The three Star Trek films in the Kelvin timeline share many similar characteristics to the first three films.
The Star Trek Kelvin timeline films are their own thing. An alternate reality, a different timeline, with different notes and such. Yet, each film seemingly has borrowed from the original films in the timeline almost without fail.
Now, none of the films, not even Into Darkness, is a one-to-one remake or even borrows plotlines from other films. Yes, Into Darkness and Wrath of Khan both follow a story of a vengeful Khan, but the target isn’t the same. Khan in Into Darkness is trying to get revenge against the Federation and specifically, Admiral Marcus. In Wrath of Khan, it’s merely to kill James Kirk.
Similar but different, yet there are huge moments in each film that seemingly define each film. That’s what this is about. That the Kelvin film series borrows huge ideas and or moments from its corresponding predecessor.
Breaking down the borrowed moments across both films
In Star Trek I and Star Trek 2009, both films deal with technology from another time. In Trek I, it’s the Voyager 6, a probe from the 20th century lost in a black hole. In Trek 2009, it’s the Romulan mining ship, the Narada. Both vessels exist outside of their original times and or purposes, while both traveled through rifts in space to travel.
In Wrath of Khan and Into Darkness, it’s obvious; the introduction of Khan Noonien Singh. The plots differ widely, but they both feature Khan. They also feature insanely stupid resurrections. In Wrath of Khan, Spock put his mind into Dr. McCoy because he knew was going to die and that (somehow) his body would end up on Genesis, and in Into Darkness, they injected Kirk with Tribble DNA.
Lastly, the third films, Search for Spock and Beyond, both feature the destruction of the USS Enterprise as the lynchpin of the story. For Trek III, it was destroying the ship to kill off the bulk of Klingons that were once occupying Genesis, for Beyond, it was lost in a dog fight. Both were destroyed upon previously unknown planets, and both versions of the Enterprise collided into these planets for their last moments.
This trend may continue into the fourth film, assuming there is a fourth film. There are reports that Chris Hemsworth will return as George Kirk, no doubt due to time travel. If that’s the case, the trend will continue on, as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home utilized a heavy amount of time travel.