The increased action that J.J. Abrams will be employing with Star Trek: Into Darkness won't just make for some impressive pyrotechnics, but will put Kirk and his crew to their most difficult test yet. Action aside, one of the most endearing and consistently entertaining features of Captain James T. Kirk isn't his combat prowess, but his appreciation for women regardless of their species or planet.
Though the Star Trek reboot had Kirk's advances spurned by Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Alice Eve will be giving the Captain a legitimate leading lady in the form of Dr. Carol Marcus, but unfortunately for romance fans (and those hoping the movie will follow the original canon), it doesn't sound like love will be in the air.
Fans of the original Star Trek series and films will recognize 'Dr. Carol Marcus' as the name of the eventual mother of Jim Kirk's children - leading many to believe that the same narrative and relationship will be continued in the next film.
It's too early to say just how much of a romance we'll see between Kirk and Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), but Chris Pine did provide a few comments to MTV when asked if he and Eve's character would get a chance for romance amidst the chaos:
"What I will say about the film is that so much happens, with the action, the plot, the current of it is so fast, there's really not much time for Kirk to do anything other than save the crew and save his own ass, because danger is imminent, and all that. But clearly, Kirk being Kirk, Kirk loves a blonde, and Alice is a beautiful woman, so the flirting and the connection is there. I'll leave it to the people who watch to see how far it goes. But what she adds to it...her scientific knowledge and her education, scientifically speaking, plays a big part in helping solve the crisis."
Much as been made of the internal turmoil that Benedict Cumberbatch's villain, 'John Harrison' will be sowing among the crew of the Enterprise, and how he isn't necessarily a 'typical bad guy.' For instance, we know from the nine-minute IMAX Prologue that Harrison informs Dr. Carol Marcus that he is able to heal a dying young girl under her care.
Given his apparent powers (evidenced in the teaser trailer) that's not too surprising, but this might be a hint at the types of rifts Cumberbatch claims his villain will be forming within Starfleet, possessing the ability to both destroy and heal.
Dissent among the crew would also challenge Kirk's leadership, as few are likely to be as clearly motivated as himself, having likely lost his mother in the attacks on Earth. Should that be the case, it would explain what Pine meant when stating that in this film, there's no question that Kirk will "earn" his command, exercising his authority over the conflicted consciences of his officers.
Could that task come at the cost of a relationship between himself and Dr. Marcus? Could this be another case of this timeline straying from the original and denying Marcus and Kirk a child?
Romance or no, the opportunity for infighting and disagreement among the crew is more than welcome, especially if it pushes Pine's Kirk into territory rarely explored aboard the (first and foremost) military vessel. The cast, special effects, action and visual style proved to be a winning combination for J.J. Abrams and company the first time around, so a stronger, "bolder" story is likely all that's needed to keep fans happy and advance the plot.
If you've still got questions, we'd recommend reading over our in-depth analysis of the Into Darkness teaser. It doesn't answer all our questions (where does Project Genesis fit in?) but it's a start.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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