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 TrekMovie.com:
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.
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.
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Enterprise art from The Light Works