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Film Talk: Looking Back – To boldly go again with Star Trek Into Darkness

In 2009, some of science fiction’s most beloved characters returned to the big screen in one of the most triumphant reboots in the history of cinema.

Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumbebatch in Star Trek Into Darkness
Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumbebatch in Star Trek Into Darkness

Four years later, they were back for round two, to boldly go once more in one of the greatest sequels ever made.

Directed by J. J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness continued the superb work of 2009’s Star Trek, pitching the legendary crew of the USS Enterprise against one of the franchises most iconic villains.

Once again featuring Chris Pine as Captain James Tiberius Kirk himself, along with Zachary Quinto sublimely reprising his role as Spock, Star Trek Into Darkness was made complete by the force of war that is Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of Kirk’s nemesis, genetically engineered superhuman, Khan.

Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, and Leonard Nimoy also returned from the previous film, completing the enterprise crew and taking us on an adventure that would up the ante in every respect.

Written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof, Into Darkness is the twelfth instalment in the Star Trek film franchise as a whole, and without question (Sorry Bill Shatner) sits as its greatest ever entry.

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home to Earth, they find that a force of terror from within Starfleet itself has set out to destroy their organisation and everything it represents.

Following the death of his mentor Admiral Pike (Greenwood), James Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture the nigh-on unstoppable Khan – a biologically enhanced warrior who may be the greatest threat the Federation has ever faced.

As the fight against this most formidable adversary ever rages on, Kirk comes to understand that some of the greatest sacrifices imaginable may be needed to save his friends, his crew and his homeworld from certain doom. The stakes could not be higher...

Into Darkness was a financial success and received positive reviews from many critics.

Its gross earnings of over $467 million worldwide have made it the highest-grossing entry in the Star Trek franchise, and at the 86th Academy Awards, the flick was nominated for Best Visual Effects.

Fittingly, it was in this as the greatest Star Trek movie ever made that Leonard Nimoy would don his pointed ears for the final time as an older Spock, due to his sad death in 2015. However, Pine, Quinto and the rest of the crew went on to carry the legacy forward with a third film, Star Trek Beyond, released in 2016.

With stunning performances from each cast member, and particularly brilliant work from Quinto and Cumberbatch, Star Trek Into Darkness set the bar at a new level for sci-fi adventure, and affirmed that a reboot of the genre’s most sacrosanct stalwart not only could, but did, have legs to stand on.

An absolute favourite in the Morris household, Star Trek Into Darkness is exciting, emotive, intelligent and gripping, and one of the finest interstellar yarns ever made.

Good job Mr Abrams – you beamed us up once again.

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