25 Things You Didn't Know About "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Facts about the movie and production of "Star Trek Into Darkness"

Star Trek Into Darkness is the sequel to 2009's Star Trek, the highly successful reboot of the Star Trek franchise. In the new movie, the Enterprise faces the powerful and mysterious terrorist John Harrison, aka. Khan. Here are some facts you may not have known about the science fiction action adventure.

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It's Not Star Trek 12

"Star Trek Into Darkness" poster. Paramount Pictures

The movie was deliberately given a title without numbers to avoid confusion, since this would technically be Star Trek 12.

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J.J. Abrams Hates Colons

Even though the subtitle "Into Darkness" should have had a colon before it, the producers left off the colon because they felt no word that comes after a colon after "Star Trek" is cool. Abrams felt movies like Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: First Contact lacked power.

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"Into Darkness" Has Power

Cast photo of Star Trek
Cast photo of "Star Trek" (2019). Paramount

Into Darkness was chosen as the subtitle because it conveyed emotion, but was ambiguous enough that it didn't give away the story.

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"Into Darkness" Didn't Have a Script

The original release date had been scheduled for 2011, but the release was pushed to 2014 due to problems with the story. As late as December 2010, there was no completed script yet.

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The Movie Needed "Gigantic Imagery"

Enterprise rising from the ocean
Enterprise rising from the ocean. Paramount Pictures

In an effort to get what co-screenwriter Bob Orci called "gigantic imagery," Kurtzman came up with the idea of a scene where the Enterprise comes out of the ocean. Then they had to come up with a scene to fit it.

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A Nod to "Raiders"

Kirk and McCoy run through Niburu
Kirk and McCoy run through Niburu. Paramount Pictures

The cold open on the alien planet Niburu with the heroes being chased by a primitive tribe, and its mix of action and comedy, was intended as an homage to the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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Khan Had to Be There

Despite their attempts to find an original story, the writers felt they had to use Khan as the villain in the sequel. Lindelof said that Khan "has such an intense gravity in the Trek universe, we likely would have expended more energy NOT putting him in this movie than the other way around."

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Other Choices For "John Harrison"

Kirk, Spock, and Khan in prison
Kirk, Spock, and Khan in prison. Paramount Pictures

Benicio del Toro was the first choice for the villain, but he later turned it down for monetary reasons. Demián Bichir and Mickey Rourke were also considered for the role, but Benedict Cumberbatch was cast instead.

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They Lied About Khan

Cast members repeatedly denied that the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness would be Khan, even though it later turned out to be true.

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Khan is White Because of Prejudice

Khan (Ricardo Montalban) in
Khan (Ricardo Montalban) in "Into Darkness". Paramount Pictures

Casting a white man as Khan was considered highly controversial, because the original Khan was supposed to be Indian, and played by a Latin American. However, screenwriter Bob Orci explained that they decided to make Khan white because he was uncomfortable with "demonizing anyone of color," making someone of Middle Eastern descent evil.

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Kirk Could Have Returned

At one point, Leonard Nimoy refused to reprise his role as Spock, leading Abrams to consider a cameo by William Shatner instead.

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Nimoy Loves Coffee Ice Cream

Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) in
Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) in "Into Darkness". Paramount Pictures

One of the conditions Nimoy put on his appearance was to have coffee ice cream on the set at all times. Nimoy loved coffee ice cream.

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The Last Spock

Star Trek Beyond was not only the last time Leonard Nimoy portrayed Spock, but was also his last movie role before his death in 2015.

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Thirty minutes of the movie are filmed in IMAX. 

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Klingon Chat

New Klingon in
New Klingon in "Into Darkness". Paramount Pictures

Marc Okrand, the linguist who developed the Klingon language, worked with on-set coaches to create dialogue for the Klingon scenes. However, when the scene was edited, the dialogue came out of order. New dialogue had to be written and dubbed over it in post production.

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The Neutron Gag

Simon Pegg and Chris Pine laughing
Simon Pegg and Chris Pine laughing. Paramount Pictures

While shooting the warp core sequence at the National Ignition Facility, Simon Pegg and Chris Pine told the other actors that the location was radioactive, and they had to jump up and down and wear "neutron cream" to protect themselves from it. The prank went out of control as the crew joined in. And yes, there is video.

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"Star Trek" Went International

Karl Urban and Alice Eve in Iceland
Karl Urban and Alice Eve in Iceland. Paramount Pictures

The scene where McCoy and Marcus inspect the experimental torpedo was filmed in Iceland. That made Into Darkness the first time any portion of a Star Trek movie was filmed outside the United States.

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Scotty Says "Jim"

During the loading of the torpedoes onto the Enterprise, Scotty calls Kirk by his first name "Jim," This is only the second time Scotty has ever called Kirk by his first name. The first time was during the original series episode "Mirror Mirror" when Scotty offers to stay behind to operate the transporter.

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Alice Eve's Underwear

Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in
Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in "Into Darkness". Paramount Pictures

The scene where Carol Marcus appeared in her underwear generated so much controversy that co-screenwriter Damon Lindelof apologized for the scene on Twitter.

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R2-D2 is in "Star Trek"

R2D2 in
R2D2 in "Star Trek Into Darkness". Paramount Pictures

In the battle scene where the Vengeance fires on the Enterprise and crewmen are sucked out into into space, there's an R2-D2 among the debris.

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J.J. Abrams Kids are in it

In the scene where the Vengeance crashes into San Francisco, two of J.J. Abrams' children appear. His son Henry is among the crowd that first notices the ship approaching the city. His daughter Gracie is one of the Starfleet cadets in another shot.

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It's Klingonese

The Klingon scene features music sung in Klingonese by a choir. The lyrics were written by music editor Alex Levy.

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The Bar Music

Scotty and Keener in the bar
Scotty and Keener in the bar. Paramount Pictures

The scene with Scotty and Keenser in the bar used different music depending on which country the movie played in. In the UK, it featured Bo Bruce's "The Rage That's In Us All." In the Australian version, it played "The Dark Collide" by Penelope Austin in the background.

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"Amok Time" Returned

During Spock's fight with Khan, six notes are played that are tonally similar to the iconic music during the Kirk-Spock fight in "Amok Time." Composer Michael Giaccino says he was asked by a Twitter user to incorporate music from the original series into the new film score.

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The Movie Disappointed

Despite making $467 million at the box office, the movie didn't meet Paramount's expectations. Some commentators blamed the studio's decision to hide the appearance of Khan in the movie, which could have made the movie more appealing to audiences. Instead, the trailers gave few hints about the story, and audiences didn't know what to expect.