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J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek did the impossible. It took a franchise whose fans personify extreme geek obsession and updated it with big budget effects and smart, youthful castings. It managed to bring a new audience the franchise, making Trek cool, but had enough reverence of the classic series to keep the majority of the Trekkies (or their more extreme version Trekkers) happy.

After the gambit of time travel, allowing for Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto to share the screen as the same character, paid off massively, everyone, fan or no, was eager to see what the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, would bring. The film has proved to be a resounding success, playing with audiences expectations and allowing a fine balance of action and brains. Lens flare makes a return, but certainly not to the level before and in this sci-fi future (rather than the nostalgic eighties of Super 8) it feels right at home. Quinto wows again as Spock, but the whole cast, including newcomer Benedict Cumberbatch as a menacing superman, are exemplar

Time Travel creating an alternate timeline allowed for films that could perfect elements from the original show without having to be fully reverential. Despite that, Abrams and his team have filled the film with countless in jokes and subtle references for the fans to discover. Some are blatantly obvious, but some are subtly hidden in the stellar screenplay, or just there in the background. In honour of this fan pleasing, we bring you ten cool things in Star Trek Into Darkness you might just have missed the first time around.

Spoilers to the film abound, so if you haven’t seen Into Darkness yet (and any warm blooded sci-fi fan should have), tread carefully.

 

Honourable Mention – Many More Species

Tribble

One of the few blanket criticisms levelled against the first Star Trek was the short shrift it gave the plethora of classic aliens the series has amassed, instead spending its time on big eyed, long faced newcomers (and the known pointy eared ones). The sequel has gone above and beyond to bring more favourites back. Aside from blatant appearance of the redesigned Klingons and Kronos, there’s plenty of others.

The weird ball of fluff that gives Bones a way to save Kirk after Khan’s blood brings it back to life is a Tribble, who with their ridiculously fast reproductive system, wreaked havoc in the original series and proved to be the basis for an exciting crossover between The Original Series and Deep Space Nine. Arguably more well know, the Gorn, a species made iconic by the worst fight scene ever, gets a mention; Bones has helped one birth octuplets.

These aren’t too well hidden, hence why this is just a mention. For some devilishly hidden references, click next and discover what exciting things you missed in Star Trek Into Darkness.

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This article was first posted on May 23, 2013