Apparently what happened in London March 23, 2013 was not an attack by the mysterious John Harrison (the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch) but a massive Star Trek Into Darkness promotion that dwarfs anything Star Trek has done before.
On March 23, cities all over the world observed Earth Hour, an international event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to raise awareness for climate change. Essentially, adherents to the cause promise to turn off all non-essential lights in order to conserve energy and show their solidarity against practices that invite climate change.
Well, apparently Star Trek is a necessary light in all our lives, and Paramount took advantage of London’s darkened skyline to promote the film that will be coming out in the UK on May 10 this year (those in the US have a full week to wait after that).
The display was engineered by Ars Electronica Futurelab & Ascending Technologies, an Austrian based research project that seeks to unite arts, technology, and society. According to their website, the process to create the 308 foot tall Star Fleet emblem was treated much like an 3D animation project, but translating that data into flight coordinates.
You can check out the mind boggling display here:
If I’m going to be honest, the whole enterprise seems rather dubious. It comes off as Paramount taking advantage of Earth Hour by using lights to promote its film on a night where lights are to be turned off. Naturally, in the darkness, all eyes would be on that. While the lights may have been LED, the power and energy to get the quadrocopters to London and off the ground seems contradictory to what Earth Hour is trying to promote.
In addition to its environmental dubiousness, the analogies the promotion uses in order to explain the display is also somewhat befuddling. The video uses quotes from the movie that are about John Harrison’s terrorist bombing of London, which seems an odd parallel to draw to a bunch of lights up in the air and also inappropriate, taking into account the London bombings which happened only a little under seven years ago.
Still, it’s apparent that Paramount is finally prepared to make the new Star Trek movie an international phenomenon, and this step definitely makes that statement.