STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - 9 Minute Preview Reactions

Paramount Pictures and director J.J. Abrams recently held a press screening event in which they showed off the nine minute preview for Star Trek Into Darkness. This is the same footage that fans will see when they go see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in IMAX. Unfortunately we weren't there, but several other people were in attendance and it seems like the over all feeling of the footage screened was very positive. It sounds like Star Trek Into Darkness is going to end up being yet another great Star Trek movie we can look forward to seeing!

Abrams was in attendance, and while introducing the preview he talked about the title saying...

People say "Into Darkness – lot of darkness, very doom and gloom" and there is a lot of intensity in this film, but it is also fun too, which you will see in this beginning.

Here's a collection of what some of the other websites said about the footage shown!


So who the hell is Cumberbatch playing? Gary Mitchell? Sybok? The Gorn? I don't know, but it's a big deal. Noel Clarke's character asks Cumberbatch directly, and we get a slow, portentous push-in underscored by a menacing Giacchino cue. Not the Khan cue, however.

So what conclusions can we draw from the STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS prologue? Well, the gang's all back, the Enterprise is lurking underwater on the aforementioned planet (they can't surface for fear of violating the Prime Directive), and the sense of fun Abrams established with the first film is very much in evidence. Obsessive speculation aside, these opening nine minutes are a tremendously effective tease for what will hopefully be one of 2013's most entertaining movies.


Earlier this evening, I took the biggest Star Trek fan I know to see the nine-minute prologue that will be screened in IMAX venues in front of the release ofThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and based on his reaction, I’d say JJAbrams and crew have absolutely nothing to worry about when the film hits theaters in May of 2013

The stuff with Kirk and McCoy is very funny, and a nice reminder of just how strong the chemistry is with this cast.  Same with the stuff between Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock. The moment they bring in the main theme by Michael Giacchino is perfect, lovely and thrilling at the same time. I really love the look of these films, and the alien world is beautifully realized, as is the London of the future. I like that we pick up with the crew in the middle of an adventure and we see how they’ve come together now with the time that has passed since the end of the first film. Abrams and his screenwriting team, Robert OrciAlex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, all seem to get the dynamic that makes Kirk, Spock, and McCoy such great archetypes.


But what I can say is that I was impressed with what I saw in two ways. Firstly this looked like nothing seen before in Trek. Most of the first nine minutes were shot with IMAX cameras and seeing that in IMAX 3D truly is extraordinary. The quality of the visual imagery was on par with The Dark Knight Rises. Also some of the shots shown used 3D to great effect. It wasn’t in your face, but it really brought you in to the strange new world presented in this opening segment. The second way this preview is like nothing scene in Trek before was the scale of the thing. Even more than the 2009 Star Trek, it is just a treat to see the universe that we love so much realized in such a grand (and expensive) way.

And the sounds are equally as impressive as the visuals. Once again the same gang of best in class sound designers (including Academy Award winner Ben Burtt) are on the case. Also the preview features all new music by Michael Giacchino (another Oscar-winner). The music at times was original for Into Darkness, but then there were also flourishes which called back to some of the musical cues and themes from 2009′s Star Trek, including when we see an exciting (and surprising) reveal of the USS Enterprise. 


While the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness doesn’t really explain much of Cumberbatch’s character, of whom we see for a second, we still want more. Between Giacchino’s score and what’s going on with the Enterprise crew, it gets your adrenaline pumping but still holds enough mystery to keep you intrigued on how the movie’s main events will unfold. Before the footage was shown Abrams said that there’s ‘…a lot of intensity, a little bit of gloom but a lot of fun.’ You definitely get that right off the bat and we can’t wait to check out more. 


What’s revealed in the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t so much telling as it is intriguing, moreso for the Trek fans out there who’ll get every little familiar line of dialogue and nod to the O.G. Trek series, of which there are many. But fair warning, Trekkies: Judging from this tease and the footage Paramount has already released, Abrams knows that you’re reading into every little clue — and he’s playing you like a violin.

Here’s why: Star Trek Into Darkness opens in a prologue, in a beautifully shot, blue-tinged London, Stardate 2259.55. A couple (Noel Clarke and Nazneen Contractor) wake up and drive their hover car to visit their child in the hospital. We don’t know their names, or hear them speak, but we wonder; could their last name possibly, just possibly, be Singh?


Trust me, if you loved Abrams’ first Star Trek, you’re going to be extremely happy watching this footage.

Cinema Blend:

The footage also did an impressive job showing off the power of IMAX and 3D. While I never got the sense of vertigo that I felt while watching Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol last year, the amount that the giant format adds to the scope is unquestionable. Furthermore, Abrams certainly seems to be taking advantage of the extra dimension as well. More than just bits of sparks and ash coming out at the camera, the director isn’t above playing with the ‘it’s coming right at you!’ experience of 3D.

Badass Digest:

The one clever moment in the footage came next; one of Pitt’s daughters has a talking doll that counts. It begins counting as we watch the victim of the ‘zombie’ begin the process of ‘re-animating.’ It takes 12 seconds to go from bitten to utter spastic with yellow pupils.

Everything else was dead generic, though. It could have been any ‘panic in the streets’ movie, and the bloodlessness (which, again, could be related to the unfinished FX, although I suspect it’s because they’re shooting for a ridiculous PG-13) made it all the more uninteresting. The footage felt like the opening cinematic of some kind of a cheap zombie game full of crummy Quicktime Events. Nothing I saw told me why I wanted to bother seeing 90 to 100 more minutes of the same thing.

L.A. Times:

The clip opens with a sequence set in futuristic London, with a couple visiting a comatose girl at a children’s hospital, and Cumberbatch’s character informing the distraught father that he possesses the ability to cure the child.

Cut to Class M Planet Nibiru, where Kirk (Chris Pine) and Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) are running through a field of red trees and diving into vibrant blue waters, attempting to flee from a tribe of aliens who, it seems, are on the verge of extinction unless the crew of the Enterprise can prevent that volcano from exploding.

It’s Spock who’s in a position to deploy a device designed to render the eruption inert, but he finds himself perilously close to death standing on a rock inside the volcano amid rivers of lava.

Also seen in the sequence are John Cho as Mr. Sulu, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty and Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

There was certainly no shortage of spectacle, which bodes well for fans of the franchise.


The introduction indicates that the film does not pick up directly after the end of the first film – instead it shows that the starship Enterprise is already into its mission, and that the crew has been working together for a while. The relationships seem more established – and Kirk is put into a position where he must choose between the needs of the many or the needs of the few. It also depicts the USS Enterprise in a situation we haven’t seen before, and we have no doubt that Trekkies will debate the viability of the ship’s ability to function in this environment.

As to the impact of the IMAX prologue/preview… did it knock the crowd in attendance off its collective seat? I’d have to say no. However… it did leave us all wanting more and was ultimately successful as a result. The opening minutes of the first Star Trek film are incredibly difficult to top, and the Into Darkness prologue did not have the impact of the similar preview of The Dark Knight three years ago.

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