Director J.J. Abrams' take on the "Star Trek" galaxy changed a lot from the early incarnations, but one thing has stayed the same: Captain Kirk's way with the ladies.
The new international trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness" makes for one of the final teasers of the highly anticipated sequel before it actually hits theaters in May. And while this preview gives us a better sense of the top-secret plot, it's the very revealing shot of Kirk's new love interest that's raising eyebrows (even Spock's pointed ones). Watch the trailer, then read on to find out who is the blonde woman stepping out of her Starfleet uniform.
Watch 'Star Trek Into Darkness' International Trailer:
That woman wearing significantly fewer clothes than everyone else is 31-year-old British actress Alice Eve, who plays Starfleet medical doctor Carol Marcus. You may have seen her before as the object of desire in the comedy "She's Out of My League," or as Charlotte's beguiling nanny in "Sex and the City 2." This is her first major role in a big sci-fi blockbuster, though she was originally going to play the villainous Emma Frost in "X-Men: First Class" (the role later went to January Jones).
But that's not to say she's just a pretty face. Eve attended the prestigious Westminster School in London and studied English at St. Catherine's College, Oxford. She comes from a family of actors. Her mother, Sharon Maughan, gained fame as the woman in the soap-operatic Taster's Choice coffee ads in the late '80s. Even her beauty is unconventional: she has heterochromea, where her right eye is green and her left eye is blue.
So who is she playing in "Star Trek Into Darkness"? Well, in the original "Trek" continuity (in other words, the William Shatner era), Dr. Carol Marcus was an old flame of Captain Kirk who created the planet-developing technology called "Project Genesis" with her son, David. Kirk only later learned that David was actually his son. But all of this was in the backstory in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," and this new movie will be the first chance to see how Kirk and Marcus met. As to why she strips off her clothes, it looks like she and Kirk have to change into spacesuits to propel themselves from one ship to another.
Another of the most notable moments of the trailer shows us that the evil John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), the rogue described by the Federation as "one of our top operatives," isn't just some behind-the-scenes mastermind of evil -- he actually gets in there and does bad things himself, such as shooting up a Federation meeting (a scene that also gives us a glimpse of Peter Weller's Admiral Marcus, who would no doubt disapprove of his daughter walking around with no clothes on).
It reveals Harrison as a "hands-on" kind of antagonist, not one that just sits around spewing ominous threats that are already getting tiresome ("You think your world is safe? It is an illusion …") -- and one that believes he's dispensing justice for some unforgivable crime committed by Starfleet.
From there, the trailer abandons the "Kirk is too immature and hot-headed for his job" angle of earlier previews and instead focuses on the young captain's obsession with tracking down his prey and his all-consuming desire for revenge, revealing a darker side of the character that fans know well from "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" and several episodes of the original "Star Trek" series. Kirk ignores the warnings of Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and puts his entire crew in harm's way as he tracks down Harrison -- a "mission" that has dire consequences, including a confrontation that leads to the Enterprise plummeting into San Francisco Harbor (a set piece that gets more harrowing with each trailer). However, we're most definitely meant to side with Kirk and the calls he makes, as evidenced by a title card that proclaims, "A Hero Will Rise."
However, what's most distinctive about the new trailer is its fleeting moments of revelry that assure us that it's not all doom and gloom for the Federation in this one. Kirk and Spock share at least one witty exchange that reveals their soon to be strong friendship is coming along just fine, and there seems to be a sense of true comradery and teamwork as the crew of the Enterprise learns how to work together even under the most dire circumstances. What's somewhat surprising, though, is we're not given one "Scotty moment" -- the Enterprise engineer is seen only once in the trailer (blink and you'll miss it) as he briefly delivers a look of grave concern. What, was Simon Pegg not allowed to give it all he's got?
Anyway, Paramount, we're sold -- we'll pay for a ticket to see "Star Trek Into Darkness," which opens in IMAX on May 15 and everywhere else on May 17.