I am a life-long “Star Trek” fan. Life-long as in Captain Kirk fighting a Gorn with a homemade blackpowder cannon is my first memory on this planet. Literally. I believe this makes me vaguely qualified to speculate on the identity of the mysterious villain from the upcoming film. My speculation grew from the dribbles of marketing fluff floating around the web and may have no basis in reality, thereby making it extremely speculative speculation. I am also assuming that a name from the original series will be our villain. First a brief review of the information available from the LA Times.
Ok. Here we have the villain looking very Matrix-esque in a ruin. He is a he, which eliminates all the female options (limited though they are) and the obviously alien, eg Klingons or Andorrians. Other than looking bad-ass there is not much to go on. On to the marketing blurb.
The official synopsis for “Into Darkness” says, “Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.”
Ah, let us parse this simple phrase “weapon of mass destruction.” While all villains are bad for property values, this sentence implies a global reach and endless destructive potential. On its surface, this description leads to a couple of obvious options.
Let me get this out-of-the-way immediately. Behold the actor playing the villain.
This is man as Khan? Really? There is not enough CGI in Weta Workshop to pull that one off. Rather like a film with Brad Pitt as Barack Obama. Move on.
An early, tragic villain in the original series that is a fan favorite. The glowing eyes always got me as a kid. Sadly, I find Mr. Mitchell unlikely as well. Mitchell pulled a “Dark Phoenix” and let his super-powers corrupt him. While an exciting villain, he just does not seem like the correct “tone” for a Trek movie. He is a high fantasy bad guy. Ok for TV, but a bit cheesy on a big screen.
Since those two are out, a couple of more obscure but interesting characters occurred to me. These leverage the term “into darkness” in a metaphorical way. Rather than a literal darkness I suggest the title refers to a psychological darkness. This makes them no less dangerous as villains of course, just motivated differently.
A crazed, talented starship captain that is Kirk’s personal hero! Now there is some plot potential! Imagine him as a dark version of Kirk, turning his talents to violence and mayhem. That and the shapeshifting makes for some nice “is it really you?” moments. He was at the top of my list until I remembered…
Winner! This is my final answer. Another crazed starship captain, but he only lost it after his entire crew died from a horrible plague. After realizing he was trapped between two warring factions, he went native and picked a side. Even going to far as using his hand phaser to slay hundreds of tribesmen with spears. We have a male, on a planet with an ongoing war (war zone) and he has a WMD (federation weaponry). Toss in some restrictions from Starfleet because of the prime directive for Kirk and company and I can really see how he will work as a villain. “Go, retrieve him quietly and undo the damage caused….” You get the idea. I wonder if the heroes have to go up a river to find him, al la “Heart of Darkness” or “Apocalypse Now.” Both involve good men gone mad in a distant land. I almost hope this is true because it is great source material and that might make for a better film.
I am sure there are those that will disagree with me, but feel free to make your best guess. We will all find out together next May!
Trask, The Last Tyromancer