Star Trek Into Darkness Guide

Star Trek Into Darkness, the second nuTrek movie, was released in 2013. This page is an introduction to key information about the film, with links to more information, and details of tie-in products.

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My reviews: spoiler free or spoiler-full.

Plot and setting

The following is the official synopsis of the film:
In Summer 2013, director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes Star Trek Into Darkness.

In the wake of a shocking act of terror from within their own organization, the crew of The Enterprise is called back home to Earth. In defiance of regulations and with a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Kirk, Spock, and the mysterious "John Harrison"
The film is set about a year after the first nuTrek film, and features all the main USS Enterprise crew, as well as the return of Admiral Pike, while joining the crew is Carol Marcus (Alice Eve).

The villains of the piece are Khan Noonien Singh, know initially under the psuedonym "John Harrison" (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Section 31 corrupted Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller).

The USS Enterprise is of course be a key location. Earth, specifically San Francisco and London, is also feature prominently. The opening scenes occur on a new primitive planet called Nibiru, while the Klingons and Qo'noS also feature later in the film.

There is also a new Starfleet ship, the USS Vengeance, a Section 31 built warship, referred to as a dreadnought.

The dreadnaught USS Vengeance
Home video releases

Into Darkness got its initial home video release in August 2013, with advance availability as a digital download, ahead of disc releases in September. Like the previous film there were multiple release formats, with the film being offering on  3D bluray, standard bluray, or DVD. See details of extra features (and details of lack of extra features) plus an excerpt from one of the behind-the-scenes documentaries.

In 2014, following fan backlash at the mishandling of retailer exclusive extra features, Paramount announced Star Trek: The Compendium, a four disc release of both nuTrek movies, including all the extra features, and some enw ones, for Into Darkness, as well as including the IMAX version of Into Darkness.

In addition to the standard releases there are also multiple retail exclusive variants, including various steelbook designs, and other unique covers (you can see those here, and here). Amazon also offered a limited edition version of the 3D bluray release with a QMx phaser. In France and Germany the limited edition also featured steelbook packaging, while it Italy the package came with the 2D bluray.

Limited edition bluray with phaser.

Walmart in Canada also offering an exclusive version, with all formats they included an exclusive Klingon Mimobot USB stick/character. While Walmart in the US are offering Steelbook packaging, coupled with a Hot Wheels USS Vengeance:

There have also been a couple of promotional covers, including one with a piece of meteorite. In some markets there will also be an Into Darkness/Star Trek two-pack, on either bluray or DVD. See the covers the UK and Italian versions of this, here.

Behind the Scenes

USS Vengeance battle concept art.
There have been several behind-the-scenes featurettes releases, and many of the artists who worked on the film have also shared their work:

The soundtrack, composed by Michael Giacchino, was released on the 14th of May 2013, by Varese Sarabande Records, on CD and download. Later in the year it was also released on Vinyl, the first Star Trek film soundtrack on vinyl in more than two decades! See covers and track-listing. The complete soundtrack was released in July 2014.

There are some international variations of the soundtrack (see separate article for French version) with the track used in the nightclub scene having covers by six different artists, depending where in the world you are. In some markets the download version of the soundtrack came with the local version of this track as a bonus track.

You can listen to twenty-two minutes of excerpts, as well as samples from every track. Or watch a performance of John Harrison's theme, a few clips from the recording of the soundtrack, and behind the scenes featurettes on the recordings.

Select tracks from the soundtrack were released as a piano solo score, published by Hal Leonard.

Giacchino's colleague, Chad Seiter, also wrote two hours of new music for the Star Trek video game, so we can only hope that gets some sort of release as well! You can listen to several tracks of the game's music.

Release formats and dates
The film was shot in 2D, with some parts filmed on IMAX cameras. The film was also be released in 3D, having been through post-production conversion. The film was therefore released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.

The film first opened in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand on the 9th of May 2013. Many other countries, including North America, followed on the 16th and 17th. Countries that did not open in May had releases in the following months,with the latest release in Japan, on the 23rd of August. For a full list international release dates, click here.

The world premier of the film took place in Sydney, Australia, on the 23rd of April.


There have been many posters released for the film:
Trailers and promotion

Numerous trailers were released, with many international variations and different edits for TV. Links to trailers and screencap analysis:

Longer trailers:
Viral trailers:
Short TV spots:
Other promotion

Spock's volcano mission, from the opening of the film.
There were several previews of footage from the film:
Several promotional stills have been release, you can see those, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Cast promo photo on Empire cover.
Promo photos were used on magazine covers, see: here, here, and here.

The Star Trek movie website hosted trailers and links to other promotional devices, such as the mobile ap, which regularly released images, trailers and other bits. The Are You the 1701 site also released several images and videos, including a Starfleet report on John Harrison.

Several companies cross-promoted with Into Darkness:
IMAX offered an exclusive print to viewers of the first IMAX screening of the film. Two versions were the released, the first batch with a red background, and another run with a blue background. See: details here, glow in the dark image here, and details of development work by the artist.

IMAX FANFIX exclusive print
Tie-in stories

There is to be a novelization of the film, which like the previous film's novelization, was written by Alan Dean Foster. This was also be released as an audiobook version, narrated by Alice Eve (who plays Carol Marcus in the film). You can see the cover, which uses the first poster art, here, and the audiobook version, here.

Leading up to the film is a four-part comic miniseries, Countdown to Darkness, which leads into the events of the film in the same manner as Countdown for the previous film. See previews for issue 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Star Trek ongoing comic series also laid out hints and/or easter eggs for things we might notice in Into Darkness. Issue twenty-one of the series was the first story set after the film; the first of a three part story, After Darkness, which continues plot points from both Into Darkness and Countdown to Darkness.

There is also a five-part prequel series on, titled Khan, which gives background on Khan both in the Eugenics Wars, and once he was awoken by Section 31 prior to the events of the film.

The new Star Trek video game takes place between the two films as well. Like the ongoing comics, this is a stand-alone story between the films. Key articles on the game:
To promote the game there was also a simple browser game, New Vulcan: Reborn, where you helped to build the new Vulcan homeworld. There was also be a Prima Guide book for the game (see cover and blurb).

Toys and games

Kre-O version of the new Klingon Bird of Prey
The main Toy producer for Into Darkness is Hasbro, who have concentrated their efforts on construction sets in their Lego-compatable Kre-O range. The range includes model ships, locations, and collectable "kreon" figures. Articles with images of the Kre-O sets:
Fighter Pods USS Enterprise set
Hasbro also launched a Star Trek range in their Fighter Pods brand, which will included some Into Darkness designs.

Hasbro did not release any action figures or role play items, so you'll have to fall back on your 2009 Playmates toys to fill that role.

Mattel is also relaunched it's Hot Wheels Star Trek range, with including the USS Vengeance and Klingon Bird of Prey from Into Darkness (see images of the models and packaging). They have also released a new smaller scale model of the nuTrek USS Enterprise.

Hot Wheels USS Vengeance and Bird of Prey

Revell's nuEnterprise model kit
In Germany, Revell released a model kit of the USS Enterprise.

Star Trek: The Video Game is also getting a bit of it's own merchandise. There were Gorn figures in Hasbro's Kre-O and Fighter Pods ranges, as well as a Gorn Statue being released.

Wizkids' latest Star Trek Heroclix game, the 2-Figure Mini-Game, was also launched around the same time as Into Darkness, and is based on nuTrek designs. Wizkids also released a Connect With Pieces puzzle/game based on the Into Darkness poster.

Other merchandise

The Star Trek Magazine provided ongoing coverage of Into Darkness, including covers focusing on the film, and extended features. There is also a 2014 Star Trek Into Darkness calendar.

High-end replica costume makers, Anovos, announced plans to make new and reappearing costumes from Into Darkness, including the black Starfleet undershirt seen worn by John Harrison. Rubie's Costumes will also reissued their nuTrek costumes, and releasing new costumes and props based on Harrison and the Klingons, see their range.

QMx who produced many props used in the actual film, have also annouced a large range of replica items, including a new Starfleet Academy ring, phaser, Federation flag, re-issues of their Starfleet badges, and models of several Starships, including the USS Vengeance.

QMx USS Vengeance model


Mike said...

Thanks for this guide. No fast food tie-ins this time around, though?

8of5 said...

Report coming on that soon :)

Jonathan said...

Any chance for toy starships or is that it with Kreo? I think Playmates missed the boat without making the KELVIN, wish Hasbro would devote some time to it.

8of5 said...

Hasbro toy ships are coming in Kre-O form and as the Fighter Pods caricature-style USS Enterprise. There should be at least one Into Darkness ship in the new Hot Wheels range, but we don't know what ship yet.

LS said...

why is there a movie novelization when the movie steals half of its plot from Diane Carey's "Dreadnought!"?

Ishmael said...

"Giacchino also wrote two hours of new music for the Star Trek video game, so we can only hope that gets some sort of release as well"

In line with, this should be Chad Seiter.

8of5 said...

Thanks Ishmal, must have forgotten to update that at the time. Fixed now!

Unknown said...

Is there going to be a USB drive containing the movie (As per the first movie) ??

8of5 said...

I've yet to hear of any sort of USB releases.

Unknown said...

It appears that the only novels (prose not graphic) are the movie tie-ins and the Khan series. Am I reading that correctly or have I missed something? I'd love to find out more about the nuTrekverse but (sorry, guys) I have zero interest in comic book versions. Give me words! :-)

8of5 said...

Unfortunately so Kathleen. There are some Starfleet Academy books set in this timeline, but that's it for prose (aside from the novelization). There were four adult novels written, to be set between the two films, but they were cancelled.

Unknown said...

Wow. That's just so...sad. Do they think text-based books are too hard for nuTrek fans or something?

8of5 said...

Speculation is that Bad Robot exerted influence to get Pocket Books to pull the plug, for whatever reason (wanting to maintain creative control over the new timeline maybe). But the exact reason hasn't been publicly disclosed, beyond the suggestion they were leaving space in the development period of Into Darkness.

With Into Darkness out now, I believe the authors involved have suggested the books (which were all written, being pulled just months before publication), would need rewrites if they were ever to see publication later. Here are the preliminary blurbs and covers that were released:

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