank; Bay Area Rapid Transit; beach; Beastie Boys; Beta Quadrant; Biddeford, USS; black hole; block 27; Body Movin'; boolean gun; Boyce, Philip; Bradbury, USS; brig; bus; cable car; Caitian; car; chancellor; Chapel, Christine; Chelsea; Coconut lotion; cold fusion; coma; Confederacy of Surak; Coridan system; corn; Cormier, Roy; Corridor 67; C-section; cryotube; D4-class; DB-5; Dreadnought-class; Daystrom Conference Room; defibrilator; Delta Team; diburnium; Dock Command; Docking clamp; doctorate; dog; dynamite; Enterprise NX-01; Earth Sector 2; Earth Sector 45; Earth Sector 49; Enterprise (OV-101); Enterprise, USS (XCV 330); emergency lockdown; evacuation shuttle; evacuation shuttle bay; Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven; extractor; eye wash; ferry; fire hose; first aid kit; Fisherman's Wharf; Five-year mission; forklift; fuel cell; Galorndon Core; garbage barge; Gemini capsule; genocide; goggles; Golden Gate Bridge; Gorn; grid 09; Grubeco; hole generator; hovercar; ice cube; internal manual override system; Io; Io Facility; Ito, Stephanie; Jumpship; Jupiter; Kelvin Memorial Archive; Kelvin, USS; Ketha Province; King, Albert; Khitomer; kitten; Klingon; Klingon language; K'normian; K'normian trading ship; Kronos; Level 3-B; Life support center; Life support system; lift cable; London; London Eye; Luna; Magustav Pachangara; Menk; manhunt; Mayflower-type; M-class; metaphysic shield; military shuttle; mooring; Mudd Incident; multidimensional radar; Nelson's Column; Neutral Zone; New Vulcan; Newton-type; Nibiru; NX Alpha; NX-class; Office of Special Plans; Organia; Organian Peace Treaty; Orion; Orion Union; osmium; oyster; Perspective Study of Mazzocchio; phaser rifle; Phoenix; planetoid; platelet; poker; popsicle; portable transwarp beaming device; Port of San Francisco; Port of San Francisco bar; Powerwall; Praxis; Prime Directive; prince; projection component; proximate coupling beam; proximity alert; proximity detonation; Qo'noS system; quad 68; quadrant; quadrant commander; Rapping; rescue shuttle; Rigel Beta; Risa Hedony; robot; Royal Children's Hospital; rust; San Francisco Bay; San Francisco Ferry Building; San Francisco Metropolitan Area; seasick; seatbelt; Second Street; Section 31; sector; Sector 001; sector 31; sector 34; sector 45; Sector 56; sector 70; sector 89; sector block; sheep; Sherman's Planet; Shuttle 1; Shuttle 7; Sol system; space region observer; Spirit of St. Louis; stabilizer; Starbase 1; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Engineering; Starfleet Headquarters; St Paul's Cathedral; Stuffed animal; Sue Bierman Park; Surak; Takayama; Takayama-type shuttlecraft; The Gateway; Theater Commander; thruster; torpedo technician; tram; trash exhaust; transwarp beaming; transwarp equation; transwarp network; tribble; tribunal; Turner, Corey; type 2 phaser; type 3 phaser; UFP News; V-2 rocket; VD; VH-5; Vengeance, USS; volcano; Vostok 1; Vulcan; Vulcan mind meld; warp core; Warrant; weapons bay; weather report; Wright Flyer; wormhole; X-15;

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