9 Things Wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness

16 Aug

I just recently watched Star Trek Into Darkness.  It had the usual blockbuster feel to it, but as a long time fan of Star Trek, there was a lot of things that J. J. Abrams did wrong.  Here’s the list.

9: Those are Caitians?  No they’re not!

This scene gets the distinction of two nods on the wrong list, the first is more a technical aspect.  Abrams is trying to put his own stamp on things, but sorry, Star Trek has been around longer than you have.  Those twins on the screen shown to be having a trist with Kirk, those aren’t Caitians.

Caitian_twinEven the fact they were made to look more exotic by making them look “oriental” is kind of a slap in the face.  Adding a tail to something doesn’t make it the thing you want it to be.  This strikes as being incredibly lazy, because Caitians look like this:


cait1Naturally, the above image is from Star Trek: The Animated Series and pictures M’Ress, the very first character in the Star Trek universe to be identified as Caitian.  The second image is from Star Trek: The Voyage Home and is an Admiral talking with an Andorian while at James T. Kirk’s court martial.  Caitians have fur, they have ears elevated closer to the top of their head.  Star Trek Online actually made a great representation when adding Caitians to the playable race list.

caitian_unlocks_060412Eventually they added different fur colours, different mane types, and different ear tufts.

8: Kirk is not a massive sex machine.

So far in both Abrams’ attempts at reboot the original series, he’s made Kirk out to be a massive creepy letch who wants nothing more than to sleep with anyone who has boobs and a vagina.  See above, where Kiirk is in bed with two “Caitians”.  Also, see the previous movie when Kirk is sleeping with an Orion (that’s coming up in the list).  Kirk sleeping with women is a trope that is used way too much, and downplays the other qualities he has.  Kirk didn’t have this kind of libido in the original series, but it gets used as one of the (if not THE) main characteristic.  This version of Kirk is the kind of man who would have been ushered out of Starfleet thanks to numerous sexual harassment suits.

7: Use what’s been done before.

There was a lot of unnecessary stuff added to the reboot.  The Klingons are a big example.  From the way they look to the way their ships are designed.  The “new” Klingons look completely different than what has appeared in past incarnations.  We even got a big explanation for why they lost their cranial ridges in Star Trek Enterprise.  If this is to be a reboot of the original series, then lose the cranial ridges to follow cannon.   The ships chasing the Enterprise shuttle pod (really, that was a shuttle pod?) didn’t really look like Klingon cruisers.  Even the bat’leth’s looked weird.  Bottom line, there’s been stuff done before for over 40 years.  Use the cannon that’s been made, don’t reinvent the wheel.

6: Orions are NOT members of the Federation.

While Orions exist in the Star Trek universe, and yes, there might even be an Orion who might join Star Fleet, it’s incredibly rare.  Orions are members of the Orion Syndicate.  And if that sounds like the title of a criminal organization, you’re not wrong.  The Orions are basically charming and efficient space pirates (as opposed to brutal and destructive Nausicans).  And it may not be very well known, but Orion is basically a highly deceptive matriarchal society.  While Orion women are often sold in slave auctions (another very telling aspect of Orions) and seem incredibly seductive and somewhat willing to pleasure their new “masters”, Orion women are incredibly deceptive.  They give off pheromones which affect both male and female members of a ship, and create chaos (as seen in Star Trek Enterprise).  The goal is for Orion pirates to take over the ship much more easily, strip it down and take the crew to be sold at auction.  Even Orion males are lulled into a very suggestive state by Orion women.  The entire system of the Syndicate was completely developed by the women of the Orion homeworld.

So while it’s not so odd to see an Orion in Starfleet, by this time Starfleet would have ensured that she would not have had a roommate (in order to ensure that Uhuru didn’t go nuts around her), or would have developed a medical treatment to make sure that the Orion woman’s pheromones didn’t cause mass chaos.  We even see an Orion woman walking calmly down the street just before the crash landing in San Francisco.  This suggests a common occurrence of Orions visiting Earth, which in reality is incorrect.

5: Stop using overused tropes.

This one is more about Abrams reboot attempt as a whole.  Stop glorifying the tropes and showcasing them.  So far, in four hours of movie, that`s exactly what has been showcased.  The original series was so much more than just the overused tropes.  If you actually took the time to watch them, that is.  Or even read any of the technical history.  Abrams’ Star Trek strikes me as though Abrams and a team just looked on Tumblr and took all of the memes as what came before.  Admittedly, if that was the case, then we`d most likely see a more homoerotic relationship between Kirk and Spock.

From Kirk’s sexual libido, to Chekov’s appearance only so he can speak with a “Russian” accent, to Scotty’s love of whiskey.  Each and every one is an over used trope, and if that’s your movie then it’s nothing but a trope.

4: Get the spelling right!

Obviously someone decided that spelling things in the Star Trek universe was the last thing needed, or that no one would know how to pronounce things.  Abrams, here`s the thing; you`re making a Star Trek movie.  Trekkies will know, and those who don`t, they`ll be going to the theatre with a Trekkie so the Trekkie will inform them.  Don`t play the audience like their stupid.  What am I referring to?  The title shot of the Enterprise shuttle pod flying down to a planet.  The title shot says “Kronos” at the top.  Any Trekkie worth their salt would spell it like “Qo’nos”, which is how it was originally spelled.

3: Was this really necessary?

Remember the scene where Marcus and Kirk got into a shuttle to… do something.  And Marcus tells Kirk to turn around?  Was that scene even necessary?  Did we really need to see that scene?  Why does that scene exist?  Who thought “this would be really cool, ’cause BOOBS”?  Because that’s all that scene was about (and adding to the trope of Kirk’s over inflated sexual libido that seems to be the only thing about this version of Kirk, Hey Abrams, did you even watch the original series).

2: Misuse of the Prime Directive.

While captains of different Enterprises have indeed bent the rules of the Prime Directive, they never did it as flagrantly as in Star Trek Into Darkness.  And those who have, usually get shuttled out of Starfleet never to return.  Oh, Kirk has bent the Prime Directive in the past (ST: Voyage Home), but he did it in order to save the planet, thereby saving the United Federation of Planets.  And the idea of dropping the Enterprise into the ocean to hide… really?  There’s already a place where the ship could hide.  It’s called IN ORBIT!  If this is a pre-warp civilization, then it’s doubtful they have space-faring technology, so hiding in orbit would probably be for the best.  This version of Kirk would have been shuttled out of Star Fleet because the risks he and his crew take are beyond unacceptable.

1: All About Khan.

So, I understand that Abrams wanted a throw back to the original series by retelling one of the most important episodes in Trek, which revealed the character of Khan Noonien Singh.  If that name sounds odd attached to the face of Benedict Cumberbatch, then you’re not wrong.  The name is very Indian or Punjab sounding (Punjab considering the last name Singh is very similar to names taken by those who are followers of the Sihk religion).  The original actor was Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican actor (and a person of colour).  Recasting Khan as Benedict Cumberbatch is really a slap in the face to what has been shown before.  In all seriousness, the Eugenics Wars and the awakening of Khan could have been saved for something else (as Into Darkness takes place ten years before Space Seed in the original series).  Cumberbatch’s character could have been an Augment with the name John Harrison and you still would have had the same feel for it.  You could have even avoided the calling to New Vulcan and getting Old Spock to fill in the blanks.  Khan and this entire series of events could have been avoided completely to tell an original story while at the same time calling back and giving a nod to Space Seed and Wrath of Khan.  The aspect of having Kirk die in the same manner as having Spock die in Wrath of Khan (right down to Kirk decking Scotty whereas Spock gave Scotty a Vulcan nerve pinch) was incredibly lazy.  If you wanted to rewrite Space Seed or Wrath of Khan, why didn’t you do that.  Or even better, just don’t because those two original pieces held up way better.


Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Fun, randomness


Tags: , , , , ,

9 responses to “9 Things Wrong with Star Trek Into Darkness

  1. GLaDOS

    April 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Some of your points are valid, however because of the disruption of the timeline, Kirk is more naive, and takes unnecessary risks. Even Scotty acknowledges this. This is also why the technology is more advanced, from readings taken from the Romulan ship.

    Sorry, accidental double post.

  2. Tim

    April 3, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    While sound on the discovery of the Romulan ship, there is only one ship that scanned the vessel that was not destroyed. The Enterprise. And the lapse in time wasn’t that long. But the aspects of technology includes the Klingons, and Starfleet wouldn’t give that information to the Klingons, considering this point in time is well before the Khitomer Accords. And as far as Kirk being naive and taking risks, even the original Kirk took risks. And Scotty acknowledging that isn’t really an example, considering Scotty doesn’t know what it was like in the alternate timeline (that’s basically how that read to me, that Scotty was aware of the other timeline). The technology mentioned is only about the Klingons. The shuttle craft, which has no similarities to technology in the Romulan ship, which was completely destroyed. Even sensor readings can’t take into account all of the technology of the ship. In the 24th Century, many of the Federation vessels couldn’t penetrate a Borg cube until the Defiant and Voyager managed to modify their ability to read sensors, which is still 100 years after Kirk and crew. And if that is the case, then the Enterprise NCC-1701 wouldn’t have any luck at all. There’s also a good chance that the Romulan ship was constructed with Borg technology (it’s been seen that the Romulan Empire was studying Borg technology).

  3. GLaDOS

    April 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Oops, I finished a sentence halfway. I meant to say that even Scotty acknowledges that having a starship under the ocean is insane. My guess is that the ash from the volcano was interfering with the transporters, so Kirk, being a risk taker (more so than in the Prime Reality, this may be from his rebellious spirit against his step father), decided to “park it” under the ocean in order to save the Nibiruians.

  4. Tim

    April 4, 2015 at 7:54 am

    That may have been something more glitzy than being actual story. That scene didn’t make sense at all. You have a huge starship, why park it in the ocean when you could easily take a shuttle craft. And it was shown that beaming could be done without any problems as Spock was beamed up. And shuttle crafts do have some form of teleportation device in Kirk’s time.

  5. GLaDOS

    April 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I don’t know, Abrams probably added it so he could show his dramatic water CGI and lens flares.

  6. Tim

    April 5, 2015 at 9:11 am

    That`s probably a safe bet.

  7. GLaDOS

    April 5, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    In my opinion, the worst part of the movie is how it’s centered around action, and not story/science. If I wanted high tech OP space battles, I’d have watched Star Wars.

  8. Paul J. Harris

    July 31, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Did you even watch “other” Star Treks? Kirk (William Shatner) is a womanizer in the original series! When a movie is “rebooted” things change. That is the whole point. The Orion woman you speak of was Uhura’s roommate…no one said she was a Starfleet member, did they? When you said the Klingons lost their cranial ridges….this is a reboot, NOT a continuation. Again, things change when you do a reboot. Wikipedia define reboot as:
    In serial fiction, to reboot means to discard all continuity in an established series in order to recreate its characters, timeline and backstory from the beginning.
    Perhaps, before you butcher a great reboot movie, you look up the definition first?
    I do agree there are actually some flaws, such as the message Captain Sulu sends to Kahn on the planet…what device is Kahn listening with? Is there some ambient speaker in the air?

  9. Tim

    July 31, 2016 at 10:58 am

    such as the message Captain Sulu sends to Kahn on the planet…what device is Kahn listening with? Is there some ambient speaker in the air?

    That is the absolute least problematic thing in the entire series. I mean, there was so much with Star Trek that Abrams got wrong. And it makes me even wonder more and give it huge side eye when Abrams himself said he hated Star Trek.

    Star Trek 2009, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond is not a great reboot. It’s generic sci fi from someone who doesn’t even get Star Trek.


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