‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: New Clips Raise Questions Over Cumberbatch’s Villain Status
Kirk confronts his nemesis in 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
The plot and character details of "Star Trek Into Darkness" have been shrouded in typical Bad Robot secrecy since the film's inception, though no question regarding the sequel has been more maddening than as to the true identity and nature of its chief bad guy, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Is he Khan Noonien Singh, the vengeful genetically altered superhuman played by Ricardo Montalban in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982)? Is he Gary Mitchell, a former Federation officer turned villainous rogue from the original television series? Or is he a character brand-new to the "Trek" canon, a clever narrative curveball designed to make ourselves go crazy with speculation when in reality he's ... well, really just a brand-new "Trek" character?
One new clip from the film makes for your usual kind of J.J. Abrams offering -- raising two or more new questions for every one older question half-answered. (Or something like that. Really, don't try to figure out the Abrams formula, for therein lies madness!) Our imprisoned villain (Cumberbatch) and incensed hero (Chris Pine as James T. Kirk) have a heated exchange ... well, heated for Kirk, as Harrison remains calm in that sinister way smart bad guys tend to practice.
Watch 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Clip -- I Allow It:
While admitting that we're unsure of the order of the film's events, we're assuming that Harrison has been locked up because of one or more of the terrorist attacks showcased in the film's trailers, which include him shooting up a Federation meeting and blowing up a bunch of buildings in both London and San Francisco. "I watched you murder innocent men and women," says Kirk. "I was authorized to end you."
It's here that Harrison reveals there's a lot more to his plan than just death and destruction. In fact, Kirk seems to be a key part of it. "I surrendered to you because you seem to have a conscience, Mr. Kirk," he says, appealing to Kirk as a man and not necessarily a Federation officer as he goes for "Mr." instead of "Captain." He then gives specific information to this man with a conscience, one that adds a whole new layer to his seemingly evil agenda: