Star Trek Into Darkness — Of 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

Another great article from our friends at Victory Post. Make sure you check them out when you get a chance. Great observations of art emulating life. Or life emulating art? Which is it? The chicken or the egg?

Though many reviews of the new Star Trek film seem to miss the obvious, there is no doubt that key elements of the plot are a commentary on modern politics and specifically the war on terror. The creators of the movie announced this to be their intention in 2009 telling LA Times that the sequel, “needs to do what [Star Trek creator] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant.”

The films co-writer, Roberto Orci, stated, “We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today. More recently, Orci told that, “Star Trek is not a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It’s us in the future, and that future will come sooner than you think.”

Illustrating the nature of Star Trek’s legacy Orci states, “Star Trek has this tradition of reflecting the time that it’s in. That’s a tall order, man. We felt that after the first movie, which was an origin story, we had the responsibility to make Star Trek into what it’s always been — a reflection of what’s happening right now. And what’s happening right now? War. Terrorism. Our need for vengeance and retribution. Does that violate our values? We’re just bringing these themes up as questions. We’re not making any answers. But Star Trek would be a failure if it wasn’t reflecting the world we already know.”

Discussing the philosophical debates and moral quandaries in the film he asks, “What happens when authority is wrong? What happens when following the rules means doing the immoral thing? What happens when you suspect you’re going to be attacked, so you become the attacker?”

[Spoiler Warning]

These interesting and important themes become especially provocative when you apply them to 9/11 and the War on Terror. In the film, a terrorist bombing takes place followed by an attack on Starfleet Command. The terrorist, a former Starfleet agent named John Harris, then flees to the enemy planet of the Klingons to hide in an uninhabited province. Admiral Alexander Marcus sends Kirk and company on a mission to execute the terrorist from just outside the Klingon’s territory by using special new prototype technology photon torpedoes. His orders from Admiral Marcus are to kill the terrorist with the new weapons, but a discussion among crew members convinces Kirk to attempt to capture him and bring him back to Earth to stand trial instead.

When the crew finds the terrorist, they learn that he had been manipulated by the Admiral who sent them on the mission in the first place. The terrorist named John Harris is revealed to be a genetically engineered superhuman named Khan who was awakened from a cryosleep after 300 years by Admiral Marcus for the purpose of developing advanced weapons to use against the Klingons. Khan’s fellow super humans, still asleep in their pods, had been stored in the new torpedoes. Because Khan thought his crew had been killed, he committed the terrorist attack which gave Admiral Marcus the excuse he needed to attempt to provoke the Klingons into War. Admiral Marcus’s plan was to draw the Klingons into a war after Kirk completed his assigned extrajudicial execution of Khan in Klingon territory. Because Kirk captured Khan, the plot was revealed and Admiral Marcus then attacked the enterprise itself, which he later admits was part of his plan anyway.

While it is true that Khan is a cold blooded murderer, the more important concept is that he was being manipulated by Admiral Marcus as a tool to start a pre-planned war. The torpedo scenario easily draws comparisons to current drone policy and is among the many obvious parallels to the attacks of 9/11 and the war on terror. Of course it should be no surprise that so many mainstream reviewers seem to miss these parallels, whether they intend to or not. Most of the critics seemed to miss the themes of false flag terrorism contained in the Star Wars prequels as well. Many of those who do make the connections to 9/11 are dismayed by it and quickly point out that Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci is known to be a conspiracy theorist.

Alyssa Rosenberg from Think Progress writes,“the Marcus plot sits uncomfortably as a critique of the War on Terror in part because of Orci’s publicly-stated beliefs that the September 11 attacks were an inside job. When Kirk, having realized that following Marcus’ orders would have degraded both Starfleet and the Federation itself, addresses Starfleet Academy at the end of the movie and declares “There will always be those who wish to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil in ourselves,” it would be nice to know for sure that he’s talking about real foreign enemies rather than domestic ones dreamed into existence by conspiratorial thinking.”

Unlike Rosenberg, Mr. Orci is clearly an informed and independent thinker. A quick scan of his twitter feed shows him making comments similar to those that helped get Alex Jones depicted as a rat emerging from the sewer by the LA Times. On April 15, the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, Orci wrote,

“Keep your eyes on Boston today. Look for evidence of Government drills, etc…”

He later posted a link to the Local 15 news coverage of University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, who witnessed drills taking place at the Boston Marathon. He wrote these comments referring to the link.

“Now we have to figure out what this means. Could be innocent, but why close your minds before looking.”

The rest of his Twitter feed further shows the Star Trek co-writer to be a well informed critical thinker who doesn’t blindly trust authority. On may 17th he wrote,

“White House has requested a print of #startrekintodarkness. Hope they pay attention;)”

I’m sure they are paying attention, however I’m not so sure that they will have favorable reviews, considering blockbuster films like these can have the effect of undermining and eroding their propaganda efforts.

Oblivion is another recent science fiction film with conspiracy themes that parallel current reality. Most movie critics didn’t seem to like or get that one either. But who cares about reviews when important messages are reaching the public on a massive scale. Science fiction has a history of being used as a vehicle to deliver important controversial social commentary, and as pointed out by Orci this has always been a part of the Star Trek legacy.

The Star Trek episode from the sixties titled, “Day of the Dove” deals with the very same themes of being manipulated into war (with the Klingons no less) as the new Trek film. Here is a short breakdown of the episode put together by ThoughtCrime7 on YouTube. And for fun, check out this excellent video titled, “9/11 Trek” credited to

Related: Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, who has previously worked with Orci on other projects including the TV series Fringe, is going to be the director of Star Wars episode VII.

3 thoughts on “Star Trek Into Darkness — Of 9/11 Conspiracy Theory”

  1. “… a well informed critical thinker who doesn’t blindly trust authority.” Isn’t this the reason our country was founded?

    Thanks for an interesting review – now I have a few movies to watch; with the big screen all encompassing theaters featuring stars we either like or criticize, I believe the average movie goer attends to be entertained. It’s not until late one night when trying to fall asleep that these things ‘click’. And because of the beautiful special effects, I often find it hard to see the tree for the forest. Thanks for sharing your binoculars.

  2. I enjoyed this review above many others because, while i can dissect scripts and imagery, i know nothing of the writers and co writers of this movies back ground. i thought the movie was an interesting watch, however, i also found it troubling.
    There were serious social critiques going on behind the scenes. In earlier star trek movies, most humans are shown as progressing towards sophistication. Star Trek was meant to not only comment on society, but propose an alternative view of human nature and the possibilities of society. The enterprise has turned into the love boat with scantily clad women being objectified and sexed by both captain kirk and Spock. This is far from the equality and professionalism originally portrayed in star trek. Also, the plot revolves around characters getting drunk, and magically sobering up in time for active duty. In Roddenberry’s original series, alcohol was never glamorized as an escape, but as a small entertaining past time. Society is no longer shown as a progressing reflection of human potential, but is now a projection of human vice upon a 23rd century action packed canvas. These characters are emotionally unstable attractive young celebrities more than they are philosophical adventuring scientist; and would be more at home on a reality tv show than a science network.
    As a side note, id like to mention the politics of this movie. The overt criticism of false flag operations and preliminary strikes was obvious, so i wont mention it. I guess what struck me was the simplification of star fleet to a top down outfit with such grandiose corruption it could build entire star ships without oversight. While this might be a critique on America, it is a bad one. It is similar to the gross oversimplification of the military in Avatar. the movie focuses on military corruption, but never once goes deeper to how an entire society can be blind sided. War in America is good business. The federation has no money, why would they seek a war. The symbolism and allegory don’t inform, they sensationalize to the point of parodying themselves; creating a good/bad dichotomy which is similar to the propaganda it is seeking to defuse.
    The last thing i need to say is this– criticism of a society is one thing. Star Trek has always been an active commentary on humanity and civilizations progress. But, this movie misses the point of positive examples and inner reflection that made star trek originally great and rewarding to watch. Instead of a glimpse of hope it is a plunge into darkness. Too bad the future couldn’t be more inspiring.

    Long live and prosper

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