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Star Trek Into Darkness Stupid Plot Holes Explained


star trek into darkness enterpriseEverybody on the roller-coaster, put your hands up! That's a direct order from Commander Fun! There are jerks out there that probably went to undergrad at UCLA that are being quoted in ads for Star Trek Into Darkness for using words like, "whiz-bang!" or "fun!" or "adventure!" or "rip-snorting!" in their film reviews. We would be so blessed to have rip-snorting added into any sentence, especially one about Star Trek Into Darkness.

The movie isn't bad. It is entertaining, but if it were rip-snorting, that would actually mean there was a possibility of people getting dirty or facing some kind of consequence. This movie, this $99.99 add-on protective casing for your iPad that your dad got you, believes that it has form, function, and maybe even some brains under that fantastic dye-job.

The trouble is that Star Trek Into Darkness is trying to serve wine to young people when it should just serve cheese to people that like cheese. Lots of people like cheese! It's on almost every kind of sandwich imaginable. It's awesome. If I had to give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of my life, I'd give up chocolate. While trying to serve that many tastes, Star Trek Into Darkness' helmsmen had to sacrifice logic in the name of, well, creating a living homage to The Wrath of Khan. That's when the plot holes start cracking open.


Why was the Enterprise under water and not in space?

Likely because of the magnetic (?) interference the volcano was giving off. The volcano was identified was a world-killer, and could have been messing with the beaming, so they had to park her nearby. Just like in Lost, Damon Lindelof doesn't know how magnets work, and assumes nobody else does, so he leans pretty hard on that miracle.

Is Damon Lindelof a hack?

At this point, yeah. He wrote or co-wrote Lost, Cowboys & Aliens, Prometheus, and now Star Trek Into Darkness. What are your feelings towards these movies and shows? They all kinda have neat concepts ultimately marred by an inescapable blubber of bullshit. I wouldn't trust this guy to push a fucking broom.

Why didn't they beam Spock straight out of the volcano?

Checkov mentions that they needed line of sight in this case, again, because of the funky, convenient interference. They also violate the Prime Directive.

star trek into darkness harrisonBack on earth, why does Kirk have a three-way with cat-people?

Because he probably grew up watching Avatar when he was young, and felt things.

After blowing up the captain's meeting, why does Khan beam to Kronos?

Okay, here's where the movie really starts to drag its ass across the carpet. At this point, we have to assume that Khan, nee John Harrison, formerly kept on a pretty tight leash by admiral-Robocop to access his beg, sexy, savage, British brain, is gaming the system. Khan got everybody important into a room so he could frag them, then he bolted to the other side of the galaxy. Why? Besides the obvious, why Kronos? One would assume he was taking refuge from admiral-Robocop's pursuit, assuming he knew admiral-Robocop was hellbent on war with the Klingons, but not quite ready to execute the pre-emptive strike. If so, did Khan assume that he would be safe? Or did he assume that whomever was sent in his pursuit would be armed with the torpedoes with his frozen people in them?

Did he WANT that? Did he not know where his people were? Was Khan hoping that admiral-Robocop would show his hand and try to leverage him, and then he'd get his cryo-sleeping crew back? Why didn't admiral-Robocop go do the job himself if the situation was this mysterious and volatile? What the heck, man?

So either way, it was stupid for Khan to go to Kronos?

Yes. He should have either known flight to Kronos was feeble because:

a) Admiral-Robocop would have nuked him off the surface, hoping for any excuse to start the war (that Khan knew he wanted)
b) He would have nuked him off the surface using the people-torpedoes, killing two birds with one stone
c) The possibility that somebody would actually attempt to arrest him was slim

Wasn't Khan kinda surprised that Kirk had the 72 torpedoes?

Yes! Immediately, he threw down arms, thus proving that as smart as Khan was, he had begun improvising at that point. Kirk was out for vengeance, Khan saw him during his attack on the conference room, and Khan could never have anticipated Kirk's change of heart from frothing blood-vengeance and attempt a live-arrest.

Are space coordinates just like street addresses?

Basically. Scotty got the location of the un-findable Murder-Class Ultraship from Kirk (and from Khan), and then sorta drove to Jupiter like he was going to that warehouse a few blocks past the Pinkberry. It houses Halliburton HQ and its security is all automated, so it's very easy for Simon Pegg to walk in the front door of Frankenstein's space-castle.

star trek into darkness vengeanceWhat about Dark-Enterprise Khan helped admiral-Robocop build?

This actually made sense to me. Somebody mentioned at some point that since the destruction of Vulcan, the galaxy had fallen into a less-enlightened, more militarized space. As odd as it was that admiral-Robocop had to unthaw Khan to "help me learn about brutality and violence, we don't have that in our time!" was fucking dumb, it sort of worked that his character was very un-Star Trek and very keen on war with the Klingons. But still, dude, you couldn't think to build a bigger version of the Enterprise, with a different paint-job, and big guns? He needed Unfrozen Caveman-Cummerbatch to come up with that one?

It's the future. You're enlightened, not a hippie-poet.

Wait, the more-militarized, alternate-timeline thing was neat though!

Indeed, in a lot of ways. The fact that these two reboot Star Trek movies are more action-heavy makes canonical sense. Without Vulcan, the universe is decidedly different. Instead of sending the Enterprise on its five-year voyage to explore strange new worlds, we have a more edgy, terrorized Federation Starfleet. They want bigger guns instead of peace-keeping because the Vulcans are so few to influence the galactic stage with their learnedness. This is a very cool meta-narrative to explain how the new movies get to have more heck-yeah action!

star trek into darkness carolWhy was Carol Marcus in this movie?

There is zero reason for her to exist. She got half-naked, almost killed Bones with the bomb, failed to stop admiral-Robocop from firing on the Enterprise with her daughterly plea, and then broke her leg. Nice, uh, bob though.

So it's a redo of Wrath of Khan? That's not allowed!

It's allowed. They didn't succeed, though. It's fan-fic, alt-timeline Wrath of Khan. There's some bullshit predestination speech that Spock Prime makes in the first reboot to explain why, despite the differences caused by Nero's interference with the timeline, the universe is trying to right itself and make sure things happen the way they're SUPPOSED to, meddling humans / Romulans and their time-travel be damned. That's why, of all people, Scotty just so happened to be on that ice planet Kirk crashes on in the other movie. It's not coincidence, it's the hand of god.

The same logic could be applied to why Into Darkness, this half-boot Wrath of Khan, can have a role-switch on the reactor-fixing bit. The universe is getting close to fixing itself -- but not quite all the way. Seems god's hands are powerful, inaccurate.

(I wonder what it was like for somebody that hasn't seen Wrath of Khan to see Into Darkness? If you're one of those lucky few, let me know your reaction to Spock screaming after Kirk died. You laughed, right? Everybody around me laughed.)

Kirk was brought back to life! That's a big goddamn deal.

It is. Khan's blood can reverse death. Not sickness, not boo-boos -- full-on death. And Bones even says it wasn't technically Khan's blood, it was a SYNTHESIZED version of Khan's blood that he injected into Dead Kirk to save him. So Starfleet effectively has a fountain of youth sitting in the freezer, now that they have all 73 eugenic-freaks napping? Yeah, exactly. Have fun explaining that one away in the next movie. Billions of immortal, sex-crazed tribbles.

star trek into darkness vulcanThe next movie could be good!

It could. Having hopefully shed the need to be Star Trek Babies, the gang can go out into the cosmos and do some cool shit. I'm not kidding, they should take a stab at the Final Frontier story. Sure, Star Trek V was a Shatner-induced stomach-ulcer, but it's a neat concept about finding God at the center of the universe. Go high-intellectual. Put Matt Reeves on directing duties, he's JJ Abram's bro, except he doesn't have a Spielberg-complex. There are enough potential sci-fi action blasterpieces out there (Elysium? Pacific Rim? Riddick?), so why not let Star Trek be Star Trek, and be high-minded and cerebral?

Man, it would have been cool if Kirk had stayed dead, for really-reals. Then again, Star Trek Three: The Search 'Fer Kirk would be A Movie Nobody Wants. For fuck's sake, they killed Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 2, and that third one sure wasn't great. Maybe the lesson was learned.

We wept for Leonard Nimoy. Nobody will weep for Chris Pine.

-- Alex Crumb
...on Twitter  |  @Alex_Crumb 

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I saw Into Darkness without having seen Wrath of Khan. The only one of the first set of movies I've seen is part of the one with the whales. Nobody in the theater, including me, laughed when Spock yelled, but I wasn't sure what he was yelling at first. I thought it was just a guttural anguish sound for a second. Then I thought it was weird that he yelled "Khan!" because wasn't it the admiral's fault that the ship broke down and Kirk had to sacrifice himself to fix it? My husband explained the Wrath of Khan parallels to me after the movie, including the yelling.
Posted @ Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:41 AM by JR
Agree with much ofnwhat you said, however when people feel compelled to nitpick new Star Trek, it reminds how flawed the original films could be. For example: 
A. Everyone laughed when Shatner shouted Khan, so why should that be different now? 
B. While the "Khan's blood saves lives" development is absurd, it's no less plausible than the Genesis Torpedo, a plot device that just gets silly in Search for Spock when we learn about "proto-matter," which makes the Genesis Planet unstable for reasons that make no sense. 
That said, one aspect of Into Darkness that just doesn't sit right with me is Reboot Khan. Given that Khan and his colony were frozen in the 20th Century, it makes no sense that Khan is a skinny British guy instead of a jacked Spaniard. While it makes perfect sense that Khan would be unfrozen at a different point in time, therefore changing the future arc of his story, Nero's time warp couldn't have erased Ricardo Mantalban's pecs.
Posted @ Saturday, June 08, 2013 11:10 PM by Dave Brown
@Dave Brown Ricardo Mantalban's pecs are a fixed point in space-time -- they can't be re-written! I re-watched Search For Spock recently, and the proto-matter / katra-revival thing reminds us that Star Trek has done resurrection before. That gives it a small pass. What bugged me about Nu-Khan is that Original Khan was not just a savage psycho, he was also a lothario in the "enlightened" Federation era of human history. He was a douche out of water (colloquially!). He was conniving and hitting on the female ensigns in his TOS episode "Space Seed," a much more loathly villain for it, driven by general cruelty, not just semi-sympathetic vengeance. Either way, as good as Cummerbatch was, him being Khan was inconsequential, and kind of a waste.
Posted @ Monday, June 10, 2013 9:34 AM by Alex Crumb
Actually, I feel like the change in Khan's motives could be explicable based on the timeline alteration. He came out of cryogenics at a different point in time, and all of his post-freeze experiences were therefore different. So, it's reasonable that he might be focused on revenge than he would be on women. 
While many people are complaining about the retread/spin of original timeline developments (Kirk's death/resurrection, etc.), I am almost willing to give this a pass, because it's reasonable that as time moves forward, things will play out in a similar fashion (i.e. determinism). However, the movie does very little work to establish this as a theme, and therefore we're not left to feel that it's fate making this happen, but rather the plot. 
Posted @ Monday, June 10, 2013 12:53 PM by Dave Brown
It's obvious that it wasn't Khan who decided to go to Kronos. He was beamed there by Marcus as an excuse to start the war. dah
Posted @ Monday, June 10, 2013 6:09 PM by Anonymous
"Khan, nee John Harrison..." 
I thought John Harrison was Khan's alias, not his birth name (and I'm pretty sure he was a guy).
Posted @ Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:42 PM by Howard
When Kirk goes into the engine core, why doesn't he wear a radiation suit? 
When the two ships enter Earth orbit and begin battling where is the rest of Starfleet? Does Earth have no defenses? Why does no one on the entire planet attempt to hail the ships? 
After the Enterprise destablizes and begins to fall they mention they still have auxiliary power in action. Why is it so poorly designed?  
Why doesn't anybody have personal shields? Why does everything devolve to a banal fist fight? 
Bones discovers how to reverse radiation poisoning, apparently a new discovery? Doesn't anybody acknowledge this world-changing breakthrough? And will his new ability to revive the dead be mysteriously forgotten in the next sequel? Shouldn't they be reviving others that died such as all the people in San Fran who died without a shrug?  
The Dr Carol Marcus character has no reason to exist and then she isn't the least bit disturbed about the events of her father's death. "Bad guy dies so I'm neutral as long as I get my leg fixed and get to be seen in my underwear!" 
Why did Khan agree to help Adm Marcus build a secret fleet? 
How did Marcus funnel massive funds/contractors/etc. in secret? 
There's no reason for Kirk launching 72 bodies at Khan on Kronos. 
Why do the warlike Klingons have no spaceship detection , communications or transporter detection capabilities? 
Marcus was secretly using Kirk to start a war with the Klingons so that he could fight them with his new ship but what was hisplan when they also attacked Earth, just hope that there were Earth armies ready to fight? Because he didn't organize any or warn anyone. Did he just want mutual annihilation for no reason? 
Why didn't Scotty disable the Vengeance ship earlier? Why don't they intercept Scotty's transmissions? 
Khan asks for the torpedos and even though he's a super-genius he doesn't make sure they're disarmed? 
Why does old Spock warn young Spock about Khan only to have Kirk figure it out on his own? 
Why is it when characters are fighting on the tops of moving vehicles their hair, clothing and movements are not affected by wind? 
If Khan knew Marcus' plan was to start a war, why did he go to the Kronos? Wouldn't that be the one place not to go? He didn't know the 72 bodies were coming... 
Why did the crew never figure out how Marcus crippled their ship in Klingon airspace? 
Spock asks Uhura to contact New Vulcan but when Old Spock contacts them, it says he's the one hailing them. Why? 
When Scotty goes to Jupiter why doesn't thier computer ask him to identify? They don't care who comes or goes! 
Why didn't they just move the peoples away from the destructive volcano since they'd already been discovered. 
Why didn't they hide a shuttle just out of sight instead of the whole ship underwater? 
When Khan attacks the Starfleet HQ, why doesn't he use the weapon he has on Kronos (or at least the same thing used in the London attack)? 
If Khan can bean across galaxies why doesn't that technology interest anybody else? The Enterprise transporter is extremely fickle and can't even beam up Bones (yet they can find Khan across galaxies). 
How did Marcus know that Khan would beam himself to Kronos? 
After the terrorist attack at Starfleet London, why wasn't Starfleet San Fran under security alert? 
When the giuard on Vengeance finds Scotty why doesn't he fire on Scotty when Scotty lunges. The air is escaping a long ways away through a small hole (science fail). 
Why doesn't the escaped air notify the bridge? 
Why doesn't Uhurus's phaser incapacitate Khan the way Scotty's did? Since women have no value in this universe other than romance/sex/damsels-in- distress, are they given shitty phasers too? 
Why are there flames inside a volcano? Why does a coldfusion bomb freeze everything? 
Why do they argue about the prime directive in rescuing Spock when they've already caused the damage and broken it? 
How does Kirk get promoted around thousands of other potential candidates? Seems like there'd be hundereds of thousands of upset and more qualified academy members (especially older, more mature members) who wouldn't want to work under him but apparently there's maybe 1. Maybe. He seems incredibly underqualified and young. 
Why didn't Thomas Harewood arrange to blow the whistle on Khan after he died in the explosion? 
Marcus vacillated between good guy and bad guy about 6 times. Why didn't Kirk immediately stun him on the bridge and why did Scotty fail to keep Khan stunned seconds after being told to do so? He should be demoted for that. 
After a ship devastates San Fran why does the city block away keep functioning as if nothing happened?
Posted @ Saturday, November 23, 2013 10:01 AM by Jaclson
I Saw Star Trek into the Darkness. & I love it. Thank yu, FRANCE'S YOZAWITZ
Posted @ Saturday, January 25, 2014 6:18 PM by frances Yozawitz
Points I didn't see mentioned - how do we know so little about the Klingons when they're so close? When the Enterprise flees the super-ship it takes all of a minute to get to Earth orbit?  
With Earth and Kronos that close the border is completely unmonitored? 
Posted @ Saturday, May 17, 2014 11:12 PM by Mark
I just re-watched this and it occurred to me.. 
Everything that happened prior to Nero turning up as Kirk was being born should remain unchanged. 
Much of my plot hole and contrivance issues all stem around things that were set in motion before the first arrival of Nero. Until that point nothing should be changed. 
"Into the Darkness" is a prime example. As the original story went, Khan and his people were put in to stasis aboard the USS Botany Bay and sent off into space long before Kirk was born. 
So, why then were Khan & his peeps locked away in some Starfleet facility? 
Posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 8:56 AM by Brian
I just found this blog after being logically bugged by some of STI's plot and I have this to say: STD's magic blood cop-out could have easily been more passable with one short line or two:  
BONES: Well, medical science says it's debatable as to whether you were 'dead' dead... And the synthesised blood merely repaired the damage to your nervous an circulatory systems caused by the <blahblah> radiation. But you'd certainly not be coming back without it, Jim.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:36 AM by Kevin
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