This Friday, we'll all be seeing the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness before IMAX screenings of The Hobbit. But a select group of Los Angeles journalists have already seen the footage, and the first descriptions are already out. So what will we learn from the opening minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness?
We won't learn who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing. They're really going to draw this mystery out. By all accounts, the movie begins with a scene where a couple (played by Doctor Who's Noel Clarke and Nazneen Contractor) are in a hospital, where their baby daughter is sick. We see a montage of moments from the family's life together — and then Benedict Cumberbatch appears and tells the frantic parents that he has the ability to save their dying child. They ask who he is, and he doesn't answer. Instead, the camera just zooms in on his menacing face. And apparently we do see Cumberbatch wearing a Starfleet uniform during this.
It's not as powerful as the opening minutes of J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek, or as exciting as the opening to The Dark Knight. At least, that's what I'm gleaning from the reports. Here's what Screenrant has to say:
As to the impact of the IMAX prologue/preview… did it knock the crowd in attendance off its collective seat? I'd have to say no. However… it did leave us all wanting more and was ultimately successful as a result. The opening minutes of the first Star Trek film are incredibly difficult to top, and the Into Darkness prologue did not have the impact of the similar preview of The Dark Knight three years ago.
Kirk and friends face a dangerous situation and a Prime Directive challenge. After the scene of Cumberbatch telling the parents he can save their daughter, we find out what Kirk and his crew are up to. They're on the primitive planet Nibiru (the one with the red vegetation we witnessed in the trailer) where Kirk and McCoy are being chased by "members of a chalk-faced, spear-chucking indigenous race," as Movieline puts it. Meanwhile, Spock drops out of a shuttlecraft into an active volcano that threatens to erupt and destroy the planet (also as witnessed in the trailer.) Uhura watches in concern as Spock risks his life to save everybody.
Of course, the volcano erupts. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy return to the Enterprise, which is hidden at the bottom of an ocean. Scotty is concerned about the danger to the ship, and its ability to keep functioning. Chekov keeps offering "whiz kid suggestions" to the Captain. At last, Kirk has to make a choice — save Spock, or preserve the Prime Directive by keeping the Enterprise hidden. Kirk asks what Spock would do if the situations were reversed, and McCoy says that's easy — "He'd let you die."