Star Trek Into Darkness — screenplay, story, structure

Duration: 118 minutes

Act I: 0 – 30 minutes
Introduce Kirk: 0 – 5 minutes
Introduce Khan: 5 – 10 minutes
Establish conflict: 10 – 25 minutes
Plot Point II: 25 – 30 minutes
Act II: 30 – 89 minutes
Conflict: 30 – 85 minutes
Plot Point II: 85 – 89 minutes
Act II: 89 – 118 minutes
Conflict resolution: 89 – 115 minutes
Ending: 115 – 118 minutes

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"Screenplay, structure, format", in-which single dramas are analysed for their pace and narrative.

Theoretical structure:

Duration: 118 minutes

  • Act I: 0 – 30 minutes
    • Introduce Kirk: 0 – 5 minutes
    • Introduce Khan: 5 – 10 minutes
    • Establish conflict: 10 – 25 minutes
    • Plot Point II: 25 – 30 minutes
  • Act II: 30 – 89 minutes
    • Conflict: 30 – 85 minutes
    • Plot Point II: 85 – 89 minutes
  • Act II: 89 – 118 minutes
    • Conflict resolution: 89 – 115 minutes
    • Ending: 115 – 118 minutes

Actual structure:

Act I (1 – 54 minutes)

Introduce Kirk (1 – 9 minutes)

Kirk’s the first character we meet, being chased through a forest on Nibiru with McCoy. We learn he’s captain of the Enterprise, and that he’s violated the Prime Directive by interfering in the development of a primitive species.

Introduce Singh (11 – 12 minutes)

Singh’s first seen in London offering to save Thomas Harewood’s daughter.

Establish conflict (26 – 28 minutes)

Kirk’s amongst the starship captains assembled at Starfleet HQ when Singh attacks before beaming away.

Plot Point I (43 – 54 minutes)

The Enterprise, armed with untraceable torpedoes but a malfunctioning warp core, arrives at Qo’nos and orders Singh to surrender. Kirk travels to the surface, followed by Klingons. Singh intercepts the negotiations with the Klingons, and surrenders to Kirk when he’s told there are seventy two of the torpedoes.

Act II (54 – 95 minutes)

Conflict (54 – 92 minutes)

Singh’s arrested and incarcerated in the Enterprise. McCoy takes a blood sample, while Singh shows his knowledge of the Enterprise’s malfunctioning warp core and claiming a connection between the seventy-two torpedoes and specific coordinates. Kirk considers whether to open one of the torpedoes while the warp core’s damage reports are returned. A torpedo’s opened, revealing a three-hundred year-old man inside. Singh explains to Kirk that all the torpedoes contain a person, which he placed. He and his army were genetically engineered to lead the world to peace, but were exiled in space before he was awoken by Starfleet to be used as a weapon. Admiral Marcus planned to use Singh to destroy London, who would then beam to Qu’nos. Kirk’s intervention would trigger a war with the Klingons, without Kirk being able to escape due to a sabotaged warp core. Marcus arrives in the Vengeance and demands to take Singh and his army prisoner. Kirk pilots the Enterprise into warp, at risk of further damaging the core. Marcus peruses and knocks the Enterprise out of warp. Kirk turns to Singh for help, whose regenerative blood is being tested. Singh and Kirk jump from the Enterprise to the Vengeance while Spock assesses Singh’s personality. Kirk and Singh take over the Vengeance, but Singh turns on Kirk and Marcus.

Plot Point II (92 -95 minutes)

Singh takes Kirk hostage and blackmails Spock into lowering the Enterprise shields. Singh beams the torpedoes into the Vengeance and Kirk back to the Enterprise before proceeding to attack it. The torpedoes explode, destroying the Vengeance.

Act III (95 – 118)

Conflict resolution (95 – 154 minutes)

Singh gains the upper hand when the Enterprise loses orbit and falls toward Earth. Kirk enters the engine room and repairs the warp core. The Enterprise regains altitude, but Kirk’s dead. The Vengeance crashes into San Francisco, levelling Downtown. Singh survives and heads for Starfleet HQ. Spock personally apprehends Singh and Kirk’s revived with his blood.

Ending (115 – 118)

Singh’s resealed in cryo-freeze. Kirk speaks at the memorial a year later, and recites the Captain’s Oath. The Enterprise is rechristened and begins its five-year mission.

Author: alexsigsworth

Basically... run.

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