WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
The directive of Star Fleet is to observe and document. But Kirk doesn’t follow the rules (ever), so he’s stripped of his command after he reveals his ship to a primitive indigenous species after staving off their extinction. Admiral Pike takes back the reigns of the Enterprise, Spock is assigned to another ship and Kirk just barely avoids being sent back to the Academy. After a terrorist act perpetrated by John Harrison, Kirk’s command of the Enterprise is reinstated and he and his crew pursue Harrison into enemy space. They take Harrison into custody and briefly join forces until Khan’s true identity and agenda are revealed. They are only able to outsmart him with the help of Leonard Nimoy‘s Spock, but not before tragedy befalls Captain Kirk. In the end, Kahn is neutralized and the Enterprise is sent on a five-year mission to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Character: Captain Kirk never believes the rules apply to him and he’s stripped of his command for it. He ultimately learns to take responsibility for his actions and his crew and has to pay the ultimate price for trusting Khan. Along the way he forges an even stronger bond with Spock and earns the respect of all those who’ve doubted him in the past. It was both rewarding and satisfying to see Kirk grow into the man we all knew he could become.
TV Ties: He’s never been a regular on any TV series, but you may recognize Pine from his guest starring roles on Six Feet Under, American Dreams, CSI: Miami, The Guardian, or ER.
Character: As Commander Spock, it’s hard for those around him to embrace his highly logical thinking and actions. In this movie Spock allows his emotions to rule him again at times, but for good reason. Not only does Spock think he’s going to die at the beginning of the film – something which he accepts and deals with in his own way, much to the chagrin of Uhura – but he has to watch Kirk die. I love their friendship so much and it’s so satisfying to see Spock acknowledge how much Kirk means to him.
TV Ties: Who can forget his role as Sylar on Heroes? I mean, I didn’t watch that show for very long but he was brilliant during the show’s first season. More recently he starred in American Horror Story: Asylum. You may also recognize him from guest star roles on Crossing Jordan or Joan of Arcadia, as well as an arc on 24. I like seeing Quinto play villains, but I love him even more as Spock.
Character: John Harrison, or Khan, is extremely strong, extremely intelligent and very old. He knows how to manipulate people and situations to get what he wants, which is the return of his “family.”
Â TV Ties: If you don’t know him as Sherlock, then we can’t be friends. Series 4 of Sherlock is on its way and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been waiting for its return with bated breath. You may also recognize Cumberbatch from Parade’s End or The Last Enemy, amongst other things.
Character: I love her relationship with Spock, which isn’t in a great place at the beginning of the movie. It’s hilarious when Kirk gets caught in the middle of their war of words. But she’s a professional and she tries to communicate with the Klingons when they’re discovered. Things seem to be under control until Harrison shows up and starts causing trouble.
TV Ties: Saldana wowed me in the movie Center Stage, but she’s also done a few small screen roles. She was a series regular on Six Degrees and guest starred in an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Character: Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy can always be counted on for humor and it’s definitely needed during this serious mission. He’s the one who discovers what Khan’s blood can do and with the help of both Spock and Uhura, he saves Kirk.
TV Ties: He’ll be starring in FOX’sÂ Almost Human, debuting this fall. SetÂ 35 years in the future, Urban plays a cop who survived one of the most catastrophic events ever made against the police department. His partner was killed, Â his girlfriend left him, and he’s now outfitted with a highly sophisticated synthetic appendage after losing one of his legs. He’s now partnered with a highly evolved human-like android, played by Michael Ealy. You may also recognize Urban fromÂ the miniseries Comanche Moon. I remember him as Cupid from Xena: Warrior Princess, although he played multiple roles on that show. Ah, the memories.
Character: His Scotty is one sassy mofo and I love it. I was so distressed when he resigned his post so early in the movie, but of course Kirk had a mission for him soon enough. It’s Scotty who discovers what Admiral Marcus is up to and disables his ship just as it’s about to fire (the first time) on the Enterprise. And it’s Scotty who tries to dissuade the captain from going into the core.
TV Ties: You might recognize his voice from Robot Chicken and his face from episodes of Doctor Who, Look Around You, and I Am Not An Animal.
Character: Hikaru Sulu is one tough guy in this movie. During his brief stint as acting captain he impresses even Bones with his determination and guile.
TV Ties:Â I loved him in the recently cancelled Go On as Matthew Perry‘s boss Steven. You may also recognize him from FlashForward, where he was a series regular, or Ugly Betty where he had an arc. He’s also guested on shows like House MD and Grey’s Anatomy.
Character: Chekov is “promoted” and has to assume Scotty’s duties when the chief engineer suddenly resigns. When the core is sabotaged, he does everything he can to get it back online.
TV Ties: You might recognize Yelchin from Huff or his guest star stints on shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Without A Trace, The Practice, or Taken.
Character: Admiral Pike is the only Star Fleet officer who seems to have any faith in Kirk. He’s the one who convinced Kirk to join up in the first place and he fights to keep him in the fold now. Unfortunately he’s killed by Khan. What an emotional moment, for both Spock and Kirk.
TV Ties: I don’t know if you watched The River, but it was some creepy good TV and Greenwood was so good in it. He also starred in John From CincinnatiÂ and played a doctor in the ’80s series, St. Elsewhere. He has also appeared as a guest star in numerous TV shows and miniseries.
Character: Admiral Marcus sends the Enterprise in pursuit of the terrorist John Harrison. He gives Kirk permission to kill him, although that is not the way of Star Fleet. Spock convinces Kirk to take him alive and on their way back to Earth, the Admiral intercepts them. He betrays his own daughter and is eventually killed by Khan.
TV Ties: This man is a screen legend, but he’s also done a fair amount of TV work. He’s had multi-episode arcs on shows such as Dexter and 24 and he’s also guest starred on everything from Hawaii Five-O, to Psych, to Fringe. Weller also played John Frederick Paxton on Star Trek: Enterprise and Chuck Taggart on Odyssey 5.
Character: The daughter of Admiral Marcus, Carol hides her true identity to get on board the Enterprise. Spock is distressed to have another science offer on the ship and quickly discovers her true identity. She proves useful in both discovering what’s actually in the torpedoes and helps the crew during the admiral’s attack on the Enterprise.
TV Ties: She’s new to me, but you might recognize her from Entourage or Agatha Christi’s Poirot.
Character: Thomas Harewood is a pawn in John Harrison’s game. He and his wife are forlorn over their dying child. Harrison gives them some of his blood and their child improves immediately. In return Harewood sets off a bomb at what Kirk believes is an archive, but turns out to be a centre for developing top-secret technology and weapons.
TV Ties: Don’t tell me you don’t recognize Clarke as Mickey Smith from Doctor Who. I literally said his name out loud in the theater when he showed up on-screen.
J.J. Abrams, Director and EP
I love that he’s doing so well for himself, on both the big and small screens. His first TV series was Felicity, which debuted in the late ’90s. After that he went on to create Alias. While both shows were well-received and launched the careers of both Keri Russell and Jennifer Garner, it wasn’t until Lost that he had a huge hit on his hands. After that Abrams went on to create What About Brian and Six Degrees. One of my favorite J.J. Abrams shows has to be Fringe, which he co-created and I didn’t get on board with until late in the game. But I loved it. After that he co-created the short-lived spy-drama Undercovers and was the executive producer on Alcatraz. He is currently the executive producer onÂ Person of Interest and Revolution. His pilots for Almost Human and Believe were just picked up by FOX and NBC respectively. He’ll also be directing the next installment of Star Wars.
Damon Lindelof, Writer and EP
I’ve been a fan since Lost, but he got his start on Wasteland before moving on to Nash Bridges and Crossing Jordan. After Lost ended, he’s been working mostly on feature films but he’s currently an executive producer on Once Upon A Time.
They’ve known Abrams since their days on Alias, but they got their start in TV on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. They co-created Fringe with Abrams and developed and now executive produce Hawaii Five-O. Their pilot entitled Sleepy Hollow will air on Fox this fall.
Star Trek Into Darkness is in theaters now.
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