The first official plot synopsis of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness” hit the Internet today. Not surprisingly, the synopsis is loaded with plenty of tantalizing mysteries.
Here is the synopsis, courtesy Zap2it:
In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Depending on how you read between the lines, the synopsis still points to Benedict Cumberbatch playing either the famed villain Khan or the lesser known foe Gary Mitchell.
As the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog notes, the term “one-man weapon of mass destruction” seems to indicate that British actor will take assume the role famously originated by Ricardo Montalban as Khan Noonien Singh, the genetically engineered superman who battled Kirk in the original series episode “Space Seed” and the second feature film, “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.”
Hero Complex also points to the synopsis’ use of the phrase “epic chess game of life and death” as a sign of the second coming of Khan, since Kirk and Spock (William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) ultimately were able to use their three-dimensional chess experience to outwit the baddie.
However, Zap2It notes that the synopsis has a few subtle hints – particularly the notion of “an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization” – that seem to support the idea that Cumberbatch will play Gary Mitchell, who appeared in the original “Star Trek” series episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
Mitchell was a good friend of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) at Starfleet Academy. Mitchell developed powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities and begin to regard himself as a god, forcing Kirk to kill him.
The problem is that “Trek” writer Roberto Orci already denied over the summer that Cumberbatch would play Mitchell. Of course, he did that after Karl Urban got all the Mitchell talk started when he dropped in the name in an interview.
Nine minutes of the sequel will be screened before IMAX 3-D screenings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when that film opens on Dec. 14, which hopefully should give us more insight into the coming “Trek” adventure.
“Star Trek Into Darkness”flies theaters on May 17, 2013. In a June interview while promoting their drama “People Like Us,” co-writer Alex Kurtzman and “Star Trek” star Chris Pine gave me a hint of what to expect in the sequel:
“What was really kind of fun for all of us on the first movie is that we basically got to show the bridge crew coming together. And I think that the mistake that we didn’t want to make in the sequel was assuming that just because they’re together they’re the finely tuned machine that you fell in love (with) from the original series. They still have a lot of work and a lot of growing to get to that place,” Kurtzman said.
“So it’s a lot of fun I think to watch the characters struggle through a lot of insanely huge challenges. I can certainly speak to the scope of the movie — and as big as the first one was, the second one’s even bigger. And the key for all of us was making sure we were holding on to character the whole time, but I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
“I think the film takes people on a journey from Point A to Point B, and Kirk is still on his way to Z, let’s say. He’s still on his way to becoming the captain that we all know him to be,” Pine added.
“So you’ll probably find pieces of that rebellious Kirk in the new installment, but I think really what Kirk’s personal adventure is about is learning how to be a captain, learning what it means to be a leader of men and women, learning what it means to be a true, responsible kind of fully realized man in a position of incredible responsibility.
“I think the (special) effects and explosions are just as great if not greater in this new installment, but I think it’s matched by really strong and really interesting character development.”