This is the third chapter in the epic “Star Trek Into Darkness” Review Trilogy. In Part I, we revisited a very young me matching wits against Capt. Picard’s greatest nemesis, Q, (click here). In Part II, we discussed Kirk’s flagrant violation of the Prime Directive to save Spock (click here).
Now, a question: What is the Darkness?
“Star Trek Into Darkness” is a cool title. That might be all there is to this.
Then again, J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” movies take place in a universe alternate from the classic, mostly wholesome adventures of Kirk and Spock in those fuzzy old TV shows and movies. In Abrams’s Star Trek universe, a crazy Romulan played by Eric Bana came back in time and destroyed the entire planet Vulcan, where the Federation began. (Recall from the Next Generation film “First Contact” that it was Vulcans who reached out to Earth once we developed a warp drive. That changed everything. Blowing up that planet is a major deal.)
News flash: Powerful authority does not respond well to huge attacks by crazy guys obsessed with killing and revenge.
In “Into Darkness,” the Federation has awakened Khan earlier than in the classic’s universe, so he can assist in militarization. Remember Scotty begging Kirk not to bring the torpedoes onto the Enterprise? He tells Kirk it sounds like they’re undertaking a military operation, and that’s not what they do. “We’re explorers,” Scotty says.
Dick Cheney quite famously said after 9/11 “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will.”
“the dark side.” To fight back.
“Why would a Starfleet admiral ask a 300-year-old frozen man for help?” Kirk asks Khan, upon learning the truth.
“Because I am better.”
“At what?” Kirk says.
“Everything. Alexander Marcus needed to respond to an uncivilized threat in a civilized time, and for that he needed a warrior’s mind — my mind — to design weapons and warships.”
Spock: “You are suggesting the Admiral violated every regulation he vowed to uphold, simply because he wanted to exploit your intellect…”
“He wanted to exploit my savagery!” Khan exclaims. “Intellect alone is useless in a fight, Mr. Spock. You, you can’t even break a rule – how can you be expected to break bone? Marcus used me to design weapons. I helped him realize his vision of a militarized Starfleet. He sent you to use those weapons, to fire my torpedoes on an unsuspecting planet, and then he purposely crippled your ship in enemy space, leading to one inevitable outcome: the Klingons would come searching for whoever was responsible, and you would have no chance of escape. Marcus would finally have the war he talked about, the war he always wanted.”
How about that? The government wants war. And it will hunt through the darkness to get it.