‘Star Trek’s’ Alex Kurtzman Talks Khan, Kirk’s Journey & Carol Marcus’ Underwear

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Alex Kurtzman, left, J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci, on the set of “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Star Trek Into Darkness was not only one of the biggest successes of the summer but also one of the most passionately debated. While some fans swallowed its twists, turns and surprises whole, asking for more, others were more skeptical, leading to contentious discussions of what constitutes a proper Trek movie, and what creative choices by the filmmakers best expand the boundaries of a beloved mythology without betraying it outright. Remarkably, those conversations eventually spilled out from the comments sections of reviews and think pieces to interactions between fans and the filmmakers themselves – and unsurprisingly, arguments were mounted on both sides with equal passion and insight.

But now that Star Trek Into Darkness is out on Blu-ray, that conversation can evolve: After director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci spent years trying to build the perfect story for their sequel, fans can now devote even more time to fortifying their support, or in some cases, finding the cracks.

In advance of the release of the new set, as well as the Star Trek: Stardate Collection, which collects all of the pre-Abrams Trek films in one expansive Blu-ray set, Kurtzman spoke with Spinoff Online about the film, and answered a few burning questions that lingered after the film ended. In addition to finally openly talking about the decision to make Khan the sequel’s villain, Kurtzman examined the journey he and Orci sent their heroes on, and reflected on the choices they made – including stripping down actress Alice Eve to her skivvies – that have inspired so much debate among the film’s champions and detractors alike.

Spinoff Online: You weren’t able to talk about it for a long time, but now that it’s out there, what to you was the purpose or value in making Khan the villain?

HHAlex Kurtzman: Well, we debated that very question for a full year, because I think you can’t think of Star Trek without thinking of Khan. He is the gold standard in villainy when it comes to Star Trek. So we all really wanted to make sure that we felt that we had a real reason to do it, in the same way that we felt we had a real reason to do the first one. And our minds actually rejected the idea of doing Khan for a while, and when we started asking ourselves what we felt we wanted the story to be about, and we came, I think, to the conclusion that it really needed to be about the fact that while Kirk and Spock had come together as, let’s call them colleagues at the end of the first one, they weren’t really friends yet. And we knew the second movie needed to be about solidifying their friendship – making sure that the definition of friendship as Kirk understood it was not something that Spock’s Vulcan mind was ready to accept. And so the question then became, OK, you want your bad guy to bring that problem out, and to force our two characters to explore it – and ultimately that led us back around to Khan. And the idea that Khan, in so many ways what made him such an amazing villain in [Ricardo] Montalban’s version was that he really did put Kirk and Spock’s friendship to the test. So I think we wanted to harness the spirit of that idea. That said, we did not want to redo Wrath of Khan, because Wrath of Khan is a priceless gem in our minds. It’s perfection, and it’s essentially untouchable, and so the idea that we would just repeat that story would be a huge mistake to us. Part of what we were thinking when we set Trek on its course in the first movie was that we would always be able to play in harmony with canon, meaning characters could come into the story and you would be able to recognize familiar elements and familiar people, but sometimes the situations would feel slightly different. And we thought it would be kind of cool to do that here, and I think the common denominator in both Khans is that they are both men who ultimately were doing what they were doing to protect their family. And that is also what Kirk is doing in this movie. So that’s what led us back to Khan – that’s the long-winded answer.

What pressure does Abrams’ mystery box approach put on you to deliver a satisfying surprise? Because it has to be something that lives up to the expectation and speculation that fans have.

Let me see if I understand the question correctly. J.J.’s approach being wanting to keep things sort of secretive, and the microscope that Star Trek is under by fans, and how do those two things work together — is that what you’re asking?

Yeah, basically. J.J. and you guys have talked about people coming into the theater not knowing everything that’s going to happen, but because there is so much speculation, what pressure does that put on you guys to create something that satisfies or pays off that anticipation?

I see, I see. Enormous pressure. I think we consider ourselves to be hardcore fans, so it puts enormous pressure on it because I think we ask ourselves, what would we be satisfied by, and what would fans of this beloved franchise also be satisfied by? And the truth is you’re never going to please everybody, so you kind of have to accept that at a certain point in the process. So just merely doing Khan, people will reject it outright, and some people will be really curious how we’re going to do it, and some people will love it. So I think that our philosophical approach to doing something like Khan is to make sure we’re not assuming anything about what people think about the character and who he was. He has to stand on his own legs in his own right here, and yet he has to pay homage and tribute to the amazing version of Khan that came before him. So, you know, that’s a pretty tall order, and that’s part of why we took a full year to decide to even do Khan — because he is the most beloved Star Trek villain.

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When I talked to you before the movie came out, you talked about Kirk learning what it means to be captain. Maybe in retrospect, do you feel like that’s the same journey he goes on in the film, or what do you think he goes through? Particularly because a big part of the story is him learning about mortality, and yet he beats it at the end.

Yeah, I mean, look – I do still hold true to everything I said before. I think that is Kirk’s journey, and I think we all know that Shatner’s version of Kirk was a Kirk who did not accept a no-win scenario, and what I think intrigued us was the idea that, what happens when Kirk is faced with the ultimate no-win scenario. In some ways it goes back to what Spock said to him in the first movie – there is going to come a moment where you face certain death, and you’re going to have to face it whether you like it or not. And so in some ways the lessons of the first movie that Spock is trying to teach him pay off in the second movie as much as some of the, I think, relationship strands the two of them are playing out against this backdrop of the meaning of friendship and the meaning of who Kirk is as a captain. And all of those things together gave us a reason to go down this road – and I think got us really excited about the idea of doing Khan.

Whether it’s testing the boundaries of the Prime Directive, or exploring the amount of emotion Spock demonstrates, where do you draw the line between making a choice that goes against what we think of with an idea or character in the name of creating an interesting story, and contradicting what may be unassailable canon?

Well, I think that’s a question we’re always asking ourselves. Just to be clear, I think you’re referring to how far we will allow Spock to go in his display of emotion – is that what you’re asking?

That, or in the beginning of the movie, they violate the Prime Directive to save this planet — where the story exists for you versus doing something that might betray what people would consider canon

star trek into darkness-abrams-kurtzmanMeaning, you never violate the Prime Directive.

Essentially.

Well, I think that’s what it’s about. I mean, that’s why Kirk is stripped of his captainship, because he violates the Prime Directive, and that is the one thing you do not do. And it’s funny – we had so many debates in the story-breaking process of whether or not we could do that, and what the Prime Directive meant, and how audiences who were not familiar with canon would understand what a massive deal it was for Kirk to break it. So all of that thinking absolutely went into our story design.

I imagine you probably read a few of the reviews for the film. What do you think in retrospect is maybe a criticism that you feel is actually valid about the movie that if you had it to do over, you wouldn’t repeat that choice?

Hm, interesting question. Firstly, I like to actually talk to people and find out what they thought of the movie and get honest answers face to face. I find it very difficult for me to read the reviews. I know that Bob and Damon [Lindelof] and J.J. feel differently about it. But personally, I actually really like to have one on one contact with people, because Star Trek fans are so thoughtful, and it is such a meaningful part of their lives. And I don’t know, I guess, huh – why don’t you pick one and I’ll comment on it?

OK. Well, the decision to have Alice Eve in her underwear is, I think, a good example of something that Damon actually commented on. Do you think it was justifiable for that character to do that?

star trek into darkness3Well, it’s funny, we had tons of story conversations, and spent a whole lot of time talking about how we were going to justify that. And ultimately, I think it’s one of those things that you either accept is part of the scene dynamic – you know, she is bold, and certainly Carol Marcus as we knew her was bold from the first movie. That was part of what was fun about her relationship with Jim, and yet obviously it’s a different Carol Marcus than before. And we figured, how do we harness the spirit of that in this scene, and that’s ultimately where we came to it from. But certainly it’s been criticized as egregious, and I guess everybody has their own point of view of that. All I can tell you is that it’s not something we went into blindly, and certainly we all sat in a room going, okay, we’re going to be criticized for this, but how do we justify this in a way that feels like it was thought about? And either you go for it or you don’t.

Where to you does the end of Star Trek Into Darkness leave this world? The film focuses on the inevitability of a war between Starfleet and the Klingons, but the epilogue takes place a year after the events in the film and everything seems pretty all right.

Well, I think that the title comes from the fact that Gene Roddenberry had this vision of the future where – it’s funny, my son was just asking me about this yesterday. He said, ‘Why is Star Trek Into Darkness called Star Trek Into Darkness?’ And I explained to him that Roddenberry had this beautiful and very optimistic vision of the future, where we would come to a time where different species, different alien races come together, and we would all operate together as one Federation to explore space and work together. And that vision is tested by Khan, and it is corrupted by Marcus, within itself. And so the question Kirk asks at the end of the movie, and I think the question we leave the movie on is, can Starfleet continue in its utopian vision given the kind of things that happen in the movie? And I think we know that they can happen now, so we know that they may happen again, and if these events provoke a war in the future, how will we deal with that response? This is the very definition of blowback. And so I think, hopefully we’ve set up a complicated moral dilemma, but you should definitely know that the compass of Roddenberry’s vision of an optimistic Federation, is where all of this came from.

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Comments

  • Angrier Geek

    On what planet is Star Trek Into Darkness the biggest success of the summer? Because not only is that untrue (it’s #6), but Paramount was actually disappointed in its return.

  • George Mitchell

    “No one leaves paradise.”

  • Joe Grunenwald

    So it sounds like they approached the underwear scene as “We want to have Alice Eve in her underwear in this scene. How can we justify that?” Which is totally how good writing works, as I understand it.

    Also, if Carol Marcus was so bold, she wouldn’t have told Kirk to turn around before she stripped.

  • NeronWillRise

    You got a buddy at Paramount? Because otherwise, how would you know that. Rumor and conjecture?

  • GLJeremy

    I am a huge trek fan who actually liked the 2009 film (rare I know) but was terribly disappointed with this one. Primarily my problems were with JJs Direction and the poor ape-ing of previous films and stories that led a fan of the series to constantly think “I’ve seen this scene before, done better,” while watching this film. I do not think this is the worst in the series at all but definitely in the bottom 3 for me (3.STID, 2.Nemesis 1. FF). But I think the most unforgivable thing was that there was an amazing Star Trek Movie trying to get out of this mediocre film. If only that year long debate about Kahn could have gone the other way we could have gotten the far more original film focusing on Section 31 and Peter Weller as the villain, and Kirk truly having to choose between loyalty to the Federation as an organization or an Ideal. Petter Weller’s scenes and the ethical debate he raises about preemptive war would be a great movie, but they crushed it down into a B plot to make room for Wrath of Kahn references and tribbles and replays of scenes I have at home on my blu-ray shelf done by superior film makers. I don’t hate this film, and very much appreciate Kurtzman explaining their thinking instead of just telling fans to “F-off.” (See: Orci and Pegg) In the end I think real fans want to be heard, and want an awesome movie. This one was disappointing, but not the worst we have seen. Maybe with a change of direction we can see some more originality seep through and a better film. There will be better Star Trek stories in the future as well as worse stories. Its the blessing and curse of such a huge franchise. If Star Trek has survived “Spock’s Brain,” “Shades of Gray” “The Final Frontier,” “Move Along Home,” the majority of Voyager including “Threshold,” “These are the Voyages…” and “Nemesis” I am sure Trek can survive the banality of “Into Darkness”.

  • NeronWillRise

    Why did nobody address the plot holes/contrivances in the movie? I think that was more of a problem than Alice Eve in her underwear. I think that was more of a media-fueled controversy.

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

    I still haven’t seen STID because I hate what Abrams has done to Star Trek. Nothing here has me questioning that decision.

    That they spent time trying to justify why to show Dr. Marcus in her underwear in no way convinces me that they had respect for the character.

    These people obviously don’t understand the difference between Jim Kirk, who has a string of failed relationships in his past, and James Bond, who uses his “Bond women” all over the place.

    Very, very sad.

  • Happily LS

    The uproar over her underwear scene is ridiculous. It’s a joke, it lasts two seconds, and it’s in character for Kirk. He ends up around scantily clad women and he looks for a moment longer than you should. It’s one of the jokes of his character. The only people that were outraged were ones who were looking for a cause to be angry about that week.

  • Happily LS

    Kirk In Presence Of Scantily Clad Female! Yeah, it definitely was.

  • Kaine Morrison

    He just said, right there at the end, that he doesn’t care for Gene’s Optimistic view of the future and wants to do a “darker/bleaker” version of Star Trek….
    That is NOT what Star Trek is about…
    We NEED new writers, new directors and a NEW Re-Boot of this series… or just go back to the Original TimeLine!

  • Kaine Morrison

    And in the Original TimeLine they have a kid together…. I saw no problem with this scene… others, yes…

  • stephenmonteith

    “Biggest success”? “Man of Steel” made almost $200 million more worldwide, and STID had a one-month headstart on it. And we all know how people felt about MoS, don’t we?

  • Kaine Morrison

    Iron Man 3 went past the 1 Billion Mark!

  • Fury

    “That said, we did not want to redo Wrath of Khan, because Wrath of Khan is a priceless gem in our minds. It’s perfection, and it’s essentially untouchable”
    but they still rip it off by doing the KHAAAAAAN thing and having Kirk die in a manner similar to Spock…
    pathetic. So glad I didn’t waste the cash seeing this.

  • stephenmonteith

    The real problem with STID isn’t a lack of respect for the original (they clearly feel they have it) or even a lack of understanding of the original (take away “Khan”, and you actually have a storyline that could have appeared in classic Trek). The problem is just plain bad writing. They start with Spock deciding it’s okay to violate the Prime Directive by saving a species that’s going to be destroyed by a volcano (possibly motivated by seeing his home planet destroyed), but not if the people you save see you doing it. So, what’s the solution? Bury the Enterprise in an ocean? For the love of Roddenberry, I’ve never seen such a ridiculous opening sequence. They have transwarp beaming that can teleport someone from Earth to Kronos (and that’s all I’m going to say about THAT piece of crap plot device), but they can’t just transport the stupid ice bomb into the volcano?

    Then, in an effort to impress on everyone how serious the Prime Directive is, they remove Kirk from command for violating it. I say, “Great. Now he can go back to the Academy and be one of those officer instructors like Kirk was canonically in the first place.” But wait, there’s another crisis, and a bunch of officers are killed at the Daystrom Institute (which didn’t even exist at this point in Trek history, but that couldn’t matter less), so, just like in the first movie, they promote a screwup back to Captain and give him an incredibly dangerous assignment, only this time with far less justification than the last time.

    But wait, it IS justified, because the man who gave him the assignment is an evil admiral who doesn’t think the Federation can stand up to Klingon aggression on its own, which is why he sought out a bunch of war criminals from two hundred years earlier who might just give them the edge they need in a war fought by “savages”. Forget for the moment that the “prime” Trek’s Federation had been successfully fighting the Klingon Empire for years without resorting to things like bombing the Klingon Homeworld, because that’s exactly what this evil admiral is going to do, and he’s going to blame it all on the screwup, because he makes a good patsy after the war criminal killed his friend. Oh, and the war criminal has blood that can bring people back from the dead.

    Bad writing. That’s the real problem with this movie.

  • Erick B

    If you count international box office, the movie did quite well.

  • the Dagman

    Using Khan as the villain was going to the well way too soon. Not to mention that if future Spock were to tell the present one thing, it would be “When you see a derelict ship in space named the Botany Bay, fire a photon torpedo at it. Do not even go inside. No good will ever come from it.”, as he pretty much did when he was asked about it.

    No, a better villain to have used would have been Kirk’s old friend Gary Mitchell in revamping TOS’ second pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.

  • Hyatt

    In case you were wondering if they had respect for Carol Marcus’s original character, consider her life’s work in Wrath of Khan: the Genesis project. Creating life. She was adamantly against Genesis being tested on a planet that might even have microbes and wouldn’t want her work to be used as a weapon.

    In STID? She’s a weapons specialist. Who gets excited over torpedoes.

  • Hyatt

    No, they won’t. Not when they can pretend that the only people talking about the plot holes/contrivances are bitter old fans making a mountain out of nothing. The underwear scene is harder to hide behind “oh it’s just the shitty fans we can ignore them” when non-fans notice it and call it out.

  • Happily LS

    There’s that teensy fact of them having been a couple in the oiginal, yes, that too.

  • nld3

    Section 31 would not be part of Roddenberry’s vision. It was invented by the DS9 writers after Roddenberry’s death. A CIA like organization has no place in the open society of Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe.

  • nld3

    Exactly, These guys JJ, Orci, Kurtzman etc. grew up on the 80s movies that’s what they think Trek is about. How wrong they are. JJ belongs doing Star Wars. In fact as a Star Wars fan I welcome him. I knew they couldn’t resist doing Khan in some form. They just couldn’t!

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

    So, how the hell are the time-traveling Romulans responsible for messing her up like that?

    Dr Marcus is a wonderful, idealist character. To demote her to just another warmonger and eye candy is … well, … almost as bad as what Abrams did to Uhura.

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com/ Ken Leonard

    Or, you know, making up someone new.

    Unless it’s a Romulan named Nero. That would be stupid.

  • beane2099

    Overall I liked a lot of elements in this movie. In fact, as a movie, it was fine. It’s the Trek fan that had some [minor] issues with it. All the “plot holes” people mention are pretty well explained in the movie. See I was ecstatic when they basically gave Trek a clean slate in ’09 (I still think that was a brilliant piece of writing – disagree with me if you want). If I find any fault with Into Darkness, it’s that I was a tetch disappointed that we got more of the familiar. I mean at this point, there’s no saying that elements of TNG couldn’t enter into the equation now. Nero’s ship used Borg technology for instance. We’ve seen previously that Borg are attracted by signals and such from their tech. Or they could discover the Bajoran wormhole. Marcus was out scavenging sectors for stuff and Bajor is actually not that far from Earth so it’s not implausible (yes I’m a Trek fan, get over it). Or they could have gone a more TOS route with the Gorn (they’re in the comics, I know) or the Tholians. But those are just one fan’s ideas. In the end I liked Star Trek Into Darkness and I look forward to the next movie.

  • NeronWillRise

    There are problems, but the ones you named aren’t necessarily among them.

    1. When did the Prime Directive include letting an entire race die? And how was Spock violating it? He didn’t plan to be seen at all.

    2. Admiral Marcus promoted Kirk again because it was a personal thing with him after what Khan did. Besides, I don’t think Marcus ever planned to let Kirk and crew live to see another day after giving back Khan.

    3. Marcus doesn’t know the Federation can deal with Khan. He’s an extremist. That’s how extremists think. The only remnants of the “prime” timeline are an old Vulcan he doesn’t know.

    4. Magic blood……um…..I’ve got nothing there.

  • Never1mind

    This was far from the worst thing Star Trek related, film or otherwise, and I think the last film did a great job of rejuvenating the series and bringing it back into the public eye. But STID was extremely disappointing. I’ve no problem with them using Kkan (was really hoping Cumberbatch would play Gary Mitchell instead) as the villain but come up with an original story instead of redoing-ish Wrath of Khan, let an actor like Benedict Cumberbatch really act instead of squeezing people’s heads and scream.

  • Nishi Hundan

    Fat angry loser virgins all mad….bwahahahaha

  • Sleeper99999

    The Prime Directive means you don’t interfere with the development of an immature society, said definition being a society technologically advanced enough to develop warp drive. The thinking is that no matter how well-intended such interference might be, it’s a violation of their natural development and can have disastrous unintended consequences. So, yes, unfortunately, that might mean letting a lesser-developed species die as a result of naturally occurring events. There was a very good episode of ENTERPRISE (I know, people razz on the show, and it had a lot of problems) that dealt with this. The crew encountered a planet with two sentient species, one of whom was thriving and the other of whom was dying off from genetic disease. The ship’s doctor had knowledge which could potentially cure this disease and arrest or reverse the slow extinction of this second race, and Captain Archer had to decide how to proceed. Ultimately, he concluded that, regretfully, this race was coming to its own natural and intended evolutionary end, and that it would be wrong for them to “play God” and cure them. It’s implied that the incident would later play a major part in shaping the future Starfleet’s Prime Directive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/glennsimpson1 Glenn Simpson

    I think the problem is that there is literally no reason for her to be taking her clothes off in that scene. She’s not preparing to do anything that requires a change of clothes. I would be like if I started taking my clothes off while typing this.

  • stephanie767

    like Julia explained I’m dazzled that you able to make $9126 in four weeks on the computer. Going Here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • cocoy

    As per boxofficemojo, the movie made US$465.32M, ranking 10th in the top movies of the past 365 days. Well, at least at the time of this writing. Of all Star Trek films, as per boxofficemojo, Darkness ranked 2nd in gross followed by Star Trek IV (3rd), First Contact (4th). The worst seem to be Nemesis which flopped in the box office, doing far worst than Star Trek V.

  • Air Walker

    what is a comment worth anyways?

    IMO the only “issue” I had with it was that it seemed to be a waste of an opportunity to do something MORE with a big budget summer film. It could have been some galaxy wide planet-hopping five alien world epic odyssey, instead it’s running from one end of a ship to another, running from one future city site to another, running from point a to point b, at least in the opening scene it’s pretty, other wise it just kind of seems trapped inside a ship, stranded in a ship, etc. etc.

  • Air Walker

    isn’t she getting some kind of space suit/biohazard gear on to protect from the torpedo radiation or something? That’s what I thought.

  • A Thoughtful Tribble

    Re: Khan

    “He has to stand on his own legs in his own right here…”

    Except that he didn’t. For an “interesting villain” he was generic as hell.

    Re: Everything else

    Please just do better next time. That is all.

  • seanotron

    Except that’s not how the Prime Directive worked in TOS. Just go back and watch The Paradise Syndrome, for example. Spock intends to divert the asteroid that will impact and wipe out the population of the planet in that story, and there is nary a mention of this violating the Prime Directive. It was only in TNG, and specifically Homeward where the idea was put forth that the Prime Directive also included allowing a civilization to die via natural phenomenon. In TOS, it simply meant that you could not allow a pre-warp civilization to become aware of space travel and alien races. So if the crew had succeeded in STID without being seen, it would not have been a violation of the Prime Directive.

  • Sleeper99999

    Been a while since I’ve seen it, but I think that the crew’s actions in “The Paradise Syndrome” had more to do with saving the lost technology found on the planet, from the Preservers, than with saving the natives, though that was a happy bonus. It’s possible that the Prime Directive evolved for us, the viewers, but it seemed clear (to me anyway) that such explorations of the concept were retroactive – the Prime Directive had always been that way, just never depicted as such directly. Anyway, we can all agree that parking the Enterprise underwater is probably about the worst way to conform to the PD imaginable.

  • seanotron

    “They start with Spock deciding it’s okay to violate the Prime Directive by saving a species that’s going to be destroyed by a volcano (possibly motivated by seeing his home planet destroyed), but not if the people you save see you doing it. ”

    See: TOS: The Paradise Syndrome. Saving a species from a natural disaster was not considered a violation of the Prime Directive in TOS. It was only in later series that it was expanded to include natural disasters.

    “So, what’s the solution? Bury the Enterprise in an ocean? For the love of Roddenberry, I’ve never seen such a ridiculous opening sequence. They have transwarp beaming that can teleport someone from Earth to Kronos (and that’s all I’m going to say about THAT piece of crap plot device), but they can’t just transport the stupid ice bomb into the volcano?”

    They clearly establish that transporters won’t work due to the magnetic fields being generated by the volcano (no more ridiculous than transporters not working because of ‘an ion storm’ or ‘subspace interference’.). As for transwarp beaming, they establish in the previous film that it’s incredibly risky and you could just end up transporting into something undesirable (like Scotty in that film). Also, the transwarp beaming tech was stolen by Section 31, and not in use by Starfleet. Scotty was incredibly angry the equation had been used without his consent.

    “But wait, there’s another crisis, and a bunch of officers are killed at the Daystrom Institute (which didn’t even exist at this point in Trek history, but that couldn’t matter less)”

    The meeting of Starfleet brass was at the Daystrom Conference Room, not the Daystrom Institute. No conflict with established canon there, as Daystrom was already famous for duotronics well before the time period covered in this movie, and would have undoubtedly had things named for him already.

    “Forget for the moment that the “prime” Trek’s Federation had been successfully fighting the Klingon Empire for years without resorting to things like bombing the Klingon Homeworld”

    I’m not sure how ‘successful’ they had been since all out war was only stopped by the magical Organians imposing a peace treaty. But even in the Prime timeline Starfleet had been involved in somewhat extralegal activities, like stealing a cloaking device in the Enterprise Incident. The clear implication in STID was that Nero’s incursion had caused ripples through the quadrant, and that as a result Section 31 had stepped up the war machine. And since Nero wiped out some 40 or more Klingon ships, undoubtedly the Klingons had also stepped up their war machine.

    I’m not saying I had no issues with STID. Khan’s magical blood bugged me, though I think a few lines limiting its powers would have satisfied me. I also think they should have reiterated how difficult transwarp beaming is, or gave it some kind of limitation (like the power requirements limit it to 100 light years or some such thing). I also didn’t like what appeared to be insane travel times to Kronos from Earth. But at least they didn’t travel to the center of the galaxy in an hour or talk about Klingon pimples.

  • seanotron

    You should definitely watch it again. The plan was already in place before they even know the obelisk is there. They make a very brief visit to the surface, because they have to have time to return to the ship to reach a point where they have enough time to deflect the asteroid. The decision to save the planet’s population is already in motion, making it clear they don’t feel it’s a violation of the Prime Directive.

    I actually hated the new interpretation introduced in TNG, as it made Starfleet seem complicit in, if not genocide, then speciocide. The Prime Directive as understood in TOS was simply to prevent knowledge of space travel and the existence of alien races. There’s actually a great book called Prime Directive set during TOS and it’s clear the book’s authors were using the original definition as the crew save an alien planet from destruction but must keep their involvement secret due to the Prime Directive.

    As for the Enterprise being underwater, it just didn’t bother me. They’ve flown the thing through black holes, so presumably it can survive the pressure of an ocean.

  • NeronWillRise

    Most non-nerd fanboys liked MoS.

  • Hyatt

    She might have had a reason to change, but there was no reason for not to wait until she’d finished talking with Kirk to start, much less bring him into the shuttlecraft she intended to change in. Consequently, there was no reason for that scene to be shown in the movie.

  • Shadowknight1

    There was only one scene “remade” from Wrath of Khan, and frankly…I thought it was done really well.

  • Shadowknight1

    Try to actually read for once. The phrasing was “one of the biggest successes of the summer.”

  • Kaine Morrison

    LOL!!!
    That’s very funny….
    I saw it in the Cinema…Did not pay for it…
    I have the Target Exclusive Blu-Ray, also did not pay for it…
    One of my close friends has a friend that has a crush on the guy playing Nu-Kahn, while my ex-GF bought me the vid as an early Birthday Gift… it’s the 14th……

  • stephenmonteith

    The problem isn’t whether it can survive it. The problem is, the only worse way to hide the Enterprise on the planet would have been in some tall grass. How did they even get the Enterprise into the water without them noticing? Did they wait until dark? How could they be sure no one would wake up for a midnight swim, or hear the roar of the engines as you try to lower a city-sized spaceship into the water offshore without causing a tsunami? Drug the entire island to make sure they were all asleep? And if they could do that, then why not just drop the bomb in at that point? For that matter, what about people just going for a swim during the away mission, or spotting the shuttlecraft during the dangling scene? They had to “distract” everyone from seeing it by stealing a sacred artifact or whatever, which almost certainly would have violated the Prime Directive. There was no more stupid way they could have handled things. Beam down to the volcano’s outer rim, set the bomb, drop it in, beam back up, case closed. Anyone sees you, they’ll assume you fell in, or that they hallucinated you.

  • stephenmonteith

    Exactly. The biggest draw for both movies was the “non-fanbase”. Only MoS did a much better job than STID did.

  • stephenmonteith

    That’s what it says now, but not what it said when the article was posted. They had to revise it.

  • seanotron

    Stealing the artifact wouldn’t have violated the Prime Directive so long as they didn’t reveal themselves to the population (esp since it was done to save them). And they had already established that beaming was a problem, as they weren’t able to beam Spock without being right on top of the volcano.

    And hey, if it bothered you it bothered you. It just didn’t give me much of a pause, as it doesn’t strike me as any sillier than any other number of Star Trek setups. Like parking your time-traveling Bird of Prey in the middle of San Francisco, for example. Of course, the real reason for doing it was so you could get that gorgeous shot of the Enterprise rising out of the water. And I don’t really have a problem with a contrivance like that, since this is film we’re talking about.

  • NeronWillRise

    I don’t think he said that at all. In fact, Trek fans need to dispense with the idea that just because human have learned to get along in the future that there shouldn’t be any problems in Star Trek. Trek isn’t dark/bleak but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows either. STID wasn’t any darker than Say WOK or SFS

  • Kaine Morrison

    He did say it…. IT’S RIGHT THERE!!!!!
    And I never said that there shouldn’t be problems, just that it’s supposed to be a more Optimistic Outlook…

  • NeronWillRise

    What he said was that Gene’s vision for the future was being tested in STID. That Khan and Marcus raised a question as to whether it could truly continue when situations like these arise. I think the question was answered by the movie “yes”.

  • Todd Gilchrist

    Mr. Monteith is correct — it was changed. The original was an unfortunate typo.

  • Kevin Packard

    The forced scene with Carol in her underwear was so awful that it made me eye-roll in the theater, especially considering she was a very hollow character with little screen time otherwise. Between that and Uhura being defined entirely by her relationship with Spock I found myself depressed at how women continue to be seen in our society.

    Star Trek is supposed to be more socially conscious than that and it reeked of immaturity and misguided presumption of what viewers want to see. It was a poor decision.

  • Kevin Packard

    Also, the narrative was too fragmented and just not that good. There are all kinds of things that didn’t really make sense and weren’t explained well.

  • Angrier Geek

    So there!

  • Angrier Geek

    Paramount itself predicted it would do better. Paramount is my “buddy.”

  • e92m3

    Correct answer: All of the above.

    I really like how they attempt to justify the scene after deciding it was definitely needed…Interesting progression of logic, eh?

    Also, I agree with your definition of bold far more than theirs….

  • e92m3

    Not a fan of Abrams, either. I can spot his stuff almost right away, it’s all very similar and highly contrived, over-use of bait-and-switch rather than a deep and thoughtful plotline.

    Don’t know what the hell to do with the ending of a series or movie after you’ve blindly pushed forward with no vision? That’s okay, Abrams knows exactly what to do, just make some shit up! It was all a hallucination, remember? Fuck it, maybe it was just magic.

  • e92m3

    What the fuck are you even attempting to say with this rambling nonsense?