Stardate 2259.55: After recklessly risking his ship in a first contact situation where he ends up throwing the Prime Directive to the wind, Captain James T. Kirk is relieved of command and busted down in rank; the Enterprise is reassigned to the command of Admiral Pike and Kirk is demoted to his first officer. Spock is scheduled to be reassigned to another ship as first officer.
After an explosion at a Starfleet facility on Earth is revealed to be the work of a Starfleet officer, the Starfleet admiralty is summoned to an emergency meeting, where it is revealed that the mastermind behind the explosion, Commander John Harrison, is still at large. Top priority is given to finding and eliminating Harrison. But Kirk quickly realizes that Harrison will come to them: a vehicle arrives just outside of Starfleet HQ and begins firing into the conference room. Admiral Pike is killed, and Kirk personally takes down Harrison’s ship, but the mysterious officer escapes, miraculously unharmed, and beams out using the long-range transporter technology invented by Scotty. Kirk tracks Harrison to the Klingon homeworld and requests the reinstatement of his command of the Enterprise. Admiral Marcus agrees, and provides Kirk with a new top secret weapon, long-range photon torpedoes, to carry out a shocking order: take Harrison out on the Klingon planet, even if it starts a war with the Klingons (which Marcus feels is inevitable already).
On the Klingon homeworld, Kirk elects not to use Marcus’ weapons, instead beaming down to personally capture Harrison. A fierce firefight ensues between Kirk’s landing party, Harrison, and the Klingons, but to Kirk’s surprise, Harrison surrenders himself willingly upon learning that the Enterprise has advanced torpedoes trained on his location. Once in custody aboard the Enterprise, he suggests that Kirk open one of the weapons. The torpedoes have built-in safeguards against being opened, but once defused, each torpedo is revealed to have a cryogenically frozen human being inside, each one a specimen of genetically enhanced “superhumans” created to fight in a 21st century conflict. And Harrison isn’t even really Harrison – he is the leader of these enhanced humans, blackmailed into cooperating with a top secret warfare division within Starfleet, which is expecting conflict with the Klingons.
Right on cue, a huge Starfleet ship appears, dwarfing the Enterprise. The U.S.S. Vengeance, commanded by Admiral Marcus (who is, curiously, out of uniform), takes an aggressive position against the Enterprise, and Marcus demands that Kirk surrender “Harrison” and his fellow augmented humans. Kirk refuses Marcus’ order, certain that Starfleet shouldn’t be on a war footing. But can he place any more trust in Harrison, who has already committed acts of mass murder? And can he fight both adversaries without sacrificing the Enterprise and her crew in the process?
screenplay by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof
directed by J.J. Abrams
music by Michael Giacchino
LogBook entry and review by Earl Green […]