I saw Star Trek Into Darkness on Sunday, and HOLY CRAP. That was a great movie. I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, but that’s not to say I don’t want to be. I haven’t seen the original series (yet), and I’ve only watched the first Star Trek movie once, but as I delve deeper into my passion for science-fiction, I appreciate smart, funny, and heartwarming stories like this.
And, man, was Into Darkness heartwarming. I mean, it had a lot of other stuff too. There was tons of action and surprises and humor and emotion and Benedict Cumberatch. Oh, did I say that out loud? Oops.
In all seriousness, my absolute favorite scene was between Kirk and Spock near the end of the movie. (Do I have to preface this with spoilers? It seems kind of silly considering this is a reboot of sorts. Well, consider this your warning anyway.) Kirk went into a chamber to save the ship and the crew from certain death. As a result, he took in vast amounts of radiation. His death was imminent, and Spock couldn’t do anything about it. If he opened the door to the chamber, the radiation would flood the rest of the vessel.
And so, there they were, a pane of glass separating them. One was dying and the other was free to live. Two people that definitely started off on the wrong foot, that constantly butted heads, that were literally complete opposites…now they were losing each other, and neither one of them knew what to do about it.
Kirk is a playboy and a rebel. He likes women and adventure. Preferably in the same night. He goes with his gut, he relies on chance and luck, and appears to actively enjoy breaking the rules. He’s a good person, even if he’s sometimes a loose cannon.
Spock is everything Kirk is not. He’s calm, controlled, and logical. He does not act without first thinking through every possibility and taking the best path for everyone. No matter the consequences.
Their differences are best summed up in the first scene of the movie. There is a planet with a race of inhabitants that will surely die if the volcano on their island erupts. These people are the last of their kind, and Spock cannot let them perish. So, he sets about being lowered into the volcano to freeze it mid-eruption, thus saving everyone.
But, of course, nothing goes according to the plan. Basically, Spock is willing to give up his life in order to save the planet. It’s the most logical choice. There’s no point in risking anyone else’s life to save him, and they don’t want the inhabitants to see their ship (they’re a primitive species, so it would be shocking to say the least). But Kirk will have none of that. He’s willing to risk everyone (which sounds horrible, but it’s with their consent) to get Spock back.
Hence the butting of their heads.
But when Kirk is dying at the end of the movie, they both let down their walls. Kirk admits that’s he’s afraid – something he’s probably never said out loud before. And you know what Spock does? He cries.
That sound? Oh, that’s just the noise my heart makes when it shatters into a million pieces.
As heartwrenching as this scene was, it was my favorite one – probably out of both movies. Kirk admits he doesn’t have all the answers, that everything might not be okay, and Spock finally let’s emotion rule him. To see them going from adversaries to best friends is one of the most beautiful storylines I’ve seen in film or on television. It was handled well, without sacrificing either of their personalities.
If you’re looking for a strong example of how to turn to characters from enemies to friends, go watch both Star Trek movies. You won’t be disappointed.
What was your favorite scene in Into Darkness? What other enemies-turned-friends storylines have you enjoyed seeing?