Shot-By-Shot Analysis Of Star Trek Into Darkness Domestic Theatrical Trailer + Did Title Cards Clue The Villain?

The new domestic theatrical trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness is now online. There are tons of goodies to see so once again TrekMovie takes a deep dive with a shot-by-shot analysis. Check it all out below, but beware of Spoilers.

[UPDATE: Did the title cards give us the biggest clue yet?]


Star Trek Into Darkness Domestic Theatrical Trailer Analysis

As this is the fifth trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness, this analysis will focus on the shots that are new, including variations or extended bits from things we have seen before…Shall we begin?

(Click images to enlarge)

Look at London skyline from “Father’s” (Noel Clark’s character’s) apartment

Kirk in San Francisco

Dialog   (Voice Over transition to scene)

Pike: You think you can’t make mistakes. But the choices you make can get yourself and everyone under your command killed…but I believe in you Jim.

Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) talks to Kirk (Chris Pine)

Starfleet HQ – San Francisco

Dialog  (Voice Over)

Harrison: Darkness. Is. Coming.

Starfleet HQ gets attacked by Harrison

Dialog (voice over)

Kirk: This could just be the beginning.
Admiral Marcus: Beginning of what?
Kirk: All out war.

Room full of tubes with windows (possibly cryo-stasis chambers) – with two unknown characters leaving

Saucer of ship (possibly ‘Dreadnought class’ revealed at CinemaCon last night) slices through downtown San Francisco

Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) flees from a scene

Kirk talks to Admiral Pike at Starfleet HQ meeting


Kirk: I request permission to go after him.

Starfleet “Surveillance” image of “John Harrison” from (presumably) London attack — note under his name it says “Unknown”

Spock (Zachary Quinto) confronts Kirk on USS Enterprise


Spock: I cannot allow you to do this.

Sulu (John Cho) on bridge of USS Enterprise

Kirk in captain’s chair on bridge of USS Enterprise


Kirk: Let’s go get this son of a bitch.

USS Enterprise prepares to leave Earth station

Zoom in shot of USS Enterprise bridge with Kirk standing next to window/view screen

Dialog (voice over)

Harrison: You are a pawn, Kirk.

Uhura (Zoe Saldana) on Enterprise bridge – in her wetsuit from Nibiru mission

Dialog (voice over)

Crewperson: Sir, there is a ship heading right for us.

Kirk looks at something

Dialog (voice over)

Harrison: You cannot even guarantee the safety of your own crew.

Scotty (Simon Pegg) looks through window at something (he may be in a shuttle craft)

‘Dreadnought class’ ship warps in front of USS Enterprise – and it is huge!

Dreadnought-class ship faces off against Enterprise

Spock and the bridge crew stare (presumably) at the giant black ship

Dialog (voice over)

Harrison: Now, shall we begin?

Dreadnought aims giant gun at puny looking Enterprise

A dejected Kirk turns to face his crew


Kirk: I’m sorry.

Enterprise gets fired on (presumably by Dreadnought)

Klingons rappel out of ship on Qo’noS

Klingon soldiers stand ready on Qo’noS

Harrison reveals himself to the Klingons

Harrison lands after jumping down and killing poor Klingons

Kirk in civilian clothes on Qo’noS with a weapon (not standard Starfleet phaser)

Kirk space jumps between Enterprise and Dreadnought-class ship

Harrison jumps through glass door in San Francisco

Spock chases Harrison through San Francisco

Harrison jumps onto floating barge in San Francisco

Scotty talks to Kirk


Scotty: The ship’s dead sir. She’s gone.

Kirk and Scotty run through halls of Enterprise which appears to be having major malfunction of the gravity plating

Kirk looks determined while sitting in captain’s chair

Dialog (Voice Over)

Kirk: No she’s not.

Harrison fights Spock on floating barge in San Francisco

Klingon ship fires on civilian shuttle (with Kirk, Spock, Uhura and some other crewmen on board)

Harrison attacks Starfleet HQ meeting in some kind of small craft

Explosion on Dreadnought-class ship

Scotty looks worried and Kirk is running behind him – on board USS Enterprise

Harrison in command chair of (presumably) Dreadnought-class ship


Harrison: No ship should go down without her captain.

Some kind of small object flies from Dreadnought and fires on Enterprise

Enterprise takes severe damage

Kirk at scene of Starfleet HQ attack

Dialog (Voice Over)

Pike: I believe in you Jim.

More thoughts: Kirk still on journey to greatness

Firstly this trailer is clearly made with a more Trek-friendly audience in mind than the full-length international trailer – which is of course by design. Like what was done with the trailers for the 2009 Star Trek film, this trailer focuses on Kirk and shows that he is still struggling with his command of the Federation’s flagship. While other Trek episodes and films (especially Star Trek III following the death of his son) have shown us classic Kirk in distress, Chris Pine’s Kirk is still on his journey.

The Kirk presented in this trailer is at time’s dejected (even apologizing to his crew) but also determined (in a personal way) to get John Harrison. But woven into that is Pike’s vision for Kirk that he has the ‘greatness’ within him to be that Kirk that we know.

It is nice to finally see some ship-on-ship action for this trailer with Paramount finally revealing the ‘other Starship’ which is a ginormous black Federation ship. And it seems once again the USS Enterprise take a serious beating – even more than the damage it took from Nero’s Narada in Star Trek 2009.

The USS Enterprise faces off against a giant dark ship (again)

 Overall this is clearly another big tentpole action movie for the summer. The film seems even bigger than the 2009 Star Trek film. The trailer also presents Into Darkness as a more serious film. While we know there are humorous elements of the movie – they are not evident from this trailer. The tagline (via title cards) makes that clear but also includes Star Trek’s core message of hope “This Summer – Beyond The Darkness – Lies Greatness.”

A message of hope

…one more thought….a Khan-ection?

Reports that Benedict Cumberbatch is actually Khan Noonien Singh have been going since the movie was in production (and even before that too). Well could it be that the trailer has yet another clue (and I’m not talking about those cryo-tubes). The original Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan trailer contains a voice over which starts “Beyond the darkness, beyond the human evolution…is Khan..” Watch it.

More ‘shot by shot’ analysis

Check out TrekMovie’s other analyses:


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Spock’s uniform is mirror-imaged in the trailer (SF insignia on his right side, rather than the left) @1:50 during the chase. Maybe reflection in glass, or ‘oopsie’


INCREDIBLE. Best trailer yet.

OMG, what a trailer! I can;’t wait for May 17th

I’m going to be the first to say it. Looking a these trailers all together and looking at the size of that ship. I can’t see the Enterprise surviving this one. I of course hope I am wrong. I really do. Plus did anyone else get a lump in their throats at Scotty’s line, The ship’s dead sir. She’s gone. I did.

Can’t Wait

‘killing poor Klingons’

That made me laugh out loud.


I like what I see… for a trailer. (1st.)

31 days and counting. Damn it I can’t wait.

Great! Another Narada. Rinse and Repeat. Only difference is that it appears to be yet an even more freakishly huge Federation ship.

My Thought Is That Dreadnought Silhouette Looks An Awful Lot Like An Excelsior Class Ship (Sorry For The Caps, My Phone Is Acting Weird)

Whats with the wide mouth shots? First Marcus does it screaming, and now Harrison is doing it…

I recon the huge ship is built by the klingons who stole plans from star fleet via defector John, who the Klingon then tried to screw over by then giving him no involvement from then on, but John knew all along they were going to do that and was all a part of his plan to steal the ship and blow the hell out of people in starfleet HQ who genetically engineered, then abandoned John and others like him because they are too dangerous.

John awakens the other starfleet augments to help him wage war against the federation.

How many times are they going to destroy the enterprise? We just got this one!

i think that civilian ship is mudds ship from the comics

If you click on the shot of the Cryo-tubes, and zoom in on the one front and center, am I the only one that can sort of see a face? If you lean your head to your right, you can sort of make out the brow and nose of a man’s face.

Always love the analysis, thanks guys.

Are the Klingons holding Bat’leths as they repel?

Common thing for trailer editors to do – flop shots to keep horizontal action consistent. Won’t be flopped in the actual film.

Is it just me or does that Dreadnought have kind of the same shape as Enterprise D.

The Dreadnaught-class ship looks like an early /JJverse version of the Galaxy-class, doesn’t it? Look at the profile of the saucer and the way the engineering hull blends into the saucer.

the klingons look flipping retarded. I was ok with the helmet idea but I really hate that helmet. Oh well, I LOVE the trailer and can’t wait to see it in theater.


I loved the other trailers but this is it. The crew, bound together… That’s trek!

Just one complaint… Where the hell is Chekov?

the dreadnought looks more like a giant Excelsior to me (but with normal nacell struts

So they still have breakable GLASS doors at that time in the future…? Why not transparent aluminum…?

@17 the faces do look human to me.

I wondered about the multiple times we’ve lost the Enterprise, too. What is this- five?

Still, I look forward to seeing the movie. 31 days left!


I know. Just found it interesting… especially since that happened with one of the stills (iirc.. and, again with ZQ) for the 2009 movie.

The Dreadnaught is missing that third nacelle…however, it looks like it gained a ‘Macross Cannon’ :-)

Is that a Vulcan woman in the shot with Pike at the Starfleet HQ meeting? Sure looks like one.

15: The Enterprise has only been destroyed twice in 47 years, and the last time was 19 years ago. Sorry if that’s too often.

My BABY!!!!!!!

@ 17: Thomas: What you are seeing is the result of the SS Botany Bay ( Khan’s men in cryo-sleep )

How’s that Kirk promotion working out for you now, Starfleet? Never send boy to do mans job….

My theory: After the destruction of Vulcan, Starfleet creates a powerful ship (similar to the the Defiant after the Battle of Wolf 359), but instead of being helmed by Starfleet officers, it is supposed to be run by cloned genetic soldiers of the Botany Bay as canon fodder similar to the Jem Hadar?

#30 3 times. 1701-1701 C-1701D.

‘After lands after jumping down and killing poor Klingons”!!!!

The quote from Harrison…. ” You are a pawn… Kirk “…. That sounds exactly like a quote that Khan Noonien Singh would say! But what a tick what am i saying…. The man IS Khan Noonien Singh!!!!

In the context of the trailer the tubes look like they may be coffins.

Is it just me or are there even more lens flares in the movie than the last one? You can’t even see the other ship properly when it warps in because of a giant lens flare!

On top of that, the camera showing the action when the Enterprise gets attacked acts so spazzy that I can barely see what the heck is going on.

More and more I’m worried that I’m going to not like this movie.

Has anyone heard the cast say the name “John Harrison”? If not then all options are still on the table as to just who this guy is.

Funny, the first thing I thought of in regard to the new mystery ship was the Enterprise-C. It has already been bounced around time and space quite a bit.

#38 Negative. Coffins don’t have moisture inside which these do.

So, the ridiculously over-sized Enterprise wasn’t enough? They had to give Starfleet a ship that is around 1.6 kilometers long?! That’s as long as a SW Star Destroyer. (Or have they decided to acknowledge the fact that the JJ-Enterprise is closer to 350m, which makes the “dreadnought” more like the size of a Sovereign Class ship?)

Yes, the trailer looks exciting, but it is clear that JJTrek has jumped the shark. A “Go bigger!” starship mentality and a major rehash of plot points from the last film (Kirk loses his command, and has to “earn it” back, just like getting banished in the last film. An attack on SF, just like the last film, Enterprise facing a giant ship, just like last time…) just make it look like they have run out of originality, and have just decided to “go with what works, just bigger this time”.

Rather disappointing, overall.

@14. xandercom,
“…John knew all along they were going to do that and was all a part of his plan to steal the ship and blow the hell out of people in starfleet HQ who genetically engineered, then abandoned John and others like him because they are too dangerous….”

STOP right there … This dreadnought changes everything. Isn’t the first part of your plot ENOUGH now, without involving augments and Khan!?

This movie has absolutely nothing to do with Khan or the Botany Bay. It seems fairly clear now, if it wasn’t before.

It was a ridiculous idea before and it’s even more so now. This movie is about the Prime Directive, a covert Starfleet organization leveraging Narada technology, and Klingons. No Khan.

That “dreadnought” looks like Picards Enterprise.

If rumors are to be believed, how does Leonard Nimoy’s Spock prime figure into this?

Not impressed by all those Klingons. Couldn’t even defeat an ordinary human operative of Starfleet Intelligence.

I pointed this out awhile back but the new trailer shows it a lot more clearly now:

In the shot of the Enterprise warping away from the starbase, you can see another ship docked below, hull number NCC-0718 I believe.

Except for the half-saucer, that ship is dead on TOS style: Matte beige hull color, round nacelles with round red caps, etc..

I don’t know if it means anything at all but I found it extremely weird: it is the only TOS-style ship I’ve seen in the JJ-verse. Anyone up for some wild speculation as to what its purpose is?

I, too, believe in you Jim!