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* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** [[spoiler:Admiral Marcus]] as a WellIntentionedExtremist. He figured that the exploration-focused Starfleet would not be able to win a war against the Klingons, a war he thought was inevitable (and may or may not actually be). He was only doing what he thought was necessary to ensure the Federation's survival. It's not even really that much of an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation - the guy just ends up tapping the MoralEventHorizon when [[spoiler:he opts to try and murder Kirk and the entire crew merely for having Khan in their custody, along with other acts]].
** Admiral Pike is willing to take severe measures against Kirk for his refusal to follow the rules... except Kirk only did this with the best of intentions and managed to save an entire planet and its inhabitants, did everything he could to remain within the bounds of the Prime Directive and violated it only when there was no other choice. Pike specifically rakes him over the coals for "interfering with [the planet's] destiny"... which indicates him to be an incredible snob and elitist willing to let untold millions die if they're not Federation material.
* AuthorsSavingThrow:
** The VillainEpisode comic book tie in reveals that [[spoiler:Khan had plastic surgery done so he appeared to be white, as opposed to Indian, his natural heritage]].
** Kirk getting reprimanded for his actions towards the beginning also qualifies. [[RealityEnsues Turns out that when you're a cocky, inexperienced captain of a starship who keeps breaking the rules]], [[spoiler:you eventually get removed from command]].
** Due to the disastrous handling of the extras for the Blu Ray release, Paramount is now offering a [[http://www.thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/062314_0600 new box set]], which includes the IMAX scenes in the film and loads of special features. It also includes the 2009 film with all of the goodies from the 3 disc set as well. They are also working on offering a discount for owners of original ''Into Darkness'' discs as well.
** Though several fans complained about [[spoiler:James Kirk]]'s death scene being a blatant copy of [[spoiler: Spock's death in ''[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan The Wrath of Khan]]'']], many of the same fans also applauded the filmmakers since the scene was basically a public apology to the fandom for [[spoiler:Kirk's [[DroppedABridgeOnHim infamously underwhelming death]] in ''[[Film/StarTrekGenerations Generations]]'']].
* BaseBreaker: James T. Kirk. While most will agree he had good character development over the course of the two movies, many more will debate whether said development is enough to actually make him a credible Captain. [[spoiler:By the conclusion, a lot were arguing that it would've made more sense for ''Spock'' to be Captain instead.]]
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: Often brought up by critics discussing the film's flaws. Carol Marcus is in her underwear for only one short clip which only lasts a few seconds: she changes clothes, Kirk peeks, we see. Blatant {{Fanservice}} that could have been left on the cutting room floor without affecting the plot at all? Yes, no doubt. But, based on what critics say, one would think she did nothing but run around in her underwear ''for the entire film''.
* BetterOnDVD: Kirk's [[CharacterDevelopment Character Arc]] works best when watching the two films back-to-back. ''Into Darkness'' makes several {{Call Back}}s to Kirk's previous conflict with Spock, especially when it comes to his coming to terms with his own mortality during a "No-Win Scenario." A lot of this got missed, especially considering there was a 4-year gap between the release of both films.
* BrokenBase:
** Was Khan's casting worth it to see Creator/BenedictCumberbatch's acting talent, or was it pointless whitewashing of a famous person of color role that wasted the opportunity [[spoiler:for a Sikh actor to have gotten a really big break playing a classic villain]]?[[note]]Despite the original actor ''still'' not being the same race as Khan's entire name would suggest.[[/note]] Are the detractors justified in their accusations of racism, or misguided and counterproductive political correctness or are people just overreacting?
** Is the film essentially a remake of previous ''Star Trek'' films or merely an homage?
** Was [[spoiler:Kirk's DisneyDeath]] believable (setting aside how unlikely it is they would kill off a main character in the first place) or wasn't it?
* CargoShip: Kirk and the ''Enterprise'', of course.
* ContestedSequel: There's [[BrokenBase a lot of debate]] amongst the fandom over this film borrowing elements from the older Star Trek films, [[spoiler:Khan being the main villain and now white, and Kirk's [[DisneyDeath 5-minute death]].]]
* CriticalDissonance: ''Into Darkness'' is currently sitting at an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus from the critics being that it is a very good, but not ''as good'' followup to the first film. Fan reactions have been mixed: some agreed; some thought it was an EvenBetterSequel; and one [[http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/aug/14/star-trek-into-darkness-voted-worst Star Trek convention]] voted it the worst Trek film of all time. ''Yes, even more than Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier.''
* DracoInLeatherPants: John Harrison, [[Creator/BenedictCumberbatch natch]]. Some people actually hoped that Harrison would pull a HeelFaceTurn. Oh and he even wears leather pants.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: The [[http://i.imgur.com/PhtOMun.jpg Random Cool Hair Red Shirt Girl]], whose name isn't even given. But she has cool hair. The ongoing IDW comic series has retconned her to be this universe's version of [[http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Zahra Yeoman Zahra]]… [[RaceLift somehow]].
** Science officer [[http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/d/d0/Science_officer_0718.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130606102047&path-prefix=en 0718]], the [[BaldOfAwesome completely bald]] cyborg crew member. He also has almost no lines, but with his [[BadassBaritone deep robot voice]], piercing blue eyes, and cybernetic implants in the back of his head, he certainly made quite an impression for a lot of people.
* EvilIsCool:
** The BadassLongcoat wearing, OneManArmy EvilBrit John Harrison. [[spoiler:And then we find out he's Khan]], and it gets a million times cooler.
** [[spoiler:Admiral Marcus']] jet black CoolStarship, the ''Vengeance''.
* EvilIsSexy: With Creator/BenedictCumberbatch playing the BigBad, this was inevitable.
%%* FauxSymbolism: In a movie all about the cycle of violence and the difference between justice and revenge, the super-ship [[spoiler:which Khan takes control of]] is named the USS ''Vengeance'', for crying out loud. If Harrison had anything to do with the actual ''naming'', this would probably put Admiral Marcus into TooDumbToLive.
%% Ham-handed symbolism is not faux symbolism.
* FoeYay: We can also add this in with Harrison and Kirk or Spock as well.
* HellIsThatNoise: In contrast to the smooth tones of a typical Federation vessel's warp drive, the ''Vengeance'' has a harsh buzzing noise. Strangely enough, [[NightmareFetishist some audiences]] also found the noise to qualify as SugarWiki/MostWonderfulSound.
* HoYay: Kirk and Spock. No surprise, since their friendship has been fueling shippers for years. But Spock looks genuinely distraught seeing Harrison hurt Kirk, and flat-out goes on a pre-Surak Vulcan style RoaringRampageOfRevenge when [[spoiler:Kirk dies]].
* ItWasHisSled: Though it also overlaps with IKnewIt, it has quickly become common knowledge [[spoiler:that John Harrison is Khan.]]
** Even the [[http://dvd.box.sk/newsimg/dvdmov/max1381216163-frontback-cover.jpg back of the home video release]] outright spoils it.
* ItsTheSameNowItSucks:
** The damaged and fiery ''Enterprise'' falling to Earth in posters and trailers garnered responses along the lines of "Oh great, [[Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock they're blowing up the]] ''[[Film/StarTrekGenerations Enterprise… again]]''." [[spoiler:However, the ''Enterprise'' is able to get back on its feet before it crash lands. The ship that does crash, however, was the USS ''Vengeance'', piloted by Khan.]]
** [[spoiler:Khan being the main antagonist]].
** [[spoiler:The role reversal of Kirk and Spock during the climax.]]
* LateArrivalSpoiler: There's a comic coming out in October regarding Harrison's past called [[spoiler:''Star Trek: KHAN'']]. Pretty blatant example, eh?
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: Spock dying at the end of ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' was just plausible enough that the viewers might believe it would stick (partially because, at the time, it was believed [=WoK=] would be the last ''Trek'' film). [[spoiler:When this film plays that scenario out with Kirk dying instead, no one believes it will stick. Especially not after introducing a convenient [[HealingPotion Healing Phlebotinum]].]]
* MagnificentBastard: Harrison plays just about everyone with ease and style. [[spoiler:And then it's revealed that he's Khan, one of the franchise's most magnificent villains]].
** [[spoiler: If it wasn't for the fact that he was a SmugSnake, Admiral Marcus could count. His entire plan (get Kirk to kill Khan with his torpedoes while also getting rid of his crew, sabotage the ''Enterprise'' and then destroy it to make it look like the Klingons did it) to jump start a war with the Klingons is actually pretty intricate and risky. If Kirk had just done what he was told, Marcus could have gotten what he wanted.]]
* MemeticMutation: Comparing [[spoiler:Khan crushing Marcus' skull]] with the scene in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' where [[spoiler:the Mountain crushes Oberyn's skull]].
* MexicansLoveSpeedyGonzales: The producers of this film found themselves facing unexpected criticism from the Sikh community that was really looking forward to having [[spoiler:the film's villain, Khan Noonien Singh, played by a Sikh actor. Of course, the producers wanted to avoid the {{Unfortunate Implication|s}} of non-white character being a villain, but the Sikh community noted that the character is such a classic MagnificentBastard and TragicVillain who physically and mentally outclasses any white man that it was a disappointment he was played by a British actor.]]
* MoralEventHorizon:
** [[spoiler:If his plot to start a war with the Klingons didn't do it, Admiral Marcus definitely crosses the line with the revelation that he ''never'' intended to spare the ''Enterprise'' or her crew, no matter what Kirk said or did.]]
** John Harrison[[spoiler:/Khan]] has several possible MEH's:
*** [[spoiler:Manipulating Thomas Harewood into blowing up himself and a Starfleet institution by curing his daughter's condition.]]
*** [[spoiler:Attacking a gathering of Starfleet officers, killing Admiral Pike in the process.]]
*** [[spoiler:Attempting to murder the ''Enterprise'' crew after his people were returned to him ([[OutGambitted or so he thought]]), at a point where none of the crew posed any threat to him.]]
*** [[spoiler:Setting the fatally damaged ''Vengeance'' on a collision course with San Francisco after believing that his crew had been killed.]]
* NarmCharm: As is the tradition with Star Trek, there are scenes that failed for some people and worked for others.
** Spock's exclamation of [[spoiler:"KHAAAAAN!"]] during the finale.
** Many found Kirk's dramatic [[NoSell failed attempt]] to beat an increasingly confused Harrison on Qo'noS hilarious.
** The Klingons redesign look more like [[Film/BattlefieldEarth Psychlos]] wearing a trenchcoat.
** Harrison's scream when Spock attempts the Vulcan nerve pinch on him during their fight.
** Some of Cumberbatch's facial expressions can look comical, like [[http://31.media.tumblr.com/3fe1c3789645f3170c6f5b24089c6ca0/tumblr_ms9xp8kGwZ1rbkkwso1_1280.jpg his impression of the Grinch here]].
** The extremely clumsy set-up of a ChekhovsGun, where [=McCoy=] working on a dead tribble is randomly shoved into the middle of a completely unrelated scene.
* NeverLiveItDown: Poor Creator/JJAbrams gets {{misblamed}} for lying about [[spoiler:Harrison being Khan]] when it was really Paramount that enforced. That he absolutely '''''hated''''' lying about the unnecessary plot twist was conveniently ignored in favor of labeling him as a constantly LyingCreator. It got so bad that people mistakenly used the debacle as an excuse to presume that Abrams was lying about '''anything and everything''' leading up to ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/TheForceAwakens'', leading to a whole lot of FanWank. A few years later, Damon Lindeloff admitted that they'd vastly underestimated how quickly fans could multisource theories in this day and age, and they should have just come clean when everyone figured it out.
* OneSceneWonder:
** Noel Clarke is onscreen for all of five minutes, has virtually no dialogue, and [[spoiler:dies before the plot fully kicks off]], but he makes [[TearJerker quite an impression]].
** [[spoiler:Creator/LeonardNimoy's]] one scene is very short and a bit of a PlotHole, but most audiences loved it so much they hardly even noticed. [[TearJerker Sadly]], it would turn out to be his last – [[ActorExistenceFailure ever]].
* RonTheDeathEater: Since the release of the film, Admiral Pike has become a go-to ''villain'' for many fanfics.
* RootingForTheEmpire:
** Despite its writers' {{Anvilicious}} attempts to decry militarization and aggression, quite a few people who saw the movie ended up rooting for [[spoiler:[[WellIntentionedExtremist Alexander Marcus]]]] and his goal in militarizing Starfleet for a war against the Klingon Empire. Seemingly, [[spoiler:Marcus']] only detraction is that he went about it in the manner of a standard GeneralRipper, to the point that he brought [[spoiler:[[BigBad Khan]], an infamous genetically engineered warlord that nearly took over the Earth long ago, out of [[HumanPopsicle cold storage]] to utilize as a slave ([[TooDumbToLive thinking he could actually control Khan]])]], as well as attempted to purposely start said war with the Klingons (using the oblivious crew of the ''Enterprise'' to do so no less) as opposed to letting it happen naturally.Even [[spoiler:Marcus']] actor [[spoiler:Creator/PeterWeller]] [[WordOfStPaul roots for his character, saying he disliked how the public viewed him as a villain and has this to say about him]].
-->[[spoiler: "Everything he says is true: The Klingons are coming, they do need Khan, and that's that. It's just that he’s going to sacrifice the entire Enterprise to get the job done, because the Enterprise started to believe Khan. But if the Enterprise had not believed Khan and had done what Marcus said, then there'd be no movie, and everything would be cool. But the great writing in this is that the Enterprise wakes the dude up and listens to his game, and then everything goes to crap. But that's the Enterprise's hubris. That's them. They screwed up, not Marcus. Anyway, sorry to go off there. I just hate that."]]
** On the flipside, John Harrison/[[spoiler:Khan]] gets a lot of this due to his sympathetic motivations to save his crew [[spoiler:from Marcus]]. Throw in [[Creator/BenedictCumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch's]] charismatic performance, [[EvilIsCool stylish]] [[BadassLongcoat threads]], [[BadassBaritone booming voice]] and we've got a full blown example here.
* ShipTease: Between Carol and [=McCoy=], when Kirk drafts Bones into helping her open one of the torpedoes.
* StoicWoobie: Dr. Carol Marcus discovers that [[spoiler:her father is at the head of a conspiracy to start a galactic scale war, is transporter-kidnapped by him so she can't stand in the way of his attempt to murder the entire crew of a Federation ship (which she is forced to watch helplessly from his side), has her leg broken by Khan, and then watches him brutally murder her father.]] She holds up remarkably well given what she goes through.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: The opening scene of the movie raised an interesting point of contention regarding the Prime Directive. Kirk is criticized for flaunting it and lying about it, but to properly observe the Prime Directive would have meant to ''let the entire planet die'' from its volcanic eruption. In fact, most of the problems the Enterprise crew faces occur as a result of trying to observe the Directive to the best of their ability and still save lives. For all intents and purposes, Kirk deserves a moment of ArsonMurderAndLifeSaving... but in a ridiculous aversion, Pike goes after Kirk for not merely observing the planet's last moments like he was supposed to but for daring to interfere with a planet's ''positively sacred internal development''. Literally everything wrong with the Prime Directive is on display in the opening and yet Kirk is being raked over the coals. What is ''wrong'' with Pike that he doesn't realize this?
* TaintedByThePreview: Many fans called the first teaser too [[DarkerAndEdgier dark, edgy,]] and action-packed for a "[[NoTrueScotsman proper]]" ''Star Trek'' film. This has generally been a criticism since the Abramsverse began.
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks:
** The film's first movie poster was accused of being a rip-off of posters for ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga''.
** Many people are upset with how much this film borrows from previous Trek outings like [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine "Homefront/Paradise Lost"]] and, infamously, ''Wrath of Khan''.
*** Bit of {{Irony}} here, seeing how the [[Film/StarTrek 2009 flim]] was criticized for [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks changing things around]] in the ''Trek'' verse.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: There were some fans who thought that John Harrison [[spoiler:turning out to be Khan]] was ''way'' [[EntertaininglyWrong too obvious]], and theorised that he was in fact the Klingon captain, Koloth – a human-looking Klingon from the original series that was meant to be Kirk's EvilCounterpart[=/=]WorthyOpponent. One can even take this a step further and watch the film with that in mind, and the story is essentially the same and it actually works in it's favor.
** Even if you go into it knowing Harrison is Khan, he doesn't have the back history with Kirk that their prime counterparts had. Kirk was willing to work with Khan in this universe, and they both obviously had a beef with Admiral Marcus. Preserving this EnemyMine through the whole plot and making Marcus the primary villain would have made an interesting twist on a classic Trek plot moving forward.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** ''Enterprise'' vs. ''Vengeance''. Yes the ''Vengeance'' totally outperformed the ''Enterprise'' in virtually every area, but that's no excuse not to have an actual starship battle between the two; in fact, it would have made for a great David vs. Goliath scenario, in which Kirk and company would have to come up with elaborate strategy (much like hiding in the Mutara Nebula) to overcome this monster. The fact ''Vengeance'' was meant to be a dark, militarized counterpart to the ''Enterprise'' would have made such a battle all the more fitting.
** Given the character arcs of both Kirk and Spock, a surprising number of fans were actually shocked that [[spoiler:Spock didn't up remaining Captain of the Enterprise]]. This ended up becoming a major criticism with those who felt that [[spoiler:Kirk didn't necessarily ''deserve'' to be Captain]].
** Uhura negotiating with Klingons is one of very rare occasions where she can help in a way no other character can and can have a natural impact on the plot. Instead, she fails horribly.
** Website/SFDebris proposed what he believed would have been a better ending: [[spoiler:Khan gets away with all the Augments, Spock mindmelds with Kirk, and Kirk is left in stasis. Then, the next film would be searching for Khan and his new army, Kirk will become a phantom in Spock's mind acting as both an adviser and a nuisance, while the entire Enterprise crew must combine their wits, skills, and generally everything they've got in order to defeat Khan's army and bring him back alive to save their captain.]]
** The opening setup is about setting up Kirk's impulsiveness as a character flaw ("Damnit, Man, you just shot our ride!")... except Kirk is morally justified nearly every step of the way, and the fallout over his actions provides the perfect opportunity to take the Prime Directive apart over how incredibly flawed it is. We got a movie about how bad it is for Kirk to leap without looking when it starts with a much more impressive debate about whose lives are worthy to be saved by Federation personnel.
* UnfortunateImplications: Having Creator/BenedictCumberbatch play someone with a specifically non-white ethnicity ([[spoiler:the originally dark-skinned Khan]]). [[http://www.racebending.com/v4/featured/star-trek-whiteness/ This article]] goes into detail about the impact this decision has on ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and in the context of whitewashing. Ironically, Orci wanted to avoid other unfortunate implications - see ValuesDissonance below.
* TheUntwist:
** [[spoiler:Long before the movie came out it was speculated that Khan was going to be the villain. When Harrison revealed his true identity as Khan a lot of people were not surprised.]]
** [[spoiler: Many Trek fans who had watched "Space Seed" knew exactly what was in those torpedoes the moment the number 72 was uttered. In addition, a large number of filmgoers who were aware of how much the film was borrowing from ''The Wrath of Khan'' caught on to the fairly evident foreshadowing with the Tribble and correctly assumed both that the engine scene would be repeated and that Khan's blood would be used to revive the victim. Between these three untwists, many Trek fans complained of the film being predictable.]]
* ValuesDissonance: [[spoiler:Khan's RaceLift was because of this. Had Khan -- whose name might suggest that he is Muslim to people who have little knowledge of Sikhs -- been cast by an Indian or Middle-Eastern actor, "John Harrison's" overtly terrorist actions may have led to further UnfortunateImplications with the character.]]
* WhatAnIdiot:
** Even if [[CloakAndDagger Section 31]] of Starfleet Intelligence is a bunch of WellIntentionedExtremist SecretPolice imperialists, how could they be so stupid as to [[spoiler:threaten to kill the family of the amoral superman who at one point had conquered a quarter of Earth]].
** [[spoiler:Kirk falsified his Captain's Log and failed to inform his by-the-book second officer that he had done so or what he said instead. Oddly enough he seems convinced Spock stabbed him in the back by not guessing this.]]
** Great work on storming the bridge of the [[spoiler:''Vengeance'']], Kirk! I'm sure that ''one stun round'' will be more than enough to incapacitate the ''genetically enhanced, virtually unkillable super soldier'' whom you already know is capable of enduring a beatdown that would cripple a normal man. Sure, he didn't have a lot of other options, but he could at least have gone for a double tap.
** [[spoiler:Admiral Marcus for thinking he could control a man who was basically an emperor in his own time period.]]
* TheWoobie: Thomas Harewood. The man's daughter is dying, [[AdultFear he's helpless to save her]], and he winds up being manipulated by [[BigBad Harrison]] into [[spoiler:killing himself and dozens of others in a suicide bombing in exchange for his daughter being cured]].
* WTHCastingAgency: The RaceLift. As mentioned, intentional on the part of the filmmakers. Having said that, Cumberbatch's performance was [[SubvertedTrope almost unanimously praised and/or anticipated]], even from people (like Creator/GeorgeTakei) who criticized his casting.
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