Last night in Los Angeles, a nine-minute preview of Star Trek into Darkness was screened to journalists courtesy of Paramount Pictures and by J.J. Abrams, who introduced the preview.
The nine-minute preview will officially debut ahead of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey later this week, where more details will emerge. For this preview, Abrams asked that minute-by-minute details not be shared just yet. Spoilers below the cut!
The clip began in future London (Stardate 2259), where a couple visiting their comatose daughter in the hospital (Noel Clarke and Nazneen Contractor) are told by Benedict Cumberbatch‘s character that he has the ability to heal their child. Clarke asks the identity of the strange man, but gets no answer.
The next scene is on a class M red planet. In this scene, Kirk and McCoy are racing through a field of red trees running from an alien tribe (the same tribe where they had been working undercover), only to run out of real estate at the edge of a cliff. The two are forced to jump into the water below.
The tribe is said to be on the brink of extinction, unless the Enterprise can stop a volcano from exploding. This dangerous task is being attempted by Spock, (with help from Uhura and Sulu), who has a device that will stop the eruption, that is if Spock doesn’t become a victim of the volcano before his work is completed.
Empire reported that “there is a link to one of the original Trek universe’s most memorable lines of dialogue.” MTV said that “Spock invokes a very famous line uttered in the classic Trek film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
According to Screenrant, “Kirk is put into a position where he must choose between the needs of the many or the needs of the few.”
Finally, Ain’t It Cool News reported that composer Michael Giacchino uses Khan’s theme. “You know the cue: James Horner‘s blast of French horns that signals the arrival of the hijacked USS Reliant. Here, it’s incorporated into a scene that finds Kirk and Bones running for their lives from a pissed-off pack of natives on a planet about to be ravaged by a massive volcano.”
As for the “ship under water” scene, that is said to be to keep from violating the Prime Directive, which probably means that this body of water isn’t on Earth, but on the alien planet with the red trees.
Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters May 17th, 2013.