Producer’s Intent: Inspirations for Star Trek: Into Darkness

The Star Trek Saga has been monumentally important both captivating and inspiring its viewers. The cell phone, for instance, which was created by developed by Motorola Employee Martin Cooper throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, was inspired by Star Trek’s communicator [1].

In Star Trek: Into Darkness, Director JJ. Abrams made a conscious effort to continue this trend of inspiring viewers to develop an interest in science in technology. In an interview about the film, he noted:

“So many people told us Star Trek inspired them to get involved in science” [2].

To this end, Abrams filmed many of the movie’s scenes in real, high-tech laboratories. The Department of Energy granted the film crew special permission to film at the National Ignition Facility within the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California [2].

When asked about Abram’s decision to film at the laboratory, principal associate director of the National Ignition Facility commented,

“For many years, we’ve been waiting for ‘Star Trek’ to realize they should be here… This is a very futuristic facility‚Ķ and I think we’ve all been influenced by Star Trek’s vision of the future” [2].

Through their attempts to inspire viewers, Star Trek: Into Darkness also emphasizes the idea that advances in technology can do wonderful things for society. Through its presentation of a Utopian world where benefiting humanity comes before the personal acquisition of wealth, Star Trek: Into Darkness strives to not only continue this notion where the previous series left off, but to boldly go where no man (or movie) has gone before.


[1]. How William Shatner Changed the World. Discovery Channel Canada. 2005. Television.