‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Press Screening Reveals Spoilers

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 8th, 2013 at 7:45 am,

star trek2 Star Trek Into Darkness Press Screening Reveals Spoilers

[Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’]

Based on the action-packed trailers and featurettes for the film, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is going to boldly go where no Star Trek film has gone before…in terms of all out spectacle, anyway. But will the movie deliver a story that both regular audiences and hardcore Trekkies can get behind?

The answer to that question depends largely on Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, John Harrison. Harrison, who is described as a “one man weapon of mass destruction” is one of Star Trek’s best kept secrets. Despite months of speculation around who the character is – from a reimagining of Khan to a character that goes even further back in the Star Trek mythos – the folks at Paramount have done a pretty good job of keeping his motivations under wraps.

That being said, Abrams and Cumberbatch have both taken time recently to talk about the character in broader terms. In a recent interview for the new issue of Total Film (via Comic Book Movie), Abrams explained how Harrison is a different villain than the first film’s vengeful Romulan, Nero.

“[Nero] was just a raging, vengeful lunatic. All he wanted to do was destroy Vulcan, Earth and the Federation…He had backstory but was kind of irrational. The beauty of Benedict’s [John Harrison] is that he’s completely rational. He’s someone that you can have conversations with. You couldn’t sit down and talk to Nero – he’d bite your head off!”

In the same article, Cumberbatch also weighs in on his character, mostly to describe his fighting ability, saying “he’s a kick-ass warrior, as masterful with his hands and body as he is with weapons” and that fans “will have a great discovery” about his character during the film.

Star Trek 2 Questions Mysteries Star Trek Into Darkness Press Screening Reveals Spoilers

While that “discovery” may still have to wait until the film hits theaters on May 17th, thanks to a recent press screening of the movie in Brazil, many other plot questions have now been answered.

A recent article at the Brazilian website Judao.com.br (which was spotted by TrekMovie.com) lays out many of the details of the beginning of the film. Needless to say, the rest of this article contains MAJOR SPOILERS about what happens to Captain Kirk and crew in the new movie.

Sprinkled among minor things like a description of a scene where Kirk is in bed with two “cat people” (meow, indeed), there are a number of important spoilers that came out of the press screening. One of the biggest reveals is the identity of Peter Weller’s character. According to the report, Weller will play “Admiral Marcus” who, presumably, is the father of Alice Eve’s character, Carol Marcus.

In the recently released prequel comic book series for the movie, former Enterprise captain Robert April says that his First Officer was named “Alex Marcus.” Could the characters be one in the same? It seems likely, and, if so, could explain some of the plot.

Speaking of the comic book series, here’s a little more information about Robert April. According to the comic book, Robert April decides to ignore the Prime Directive (which states that the federation cannot interfere with alien civilizations) in order to help the inhabitants of planet Phaedus IV, who are being slaughtered by the dominant race on the planet. Rather than turning him in, Alex Marcus allows April to stay and covers up for him with Starfleet. (Hat tip to ComicBook.com for the summary.)

As Hit Fix‘s Drew McWeeny speculated last year, there’s another angle to the Robert April character that makes things even more interesting (and complicated). In his article, Drew references an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series called “The Counter-Clock Incident,” in which Robert April saves the crew from a disease that causes them to age backwards.

I’ll let Drew take it from here:

Meanwhile, in the books, April is revealed to be someone who came from Coventry in England. You know England, right? That’s where London is. You remember why that matters right? Because of the one-sheet looking out on the London skyline.

And the opening of the film, which you’ll see at the IMAX presentation, features a moment where Cumberbatch offers to help a family whose daughter is hospitalized in the London Children’s Hospital. So it seems like England is important to this April character. Hmmmm. And why does the daughter need help? Because she appears to be prematurely aging.

[In some books], Pike is April’s second-in-command. So what if something happened to April on a mission somewhere with Pike. It didn’t have to be on the Enterprise as long as the two of them were serving together. And what if something terrible happened to April because of Pike and Pike came home and went on with his life? What if April is the one who comes to Earth, not for revenge on Kirk, but for revenge on Pike?

Now I’m the one speculating, but what if there’s some plot twist that involves April, Marcus, and Pike? Perhaps Pike was in some way responsible for whatever happened to April and now, through some anti-aging process, he’s come back younger and stronger and seeking revenge (meaning John Harrison is just a pseudonym). Meanwhile, his old friend Marcus is helping him get to Pike and the Enterprise.

Star Trek Into Darkness Spock in Volcano Suit 570x341 Star Trek Into Darkness Press Screening Reveals Spoilers

Okay – my head hurts. Anyway, onto the next spoiler. You know how the crew is running around like crazy in the opening volcano sequence? Well, in order to get Spock out of a jam, it looks like Captain Kirk has to also violate the Prime Directive by revealing the Enterprise to the inhabitants of Nibiru. Because of this action, Kirk is demoted to First Officer and replaced by the returning Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood). Meanwhile, Spock is transferred to a different ship.

Why isn’t Kirk sent all the way back to the Academy, like Pike wants? Because Admiral Marcus insists on merely demoting Kirk to First Officer. (There’s Marcus again, mucking things up for Pike.) Okay, that’s the end of the spoilers.

What do you think of this new information? Are you able to connect the pieces any better than I was? Are you still as excited to see Star Trek Into Darkness when it comes out in two months? Let us know in the comments.

Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters May 17th, 2013.

Source: Total Film [via Comic Book Movie] & Judao.com.br [via TrekMovie.com]

Follow Rob Frappier on Twitter @robfrappier
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  1. All the what-if’s listed above regarding April and Marcus just about put me to sleep. These are side characters that would be cool to see in a normal timeline adhering to normal canon…but in this altered universe, the names mean even less. And the general public wouldn’t know Where to begin.

    You can’t get the full value of a franchise’s past if you have altered the timeline.

    And London. London is so… not Trek.

    • Agreed! As a tradionalist, I hated the altered timeline in the first film. Actually, the only thing I really liked about the movie was Leonard Nimoy. Having said that, I’ll sit through this one on DVD.

      • boo….

        • cody, are you a ghost?

    • Khan you dig it?????
      What happens to John Harrison in the end, they just let him go?

    • Agreed. If anything, it should be in San Francisco…where Starfleet Headquarters has always been.

  2. Wasn’t Pike promoted to Admiral in the 1st film? The whole thing sounds like a disinfo to me.

    • He has the right to choose his own ship. That’s probably why.

    • I thought Robert April was originally one of the names considered for the character of Christopher Pike? I’m confused and they’re messing with my childhood (again!) to make a buck! No thank you, Mr. Abrams..

  3. Great write up.

    It would be interesting if he did turn out to be Robert April.

  4. this does make the most sense…Harrison was revealed in the trailer to be helping a family member and he did have different looks throughout the previews.

  5. Wow… I don’t know what to say… Not because I am shocked… but because I didn’t understand really any of that. LOL

    • +1

  6. I’ll just wait to sit in the theatre and watch it rather than wondering about all the speculation, hearsay and general spoilering that goes on before a big blockbuster release such as this.

  7. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS. Brought to you by the writers of “Transformers” and the director of “Star iTrek”.

    • LOL @ Star iTrek

  8. Why would they spoil 40 minutes of the movie? I might as well wait to see the thing on video.

    • I agree. You should wait :)

    • Kirk was promoted and demoted throughout the original Gene Roddenberry movies. However, he was still allowed to keep his ship. And Kirk breaks the Prime Directive a lot in the Original Series, which even Captain Janeway admits in Voyager, yet he never loses his ship.

      This whole Alternate Timeline is bugging the hell out of me. And the way it’s shot is also annoying.

  9. Damn! I didn’t understand nothing :/
    I’ll better wait for the movie to come up

  10. We can officially say!


  11. Sounds confusing.

    Then again, maybe I won’t be when I watch it on TV late next year (it’s really not a movie I’d wanna pay for, the last Star Trek movie I saw in theatres was that one where Picard was turned into a Borg, I just have no patience for Trek at all and there are far better movies to throw my money at).

  12. Has anyone stopped to consider that this could be misinformation? Why would J.J Abrams and Paramount allow the media to watch 30 minutes without signing a non-disclosure agreement? Why would J.J Abrams and Paramount shroud the production in secrecy, just to blow it with two months to go?

    • Did you know that Jerry Goldsmith’s score from STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE sexually arouses me? The horns during the Klingon attack sequence…

      Well, now you do.

      • Well now you have admitted it so publicly, I don’t feel so ashamed doing the same 😉

        • Too bad you guys aren’t women, in which case I’d be pleased to have that knowledge.

  13. I don’t understand the hatred for the altered timeline. I think it was a great way to set up the Star Trek universe for younger generations and people who haven’t really followed Star Trek. It set up character back stories, and it made it so it wasn’t messing with what has happened up until now with the original show and movies. Looking forward to see what they do with it.

    • Because… we’re talking about the writers of “Transformers” here. Sure, they work hard and churn out pages but strictly speaking on an intellectual level: they’re lazy. It was a tired, lazy script. They distract you from that by shining as many bright lights into the camera as possible. A few space ships explode here and there. But is it STAR TREK? I don’t think anyone really cares judging by the ticket sales. So there you have it: it’s lazy, but no one cares. We’re apathetic, cheers!

      • Its sad that alot of whinners here want the original Trek and the normal timeline but didn’t go to the theatres to support the last Star Trek Generation movie. All you guys do is go on the internet and cry for 45 minutes about how lost your Star Trek universe is. Things change, times change and products change; as Spock says; “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”. Now I am off to reading one of my pocket book star trek novels.

  14. I don’t know enough about star trek to understand any of the above.

    so, does this mean Ricardo Montalban won’t be in this one?


    • No, there will be no Khan. Khan was never part of Starfleet, so this cannot be him.

  15. I sincerely hope that they do not incorporate any promotions or demotions in this one. The biggest gripe I had with the first one is how Kirk goes from a cadet, on suspension, to first officer then captain in the span of a day.

    • This was a stretch despite how they explained it, and supposedly backpedal in the next film. However, one lasting criticism of trek casts, especially during all out war like on ds9, is that nobody dies and nobody gets promoted. A real soldier can tell you that promotions occur faster during wartime because people keep dying. In the last film it took the death of a fleet full of ships with their crews and captains before Kirk was given command and sent right into the fray that killed his forebears. There is some level of effort to make sense of the absurdity, and the sequel may improve that element. Still, the whole demotion thing is rather old and done to me.

  16. What an utter load of crap.

  17. No shock that Weller won’t be playing Paxton, but it’s still dissapointing. The cat people were in the animated series and I can’t quite recall their name… Somebody will say it soon and I will recognize it. It was a fictional name though, and not just “space pussies” or Kitty-yanians. There’s a joke waiting to be told, but I’ll pass.

    Who would have thought they’d heavily mine the animated series for characters and guest aliens? Odd choice. I think the strength of it will be in how stand-alone entertaining it is, because almost nobody cares who Robert April is. Plus, if he is just returned younger wouldnt he be easily recognized by far more than just his old friend Robocop? All of this article sounds plausible and interesting, if not entirely thrilling, accept for this question and the issue of his powers. Could Talosians be involved? Why would getting younger connect to him pulling spaceships out of the sky? Some rather large questions are unanswered, but in the category of Khan speculation I heard a quote in the last preview where the villain says he is “better at everything.”. That is once again so deliberately a Khan reference that I still believe that either he is Khan or they have tried very very hard to make some of us think he is. It’s up there with the hands on the glass scene and the shots of the villain in a Starfleet uniform and in a ridge-necked jacket. Very specifically Khan. If its not really him then all these references sure seem out of place, built into an unrelated story.

    Since we have already had a few stories where the crew gets old, I hope that isn’t the climax of the movie. Of course they could have Shatner and Nimoy return for cameos before they all healed back to young. Sounds forced to me though.

    • The “cat people” were the Kzin (or “Kzinti”), a deliberate insertion by the animated series episode, Larry Niven, of one the more important races from his Known Space novel (i.e., Ringworld, Fleet of Worlds, etc.)

  18. The first movie was brilliant. I loved the time line angle and yes, I am a fan of the original series and every series since. The new cast is great and I am very much looking forward to seeing them together again. These spoilers are great and it wouldnt be a bad thing if they came true.

    To all of you so called purists, The Original Series, The Next Generation, and other ST series are on Netflix streaming. Eat your heart out.

    • How open minded of you! I agree. You have to dig what you can and try not to suffer when you get let down. I like the response given to fans who are furious that all trek history has been changed. I think it was the director who said that not only are the stories not invalidated, but those DVDs on your shelf are all still there too. Also as a fan wh stuck with Enterprise through the rough years until it became great, (too late to save it), I like that it is the only series in a sense that is untouched by the changes. For all we know, this Kirk and the old one have the exact same NX-01 history. Talk about pissing off the purists! Works for me though. Funny how some Trekkies brag about missing a series,,as though having no interest or faith in the production makes them better, purer fans than people who actually enjoyed the ride. I enjoy thoroughly, and criticize constantly, all forms of Trek. Lucky me.

  19. Here is a little message to all you so called “purist.” J.J. Abrams has had about 4 hours worth of movie time to get as much Star Trek out as he can, where Roddenberry has several tv seasons to build up Trek. If Abrams can make a good Star Trek trilogy and rebuild enough of the fan base up, I’m sure he (or someone off the production team) will bring Trek back to tv. When that happens, all the “purist” will get there exploration/science themed episodes. All the successful Trek films were action themed and all the successful tv shows were science/exploration themed. Plus, I like the change in direction Abrams has brought. I always felt that the original Enterprise was way too small and that its interior didn’t reflect the small size of the ship but something the size of the Enterprise D (remember Star Trek V… deck 50???). I still dislike the whole bridge window concept, but I’ll take what Abrams gave us. If Abrams did the same old trek, the movie would have flopped and Star Trek would have died, no matter how many people play Star Trek online (which I think has the ugliest ship designs ever). Oh, and speaking of Star Trek online, isn’t a lot of that battle oriented? Yet it has a huge following. Anyways, glad J.J. is doing what he’s doing, because if “purist” had it their way, we would have been stuck with another Star Trek: the Motion Sickness… I mean, Picture.

    • I don’t know if I’m a purist, but I am a big fan with a lot of opinions, and I like most of what you said. It’s true that the movies are always action oriented, and you’d never get a slow, character-driven, meditative, science heavy story that illuminates the characters, universe and genre the way some great episodes have done. That wouldn’t sell to the general public, and people seem to forget or not realize that these films cost way too much to be aimed at Trekkies alone. The audience must always be larger than that, and so every film is stand alone to some degree, and not built on the esoteric minutiae that I might personally enjoy.

      But whereas the films fill the role you suggest, the episodes do not. Granted they hit the opposite end of the spectrum from the movies, but they also attempt, with limited budget, to do the same things as the movies at times, and a whole lot of other stuff along the way. Episodes are not confined to the pattern of science and exploration, but are free to be more flexible with the material because the format allows it. There are for instance many comedic episodes, (though vastly fewer than alien encounters of course), as well as action heavy explosive eps, quiet and moody “show in a box” eps that save money but often provide great character moments, crossovers, flashbacks, brushes with history, alternate realities, etc. This freedom and frequency is one of the strengths of weekly Trek, and while I know too much to expect a non-action-oriented film anytime soon, I also want more than anything for a series to return the franchise to what it does best. That, in my opinion, is to digest and explore larger ideas, and lots of them, with more room given to characters and stories than to swashbuckling explosion-packed roller coaster rides for the whole family.

      So it’s fine with me that the movies are what they are, but it’s not so cool that there is no other star trek for years and years to cover the other 80% of what makes it cool and compelling. If this is the road to a new series, than I can be a little patient. A few years ago I couldn’t see a feasible, economically viable series being made. Trek was losing money and fans and general interest. Now maybe they will grow bolder and attempt to bring it home again. Soon, I hope.

  20. Although the alternate timeline presented in the first J.J. Abrams Trek film gives much flexibilty for storylines for this new francise, it still wouldn’t change the existence of the charcter of Khan(including his history). Also, the scene in the trailer showing what appeared to be “Cryo Tubes” could further suggest that the Cumberbatch villian is in fact Khan. For the sake of argument, what if one of the characters(Admiral Marcus)was in on the discovery of the tubes and the main villians true identity. We know from classic Trek what Khans motivation would be for “Vengence”. Combine that with having an high ranking insider in Star Fleet, and it would give Khan the intel he would need to create such devastation to the Fleet. In conclusion, even if Abrams is giving out disinfo and for all we know it could be a character from the Trek francise that only hardcore trekkies would know of, I still think that Cumberbatch being eventually revealed as Khan(even with powers that the original one didn’t have), is the most likely conclusion.

    • They are trying very hard to convince us it’s Khan,even if it is not. the tubes may or may not be cryo pods. They could just be escape pods. There is talk of Kirk making a big mistake, and getting people killed. Also recall that the writer wanted to destroy the ship last time, and in a rare moment of restraint they were asked by higher-ups not to do that. If they destroy the shi this time, it could be a disaster hung on Kirk, but it would give a new energy to the next film having the audience expect a new Enterprise. I expect some connections between the next two films, and this is a distinct possibility.

      You are mistaken about Khan’s history though. Sure, he’s a bit bitter when Kirk and crew find him, seeing as how he controlled a third of the Earth in the 1990’s and now he’s a Eugenic Popsicle on a derelict space freighter, but he isn’t exactly “wrathful.”. That extra kick came from Kirk, the insultingly unevolved adversary, stranding him on a brutal planet to fend for his survival. Rather than returning to Cet Alpha Five to check on the development of this “space seed”, they pay so little attention to him that they don’t realize the solar system is in deadly upheaval. What was intended to be a challenging existence becomes a truly pitiful one. Khan’s people starve and get murdered by giant, brain-controlling ear wigs, including his Beloved Wife, and Khan gets so close to insanity that he actually believes he has met Chekov before, despite the character’s absence on the Enterprise during their encounter with him. So when he finally gets free, he has been seething over Shatner for decades. Since new Kirk has never met the man, he has no relationship at all with him. Khan is still floating out there, unless Old Spock told them where to find him. Therefor any “wrath” will be tough to explain at this point. Still, it could be Khan. Or it could be a Klingon.

  21. The Cumberbatch character is obviously not Khan or Gary Mitchell.
    He is obviously an employee of a 23rd century electric company who is determined to turn off all electricity in Star Trek, because the Federation is negligent in paying its utility bill. Hence the title, Star Trek INTO DARKNESS.

  22. Well, all I can say is I hope that’s not the case. Aging backwards? Really? The former captain of the Enterprise on a rampage? Doesn’t sound all that epic to me. While I really enjoy character development, becz its a movie rather than series, we really need something spectacular to drive the characters.. and Robert April ain’t it.

  23. Khan lets Kirk catch him, khan joins Kirk in taking the uss vengeance and then after being chased around and fighting spock agrees to bring back Captain Kirk with his blood. Sounds to me that Kirk owes khan a great deal! And should be best buds