New ‘Star Trek 2′ Synopsis Highlights What We Love About Captain Kirk

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Star Trek Abrams Enterprise Art The Light works New Star Trek 2 Synopsis Highlights What We Love About Captain Kirk

After two teaser trailers and nine minutes of IMAX footage, much of the story and new characters in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness remain shrouded in mystery. We know the sequel takes place six months after the events of Star Trek where James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) first became the Captain of the Enterprise, and we know in this sequel he will have to “earn” that position, according to Pine himself.

As for the primary antagonist of the film played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), all we know is that he’s angry, he’s seemingly superhuman, and he’s suspiciously named John Harrison. The official Star Trek Into Darkness synopsis released last month described Harrison as a “one man weapon of mass destruction,” but a new, updated synopsis from Paramount Pictures may throw a little twist on the plot.

The original synopsis:

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.

The new, updated synopsis from

In Summer 2013, director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.

In the wake of a shocking act of terror from within their own organization, the crew of The Enterprise is called back home to Earth. In defiance of regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice.

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.

The beginning and end are nearly the same, but the middle paragraph is slightly different. The John Harrison character, shown in the trailers jumping high in the air and dispatching several Klingons in melee combat, is again depicted by description to be a highly sought-after weapon, but that same sentence potentially hints that he may not be responsible for the betrayal on Earth behind the attack.

Star Trek Into Darkness Teaser Trailer Kirk Rifle 570x239 New Star Trek 2 Synopsis Highlights What We Love About Captain Kirk

Is that “unstoppable force of destruction” one and the same as “those responsible” for the terrorist attack on Earth? According to the first synopsis, yes. The tricky change in wording led to some speculation but the original synopsis describes (who we assume is) Harrison as that same “force” from within their own organization (Starfleet) who is responsible and who Kirk is after.

The new bit of information added in the second synopsis however, is very fitting for the Captain Kirk character, explaining that he goes against regulation – no doubt with most of his crew on his side – to complete his mission. His “personal” score is likely due to losing someone (or more) close to him on those attacks on Earth, which explains why Paramount was very intentional in highlighting that the crew of the Enterprise is the only family he has left.

The questions remain, does losing his mother and brother set Kirk off? Will he or someone from his crew pay the ultimate sacrifice?

Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters (regular and IMAX 3D) on May 17th, 2013.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.


Enterprise art from The Light Works

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  1. I know that Kirk has a brother in TOS, but I don’t think he has one in the Abrams movies because his father died right after he was born.

    • he has a stepbrother

      • George Kirk is James’ older brother and was born before the Kelvin was destroyed. he was featured in a deleted scene from the first movie.

        • He is in the scene where young Kirk drives past him.

  2. Okay so everyone is focused on Cumberbatch’s character but what about Peter Weller? who does he play and what is his role in the whole thing? Is he John Harrison’s puppetmaster?

    • He already played a Star Trek villain in “Enterprise.” John Frederick Paxon.

      Chances are very high he may play the same character in this film.

      • Didn’t he die in Terra Prime? Thought he suffocated.

        • Doesn’t matter if he did die, because this is an alternate Star Trek Universe from the original.

          • Actually it does matter, Abrams Star Trek doesn’t diverge from the Trek timeline until well after the series Enterprise, so yes, Paxton is dead in this timeline.

  3. What if Pike dies somewhere in the beginning refreence to the funeral, and the suspect is benedict Cumberbatch;s Character, he gets put in that pod thing that he appears in the trailer and then lets hell loose while inside

  4. Perhaps James T. Kirk’s mother re-married in Abrams’ ST universe and he has a stepbrother? And just whose Corvette was that in ‘Star Trek’? Was it Kirk’s stepfather who was talking to him on the communicator as he raced down that country road telling him how much trouble he was in?

    • Yep.

    • I thought that was his brother or stepbrother he passed up on the road whilst speeding off in the stolen vette!!

      • In the deleted scenes, it is his step fathers car and it was his older step brother who he passed on the road.

        • Its actually his Fathers car and the stepfather was going to sell it. Thats why Jim stole it. George Samuel Kirk, Jr. was deleted but was called something else in the hitchhiking scene.

          • He called his brother Johnny for some reason in the film, I never quite understood that. His stepfather was originally his uncle, but they rewrote it. Probably so they wouldn’t hem themselves in if they wanted to do something different with the characters later.

            • Johnny …. Harrison?

    • As always, Spock, “logical.”

  5. Kirk dies instead of Spock. You heard it here first. That will be JJ trying to be clever…

    • He was killed by the black cloud from the island.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks that the synopsis is poorly worded?

    • Aren’t they all?

  7. Just a thought, what if through the change in the timeline, the Enterprise never encountered the Botany Bay? What if it continued on and was found by the Klingons? As a race that lives by combat and honor, the augments would certainly have some common attributes with klingons due to their genetic engineering. What if the Klingons turned out to be the “force” behind the terrorists attacks, using “John Harrison” as a tool to carry them out. Maybe he is the only augment released and they are working on freeing Khan and the rest of his people. It certainly could fit everything we’ve seen and read into a workable story in this timeline and an entertaining one as well.

    Truth is, we have no idea what the mind set of the klingons is in this alternate timeline, however, based on their actions from the original timeline, they were as devious as the romulans of the era if not more, not as clever but they were always looking for an advantage, genesis was their only real leg to stand on through this time period. Khan and the augments would definitely be a huge advantage to the klingons, especially in this alternate timeline.

    I don’t think anyone wants a Wrath of Khan remake, but using this angle (retelling) the story and making it different, but familiar would be a great way to reintroduce Khan, the klingons, Carol Marcus and everything else. This is just my opinion, but who knows!

    • They are still hostile to the federation and the federation has acknowledge this.

      Evidence by the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

      Klingons are not as devious as one may thing. They are a Warrior Race, and they do not use subterfuge as the Romulans do. Both have Cloaked ships, but whereas the Romulans are more arrogant and devious. Klingons would rather fight you to your face, with bladed weapons. The Klingons are more territorial, Romulans rather lie and use deceit to accomplish their goals. The Klingons are your honest enemy as the Romulans would be your false friend.

    • QI’yaH!!

      You did not just say Klingons had something in common with Romulans, did you?

      Hab SoSlI’ Quch!!!

      It’s been nice knowing.


      • nuq ta’ta’ SoH jatlh wIj

        What did you say about my momma?

  8. Got it. Benedict is Charlie X.

    • Even with the time line change, Charlie X would be between 8-11 years old. When they found him. Kirk assumed the command 7 year earlier in the new time line 2258 as opposed to 2265. So Charlie X would still be marooned on a deserted planet at a younger age when they found him in 2266.

      I do not think that much time has passed since the first and second movie.

  9. In the first JJ Trek, the Klingons captured the Romulans from the future including their ship. Maybe there is some tie to that with this new movie.

  10. ‘John Harrison’ is actually Finnegan from TOS episode “Shore Leave”. Bet the farm. LOL

    • I actually thought about that, but Fennigan didn’t have superhuman strength. I’m still not convinced it’s not Gary Mitchell; in this timeline, Mitchell and Kirk may not be friends. One problem would be his eyes not being silver but this is a movie, so JJ could have changed that (or Mitchell could have mentally changed his eyes).

      • @Kahless

        I have been thinking about that as well. We assumed he has super human strength. But the scene where he is jumping and swinging the BFG. Makes me wonder if he did not take place on a space station and he altered the gravity of the station to allow him to have those abilities, or he used a device to alter the gravity around him, giving him an advantage.

        • That is definitely a possibility.

  11. First of all, the personal score obviously deals with Carol Marcus in some way (I think).

    Second, “those responsible” may not be behind the attacks, but they’re (almost) certainly behind John Harrison’s “super” strength. He’s part of Starfleet, quite possibly a member of some super-soldier program, a la Captain America, gone horribly wrong. He’s (most likely) not Khan, as Khan was sealed up centuries earlier and not part of Starfleet at all (though “those responsible” may have simply been “responsible” for reviving him in response to Nero’s attack, which means it could still be Khan and the supermen).

    Third, does it seem to anyone else that Captain Picard ignored rules and regulations far more often than Captain Kirk did?

    • Eugenics or any augmentation to humans was banned. They made note of this after the Eugenic wars.

    • does it seem to anyone else that Captain Picard ignored rules and regulations far more often than Captain Kirk did?

      Not me. Kirk was the epitome of “cowboy diplomacy”. If he didn’t break the Prime Directive, he fought against other alien species (Gorn, Tholians, etc…) while Picard would try to talk his way out of a fight. Don’t get me wrong; if I had to choose which captain would defend Earth, Kirk would be it.

      • Just as long as Kirk dont try to seduce my wife…Im cool with him defending the earth.

  12. Sorry, but again… is he a “terrorist”? IE does he use violence to coax people through fear to some political end?
    I thought the villain was on a quest for revenge. Terrorist is becoming in English what “smurf” is to Smurfs.
    These synopses look like cheesy attempts to make the film relevant by having it reflect the media.

  13. From the voice-over in the trailer… it sure does seem like Khan to me.