Zachary Quinto as Spok in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
We're down to less than four weeks until the theatrical release of "Star Trek Into Darkness," and with the breathtaking countdown comes a new clip that reveals one of the more hair-raising moments of J.J. Abrams's highly anticipated sequel.
The new clip is actually part of the footage that screened before IMAX prints of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" this past holiday season, so some readers will already be familiar with this scene that puts the Chief Science Officer of the Enterprise in quite the conundrum. The clip features Spock (Zachary Quinto) smack dab in the middle of a very active volcano, where he's evacuated a device and commenced a countdown that will trigger a chain reaction to render the volcano inert. Unfortunately, it will also render him inert, as the ever-optimistic Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) points out.
Logic, of course, will keep Spock right where he is, despite the protests of James Kirk (Chris Pine). Even if the Enterprise were to withstand the heat of the volcano in an attempted rescue, the ship would in turn reveal itself to the location's indigenous species, which would violate the Prime Directive of Starfleet: there can be no interference with the internal development of alien civilizations. While Kirk and McCoy frantically tell Spock that he'll die if they don't attempt a rescue, the Vulcan replies with a very familiar line: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
Spock is, of course, paraphrasing himself here ... or, more accurately, saying the original line that his older self will later paraphrase in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (don't think about that too hard -- it's more a fun observation than an accurate one, at least in regards to the series' continuity and alternate timelines). In that film, Spock sacrificed his life to save the crew of the Enterprise and had one final exchange with Kirk:
Spock: Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh ...
Kirk: ... the needs of the few.
Spock: Or the one.
So, yeah, the last time Spock said something like that, he died. Is Zachary Quinto's Spock in "Star Trek Into Darkness" headed for the same destiny, or can the Enterprise save him in time?
“The darkness is real in this movie," Abrams said in a recent Playboy interview. "It’s incredibly challenging and terrifying, and it can certainly be lethal," he warned. "You need that edge, partly because 'Star Trek' has been so relentlessly parodied over the years."
It's not all gloom and impending doom in the new clip, though. Simon Pegg's Scotty, noticeably absent from the Benedict Cumberbatch-heavy trailers, delivers some comical bits here, including a double-take at the sight of a giant fish swimming past the Enterprise's window and a trademark "Scotty moment" in which he panics about some engineering-related issue. He's also sporting a much more traditional Scotty hairstyle in this film. Apparently, his extended time on the Enterprise has involved the discovery of a comb.
Zoe Saldana as Uhura in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
Finally, Uhura is notably the most distressed Enterprise crew member in this situation, which has us thinking that the relatively underplayed romance between her and Spock from the first film is going to be a bit more obvious in the sequel ... and probably much more intense. Abrams concurs. "Part of the fun of our first movie was playing with the idea that Uhura and Spock were a couple. This movie takes that further and asks how that’s possible. Why would she be interested in that kind of guy, and why would she put up with him? It’s obvious what he would like about her. I mean, it’s f---ing Zoë Saldana," he told Playboy.
Anyway, ultimately the clip does what any good "Star Trek Into Darkness" clip has been doing for the past several months: raise more tantalizing questions than answers. We'll finally be able to see where all of this is going when the film opens in IMAX on May 15 and non-IMAX theaters on May 17.
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