J. J. Abrams newest Star Trek adaptation, Star Trek Into Darkness, (see awesomeness above) will be hitting theaters this coming May 13, 2012. If you are anything like me, you will be anxiously waiting for that day. Since the farthest back I can remember, I have always been a huge Star Trek fan, and I absolutely loved what Abrams and crew did with their last outing. That being said and knowing the quality work Abrams has done with other material, I have high hopes for this new film. Hopes that were only bolstered by the release yesterday of the first teaser trailer for this latest trek in space. If you have not seen the trailer yet, what the heck are you waiting for? What are you... living under a rock? Check it out! Now!
For your viewing convenience, it just so happens to be, well how about that... right here:
Totally freaking legit, right? Right?
If Abrams understands anything, it is the art of the 'tease,' and tease he does. He makes every second count in this short trailer to draw the audience in: hook, line, and sinker. He also leaves enough questions to make everyone, anyone, want so much more. Who's the guy on the vengeance kick? Who pissed him off and why? What's the deal with so many shots on what seems to be Earth? I thought this was supposed to be in space? Um, hello, Star... Trek, anybody? So many questions, and so very much time to think them over and grow more and more anxious and restless to know the answers (and then buy loads of tickets to watch the film).
So the rumors have been flying that this new villain is the newest incarnation of Khan, the major baddy of the second, and, to most every fan in the world, greatest film of the Star Trek movie cannon. In the original series, Kirk pissed this guy off by banishing him to a world out in space. Well, come to find out in the movie Star Trek II, it amounted to a death sentence when the neighboring planet blew up and Khan's new home became a living hellish nightmare. So that ticked him off enough to want revenge, hence the Wrath of Khan title, and the rest of the plot of the second movie. So great, that's all good and dandy, but that was then and this is now. Abrams' playful time gimmicks with his Star Trek changed all that, right?
Well, yes, and no. Abrams' plot device altered the history of the Star Trek universe, but only after the point in time in which the Romulan ship the Narada traveled back through the wormhole to the year 2233. So, since Kirk encountering Khan and banishing him to the deserted planet happened after that point, all of that changed. What did not change, however, is the nature of the character Khan before 2233.
According to the original series, Khan was a superhuman who ruled part of Earth in the 1990s. Khan's life up until 2233 will have to be the same in the new movie as it was in the original series. So the character remains intact, but all the interactions with Kirk and crew are free to change. So that begs the question: why is he so pissed off now? Did the new Kirk follow in the steps of the old Kirk and banish him to the same planet setting off the whole series of events to happen again? Unlikely, if only because we've already seen that, and it would be tiresome to watch again. However, there is something Abrams included at the end of the Japanese version of the same trailer that further leads one to believe otherwise. Check it out, and pay close attention to that last scene:
Seem familiar, two hands almost just touching but separated by glass, one making the all too familiar sign of the Vulcan's calling card "Live Long and Prosper"? Wrath of Khan, hello, people, Spock... dying?
Abrams is a clever clever man, and once again, loves to tease. This first look has a lot of questions, and, though, the trailer points to a Khan-like villain, with a similar revenge story arch and superhuman power, no one will find out the villain's true identity for sure any time soon. Anything that flies around the web before the movie hits theaters is, and will be, just speculation, no matter who it comes from (I would not doubt for a minute that the cast and crew themselves would say the villain is someone who it's not just to cause a stir).
What's the gimmick this time, though? What's Abrams masterful play? Well, what I don't think Abrams did is remake the Wrath of Khan. That would almost assuredly be a huge letdown.With that said, I'm just going to go ahead and say it: he's not going to kill off Spock either.
The teaser trailer is just that: one HUGE tease.
There would be so many problems with that scenario. Spock is undoubtedly the second most popular character, the only one to rival Kirk, in Star Trek lore. If Abrams killed him off, he would be faced with the same problems that arose after the release of the original Wrath of Khan. Namely, figuring out how to bring Spock back. There is no Star Trek, at least the original crew incarnation, that could continue without Spock. He's just too pivotal.
The other major flaw in this situation is the continued existence of the Old Spock in the new timeline. Old Spock knows this Khan and all too well. He also surely remembers dying (it seems like that would be a hard thing to forget) and how. Even if Old Spock is not directly involved with the new Enterprise crew on a regular basis, the cataclysmic events portrayed in this trailer, particularly an assault on Earth by a superhuman villain named Khan, would undoubtedly bring him back to Earth from any part of the galaxy. Back to warn Kirk and crew about what happened in his timeline and how to avoid it happening again.
No, Spock won't die. Especially not the same way Old Spock did. There are too many problems with that playing out, again. In the end, it would only come across as tired, cheap, and familiar. Abrams likes his tease, and this one was surely too hard to resist. There are many questions still to be answered about the new Star Trek film, but one we can scratch off the list is will Spock die? Again? Heck no! If we learned anything from Abrams' first venture into the Star Trek universe, we learned that Abrams likes to surprise. He is a creative mind, and creative minds rarely tread the same ground as those who came before.
Star Trek Into Darkness will be a treat, and a wild ride. I'll be looking forward to it, and its sequel, sure to follow, both just as surely to feature a still living, breathing, and relentlessly logical Spock.
What do you think? Will Spock die? Will the new film be simply a remake of the Wrath of Khan? Who's the mysterious villain and where did he come from? Post your comments below.