The promotional still released by Paramount that showed new antagonist John Harrison surrounded by redshirts more or less sums up the general vibe coming off the marketing for Star Trek: Into Darkness – we know that something very bad is going to happen, even if we don’t know the specifics.

As the trailers for the film have shown, the crew of the Enterprise chase down John Harrison after he sets off a series of explosions in London, and the final trailer implies that even the USS Enterprise itself may become a casualty of war.

Speaking to the LA Times, several weeks before the recent attack at the Boston Marathon, Chris Pine (who plays James T. Kirk in the rebooted franchise) says that the atrocities perpetrated by John Harrison in the film were directly influenced by the same terrorism that manifests itself in real life.

“This film is about earthbound terror. It’s about terrorism, about issues we as human beings in 2013 deal with every day, about the exploitation of fear to take advantage of a population, about physical violence and destruction but also psychological manipulation. John Harrison is a terrorist in the mold of those we’ve become accustomed to in this day and age.”

Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness Star Trek Into Darkness: Zachary Quinto & Chris Pine on Friendship, Villains, & Volcanoes

A lot of the marketing so far has been centred around Benedict Cumberbatch’s Harrison (if that is his real name) and his chilling threats to Kirk and his superiors. This is the first time that Cumberbatch will be seen in a full-blown bad guy role, and since nothing sets up a hero’s journey like a really good villain, there’s a lot riding on the relationship between Harrison and Kirk.

The other crucial dynamic of the film is the friendship between Kirk and Spock, and Zachary Quinto gave a brief outline of what we can expect to see from the two of them in this film, as well as from the rest of the Enterprise crew.

“In this movie, Kirk really needs to learn how to be a captain, not just sit in the captain’s chair, and Spock needs to learn how to be a friend, not just be accountable and reliable and responsible. In the first movie, it was about all of us coming together, unifying to defeat an enemy. This movie is more about the way an enemy splits us apart. We have to divide in order to conquer in this film.”

The description could be interpreted to mean emotional fractures caused by the stress of the task ahead of them, or it could literally mean that we’ll see the crew blown apart and scattered by battle – working to defeat Harrison through multiple subplots. Perhaps both will be true; the first full clip from Star Trek: Into Darkness showed Spock stranded on an erupting volcano and sounding surprisingly calm about it, even as everyone onboard the Enterprise yells at him to forget about the Prime Directive. The clip ends with Bones telling Kirk that, if he were in Spock’s place, Spock would let him die.

Zachary Quinto in Star Trek Into Darkness meditating in a volcano Star Trek Into Darkness: Zachary Quinto & Chris Pine on Friendship, Villains, & Volcanoes

The curse of logic aside, the volcano scene also presented a number of other challenges, and Quinto says that a lot of the fire effects that are shown onscreen were real:

“You can’t even imagine how elaborate this set was. Lava rocks, smoke, fire machines, sparks. I had to communicate with a speaker inside my helmet…. It was meditative in a way. I got real quiet and real still.”

Keeping still is probably advisable when you’re standing on a rock in a sea of boiling lava, though I doubt it’s a scenario that many people would describe as “meditative.”

Despite their personas in the film, Pine apparently has “many more Spockian qualities than … Kirkian qualities.” He jokes that when they first met, Quinto was expecting him to be a dumb blond, and Quinto concedes that he was, “impressed by [Pine’s] intelligence, which isn’t always the case with such a traditional leading man.” Hopefully we’ll get to see that Pine is more than just a pretty face when he returns to play Kirk, and Star Trek: Into Darkness will be every bit the thrilling adventure that it looks like from the trailers.

Star Trek: Into Darkness will get an advance release in select 3D/IMAX cinemas on May 15, 2013 and is out on general theatrical release from May 17.

Source: LA Times

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