After the end of “Star Trek: Enterprise” in 2005, many attributed to “franchise fatigue,” there was no new Trek on television or at the movies for four solid years. In the world of popular culture, four years is an eternity. An excellent example of this is with Batman. Since the 1970s, the Caped Crusader has been on television and the movies with live-action or animated series almost without interruption.
So when “Star Trek” went off the air, Paramount turned to super-producer J.J. Abrams to bring everything back. Like it or not, Abrams’ series of films has become a jumping-on point for younger fans who were unfamiliar with the older series.
The stories presented in “Star Trek (2009),” “Into Darkness,” and “Beyond” rubbed some fans the wrong way because of their tendency for action rather than 23rd Century problem-solving. Some argued if they were even Trek films since they presented a new cast with a new ship.
According to writer Brad Gullickson, real Trek fans want “thoughtful meditations on society and celebrations of humanity’s hunger for knowledge.” That was not what they got with these three Kelvin films.
‘Star Trek’ 2009
Many called them reboots — like the way the “James Bond” series started telling the story of a younger spymaster when Daniel Craig took the role. Others said that the new movies were not a “reboot,” but another entry into the “Star Trek” multiverse. Even screenwriter Robert Orci has said that he does not consider the 2009 film a “reboot.”
Be that as it may, some of the criticisms of “Into Darkness” noted how some things seemed repetitive — like when Kirk and Spock flew Mudd’s ship on the Klingon homeworld. Some say it looked “exactly” like a scene with the Millenium Falcon in “Empire Strikes Back” and accused Abrams of recycling ideas from other films. Especially “The Wrath of Khan.”
Another frustration among fans was that the story focused on terrorism and militarization — not to “boldly go.” Some fans disliked “Into Darkness” so much that they’ve posted manifesto-rants to explain all the reasons. Thanks to “Into Darkness,” there are quite a few plot holes and irregularities in the Trek timeline, which are cataloged here.
But, it turns out that there was an important scene cut from “Star Trek,” which might have made a big difference.
Missing Scene from “Star Trek” 2009
The scene addresses where the villain Nero (Eric Bana) and his Romulan crew had been for 25 years. Looking back at the start of “Star Trek,” Nero arrived through the wormhole ahead of Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and they had to wait for Spock to arrive.
Nero blamed Spock for the destruction of Romulus, which Spock tried to prevent with the mysterious “Red Matter.” But, this cut scene explains that Nero was not just roaming around the galaxy, waiting for Spock to travel through time and arrive in this new, alternate timeline.
In this scene, Nero and his crew were captured by the Klingons and imprisoned on Rura Penthe — the same place where Kirk (William Shatner) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) escaped from on “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.”
After some time on the prison planet, Nero could escape and get back to his ship (the Narada). The Klingons reveal that they know about his plans and technology from a hidden packet of notes.
Why Admiral Marcus Prepared for War
This could have explained why the Federation was preparing for war and why some in Starfleet — Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) — were willing to do anything to make sure they were ready. In “Into Darkness,” Marcus told Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) that war was coming, but there was not much context around that.
Had this missing scene been kept, perhaps fans would not have been so surprised at the look of the redesigned Klingons and the reasons why Marcus built the U.S.S. Vengeance and why he woke Khan.
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