That J.J. Abrams, craftier than a Ferengi. Appearing on Conan Thursday night to promote his NBC series Revolution, Abrams couldn’t help but tantalize fans of his upcoming Star Trek sequel — officially titled Star Trek Into Darkness — by premiering an exclusive clip of the film. The catch: It was only three frames long. But they weren’t boring frames! Check them out below:

Don’t worry, we’ve already done the work of freeze-framing the image for you so you can study, dissect, examine, and mind meld with it. You can clearly see Zachary Quinto as Spock. Probably. Could be a stunt double in a bowl cut, actually. But, ooo, look at the flames! What could they mean? Why is Spock in a volcano in the first place? Is he auditioning for a 23rd century daredevil reality show on A&E? Could this hypothetically involve an as-yet-totally-unconfirmed Khan?

Star Trek Into Darkness won’t arrive in theaters until May 17, 2013 — and chances are Paramount won’t be releasing the first trailer for the film for at least another month, possibly longer. But what do you think of Abrams’ three-frame clip? Ingenious marketing ploy? Maddening tease? Both?

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Star Trek Into Darkness

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 132 minutes
  • Alex Kurtzman