9/11 Looms Large Over ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
The USS Enterprise in trouble in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
Any resemblance between "Star Trek Into Darkness" and our post-9/11 world and wars — well, that's not exactly coincidental.
"I think it's fairly obvious it's a commentary," says TrekMovie editor-in-chief Anthony Pascale.
In the tradition of science fiction and especially "Star Trek," "Into Darkness" hinges on a plausible-to-our-ears plot about a terror bombing, hatched by the villain whose identity director J.J. Abrams did not want spoiled (hint: Khan is back, and Benedict Cumberbatch is playing him), that a war-mongering, Dick Cheney-channeling Starfleet leader, Peter Weller's Admiral Marcus, uses to orchestrate an unrelated conflict with the Klingons.
"It’s no spoiler I think to say that there’s a huge backbone in this film that’s a comment on recent U.S. interventionist overseas policy from the Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld era," Cumberbatch told the BBC America.
And if the analogies weren't loud and clear enough, there's an end-credits card that states the film is dedicated to post-9/11 veterans. To put an even finer point on it, four Iraq-era vets were enlisted as extras in a scene that recalls the 2011 dedication of the 9/11 Memorial.
"I for one would prefer less exploitation of our memories of 9/11," Forrest Wickman wrote on Slate.com. "But, since they went there, they could have done a lot worse. The film’s message may not be new, or surprising, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy one."
Ben Kingsley in 'Iron Man 3' (Photo: Marvel Studios)
While "Iron Man" has a history of being topical — when the comic was born in the 1960s, for instance, Tony Stark was right there in the thick of Vietnam — "Star Trek" seems to be on a mission to tie its plots to contemporary events.
"Star Trek," Pascale says, "tells a story about today. That's what makes 'Star Trek' different from 'Star Wars.' 'Star Trek' is about us."
Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, also seem determined to peg "Trek" to today's news.