Star Trek Into Darkness Announcement Trailer Shot-By-Shot Analysis

The Star Trek Into Darkness ‘Announcement Trailer’ is just 63 seconds long but it actually contains 39 cuts. TrekMovie has taken a deep dive and we have a shot by shot analysis, including analysis of the extra couple of cuts in the Japanese trailer (which might just blow your mind). Check out the full analysis below. [Spoilers].  


Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer Analysis – Someone Wants Vengeance

Let’s start with the voice over, which is provide by the film’s villain (played by Benedict Cumberbatch):

You think your world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace for I have returned to have my vengeance.


So shall we begin?

Firstly, this voice over appears to confirm that "vengeance" is a theme of the film. As reported by "Star Trek: Vengeance" was considered as a possible title for the film. Secondly, he is saying he has "returned." The big question is, from where? Or even possibly, from when?

Now lets go to the shot by shot analysis (Click images to enlarge)

San Francisco skyline

Kirk addresses Starfleet crowd (presumably at Starfleet HQ or Academy in San Francisco)

Small ships fly overhead in missing man formation possibly indicating above crowd is for a memorial

Kirk talks intently with someone with grey hair (possibly Pike)
– NOTE: New uniform and rank insignia style

Some kind of alien planet location

Kirk and McCoy run through alien location wearing some sort of robes

Kirk and McCoy jump off a cliff into the ocean

Alice Eve as unknown character on board what appears to be some Starfleet vessel

Kirk looks up with puppy dog eyes to (presumably) Eve character who is handing him something (a PADD?)

Benedict Cumberbatch character stands on Klingon building (note lettering on side) and leaps high into the air and down towards awaiting Klingon – dead bodies are also seen on ground in upper photo

Cumberbatch takes down a Klingon wielding some giant gun thing

Kirk and Uhura look on (presumably at Cumberbatch’s character taking down Klingon)

Cumberbatch wielding some kind of rifle during Klingon fight

 SYNOPSIS NOTE: This Klingon planet could be where "Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction"

Spock descends into volcano wearing special suite

Spock inside volcano

Uhura gazing at something (at location of Klingon fight)

Spock holds pistol (different than phaser used in Star Trek) (appears to be at same location of Klingon fight)

Enterprise rises out of an ocean

Back to Spock in the Volcano

Kirk and Scotty (Apparently) try to catch falling crewperson (maybe Uhura) (presumably on Enterprise)

More of Cumberbatch beating up a Klingon

Some kind of Starfleet meeting interrupted by phaser blasts (appears to not be on a ship as chairs are not affixed to floor). And Spock appears to be standing next to officer who gets blown out of her chair

SYNOPSIS NOTE: Above attack could be why the synopsis says "an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for"

Kirk takes a swing at Cumberbatch’s character (presumably at location of Klingon fight)

Sulu looks down at something

Spock runs through the streets holding standard phaser from 2009 movie (and has same 2009 movie communicator and belt)

Cumberbatch’s character crashes through window (presumably running from Spock)

Alice Eve’s character (wearing science blue) screams

Explosion (possibly on Enterprise)

Scotty consoles Uhura

SYNOPSIS NOTE: Above could be related to how "love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew."

Kirk tries to hang on

Cumberbatch punches someone on board some ship with dark interior

Kirk enters a room looking beat up, possibly to face …

…Cumberbatch’s character in command chair of ship with dark interior

Citizens look concerned at something headed their way – NOTE: New type of alien in upper left of lower image

Explosion (possibly crash) in the city

A Federation style ship crashes into what appears to be San Francisco Bay (not the USS Enterprise note difference in nacelle/strut style)

Analysis of Japanese Trailer Bonus Shots: Who is the Family?

There are also a couple of extra seconds in the Japanese trailer. These have more from Benedict Cumberbatch’s character saying…

"is there anything you wouldn’t do for your family?"

Once again we are left with a question. Who is his family? Is he seeking vengeance because of his family?

Kirk looks concerned (appears to be at same location as Starfleet meeting attack shown above)

Kirk (Presumably, maybe Cumberbatch) and Spock touch hands through transparent wall in moment that is very reminiscent of iconic scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

What have we learned? – and what haven’t we learned

The trailer confirms many things about Star Trek Into Darkness, including some previously reported spoilers from

  • Cumberbatch is playing a human (or human appearing) character, however he appears stronger than an average human

  • Cumberbatch’s character is either in Starfleet (or for some reason wears a Starfleet shirt at times)

  • Alice Eve appears to be playing a science officer or medical officer

  • Klingons appear in the film (and are wearing same helmets as seen in 2009 movie’s deleted scenes)

  • Locations visited include San Francisco, an Alien planet with red jungle (and possibly same place as Volcano), a planet with Klingons

  • We see what appears to be two different types of ship interiors (the Enterprise and some other ship with darker interior)

  • The Enterprise can go under water

  • Some Starfleet type ship crashes into water

  • It appears someone who deserves a Starfleet memorial dies…and at some point Uhura gets very upset and needs consoling

  • There are some new Starfleet uniform variants and characters will be seen in a number of other costumes

But there are of course many questions. We still don’t know which canon characters are being played by Eve and Cumberbatch. Also Peter Weller doesn’t even appear, nor do Anton Yelchin or Bruce Greenwood (unless we are seeing back of his head in one shot). But there is another trailer coming next weekend along with the first nine minutes of the film with the Hobbit in IMAX.

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I am loving this so far. Don’t care what all the naysayers are talking about…this is better than no Star Trek. I just hope it’s a fun film and not all dark knight

So, here is my guess at the plotline:

Gary Mitchell is found by someone. (Not dead, as thought)

He uses the Klingons–and a few Starfleet operatives– to aid him in seeking revenge on Kirk.

His powers are not fully functional, due to his ‘death’. He needs a power source to ‘recharge’ himself to full capacity (hence the filming done in the science building that took place early in the year.)

Dr Dehner is also the target of his revenge, as she spurned him. (flashbacks to her doing this prior to his assignment on the Enterprise, as in the comic she is not there.) Or she was part of the ‘secret’ team working on his rejuvination, and she abandonded the group, and him.

Ultimately he is destroyed (ala Dr Soren from Generations) by Kirk blowing up the power source with Gary in it.

(You can substitute Garth’s name for Gary, I suppose. If it is Garth. But having seen this trailer, I know switch my position back to Gary.)

It seems to me that the villain’s ears may be pointed, as I noted in my blog.

Well after a few views of side by side of the water ship and the 2009 enterprise, that is not the enterprise coming out of the water. The nacelles are different styles. 09 has a straight look to it. This has a straight bit then pops up to a rear bit. 09 nacelles are – – – – – and water is_____––––

“Locations visited include San Francisco, an Alien planet with red jungle (and possibly same place as Volcano), a planet with Klingons”

Which should put to rest any false assumptions that there is no “Trekking to the stars.” Not to mention the official synopsis indicated they were going to an alien world.

When you say “another trailer coming next weekend” do you mean the day after tomorrow or the week following that?

#4 – The registry on the side of the nacelles says “1701” before it fades out. Will provide a screen cap if needed. The ship shown as crashing toward the end is obviously a different ship.

I can´t wait! ;-)

Yes the end one us indeed another ship. By the rising one does not look like the big e. Can you provide a shot? I’d love to be proven wrong because seeing the prise come out of water would be amazing.

This trailer seems to be more puzzling than anything else. Yes it’s completely awesome, but I think we should treat this as just a small snippet of something. This gives us nothing to go on in terms of plot or story. I think we need to wait for the full trailer next week for a real look at the film.

Great, the last movie a beer factory doubled as Engineering, now the Enterprise can enter the atmosphere, hell, under water no less.

WTF seriously?

Before people start saying that “This isn’t Star Trek”… The Undiscovered Country was dark (so was First Contact and Nemesis).

Where can I download that image of Cumberbatch sitting in his Captain’s Chair for my desktop wallpaper?

What is Spock looking for in a volcano? It would have to be something protected by a forcefield, like Cumby’s ship, the entrance to the Klingon base or maye eve Landru is hidden there, if it plays a key role after the tease at the end of the Archon comic and Cumby got hold of it.

^ The Enterprise has flown in atmosphere before.

And Voyager traveled in Fluidic Space.

It is interestying there are no scenes of London, despite it featuring on the poster. Do both San Francisco and London end up devastated? Are other cities affected too?

@4 er yea it is the Enterprise coming out of the water…

Really does look incredible, I mean totally worth the 4 year wait, VERY excited :D

@1 My thoughts exactly.

I think Chekov’s gonna die.


Would you tell us if you know more if a trailer will be attached to the Hobbit premiere on 12.12.12 in Germany


Enjoyed the trailer. I wonder if what seems like the Enterprise rising out of the sea, is buoyancy just after the impact?
Shame 23rd century Earth’s citites are so grim, if Earth is supposed to be a utopia. Then I except the cities to be greener?

… but revenge? Why does it have to be revenge again?

“expected” I mean

@12 Ryan,

Ryan, seriously, why? I mean just why do you bother yourself and others by just being so negative.

I think all those people saying this isn’t Star Trek should actually spend the time watching the show rather than just posting flippantly on here and elsewhere.

Clearly this IS Star Trek, you may not like it but it clearly IS Star Trek…

The memorial better not be for Spock Prime.

That building at pic #2 looks incredibly cheap and cheesy – bad 1990s architecture.

Kirk punching Cumberbatch and Spock looking.

I think Cumberbatch saved them from the Klingons and then Kirk recognized Cumberbatch and punched him. Like, you know, when a friend dies and come backs from the dead…

The Japanese literally says, Humanity’s (people’s) greatest weakness is love.”

Yep, I’m here for this movie whenever it appears. Can’t wait to read it in Japanese and experience it on a completely different emotional level.

And this “is there anything you wouldn’t do for your family?” and the hands are total misdirection!

Ryan, looks like Enterprise is crashing as opposed to just entering underwater.
Interestingly, how will the ship’s artificial gravity react against the human body when the Earth’s natural gravity is also pulling against it ( perpendicular to the ship’s gravity no less ).

Any answers?

– 14 Dalek please choose a new username I’ve been using this for years.

Anthony, where is:

ZOOM: Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and McCoy (Karl Urban) spotted in crowd.

Also… any chance that place with the big concentric yellow ring thing on the wall is Rura Penthe? I know that Uhura’s there, but she’s not wearing any kind of Federation uniform (now that there are many different types of them.)

Memorial = Christopher Pike?

Star Trek 2009: The Enterprise is being built on the ground.
Star Trek Into Darkness: The Enterprise goes under water.
Star Trek on the Road: The Enterprise has wheels. Live with it.
Star Trek Transformers: The Enterprise morphs into a huge sandwich toaster.

Yeah, I think Pike is more likely than Kirk for the glass-pane scene in the Japanese trailer.

I think that’s who the memorial is for. Pike.

A friend of mine was just speculating…Volcano Planet…Genesis??
( I doubt it )

Great and epic! So now I have my doubts it’s Khan.

While nothing in this rules out Gary Mitchell (he wasn’t British in TOS – but I guess that timeline changes could have effected that), I’m guessing its a sleeper that no one that I have seen has mentioned. The story mentions that Cumberbatch’s character says “is there anything you wouldn’t do for your family?”

I think he is playing Joaquin, Khan’s 2nd from “Space Seed.” I think the Klingons find the Botany Bay, and Khan is killed and Joaquin blames Earth and has returned for vengeance.

35 – Steve, I thought so at first but if you look closely thats a young man’s hand and not an older guy.

Scotty consoling Uhura (not in dress uniform) is very emotional two. It may rather fit the WoK moment.

And yeah, we see the Enterprise’s huge nacelle – saucer still under the surface – coming out of the water. Feels like a huge reveal before a potential final battle.

Crewmen thrown about could also be from the Starfleet ship crashing into the San Francisco Bay waters.

Is that Kirk and Spock in #21?


The kirk and spock iconic hand salute, that is so very wrath of khan.I just hope Spock does not die in this film.

@39 Dalek

I suppose you may have a point. Even still. I don’t think it’s nearly that obvious. JJ does many things that some would say are wrong, but I would never say he’s obvious.

There’s a twist in there that fans will have to pick up on. The shot of Kirk before the hand shot is there as a red herring.

The Starfleet meeting is:

Core Starfleet Command staff meeting – members of fleet command assassinated by Benedict’s character.

That’s what the weird statement meant:

…”detonated” at the hart of Starfleet…. or something….

Also the reason why the first shots are in a greyish style (funeral speech) etc. is because it is a memory flashback at the beginning of the movie!

Uh did I say too much? :)

@35, check out the Chris Pine Hand P**n Spectacular site, and I can’t post the link since it’s banned on this site.

It’s his hands on the glass.

We want star trek – love, friendship family danger starships, klingons – looks like we have it – this is star trek for the 21st century – i loved this teaser trailer so did my 2 daughters who are 19 and 21! Nuff said!

Great stuff, Anthony! Thanks!

Spock and Kirk in the glass pane scene? I don’t know about that…I was kinda shocked by that scene. :D

Captain Pike, killed in an assault against the Klingons. Cumberbatch-Villain ( also a protege of Pike ) wants bloody revenge, doesn’t care who stands in his way.

While the Federation sues for peace with the Klingon Empire, Cumberbatch wants nothing more to destroy them, and the ‘cowardly’ humans who are negotiating a peace treaty…

48. Spock Jenkins – Very plausable

The roles are flipped – Spock is outside, and Kirk is the one trapped in the chamber…definite red herring shot…