Tag Archives: Star Trek Into Darkness

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

I’m still not sure what J.J. Abrams was thinking about when he was working on this movie. Everyone who knows about Star Trek knows that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is considered to be the greatest film in the classic franchise, and that it would be downright suicidal to tamper with it in any way. Well…tamper they did, because Into Darkness, the follow up to Star Trek (2009) is nothing less than a poorly disguised remake of Wrath of Khan, and suffice it to say it did not improve on the original. To sum up the plot in brief: Kirk and his crew must stop the brilliant Khan, along with a renegade Admiral, from causing a full-scale war to break out between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. This includes engaging the superior USS Vengeance and stopping Khan from using it as a means to destroy Starfleet Headquarters! This is also the final film to feature Leonard Nimoy in his role as the original Spock (also known as Spock Prime).

To be fair, Benedict Cumberbatch turns in an excellent performance as the villain, and the main cast performs admirably, but still, the fact remains that the producers chose to rehash old territory, instead of making something new. But I digress…

(for my full thoughts on this film, see: On this day in Film History: Into Darkness? More like a rip-off of Khan )

I was beginning to despair of ever finding an interview for this film when suddenly, out of nowhere, I spotted a video with Giacchino’s name and Into Darkness put together. It seems that while promoting the film, Giacchino gave an interview on the film for a German media site/group (I’m not sure which), and the best part is the interview is nearly ten minutes long! It is so rare to find any lengthy interviews with film composers, so I knew I had to share this one with you.

Giacchino is asked several questions about the process of creating the score for Into Darkness (I apologize in advance because the displayed questions are in German), whether certain characters have their own theme (he discusses Khan’s theme in particular) and what it was like to work on such a legendary franchise. This is not just a regular interview though, there are cuts to footage from the film to show certain themes that the composer is talking about, which makes this interview even more valuable.

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Star Trek: Into Darkness is a complete rip-off of Wrath of Khan

(prepare for a rant/tirade because I have some issues with this movie)

Oh the deja vu….like the first Star Trek film in the reboot era, I had high hopes for Into Darkness, especially once it was announced that Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as the villain. Everything looked great, the story details sounded good, the teaser was amazing, but then one little detail came to my attention: the name of Cumberbatch’s character was Khan.

Having seen every Star Trek film there is (and almost all of the TV series to boot), knowing the villain was named Khan meant only one thing: Into Darkness HAD to be a remake of Wrath of Khan (1984), the film which is considered by many to be the greatest in the series. Oh wait, that’s right, I’m sorry, it’s not a remake, it’s *clears throat” “How the events of Wrath of Khan MIGHT have occurred set in an alternate universe.” Which is a clever way of saying IT’S.A.REMAKE!!


I MIGHT have been able to come to terms with this if the story had been really good, but it’s not. Every plot detail begs for a comparison with the original film, and for me, the original comes out on top. I’m not saying Cumberbatch did a bad job per se, but compared to Ricardo Montalban’s epic performance? Nope, it’s not even close.

The only twist that got my attention is that they flip-flopped who sacrificed themselves to save the ship, that was the one twist I found believable. Of course, Kirk being as devoted to his ship and crew as he is, would surely have done what Spock did in Wrath of Khan, given half the opportunity.


The ending wasn’t half bad either. True, Khan is still alive at film’s end (which means he might pop up sometime in the future), and McCoy’s final line “Five years in space, God help me.” is pretty funny (and perfectly in character too), and yet, I don’t like it, I CAN’T like it. If you’re going to reboot a series, do what the James Bond writers did and keep coming up with original material, only set in a new context, don’t try to rehash the original films and use the “alternate universe” as an excuse.

For me, truly, Star Trek Beyond is the studio’s last chance to keep me as a fan of the new films. If this doesn’t blow me away, well, there’s always the original films to enjoy.

This concludes my rant. (I know I take a bit of a hard line when it comes to the remakes, it’s just that the original films are very special to me, and if you like the rebooted series, that’s ok! Promise!)

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