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film news

Has the next Star Trek villain been revealed?

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Monday, July 9, 2012

It was just a couple of months ago that we all thought that the bad guy in the next Star Trek movie would be Khan. Since J.J. Abrams and his camp weren't saying much, it was up to independent movie websites to try and find out. But when it all but seemed that Benedict Cumberbatch would be playing the genetic superman in nuTrek movie #2, along came Simon "Scotty" Pegg who said that there was no Khan in the sequel. And then later, producer/screenwriter Robert Orci also said that the new movie wouldn't have Khan in it.

So who is Cumberbatch playing, and why is Abrams and his team keeping it a heavy duty secret from the world?

The answer as to who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in the Star Trek universe may have inadvertantly been answered by cast member Karl Urban. In a comment made during a press event for his Dredd movie, Urban was asked what he thought of working with Cumberbatch. "He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary," said the man.

So who's Gary Mitchell, and why is that important to Trekkies?

Mitchell was a character seen in only one classic Star Trek episode, which is the second pilot produced for the series titled "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Played by Gary Lockwood a couple of years before his turn as a doomed astronaut in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mitchell was the Enterprise's navigator and a longtime personal friend of Captain James Kirk. The two knew each other in Starfleet Academy and were close, and when Kirk was given command of the Enterprise, he asked for Mitchell to be placed on his ship.

When Abrams rebooted Star Trek in 2009, old school Trek fans wondered if Kirk would know Mitchell in the altered timeline. If it is true and Urban did let it slip that Cumberbatch is playing Gary Mitchell, then the next question would be whether the events played out in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" will transpire in Star Trek 2013. In the TV episode, Mitchell develops godlike powers and a dangerous ego, which eventually forces Kirk's hand to act against his friend and ultimately take his life to save the Enterprise.

One piece of circumstantial evidence that Cumberbatch's character could be Gary Mitchell is the spy shot showing Zachary Quinto's Spock trying a Vulcan nerve pinch on Cumberbatch's character. There have also been photos suggesting that the mystery man Benedict is playing has strength equal to Mr. Spock's.

For now, the mystery will have to last a while longer.

UPDATE: A couple of people have written in claiming that Cumberbatch can't be playing Gary Mitchell as the character has been seen in the IDW Star Trek comic book series. The publisher is re-doing each of the classic TOS episodes but with the likeness of the 2009 Trek movie actors, as well as changing some minor events. The big details still work out the same, and supposedly the comic book is considered in-canon because producer Roberto Orci is overseeing it. Maybe that holds true, and then again maybe it won't.

-SFX.
Quasar
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Posted: 9 years 44 weeks ago

"suggesting that the mystery man Benedict is playing has strength equal to Mr. Spock's"

I've watched a lot of Trek over the years, and I swear I've never seen a vulcan since the TOS portayed as having more than normal strength, and that includes 2009 Spock.

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
Jaro
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Posted: 9 years 44 weeks ago

In regard to the update added above... I'm fairly certain that I read an article in a sci-fi blog several months ago that contained an interview with someone from the Star Trek production (I believe it was Orci himself).... and this person stated that the clue to who the villain is could be found in the then upcoming comic book series. So if my memory serves me and I'm correct... then wouldn't this further point to Gary Mitchell being involved in the next movie?

Also @Quasar... In regard to Vulcans being portrayed as having superhuman strength... In the Star Trek Voyager episode 'Rising'...Tuvok grabs the fist a man trying to punch him and nearly crushes it while calmly stating that it's fruitless to attack him as he possesses much greater strength than him. Also in an episode from Enterprise...A Vulcan lifts Capt. Archer off the ground by his neck. And finally...In the baseball episode from Star Trek: Deep Space 9... It is stated that Vulcans are 3 times stronger than humans.

Jaro"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." 
Jaro
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Posted: 9 years 44 weeks ago

This waiting to find out who the villain is frustrating. ;)

Jaro"There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." 
Quasar
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Posts: 7588
Posted: 9 years 44 weeks ago

I don't remember the Enterprise scene, but I stopped watching DS9 and Voyager fairly early on in the series. Good to know there are some examples though, so thanks!

Faster and faster, a nightmare we ride. Who'll take the reins when the miracle dies? Faster and faster till everything dies. Killing is our way of keeping alive. - Virgin Steele, Blood and Gasoline
xiaoxiu3q (not verified)
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Edit - Posted: 9 years 43 weeks ago

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