Star Trek Into Darkness just can’t catch a break. First, J.J. Abrams apologized for the many lens flares, then he apologized about trying to hide who Benedict Cumberbatch was playing and explained why Khanberbatch was supposed to be a secret. Last month, co-writer Damon Lindelof joined the apology bandwagon, echoing Abrams’ sentiments about the secret Khanberbatch. (Yes, we’re still trying to make “Khanberbatch” happen.) Star Trek Into Darkness was also voted the worst Trek movie by fans a couple of years ago, and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin just revealed his movie is going to ignore the more drastic plot implications of Into Darkness (namely, the cure for death in Khan’s blood and the ability to beam across entire galaxies).
The apology tour picks up again this week. Just after release of the first Star Trek Beyond trailer, J.J. Abrams spoke to BuzzFeed about all of his movies leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He says he takes “full responsibility” for Into Darkness, and that the problem comes down to being unsure of his story right up until the beginning of the shoot.
“There’s a fundamental argument; there’s a central question. And I didn’t have it.” The first movie, according to Abrams, had a “very strong story” about “two orphans who are completely at odds, who then come to realize they need to work together to survive”; the second did not. Kirk and Spock remained the film’s central characters, but, Abrams asked: “What was their issue? What was their dynamic? What was their problem?” He answered: “And it wasn’t really clear.”
He goes on to say he agreed with Lindelof that “withholding the Khan thing ended up seeming like we were lying to people,” but they were “trying to preserve the fun for the audience.” Sometimes that backfires, and other times — like with Star Wars — people are glad to not be spoiled. Let’s just be happy he learned lessons from his Star Trek experience that served to improve Star Wars, otherwise we could’ve ended up with this…