With all the hype surrounding the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness, it is safe to say that everyone, especially all Trekkies/Trekkers is STILL groping in the darkness about the identity of the VILLAIN of the film.
Today, I thought it would be fun for me to join in the bandwagon and offer my 5 best educated guesses into the identity of this mysterious villain.
What I did first was to come with with a simple checklist on the available data/info on the villain, scoured from all current trailers, teasers, Superbowl spots, interviews, etc. to narrow down my list of suspects:
– Villain wears the Starfleet uniform
– Villain seems to know Kirk and NOT the other way around
– Villain is immune to Spock’s nerve pinch
– Villain is mentioned as ‘John Harrison’
– Villain is super strong and can handle a really huge gattling-type gun
– Villain fights with Klingons
– Villain has some unexplainable power to heal
– Villain can be quite persuasive or possesses some charm to manipulate minds
– Villain is a one man weapon of mass destruction?
– Villain has some kind of personal vendetta against Kirk or the Federation
– Villain is from the Star Trek canon
After that, I did some research and came out with my top 5 picks of the villain for Into Darkness (in no particular order):
1. Robert April – Being a sucker at overanalysing stuff, I admitted that I tried to put myself in Abram’s mind and probed myself – if I was Abrams, who would I want to bring back as the key villain to my successful first Star Trek reboot? The first thought that came to me head would be someone who had some history with the Enterprise before Kirk took over. Eventually that led me to my first guess – Willard Decker, who captained the Enterprise in The Motion Picture (TMP) and eventually became a part of V’ger, yada, yada, yada. Then one day it occurred to me that TMP would not take place or had NOT taken place in Abram’s Star Trek reboot!
Then about a month ago, it was revealed that the pre-movie comic tie-in showcased this relatively unknown Trek character, Robert April. In an episode of the Animated Series titled ‘The Counter Clock Incident‘, April was instrumental in reversing the accelerated ageing process onboard the Enterprise.
My theory is that the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch is none other that the YOUNGER version of April, since Kirk couldn’t even recognise him from the trailers! Taking cue from the Counter Clock Incident, April could have discovered some formula to reverse ageing, heightened senses and strengths, etc. His feud with the Federation? Perhaps he got pissed that they retired him too early! After all, April did make a comment in the episode that ‘because someone is 75 years old, doesn’t mean they are ready to stop giving service to the galaxy..’ His fascination with Enterprise? Well, one of his quotes in that same episode was “No matter where I’ve traveled in the galaxy, Jim, this bridge is more like home than anywhere else.”
2. Khan Noonien Singh – Perhaps the most highly favoured probability of the villain has to be the rebooted version of everyone’s favourite Khaaaaaannnnnn! Naturally endowed with superhuman strength and charm to manipulate people, it would seem that Khan would be spot on to battle Kirk in Into Darkness.
For me, I sincerely hope that it will NOT be Khan. Firstly, it would make the rebooted version look TOO similar to the previous movie franchise route. Next, it is almost sinful to mess nor reboot a successful villain of the past! My hope is that Khan will be forever left as a classic villain in the original timestream!
3. Garth of Izar – Another popular character in the Original Series lore, Garth was a decorated, highly-regarded officer in the Federation Starfleet, who rose to rank of Fleet Captain in the course of his service through the mid-23rd century. His career dissolved in a dramatic descent into madness and attempted genocide, resulting in his commitment to the Elba II asylum for the criminally insane. (Source: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Garth_of_Izar)
The X-factor of Garth is that he is also endowed with some form of ‘transformative gift’ which allows him to heal, assume appearances of others (voice, clothing, etc.)
The keywords that jumped straight at me: hatred for Starfleet, genocide, healing powers, manipulative powers, vendetta with Kirk. His powers of assuming another identity could also explain why Kirk couldn’t recognise him…
4. Gary Mitchell – A Starfleet personnel that grew up with Kirk would set up the back story of the villain’s vendetta against Kirk quite nicely. Mitchell is well known for having esper-oriented abilities that was psionic in nature, giving him God-like abilities like telekinesis, mind control, ESP, energy-control, matter control, etc.
When I thought about the massive destruction seen in the trailers, Mitchell’s name popped up with ease because he IS literally a one man weapon of mass destruction.
Vendetta with Kirk? Checked. Unhappy with Starfleet? Checked. Wears Starfleet uniform? Checked. Ability to destroy cities at will? Checked. Immune to the Vulcan nerve pinch? Checked. Unrecognized by Kirk? Hmmmm.
5. Roger Korby – Another angle in the Trek verse that is seldom explored is the Eugenics Wars, which basically is the result of a scientific attempt to improve the Human race through selective breeding and genetic engineering. Khan was one example bred through this era.
The more I look at the movie stills and trailers, the more I feel that the villain may not be so human after all. his steely eyes, movement, posture, strengths, etc. seems to suggest that he could very well be android in nature. I don’t know about the rest of you but the similarities of the face gestures of Data and this villain looks too similar!
That put me on a path to guess if Arik Soong could be a part of the movie as well. Since the timeline was a little off, I would have to take a stab at a character in Kirk’s time, ie. Dr. Roger Korby. If you read his wiki from the link I provided, it is clear that Korby could very well the android villain in the movie, since he would be super-strong, unrecognisable in an unidentified android form (John Harrison), has medical knowledge and the additional threat of creating and populating our world with more androids.
Any other guesses whilst we are still in the dark? :-p