Damon Lindelof Talks About Star Trek Into Darkness’ Timeline And The Role Of Carol Marcus

By David Wharton | 8 years ago


One of the drawbacks of this job is that, by the time an exciting new show or movie comes along, you’ve been writing about it for months beforehand and don’t get the simple joy of walking into a theater tabula rasa and letting it surprise you. With some four months until we finally see the new Trek sequel in theaters, J.J. Abrams and company continue to find ways to talk about the film without really giving anything substantial away, and without any major leaks from the set giving anything away. That’s pretty damned impressive in the age of the internet. Nevertheless, here’s the latest batch of hints, details, and likely red herrings.

Empire Magazine recently published a massive Star Trek Into Darkness story, and we showed you some of the photos included with the article. Now another tidbit has arrived online, a new synopsis that reveals a few new things about the film’s setup. There aren’t any major revelations here, but just in case you want to go into the movie completely ignorant, mind the SPOILERS BELOW!

With Earth under terrorist attack from Benedict Cumberbatch’s ex-Starfleet employee John Harrison, Kirk is this time forced into a rash decision that breaks a critical Starfleet command, puts his crew in danger & costs him his captain’s chair. Now out of uniform and dressed down in space civvies of black leather jackets and boots, our three heroes have separated from the Enterprise and headed off on a mission to try and rectify his mistake…

With each new bit of Into Darkness continuing to refer to Cumberbatch’s character with the name “John Harrison,” it’s looking more and more like all the speculation about Khan and Gary Mitchell may amount to nothing. And honestly, I’d love to see that be the case. Setting up an existing Trek villain as the nemesis for the second movie would certainly be the easier route, as compared to crafting a new character strong enough to stand amongst all the baddies who have come before. But with an actor like Cumberbatch, Into Darkness definitely has the potential…it’s just a question of whether Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof are up to the challenge.

Speaking of Lindelof, who penned last summer’s Prometheus, he gave an extensive interview to Collider which delved into numerous aspects of Into Darkness. One particular excerpt is intriguing, as it addresses how far into the timeline the Abrams version of Trek is, compared to where it began in the Original Series back in 1966. Here’s Lindelof:

Our crew is not necessarily caught up to where Kirk and Bones and Spock were, not even Chekov yet, when we first met them in the original series. So if you’re going to do something you’ve got to do your homework… Our guiding principle was that there was a certain level of excitement in that if the first movie was, to use Ms. Pac Man terminology, “they meet”, the second intermission is going to be the falling in love part. The idea that the characters are all sort of getting to know each other, but don’t know each other all that well yet. Certainly Kirk and Bones have a relationship because we established that they met each other and were fairly close all though the Academy. So those guys are tight, and were tight in the first and remain tight. But a lot of the others, especially now that Kirk is in command of these people as opposed to ‘I’m the insolent rabble-rouser running around the ship trying to tell everybody what I think they need to be doing.’ Now he’s in charge. That was a very interesting dynamic to play with because, again, it wasn’t something that we’ve seen before. The only Enterprise that were familiar with is where Kirk has been the Captain, nobody ever questions his judgment, he knows what he’s doing and occasionally gets in trouble, but he has the trust and love of everybody under his command. But there was a phase that preceded that and that’s the phase into which Into Darkness plays.

He also addresses one of the biggest revelations about the film: the fact that Alice Eve is playing a young version of Carol Marcus, the woman who, in the original timeline, gave birth to Kirk’s son, David. Given what an important role she played in The Wrath of Khan, many have wondered if she will be as pivotal in the plot of Star Trek Into Darkness. Some have also interpreted her presence as evidence that Cumberbatch is playing Khan. Lindelof, however, hints that we shouldn’t assume she’s going to follow the same path in the new timeline as she did in the original one.

It was an idea that, of all the ideas that we had about the sequel and the movie, having Carol in the second movie was something that we all agreed was a good idea. The follow up question is how are we going to use her? What role is she going to play? Is she going to be a love interest for Kirk or something else? And what would that something else be?… So we had to look at Carol as, as opposed to she’s a new character that we want you to pay attention to, how can she interact with all those other guys in a way that doesn’t take away from them, but enhances them?

Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters on May 17, 2013.

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