Did J.J. Abrams just promise a happy ending for Star Trek 2?

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Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Those two recent trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness promise us a somber tale in which Capt. Kirk and his crew must face insurmountable odds, frightening challenges and heartbreaking sacrifices ... or do they? J.J. Abrams hints that things won't be as bad as they seem.

In an interview conducted with a Japanese outlet and excerpted by Trek Movie, Abrams is a little more relaxed about discussing some of the plot points of the sequel to his 2009 Star Trek reboot (as opposed to the CIA-like levels of secrecy he practices with U.S. media). For one, he delves a little more into the story and the villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch):

"...he is sort of an average—that is what makes him so scary—he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda. After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the U.S., our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him. And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. Into Darkness is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against."

The trailers have certainly promised an intense struggle for the Enterprise crew, with one shot suggesting that the ship itself even faces a catastrophic crash landing. And then there's that iconic glimpse of two hands touching through glass—a scene specifically recalling Spock's death at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

We've heard rumors (nothing we can officially confirm) of a similar death scene in this film, which would make sense given the dark nature of the trailers. But Abrams says that he won't leave his cast stranded in a black hole of misery and tragedy:

"I don't like going to the movies to feel bad. I don't like going to the movies to feel depressed and feel diminished. The reason you go to the movies is to feel bigger and stronger and happier. So this is a movie that they certainly go Into Darkness, but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards."

Did Abrams just guarantee that fans won't walk out of Star Trek Into Darkness with tears streaming down their faces? And if so, how does that tie together with the possibilities of sacrifice and death that have been teased? More importantly, how do you want to feel when you walk out of the movie on May 17, 2013?

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