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Why The Name of the 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Villain Isn't A Spolier [Rant]

The Internet is full of rumors about the identity of the Star Trek Into Darkness villain. Is it a spoiler? I don't think Benedict Cumberbatch's character name qualifies as a spoiler. No matter what anyone says.

Above Image: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spock (Zachary Quinto)

First Showing had a whole article telling the Internet to stop spoiling the identity of the Star Trek 2 villain. The dictionary describes a spoiler as "information about the plot of a motion picture or TV program that can spoil a viewer's sense of surprise or suspense."
Saying the girl is a guy spoils it. Saying Willis is dead is a spoiler. Saying Cumberbatch is Gary Mitchell is not.
Here are some reasons why.

It's Not A Surprise!
Is the identity of a main character going to spoil the surprise or suspense of Star Trek Into Darkness? I hope not. I'd like to think the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch isn't the biggest surprise in the movie. This is J.J. Abrams who created the Lost series. Trust me. The movie has more surprises than that.

His Name Will Be Revealed In the First Act!
Unless everyone in the move calls him "that guy," he's going to be identified the minute he comes onscreen.
Here's the synopsis from Paramount
In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.
With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
It doesn't explain who he is, but note the plot outline says "the crew of the Enterprise is called back home." Since the plot talks about the Enterprise being called back because of Cumberbatch's character, he'll be named in the first act. A spoiler is usually something that happens at the end of the movie, not the beginning.

It's Probably Really Obvious!
They wouldn't be trying so hard to hide it unless it was someone really recognizable. So, if he's Khan, most people would say it was obvious from the beginning. In fact, people have thought the villain would be Khan since 2010.

That's why I think the name John Harrison is a red herring. The only character named John Harrison in the Star Trek universe is a minor character from the Original Series episode "Space Seed."

"An unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization" means the list of possible characters is short.

A spoiler is a plot twist, not an obvious happening.

There's More To the Villain Than A Name!
When asked about the mystery in the character, director J.J. Abrams said, "No no no, the whole thing, not just his back story but his agenda, his plan, his secret, all of that is what I think, for me at least, makes him such a frightening and cool villain." So, that means the name is unimportant.

So, I say let the "spoliers" come! I want to know who the villain is, and can't wait to see how Abrams reinterprets him.

What do you think? Do you want to know the name of the Star Trek villain? Do you avoid spoilers in general?
[Image Source: Movie Cultists]

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  1. Also unless you're a rabid fan of the original series you probably have no idea who Gary Mitchell is. Or maybe he's not really Gary Mitchell or Khan but some other guy entirely.

  2. Considering Harrison comes from "Space Seed," the swerve could be that he's avenging Khan, who in this timeline doesn't become the big villain, and in fact Harrison proves to be a far bigger menace. Which would be smart, because some fans (possibly only myself) never thought Khan was as awesome as his reputation suggests. But USING him for something that could theoretically be better, now THAT would redeem the name of Khan Noonien Singh.

  3. That has been suggested Tony. It's also been suggested he's a brother of Khan. Frankly, I hope it's not him since some fans (possibly only myself ;) ) consider him the greatest of the Star Trek villains. He would be hard to top.

  4. Joe, thanks for your comment. You're totally right about how fans like us would react if it's Mitchell or Khan. It would be derivative and annoying. I would totally agree with you that it's a new character, but there's one problem with that theory. If he was a new character why hide the name? Abrams has been bending over backwards to hide the name of the villain till now. Why? If he had said "John Harrison" six months ago we would have shrugged and moved on. The fact that they've gone to great effort to hide his name means it's one we would recognize. I could be wrong, but it seems the most likely theory. You have some great insights and I hope you come back and visit us again soon.

  5. I think he is Khan, the costume says it all. Compare it to the previous costume :)


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