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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]].
* AssPull McCoy finds a cure for death using Khan's "superblood" conveniently to save Kirk.
* 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.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Well, all of it, but special mention goes to the ultimate TearJerker, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6owMBdM4Fq4 "Buying the Space Farm"]].
* 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 CallBacks 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?[[note]] Despite the original actor ''still'' not being the same race as Khan's entire name would suggest.[[/note]] Does the casting of a white actor in the role of Khan really warrant the cries of "OMGRACISM" 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 the unlikelihood of the main character to die 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.
* 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.
* FridgeHorror: At the end of the film, the [[spoiler: ''Vengeance'' crashes into San Francisco in the middle of the day, destroying a fair chunk of the city and likely killing tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people.]] The movie doesn't dwell on or address this at all.
* HarsherInHindsight: Leonard Nimoy's final appearance in the franchise centers around Spock Prime being reminded of his own death.
* 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.
** FoeYay: We can also add this in with Harrison and Kirk or Spock as well.
* 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: [[SubvertedTrope Ironically subverted.]] As cautious as the writers were in making [[spoiler:Khan]] ''not'' look like an allegory of terrorism, they failed to realize that [[spoiler:Khan]] is a symbol of racial pride for the Indian Trek fandom; after all, Roddenberry himself had designed [[spoiler:Khan to emulate a Sikh warlord and to serve as the antithesis toward Aryan myth, a la that only white people can be genetically superior {{Magnificent Bastard}}s]]. As a result, the Indian Trekkies community initially took MAJOR issue to [[spoiler:Khan's RaceLift]], but that has since been tempered by Benedict Cumberbatch's performance and the aforementioned revelation that [[spoiler:this Khan remains Sikh by birth and had originally looked like Ricardo Montalban]].
* 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.]]
* {{Narm}}[=/=]NarmCharm: As is the tradition with Star Trek, there are scenes that worked for some people and failed 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.
* OneSceneWonder:
** NoelClarke 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 Leonard Nimoy's]]]] one scene is very short and a bit of a PlotHole, but most audiences loved it so much they hardly even noticed.
* 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.
** 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.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Kirk's closing speech, in which he states that no matter how intimidating or threatening our enemies may be, you do not give in to the same fear and hatred they live by. It's not very subtle, and different viewers have different ideas about its effectiveness, but [[DontShootTheMessage the message underneath is sound]].
* 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.
* 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.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: ''Into Darkness'' was intended to be a remake of ''Wrath of Khan'' because ''Wrath of Khan'' is always acknowledged as the best ''Trek'' movie. What this film doesn't understand is that the best qualities of ''Wrath of Khan'' came from Kirk's relationship with Spock that had been built up throughout TOS, and Khan's previous history with Kirk from "Space Seed", neither of which were established as well in the Abramsverse.
** Another point of failure is that ''Wrath of Khan'' was made around the theme of "Horatio Hornblower In Space" (well before the {{Honorverse}} was conceived might I add), which included staples like a more militarized Starfleet (right down to the uniforms), one of the most elaborate starship battles in sci-fi history and lots and lots of swashbuckling to go around. None of that was passed on to ''Into Darkness'', even when there was ample opportunity for some of it (just imagine how an actual ship-to-ship battle between the ''Enterprise'' and the ''Vengeance'' would have turned out).
* 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.
* 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]].
* 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 -- 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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