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WATCH: The epic new Star Trek Into Darkness teaser
A first glimpse of the breathlessly anticipated sequel focuses on a creepy villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch as he wreaks havoc on Earth
 
Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness: Will Kirk's nemesis be the ever-wrathful Khan?
Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness: Will Kirk's nemesis be the ever-wrathful Khan? YouTube

The teaser: The first teaser for Star Trek Into Darkness — the zealously discussed sequel to 2009's Star Trek — has finally arrived, and things are looking grim for Captain Kirk and his crew. "You think your world is safe. It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you," says the new villain played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch. "Enjoy these final moments of peace. For I have returned to have my vengeance." The teaser, which went live late last night, shows the villain wreaking havoc on Earth, as the horrified Starfleet crew looks on. And in the typical style of director J.J. Abrams, there's a wrinkle to the trailer's release: A Japanese version of the teaser, featuring 12 more seconds of footage that pay homage to one of the most famous scenes in Star Trek history, has fans buzzing about the possible death of a major character. The movie is scheduled to come out in May 2013. Watch both teasers below:

Watch the American version of the teaser:

Watch the Japanese version of the teaser:

The reaction: This teaser is very "dark. And epic," says William Bibbiani at Crave Online. But all the action fails to cover the fact that "we still don't know a damned thing" about this movie — including which classic Star Trek villain Cumberbatch is even playing. Well, that suggests there's "much more at work behind what we're being shown," and "only builds to the anticipation and excitement," says Rob Keyes at ScreenRant. I, for one, have a guess, says Charlie Jane Anders at io9. The teaser may not come out and say the name of Cumberbatch's character, but he is "pretty fricken' wrathful." Khan, anyone?

 

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