Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition – Star Trek Into Darkness

Show Notes

It’s time to boldly go back where… well, where many have been before! Conor Kilpatrick, Paul Montgomery, and Mike Romo have gathered to talk about Star Trek Into Darkness! Where did everyone’s Star Trek fandom begin? How did the sequel stack up against the first film that they loved so much? What about the villain? Where can the story go in a third film? How does Robocop fit into all of this? It’s a wide-ranging discussion that covers A LOT of ground!

Running Time: 00:51:47

Star Trek Into Darkness_Sherlock

“Highly Illogical”
Leonard Nimoy


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  1. Good talk, fellas. I was chuckling throughout because your conversation was very similar to the one I had with my buddy for an hour after the movie, verbatim in some parts.

    I agree that Pine holds both films together, but I found it interesting that you all seemed to prefer Quinto in the first film. His Spock continues to be the weak link of the ’09 cast for me. In this film, he seemed to have a tighter grip on the character, and played it with a bit more conifdence in my opinion. Admittedly, my distaste for his performance in the first one may have more to do with my affection for Nimoy’s Spock than anything else. Whoever filled those ears was bound to get a lot of criticism from me.

    I think Mike summed it up perfectly there at the end when he pointed out that the final scene in this movie was more or less the same promise as the ending of the last one. They had the opportunity to tell their own story, and for whatever reason they chose a diversion. Still, I enjoyed this for the most part, and I’m looking forward to seeing how and where they pick up the five year mission.

    • I didn’t notice that before but yeah, the ending of this movie is almost the same as the first Abrams movie. They got through all of the alternate reality stuff and got on to do their own adventure. Hopefully if a third movie happens we’ll actually SEE an original story.

      Also, I thought Spock was too much of a robot this time around. The writers made him more Data than Spock in my opinion.

    • Hmm. See, people often talk about how Data is the Spock of Next Gen, and I’ve always felt that’s only true in a very obvious way. It runs deeper than that.

      Whether it’s due to Spiner’s performance or the writers of Next Gen, Data is lovable in spite of himself. Spock comes accross cold and calculating, and it’s only after you spend time with him and grow to admire his consistency that you truly start to care for him. Data is constantly endeavoring to become more human, whereas Spock is contantly denying that part of himself (at least in the early years). Data embraces the comment “Everybody’s human” as a comfort, whereas Spock rejects the remark as insulting. It’s genius in a way, because they both serve the same purpose to the narrative but are incredibly diiferent when you peel away the layers.

      In regards to Quinto’s performance in this film, maybe what you view as robotic struck me as hitting closer to the mark of Spock’s ongoing struggle to perform as a “robot”, while at his core being anything but. It’s tough to put into words, but something about Quinto’s performance this time around felt more in line with my indescribable perception of what Spock should be. He obviously doesn’t have the advantage of the decades to refine the character that Nimoy possessed, but in my opinion he got a little closer this time.

      Wow. That escalated quickly. We’ve obviously strayed from the subject, but I love this shit.

  2. Great podcast. I really enjoy getting your guys take on the big movies, as well as comics. I liked the movie a great deal, despite the problems I had with it. I wish they had tried to make Star trek 12 and not did what they did and just did a retelling of Space Seed and Wrath of Khan all together. They are doing that in the ongoing IDW Star Trek series. Also, the Mudd Incident that is referred to in the film, is covered in the 4 issue series, Countdown to Darkness.

  3. Great show fellas. I have yet to see the film but i am happy to go and see it knowing what i now know.
    I don;t think it can be called spoiling when you are just letting me know i already knew.
    I think i will have a better experience going in knowing this.

  4. Don’t see the beef with STID, I use to watch Star Trek back in the days but I don’t even remember all those “nods”. STID seemed fresh to me and Khan didn’t have a visual back story but it was explained. I saw this movie yesterday and loved it so much, it’s one of the best movies I have ever seen, really. Talk about a visual feast on the eyes…pfft..(i)Fanboys.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Are you complaining that our memories are too good?

    • Oh come on! The last time I saw a full Star Trek movie apart from JJA’s was in the 80’s-early 90’s and maybe glimpses any time after up until now.
      I know I couldn’t say the same for you, can I?
      I am so in a fever right now I am watching Star Trek: Nemesis as I type this, which I didn’t watch in it’s entirety before but thought the bits and pieces I saw was ok, and it still is but STID is leaps above this and what came before (I guess). I think STID and ST ’09 are so close in quality, I can’t tell which was better.
      Don’t get me wrong I see your po.views with your memory span still intact, if that really is the case….

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      So we shouldn’t have revisited the movies after their theatrical release?

    • Didn’t say that bro, but STID and Superman Returns wasn’t as bad as Total Recall(2012) imo. This was the only podcast or review I heard with almost an hour of drenching.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I would agree that Total Recall (2012) is worse than either of those, yes.

      I’m not sure what ‘drenching’ means in this context.

  5. Very interesting listen. As always, you guys offer intelligent and insightful analysis.

    I think that the main complaints that I’ve heard for this film come from fans of the original source material. As someone who had never seen Khan until a few hours after seeing Into Darkness, the new movie felt fresh and exciting to me. Additionally, having watched both movies (Khan and Into Darkness) within hours of listening to this podcast, I had a few observations:

    1) While Khan’s origins are not given much attention in the new movie, they’re given even less in the old. Everyone’s just kind of expected to understand why he’s such a big deal, but unless you’ve seen the episode he first appeared in, he’s just some evil dude. It doesn’t detract from the movie, but then, I didn’t think it did in the new one, either.

    2) In Khan itself, separate from the rest of the series, there really isn’t much work done to establish the Kirk/Spock relationship aside from a few scenes at the beginning. Again, without having watched the rest of the series, there’s not much in the movie alone to make that final scene terribly affecting.

    I think, frankly, Into Darkness holds up better as a film, in and of itself, better than Wrath of Khan. But again, this is from a new fan, rather than an old.

    • I agree with every you’ve said. My expectations going into the movie were different than Mike, Conor, and Paul. I wanted a fun action packed sci-fi movie with good characterization and quality. I got exactly what I wanted. Similar feelings arose when I heard their critique of Prometheus. I wanted to experience that same engrossing feeling with Prometheus that I did with the original Alien and that’s what I got. I’m just sad that the three were unable to enjoy it as much as I did.

  6. Avatar photo ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

    It is strange to write a rebooted movie so that you have to have seen the old one to appreciate some of the twists. Especially the “I’m not john harrison, I’m KHAN!”. If you haven’t seen the old one you have no idea whats so special about this Khan.

    Nice talk! Well summarized critique, and funny how you really had to stay focused not to spiral out of control and start nitpicking like crazy. 🙂

  7. I had seen the 2009 film but aside from that, my familiarity with the franchise is pretty cursory. I had heard of Khan but had never seen the original films or the TV series. I knew Spock died in Wrath of Khan somehow, but knew nothing about the circumstances. That said, I really enjoyed this film, and really, the only thing that I didn’t really like was Nimoy’s Spock cameo. It seemed very out of place and unnecessary. It was about as gratuitous as Alice Eve’s underwear scene. It was nice to see but all it did was distract and didn’t really have to be there. But the characters, the action, the sets, the pace, everything was very enjoyable to me as someone without any Star Trek history.

  8. perceptive comments from all on the show.
    I agree with a lot of what was said , loved the 2009 version but this felt hollow .
    I like a lot of what JJ Abrams has done as a writer /showrunner etc in TV and movies but don’t love too much of it . He and his prefered writers are goodish craftsmen but there is not a lot of real vision there and all their references are from other popular movies and TV shows and the standard scripting software apparently*. They could at least be inspired by cult novels that most of us haven’t read.
    Abrams et al seem to aim for Awesome ! rather than a properly worked out story and they use the familiar characters as a shorthand to get the emotional response. This really didn’t work in STIN, they didn’t earn it ( it being KKKKHHHANNNN)
    Compared to IM3 with a genuine distinctive talent writing at the wheel this is a disappointment.

    * See “Writing movies for Fun and profit ” for the most entertaining explanation of the screenplay structure which STIN follows
    PS Paul let us have a Fuzzy typewriter on The Twelve , the sequel to the Passage

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Haha, I don’t think I liked The Passage enough to do a show on The Twelve. You might want to go back in the Bookrageous archives for Josh Christie’s thoughts on it though.

  9. Man, it’s like you guys are in my head.
    I was in complete agreement with every single word of this podcast.
    Thank you so much for making me feel not so bad about finding this fun film so flawed, and why!

  10. I’m an old Trek fan and overall I liked this movie a lot more than the IFanboys. I prefer this movie to the first new Trek movie which Conor in particular seemed to really like. No annoying lens glare!

    I totally concede that the “echoing” of the radiation death scene from Wrath was annoying and unnecessary. I’ll even go a step further and say I hate when characters die and then are resurrected, it makes death scenes have no drama. Like everyone, I knew Kirk wasn’t really going to die and they’d use the super blood.

    But man, everything else was great.

    Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scotty (his performance was great and had my audience laughing with every scene), and McCoy are improvements both as actors and as characters. So many fun interactions, lots of chuckles amidst the serious stuff.

    I liked Robocop, I thought he was very very believable as a war hawk. Also though Pike was great. Both guys had great craggy faces. 3D added a lot, y’all should have seen it in that format. Planets at the end credits looked SO COOL.

    Spock fight at end was AWESOME. Space man-bullet scene was AWESOME.

    I thought the Prime Spock bit was to let Spock know that, despite the seemingly justifiable actions that Khan took to rescue his crew, and the fact that Khan was a victim of blackmail, that this guy was absolutely not to be trusted. Also, was the idea of “we defeated him by giving him what he wanted” part of Prime Spock’s message? Funny, because that’s not the way I remember Kirk winning in Wrath. But agree with your criticism, Prime Spock was an unnecessary wink at the fanbase.

    Here’s a question for IFanboys (maybe Paul will answer). If you guys had to rank the movies I-VI and then the two new ones, where would this one fall? To me this movie, for all the flaws talked about during the podcast, still solidly ranks with the better movies, II, III, IV, and Ia and well above some of the turds like V. Did it for you?

  11. …and way better than ALL the TNG movies, btw.

  12. Also, thought this article was interesting, an interview with the writers about Easter Eggs that resonated with the podcast as they talk about “earning it”, a term Conor used a few times…


  13. Waited until I saw the movie to listen to the pod. Couldn’t disagree with what you guys said more. I question whether you guys understand how storytelling works. Probably no moment gets this more than the “what did old Spock say to new Spock” discussion. He said “you have to kill him. We tried everything else, but it didn’t work” Spock was the key guy for taking Khan alive, and after that point he was committed to killing Khan. The only reason Khan is taken alive is because Uhura stops him and tells him Khan’s blood can save Kirk.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Oh, THAT’s how storytelling works!

      None of that justifies the monumental problems inherent in bringing Spock Prime back in after his bow in the previous film. It undermines Quinto’s primacy as Spock and only reinforces the suspicion that this new crew will never be capable of getting by on their own. Yes, the logic you’re extolling is often how story works, but that’s no reason to extoll the virtues of that particular formula or thinking. We know that Uhura stops Spock because Khan’s blood can save Kirk. That’s not in question. The question is whether that’s even the best use of these tools and ingredients. Saving Kirk with magic blood Lazarus extract is a Pandora’s box so obviously problematic, I’m shocked writers as experienced as this even considered it.

    • The problem isn’t that you had an issue with the use of Nimoy in the movie, the problem I had is that you couldn’t figure things like that out, and there were three of you. I felt that the turn for Spock and Kirk was more choreographed than a ballet, but I gave it a pass, and that’s just me. You had Kirk going in ready to destroy Khan before the first jump to warp, but Scotty and Spock counseling restraint and the rule of law. By the end Spock is doing everything in his power to kill the guy without having to see Nimoy spend 15 minutes saying “and then we stranded him on a planet, but it turned out to be the wrong planet and then he put a crawfish in the Russian’s ear and then… so yeah, you gotta kill him. Only way.” At the end Spock is committed to killing Khan while Kirk freely sacrifices of himself in the shot for shot remake of Wrath of Khan. I could say why I liked the movie more and explain it all, but at that point I’d have a small article, which would then make me want to sit around and defend it, which would then make me start a podcast, which would then make me buy a better computer, which would make me go to a computer store where I would see a robbery, when I see the robbery I would feel like a hero who should do something, then I get shot. Don’t say why you liked the movie, just get DirecTV.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I didn’t have a problem understanding what they were attempting to do in that scene. I think we were questioning what Spock Prime could possibly have said that would’ve made much of a difference. “Kill him. It’s the only way.” is not a satisfactory answer to that question.

    • And that’s certainly not an answer worth having that scene and all the negatives it brought with it.

    • Conor, the problem is that you asked “what did he say?” Again, fairly obvious…

    • @Pdubble: Yeah, because at that point we were spiraling because the scene was so frustrating. He said kill him. No shit, they had to kill him. They always have to kill the bad guy.

    • He told the whole story. You don’t always have to kill the bad guy. You can strand him on a planet, or freeze him, which they did, which, no shit, proves you wrong right there.

      If it was so obvious, why ask the question? It was seriously so off putting I had to shut off the podcast. I went back to make sure based solely on this conversation. You weren’t even joking about it. You ask for feedback, there ya go. Normally you’re pretty right on or at least understandable. This one made no sense at points and was possibly done by hipster aliens who have never seen a movie before.

    • Hahaha. Okay.

  14. Paul, the larger story was what he said. That they stranded him to killed him. To a fan it was obvious, to a lesser knowing fan, it saves the movie from getting bogged down. You can not like the choice, but that’s not my problem. My problem is it is fairly straightforward.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I went back and listened to the section in question and I don’t grant your premise. We understood that he related his encounter with Khan. Mike even spells that out. We weren’t asking, “What did he say.” We were asking, “What could he have said that would remotely make a difference given that it’s not a 1:1 mirror event. It’s understood that he related the story. You’re confusing our frustration and befuddlement over the choice with basic incomprehension. I’m telling you truthfully that your presumption is incorrect.

    • @PDubble: You’ve managed to turn blithely winking fedora-guy Paul into black-hat dead-eye Paul who smokes. Back away slowly and make no sudden movements.

    • It sure sounds like basic incomprehension and not understanding that this pays service to the fans who know what is going on while sparing those who wandered in because Iron Man was sold out.

      As for my fear of this version of Paul: meh.

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Thanks for stopping by!

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