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Warning: This post and accompanying video contain major spoilers for Star Trek Beyond
Trekkies weren’t the only ones caught off guard by Star Trek Beyond’s big third act plot twist, which reveals that Idris Elba’s alien baddie Krall is actually a century-old Starfleet officer mutated by alien technology. The actor himself did a double-take when he originally read Simon Pegg and Doug Jung’s script for the thirteenth feature film in the enduring sci-fi franchise, which topped the box-office charts in its opening weekend. “I got to the end and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s human!’” Elba tells Yahoo Movies. “I thought, ‘That’s a lot of complexity there; I could probably get my teeth into it.’”
The revelation of Krall’s actual identity as Captain Balthazar Edison was also a relief to the Pacific Rim star, because it meant a break from the arduous, four-hour make-up process required to make him a convincing extraterrestrial. “I think the fans will be relieved that you do see my face,” Elba jokes. “Hopefully. Maybe they’ll be like ‘Keep the mask on.’” (Yeah…that’s not very likely.)
Elba’s latest role doesn’t require any elaborate prosthetics. He recently completed filming the long-awaited film adaptation of The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s beloved series of fantasy novels. As he points out, the experience exposes him to a whole new set of fans, who are as fervent in their devotion to the story of Roland the Gunslinger as Trekkies are to the Holy Trinity of Kirk, Spock and Bones. “Like Star Trek, The Dark Tower has a huge fanbase, and they expect a certain thing.”