I’m sure those of you who have been reading my recent movie reviews over at Aleteia have figured out by now how the deal works over there. I spend most of the article talking about the film (as spoiler free as possible) and then provide a brief paragraph or two touching lightly on a Christian theme that may have presented itself during the movie. It’s similar to what I’ve been doing here, but the reviews are shorter and not quite as heavy on the catechetical material.
That’s fine for most movies, but every now and then I run across one I wish I could blab a little longer on. Take Star Trek Into Darkness for example. While I was able to say what I wanted to about the film’s intended moral theme (just response during warfare), the no-spoiler policy and the allowed length of the article prevented me from going off on a tangent I really, really wanted to. Well, there are no such restrictions on this site, so… it’s tangent time! Now I won’t rehash what I thought of Into Darkness here because you can read all that over at Aleteia, but I am going to spoil stuff I didn’t get to in that review. So, if you don’t want to have some of the plot twists revealed before seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, it might be best to skip the rest of this post.
Alright then, let’s get Star Trekkin’…
Okay, if you’re still here that means you either already know that Khan Noonien Singh is the villain (at least one of them) in the latest movie, or you don’t mind learning it beforehand. Star Trek Into Darkness is basically J.J. Abrams’ take on the Star Seed episode of the original series with lots of visual and verbal cues from The Wrath of Khan thrown in to try and add some emotional gravitas to an otherwise lightweight script. Obviously, thanks to the changes to the timeline which occurred in the previous film, how Kirk and his crew come to meet Khan and how that encounter resolves itself is vastly different from the first time around.
But that’s where the changes end apparently. As I noted in my review at Aleteia, “after taking great pains in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek to establish an alternate timeline (and therefore an uncertain future) for the crew of the USS Enterprise, the writers of Into Darkness appear to have decided some of the previous canon is too sacred to be messed with after all. As a result, things written with the intention of being shocking twists really aren’t, the ending is telegraphed midway through the film, and some plot points make little sense outside of the fact that they have to occur in order to set up future events which didn’t necessarily even have to happen anymore (or so Abrams’ first Star Trek movie would have suggested).”
In short, the writers of Into Darkness decided that The Wrath of Khan was sacrosanct, so even though the new film is set in an alternate timeline, everything that occurs in the new movie does so to ensure that The Wrath of Khan as we know it will come to pass. That’s sweet, but it requires a bunch of increasingly ridiculous plot points in order to make it happen. Don’t even get me started on the blood serum McCoy develops which basically makes it now possible for everyone in the 23rd century to become Wolverine. (I was going to get into a number of the plot holes this movie inflicts upon the franchise, but then I noticed they’ve already