CUMBERSNATCH NAME IS FINALLY REVEALED
One day after our own Vic Holtreman had a chance to check out the nine minute Star Trek Into Darkness prologue, Paramount Pictures has released the first official image from the highly anticipated sequel. While the image isn’t quite as revealing as the gallery of HD trailer screen grabs we collected from the Star Trek 2 trailer, it does put to rest a bit of speculation that followed in the wake of the the film’s Japanese trailer debut – specifically a shot that was reminiscent of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan finale.
Of course, for every mystery that we solve, a new one usually arises and the new image is no exception – begging the question: who is
John Harrison really?
Let’s start with the good news.
The new Star Trek 2 image, which features Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris Pine undeniably creates context for the controversial closing seconds of the Star Trek 2 Japanese trailer – which depicts a (dark) blue sleeved hand and a yellow Starfleet sleeved hand separated by a piece of glass. Many viewers immediately noted that the clip was a nod to the closing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – where Spock locks himself inside a glass-walled Enterprise warp core, absorbing a lethal dose of radiation, to save the ship and the crew (not to mention setting up the plot of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock).
As a result, commenters and industry insiders began to wonder if a) the image could be taken as evidence that Cumberbatch’s villain is actually Khan and b) would director J.J. Abrams present Quinto’s Spock with an equally uncertain future at the end of his Star Trek 2?
However, the image clearly depicts that the dark blue sleeve belongs to Cumberbatch – who is trapped inside a glass prison cell – not Quinto. We’ll have to wait and see more footage for a reason behind his capture but, for now, skeptical fans can relax knowing that Abrams isn’t going to deliver a point-by-point recreation of the Star Trek 2 plot – whether Cumberbatch is playing Khan or not.
Now the bad news.
The image also includes a head-scratching caption that further muddies Cumberbatch villain speculation – as the character is actually “named.”
Here’s the associated caption:
(Left to right) Zachary Quinto is Spock, Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison and Chris Pine is Kirk in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.
It’s easy to dismiss the John Harrison name as nothing more than a placeholder for the villain’s true identity – or, at the very least, a less-recognizable alias the character uses in the film. However, Paramount’s choice to caption the official image with a potentially “fake” identity, instead of a real one, tells us one thing: whoever Cumberbatch is playing, his name will be recognizable – be it Gary Mitchell or Khan Noonien Singh. There would have been no reason to withhold the character’s true name this long if he was a new person entirely.
The Gary Mitchell character has come under a lot of scrutiny ever since Karl Urban dropped his name several months back but he’s not the most recognizable member of the Star Trek rogues gallery – meaning, why would Paramount go to such great lengths to hide the identity of a character that only Trekkies would remember? The filmmakers could be trying to keep the storyline under wraps but this is an all-new Trek universe – meaning whether Cumberbatch plays Khan, Mitchell, or a young time-displaced Captain Picard (kidding), the story does not have to follow the same twists and turns.
As a result, the more that Paramount tries to keep Cumberbatch’s identity a mystery, the more it stands to reason that the final reveal will be worthy of secrecy and hype – i.e. a new take on Khan. Remember, Cumberbatch himself referred to the Star Trek 2 role as “iconic” and “memorable.” By the time his identify is finally revealed, complaints about Abrams revisiting a classic Trek villain will mostly be drowned out by excitement for the final film’s release.
Of course, we could be entirely wrong and the filmmakers could be paving the way for an all-new name to terrify humanity… John Harrison! Right, probably not.
Star Trek party post?