TenutoBlog: Making The Case For Identifying The Star Trek Into Darkness Villain | TrekMovie.com
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TenutoBlog: Making The Case For Identifying The Star Trek Into Darkness Villain December 12, 2012

by John Tenuto , Filed under: Editorial,Spoilers,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Even with the reveal of the villain’s name in Star Trek Into Darkness, the speculation continues, with some even growing openly frustrated. Today TrekMovie contributor and Star Trek history expert John Tenuto takes a look at all the talk along with a look at Trek history, and comes to his own conclusion. Read his detailed case below (with possible spoilers).

 

Who Is John Harrison?

Making predictions is a dangerous game because if you are right, people think you are a know it all when perhaps you just got lucky, and if you are wrong, then you have a difficult time speaking with assuredness about the next topic. However, it is too fun not to chime in on the “who is John Harrison” debate occurring with fellow fans, and I will make my prediction as to who I think Benedict Cumberbatch’s “John Harrison” really is in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Along with my wife and fellow sociology professor Maria Jose, I have been fortunate to have been researching the making of “Space Seed” and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan using library collections of original scripts, photos, memos, and the like for the last five years. We have collected and studied nearly 2000 photos and 5000 different papers. Our admiration for the creativity and talent of everyone who on the original episode and TWOK, especially writer/director Nicholas Meyer, worked with time constraints and budgetary limitation to create thoughtful entertainment is boundless.

While doing this research, we have come to know Khan, from his earliest days as Harold Ericsson in Carey Wilber and Gene Coon’s “Space Seed” drafts during the autumn of 1966, to his reintroduction in Wrath of Khan.


Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyer and Ricardo Montalban – one of the many rare photos we have uncovered in our research

And while these experiences give us no more authority to speak to who John Harrison is than any other fan, many who know Star Trek history better than us or actually worked on the shows, I am willing to proffer a guess considering all the clues and hints, presuming you allow me the ability to later say, “Sorry, I guessed wrong. You were right, it was someone else.” I am asking for a big window of error here because it is speculation, although I as I hope to demonstrate, an informed conjecture.

The guess: John Harrison is really Khan Noonien Singh.


They say “John Harrison” – I think “Khan”

Why I think John Harrison is Khan

While I don’t have any inside information from the Star Trek Into Darkness production, there are a number of reasons I have been lead to this conclusion.

1) John Harrison is obviously super-powered – just like Khan
Why would the STID team create a new character when there is a very famous (perhaps the most famous) villain in Khan who has the same abilities? This would open the creators to the inevitable criticism and comparison to Khan when they could just have used Khan in the first place.

Could it be Gary Mitchell, the next logical super powered choice? (as discussed on TrekMovie last week) Unlikely. Roberto Orci has confirmed to TrekMovie.com that the IDW comics are canon. The first two issues of the ongoing IDW Star Trek comics were inaugurated with the entire story of Gary Mitchell. Is it possible that the creators of a huge budget Hollywood film would allow their main baddie to be introduced in the pages of a monthly comic, especially a team of filmmakers known for their secrecy? Possibly, but those kind of reveals are usually reserved for specified prequel comics, of which issues 1 and 2 were not. And, why tell Mitchell’s entire story and then have to resurrect him for the film, leaving film audiences who do not read the comics out of the loop?

Could it be Robert April, the original Captain of the Enterprise in the prime universe (as postulated by at HitFix). A creative and out of the box idea that sounds like great fun, however, it is one that I doubt. Robert April wouldn’t be the first captain of the Enterprise in the new universe, at least not of the Enterprise we see in ST09. Pike clearly identifies it as the ship’s first real mission to save Vulcan, so he is the first. What would make April a good choice is precisely why he is probably not the bad guy: he would be a good villain if he had been the first captain of the Enterprise gone bad. But he isn’t the first captain. And, where did a normal human get those super powers?


I don’t think we will see April (or Mitchell) next May

2) A Khan by any other name
Some argue that the character is named John Harrison, not Khan, so it can’t be Khan (TrekMovie has reported that this name is used in the film and it isn’t just a marketing placeholder). And of course, there is indeed a character named Harrison in who appears in “Space Seed” and several other episodes of TOS. But, he is a regular crewman and perhaps his name was chosen for John Harrison as an homage, but I think it unlikely that the John Harrison of Star Trek Into Darkness is meant to be an obscure background character. There is too much riding on the film to do something that the majority of the audience just won’t get.

This leads to the spreading speculation that the name John Harrison is like Henri Ducard in Batman Begins (Liam Neeson’s character who late in the film was revealed to be the villain Ra’s al Gul). The same trick was used again in The Dark Knight Rises with Marion Cotillard’s character Miranda Tate (who in the film reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul). It is well known that JJ Abrams has used Nolan’s Batman series as a model for his reboot of Star Trek, which is even evident in the recently revealed poster for Into Darkness. It has also been established that Khan likes to mess with names. In “Space Seed” he reveals only his first name to hide his identity from Kirk and company. Maybe John Harrison is doing the same thing here as Ducard does.

Also, I cannot rid myself of this feeling when I first learned of the name “John Harrison.” John is pretty close to Khan. Plus, in the original versions of the “Space Seed” scripts, one of the names for Khan was Harold Ericsson (sometimes Ericksen, sometimes Ericcson). Harold Ericsson…Har/son…Harrison. Hmmm….that kind of naming convention is a usual practice in the world of Star Wars, which is also a franchise admired by the filmmakers of STID.

Also of note is the new interview where Cumberbatch appears to be denying he plays Khan, but I find it interesting that his denial phrasing doesn’t actually use the name Khan but says “not that other name.”


Is JJ playing Nolan’s Name Con (Khan) Game

3) The clothes make the Khan
John Harrison appears to be a member of Starfleet, and Khan wasn’t. This seems to be the big thing that is still fueling the Gary Mitchell theorists (and the few Garth of Izar proponents). However, maybe John Harrison/Khan actually is a member of Starfleet in this universe. Or maybe, like Khan in “Space Seed,” he is just wearing a Starfleet shirt because that is all that is available after they unfreeze him in Into Darkness. Plus, in Star Trek II, Khan demonstrates a fondness for wearing Starfleet items, from the red coat he sports on the USS Reliant to the trophy Starfleet emblem around his chain. Maybe the STID outfit is a trophy costume he is wearing to provoke Kirk. Speaking of costumes, that collar that John Harrison sports in the trailer is awfully similar to the design of Khan’s collar in Wrath of Khan. Other characters may wear a similar jacket in the film, but that seems too much on the proverbial nose


Collars cant be coincidence

4) If Marcus, then Khan
It is also unlikely that in a Gary Mitchell or original villain John Harrison film, there would be both Carol Marcus and the hand gesture moment from the trailer. Why mix that all together? And TrekMovie.com reported that the new trailer has a cargo bay with tubes with windows. Sounds like the Botany Bay to me; the “family” that Harrison speaks about (in the trailer) could be his wife, or it could be his fellow augments, or both. Maybe in STID Kirk accidently affects Khan’s wife somehow, who in this universe does not have to be Marla McGivers, and Khan seeks his vengeance. Oh, and speaking of the word “Vengeance” that was one of the tested titles for the film being and is featured in the trailer so prevalently, that also happened to be one of the original titles of TWOK, The Vengeance of Khan.

And while some fans have believed that the blonde lab technician that Gary spoke about in the original “Where No Man Has Gone Before” episode was the inspiration for Carol Marcus and hence she could be in a Gary Mitchell movie…maybe. Yes. But, I have never thought that the retro conning of that was convincing…Gary could just as much be talking about other of Kirk’s romantic interests from TOS. Besides, would the strong and intelligent Carol Marcus have allowed herself to be a pawn in any game by Gary Mitchell?


Welcome Back Carol

5) Follow the money – to Khan
Thinking of Hollywood patterns, it is common to introduce the hero in the first film, accomplished in Star Trek 2009, and the best known bad guy in the second film. Again looking at the Nolan example, he used the Joker for his second Batman film. The Next Generation films also did this with The Borg. And of course the original Star Trek cast films followed this pattern. The best known single bad guy in Star Trek history is Khan. I would guess Khan is worth millions in marketing potential and additional revenue at the box office.

I am also thinking of previous comments by producers and creators of the new Star Trek films: that there was talk of adding the Botany Bay in space to “the after the credits sequence” of ST09 and that the bad guy was a canon character. So clearly Khan was the default position for the team. Despite Mr. Orci’s cute reply in a recent TrekMovie.com interview that he said he lied once about the film, he is too honest and respects fans too much to actually lie. Obfuscate, divert, yes. Lie, however? I don’t believe it. That makes me think John Harrison is not a new character. And if he is not a new character, Khan makes the most sense dramatically and from business wise.


Is this Trek’s ship of gold?

6) The Khan ethnicity factor isn’t a factor
One of the more popular argument against Harrison being Khan is that Cumberbatch is neither Hispanic like Ricardo Montalban, nor Indian like the character. I would reject this ethnicity based argument for several reasons.

Yes, according to the rules established by ST09, everything before Nero’s interference should be the same in the new universe as the prime. So, Jonathan Archer existed and had all the adventures we know of in Enterprise, etc. Khan should look like and have the voice of Montalban according to those rules as he is from the 1990s.

But there are several problems with that rule when butted against the reality of making films like this.
First, there is absolutely no way to duplicate Ricardo Montalban as a person or an actor. Khan was remarkable in large measure because of his performance, in addition to the writing and direction that created the character. I think Abrams and company are wise to avoid casting a Montalban imitator in the future if Cumberbatch is not Khan and Khan is going to be in the third movie instead of STID.

Second, we as an audience have already accepted ethnic and physical differences in the actors playing iconic roles. Chris Pine does not exactly look like William Shatner at the same age, nor do most of the other characters (except perhaps Karl Urban who is amazingly similar to DeForest Kelley). Additionally, George Takei and John Cho do not share the same ethnic heritage, yet there has been an acceptance of Cho as Sulu.

And ultimately, Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers, embracing diversity, and we know that no actor should be limited in the roles they play by their ethnicity, only by their talent. I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.


Does skin color trump talent?

In conclusion….

Please do not take this argument to mean that I want it be Khan. I just think if we believe the argument that John Harrison is a pseudonym, then Khan is the best contender. For all these reasons, if John Harrison is not an original character, then I believe him to be Khan. I could be wrong, but I khan’t help thinking I am right.

 

Comments

1. Loken - December 13, 2012

Oh its Khan, for all the reasons you mention. Well done John!

2. JGG1701 - December 13, 2012

Maybe Khan died in the sleep chamber & John Harrison took over as leader. ;-)

3. Doug - December 13, 2012

Regardless of whether or not he is really Khan or Mitchell in disguise, the description of him as a terrorist who plays psychological games and perhaps causes the death of someone close to Kirk shows just how closely these turkeys are emulating The Dark Knight.

That said, add my voice to those who will be seeing Luhrmann’s Gatsby instead of this ilm. Secrecy is fine but deliberate lies are not. Some Trekkies obvbiously have no pride at all, the way they are willing led by the nose around and around in circles. They won’t be taking my money. I’m out of here.

4. Gary S. - December 13, 2012

Interesting supposition.

5. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

Gary Mitchell Introduced kirk to carol marcus, and this movie is where we first see Kirk and Carol meet.
so please tell me why a Gary Mitchell story wouldnt involve Carol?

I dont believe its Mitchell anymore, but I stand my ground and say he definately NOT Khan.

6. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

At the end of the day I really hope we are not going to be getting Dark Knight on a space ship.

7. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

I am more excited for Pacific Rim now, after just seeing the trailer that was released on line a bit ago.

8. MJ - December 13, 2012

YEP!!!

Well done, John!!!

9. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

what part of “MY character’s name is John Harrison” is hard to understand. He flat out says THAT is his name.
He says “Not that other name” cause you can tell he is tired of being asked if he is playing Khan.

10. Bucksavvy - December 13, 2012

But, the description on the film says that the villain comes from “within Starfleet,” it literally can not be Khan.

11. Kroll - December 13, 2012

To be fair that is all pretty circumstantial evidence, and there are some pretty big leaps in your argument.

1. He’s Obviously super powered like Khan..

I never saw Khan jump 20 feet in the air. I’m not saying he wasn’t capable. But I would think if he had that kind of ability he really would not have been taken down by Jim Kirk and a Metal rod.

2. The whole name mangling argument. Why not simply call him Eriksen?

3. The Collars look vaguely similar, they are hardly carbon copies. One is velour, thin, rounded, the other, flat, latex and longer.
I agree that Harrison may not be in star fleet, and that he could just be wearing the black star fleet uniform as something to wear rather than something he has to wear. That doesn’t make him Khan.

4. Saying if it’s Marcus, it has to be Khan is like saying if it’s Pine it has to be the Talosians.

5. The money would lead to Khan? Possibly, but you could use the same argument to say that they are going back in time to save some Whales, or that The Borg are going to show up.

6. I agree with you on the whole ethnicity thing, Any Actor can play any character imo. I just don’t think it is Khan. It would be kind of cool if it was., I just think all the evidence is sketchy at best.

We will all just have to wait and see.

12. Harry Ballz - December 13, 2012

All we khan do is wait and see!

13. Sentenza - December 13, 2012

Screw this! I can’t wait for Django Unchained!!

14. Harry Ballz - December 13, 2012

I swear, Kroll, I posted my comment before I saw your post!! Amazing!

15. MJ - December 13, 2012

@5 @6 @7 @9

Maybe if you keep posting over and over here like this JJ might consider re-shooting the movie for you without Khan?

:-)

PS: No doubt though many will now convince themselves how BOTH Anthony and Tenuto are wrong. LOL

16. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

Senteza
Its great saw it last week, QT did a nice little intro with Harvey Weinstein.
Harvey speculated the film might be trimmed a little, QT was instant it wouldnt be. lol

You will enjoy it though

17. Mort'xx - December 13, 2012

A very strong and well-formed argument. Well just have to see.

Doug, a good movie is a good movie. If it’s akin to The Dark Knight, who cares? Your suggestion that those who participate in this speculation or don’t it as you do are somehow beneath you…well, don’t let it hit you on the way out, my friend.

18. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

Remember that little talk we had about not goading each other, and getting along MJ?

Are you really wanting to get me riled up again? just let me think what i want to think, and I wont say your wrong either.
If i am wrong fine, if I am right so what.

19. Kroll - December 13, 2012

Harry Ballz thats ok, no one had posted when I started writing that.

Whatever happens folks, I trust them that they have done a good job and made an entertaining film.

20. racaca - December 13, 2012

“PS: No doubt though many will now convince themselves how BOTH Anthony and Tenuto are wrong. LOL”

You really have issues, don’t you?

21. acrobat - December 13, 2012

oh… poor Doug got his feelings hurt.

i love this stuff! in the end… it is a MOVIE! this is about entertainment and these guys know how to play the game. the fact that we’re posting on here (and people are writing articles like this) prove that it’s working. so, whether it’s Khan (don’t know if it is, but i like your theories!) or Gary Mitchell or really a new guy named John Harrison who has no alter-ego doesn’t really matter because we’ve been sucked in to the speculation and anticipation now. for a movie that had no marketing momentum at all just a month ago, that’s pretty impressive.

so, Doug (and others like him)… chill out, remember that there are real life issues that are actually worth getting your panties in a wad about, and enjoy the ride. and, if we lose a Doug here or there, no worries. plenty more will be joining us. personally, i think the coming months are going to be pretty great!

22. Cygnus-X1 - December 13, 2012

It’s Khan.

Another important bit of evidence that he leaves out is that the original choice of actor to play the villain was Benicio del Toro. And when the studio couldn’t come to agreement on a contract with del Toro, they talked with a Venezuelan actor.

So, despite Cumberbatch’s differing ethnicity with that of Montalban, the studio was originally trying to cast an actor of more similar ethnicity to Montalban.

It’s Khan.

There’s just way too much evidence in support of Khan for it to be Gary Mitchell, which is the next most likely possibility, and there’s ALMOST NO evidence in support of Gary Mitchell.

23. acrobat - December 13, 2012

oh yeah, almost forgot… the one thing that i never hear people bring up in this whole conversation is the fact that Benicio del Toro was originally supposed to be “John Harrison.” that DEFINITELY wouldn’t have been Gary Mitchell, but could easily have been Khan.

24. Cygnus-X1 - December 13, 2012

If Orci really didn’t want us to figure it out before the movie comes out, he shouldn’t have revealed that the villain is from canon. That really narrowed down the possibilities.

25. acrobat - December 13, 2012

oh… come on! nobody brings that up anywhere i’ve looked all day and in the minute it took me to type that, Cygnus-X1 throws it out there!?!? oh well! ha ha ha!

26. ATOZ the librarian - December 13, 2012

6 more months.. it won’t kill you to wait that much longer

27. ATOZ the librarian - December 13, 2012

Don’t wallow in bitterness Doug. I think they have support groups for this type of stuff. You might want to stay off the next Star Wars director boards too.

28. Cygnus-X1 - December 13, 2012

25. acrobat – December 13, 2012

Cheers! :-)

29. Dunsel Report - December 13, 2012

I just don’t see it. The insistence that it’s Khan, without full consideration of opposing evidence, reminds me of Paul Is Dead logic. And since the 9 minutes fail to set up the Eugenics Wars, that leaves little screen time for a plot that both 1) appeals to a general audience who hasn’t heard of Khan, and 2) finds the screen time to portray him morphing into an Englishman with healing powers, a Starfleet uniform, and a different personality.

30. dalek - December 13, 2012

I definitely think it’s Khan and he has used his superior intellect to infiltrate starfleet and change his appearance (after all most familiar with history could spot who he is by face).

I find the argument that only Montalban can play him and the character is sacred to be proven invalid. The ONLY sacred characters in TOS are Kirk Spock and McCoy and they have been successfully recast and their story retold. Khan was a 2-story villain and not as sacrosanct as the big three.

I also find the Mitchell & Garth are fine, but Khan is wrong argument to be weak. So it’s fine if they’ve only been in one story but not two.

This is a whole different universe where probablilities have been displaced and will play out differently. To NOT show Khan or to have his activities take place off-screen would be a missed opportunity!

31. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

That was a pretty bad stretch, sorry.

John is like Khan lol.

Marcus and Khan are different characters. One does not suggest the other has to be in the film.

You could not replicate R Montalbans performance so go with a brit instead?

“Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers, ” if that were so there would not be those wanting Khan.

32. Amorican - December 13, 2012

“6) The Khan ethnicity factor isn’t a factor”

Sure it is, if you don’t want people accusing you of racism for casting a white guy in an Indian role.

JJ Abrams is too smart for that. Isn’t he, boborci?

JJ Abrams isn’t ignorant about cultural sensitivity, right?

JJ Abrams isn’t racist, is he?

33. Star Trek Nemesis blows, is the point - December 13, 2012

“Besides, would the strong and intelligent Carol Marcus have allowed herself to be a pawn in any game by Gary Mitchell?”
Carol Marcus is in Starfleet in this universe. She’s a pawn of Starfleet now.

“Additionally, George Takei and John Cho do not share the same ethnic heritage, yet there has been an acceptance of Cho as Sulu. ” They’re both Asian, hence the acceptance. Would anyone be accepting if Cho was playing Scotty and Pegg was playing Sulu? Not in the slightest.

“Khan should look like and have the voice of Montalban according to those rules as he is from the 1990s. ” No one is arguing they should ressurect Montalban for the role of Khan. The actor playing Khan should be Middle Eastern/Indian descent, not British, to align itself with established cannon in the alternate universe. It doesn’t have to be someone trying to mimic Montalban in their portrayal.

34. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

Does skin color trump talent?

If Cumberbach were the only talented actor in the world that wwould make sense.

I’m sure no one is suggesting there is no talented actors of ethnicity.

35. Amorican - December 13, 2012

33. Star Trek Nemesis blows, is the point – December 13, 2012

“Additionally, George Takei and John Cho do not share the same ethnic heritage, yet there has been an acceptance of Cho as Sulu. ” They’re both Asian, hence the acceptance. Would anyone be accepting if Cho was playing Scotty and Pegg was playing Sulu? Not in the slightest.”

——–

Luckily for John Cho, all Asians look alike. =)

36. Aix - December 13, 2012

“not that other name.”= maybe he just does not want to say “Khan” at all

Let it be April and the counter-clock incident!!!

37. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

Having said that the idea that any actor could play any character idea would hold if Cumberbach went with the appropriate accent. He would be talented enough.

But i don’t agree with the any actor any character idea. Have him audition for the part of baby jesus and see how you go.

38. Ciaran - December 13, 2012

#26

Speak for yourself!! This wait us slowly killing me!!! Lol

39. O - December 13, 2012

I think we’re pulling strings here.

Ethnicity aside, there’s a certain exotic aura that Ricardo gave to Khan. Which so far Cumby doesn’t display: He comes off as cold, calculating Brit verses the slightly flamboyant and charming Ricardo.

I always saw Khan as a Napoleon type. He has to be the life of the party and he’ll convince you to be his friend before he kills you.

And I can’t even see Khan using an alias either, or sneaking around like a spy. He’s a leader and he’s rub it in your face. Also keep in mind that Khan has exited way before Space Seed. No matter in what reality this movie takes place in, Khan has not changed.

40. Dan Dan - December 13, 2012

I think we’re understating of what Ricardo brought to the role, as if its completely interchangeable. I mean, Heath Ledger’s Joker was different from Jack’s Joker but there’s still some familiarity between the two that you can accept them as the same character. Two different interpretations but they both hit the right marks, with slight differing characteristic.

I just don’t see it here with Cumby as Khan.

41. MJ - December 13, 2012

@18 You are right, Mark. Sorry!

42. Mark James Tucker - December 13, 2012

MJ, Thank you .

43. NCC-73515 - December 13, 2012

I think those Khanesque things like the collar, Carol Marcus, vengeance etc. are deliberate deception to make us expect Khan, only to be surprised in the film that he’s not.
How can a genetically enhanced human cure a child that doctors cannot help?
How would they reference the wars – having hapened in 1996?
Did Khan rule over Europe instead of Asia?

44. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

I find it interesting people keep ignoring Lord Garth. There is a lot of evidence it could be him..

45. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

And I’m sure John Harrison is close friends with Richard Brook…

46. MJ - December 13, 2012

@20. Excuse me racoco, but just as I predicted with that statement where you said “I have issues,” look at the wave of people posting above here in self denial who now think that BOTH Anthony and Tenuto are wrong — just as I said they wood.

I may “have issues,” but I also have common sense and objectivity.

47. MJ - December 13, 2012

@44

I would love to Garth in this movie”

“Wayne’s World! Wayne’s World! Party time! Excellent!”

48. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

It’s not an option of who the character might be if it’s not Khan.

It’s not Khan or anyone else other that John Harrison.

49. James - December 13, 2012

I think its Khan as well. Does anyone know if Nimoy has a cameo?

Also, a bit off topic, but has anyone seen the awesome trailer for the Dr Who Xmas Special. Check it out here:
http://ryesofthegeek.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/look-whos-back/

50. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

@47 MJ

So would I, and I’m not saying it is Garth, but I am saying that he fits what we have seen and heard just as much as Khan or Mitchell (or, even, better than either of them, imo). I do think Khan, Mitchell and Garth are all possibilities IF the name of John Harrison is a distraction.

However, if the name John Harrison isn’t, Garth still fits because of how he is willing to take over the identity of someone else to execute his plan. Thus, Benedict could be playing John Harrison AND Garth both.

Bringing in the Klingons makes the most sense with Garth. I don’t see Khan caring about them, though Mitchell might.

And if I am guessing correctly, the intrigue in the movie, why the villain is right and wrong at once, I think connects with the Klingons. (My theory of a Klingon infiltration of the Federation, and it was a Klingon-spy who took charge and put Garth in an asylum). The illusion of safety and all that is because people don’t know who runs the Federation (Klingons). But Garth’s answer is to take over, to be the benevolent tyrant-savior…

Yeah, it’s a lot of speculation, and yes I’m probably not right. I understand that. But the thing is, I think it is good to let people have it for any figure they want and not take things at face value.

Heck, the trailer told us that. Don’t believe the illusion (of John Harrison/Richard Brook)

51. Nurse Gabble - December 13, 2012

Dammit yes!!! The original Space Seed Script!!!!

In the first draft he calls himself JOHN Ericcsen. He was originally from nordic ancestry.

The plot is based on the original script plus of course a lot of twists and turns. Makes sense to me.

52. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#48 did you also deny Talia was in DKR?

53. Dennis Sisterson - December 13, 2012

I think we’ll only find out it was really Khan in the next film. If ever.

54. MJ - December 13, 2012

@48. I gotta give you props for your spirit, dude! When Khan is ID’d in the movie, it won’t be because you lacked enthusiasm for wishing he was not in it.

55. Disinvited - December 13, 2012

Mr. Tenuto,

One more arrow in your quiver:

http://trekmovie.com/2012/04/30/major

This site to this day has not retracted its multiply-sourced contention that BC is playing Khan in the sequel.

56. Commander K - December 13, 2012

Well, hate to say, think I’m right! I said that the harrison name is only an identity he assumes and his real identity appears later in the movie!

Good article

57. Star Sick: the Original Generation - December 13, 2012

I’ll admit, I fell for the Mitchell thing hook, line and sinker before I had all the facts (e.g., I haven’t read the comics). But, in light of all the evidence, it ain’t GM. I’m okay with it now. I didn’t really like WNMHGB that much anyways.

While the April Theory was fun for a minute, it makes even less sense, and is rather obscure (and also doesn’t fit the facts). I’m intrigued by the theory that he’s Botany Bay-related but not actually Khan himself (the cargo tubes and the “family” reference help here). I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets shot down at some point.

I got real frustrated for a while (to the point where I would have happily read the script were it handed to me), but I’ve calmed down. A lot of the arguing actually made me feel ill after awhile, so I’ve had to have an internal attitude check.

The theories are fun, and I’m going to try and keep it fun now. I was actively seeking spoilers, now I’ll just let them come to me as they do through these reports. That’s part of the attitude check: the speculation was actually NOT fun (but still obsessive) and that’s a sure sign that I was in the wrong headspace.

So he’s John Harrison. Looks like a formidable foe, even with such a bland name. I am wanting to know more about Peter Weller. For all we know, he’s reprising his role as RoboCop.

In summary: Simon Pegg is still a terrible Montgomery Scott. **ducks**

LLAP

your pal,
Phil

58. Know nothing - December 13, 2012

I’m not saying that one theory is above another, but just want to point out something that no one else has apparently considered: the decision to use a Centaurian slug instead of an actual Ceti eel in ST09. Maybe it was because they knew that TWOK elements were likely to be used in a sequel and should then be avoided?

59. Dom - December 13, 2012

I still see this as an alt-universe. Like in Fringe, things are broadly the same in both universes and major events happened in a similar way, but there’s some allowance for differences in the way people look, designs and so on. Even the Mirror Universe, with it’s Empire, still had a Starship Enterprise orbiting the Halkan homeworld, crewed by a Kirk, Spock and company at the same time.

This universe has many events taking place almost a decade earlier, so I see it as more than just the Narada incursion that made things different.

That could allow for a genetically different Khan. I mean, the Montalban Khan was brought up as a Sikh, and was presumably engineered in India in the 1970s, although his genetic background was Latin American. Maybe this universe’s Khan was engineered in India some years later, changing the dates of the Eugenics Wars, and brought up in the UK . . .

That said, I rather like the Robert April idea . . .

This is why I love what the Bad Robot team do: they generate fervent discussion and know how to avoid letting the existence of the Internet ruin the surprises in their films.

60. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

It’s those who want Khan who are hoping with nothing to go on.

When it’s not Khan i expect all of you who thought it was to send me a slab of beer.

That should keep me going for a while.

61. Praetor Tal - December 13, 2012

I hope the nine-minute trailer clears this up, all this back-and-forth speculation is giving me a stomach ache. Secrecy can build anticipation to a point, but beyond that it becomes obnoxious.

62. RenderedToast - December 13, 2012

Stopped reading at “John is pretty close to Khan”. Great detective work there.

63. Jimbo - December 13, 2012

All hail Khaaaaaaaaan!

64. Dom - December 13, 2012

61. Praetor Tal

No, it’s more that the Internet has made fans rather self-important and they believe that they have a right to know about everything going on everywhere.

In the 1980s, everything was far more controlled. Indeed the leak about Spock’s death in TWoK is believed to have come from a p***ed off Gene Roddenberry after the failure of his only Star Trek movie.

In the age of iPhone cameras grabbing spy photos and websites routinely ruining movies with ‘spoilers,’ not knowing the minutiae of a film’s plot months in advance is difficult to handle, I suspect, particularly for younger fans who barely remember the pre-Internet era. One of the best aspects of the last Trek film was that, even with stuff like Vulcan’s destruction being leaked, there were still plenty of surprises. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss!

65. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

Unless they’ve re-written Khan to be a combination of Gary Mitchell and the Khan we know…he doesn’t have “mental powers” as described by Chris Pine. Mental powers means he can move objects with his mind — the way Mitchell did. At least thats the traditional meaning of that combination of words. When you say someone has “mental powers” that doesn’t mean intellect. Khan has intellect…but he has no psy powers…

Not unless they’ve re-written the character.

I still say it’s Mitchell or a completely new character. The picture above is straight out of WNMHGB. Not that I’m saying it’s a redo of the same scene. And I’m prepared to eat crow.

66. BulletInTheFace - December 13, 2012

Those of you claiming you won’t be seeing Into Darkness are completely disingenuous. You’ll go see it, and on opening night. You know it, we know it. Claiming otherwise just reflects poorly on you, as it makes you look like a drama queen.

67. The Decider! - December 13, 2012

Anyone who says it’s Khan is a moron.

68. tiberiuscan - December 13, 2012

The hand in the close up are not Kirk and Spock (as in Wrath of Kahn) but actually of Spock and Harrison (who is in the Brig). Everyone forgets that J.J. wants a Star Trek movie that is accessible to ALL moviegoers and not just Trekkers. Rehashing and re-working an old Star Trek episodes and movies would tick off both. As a ‘Trekker’ since the very beginning of Star Trek, I would certainly hate if it was Khan. Unlike the IDW comics we should not be re-imaging old plots and really going “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.
Has it occurred to anyone, that all this Kahn speculation is exactly what Paramount Marketing wants to keep up interest in the movie?

69. pilotfred - December 13, 2012

what if he is a red shirt?

kirk get or seem to get a red shirt die and he is pissed off

now if you go off the comics they have done a red shirt story!

70. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

To say anyone who thinks it is a Khan is a moron: just because you don’t think it is, doesn’t mean people, smart people, might not think differently. We don’t have enough info to know. I don’t think it is Khan, but I don’t rule Khan out. So much can be said and done.

And what one person said about Fringe should make people think and double-think. This is the kind of thing JJ Abrams likes to do with alt-universes: use the same people known in one and turn them out to be different in another. So in this universe, what if it is Khan, but not Khan as we know, a Khan who (because of how he was awakened?) has accepted elements of the new world (and overcome some of his own ideology) but yet, when the going gets tough, turns back to his old ways?

And for those who say this should be for fans of TOS and just the average movie goer: fine, and that doesn’t mean it can or can’t be someone known in TOS. This argument always happens with Doctor Who: “No, you can’t bring back the old stuff, that is for the old fans, this is a new show,” and every time there is a return of an old race or villain, “Ok, that works this time, but you can’t do it again.” If there is a good story to be told, it is good whether or not it is an old or new villain. Even if it is an old villain, it is new to the audience if they don’t know him, so it doesn’t matter!

71. thorsten - December 13, 2012

Excellent reasoning John, makes all sense. But I’m not sure about the importance of his ribbed collar… in the trailer he fights a bathlet armed klingon warrior in some hostile environment, donning that caped crusader stuff… can be starfleet outfit for rainy days ;))

72. Ctrl-Opt-Del - December 13, 2012

Just because this movie is made by Bad Robot doesn’t mean you have to employ bad logic…

This article is just ridiculous.

1. Khan was maybe two or three times stronger than a normal human, and had no “mental abilities” beyond heightened intelligence. He was not “super-powered”.

2. Unless they asked former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies to come-up with a name for the baddie your juggling letters & creating partial anagrams is no more meaningful than the picture showing that all the continents of the Earth can be rearranged into the shape of a cockerel.

3. So, if I wear my y-fronts over my trousers I’ll suddenly become vulnerable to Kryptonite?

4. Really? So where were the Talosians to accompany Captain Pike in Star Trek ’09? Or Yeoman Colt? Or Doctor Boyce? Or the unnamed first officer, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Nurse Chapel & Lwaxana Troi, “Number One”?

5. The Wrath of Khan may be one of the most generally-popular & so well known ‘Trek movies, but that also means Khan is a concept tightly bound to the Star Trek brand; quite the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to create a movie with mass-market appeal.

6. There is a limit to how much ethnic diversity one can get away with. With movies such as The Avengers or Man of Steel, they are new interpretations of old ideas, and so it is permissible to re-imagine the originally white characters of Nick Fury & Perry White as black men (or, indeed, have a female Starbuck in the RDM BSG series); but in these movies, the characters are supposed to be *the same people* we’ve seen before.

Having the Jewish-actor originated roll of Spock filled by an Irish-Italian actor is ok, as they look sufficiently similar for it to pass; but to recast a nominally Indian (though, I’ve always assumed Khan was actually supposed to be a mix of the best aspects of all races, hence why he didn’t look Indian) character played by a Hispanic actor, with a so-painfully-British-he’s-almost-a-walking-cliché actor is too stark & obvious a difference for it to be believable that it’s the same person.

In short; you mus’ be trollin’…

73. Smike - December 13, 2012

Thanks for the article…you’re absolutely right about everything. I posted lots of these points in other threads… It’s JOHN HARRY SINGH…obviously KHAN…

74. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

Thank you all for the comments so far. It is always fun and interesting to learn what fellow fans think of these theories.

75. Smike - December 13, 2012

@6: “At the end of the day I really hope we are not going to be getting Dark Knight on a space ship.”

Actually I DO hope we get TDK / TDKR on a space ship…but just once…the third one should be different then…something like Avatar…

76. Radioactive Spock - December 13, 2012

Great article! I’m almost convinced. Some very good points. I disagree with the reasoning mentioned that previous events from the time divergence should be the same in both universes. The various teams in all the prime universe Treks have had enough time travel events to the mid 20th through 21st centuries, and once to the late 19th century, to have affected predivergence history. This would actually explain why in Space Seed and TWOK that Botany Bay was said to have left in 1996, after a great eugenics war, but to my knowledge this hasn’t actually happened. We live in the new universe. The prime universe is actually the one parallel to but excluding us. This can also explain Voyager 6 as well as any number of Trek invented historical inaccuracies.

77. captain_neill - December 13, 2012

If it turns out to be Khan then I will solely be disappointed.

The new actors playing the iconic roles are good but they are not as good as the original actors, and I would hate to see a good actor like CUmberbatch being second fiddle to a legend like Ricardo Montalban.

And to me any redo of Khan will be inferior to the great Space Seed and ‘Wrath of Khan’.

I want John harrison to be a new character so that these Abrams’ films are not Trek’s greatest hits.

78. captain_neill - December 13, 2012

The Dark Knight trilogy is a great set of films but Batman and Star Trek, when respecting Gene’s vision, are two totally different entities.

79. Radioactive Spock - December 13, 2012

which only strengthens your reasoning.

80. Wolfgang - December 13, 2012

re JGG1701:

That’s what I’ve been thinking for ages! In this timeline Khan’s cryo chamber has failed (or he’s died by some other means) and one of the other genetic supermen is now their leader. That way you still get the deadly threat of the very dangerous enemy without it being a repetition of Khan.

81. Captain Jack - December 13, 2012

I have been saying this from day one. The points he makes especially about the studio marketing machine and just the evidence presented so far.

I think its Khan but I think its a twist to his origins. Harrisson offers a couple the chance to save their son. Need I say more?

I think that this is Khan with a major major twist.

Neros Incursion created an alternate reality which altered the technology of that universe and how events would play themselves out.
The botany bay may have been discovered by someone else? Maybe some other arm of Starfleet?

Gary Mitchell would not be jumping through a window. Garth of Izar was a Shape Shifter.

Khan makes sense especially when you get into the dollars and cents of the movie studio and JJ is not making a film just for fans.

The difference between this and the marketing for Batman Begins is that they made you believe that Neeson was Henri Ducard and Not Al Ghul.

The Trek folk gave us a lot of Harrison in action thus the speculation and theories.

I think its Khan but I think the journey to that revelation will be an interesting one.

82. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Garth, Lord Garth, was a shapeshifter, which likely would give him super-powers, once he explored what that means. He could heighten bodily functions, for example, to become stronger, super-human. Heck, maybe he heard of Khan and decided to use his shapeshifting powers to become super-human following Khan’s internal physiology?

Garth has the motivation for what we have seen down pat, while Khan and Mitchell, in TOS do not. I’m not saying it is Garth, but he would certainly be super-human, would certainly think he is in the right, would certainly take on Klingons, and might truly have stumbled into a conspiracy which puts him on the “side of the right” even if his method isn’t.

83. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

If JJs not making a film for the fans and this has Khan it it, this fan will stay home.

84. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

He’s making it for the fans and the non-fans both… or that at least is the intention.

85. SAMMY B - December 13, 2012

What I loved about Star Trek 2009 was that I believed it caught many of us by surprise!!! I’m a big time trekker going back to the originial series, YES when it was on NBC. That was a total fresh story, a great story which left me feeling great about the Star Trek franchise and had me totally buying into the new timeline. All of the actors were outstanding and did a fantastic job of bringing their interpretations (which is not easy) to such great and iconic characters! Having said that – for myself, if the bad guy is Khan I will be disappointed. One thing I never wanted was a reimagination of the Khan saga, that was something that was truly special and should always stand on its own, especially STIITWOK, the greatest movie of the Star Trek films!!! If it is Khan, I think Abrams and company (no matter how great the trailer looks) – BETTER GET IT RIGHT!!!!! I was FAR more excited about the Gary Mitchell angle as there is so much unexplored history to discover about the friendship of Kirk and Mitchelle, etc. So right now I’m feeling a bit disappointed.

86. Maxie - December 13, 2012

As far as the racial debate goes. England currently has a HUGE Indian/Pakistani/Sri-Lankan population. It is not at all inconceivable that in 200 years that population would have intergrated to such an extent that it would be common for a fair skinned person to have an Asian name. In fact it happens to a certain extent now. Just look at Alexander Siddig from DS9. So I don’t see any racial dilemma. In fact, just the opposite.

87. Mark Lynch - December 13, 2012

If it is Khan, and I am not even remotely convinced that it is…

I will await with eager anticipation for the explanation of how he goes from a Sikh warrior to a White Londoner!

88. Maxie - December 13, 2012

Mark, Look above, I just beat you to the answer.

89. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Perhaps, if it is Khan, he was awakened by the Klingons, who did some experiments on him, perfecting their technology which makes for the “human-Klingons,” explaining why he has a bone to pick with the Klingons?

90. Jonathan Evans - December 13, 2012

so it’s all a Khan con

91. nykhaless - December 13, 2012

Just by judging the way Kirk’s reaction is from the video id guess Cumby is saving them from the klingons in that one scene. which might explain why he would have the uniform on later on. Maybe who ever he plays gets in and causes all sorts of ruckus and thats how he starts off…just speculating. i am one for khan tho. it can be done so many ways and be done well. if nto i wont be disappointed but it would be a waste for ben to be anybody but..

92. Khan Harrison - December 13, 2012

The whole world has taken leave of its senses.
Khan? This is just crazy. Or Orci and Kurtzman are crazy if they think they can get away with this conceit.
I can’t handle any more of this twaddle.
I’m off to watch some real Trek.

93. BulletInTheFace - December 13, 2012

#67: Is there any reason to call everyone a moron? Grow up, kid. If you’re so intolerant of differing opinions, then the ‘Net isn’t a place for you.

94. Jay - December 13, 2012

Personally, I think there is no doubt that this movie is somehow linked to Khan. There are too many links to TWOK and/or Space Seed for that not to be true, and movie makers don’t do that stuff for no reason. There is a purpose and that purpose is to tell a story related to Khan in some way.

I’m not convinced that BC is Khan, but I agree with the article that it is very likely. My thinking is that he is an augment for sure, and therefore linked to Khan in some way. And as stated above, this movie clearly is also.

So, maybe he is Khan – and I was so against that a year ago – but I think there is no doubt that this movie will be about Khan in some way.

95. Planetaryexile - December 13, 2012

He is actually Captain John Harriman of the Enterprise B come back in time! It was merely a typo on their parts.

96. Josh C. - December 13, 2012

“hello? Yes, I’m going to need to double my order of crow for the commenters on this web site. Yes. double. Thank you.”

I’d almost go as far as say that I’ll eat my shoes if it’s Khan. Is it theoretically possible? Yes? Is it probobable? No, for a wide variety of reasons, I think. I think Cybok is more likely than Khan at this point (and he’s pretty low on my list).

97. Valenti - December 13, 2012

I don’t really care, as long as the movie is good, lol.

98. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

The problem with new characters seeking revenge is that we have no vested interest in them. Such was the case with Nero and such will be the case with this character — even if he’s Khan.

The reason is — we’ve already seen Khan take his revenge out on Kirk. There’s no need to see it again — and flashy new cgi doesn’t warrant a retelling.

The only way to go with a revenge story is to either use Gary Mitchell or some other character from TOS we haven’t seen.

Frankly, I’m sick of Star Trek being about one-dimensional revenge characters…and there’s not enough time to develop a new character driven revenge story with an all new character in a two hour movie.

It will fall flat. Just like Nero, Shinzon, and Soran did.

Nobody cared. Nobody gave a rip!

99. Jonboc - December 13, 2012

All bets are off with JJ at the helm and the creative writing team doing what they do best. The only thing you can bet on, is the fact that all is not what it seems… Guaranteed!

Like the human adventure, the guessing game continues!

100. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Trekzilla

I think we will see this is more than a mere revenge story. If, of course, it is done right.

If it is a conspiracy-based story, for example, the revenge could be a thing which motivates the last act and only that.

Or, it could be (as I guessed) someone is really really pissed off at the Klingons (for one reason or another) and the line is really being said to them as he comes down on them.

101. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

TrekMovie: A few months back Bob told me that Benedict Cumberbatch’s character would be from Star Trek’s canon. Today we find out that he is named John Harrison. So are both of those things still true?

Alex Kurtzman: Well without revealing too much what I can tell you is that in the same spirit as “can the Enterprise be under water? What does that mean? How are we going to justify this? How are we going to explain it?” We went back and we talked a lot about things that made us want to make the first movie in the first place as fans. And what do we feel was successful for the fans. A lot of that had to do with honoring the history — honoring the show. But we also want to come up with a way to make the stories feel fresh and unpredictable. So without revealing too much, we applied the same thinking to Harrison.

So, I see two options here.

1) BC is John Harrison, but he is also another canon character. And the writers were challenged by coming up with a justification for this to occur.

2) BC is John Harrison, with a “secret” (as JJ said) that ties him to SOMETHING CANON, not SOMEONE. A scientific concept, an event, etc. Like, say, he’s a survivor of Kodos the Executioner. Or a product of genetic engineering, based on a discovery of the Botany Bay that was kept secret. Say maybe a Starfleet vessel finds the Botany Bay floating around, and someone says, “Hey, wasn’t that a penal colony in Australia? Who’d name a shi…….wait, check the logs and find out who these people are before we wake them up!”

I think number 2 is likely, and needs to be explored. What canon “something” could Harrison be linked to?

102. Nony - December 13, 2012

Interesting. I’m coming around to the theory. I think the collar thing is reaching a little, though.

Regarding the race issue…Ricardo Montalban was white. He was a Latino of European descent, whose ‘otherness’ was played up in productions like Star Trek. It looked like he had a lot of fake tanner or bronzer on in ‘Space Seed’ to make him look exotic. So while it still seems sketchy to possibly have the most stereotypically pasty and English-looking guy ever born playing a character with a Sikh name (which is probably why they’ve changed it to something a little more John Doe – er, Harrison), it technically isn’t as sketchy as it could be.

http://lezgetreal.com/2012/03/how-can-anyone-be-a-white-hispanic/

103. Nathan Tjoa - December 13, 2012

Two words: Section 31.

104. tom - December 13, 2012

It’s Q!

105. REM1701 - December 13, 2012

People “GET A GRIP!” there is NO [Repeat! NO!] evidence that John Harrison is Khan. Why are U worried who he is? This is akin to openning your presents before christmas, JEEZ! :-(

106. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

Wild Theory #1

Son of Khan.

Nero comes back around Kirk’s birth. Blows up a whole ship, sets Starfleet on alert. Starfleet patrol patterns are changed, and they find Khan’s ship almost immediately afterward.

Starfleet vessel finds Botany Bay. Wakes em up. Gets taken over. Finds a world to hide out for a while, Khan has a baby with either another augment (cant remember if they were all male) or a crew member. Starfleet catches up with them. Executes them with extreme prejudice. Takes the baby, relocates him to Earth, gives it to the Harriman family to raise, keeps tabs on him.

Johnny grows up, joins Starfleet, finds out the truth, melts down, goes on a “crusade” against Starfleet, trying to expose the dirty stuff that is going down. That’s why you almost feel sorry for him.

As for acknowledgement of being Khan’s son, it’s never directly said on screen, but he launches some soliquy in which he says, “My father, and his bretheren were discovered floating in exile years ago, etc, etc, etc…”

107. Not a Doctor - December 13, 2012

Urgh! Did anyone watch ST09? We have a new timeline..for this to be Khan wanting revenge on Kirk there would have to be a new event that causes his hatred. I don’t think we are going to spend this movie setting that scenario up. Also, Eugenics War still happened, Khan is still floating around in space somewhere, but Kirk hasn’t woke him up yet. The only way I see this as Khan, is Kirk sets off in his brand new spaceship, finds Khan, brings him back to Earth and Khan begins trying to take over Earth again .. i.e. “terrorist”. But, why would Khan attack Earth, detonate Starfleet, then leave to the “war-zone” planet where Kirk has to track him down? It is too much – I think Kirk loses his family in the Earth terrorist attacks – his brother, his mother – that is what drives him to track down the party responsible – John Harrison. It is Kirk’s vengeance against Harrison – and the fact that he has to decide how far that vengeance takes him – risking the lives of his crew, or maybe even causing the death of one of them.

108. Duane Dibbly of Borg - December 13, 2012

In ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before” didn’t Kirk say he almost marry a little blonde Mitchell sent her way back in the Academy? Could this be Carol Marcus? Coz I think she’s a curve ball, meant for us to presume this is a movie with Khan merely by her presence.

109. Not a Doctor - December 13, 2012

krikey…I don’t even believe my own theories once I read them

110. samrock83 - December 13, 2012

It’s worth noting that they originally sought out Benicio Del Toro for the role. I know ethnicity may not be controlling, but I think it’s telling that they first considered an actor of hispanic/latin ethnicity, the same as Montalbon.

111. Not a Doctor - December 13, 2012

whatever happens, we need a shirt torn Kirk in the show

112. Cliff - December 13, 2012

I haven’t read all the comments, did someone do the “KHAAAAN!” thing?

One thing I really like about the potential for Khan to be in the movie is that he’s a very believable villain. A leader from another time, thrust into a new world where his kind of leadership is not tolerated any longer. A man with charisma, intellect and power that possesses an uncontrollable desire to recreate the world accoring to his vision. He is such a fanatastic character that I don’t blame the filmmakers from wanting to use him again.

Thanks for this article!

113. Valenti - December 13, 2012

@106 LogicalLeopard

I kinda like that Wild Theory #1, actually. xD

114. The Keeper - December 13, 2012

Of course Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison.
It’s Harrison origin we all want to know.
He may well be a genetically engineered replicate of Kahn and Gary Mitchell who both died.
Two villains in one, creating a truly deadly personality.

115. This ... is ... TRANYA!!!! - December 13, 2012

I’m new to the discussion, so I don’t know if it’s already been hypothesized, … and it’s rather long, but here’s my take.

The villain is Garth. I know, I know, the context of the article says it’s Khan!

For whatever reason, he suffers his injuries and while he’s learning his regeneration techniques, the events of ST09 play out. Pike replaces him as fleet captain, so on and so forth…

Garth becomes insane, and convinced that Starfleet has abandoned/betrayed him by Pike’s replacement and feels that the security of the whole Federation is at stake (the whole Nero thing) and needs dealt with in his own genocidal way. He decides to transform into a younger version of himself and takes an alias to avoid suspicion as long as possible. From this, I suspect that Cumberbatch is a young Garth, and Weller is the older version.

I think this make sense on several levels. One, it gives the main reason for why the villain seems associated with Starfleet in some way. Two, it sets a potential target for the villain, probably Pike, and thus creates the “it’s personal situation for Kirk”. In the Japanese trailer, after what looks like the aftermath of an attack, we see Kirk wearing the same uniform as when he is supposedly speaking to Pike. Could that be where this happens?? Third, I think the idea of vengeance could equally apply to Kirk and the crew as well as the villain. Garth seeks vengeance on Starfleet, and Kirk seeks vengeance on Garth for going after a member of his “family”.

There are obviously some things I can’t explain. Why the superhuman physical capabilities? Why is he on the Klingon home world? Could a character like Garth in this timeline be considered a “one-man weapon of mass destruction”.

Maybe Garth learns of a way to become super-human, … grasping at straws there. Klingon home world, no idea. Mass destruction? I recall Garth developing a powerful explosive, which in the context of the TOS episode seemed silly to me, but maybe that’s what he uses to “detonate” the fleet.

These are just my opinions of course. To be clear, I don’t really care who the villain is, as long as it’s good Star Trek. Garth just seems like a good fit from a character development perspective.

116. Sebastian S. - December 13, 2012

Really? That blog was supposed to persuade anyone? Um, OK…..

* Khan was a moneymaker, hence it HAS to be Khan.

~Well, hell. The Borg made a lot of money also. Let’s just shoehorn them in too. Come to think of it, do we have room for any humpback whales in there, too? Maybe THAT’S why the Enterprise is seen underwater in the trailer; to get two humpback whales back to the 23rd century….

* Carol Marcus in the movie somehow automatically makes the villain Khan.

~Were Marcus and Khan joined at the hip? Maybe David was Khan’s boy? Kirk might want a DNA test. The use of one character does not guarantee the use of another. Kirk hooked up with Marcus long before the events of “Space Seed” in ST’s chronology; they’re not necessarily sold as a pair…

* The fact that Khan would be a pale, blue-eyed Brit now means nothing now.

~Uh, really?!? In an age when ‘whitewash’ casting causes boycotts and stirs public opinion, does anyone really see this kind of grotesque casting insensitivity going over well? I would accept that the John Harrison character might easily be an Augment with some Khan Noonian Singh DNA in him, but casting Cumberbatch as a north Indian Sikh would be laughable, no matter how good the actor. Mickey Rooney as the Japanese landlord in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” comes to mind; or John Wayne as Genghis Khan in “The Conqueror”.
Let’s just have Brad Pitt do the Kim Jong-il story ….

* The generic name “John Harrison” has to be a codename or alias.

~Yes, because all ST villains have such dynamic and exotic names. Names like Gary Mitchell, or Charles Evans, or Admiral Cartwright. Why can’t John Harrison simply BE John Harrison? A supposition otherwise is opinion, not a guarantee…

* Harrison’s collar looks (vaguely) like Khan’s collar, hence Khan.

~ In “Wrath of Khan”, Khan & his crew made their (post-exile) clothes out of the Botany Bay’s upholstery (real Corinthian leather too, no doubt) and scraps. Judging from his starfleet uniform and stylish trenchcoat, I’d say Cumberbatch’s villain has a much better clothier.

And my personal favorite:

* He has superpowers, hence Khan

~Um… every other villain in ST has superhuman powers of some sort. Charlie Evans, Q, Trelane, Gary Seven, Gary Mitchell, the androids of Mudd, etc. Otherwise defeating them wouldn’t be a challenge!! This one is such a ‘duh’ that my jaw went slack when I read it. It could just as easily be a human character with augment DNA, and not necessarily Khan…

This was just a collection of the same non-arguments we’ve heard over the past year. Disappointing…

117. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Keep the comments coming, it is great reading everyone’s ideas and thoughts on this guess. Thanks again!

118. rm10019 - December 13, 2012

To quote a man who shall not be named, “I find myself growing fatigued”…

119. T'Cal - December 13, 2012

As smart as Khan might be, he’s from a different era, about 70 years before first contact with the Vulcans – the very first ETs humans encounter. No 20th century man – even an augmented one – would have the capacity to “detonate” Starfleet, an organization that has been around for over 250 years after Khan’s time? No matter how smart he is, it would be a big reach to say that he’s really, really, really smart so he could not only comprehend the depth of SFC but nearly destroy it and actually detroy many of its fleet. As a paramilitary organization, there is much information that just wouldn’t be available for Khan to obtain that would allow him to do such damage.

I’m still thinking it’s not Khan or any of the augments. But, this is sci-fi so I could be wrong. I just hope I’m not. If I am, I hope they have the writing skills to make it work. The gaping story holes in ST09 turned a great film into merely a very good one.

120. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#115 Tranya

I think if he has gained the shapeshifting powers, then he is capable of learning how to modify his own insides to be superior, hence doing to himself what the Eugenics did through genetics (but he is able to do more than they did, knowing more than human examples to determine what is best).

As for Klingons, my thought is he thinks there is a Federation/Klingon conspiracy, and there probably is (hence, on the side of the right). But his solution is that only he can be in charge. Think, in some ways, Franco.

121. Nurse Gabble - December 13, 2012

# 118

lol, good one!

122. Not a doctor - December 13, 2012

just for the record, I considered the sound a like name too

John Harri Son = Khan Noonien Singh

Its all in good fun – no one will know until we see the movie – but wouldn’t it be great to say we knew it!

123. gov - December 13, 2012

generally speaking, pretty flimsy arguments.

Also…I’ve said this before….shouldnt we start to get a better understand and some more clues in IDW’s January Issue? It starts the 4 issue build up to STID.

Mr. Pascale, can you guys do a story or find out some more information regarding the January issue? Will we be getting more hints in the comic?

124. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#119 T’Cal

Khan was shown to be that smart in the original series. Just a few hours in the sick bay with the ship’s manuals and he knew just about everything about the major crew members of the ship AND how the ship worked. (Perhaps, btw, this could explain a certain questionable recognition Khan had in WoK).

And when he returns, he quickly learns everything about Genesis, etc.

Yes, it doesn’t take him much to discover a way to hack into the ship’s codes (I mean, hacking — simple stuff for him!) and use it to his benefit. He is that smart. Especially if he has an ally (Weller’s character).

125. The Sinfonian - December 13, 2012

Geesh.

You set up all that about Scandinavian naming, and like a poor marksman, you miss the target. Harold Ericsson (as in Leif). Harold son of Erik. (as in Erik the Red) If Harold has a son, his son is Zzyzzx Harrison. Zzzyzzx, son of Harri (nickname for Harold).

This actually gives credence to John Harrison, being a Son of Khan (Peter Weller), explained quite simply by Khan being awake since Nero’s Incursion, and having reproduce his “sons” in the time since. John Harrison would have been born the same year as Kirk was on that Kelvin Shuttlecraft. But born on the Botany Bay. Harrison thus, has “his family, his world”, and Kirk has his. One born in light, one born in darkness.

126. Winston - December 13, 2012

Why can’t it be Trelane? After all, John Harrison is a name that works with the historical era of Trelane’s fascination. The press release from the studio mentions Kirk going to a war-zone. Trelane loved war. If given the opportunity, he would no doubt relish a war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. And we don’t know if Trelane’s abilities would allow him to be aware of the space/time rip which created the alternate worldline. And best of all, the Cumby accent would make perfect sense. We don’t even know whether General Trelane was the real name of the secluded Squire of Gothos.

I would be disappointed if it were Khan. We’ve already seen that story played out and I don’t see how they could substitute Cumby for Ricardo. It doesn’t make sense to go through the trouble of creating a new universe with some continuity to the prime universe and then make such a drastic change.

127. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

I’m thinking all we will see in the comics is John Harrison’s name….

128. Sebastian S. - December 13, 2012

# 119 T’Cal~

Agreed.

Khan got his butt served to him by Kirk with a plastic paper towel rack in an engine room brawl (so much for ‘five times your strength’), and he failed to change the Reliant’s prefix codes, allowing Kirk remote access of Reliant’s shields. Not much of a ‘superior’ intellect.

I loved “Wrath of Khan” as a movie and it is a wonderful movie, but as a villain? Khan is much overrated and over-hyped. He is NOT the franchise’s Darth Vader. That’s one of the beauties of ST; it doesn’t need one. The arch villain for our heroes is whomever the story needs them to be; not some preordained black hat, ala Khan….

129. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

#100 — We’ll see…hope it’s something “deeper” than a revenge story. That would be a nice change of pace!

130. The Professor - December 13, 2012

Harrison’s secret? He is Kahn.
Even though I was hoping for something original, I am not going to complain.

131. gov - December 13, 2012

@127 Garth Faction

They may refer to him only as John Harrison in the comic prequel….but perhaps (likely) we will get some clues, or foreshadowing, or allusions to a future twist.

132. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

#126 — Trelane was a child and everything was a game to him. I don’t see any of that in Cumbys character — at least not from the trailers…

133. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#129 Trekzilla

I agree. I would like it to be more than a revenge story. I think the trailer is full of much misdirection, so I am thinking the revenge aspect is only a minor part of a greater story. I could be wrong, and probably am, but I don’t see is as a necessary function of the whole plot as much as an aspect of it.

And I still get a feeling he might be giving those words to Klingons, which changes everything. The whole family line has been proven to be different from what people expected.

I can say I don’t know what really is going on, and I can only speculate, based upon rumors, and things we have seen. I still say Garth would be great and fits, but I am not certain it is him (by a long shot) but I think he has a good chance (25%, which is good considering things). It could be we just have a new villain, but I don’t think it is that simple, and I don’t think it is as simple as revenge (as we have been told, there is something he is right about!)

134. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#131

Maybe, or maybe not. I don’t think the comics are going to give much, really, and if anything, will only heighten the “we don’t know.”

135. RaveOnEd - December 13, 2012

What I don’t get, and echoing some of the posts already written, is why there is this connection with Carol Marcus to Khan.

Didn’t she have a life before she saw Kirk again in WoK? In fact, when she first met Kirk Khan wasn’t there at all (boy, wouldn’t the conception of David be fun to see if Khan was standing over them?)

For a universe that’s supposed to be filled with all sorts of possibilities and infinite combinations, a lot of people seemed to be bent on indelibly linking characters to other ones as if they’re forever tied to each other.

I thought that was a big reason for this reboot and launch into an alternate universe was: to tell new stories with main character names we knew, but not to go back over old ground from TOS or the OS movies.

Folks seem bent on these movies being remakes or updates of episodes, when I’m thinking new stories are going to be told.

136. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

I myself am highly doubtful about Trelane… but of course, in reality anything is possible… but Trelane really was, like Q, someone who was having fun, humorous, etc — not what we have seen so far…

137. The Squire of Buttocks - December 13, 2012

I wish it were Trelane, but it’s not.

138. Legend of Link - December 13, 2012

John, you’ve basically written everything I wanted to say. haha. Well done, sir. Good show.

139. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Rave:

I agree that Carol doesn’t mean Khan, because, obviously the two have separate stories, and yet the reason why people think of the two together is her character’s creation lies with Khan. So there is some reason to think she is connected with Khan, in the narrative, at least.

Nonetheless, I think, as some have pointed out, Fringe might tell us what JJ Abrams thinks of alternate universes, and there, we see the same people popping up and together, with differences in reasons and outcomes. As such, I am not going to be surprised if we get a lot of TOS characters in the movies.

140. B.T. Dubbs - December 13, 2012

Star Trek II: The Wrath of John

141. The Sinfonian - December 13, 2012

@135. Exactly. We never saw in the “real” universe how Carol Marcus and Jim Kirk came together in 2259. Now, we get to see a variation of it in the same year in the “alt” universe. A great sequence would be:
MARCUS “Lt. Carol Marcus, reporting for duty. (a beat) (with softer voice) Good to see you again, Jim.”
SPOCK (raises eyebrow) “Jim?”
KIRK “Spock, Lt. Marcus was Mitchell’s fiancee.”

142. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

Wild Theory #2

Part of what makes Harrison so evil is (apparently?) tied to his ability to “heal” Noel Clarke’s daughter – and perhaps that ability is because he can transfer her essence to a different body, almost ala Spock’s Katra from Trek III, or, even more frightening, like Janice Lester in “Turnabout Intruder.”

So, in the alternate timeline, “Khan” is near death (for whatever reason), and Harrison “transfers” Khan into himself. Or, perhaps Harrison is a mutineer in the rebootiverse, but needs Khan’s superior physical powers, hence metamorphoses Khan into himself. Whichever device you choose, he’s 100% Khan, and still 100% Harrison – just like Bones was Spock and Bones “simultaneously.”

Convinced that Peter Weller’s character comes into play in the discover of the Botany Bay in the rebootiverse, and amid that contact, the timeline change that makes Harrison, otherwise a minor player, the antagonist.

143. B.T. Dubbs - December 13, 2012

Mr. Tenuto,

I for one appreciate the humility with which you put forth your speculation. Very thoughtful and well laid out. An in a humble and respectful manner (unlike countless others we’ve seen here.)

Just hoping for an entertaining film…

144. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

They real question is whether or not the name John Harrison is a Khan.

145. Dunsel Report - December 13, 2012

Superhero stories have secret identities and people pretending to be other people like in “The Shadow.” There’s no sign that this movie is like that.

146. The Sinfonian - December 13, 2012

@142. The ability to heal the daughter is what really brought great credence to the Garth faction. If Garth knows Antosian healing techniques at the cellular level, he could cure her.

147. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#143 Hi B.T.,

Thanks for the kind words, they mean a great deal! I hope everyone is having fun speculating!

148. SirBroiler - December 13, 2012

All of this makes sense…but the race thing is to much of a hang up for die hard fans and no one can replace Montalban – there will be too many comparisons. They had to go a different, but fan friendly route with this.

Which is why I’m still convinced it’s another Augment – likely Joachim, who takes revenge for the death of his leader and family (the other Botany Bay Folks). Just as evil and ruthless as Khan – especially when he has to step up to be the leader.

Botany Bay is discovered by a Klingon Crew. Assuming from the sequence in the trailer that Kirk and Crew discover him on Kronos when he rescues them from a battle with the Klingons.

149. CJS - December 13, 2012

I’ve not read anything anywhere that convinces me of the identity of this character. All of the speculation seems valid to one degree or another. So I’m just going to wait and see who it actually turns out to be, and if the revelation of the character’s identity is clever enough to warrant applause.

150. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

113. Valenti – December 13, 2012
@106 LogicalLeopard

I kinda like that Wild Theory #1, actually. xD

************************

Thanks *L* I was working on Wild Theory version 1.2 where the Klingons find them instead of Starfleet, but haven’t worked that out yet. It’d explain what he’s doing on Qo’noS. But for all intents and purposes, if it’s an Augment, maybe he went there to hide out for a while. There are humanoid Klingons at this time.

151. Rob - December 13, 2012

The strongest argument and one that I always found compelling was the cash cow a argument. Khan would be the largest box office draw, but also the biggest risk creatively, as inevitable and perhaps unfavorable comparisons could be made.

I trust the SC with the franchise however. I’m certain that if they DO use Khan, they will do a fantastic job.

152. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#148

But if he is discovered by Klingons, why couldn’t they also do experiments on him, experiments which change his form, experiments they are doing to perfect their human-Klingon spies? That is all it takes to explain the change! And it would explain why he is angered by them — and yet it might end with him being enhanced!

That is, if he is Khan, which I don’t rule out.

153. Aurore - December 13, 2012

117. John Tenuto – December 13, 2012
Hi Everyone,

Keep the comments coming, it is great reading everyone’s ideas and thoughts on this guess. Thanks again!
______

Yes….Indeed.
It is great to read *everyone*’s ideas…..

:)

154. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

John Tenuto and others:

Yes, I think speculative talking is good. As long as people realize it is speculation and we don’t know. Even those who think “they gave him a name, we know” should realize that is not a 100% certain bet. We don’t know, and that’s why we discuss. Humility here is good. Admitting “this is what I think” is not the same as “I know I am right.” Hence, I always posit the Garth theory realizing the odds. I wish people understood it is good to talk and think things through without smugness! Good many do!

155. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

In a couple of years they will be using post here from trek movie as an example of the power of denial in psychology classes.

That the name of the villain has been announced yet trekkies debate on as to the identity of the already named villain will be compulsory reading.

That many still thought it was Khan after the villain was announced to be John Harrison will see jaws drop in astonishment in classrooms around the world for centuries to come.

No doubt my own good name will be in there somewhere as one of the few voices of reason during this time of madness.

It’s not Khan and we now have enough evidence for it to be taught in schools.

156. AnonymousWasAWoman - December 13, 2012

There does indeed seem to be justification for the idea that ‘John Harrison’ is an assumed name. Cumberbatch is quoted as saying that he plays ‘a character called John.’ Not named, called. Arguably, he may be called that by those who don’t know his true identity.

That said, I don’t believe it’s Khan. I don’t believe it’s Gary Mitchell, either, which is a bloody shame, because I’ve been on Team Gary for an Age of Man and would love to have seen that story.

The one thing we know Cumberbatch’s villain has is a casus belli that will actually move us to empathy, if not to sympathy. That isn’t Khan. I doubt so much as one person would leave the theater saying to himself, “Curses, if only Khan had been allowed to take his proper place at the pinnacle of global dominion! We all would have been so much better off under the rule of that genetically superior being. I for one welcome my new, curiously pale Sikh overlord.”

Not so much. And unfortunately there’s nothing in the entity that took over Gary Mitchell to wrest our unwilling understanding of its motives, either. Gary is a lone actor; he isn’t doing anything ‘for his family.’

Personally, I’m intrigued by something that’s come up in the Ongoing comics series. The ‘Return of the Archons’ story arc, for anyone else who’s been playing along with the home game. There’s been a conspiracy, either at or with the complicity of the highest levels of Starfleet, to participate in an ongoing, three-generations-long experiment with a forgotten Federation colony. Its citizens have been experimented on, mentally programmed to no known purpose. Starfleet has buried, or allowed to be buried, any and every record of the colony and the last starship that was there.

If John Harrison had a connection to that colony, familial, perhaps, and was determined to take Starfleet down from within in an act of vengeance, it would be hard not to sympathize with that vengeance.

As for Peter Weller’s character, I’m betting it’s the same unknown voice that called Admiral Pike on the carpet at the end of the Archons arc, and basically told him to keep Kirk on a tighter leash. A wealthy industrialist, perhaps, with his own long-term interest in the forgotten colony.

157. T'Cal - December 13, 2012

“Rebootiverse”??? Sooner Dave, that’s hysterical and I shall refer to it as such from this point on!

158. Yanks - December 13, 2012

Still trying to figure out where Peter Weller fits in here…

159. James T. West - December 13, 2012

Ok, instead of referencing Marion Cottilard as Talia Al Ghul, the author maybe should’ve referenced the DKR character John Blake SPOILER ALERT!)!

Clearly, if the police officer was named Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Terry McGinness…the gig was up before we walked into the theaters, ruining the final reveal as he rises to the Batcave in the film’s closing moments.

Ok, so I’m guessing now it is, in fact, NOT Gary Mitchell…
But…if it is Khan, then, we lose out on the impact of having these characters interact ON SCREEN 15 years apart…flashbacks won’t have that same impact IN THE SAME FILM…

I’m not disappointed. I can’t wait to see it. What a fantastic creative team!!!

160. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

155. chrisfawkes.com

And the same will be said of DKR where people like you said “See they denied Talia.”

161. The Great Bird lives - December 13, 2012

Harris doesn’t have to be Khan- he only needs to be born with the madmans DNA, that can be obtained in the Federation archives along with samples of every known virus, and pathogen known to Starfleet at the time.

Khan? yes, but not the Khan we know. This is a Khan with all the originals superior intellect, and super-human strength. However this Khan has the benefit of 23rd century enhanced genetics.

And there are those in Starfleet who will go to any extreme to keep John Harrison’s true nature a secret.

162. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Richard Brook says hello to Chrisfawkes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPynbpNyYfc

163. Adam Bomb 1701 - December 13, 2012

Maybe Khan/Harrison, and not Kirk, is David Marcus’ father in this timeline. If there even will be a David. IMDB has Alice Eve’s character as Carol Marcus. I might have thought TPTB would go for a tribute to the original actress, the late Bibi Besch, and cast her daughter Samantha Mathis. But, Mathis is now 42, and probably too old. Alice Eve is 30. (Wish I were that age again.)

164. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

#148

But if he is discovered by Klingons, why couldn’t they also do experiments on him, experiments which change his form, experiments they are doing to perfect their human-Klingon spies? That is all it takes to explain the change! And it would explain why he is angered by them — and yet it might end with him being enhanced!

***************************

Wild Theory #1.2

Genetic Son of Khan

Klingons encounter Nero’s ship, alter their patrol patterns in response to what may be a new Romulan threat. Find the Botany bay shortly after Nero appears. Revives one augment, he kills a bunch of Klingons before they finally subdue him and realize that he’s an augment.

Realize they hit the jackpot.

Take the rest back to Qo’noS and experiment on them, because now they have LIVE samples of augments to reverse the smooth forehead virus effects. Years of experiment, torture, killing when necessary. In the mean time, a clone is made from their genetic material. Sent to join Starfleet as sort of a manchurian candidate, John Harrison. But Harrison discovers what’s going on, and wants revenge on the Klingons. Starfleet says no. Maybe Stafleet is even sharing intel with the Klingons on augments to help facilitiate a peace, one they sorely need after the depletion of the fleet by Nero. Harrison further depletes the fleet by “detonating” it. Harrison gets revenge on SF and the Klingons.

165. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@157 LOL Glad it gave you a chuckle!! :-)

166. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

@160 I’ll send you my address when the film comes out and Khan is not in it.

I like scotch or most premium beers.

167. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Chrisfawkes you never told us, did you deny Talia was in DKR?

168. VorlonKosh - December 13, 2012

could it be the creator of the Augments? offering to help the daughter of a british citizen leads me to that conclusion…otherwise it probably is Kahn manipulating people into supporting him and his augments and the technology to heal people. anyone see where I’m going with this?

FYI, us Vorlons have been creating superhumans for some time now…so thanks for stealing that from us… >.>

169. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

Crackpot Theory 1

JJ Abrams is Khan

Carey Wlber and/or Gene Coon have an associate who discusses the virtues of genetic engineering with them in the 1960’s. They are introduced to a young boy in Los Angeles named JJ, who is very intelligent for his age. The associate states almost jokingly that he’s genetically engineered, and will be poised to take over the world in the 1990’s when he grows up, Wilber/Coon get a story idea.

JJ grows up, consolidates world power in the background, and takes the name “Khan Noonien Singh” like Kaiser Sozhe. But then he’s expelled from power, and sent to Hollywood, where he must use his mental powers to plant ideas in peoples heads to try to subdue the world again.

And he starts by driving Trek fans bonkers.

170. The Great Bird lives - December 13, 2012

@ 156

The one thing we know Cumberbatch’s villain has is a casus belli that will actually move us to empathy, if not to sympathy. That isn’t Khan.

Nor is John Harris the Khan we know. This khan has a different up-bringing. Perhaps even taught the history of the eugenics wars. and suppose Harris discovers that he was cloned at a very young age, and that the DNA used was that of the infamous Sikh leader. He would very possibly rebel against his peers, and even hold a grudge against humanity for banishing a race of beings that were basically his own kind…

Couple this theory with a devious subplot entailing Markus, and her father (Pete Weller) the latter Markus, a Professor in cybernetics, and a Starfleet Admiral.

This is going to be a MIND BLOWING movie, and knowing some of the facts is not going to ruin your experience one bit on May 17th.

171. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

#170

That isn’t Khan from TOS/WoK.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t Khan from this universe. Think Fringe.

172. Aurore - December 13, 2012

“Thanks again!”
______________

I forgot to add;

No.
Thanks to you, for this thread.
All these different point of views which are welcome.

This is beautiful….

“Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers….”

So true.

You proved it to me with this thread….

:)

173. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

@167

No i didn’t. I suspected that she may be because it made sense.

Cumberbach being Khan makes no sense at all.

My day of vindication is at hand my friend.

174. Optimistic Doodle - December 13, 2012

Why keep the name John Harrison a secret so long, if he were not Khan?

175. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

173

Your day of what?

Have you read what I have said? Clearly not.

I said I don’t think it is Khan, but I don’t rule him out. The things people like you use to say he can’t be has not been shown to be conclusive. That is the whole point. Clearly, if you follow along, you would know this.

So you did think crew could lie about IDs. So it is not out of the question. So it is not proven either way. Good…

176. No Khan - December 13, 2012

I was not a big fan of TDK & I didn’t even like that mess called TDKR. I do not want to see a rehash of Khan. I want something new & fresh not just their spin on the same old villain. That slip by Quinto has me worried.

177. Scott Macy - December 13, 2012

I can’t remember Gary introducing Carol Marcus to Kirk in any episode or movie. That’s not Canon. Great job John!

178. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

#133 — I’d be ok with JH being Garth…

At least that would be something different!

Pretty much I’d be happy with anyone but Khan…

179. The Great Bird lives - December 13, 2012

@177

It is a line of dialogue delivered by Gary Mitchell in WNMHGB

180. David Ryan - December 13, 2012

Everyone wants their fav villain But its not khan his name is Jonh Harrison a Former Red shirt on the USS Enterprise here is the basic story line

, STARFLEET asked kirk for someone for a special development project kirk recommends John Harrison who is expiremented on and turned into a Superman, and sent off to explore space in one man ship John Can not handle it and one day freaks out, Goes Home and seeks vengeance on the people who changed him, Enter carol Marcus who has a process to fix him ,

A few seconds ago · Like

181. Captain Ransom - December 13, 2012

“First, there is absolutely no way to duplicate Ricardo Montalban as a person or an actor.”

exactly so don’t even try! there’s no way that star trek 2: the wrath of john will be better than the 1982 classic. judging by the preview it looks like some michael bay inspired garbage. there is only one khan losers and I don’t want to hear about how “the new khan in the new universe” blah blah blah. does jj abrams think he is some kind of god to reinvent the wrath of khan in his own image? pfff. that’s like redoing the original star wars.

182. Ted C - December 13, 2012

I know how I’m personally going to find out who the villian is, Im going to see the movie. In the mean time I’m gong to sit back and laugh and shake my head at my fellow ST fans.

183. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

Possible but so highly unlikely for reasons mentions.

John’s original thoughts are a complete stretch but the fact that Cumberbach plays a british character, a member of starfleet has the power to heal and has already been named as someone else moves Khan out of the real of being probable.

Possible and probable are not the same thing.

184. CaptainMe - December 13, 2012

What if John Harrison is actually a follower of Paxton, the leader of Terra Prime in Enterprise. Incidentally, the actor who played Paxton in Enterprise (Mr Robocop Himself) has a part in this film and his character hasn’t been named yet……..

185. chrisfawkes.com - December 13, 2012

realm not real.

186. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

178

Garth is my preference, for sure, and many things connect with Garth. Heck, if it is Garth, I’m sure they read his full entry at Memory Alpha, and learned how Kirk in the novels thought of Garth as one who had “good intentions” but failed despite them (sound familiar?).

I don’t discount Khan because I can see many reasons why they would bring him back, however altered he is in this alternative universe setting. I would prefer it not be Khan myself – but I don’t think that is enough reason to discount the evidence in favor of it being Khan. The thing is, no evidence we have for any character has been conclusive yet. That is where I stand, which is why I defend those who think it could be Khan, though agree with those who hope it isn’t.

187. Planet Pandro - December 13, 2012

A couple thoughts came to mind:

first off, like #156, i think there’s something in the terminology “called” not “named”, and therew is definitely a difference.

Also, might we be missing a connection to the awkwardly named GATT2000? Someone was talking about Katras earlier on (maybe in a different thread) and what if, along those lines, it’s Khan’s mind in an android body, and the botany bay crew has been tortured and experimented on to create better starfleet officers in the wake of Nero’s incursion/Vulcan’s destruction. We know we’ll see GATT2000 as a humaniod w/ tech enhancements, and that way, the android body John Harrison could be the mind of Khan, but able to super-jump and withstand neck pinches, etc. would explain the different appearances, anyway, and this way he can be both characters at once. Also could be his offer of Salvation to Noel Clarke’s character’s daughter: an android body. Wouldn’t be an out of place concept in Star Trek

Or, I do see the “Weller as old, aged Khan, Cumberbatch as Khan’s son” angle too. Misdirection on Cumberbatch’s character when we haven’t seen a bit of Peter Weller’s. a very Nolan-esque tactic, set up a big bad guy (Watanabe’s Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Bane) and market him as such, but reveal in the film he’s basically hired muscle for the “real Villain”

We’ll find out in May I guess…

188. Sebastian S. - December 13, 2012

# 177 SM

There was a line in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” where Mitchell says to Kirk, “If I hadn’t aimed that little blond lab technician at you…”

To which Kirk replies (in anger), “You what?! You planned that? I almost married her!”

Many, including myself, have kind of put 2 & 2 together and assumed the little blond was in fact, Carol Marcus. Arguably it IS canon.

But at any rate, I’m 99% sure that neither Mitchell nor Khan are in the movie.

I’m open to the possibility that ‘John Harrison’ could’ve been made from some of Khan’s DNA (or any augment leftover from the Eugenics Wars), but that doesn’t make him Khan Noonian Singh. Any more than the recipient of a transplanted kidney has to change the name on his or her driver’s license….

189. Commodore Adams - December 13, 2012

26. ATOZ the librarian – Where did you learn to count, it’s 5 months away.

But I agree with you, this is all just speculation, I’m just going to wait and see.

After a while speculation just gets so tedious and outlandish I’d rather wait and see than constantly formulate new theories based on little tid bits. Oh no Quinto let Khan slip in a video, what does it mean?!?! not a damn thing! jj and Orci’s game is misdirection, hence why im not playing lol. The theories formed in this article are interesting but do not mean jack.
People’s theories are either too outlandish or the opposite. No balance. I.e. 144. Garth Faction – December 13, 2012
“They real question is whether or not the name John Harrison is a Khan.” Are you serious?

Another example: 122. Not a doctor – December 13, 2012
“just for the record, I considered the sound a like name too
John Harri Son = Khan Noonien Singh”. Pathetic.

This is just becoming pathetic.

At first I was on team Khan then Mitchell and a week ago im thinking it might be Khan, now im thinking it might not be either. its just too much. I’d rather just read the articles, watch the trailers, absorb what has been shown or told and wait for the movie. I’m done theorizing over this, whatever will be will be. Theories are fun at first but not so much anymore.

You have too much time on your hands if you have enough time to read every single post in these articles.

190. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

189. Commodore Adams

Are you incapable of seeing the joke in what I said?

191. RaveOnEd - December 13, 2012

@171: It definitely isn’t Khan from WoK, but it has to have some sort of resemblance to Khan from TOS, as the Botany Bay was already adrift in space by a couple hundred years when Nero arrives to change the Prime timeline.

Unfortunately, we really haven’t yet seen enough of him to fully acknowledge his complete traits. Some resemble Khan from TOS, from what they’re saying in interviews: he has some ability to control people, as witnessed by his followers and then McGivers, for example.

For the record, I really hope they are not reviving Khan, as the story’s been told and overused as a Trek measuring stick. I’d like to see a new story, or if a character from Trek past, someone we never knew the origin to (such as Garth or April).

I have to say, I do love these kind of conversations! It’s always wonderful to discuss what could be in a movie! Even better to discuss with fellow fans from around the world – thank you, John!

192. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Oh, and if theories are not fun to you anymore, you don’t need to go into discussions on them.

193. Aurore - December 13, 2012

“I for one appreciate the humility with which you put forth your speculation. Very thoughtful and well laid out. An in a humble and respectful manner ….”
_______

Yes!!!

I could not have said it better.
That is *exactly* what I meant, earlier.
(I just read your post).

Following this discussion is a pleasure….
I’m learning so much….I love it.

:))

194. Cervantes - December 13, 2012

Yup, it could still turn out to be a simple reboot of the ‘Khan’ character after all, it seems. I’d sincerely hoped for something far more ‘unworldly’ this time around after already getting a ‘revenge-filled’, humanoid villain in the 2009 movie already.

Even a full-blown ‘Klingon War’ storyline seems somewhat appealing now, bumpy-heads, and ‘piercings’ and all. And no, I don’t want that to end up as the third reboot’s plot, thanks.

195. Joshofborg23 - December 13, 2012

There is no way it’s kahn. every reason this article just gave was a complete stretch. I also find it funny that you brought up the point “Why would they give away a characters back story in a comic book and leave the audience in theater out of the loop?” Well they did that with the first movie. the comics provided a much needed back story on Nero as his character was very very weak.

I’m hoping that the villain will be Garth of Izar. It’s a lessor known character in Star Trek Lore and so far all of his abilities, the fact that he is linked to terrorism, the fact that he is on a war torn planet(Qu’onos) possible raging genocide by committing a terrorist act, this would fit a re-imagined Garth quite well. They have a chance to turn a silly villian with great potential into the new Nemesis for Kirk. I just don’t see them ruining Khan or taking a shot with Gary Mitchell. However I have not ruled Mitchell out yet.

196. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@174

I personally think the production team was not expecting what I think became some fairly consistent opposition (backlash, animus, pick your favorite word) against the notion that Khan was the villain, and made a conscious effort to backpedal away from it.

I personally suspect that the highly publicized delay in the script was at least in part due to the idea of constructing a credible way to change the perception of the villian from purely Khan to “Khan-lite” or “Kinda Khan, But Not” And hence we have “John Harrison.” I realize boborci would never admit it (at least not before the movie comes out), but I think they had their template story well in hand some time ago, and opted to retexture it in this manner so they could legitimately respond in an ambiguous way whether it is or isn’t Khan, and that’s *precisely* what they’ve done.

Just my opinion, of course, no special insights here. Maybe someday boborci will come on and give us all some backstory into the development of the sequel.

197. Tombot3000 - December 13, 2012

Though I am not emotionally invested in seeing this movie, it’s fun to speculate, and I am really rooting for a decent, earned surprise, for everyone’s sake. From what I’ve read, I’d really like it to turn out that Cumby is an agent of Khan(pehaps to show up at the end as an easter egg) rather than Khan himself. If JJ Rebootrek is only to be a trilogy, might as well set up for a killer third act.

198. Jenna - December 13, 2012

@187 As several people have noted, Brits say called instead of named. That really is unlikely to mean anything in itself. His reluctance to actually say “I am not Khan” might, but it could be purposeful game-playing.

199. Barney Fife - December 13, 2012

What’s wrong with some new group of writers & producers taking a shot at their own Khan/John story? I’m certainly glad Nolan did something similar with The Dark Knight/Joker. I’m an original trekkie and have been a fan since the first episode premiered in 1966 and I certainly don’t consider any of the previous series/movies/characters/scenarios ‘sacred’. I simply enjoy seeing Trek being brought up-to-date. I am especially eagar for these producers to re-launch Trek on TV. That’s the next logical step once they complete the movie trilogy.

200. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@195 JoshOfBorg23

“I’m hoping that the villain will be Garth of Izar. It’s a ***lessor known character in Star Trek Lore***”

That’s precisely why, IMHO, there’s *zero* chance it will be him. This is not a Trek fan film, its a public consumption film with homage to Trek’s history, and I just don’t think the writing team is going to go to the trouble of digging up a relatively obscure TOS villain when a bankable one is right in front of them (just as John Tenuto points out).

201. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

If you look closely at Commodore Adam’s post, look at the letters I capitalized

At first I was on team –KHAN— then……… a—N–ymore. You have t–OO –much time o–N– …… every –SING–le post in t—H–ese articles.

KHAN NOON SINGH!!!!!!

Thank you very much for proving my point, Commodore Adams….or should I say……COMMODORE ABRAMS!!!!!

202. Dominic - December 13, 2012

Not a big deal, but many people have argued about taking a British actor and replacing ethnicities/nationalities but I haven’t seen anyone mention Sarek. I can’t say it upset me, but it was certainly out of place in my mind to hear Spock’s father speak with a British accent in the 2009 movie.

203. Jay - December 13, 2012

For those that don’t understand Carol Marcus being linked to Khan. You are taking the story too literallly.

It’s called film making. It’s artistic foreshadowing. Carol Marcus only appeared in Star Trek in the Khan story. She is therefore linked to Khan from a story telling point of view. It has nothing to do with who she is in the fictional universe of Star Trek. She is a vehicle used to connect to Khan.

If this movie had nothing to do with Khan, the writers would not have put the character of Carol Marcus in the story. There would be no point.

Anyone that has ever taken a film studies class, or been in theater arts in college would recognize this imediately. That is why so many of the film critics and bloggers have said it. Those people took those kind of classes and understand how film makers and writers build stories and connections in an established fictional world.

204. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@203 Agree completely. Marcus is an irrelevant character without the Khan tie-in. They don’t have to be literally related or interact in the story. That’s why I am back in the “somehow, someway” Harrison will be shown to be Khan in some form. You don’t go to the trouble of casting Marcus as a character if you don’t make her relevant in some way. Heck, I figure she and Kirk hook up, she tells him she’s pregnant, then Khan kills her, so that’s why Kirk has “no other family left” and “a score to settle.”

205. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

203 Jay

Although I agree that Carol Marcus is linked to Khan from a storytelling point of view, I disagree that there’s no point for her to be in the movie if Khan isn’t in the movie. Kirk and Carol Marcus had a relationship and a child together, and that child could have possibly been concieved around this time. That’s a BIG reason for the writers to put her in the movie.

I’ve always leaned heavily Team Khan, but I don’t buy “If Marcus, then Khan”

206. Jay - December 13, 2012

#139… Exactly. The same people pop up in relation to the same stories.

You can see that in Fringe and you can see that in the comics. When they have retold a TOS story from the perspective of this new timeline, you see the same characters appearing in the stories.

Naturally if you were going to retell Khan in this timeline, you would have Carol Marcus. Her character is forever linked to Khan, because that is where we first heard of her.

Sure, you don’t have to do it that way. and someone may choose not to, but these writers and JJ have shown they are students of story telling and classical techniques in crafting stories and backgrounds to characters, and as such they would not throw such a recognizeable charater as Marcus into this movie if it had nothing to do with the story she was most famous for appearing in.

And the David angle has already been squashed by Pine when he said they don’t have any love sceans in this movie. So she wasn’t brought back for that purpose (to have David).

207. Jay - December 13, 2012

#183 Not true at all. It’s very possible and even probable. While I think he isn’t Khan, there is no doubt he is linked to Khan in some way, and that will be the big reveal in the movie.

However, I admit its very possible he is Khan. And I was one of the most vocal against that idea originally.

208. Randall - December 13, 2012

I’m going to jump right past my own objection to Khan, which is that he’s BEEN DONE ALREADY AND LET’S HAVE SOMETHING NEW…. to my objection *specifically* to the last part of your argument here, John, regarding the ethnicity of the actor who plays Khan. Your argument is that it doesn’t matter. My response to you is, bullshit.

I shouldn’t have to point out to you or anyone that we live in a (thankfully) pluralistic world today, as opposed to the 1960s—when it was common to see white guys playing American Indians in TV westerns and in movies, and to see what few ethnic actors that *were* around shoehorned into whatever role came up that called for an “exotic.” This kind of crap happened in part because of a racist f**k it, who cares? attitude on the part of Hollywood–where there is still *to this day* a significant amount of underhanded and barely-hidden racism, by the way… and on the part of the American viewing public, who didn’t much care how “others” were portrayed let alone who played them. Of course there were exceptions to this—-thankfully—but they were *exceptions,* not by any means the rule.

As I say though, we no longer live in such a world. Or… well, WE don’t, though Hollywood to a great extent still does. Fear of losing money still rules in Hollywood–in fact, even more so since the corporate takeover of the industry in the 70s—and it’s that fear largely that keeps Hollywood from breaking the rigid “play it safe” rule of filmmaking. And it isn’t all fear—it’s genuine callousness as well. “Are we making money? Then who cares about getting things right?” is an attitude *ensconced* in the power centers of the industry.

But to SOME extent even Hollywood has moved on. It’s at least generally understood that if a character is ethnic, you get an ethnic actor to play him or her—as close as you can get to the character’s. You make the dubious “point” about how George Takei’s and John Cho’s backgrounds, in terms of their familial national origins, are different—ignoring the point that they are still both ASIAN gentlemen, as we would expect them to be in playing a character who was *created* AS an Asian. By YOUR logic, sticking a white guy in Sulu’s role would have been okay… but of course it’s NOT okay, because that’s NOT who the character is.

Now, another reason the original series plugged Montalban into the role of Khan was because in the 60s, there weren’t a lot of Indian actors in Hollywood who would have been viewed as being able to play that role. It needed an actor of some power and presence. So they went the tried and true method of sticking some ethnically “exotic” looking guy into the role, because at least he could act and he had the presence. So we can partly excuse the 1960s. It wasn’t ALL racism, but also practicality.

But that is NOT the situation that pertains today. This is the 21st century. We’re SWIMMING in talented people who could play Khan, and from the correct ethnicity. AS IT SHOULD BE. And if you had to look past Hollywood for such actors, India is *replete* with them. Bollywood has been going strong for decades now, and there’s all kinds of talent there to be mined.

On the far side of this—let’s say for the sake of paying some homage to Ricardo Montalban… not at all a bad thing to do—you say, “well yes, Indian actors *are* available to play an Indian/Sikh guy…. but let’s go the old Latino route, out of a sense of respect for what Montalban established. Okay… an argument could be made for that. After all, the character is what he is—and he wasn’t only made on the script page—he was also made by Montalban.

But casting a white British guy to play an ethnically Sikh character? No. Sorry. That’s an act of recidivism, an act of stupid callousness which ignores Montalban, ignores the character, and ignores the paradigm all around us which says this kind of old game is over and done with—we’ve long since stopped pretending that “dark” people don’t exist anymore, or are of so little consequence that we can just get white guys to play them.

I hope to god that is NOT what Abrams and company have done here.

209. SirBroiler - December 13, 2012

Cumberbatch is a doppelgänger for this guy on the right.

http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Joachim.jpg

210. Planet Pandro - December 13, 2012

198,

Missed the Brit “called, named” distinction…my brain’s gone all to mush speculating and wildy theorizing about Khan-bots. Oh dear.

211. RaveOnEd - December 13, 2012

203 – I did take some Theater Arts in school, went to a performing arts school and learned Drama, as well as writing.

That out of the way, Carol Marcus was introduced in WoK, but in that introduction, we get to know that she and Kirk knew each other before that movie takes place, and before Kirk met Khan in TOS.

I have different friends than I did 15 years ago for the most part, so I don’t expect people in any universe that expects some form of believability to be any different, with traveling in different circles here and there.

When the Enterprise crew first met Harry Mudd, was Stella there?
When Koloth was on DS9, were his first officer, Arne Darvin or even Kirk there?

When James Bond meets Blofeld, it always wasn’t a remake of “You Only Live Twice”, was it?

One character doesn’t have to always be linked to another one forever. To me, that’s lazy storytelling.

212. Jay - December 13, 2012

#205 But no one knew of that connection and that relationship until Khan. It doesn’t matter that they had a backstory. That backstory didn’t exist before Khan. It was created for Khan. Therefore, as a writer, you would not put that character, so closely tied to Khan, into this movie unless it had something to do with Khan.

It’s not just so Kirk can have a love interest and get her pregnant. Pine already said there isn’t much time in this movie for loves scenes. They only flirt etc.

Marcus being in the movie undoubtedly makes this movie in some way about Khan, even if BC is not Khan himself.

When you combine that with the hands on the glass scene – i mean come on – you have to be wilfully blind not to see that connection. They purposefully wrote and filmed that scene. Why would they do that if not to link to the same scene in TWOK? Filmakers and writers – artists – do not do that just for the heck of it. They didn’t write and film that just to “mess with Trekkies”. That is a clear homage and link to TWOK. There is no reason to do that unless the movie is about Khan.

Like I said, I had been very vocal in being against using Khan, and kept saying I didn’t think they would do that, but when you see Marus in the movie and one of the first previews is the famous TWOK scene… well, you just have to be blind not to see the connection.

213. Dunsel Report - December 13, 2012

It’s artistic foreshadowing. Carol Marcus only appeared in Star Trek in the Khan story. She is therefore linked to Khan from a story telling point of view. It has nothing to do with who she is in the fictional universe of Star Trek. She is a vehicle used to connect to Khan.

I know what you are trying to say here, but that’s like saying Captain Pike is only a vehicle for introducing the Talosians. “Foreshadowing” means something different: planting a story idea that blows up later in the movie. It’s the gun hanging on the wall at the beginning of the play, so that when someone grabs it at the end it didn’t come out of nowhere.

Carol Marcus may be Kirk’s girlfriend who has never heard of Khan, but that doesn’t make her a set-up for Khan.

214. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#208 Hello Randall

Thank you for your opinion. I would like to mention that Sikh is a religion, not an ethnicity or racial designation. The second largest amount of followers of Sikh are in the United Kingdom. Thank you again for reading my guess and ideas.

215. Mad Man - December 13, 2012

If it is Khan, then I am not going to see this movie.

If it is not Khan, then I might see it. The whole Enterprise-under-water thing bothers me, though.

And JJ, yes, that might be enough to keep me from seeing this movie. And I will enjoy the “reruns.” dikc

216. wi-kiry-lan - December 13, 2012

Wasn’t all the villian character motiviation for the last film left to a comic book??

217. gov - December 13, 2012

LOVE THIS!

JJ’s response to Aintitcool’s questioning of the Under Water Enterprise:

“If that’s the thing that’s going to keep you from seeing the movie, great! Enjoy your reruns!”

That’s his actual response. And he’s right. Get over it.

218. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#214: That should have read “Sikhism” as the name of the religion. When Khan is identified as a Sikh in “Space Seed” it could be the religious designation. Thanks again for reading!

219. son of Jello - December 13, 2012

Thank god I dont get stuck next to you people on the bus.

220. Jay - December 13, 2012

#211 They haven’t remade those TOS episodes that you listed, so that’s irrelevant. Marcus did not exist before TWOK. Her story and her connection to Kirk did not exist before that movie.

Good writers would not just throw that character radomly back into this movie unless there is a connection. They don’t cast a fairly big name to play this very famous character just so Kirk can have love interest.

It seems to me everyone outside of a few on this forum gets that instantly. Especially when combined with the hands on glass imagery. There is absolutely no doubt that this movie is linked to Khan. It’s classical foreshadowing at it’s best.

221. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@211 It isn’ t about “linking to another forever.” It’s about the *context* of the characters creating a fiber in the broader storytelling arc.

If the story has no relationship to Khan at all, why bother bringing in the Marcus character? Because she brings in some sort of context to the story, and the *only* place that context can occur (as we all realize she’s not TOS canon by any stretch, “little blond lab tech” aside) is from “Wrath of Khan.” If not, she could be *any* gal Kirk comes across. Heck, it could be the all-green roomate of Uhura from ST2009. But its *this* particular character – Carol Marcus. And for that of specificity, there has to be a reason for it.

222. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#219:

I’d be happy to be stuck next to my fellow fans on a bus and chat/speculate about Star Trek anyday!

223. Commodore Adams - December 13, 2012

“And, why tell Mitchell’s entire story and then have to resurrect him for the film, leaving film audiences who do not read the comics out of the loop?”

Well, people who did not read the 2009 comic prequel had no idea that the Nerada came from the future until it was explained in the movie. The same could happen in this movie. Mitchell was “killed” in the comics and could very well “come back from the dead” and could be explained in Into Darkness in the same way Nero’s story was explained in the film.

216. wi-kiry-lan –
“Wasn’t all the villian character motiviation for the last film left to a comic book??” Exactly!

224. Dunsel Report - December 13, 2012

It’s classical foreshadowing at it’s best.

But it’s not foreshadowing if you’re planting an idea that only Trek fans will recognize. That’s not foreshadowing, it’s marketing.

An example of foreshadowing in the “Wrath of Khan” script is setting up the idea that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” so that when Spock lives by this principle, we go “ahhh, of course.”

By the same logic that Marcus requires Khan to appear in the story, the presence of Captain Pike should have everyone insisting that Benedict Cumberbatch will be revealed as having a puffy head and living in a cave of illusions.

225. The Great Bird lives - December 13, 2012

Captain Ransom

Resorting to name calling is not only childish, but prohibited on this site.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, especially here, but we are asked to NOT use profanities, or be insulting. You would be wise to heed this advice.

226. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

212. Jay – December 13, 2012

#205 But no one knew of that connection and that relationship until Khan. It doesn’t matter that they had a backstory. That backstory didn’t exist before Khan. It was created for Khan. Therefore, as a writer, you would not put that character, so closely tied to Khan, into this movie unless it had something to do with Khan.

********************

That doesn’t really make a lot of sense. I mean, like I said before, I understand why there’s an association, but that’s like saying you wouldn’t put the Kobiyashi Maru sequence in a movie unless you had Saavik in the movie, because the Kobiyashi Maru was first associated with Saavik. Theres foreshadowing, there’s character association, and then there’s just plain researching the characters who would be around at the time, and deciding who you want to use.

*****************************

It’s not just so Kirk can have a love interest and get her pregnant. Pine already said there isn’t much time in this movie for loves scenes. They only flirt etc.

***************************

Well, she doesn’t necessarily have to get pregnant. She doesn’t even have to be a love interest. She could be used to set up the next movie.

****************************
Marcus being in the movie undoubtedly makes this movie in some way about Khan, even if BC is not Khan himself.

****************************

I think the indication that this is about Khan in some way in many ways, but none of those ways individually MAKE the film about Khan.

*****************************
When you combine that with the hands on the glass scene – i mean come on – you have to be wilfully blind not to see that connection. They purposefully wrote and filmed that scene. Why would they do that if not to link to the same scene in TWOK? Filmakers and writers – artists – do not do that just for the heck of it. They didn’t write and film that just to “mess with Trekkies”. That is a clear homage and link to TWOK. There is no reason to do that unless the movie is about Khan.

*******************************

As someone said before, Spock said “I have and always shall be your friend” in the last movie. Khan wasn’t in it. They had Delta Vega in the last movie. Gary Mitchell wasn’t in it. Pike was in the last movie, and Pike’s wheelchair. The Talosians weren’t in it. They were a nice little easter eggs for the fans.

We’re only interpreting all this as “messing with the fans” but they probably have something complex set up that they’re not willing to tell us just yet to spoil the movie.

227. Dominic - December 13, 2012

It’s always been my opinion that Abrams and company respect and cherish the character of Khan so much that they wouldn’t dare re-make him; they simply honor him with homages.

They clearly loved TWOK and admired Nicholas Meyer’s work and intended to recognize that contribution at the end of the 2009 movie and are now indulging themselves with more overt references. Artistic love letters to Meyers, Montalban, etc. Having fun with the fans in the process. Free press!

I don’t see the villain being Khan. Too much Trek sacred ground. Best left untouched. JJ Abrams is capable of creating something that can stand on it’s own and Orci and Kurtzman don’t need to reimagine that fine story. But I certainly see them showing their respect in little ways.

Or I’m wrong. Either way, I can’t wait.

228. Commodore Adams - December 13, 2012

Interesting yet convoluted at the same time. Theorizing on this movie has gotten way out of hand. Is it not possible to sit back and wait to see what happens? Patience is a virtue and some of you have none.

As I said, ill read the articles but I am just going to wait and see because I have no idea what to think anymore, therefore I wont. lol you all need to get on with your lives and allow this movie to arrive. If its Khan great, if not great, I just want to watch an exciting Star Trek movie.

Id rather sit on a bus and talk Star Trek…hard facts.. than speculate.

229. Smike - December 13, 2012

How on Earth can anyone be bothered by that “Enterprise under water” thing. There are SO many facts, even within the old timeline, that don’t add up. Maybe it was mentioned that a starship can’t go under water in some episode of some spin-off series. But seriously:

– First Vulcan had no moon on the very first broadcast episode of TOS – then we saw dozens of them in TMP.

– First the Klingons had no devil on TOS and then, the Klingon devil himself appears in an episode of TNG

– The Klingons’ blood was depicted pink in TUC, but deep red in the spin-off series…

– Then there is the entire Borg / Borg Queen continuity goofing… involving numerous episodes of VOY…

Apart from that: there is absolutely no reason to assume a futuristic Starship cannot go under water from a scientific point of view. The pressure may be significant, but if our primitive submarines are able to sustain that, a 23rd century starship, that can survive direct contact to black holes, sustain structural integritiy during warp transfer etc, is supposed to be crushed by water pressure??? Seriously?

230. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@213 Dunsel Report,

“Carol Marcus may be Kirk’s girlfriend who has never heard of Khan, but that doesn’t make her a set-up for Khan.”

In this case, i think it may …

I was hoping for an exploration of Kirk’s relationship with one of the more interesting women ever conceived for Star Trek, perhaps even a plot motive for Kirk’s seeking revenge.

Unfortunately Pine sort of ran that over by saying there’s some flirting, but her main reason for being is to provide a solution to the problem created by Harrison.

Best case scenario, she’s interchangeable with any recognizable female character from canon — her name used no differently than “Delta Vega” was in ST09. — Rolls eyes at blatant fan pandering.

Worst case scenario, they used her specifically because John Harrison is really Khan. — Yawn.

231. Gary - December 13, 2012

If April is in this movie, maybe red shirted Chekov gets killed and is replaced by Arex.

232. Kev-1 - December 13, 2012

There may not be a “there” there. Making the villain a terrorist just puts it in line with almost every other drama/police TV show, and many movies. But then I guess any villain working outside of (their) government could be called a “terrorist”. Would rather have seen some sci-fi, but that ain’t their style. It’s just an opinion, but I don’t think the producers of this film know Star Trek well enough to create anagrams of names from old scripts. I don’t think they have to be able to in order to do the job, either.

233. Commodore Adams - December 13, 2012

@ 217. gov – December 13, 2012 – EXACTLY!!!

Lol that is a great response by J.J. The Aintitcool guy is pathetic, I wish I could have any memory of him eradicated from my memory.. to focus on such triviality is the last little aspect of what might still be giving geeks/nerds a bad rep.

Its a F*CKING STARSHP! If it can travel through space you can be damed sure it can go underwater. Hell, Voyager traveled to F*CKING fluidic space!!!
Its sealed and pressurized for space which means the same for water.

If people are making a big stink of the 1701 going underwater, you’re pathetic, this entire franchise is fiction and you believe it, and you don’t believe or can’t take a leap of faith that the ship can go underwater. PATHETIC!!!! Why waste energy contemplating such things, trying to refute such things, get a life!

I saw the Enterprise rise out of the water in the trailer and I said “BAD ASS!!” :D

Stop focusing on the trivial!!!!

234. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 226 LogicalLeopard,

Correction to my 230 reply to Dunsel Report,

Best case scenario after reading your excellent rebuttal to Jay, is they chose Carol Marcus as a setup for the third movie exploration.

(With the added benifit that it would “mess with the fans” in this movie)

235. Paul - December 13, 2012

- This is an entirely different Enterprise, with entirely different flight plan. For all we know, it might never encounter Botany Bay at all. Khan might’ve been found and unfrosted by someone else, introduce himself as John Harrison and enroll Starfleet.

– Original Khan has nothing to do with Sikhs either. First, Sikhism is a religion, not necessarily bound to a nationality. Second, many Sikhs are actually more pale than Mr. Montalban. Third, a given name or surname says nothing about someone’s genetic origin when it comes to an artificially engineered person.
Would you guess William Shatner was a Jew? How come he looks nowhere like Leonard Nimoy? See, that’s exactly the same reason why Montalban looks nowhere like Cumberbatch. Not all Sikhs need to be dark skinned, just like not all Jews need to be long-faced and big-nosed.

236. Mike C. - December 13, 2012

“…George Takei and John Cho do not share the same ethnic heritage…”

Come on. They are both Asian. Uhura is still black. Spock is still green.

237. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@231 Gary –
“maybe red shirted Chekov gets killed and is replaced by Arex.”

Somebody important is going to die in this movie. Perhaps putting Chekov in red is foreshadowing that he’s not going to live to see a third film.

Assuming these guys are planning to stop after three is accurate, I can see them losing Chekov in the third film — the opposite of him not being in the first season of TOS. Heck, maybe it is Khan since that’s the movie that placed Chekov in an episode from the first season he was never in.

238. Brevard - December 13, 2012

Oh, please stop with the Khan stuff. These are the most ridiculous conclusions I have heard so far to support Khan as the villain. I am especially concerned by the idea that we as fans “accept” actors of different ethnic backgrounds playing characters that don’t match their ethnic background. John Cho is given as a example. Yes, Takei is Japaneses and Cho is Korean, but at least they are both of Asian descent. By the logic of this article, Sulu could have been played by a pasty British guy and Star Trek fans would not have cared. I don’t think so. I am an actor and the truth of the matter is that there are certain roles I can’t and shouldn’t play. Come on, enough with the Khan stuff.

239. lwr - December 13, 2012

It’s not Khan. It’s not Khan. It’s not Khan.
How many times do i have to say it…..
It is Augment “B” from the SS Botany Bay.
Like contestant #59 stated, this new Non Prime Universe has all the trappings of the Prime Universe, but have been “tweeked” just a little thanks to Nero.
I mean Kirk becomes Captain of the Big E much sooner than in prime, so much so that his “5-year mission” now takes him to places he could not have been at at the same time before the interference. I mean this universe promotes him so fast that many adventures, “Conscience of the King”, “Obsession” just to name a few, could not have taken place because Kirk was barley, if ever assigned to any other ship? I mean was he ever anything othr than ” Cadet Kirk”?
So, again, I reitterate that the SS Botony Bay was discovered by the Klingons and either Khan dies when his tube is activated by presence of movemnet on the ship and it malfunctions , so they open “Canister B”, or they just open “Canister B” and Khan is still frozen.
Regardless, the Klingons realize there is no stratigic value in the Botany Bay, so they just set it adrift and take their newly aquired, unkownst to them, human Augment back to Qo’ Nos for a little smack down.
Maybe then Kirk and Co. find the adrfit Botany Bay and that leads them to Klingon and they in turn rescue this unkown Human captive….
or maybe they are already on Klingon as a result of the 9 minute opening adventure ( they trespass into Klingon space or something, who knows) and our “Auggie” rescues them.
Either way, Kirk and Co. have no idea who or what this guy is that just rescued them, and maybe old Johhny does it in such a wreckless way that Kirk says thanks, but in his “Kirkian manner” sluggs him one anyway. Johnny Augmento would probably just laugh at the punny human insect and keep his cool to not blow his cover. Remeber these guys were very cool and calculating before Ceti Alpha V turned them into nutjobs.
So, in the end, Kirk takes him back to Earth and Johnny starts to get up to snuff on the goings on in the universe for the past 200 years or so (a stealthy assimilation, if you will) all with the intent of completeing what they once tried to do so long agao… world domination.
After he has become “one of Starfleet”, so to speak, all while plotting and planning a 5th column type move to retake the planet, he realizes that the Botany Bay is still “somewhere out there” adrift. So what better way to enact his Vengance is on a Humanity that discarded them to the nothingness of space than to retrieve his “Family” and unleash the true master (Khan) on an ever so unexpecting universe.
Great retribution for denying the Augmenst in the first place 200 years ago.
SO Maybe it is Johnny Augmento that goes back and retrieves the adrift Botany Bay and Kirk and Co have to stop him.
who knows.
Bottom line i am saying that all this is starndard JJ/Lindeloff double speak. This guy is Khan without actually being Khan.
it is brilliant.

But then again, I was wrong about a thousand times on the meaning of LOST, so what do i know….

240. Seatbelt Blue - December 13, 2012

Yeah! There can be only one Hamlet! Everyone who ever played him after Richard Burbage is worthless!

In much the same way every body who has ever done Shakespeare for the last 400 years is laughably unable to achieve the quality of the originals, and every adaptation of spinoff or reinvention of a Shakespearean work from Plan 9 in Outer Space to The Wrath of Khan is worthless and should be destroyed, everything Abrams does should tossed into the can.

Doesn’t he understand? These characters *aren’t* timeless! They’re no bigger than the actors who play them! If Khan isn’t played by Montalban, it’s no Khan, because Khan can’t exist outside of this single actor.

And the Enterprise going underwater? Pfeh! Star Trek has never been about *inventiveness* or *drama*. It’s always been about TECHNICAL ACCURACY and carefully, precisely defined abilities! It was always at all times perfectly clear the exacting and specific abilities of the Starship Enterprise. There has never been inconsistency in that ever, UNTIL NOW.

And as for the PLOT — there has never been a single star trek movie UNTIL NOW in which the Enterprise had to confront something threatening the Earth! All of the others were about the ship noodling around space, confronting a villain of the week, and moving on! IF IT’S NOT EXACTLY WHAT I SAW ON TV IT’S NOT STAR TREK.

There is no room for anything new! As it was, it must forever be!

And that’s why nobody ever produces Hamlet anymore!

241. Jose Kuhn - December 13, 2012

This article was an utter waste of 10 minutes of my life and I want it back!!

The only speculation we can honestly say is that John Harrison is probably either a descendant of an augment or an augment himself.

242. jagen - December 13, 2012

This is star trek so anything is possible. JJ is way to saavy to not put little tidbits here and there, like the jacket john harrison is wearing. They don’t have to be ‘perfectly’ alike to be a hint, or it wouldn’t be a hint. This could be a hybrid story. A person kirk knows well who discovers the way to being superhuman by having genetic enhancement treatments after discovering and researching Khan. Kirk and company have to incarerate him or leave him on a deserted planet thus he, ‘returns’, for revenge. He goes crazy with hatred and ‘superior ambition’, envisions himself as being Khan reborn when it’s all too much for his mind to handle. Thus we have a story. All these theories are addicting though.

243. Andrews - December 13, 2012

“Embracing diversity” would be a beautiful theory if the reality didn’t involve white actors getting 95% of the choice roles in Hollywood and a long history of nonwhite characters being played by whites, instead of the other way around, a huge majority of the time.

Roddenberry knew that, which is why he had to specify the ethnicities of characters on TOS, because otherwise they would have been cast with the default white actors. And the argument that they “just went with the best actor” is ridiculous — trust me, there are plenty of unknown nonwhite actors on Cumberbatch’s level or beyond. Hollywood defaults white: that’s the truth of it.

They didn’t use that fallacious “criteria” to find an Uhura or a Sulu, and it would be beyond disgusting if they did so for Khan. The end.

244. Lt. Daniels - December 13, 2012

With Benicio del Toro not taking the part of the villain maybe they changed the script a bit for a new villain like Lore.

245. Captain Hackett - December 13, 2012

Mr. Tenuto, you wrote a great article with thought-provoking points about the possibility of BC being Khan and I absolutely agree with you!

246. Nony - December 13, 2012

@230 Curious Cadet

“I was hoping for an exploration of Kirk’s relationship with one of the more interesting women ever conceived for Star Trek, perhaps even a plot motive for Kirk’s seeking revenge. Unfortunately Pine sort of ran that over by saying there’s some flirting, but her main reason for being is to provide a solution to the problem created by Harrison.”

Wait. Are you *complaining* because a female character’s intelligence and expertise has something to do with plot resolution, rather than her existing simply in the context of a male character’s attraction to her and as a catalyst for said male character’s rage-bender of revenge? It’s ‘blatant fan pandering’ to take a smart and accomplished woman from the TOS-era and make her…a smart and accomplished woman? Like if you take away the ‘Kirk banged her’ part of the equation, there’s nothing of value or substance left to her character at all?

247. Calbie - December 13, 2012

This is part of the reason i find it sometimes embarrassing to be a Star Trek fan.

Its Khan, because he has a frilled collar.

Really? No wonder Trek fans are constantly ridiculed and insulted. When crap like this article gets posted, i see why.

248. NuFan - December 13, 2012

Special K might fool Kirk and Spock for the first half of the movie, but he did not fool me for 5 seconds.

249. Nony - December 13, 2012

I would just like there to be a female character who doesn’t function as ‘the love interest’ or ‘the emotional plot device’.

250. AJ - December 13, 2012

My doubts stem strictly from the ethnicity issue. Sure, Montalban wasn’t Indian, but he was able to be made to look Indian in “Space Seed.”

Cumby is pure white-bread English. Probably can’t even tan. Why cast him as a Sikh?

251. Vince - December 13, 2012

It’s Khan. I am not backing down from my opinion. Everyone is trying as HARD AS THEY can (everyone being JJ, the producers etc.) that it’s NOT Khan. Not only that, I have the best gut feeling about this.

It’s Khan.

252. bearytrek - December 13, 2012

maybe in this timeline the Botany Bay’s survivors were rescued by some other starship and Kahn appropriated a crewman’s (Harrison’s) identity from that ship…

253. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

234. Curious Cadet – December 13, 2012

Best case scenario after reading your excellent rebuttal to Jay, is they chose Carol Marcus as a setup for the third movie exploration.

(With the added benifit that it would “mess with the fans” in this movie)

*********************************************************

I think that’s definately it. In exploring the Khan angle, they probably said, “Hey, what about this Carol Marcus lady? Her and Kirk had a kid that’s in his thirties, so she’d probably be around during our movies. Lets put her in.”

Now, even if they abandoned the Khan storyline, they could probably still say, “No wait, keep her in. She’s a good character, and we can do something with her in the future if we want. Plus, she’ll throw fans off of what we plan to do until they see the movie” And apparently she helps do something in this movie. That would be why they waited until now to reveal who she is.

But like I said before, even though I lean Khan or Khan related villian, I think it’s absurd to believe that she would ONLY be in the movie because of Khan. Her and Khan have ABSOLUTELY no connection other than they were in the same movie. It’s like saying if you have Saavik, you have to have Commander Kruge in the movie…..

*GASP *

What if BC is Commander Kruge, prior to having his forehead refixed? Maybe he’s in Klingon Intelligence, which is why he got the information from Valkris in the first place? So he goes undercover as John Harriman to do….uhm…something.

254. Randall - December 13, 2012

@ 214. John Tenuto

Nice try, John, but you fail at ducking a valid point.

Yes, Sikhism is a religion. Yes, there are Sikh communities all around the world. But beyond those two facts, you’re peddling bullshit.

The Sikhs are a religious sect from northern India, specifically the Punjab. Nationally, that puts them in either the Indian or Pakistani camp. Hardly matters though, because ethnically they’re closely related to or are actually part of the ethnic groups which makeup at least the Northern area of the subcontinent. No, the Sikhs are not THEMSELVES an ethnicity, but then I never said that. MY point is that *all* Sikhs (practically speaking) are ethnically northern Indian/Punjabi.

It’s as simple as that. My point is still the same—and in fact, as I said, you’ve done nothing but duck it, and poorly.

YOUR original point was invalid, and wrong. Also as simple as that. Handing the role of a character who was stated to be a Sikh–and therefore northern Indian—over to a white guy would be *wrong,* insensitive, and stupid. Period. And there’s no place for that in this 21st century world.

And if Abrams HAS done that—then he should be goddamned ashamed of himself, and so should Paramount, though I doubt either will be. But I hope to god that if they HAVE done this, they face the protests they’ll richly deserve for it.

255. MJ - December 13, 2012

“”It’s Khan. I am not backing down from my opinion. Everyone is trying as HARD AS THEY can (everyone being JJ, the producers etc.) that it’s NOT Khan. Not only that, I have the best gut feeling about this. It’s Khan.”

Exactly! So many people are trying so hard to refute it. What’s the point? Like Anthony and Tenuto are BOTH going to be wrong on this? BOTH of them? That is just ludicrous!

That “it’s not Khan” thing is done — stick a fork in it!

256. Randall - December 13, 2012

@243 Andrews:

Well said.

257. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 235 Paul,

From Memory Alpha:

“Khan would be a Sikh only in the ethnic sense since one requirement of males following the Sikh religion is to neither cut their hair nor shave their beards as an outward display of their faith. Khan, of course, has never been portrayed as anything other than clean-shaven. Further, other than in Marla McGiver’s interpretive artwork, Khan has never been seen wearing a turban, which is another requirement of the Sikh faith. And while it is possible to be Sahajdhari (a “slow adopter”), and exempt from the requirement of uncut hair and beard”

Next do a Google image search for Sikh, and see how many men that resemble Cumberbatch it returns.

The writers of Space Seed conceived Khan as a stereotypical ethnic male from Northern India, that is why they cast Montalban, to approximate a dark-skinned male who gave an Ethnic impression of the image they had in mind by using that dialogue to describe him. Montalban was the best they could do in a conservative 1960s climate, still reeling from controversial civil rights legislation.

For the filmmakers to completely disregard this is unlikely.

I have no problem conceiving Khan as Cumberbatch. English educated, genetically enhanced resulting in atypical physical characteristics. But this character was pre-existing from canon. So give us some reason to explain why Marla McGivers would otherwise describe a man who appears more like a clerk from Lloyd’s of London, as being from Northern India, probably a Sikh.

I’ll start … Because McGivers was instantly smitten, and suspected he was Khan from the start, offering an opinion based on knowledge rather than observation, which she kept to herself.

258. Jay - December 13, 2012

#226…. ugh I grow weary….. It’s unbelieveable how blind some choose to be.

You are completely missing the point and trying to confuse the matter.

Marcus is tied to Khan in Star Trek story telling. Period. There is no denying that.

IF Marcus being in the movie was the ONLY connection to Khan, then I might give you some leeway. But clearly she is not. The hands on the glass scene is undoubtedly meant to mirror the same scene in TWOK. The otheer scene reportedly in the next trailer of the cargo bay full of tudes with windows on them sounds like it is the Botany Bay. The fact that they originally planned to show the Botany Bat after the end credits of the first film.

Its clear there is a Khan connection. I’m not saying BC is Khan. I don’t know. No one does. But you can not deny this movie is in some way about Khan.

259. Randall - December 13, 2012

@238 Brevard:

Also well said. Thank you.

260. trekwho - December 13, 2012

How about this? He is not Khan but Khan-esque. A nod to TWOK but reimaged.

261. MJ - December 13, 2012

@81 “I have been saying this from day one. The points he makes especially about the studio marketing machine and just the evidence presented so far.
I think its Khan but I think its a twist to his origins. Harrisson offers a couple the chance to save their son. Need I say more? I think that this is Khan with a major major twist.”

I agree.

262. jagen - December 13, 2012

If john harrison genetically enhanced himself then it would explain the nationality difference. He ends up believing himself to be the khan of old. And of course, the lesson of the movie would be there, where you don’t mess with genetics and science. Gotta love it.
For those that think that the jacket isn’t important or the ‘little’ things don’t matter, you more than likely aren’t a fan of JJ because it’s his trademark to put little clues and hints all through his work. Especially ones like that.

263. Christopher Roberts - December 13, 2012

He’s Keyser Söze…

obviously.

264. MJ - December 13, 2012

@258 “Its clear there is a Khan connection. I’m not saying BC is Khan. I don’t know. No one does. But you can not deny this movie is in some way about Khan.”

Yep, I have coined the term, “Khan-centric movie,” to define this.

265. JJ's Secret - December 13, 2012

We are just being played. JJ is laughing at all of us.

This movie is NOT for the fans, he says… He doesn’t care about us one bit. It’s all about making $$, and there are more ‘leaks’, and ‘sources’, and clues, and theories to come.

The only losers here, are the fans. Wasting our time.

266. Jay - December 13, 2012

#266 As someone said before, Spock said “I have and always shall be your friend” in the last movie. Khan wasn’t in it. They had Delta Vega in the last movie. Gary Mitchell wasn’t in it. Pike was in the last movie, and Pike’s wheelchair. The Talosians weren’t in it. They were a nice little easter eggs for the fans.

You can’t be serious. They recreate the most iconic scene in Star Trek movie history and it has nothing to do with Khan??? Really?

You are just being willfullly blind, or purposefully trying to argue an obvious point because there is no way you can believe that.

267. MJ - December 13, 2012

@262 “For those that think that the jacket isn’t important or the ‘little’ things don’t matter, you more than likely aren’t a fan of JJ because it’s his trademark to put little clues and hints all through his work. Especially ones like that.”

Agreed. Can’t wait to hear Sebastian’s and Chris Fawkes excuse to ignore this?

268. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

254. Randall – December 13, 2012

YOUR original point was invalid, and wrong. Also as simple as that. Handing the role of a character who was stated to be a Sikh–and therefore northern Indian—over to a white guy would be *wrong,* insensitive, and stupid. Period. And there’s no place for that in this 21st century world.

**********************’

UNLESS,

They’ve got a valid reason why he has such an appearance. It appears JJ&Co are hinting at the fact that John Harrison has a secret, or a dimension to him that will be revealed later in the movie. It’s possible that he has another identity. It’s possible that this identity is Khan. It’s possible that Khan, desiring to take over the planet, would alter his features to avoid detection while he puts his plan into place. If Hitler wanted to get back into power, wouldn’t he at least shave his mustache and alter his features? Because everyone would recognize him as HITLER!

With the early attempts to cast hispanic actors as the villian, many people thought they were trying to do a Khan storyline, and pay tribute to Ricardo Montalban at the same time. Even though Montalbon apparently was born in Mexico to Spanish immigrants, which would make him ethnically European, I would believe. But I disgress.

So they can’t get the actors they want, start scrambling to get an actor so they can get the movie started, and get an audition for BC that blows them away. They desperately want him, but to play Khan, they have to put a wig on him and darken his skin. The wig is fine, but the skin is the equivalent of blackface and an ABSOLUTE NO NO. So they rework the story. Maybe he’s Khan with plastic surgery. Maybe he’s not Khan at all. Who knows. I’m just saying it’s possible that it can be Khan.

269. Craiger - December 13, 2012

I found that scene in the first movie where young Kirk passes by Johnny in the Corvette. Johnny looks like a young Cumberbatch. You know the canon character Orci spoke of could be from ST 2009 and not TOS. The scene is at 1:15.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=xTGeagS4HcU&feature=endscreen

270. Craiger - December 13, 2012

I found that scene in the first movie where young Kirk passes by Johnny in the Corvette. Johnny looks like a young Cumberbatch. You know the canon character Orci spoke of could be from ST 2009 and not TOS. The scene is at 1:15.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=xTGeagS4HcU&feature=endscreen

271. Craiger - December 13, 2012

Sorry for the double post.

272. Jay - December 13, 2012

“Best case scenario after reading your excellent rebuttal to Jay, is they chose Carol Marcus as a setup for the third movie exploration”

So we can have a love story? Marcus is not a character they would build a movie around, let alone use one movie to set up another built around her.

Unbelieveable. You wuold rather believe that this, and the next movie, are centered around Marcus and her relationship with Kirk, than the more obvious option of it being about Khan??

Wow

273. jagen - December 13, 2012

The Carol Marcus character is definitely related to Khan’s story, however, it could just be an opportunity to explore that history between kirk and her. Sounds like it could be a juicy one and add some depth to kirk’s story. It could mean Khan as well, but it doesn’t have to.

274. sean - December 13, 2012

The problem with the argument in #6 is that it seems to exist in a vacuum. The reality is that non-white actors have been consistently shafted by Hollywood, so to cast a non-South Asian in a part that was specifically South Asian (that Montelban wasn’t the correct ethnicity is part of the problem, not an excuse to cast anyone) is really not a good idea. The fact that said South Asian character is being recast by a white British man is even more problematic, unless we just pretend that whole colonialism thing never happened.

You suggest it’s just a matter of talent, but that ignores a very ugly reality that continues to exist for people of color. If anything, I’d argue that as Star Trek fans we should have greater sensitivity to this. My hope is the Cumberbatch is not Khan, or that if he is, there’s a very good reason why he suddenly has a different ethnic background, despite being frozen hundreds of years before Nero’s incursion.

275. MJ - December 13, 2012

@272. Yea, I’d hate to hear his worst case scenario? lol

276. Hat Rick - December 13, 2012

Some day, peeps, I will do a book on this whole “Is It Khan” thing, wherein people break dance on the head of a pin wondering how many pah’wraiths can share the same floor.

The book will be entitled — and I’ve copyrighted it — “The Metaphysics of Darkness: From Kant to Khan” (first of 79 volumes).

You are all invited to the book signing party, held at the future site of Starfleet HQ, after it is built.

277. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

266. Jay – December 13, 2012

You can’t be serious. They recreate the most iconic scene in Star Trek movie history and it has nothing to do with Khan??? Really?

***************************

Uhm, didn’t I just say that they had Spock say “I am and shall always be your friend?” Isn’t THAT part of the most iconic scene in Trek history, and as significant as the hand touch? But KHAN WASN’T IN THAT MOVIE!!!

I mean, I don’t understand how you can accuse me of maybe being willfully blind, and NOT see that they’ve used a portion of the exact same scene before. I think Khan is going to play a part in the movie, but to say that the glass confirms it is unsound logic.

278. Optimistic Doodle - December 13, 2012

@196: Thanks for your comment.

Hopefully we’ll all learn more after the movie rolls out, because ‘the making of’ really peeks my interest.

279. Pacardi - December 13, 2012

Khan it is.

As far as this whole ethnicity semi-debate is concerned, I’m extremely happy that Cumberbatch is playing Khan because it wont in any way be a copied performance of Montaliban. Each actor has their own method of expression, and Cumberbatch is one hell of an actor who will be delivering an extremely honest and provocative performance/take on the character. — I’d go so far as to say they’ve changed the name from Khan to John because of the ethnicity change in the character, and pretty much revamped the characters background story but much else will be the same. That would be a pretty bold move however, so if not John, It’s KHAN.

280. Jay - December 13, 2012

#262 Exactly. Like any good filmaker or story teller. They purposefully put those clues in and JJ is known for doing exactly that.

Some people think that the :”little things” were just an accident or coincedence and not an intentional link to something else. Well, you believe that you are wrong. Film makers don’t do that, especially the good ones. EVERYTHING has a purpose.

281. jagen - December 13, 2012

MJ, thanks for the agreement. I love JJ Abrams work and it is absolutely riddled with clues to storylines. Lost was crazy with it! As was Cloverfield.

282. MJ - December 13, 2012

@274. It’s called artistic license. Khan is not “real,” and the last version we saw of him was 30 years ago — outdated now.

Starbuck went from male to female, and most accepted it. Same deal!

HE’s NOT REAL !!!

283. JJC - December 13, 2012

Interesting speculation but I think some of these points, namely the name “John” sounding close to “Khan” and the similar collars are reaching a bit. In addition, the argument that Khan will increase the marketing potential of the movie only makes sense if they are actually marketing that it’s Khan, which they are not. How will the presence of Khan increase revenue if no one knows Khan is in the movie until after they’ve seen it?

That being said, I actually do think that there’s a good possibility that this movie will tie in to Khan in some way, but because of thematic reasons based on what we know so far…it seems like the science of genetics is going to play a significant part in this movie:

* The little girl in the beginning has a genetic disease which makes her age at an accelerated rate.
* Carol Marcus is in the movie, future creator of the Genesis Device (okay, not exactly genetics but could be spinned to still be her specialty).
* Presence of “GATT2000″…could this be a genetic experiment to “improve man”?

So, if the science of genetics plays a major part in this, who better to personify this than Khan, the ultimate product of genetic engineering?

But how to justify Benedict Cumberbatch playing him?

I’ll throw out some wild speculation. What if Khan is found by a covert arm of Starfleet like Section 31 (could Peter Weller be playing the leader of this shadow organization)? What if, before he is even woken up, they realize it’s Khan and change his appearance and brainwash him into thinking he is “John Harrison”, member of Starfleet, whose powers they can then manipulate for their own purposes? What if, after some time as a Section 31 operative, “John Harrison” discovers who he really is and goes on a quest for vengeance against those who stole his very identity from him?

Again, this is all just speculation but I have faith that whatever JJ and co. have come up with will be wildly entertaining.

284. Jay - December 13, 2012

#273 Doesn’t have to. that is true. But considering the writing team and JJ. Consider their history in other works.

IF you do, then you know these guys wouldn’t do that, and no one wants to see a Star Trek movie, not today’s movie audiences, that focuses on a love story between Kirk and some woman, even Marcus. That would be the most boring story you could possibly imagine.

I doesn’t have to mean their is a link to Khan, that this movie is about Khan, but if some would just open their minds and take in the totality of the evidence, there is little else it could be.

285. MJ - December 13, 2012

@281. Agreed, dude! Thanks!

286. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

272. Jay – December 13, 2012

So we can have a love story? Marcus is not a character they would build a movie around, let alone use one movie to set up another built around her.

Unbelieveable. You wuold rather believe that this, and the next movie, are centered around Marcus and her relationship with Kirk, than the more obvious option of it being about Khan??

Wow

******

I’m not saying that either movie would be built around Marcus, but if the writers are as good as they’ve proven in the first movie, they may use Marcus to tackle an integral part of Kirk’s character – his love for Starfleet vs his love for family.

Prime Kirk is an awesome captain…..and a dead beat dad. It’s a puzzling character dichotomy, when you have such a great hero who made an extremely poor (by most people’s standards) parenting choice.

So now you have the new universe. Now you have a Kirk who’s family life is fundamentally changed. He knows literally what it’s like to “lose a father to Starfleet.” So when the time comes, will he link up with Marcus and consider leaving Starfleet? Will he decide that Starfleet is important, but so is family, and try to hold on to both? Will he just decide to leave Marcus alone entirely?

Marcus is more important to Kirk’s character than she EVER was to Khan. Khan only genesis-jacked her. That’s the extent of their relationship. I’m not saying that her presense in this movie isn’t linked to Khan, but I’m certainly not under the belief that it has to be.

287. Jay - December 13, 2012

#274 This is the ONLY reason I think that BC is not Khan – while the movie is somehow about Khan. BUT, the fact that only Star Trek fans really know Khan’s ethnicity/religion etc. makes it possible that BC is Khan, because most of the people going to see this movie won’t know the difference. THey have heard of Khan, they know he was a bad guy – the most famous bad guy in Star Trek – they may have even seen TWOK, but they don’t know that he is supposed to be Indian or Sikh or any of that, so having BC play him won’t make a difference to them.

288. Jay - December 13, 2012

#277 So what?? What does it matter that Spock quoted a previous line? That is not at all the same thing.

You can’t possibly compare saying that one line to using Marcus, and recreating that iconic scene. Again, you can’t possibly be serious. No one would try to argue that with a straight face.

289. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

I am not seeing much in the way of objectivety, common sense, lateral thinking or much else here. You guys just won’t let up, will you?

Maybe John Harrison is simply John Harrison – a person in the background in the prime universe, however a person who (given slightly different opportunities and experiences) shows us all who he could really be, both good and bad.

I can completely understand why Benedict Cumberbatch may not want to say that name. He is probably so, so sick of hearing the bloody name and being constantly asked if he is playing this name that I won’t write, that maybe if he said it, he might end up barfing all over the interviewer.

Just another perspective… excuse me while I seek a bowl.

290. Jay - December 13, 2012

#283 One way to build expectation of it being Khan, while not out-right marketing that it is Khan, is to put a ton of clues in the trailers that make it obvious to anyone paying attention.

Say for example, using a well known character only seen in Khan stories… like say Carol Marcus. Or recreating the most iconic scene from TWOK – like the hands on a glass scene. And others that I’m sure will come in the next 5 months.

291. Aurore - December 13, 2012

“…. everyone’s ideas and thoughts…”…Beautifully stated….

If only one of my posts had not be deleted….

Ah well, I enjoyed following the discussion…That is what matters.

:)

292. sean - December 13, 2012

#282

Actually, that’s not the same at all. Making Starbuck female was progression, not regression. Women have always been severely underrepresented in terms of complex, action-oriented characters. And if you think there wasn’t a major stink over that choice, you either didn’t have internet access at the time or you’ve simply forgotten.

That aside, whether the characters are fictional or not is irrelevant. It’s about a history of whitewashing in Hollywood that is still fresh in the minds of many (and let’s face it, it isn’t as far in the past as we’d like it to be). Those moments were and continue to be hurtful to many people of color, and if we want to be decent human beings we won’t simply dismiss those concerns as ‘silly’ or tell them ‘it’s fiction – get over it!’.

293. Bird of Prey - December 13, 2012

I am a Garthist and not a Khanite – but damn, this articles raises good points…

But sooner or later we’ll know who is right, and if it’s Khan, Garth, Mitchell, April, or Picard’s grandpa…

294. Randall - December 13, 2012

@282 MJ

It clearly doesn’t occur to you that in your rabid desire that this villain be Khan (a desire I frankly just don’t get) you’ve twisted yourself into a negation of your own logic–such as it is.

Khan is an established character. He’s established as a Sikh from northern India.

Your BG reference is empty-headed, because THAT Battlestar Galactica WAS, in fact, a total and true REBOOT of the original show. Abrams Star Trek is NOT a reboot—that point has been made *time and time* again by the *very people making these movies.* It’s not a reimagining, or a reboot, or anything of the kind. It’s a revival, pure and simple, which employed the gimmick of an alteration in the “time stream” so that NEW things could happen MOVING FORWARD from that point. By YOUR logic, it would have been okay to recast Pike as a woman. But no, it doesn’t work that way. This has been clearly and definitively established.

In THAT light, Khan IS who he ALWAYS was. A man. From northern India. A Sikh. Nothing different.

Now you, being so firm in your conviction that this character is “Khan,” to the point that you belittle others who differ with your opinion on this… well it seems strange that you’d then be so offhanded about WHAT the character of Khan is. So which is it, MJ? Do you want Khan, or do you just want the NAME “Khan” to belong to the character? Because they’re two different things.

My point, and the point of others here, still stands. IF this *is* Khan—then it’s offensive, insensitive, and stupid of the Abrams group to go this route. There was no need for it whatsoever, given the multitude of choices they would have had for someone more appropriate to play the role. This is not the 1960s when stuff like that “doesn’t matter” anymore.

295. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

All that is obvious is that this site is going round and round and round in Khan-centric circles.

296. Randall - December 13, 2012

@292 Sean:

Also well said. Sadly, I get the feeling that a lot of people (the bulk of whom are no doubt white) will continue to willfully “not get it.”

297. Aurore - December 13, 2012

Correction. 292.

“…. everyone’s ideas and thoughts…”…Beautifully stated….

If only one of my posts had not been deleted….

Ah well, I enjoyed following the discussion…That is what matters.

:)

298. razzo - December 13, 2012

@283: I like your theory. I like it really much. Damn, now I’ll be disappointed if it’s not the plot.

299. n1701ncc - December 13, 2012

BC has a better chance being Mudd than Khan. He is Gary Mitchell. Khan by name alone has to be of Middle Eastern decent. BC is English so please do not insult my superior intellect that BC is Khan. I rather believe he could be Charlie X

300. Jay - December 13, 2012

#286 It doesn’t matter how important Marcus was to Kirk and not to Khan. That is not the point.

You keep trying to make literal connection within the story instead of the artistic connection between the stories and the overall story arc.

It doesn’t matter if Marcus and Khan ever spoke to each other or knew each other. Her character only existed in Star Trek with the story of Khan.

Just like this writing team has retold other TOS stories and used the same characters in different situations, they are doing that here as well. Just like they have in other projects.

If you were going to retell the story of Khan in a new Star Trek that you were rebooting, you would have to include the character of Marcus – at least if you wanted it to be rich and have depth.

If this movie had nothing to do with Khan, there would be no reason to include that character. They could have just had some Jane Smith as that character. The ONLY reason to name her Carol Marcus is to link to the Khan story.

301. somethoughts - December 13, 2012

It has to be Khan, everything else I wanted in the sequel they delivered!

Scroll back to 2-3years of my comments and suggestions lol

302. Jay - December 13, 2012

#289 If that were the case – he were just John Harrison with no connection to Khan – then there would be no artistic reason to include the character of Marcus and the hands on a glass scene. It just simple logic. Those things taking in their totality, point to the movie being about Khan. And I would bet real money we will see more in the coming months.

303. NuFan - December 13, 2012

It is interesting that the Khan deniers are the exact same people who insisted the last one would not be a reboot until the moment they watched it.

Or, to put it another way-

In 2009 the canon police were defeated by the reboot.

And in 2013 the canon police shall again be defeated by

Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

304. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 272 Jay,

What are you talking about? Parse what I wrote:

“they chose Carol Marcus as a setup for the third movie exploration”

Introduce an interesting character in her own right to further explore … NOT base an entire movie around. And specifically to explore Kirk and what makes him tick — “Jim Kirk was many things but he was never a Boy Scout”. Now that phrase alone is worth exploring. Carol Marcus is only interesting as she relates to Kirk, NOT Khan. And sadly we got more of David Marcus in TSFS rather than getting to learn more about Carol. They have a chance to address that this time around.

And contrary to Nony’s reactionary inferences @246, Carol Marcus is a well-rounded character who brings a lot to the table. Not just brains, not just emotions. Given the option, I’d rather have that than only one or the other. And frankly I don’t really care about her unless she helps me understand Kirk better. Because like it or not, the movie is about Kirk, and Spock, and McCoy, not Khan, not Marcus. The villains and love interests are there to help us understand the protagonists better.

And finally, this is in context as the very best case scenario as previously stated @230, with my least interesting uses as follows …

2) she’s interchangeable with any recognizable female character from canon — her name used no differently than “Delta Vega” was in ST09. — Rolls eyes at blatant fan pandering. (i.e. she’s just a messenger to deliver the solution)

3) Worst case scenario, they used her specifically because John Harrison is really Khan. — Yawn. (i.e. she has nothing to do with Khan otherwise, never has, and for me equates with both pandering and lazy filmmaking — but as MJ keeps reassuring me, and now you, I shouldn’t expect much more from these guys)

305. THX-1138 - December 13, 2012

I will be PROFOUNDLY disappointed if Cumberbatch plays Khan. Unless JJ, Orci, Kurtzman, and Lindleoff produce the single greatest Trek movie ever produced (not very likely) then I shall consider it a truly wasted opportunity to write original and new stories in this re-imagined timeline. To blow up Vulcan AND Romulus just to make your own version of TWOK would strike me as the pinnacle of disrespect for Star Trek and an incredible display of hubris.

Unless of course they make the greatest Star Trek movie of all time.

Now just supposing they DO make TWOK in their own image, there should be some valid expectations we, as Star Trek fans should have. Namely that the Botany Bay look like it did in TOS. Why would it change? Of course, it’s going to look like a speck next to the Gigantoprise. And of course a valid explanation for why Khan “appears” to be caucasian with a British accent. I know John Tenuto says that as Trek fans we should all be beyond having look-alikes in familiar roles. But then why was such a fuss made about Quinto’s resemblance to Nimoy? Truth be told, they seem to have been a little inconsistent in their application of this ideal.

Ever since the producers mentioned that they wanted to put the Botany Bay floating through space at the end of NuTrek 09 I have been vehemently opposed to the idea of re-visiting the Khan storyline. If you weren’t going to do a Prime Universe origins storyline (and blew up a couple of really kinda important planets in the process) so that you could give your stories un-predictability and dramatic weight, then you should do just that: tell your own stories, not just your takes on previously told stories.

306. Jay - December 13, 2012

#304 Why would anyone care about using Carol Marcus to set up another movie? If you were doing that, you are elevating her to the status of a central figure, and that character is not that. If not a love story, then what purpose would there be?

That is a FAR FAR more stretch of logic than accepting she is in the movie because it is about Khan.

“3) Worst case scenario, they used her specifically because John Harrison is really Khan. — Yawn. (i.e. she has nothing to do with Khan otherwise, never has, and for me equates with both pandering and lazy filmmaking — but as MJ keeps reassuring me, and now you, I shouldn’t expect much more from these guys)”

why is that worst case? Why do you assume if the movie is about Khan that it is bad?

What do you mean she never has had anything to do with Khan? Her character would not have existed if not for TWOK – a movie all about Khan. You are just flat wrong on that point. Her character has everything to do with Khan.

Also, redoing Khan is not lazy or pandering. It is probably the biggest challenge any movie writer would have – to retell an iconic story from a new perspective and have it be original and good at the same time.

307. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#257

Hi Curious Cadet,

Thank you for commenting on my article. A quick note about what our research has shown, which we have confirmed with the bts crew from TOS.

You write:

“The writers of Space Seed conceived Khan as a stereotypical ethnic male from Northern India, that is why they cast Montalban, to approximate a dark-skinned male who gave an Ethnic impression of the image they had in mind by using that dialogue to describe him. Montalban was the best they could do in a conservative 1960s climate, still reeling from controversial civil rights legislation.”

Actually, all our memors and production information shows something very different occurred. The role of Khan was changed from a European or Nordic Harold Ericsson because Ricardo Montalban was cast. The character’s background and name was changed because of the actor chosen, and some of the dialog very late, near filming of the episode. We will have more details on this when all the research is completed, but we have confirmed this both with interviews and original production documents.

Thanks again for the comments and I hope are enjoying the speculation!

308. Jay - December 13, 2012

#305 “Now just supposing they DO make TWOK in their own image, there should be some valid expectations we, as Star Trek fans should have. Namely that the Botany Bay look like it did in TOS. ”

Really???? Who would care what it looked like? What it looks like doesn’t matter a hill of beans. That it is called the Botany Bay is all that matters.

It’s unbelieveable to me the nit picky things that some fans choose to focus on instead of the overall quality of the movie and the fact that we have new amazing Star Trek movies to enjoy that are so far much better than any of the previous ones.

309. Mad Man - December 13, 2012

229. Smike – December 13, 2012

I could care less about canon. I only care about scientific accuracy. Yeah, it’s Star Trek with articifial gravity, phasers, and subspace radio. But some very basic principles should not be ignored just so something “looks cool.”

310. Planet Pandro - December 13, 2012

283.

Not bad, I like where’s you’re going w/ that! Seems as likely as anything else.

There are always possibilities…

311. Dunsel Report - December 13, 2012

The ONLY reason to name her Carol Marcus is to link to the Khan story.

I don’t think this is the only reason. The last movie brought back The Wrath of Khan‘s Kobayashi Maru test, another element, like Carol, from II. In the mechanics of that story, the Kobayashi Maru was inseparable from Khan: it was there as foreshadowing for the no-win scenario represented by Khan and the death of Spock.

And yet Khan was nowhere to be found in Star Trek 2009. But by the logic I’m seeing on this board, the absence of Khan ST09 would have been an inexplicable and jarring failure in any story with the Kobayashi Maru test in Act I.

The only obvious thing at this point is that the writers have turned to Wrath of Khan whenever they want to tell the story of Young Kirk: first the test, now his girlfriend.

312. Optimistic Doodle - December 13, 2012

Luckily, there’ll be Klingons :-)

313. JJumetley - December 13, 2012

Ad 1) John Harrison is obviously super-powered – just like Khan
I don’t remember Khan “leaping tall buildings in a single bound” as we see in a teaser. He was strong and intelligent but he wasn’t Superman.

Ad 2) A Khan by any other name
Ad 3) The clothes make the Khan
These two are really weak arguments.

Ad 4) If Marcus, then Khan
Why? Why do you want to clone the original film? If you want to see Wrath of Khan, just run the DVD or Bluray.

Ad 5) Follow the money – to Khan
Star Trek fans will watch the film regardless of whether Khan is in it or not. Non Star Trek fans don’t have such an idee fixe about Khan as some Trekkies do.

Ad 6) The Khan ethnicity factor isn’t a factor
Of course it is a factor. First of all – If Abrams decided to ditch all what was before 2009 he could do whatever he would have wanted. He decided to establish another “mirror universe” – an alternate timeline. He included original Spock in the 2009 film. Nimoy plays the same Spock we know from the series and previous films. Saying you can’t find IDENTICAL actors to fill the roles is childish. Khan was Hindu. You could see it, you could tell it based on his name. There is no logical explanation for a caucasian bearing the name – Khan.

314. MJ - December 13, 2012

@294. They are making some adjustments to his back-story. And if think his back-story from TOS is so critical for credibility here, the please explain to me how their is no historical record of the Eugenics Wars and Khan actually happening???

See!

You’ll get over it.

315. THX-1138 - December 13, 2012

#308 Jay

Me. I care. It’s important to me. And I could give sweet f**k all if it’s not important to you. Obviously my opinion doesn’t go too far with you, so why should I give a rip? But I don’t seem to recall me being insulting to you or disrespectful in this thread. I wrote what I felt. What I expected to see from a production company that “alleges” to be honoring Star Trek.

And let me tell you another thing, if they want to make any old Star Trek they wish then in my opinion it isn’t the Star Trek I want to see. I won’t find it “amazing”. They won’t be “so far much better than any of the previous ones”. At least not to me.

Now go learn some manners and stop being a troll.

316. Ambrose - December 13, 2012

William B. Harrison was killed on planet 892-IV but Kirk never sought retribution and so his son John is now ready to trash everything for vengeance of his fathers death!

Or, it could be something else….

317. Jay - December 13, 2012

#311 Big difference…. Marcus isn’t the only aspect linking to Khan…. as I and others have said numerous times. Using a quoted line, or the Kobayashi Maru doesn’t mean Khan has to be in the movie.. Everyone expected that if they did a movie showing Kirk in Starfleet academy that it would include the Kobayashi Maru. That test itself isn’t linked to Khan. No one expected Khan to be in the movie because they showed Kirk taking that test as a cadet.

Once again, when you look at all the clues so far, you have to purposefully try in order to think it’s not Khan.

You have an augmented human being. The only connection is to Khan as he was the face of the augments and their existance is only known thought his story in Space Seed and TWOK.

You have Carol Marcus who only appears with Khan in the story of Star Trek.

You have the hands on a glass scene – the most iconic Star Trek movie scene in all of Star Trek movies. AND it is shown in the FIRST trailer no less.

You have the FACT that they were originally going to show the Bontany Bat at the end of the ST09 movie as a clear hint at the next film.

You have the report of the next trailer showing a cargo bay with tubes with windows in them – clearly sounds like hibernation tubes that you would imagine seeing in the Botany Bay. We will know more when that comes out.

And this is all from just the first 63 second trailer. Why would they put all of those clues clearly pointing at Khan in the FIRST trailer?

318. MJ - December 13, 2012

@307 “Actually, all our memors and production information shows something very different occurred. The role of Khan was changed from a European or Nordic Harold Ericsson because Ricardo Montalban was cast. The character’s background and name was changed because of the actor chosen, and some of the dialog very late, near filming of the episode. We will have more details on this when all the research is completed, but we have confirmed this both with interviews and original production documents.”

And there you have it. The actor chosen dictated the backstory. Just as in the new movie. Great fine, John — GREAT FIND!!!

319. Jay - December 13, 2012

#313 he was suppose to be “5 times” stronger than a human.

Also, people keep forgeting the term “artistic license”. This is a reimagined Star Trek from the perspective of 21st century movie makers trying to make something that 21st movie goers will like. You can’t make it just like the 1960’s tv show. Why can’t people undestand that?

Haven’t you ever sat around with your friends and said “What if they remade that today? What would it be like? Imagine with todays technology and special effects what you could do with that story?”

Almost always with that discussion comes ideas that go well beyond the original story or tv show that you are talking about.

320. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

What I never understood with this obsession with BC being that name is the idea that Paramount/Bad Robot would risk alienating between one quarter and one third of earth’s population by casting a non-Indian actor to play someone who is believed to be an Indian (most likely, Sikh). It is clear that the Star Trek movie makers want a bigger share of the international market.

It may not matter to you, MJ (and others), but it does matter to Indians and others, eg to Jai (as opposed to the JaY posting here now) who was keen to see an Indian actor cast if the character was to be that name and made a number of interesting suggestions. There are many young Indian actors now, who are first and second generation UK citizens.

Alienating an audience of significant numbers is NOT the way to get “bums on seats” and post a good profit…

#294 – I agree.

321. Jay - December 13, 2012

#314 Lol I’m begining to think that they are doing it on purpose.

322. Elliot - December 13, 2012

I’m starting to wonder if John Harrison might really be Joaquin, Khan’s second-in-command from the Eugenics Wars books, and who appears briefly in “Space Seed.” According to the books, he’s also the father of Joachim, the character in TWOK. Could be the Federation tracked the Botany Bay down and had Khan and his people imprisoned, but then Khan tried to break out and they were forced to kill him, and that’s why Joaquin is out for blood.

323. jagen - December 13, 2012

#284. I only meant that Carol Marcus did not have to mean Khan was the villain. I think it is Khan, personally. I totally agree with you that there is no way that Marcus could be the main part of the movie, but, it could be that they ALSO explore the relationship between the two. It adds to the flavor of the movie. or not. I certainly don’t know. Fun to try and play with the ideas. The movie is so far away that we all need something to do!

324. Jay - December 13, 2012

#315 Well, obviously if the Botany Bay is in this movie it won’t look like it did in the 1960’s tv show. You should not expect that. This is 2012 and this movie is being made from that perspective.

325. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@307 John Tenuto,

“all our memors and production information shows something very different occurred. The role of Khan was changed from a European or Nordic Harold Ericsson because Ricardo Montalban was cast. The character’s background and name was changed because of the actor chosen, and some of the dialog very late, near filming of the episode. We will have more details on this when all the research is completed, but we have confirmed this both with interviews and original production documents.”

THANK YOU so much for replying with that very interesting information. I actually was aware that they originally intended for the Khan character to be Nordic (which makes a lot of sense given the time and Hitler’s view of the “master race”). But I obviously incorrectly assume that the character evolved into Khan and then they cast appropriately.

Now you bring up a VERY INTERESTING point, that somebody brought Ricard Montalban in and he blew them away so they adjusted their story accordingly.

Now, that seems to be he point argued here about Cumberbatch. However, the very palpable difference here is that Khan is already well established canon, something Orci (who does not lie) claims to honor, preserve, and protect as a loyal fan. So if we are to believe what Orci says, and they have not gone back on their word, then Cumberbatch won’t be Khan in the same way Montalban was Khan. And that is far preferable to me, and I trust that these guys are clever enough to do exactly what Kurtzman suggested, that they want to be able to tell a particular story but with a twist that doesn’t just regurgitate what has been done before.

I also find it quite interesting that the writers of Space Seed chose to make Khan a Sikh Indian, rather than go with his Spanish European ancestry or even Latin heritage. Those details, will be of the most interest to me. I had previously not been aware of your project, so couldn’t be happier to learn of it.

326. Dennis C - December 13, 2012

My guess is a new villain. Why reboot Star Trek if you’re just going to re-imagine what has already been done instead of trying something new?

327. THX-1138 - December 13, 2012

#324 Jay

But why would it be changed? What was wrong with it? It’s supposed to be old and beat up looking; it’s been floating around in deep space for a couple of hundred years. Of course, all of this is speculative clap-trap as we don’t even know if this is a Khan movie or not.

All I am trying to say is that I, me, THX-1138, a fan of Star Trek since it’s original airing (a fact that doesn’t make me better than anyone else) will be disappointed about a Khan movie. They bring in Nimoy to establish ties to the Prime Universe then they decide to distance themselves (apparently) from the Prime Universe. It seems a bit schizophrenic. They respect the canon, but only some of it.

328. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 314 MJ,
“And if think his back-story from TOS is so critical for credibility here, the please explain to me how their is no historical record of the Eugenics Wars and Khan actually happening???”

For the exact same reason when I call directory assistance for Dallas Texas, there’s no listing for a J.R. Ewing or Ewing Oil.

IT’S NOT REAL!!

329. cw - December 13, 2012

All these pages and pages of discussion on based on the fact that boborci said in a post that BC’s character is TOS canon. What if he had not said that? Who would the villian be then? What if…….he lied or exaggerated to get a whole herd of us nerds to consume ourselves for 6 months? What if there are other characters out of canon that are going to be ‘easter eggs’ for all that know the universe, but that BC is playing a terrorist type who can jump serioulsy high that is NOT TOS canon? What if……we are just gullible fools drinking the koolaid while our masters at Bad Robot laugh and prepare to count the money we pay them for the pain they cause? Almost poetic don’t you think?

330. Jay - December 13, 2012

#326 I had the same reaction a year ago when they started saying this movie would be about Khan.

But, given that they have retold several TOS stories in the comics, and those are suppose to be hints to the upcoming film, and given all we now know from the trailer, I can’t deny this movie is about Khan. it seems clear.

Now, from that perspective I can appreciate the enormous challenge of re-telling that story in this new time line and in a new way to make it original and exciting without it being a remake of Space Seed or TWOK. I think they will do well.

I think if you are rebooting Star Trek, you almost have to – at some point – retell the story of the most famous bad guy in Star Trek history. The one bad guy that most anyone can identify.

331. Jay - December 13, 2012

#327 It can still be old and beat up looking but be completely different. It would change because this is 2012 and this is a different crew making this movie and they have far more resources at thier disposal to make a more realistic and beleiiveable movie with ships that are large in scale and more believeable as futuristic space ships.

332. Dom - December 13, 2012

Anyone consider that Harrison is Darth Vader and Khan is the Emperor?

333. Jay - December 13, 2012

I don’t have a problem with Khan not being Indian, if in fact BC is Khan. I still believe that this movie can be about Khan without BC being Khan. But even if he is, it’s ok.

Most people only know Khan from TWOK. They don’t know what his ethnicity or religion is suppose to be because that wasn’t really talked about in TWOK. Most people would accept BC as Khan.

Of course alot of Trekkies would get their panties in a gigantic wad.

334. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#325

Hi Curious Cadet,

Much agreement about how wonderful Ricardo Montalban was as Khan. We absolutely love him as a person, a role model, an activist, and of course an actor! We have much in common when appreciating how he made Khan so iconic.

Last year, we started a blog about his entire life if you are interested: http://www.montalbanfans.com and I discussed his career and contributions to Khan in a nice hour interview here: http://trek.fm/matter-stream/2012/3/5/matter-stream-9-the-life-of-ricardo-montalban-and-khan.html

It is so great how everyone here are helping to keep his legacy alive!

John

335. Rich Civil - December 13, 2012

I like not knowing, it makes a reveal like those mentioned in the recent Batman films all the more powerful.

336. wi-kiry-lan - December 13, 2012

Carol Marcus is in the story because of Kirk and this is a pseudo-TOS prequel. I am not impressed with the points this article made. Especially as the fanon linking of Gary Mitchell to Kirk meeting Carol is the best use of an otherwise insignificant line about Kirk’s past.

Maybe its just me but I find the term augments annoying – can’t we all just pretend Enterprise doesn’t exist. :-)

And seriously Why do poeple have a hard time with Khan being from the 1990’s – its not like in the Star Trek universe there was a tv show called star Trek in the 1960s.

337. THX-1138 - December 13, 2012

#331 Jay

Great. Enjoy your movie, then. I suppose I’m still coming to grips with the notion that Star Trek isn’t being made for me, or something that I will enjoy in it’s new incarnation.

Fortunately I will have The Hobbit, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, After Earth and many other new sci-fi productions to enjoy along with my beloved DVD and bluray collection of Trek.

But don’t think that will stop me from pi**ing and moaning about it, though.

338. Randall - December 13, 2012

@307 John, and others: MJ, etc.

I can’t believe the depths that are being plumbed here, in an attempt to whitewash this, IF Abrams HAS cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan.

In the first place—IT DOESN’T MATTER what script changes the character may have gone through in the course of developing the original episode (and yes, I was aware of him originally being Teutonic. Whether Montalban’s casting of the character was the deciding factor in the change, however, is NOT a point that I recall ever being established—I’m not saying it’s incorrect, but it’s interesting to me that I don’t recall ever hearing that before. Montalban probably would NOT have been a contract player with Desilu at that time—he may have been, but I doubt it—-and therefore his casting would not have been imposed. Of course that may not mean much—but it seems to me that there would have been some reason to bring him in the for role, if the show hadn’t been *directed* to use him—and MY recollection is that the character WAS changed to “Khan” PRIOR to the casting of Montalban, from what I’ve read). As I say—this doesn’t matter. *Khan as FILMED* is KHAN—Khan Noonien Singh, a SIKH from NORTHERN INDIA. PERIOD.

THAT became the character, whether he originally started out as Harold Ericcson, John Smith, or an Oompa Loompa. The desperate logic you and others are resorting to here would say that we can go back to ANY source material we want whenever we want, in this context–and that is simply NOT the case.

Khan is who he is. And if you, MJ, give so few shits for what’s already been established, THEN WHY in god’s name do you have such a hard-on for this character being ANYTHING? You clearly don’t care if Khan is the character originally established, or a freaking washing machine with human intellect, so long as it’s CALLED Khan. That makes ZERO sense to me.

More to the point though—this racist issues IS a real one whether you, John Tenuto, want it to be or not. The character, AS ESTABLISHED, is a northern Indian. PERIOD. For him to be played by a white guy is, and I can’t stress this enough–irresponsible and offensive.

339. jagen - December 13, 2012

#319 Exactly. Artistic licence is what we have to remember. While the old story is warm and comfortable and brilliant, we need to remember that they cannot just regurgatate what has been done. It would be fun to have them explore the story deeper and in a way that makes us think anew.

340. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@311Dunsel Report,
“The last movie brought back The Wrath of Khan‘s Kobayashi Maru test, another element, like Carol, from II. In the mechanics of that story, the Kobayashi Maru was inseparable from Khan: it was there as foreshadowing for the no-win scenario represented by Khan and the death of Spock. And yet Khan was nowhere to be found in Star Trek 2009. But by the logic I’m seeing on this board, the absence of Khan ST09 would have been an inexplicable and jarring failure in any story with the Kobayashi Maru test in Act I.”

Exactly. There’s absolutely no possibility whatsoever that Carol Marcus can exist in a film without Khan. To quote from TWOK: “Who is this Khan!?” — Carol Marcus

341. gov - December 13, 2012

@238 brevard

You’re exactly right. Great example. What if in ST09 Cumberbatch had been cast as Sulu? Lol. Fandom would not have accepted that.

And the creators would not have been foolish enough to do it.

342. Jay - December 13, 2012

#307 I find it sad that some can’t accept that every encarnation of Star Trek is not going to be the same. The whole point is to make it different, to try to improve and push beyond what was done before.

I enjoy all of the Star Trek shows and movies to verying degrees. I think alot of the movies were very poorly done because of lack of budget or good stories or whatever the reason.

I would hate for them to make a Star Trek movie that looked just like the 1960’s show. The whole point of remaking it is to see how you can reimagine that idea – that whole story arc – from a 21st century perspective. A kind of “What if Gene created Star Trek today instead of in the 1960’s?” How different would it be?

I have no problem with someone like JJ putting their spin on it and giving us new and exciting chapters to enjoy. I am thrilled that someone is putting serious money and technology and really good story writing behind Star Trek for the first time since the 1980’s.

343. Jay - December 13, 2012

Sorry #342 was in response to #337 not #307

344. Gary - December 13, 2012

The Abramverse is loaded with inconsistancies. When the Narada changed the timeline it not only changed time from that point forward but backward as well. It caused ripples in the time stream giving Abrams free reign to do anything he wants. For a concise list of Abramverse inconsistancies go here…

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/inconsistencies/inconsistencies-trekxi.htm

345. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

Carol Marcus is part of Kirk’s backstory; the Kobayashi Maru simulation tests are part of Starfleet Academy training, and yes, neither have anything to do with that name. They just happened to occur in the same movie as that character did. There was more to that 1982 movie than that moron’s wrath.

I thing that is what the present film makers are alluding to with bringing in Carol Marcus – because she was important to KIRK! Same with Kobayashi Maru scene in ST09 – because it was something KIRK beat – the only person to do so in both universes (as far as we know). It is much more about KIRK’s life and experiences…

346. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

Interesting article. While I don’t know whether the reappearance of Khan at this late date would really be such a selling point for this film (1967 and 1982 being eons ago in moviegoer years), the ongoing question over whether Benedict Cumberbatch is actually playing him certainly is proving to be a marketing coup in and of itself. Aside from the expected buzz on nerdsites like this one, MTV viewers who wouldn’t otherwise know Ricardo Montalban from Fred Astaire have now been introduced to the mystery of INTO DARKNESS’ prime antagonist, while bloggers like that poor schmuck from io9 work overtime to feed a viral campaign every bit as precalculated as Paul McCartney’s fake death even as they decry it. Just yesterday the subject “Star Trek Villain” was number 3 on Yahoo’s Top Searched list. Assuming this film is just half as brilliant as its marketing so far I’ll be a very happy camper indeed; if CLOUD ATLAS had laid the groundwork so well it might actually have made a little money.

347. Mad Man - December 13, 2012

340. Curious Cadet – December 13, 2012

I really don’t get why the writers continually mine items from Wrath of Khan. Like you said, the Kobayashi Maru, “I have been and always shall be your friend,” and now the hand to glass to vulcan-salute-hand, Carol Marcus, and maybe Khan himself.

I know it’s a great movie and all, but they have lots of other Trek sources to pull from. It’s like the only Star Trek JJ ever watched was Wrath Of Khan, and that’s all he knows.

348. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#338

Hello Randall,

I would appreciate it if there could be a refrain from suggesting that in anyway my article diminishes genuine racism. I do not believe my article’s discussion that people be judged on their merits and talents, rather than ethnicity and skin color, constitutes what is being suggested in your reply. Thank you.

John

349. Jay - December 13, 2012

#344 Star Trek has always had inconsistancies and flat out contradictions.

It comes with the territory. If you are writing something as complex as Star Trek and trying to make it a “history of our future” you will have times when you will have inconsistancies. and sometimes contradictions. It’s impossible not to unless you are a god of some sort.

especially when you mix in the whole concept of time travel and parallel universes.

Just enjoy it for what it is- entertainment.

Don’t forget that in the 1960’s, Star Trek was the first serious drama show set in space. The first show to attempt to make space travel a real and serious topic. It also had far, far fewer things to compete with. There were only a few channels on TV back then. It’s not like today where there are 100’s of channels and you can see real live space adventures taking place on Discovery or the Science channel. Where today the average person knows far more about space and the universe around us than people knew in the 1960s.

To compete in this environement for entertainment dollars you ahve to do far more than they did in the 1960’s to excite and interest people.

350. razzo - December 13, 2012

@320: I’m starting to think you do this on purpose.

Every single time someone blows one of your arguments, you cling to another even more absurd and keep insisting on it.

SJ W comments are extremely annoying, it would be much appreciated if they could be kept to the minimum and only appeared when absolutely necessary. Which is not the case.

Let’s see if you can follow this:

First, Khan is not Voldemort, not saying his name won’t make him stay away.
Then, can’t you see that complaining about the ethnicity of a FICTIONAL character is extremely racist in itself? You think this guy would be more or less for being of any origin? He would NOT.

The least racist thing is to treat him as a CHARACTER whose ethnicity does not change his essence and purposes at all, and does not influence on his behavior or how he is treated.

None of that is “alienating” the audience. it is RESPECTING humans for what they are.

Now, if you would kindly read #307, you’ll find out another reason (proof) why there is no problem at all on changing Khan’s ethnicity.

351. Randall - December 13, 2012

FROM The Unseen Elements of the Original Series web site: http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/unseen.htm

“Khan’s fist description is: “…an extremely handsome, well-built man. His face reflects the sun-darkened Ayrian blood of the Northern India Sikh people, suggesting just a trace of the Oriental blood often found too. The features are intelligent, extremely strong, almost arrogantly so.””

There is no mention of the Ericcson character here, but there is also no mention of the character being changed *because* Montalban was cast in the role. My understanding has always been that it was changed prior to his casting as a way to diversify the characterization, and give him a more “exotic” background.

352. dean-o - December 13, 2012

If it’s Khan I’ll never buy the concept. It may be a good movie when it comes out… but BC just isn’t Khan. Never will be. I’ll call him John.

353. Jay - December 13, 2012

#345 Why is it so hard for you to accept? The point isn’t that the character Marcus has anything to do with Khan. No one is saying that.

What they are saying is that character only appeared in previous Star Trek stories that were centered around Khan. And now bringing her back, along with ALL THE OTHER connections to that movie and Space Seed, points to the movie being about Khan.

As a crew creating a movie, there is no reason to bring back the character Marcus unless the movie is related to Khan. There just isn’t. Her being a love interest doesn’t matter unless this movie was about Kirk’s son David. Then it would make sense, but we already know that David is not in it, and that there isn’t even a love scene between Kirk and Marcus. So obviously the character of Marcus wasn’t brought back for the purpose of being Kirk’s love interest. That only leaves the Khan connection.

354. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

#351

Then I think you will enjoy very much our discussions/lectures this summer where we share some of the amazing facts we have discovered and confirmed with TOS production staff and memos/scripts/callsheets etc discovered during our research.

The background of the character was changed because Ricardo Montalban was cast in the part of Harold Ericsson. One of our favorite memos is the discussion of how to create that background. We hope you will enjoy the information and the lectures if you could make it this summer when it will be available for all fans to enjoy!

355. filmboy - December 13, 2012

I love how all you guys are poking holes in Tenuto’s theory. Yet, none of you are offering up comprehensive theories of your own. I personally think the villain in this is Khan, have thought so since they were persuading Benecio Del Toro to play the villain. Still thought so even when Cumberbatch was cast.

My reasons for thinking this are similar to Mr. Tenuto’s. Except I don’t believe Carol Marcus translates to Khan being the villain. However, the commercial appeal of Khan is one of the main arguments I would make for him being the villain here. Add to that JJ and company’s admiration of Chris Nolan’s approach to the Batman series and you could see how Khan would be an appealing choice.

Personally, there is nothing wrong with Khan if that is who the villain ends up being. But I have one major condition on that: Do something interesting with the character. There is room to redefine Khan for this universe and add new wrinkles to who he is as a person and as a adversary to Kirk. I like the idea of Khan altering his appearance and then infiltrating Starfleet and quietly waiting to take action, all while assuming a different identity. It makes his character much more calcuating than he was in either Space Seed or TWOK. I mean sure he plotted in both. But it never felt like he really had clear long term objectives or a long term plan. In Space Seed, the Enterprise found him and then he decided to take the ship. In TWOK, the Reliant found him and he decided to take it, then use it to secure revenge on Kirk. In either case, he never actively had a plan the entire time, one which required patience and a long term timetable.

I just like the idea of a long con, no pun intended, involving Khan.

Now the other theory I am seriously considering is that Cumberbatch is an augment from the Botany Bay, but not Khan himself. Perhaps in this universe, Spock Prime tells Starfleet where to find the Botany Bay. Khan is killed, either during the discovery period or after while in captivity/reeducation, as Starfleet decides to repurpose the augments.

Cumby’s character becomes the leader and takes Khan’s name to honor him. He plots his revenge on the Federation and seeks to start a war between Starfleet and the Klingons. Kirk is tasked with stopping him.

Either way, I would bet on Khan or an augment being who Cumberbatch is playing.

356. Jay - December 13, 2012

#347 The Kobyashi Maru wasn’t brought back because of TWOK. That test had taken on a life of it’s own in Star Trek lore. When Trek fans thought about Kirk in the Academy, they imediately thought of him taking that test. So obviously if you were going to reboot Star Trek and show Kirk in the Academy, you were expected to show him taking the Kobyashi Maru.

357. OldDarth - December 13, 2012

Thanks for theory John. Interesting post and love that picture you shared with us!

Despite your reasoning I’ll still have to disagree with your conclusion.

Foremost, the question remains – why wipe the continuity slate clean only to go back into canon? And why go back into canon and touch something that has been universally praised and acknowledged as the high point of the franchise ie The Wrath of Khan?

If one is to go back into canon why not take an element from a weaker point in the series – but that showed unrealized potential?

I’ll stick with Lord Garth of Izar.

LLAP!

358. Colin - December 13, 2012

Race DOES play into Star Trek, ESPECIALLY as far as casting goes. Roddenberry first casted with race in mind then talent…That was half the point of the show..

BC probably is playing a Khan related story, but if he IS Khan himself it might take me out of the movie and back to reality…I mean…it’s like casting BC to play Michael Jordan in the next space jam movie, its total unbelievable…

You didn’t see them casting BC to play Django in Django Unchained…because race is apart of the character..

I do have faith in J.J. to make an awesome Khan centric movie without making BC the exact man himself. He is smarter than better than that. There is no way you’re going to top the Wrath of Khan and even though the general public knows the name I don’t think he would be foolish enough to fight an unwinnable battle. The only way it can possiblty be better is if its fundamentally different.

359. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

I’ve really been enjoying all of the comments here, even the ones calling me a moron. It has been great learning all the different intrepretations of both the “Khan theory” and other characters that fellow fans think Cumberbatch may be playing. Thanks for the conversations today!

360. Randall - December 13, 2012

@350 Razzo:

“can’t you see that complaining about the ethnicity of a FICTIONAL character is extremely racist in itself?”

Makes zero sense. Zero. By this logic, any fictional character can be altered, messed with, substantively changed whenever anyone felt like it. And my response to that is, A) that attitude negates the original character, then, so why not just go and create your own? and B) it’s offensive, or ought to be offensive, to our sensibilities. A writer or writers creates a character. Now, granted—interpretations can be brought upon that later on—INTERPRETATIONS. An actor can interpret Richard III as an over-the-top villain, as Olivier did, or as a semi-tragic ruthless dictator, as has been done by others… and so on. But the roots of those interpretations ARE inherent in the character. You COULD reinterpret him as a good guy who was misunderstood and lied about–but then that would NOT be Shakespeare’s play.

Simiilarly—Khan is a character created and established as this guy with a PARTICULAR ethnicity. To violate that is not only pointless, but yes, it’s offensive.

YOU are saying it’s somehow racist and offensive to point that out? No… as I said—that comment makes zero sense.

“The least racist thing is to treat him as a CHARACTER whose ethnicity does not change his essence and purposes at all, and does not influence on his behavior or how he is treated.”

BUT THAT IS NOT THE CHARACTER THAT WAS CREATED. PERIOD. This argument that it’s okay to “reboot” Khan makes NO sense, because then why bother with it BEING Khan? IN FACT it gives and gave this guy a nice worldly essence, that he wasn’t just some standard villain–he came from a particular ethnic tradition, he *belonged* to a background that he was given.

And that’s the very point here—-WHY take a character who already has diversity built in, and whitewash him? Why make a northern Indian into a white guy?

It isn’t “racist” to want an established character to BE what he IS. There is no such thing as “reverse racism,” no matter how often you’ve heard the term. The fact is that to take a diversity-driven character, such as Khan, and give him to a white guy to play—the ONLY reason you would do that is because you either believe that no ethnic actor could play him—which is offensive—or you just don’t care… which is also offensive.

361. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

288. Jay – December 13, 2012

#277 So what?? What does it matter that Spock quoted a previous line? That is not at all the same thing.

You can’t possibly compare saying that one line to using Marcus, and recreating that iconic scene. Again, you can’t possibly be serious. No one would try to argue that with a straight face.

***********************

Wow….okay, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this. Touching glass and reciting the line were both part of that scene. And when it comes down to it, it’s just two people touching glass in this new scene. It’s not “recreating” that iconic scene, it’s mimicking or paying homage to that scene. No one knows if either of the two people are dying, no one knows if anyone just saved a ship, and if the person wearing blue is Spock, then he certainly doesn’t look like he’s dying.

Rumor has it that the other person is BC. So why would Spock touch hands with Khan. It seems like it’s a homage/misleading teaser rather than confirmation. But like I said, we’re going to have to agree to disagree, because I can’t understand how you don’t get my logic.

362. Randall - December 13, 2012

@354 John Tenuto:

AND I REPEAT, John—-your point is MEANINGLESS. I don’t CARE if Khan was originally written as an Irish Setter or a lump of anthracite coal. The character AS ESTABLISHED when FILMED is a northern Indian SIKH. NOT a pale, British WHITE GUY.

IF you’re going to change the character SO fundamentally, then why BOTHER using the character in the FIRST place?

I repeat again—you and others here are just skating around this issue, because you don’t want to admit what is plain as day: IF the character Cumberbatch is playing IS Khan—then the character has been needlessly and pointlessly whitewashed, and that goes the same if his ethnic background has been jettisoned, for NO good reason—in either case it is offensive. And stupid. And the film should rightly be attacked for it, if so.

363. DesiluTrek - December 13, 2012

“John Harrison” has the same number of letters in it as “Gary Mitchell.”
That’s actually more logical than saying John sounds like Khan, if MItchell adopted another identity for some reason like slipping past security.

“Khan” in this movie could be based more on the first draft of the character. But like many creative things made better, happenstance made Khan a stronger character. Why would they throw that defining quality away just to make him another boring white guy dictator?

There’s still more to me that says it’s Gary Mitchell, godlike healing abilities, Starfleet insider and “little blonde lab technician” included.

364. razzo - December 13, 2012

@360: I will clear up something AGAIN:

Changing a FICTIONAL CHARACTER to other ethnic origin DOES NOT alter the character’s ESSENCE.

If you want to believe so, than you don’t understand how adaptations work.

We seem to have a fan with their canon bubble hurting case.

Your problem is that they’re messing with the saccrosanct image of the Khan you hold dear at heart.

Then I’m sorry, man.
This movie doesn’t offer a literal adaptation of every single detail as it was made before.

Get used to it.

365. Superman - December 13, 2012

I honestly can’t believe how far some of you are willing to reach for this to be Khan.

The collar thing? REALLY? They’re about as similar in appearance as a ribbed condom is to a rack of ribs.

It’s getting ridiculous. All the evidence of how Abrams is approaching this new universe has been there from the beginning: Nero’s incursion created this new timeline.

Think of that moment as a large stone falling into a pond. The ripples are continuing to spread throughout this new timeline, changing how and why things happen, or perhaps preventing certain things from happening at all.

All of the TWOK “hints” are in fact misdirection. Here’s the truth, and yes, it’s a huge SPOILER.

John Harrison is one of the Botany Bay’s crew, a genetic superman like Khan and also, one of his followers.

Khan barely survived his malfunctioning cryo chamber in the prime universe. In this new universe, HE DIES IN THE CHAMBER.

Harrison is revived, and turns out to be an even worse threat that Khan ever was.

Accept it, as it’s quite brilliant. John Harrison is John Harrison, and you should fear him. A lot.

366. Jamziz - December 13, 2012

Here here. That was articulated brilliantly and to the point. I agree entirely on all counts. I’ve been saying since day one that the marketing potential of khan would be the single most important driver behind the choice and need to use him.

367. THX-1138 - December 13, 2012

#342 Jay

Sorry to make you sad old boy. But in truth I have been accepting of different incarnations of Star Trek. TAS was different from TOS. The movies were different from TOS and TAS. Next Gen was another radical departure. DS9 went in a different direction from that. Voyager was just out there, but like a strange relative I found a way to accept it. And Enterprise went it’s own course and I enjoyed it.

Obviously the things that matter to some don’t matter to others. The difference being that some people move on and some people get sad. I am not sad. I have hundreds of hours of Prime Universe Trek to enjoy. I seriously doubt NuTrek will get near that much time.

368. Basement Blogger - December 13, 2012

I also speculated that John Harrison is Khan. Link. My belief is that Peter Weller’s CEO had a mission. Find Khan’s ship. Defrost him. He takes the place of Starfleet’s John Harrison. See TNG Face of the Enemy. The purpose would be for Harrison-Khan to destroy Starfleet and make it easier to take over the planet. Of course it might be easier to explain motivation if Weller is the grandson of alien hating John Paxton. (Enterprise) Link. What a weapon Khan would be in evicting all aliens from earth,

By the way my example of characters not being who they seem were played by one actress. Naomie Harris. She played vodoo witch in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. (2007) We find out that she is really sea goddess Calypso. And check her out in Skyfall. I won’t spoil it for you. But she denied the reveal of her character to the press before the movie came out. See Simon Pegg’s denial of Khan.

Speculation is fun. It’s like writing your own movie.

1. I also speculate that John Harrison is Khan.
http://berniebasementblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/star-trek-into-darkness-john-harrison.html

2. Long ago, I speculate that Weller’s character was Paxton. He would use Khan to evict aliens from earth. Yeah, it’s not likely Paxton but what about his grandson?
http://berniebasementblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/is-this-plot-to-new-star-trek-movie.html

369. Jay - December 13, 2012

I don’t think BC being Khan is a problem, if he is Khan. Most people going to this movie will know Khan only from TWOK, or just by name as the most famous bad guy in Star Trek.

NO ONE outside of Trekkies will know that Khan is suppose to be Indian – or was originally in Space Seed.

It wasn’t mentioned at all in TWOK. Most people, if you asked, would probably say that Khan was hispanic based solely on TWOK and who played him.

I don’t think most of the people going to this movie would bat an eye at BC playing Khan.

It’s like all the people getting mad about the movie The Hunger Games becasue that one little girl was black instead of white as she was described in the book. Only those obseessed with the book even knew that or cared. Most people that saw the movie just liked the movie and didn’t bat an eye at that.

370. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

“Exactly. There’s absolutely no possibility whatsoever that Carol Marcus can exist in a film without Khan. To quote from TWOK: “Who is this Khan!?” — Carol Marcus”

Absolute bollocks. Exactly, as Carol said, ‘Who is this Khan?!” In the 1982 movie that name became a notorious somebody. In STID, he might never even exist because his ship was swallowed up by that doomsday machine (if only). Carol Marcus can still be alive though, just as the Kobayashi Maru test was still being given to Academy cadets in ST09.

What these movies, including the Abrams iterations, are dealing with are ideas – possible scientific achievements, what the universe may contain, whether a Kerr’s black hole really does exist and could a vessel survive to reach the other side/other universe, (in ST 09, the Narada and the Jellyfish do survive), notions of win-win, win-no win, no-win scenarios and what they mean, particularly the no-win scenario idea. Pike explained to Kirk how the no-win scenario could be seen from a different perspective. (I can’t believe how many people missed that scene…)

It is becoming apparent that STID will be proposing ideas, as in the best way to deal with conflict; the value of friendships; notions of loyalty and trust and having them tested; the meaning of family; the difference between hubris, recklessness and courage and how sometimes the differences may not be so obvious etc.

If this John Harrison is as powerful and bright as it seems he is, then what positive relationship will Harrison set about undermining from the outset? The answer is obvious to me… Then there was a comment about Dr McCoy facing a moral dilemma, likely as a doctor – what is it and what is his solution and why? I would hazard a guess that it is one he would desperately hope that he would never have to face.

All in all, this movie appears to be shaping up to be an action-packed but also interesting, thought-provoking and something of an emotional roller coaster for characters and audiences alike.

Anyway, in the recesses of my memory, I recall Bob Orci assuring me of this. Reassure me, Bob!…:)

371. PoBiddy - December 13, 2012

I’m in the “not Kahn” camp. More hopeful than certain. IMHO trying to outdo or redo TWOK would be a huge mistake. I reckon JJ and compnay may have been headed in that direction initially, but (hopefully) cooler heads prevailed.

It makes more sense to me that John Harrison IS some sort of alias, but not for Kahn. Or, the twist turns out to be that John Harrison is related or connected in some way to a major character.

Sorry: but Kahn makes no sense to me. And I don’t want to see another Kahn movie. JJ is just using all this TWOK remake hype to drum up interest.

372. Sebastian S. - December 13, 2012

# 208 Randall.

Well said.

While I wouldn’t have a problem with the John Harrison character (a possible augment) perhaps having some of Khan’s ‘superman’ DNA sequenced into his own? That wouldn’t necessarily make the character Khan himself. Any more so than a recipient of a new liver or kidney would have to change the name on his/her driver’s license….

I’m fairly sure (though not 100% of course) that this character is NOT Khan. It would fly in the face of not only modern casting practices, but even logic. Khan can’t suddenly turn into a blue-eyed very Anglo-looking man with a British accent. It’s, to quote Mr. Spock, highly illogical.

And with all due respect to Mr. Tenuto, this article was nothing we haven’t already heard from MJ and his merry band of Khanophiles for over a year now….

373. razzo - December 13, 2012

365: Your theory is good, and absolutely possible, any of those superhumans would become basically the same villain as Khan, so it’s quite possible.

But that doesn’t explain things that have nothing to do with the plot, and more the crew and cast behavior when it comes to talking about Khan.
They’ve come to the point where some of the simply will not say the name.

If he’s not the villain, and John Harrison is just John Harrison, then what’s up with the lack of a direct denial of Khan?

You see? They announced their villain!
Therefore, any other name is out of the game, right?

So why do they keep insisting AFTER saying his name is Harrison, on avoiding Khan, not saying his name, changing subject and talking about mystery and speculation?

Because there is more to it.

I have honestly nothing against your theory personally, but it would create a character almost identical to Khan, and not be him. It doesn’t make sense, in terms of movie writing.

374. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Here’s the thing — though I don’t think it is Khan, I still don’t think doing Khan is necessarily a bad thing, either, if Khan is done right. No, I wouldn’t do Khan, but I can see many ways to do him right. Many, many ways.

The argument of not doing Khan can be the same argument for not doing new Star Trek in general. It’s the same argument.

Now, if Khan is different as a result of the new universe, it would not be a rehash. If he was awakened by someone else, and took charge of the situation, his goal would be quite different, and his means to the end would be quite different. The essential character in a new situation with a new twist and turn. That makes for a new story. And so why assume it wouldn’t be?

375. Jay - December 13, 2012

#365 They are not going to spend real money and time putting things in this movie just as misdirection for Trekkies – because no one else would get the misdirection.

Believing that is the stretch. Trying to convince yourself that all of the obvious clues pointing to Khan are misdirection – that’s a stretch.

It makes far more sense, and is far easier to see that this movie is about Khan that it does to try and make all the TWOK links meaningless.

376. Fascinoma - December 13, 2012

369 – here’s the problem.

Khan’s last name is “Singh” which is a recognizably Sikh name.

And the assumption that nobody knows he’s supposed to be Indian, would and should be insulting to an entire population of people, and most people who actually think.

If we are to extrapolate from the casting decisions made for the previous movie, then it really doesn’t fit that Abrams would choose to “racebend” Khan because he has racebent no other character. He even tried to cast more correctly than the original series did! He went as far as to cast Pegg as Scotty and Yelchin (a Russian) as Chekov (**casting a Korean-American to play Sulu is not the same issue, because Sulu is implied in several places to be descended of multiple Asian cultures).

So it just does not fit that Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzmann would choose a white guy for Khan. And further – I bet if he were going to be in the film, they would’ve gone as far as to choose an actor from India. India has a vibrant film industry and there would be plenty of actors to choose from.

So, that I contest that John Harrison is really Khan, is not based upon in-universe evidence (though IMO the evidence in the trailer is actually pretty poor) but on the basis that it just doesn’t seem consistent with the directors’ other casting decisions, or anything they’ve said about honoring the Star Trek canon.

377. sean - December 13, 2012

#369

Actually Jay, that little girl was always black, it’s right in the book. So ‘those people’ complaining that she wasn’t white are just straight-up racist jerks.

378. Dr. Cheis - December 13, 2012

If he’s Khan in disguise, it would explain the British accent: he wants to conceal any hints about his real identiy.

379. Jay - December 13, 2012

#365 Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if your theory that BC’s John Harrison is a member of Khan’s crew and that Khan died.

I have said that BC may not be Khan himself. But there is no doubt this movie is about Khan. Even in your theory, the movie is about Khan.

380. jagen - December 13, 2012

IF this movie is about khan, and IF the actor of BC is playing khan, then I am EXTREMELY unhappy to see people make this a race issue. If JJ was trying to make it a ‘whitewash’ deal, then why in the name of anything would he even bother to try and get someone like Benicio tel toro? To look good? why waste his time and just change it? Lost was JJ’s and it had every ethnicity around. This is not about race. It’s about a story, good acting and a movie.

381. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

300. Jay – December 13, 2012

If this movie had nothing to do with Khan, there would be no reason to include that character. They could have just had some Jane Smith as that character. The ONLY reason to name her Carol Marcus is to link to the Khan story.

******************************************

Now see, THIS is the point we keep disagreeing on. I understand that Carol Marcus could indicate that Khan is going to be in the movie too. I understand that may be an artistic foreshadowing. What I don’t understand is why you don’t think she can be in a movie WITHOUT Khan. Kirk has been with many blondes, but THIS blonde, Carol Marcus, is the one he had a child with in the regular time line, and they would have probably met and concieved the child around this time.

Foreshadowing can explain why you add a character, but it does NOT mandate that secondary characters can ONLY be recreated in a movie if the primary character from that movie is in the movie. That makes no sense. It’s like saying if you see a dancing cat girl, Sybok has to be in the movie. Or better yet, if you see Reginald Barclay in a TNG movie, you have to see a holodeck, because he’s thematically connected with holodecks.

382. Randall - December 13, 2012

@364. razzo

I don’t need you “clearing things up for me,” nor do I need some stranger on the internet trying to tell me I “don’t understand how adaptations work.” Tell you what, Razzo—-why don’t you explain to me how “adaptations work?” And while you’re at it, why don’t you explain to me how in any adaptation, a guy named “Khan” would be played by a white actor? Because the point you’re willfully missing is that this character HAS AN ESTABLISHED BACKGROUND. Again, throwing out a character’s established parameters is NOT an adaptation, nor is it an “interpretation.” It’s a total reworking. Reread my point about Richard III. Make him into a comic nice guy, and he’s no longer the CHARACTER established by Shakespeare (or for that matter, from history). Now… one might want do make just such a reworking—it could be fun. But WHY completely rework Khan? Which is to say—why BOTHER? Why not just throw Khan away and make Cumberbatch some OTHER member of the genetic “supermen?” Yet people seem to want it both ways—they want Cumberbatch to be who HE is, and they also want him to be Khan. And no, sorry—it doesn’t work that way.

“Changing a FICTIONAL CHARACTER to other ethnic origin DOES NOT alter the character’s ESSENCE.”

OMIGOD it’s like talking to a goddamned 12 year old.
YES it DOES alter the character’s essence if the character’s ethnicity has been ESTABLISHED. YOUR argument would be, then, (as an example) that you could make Jim from Huckleberry Finn into a Jewish guy from New Jersey, instead of an escaping slave. No. That’s not Jim. That’s a DIFFERENT character.

Khan can be INTERPRETED. He could be played as less menacing than Montalban played him. Or more. Or more erudite. Or less. And so on. But to change the character’s FUNDAMENTAL background is POINTLESS. Why do it? What does it offer? The ONLY thing it can serve to do is WHITEWASH the character’s background.

“We seem to have a fan with their canon bubble hurting case.”

Wrong. This isn’t about “canon” for me or for others who’ve been saying the same thing. I’m past the point of giving a shit about canon. This is a basic point of decency and respect for diversity. This is a character ESTABLISHED as a member of a particular ethnic group. To change that, making him a WHITE guy, doesn’t only violate canon—it also would be a stupid act of insensitivity, and ethno-centrism.

“Your problem is that they’re messing with the saccrosanct image of the Khan you hold dear at heart.”

No. My problem is with a Hollywood establishment that has been too racist for too long, and has played this game for too long. YOU are clearly ignorant of the point at hand, and willfully, so, it seems to me. In a world of diverse actors able to play a character which was written and established as a northern Indian, to turn around and make him a white British guy is wrong, offensive, stupid, and frankly shocking in this day and age.

It has nothing to do with “literal” details. It has to do with respect for the diversity of the character, and the idea of not just plugging white people in to play roles that should go to actors of color and/or different ethnicities because THAT’S how the character was established.

383. Sebastian S. - December 13, 2012

And addressing post # 307 John Tenuto~

Yes, the character was originally conceived as a Viking sort named Norwald or some such thing (I read that in Allan Asherman’s Star Trek Compendium about 30 or more years ago), but that doesn’t mean he can spontaneously change ethnicity once again.

Khan’s ‘timeline’ happened before the Nero incursion of 2233. The character couldn’t change post-de-facto. Khan’s general appearance wouldn’t ‘change’ in this new timeline.

Again, I’m perfectly willing to entertain the possibility that the John Harrison character has some direct or indirect tie to Khan Noonian Singh somehow, but having Cumberbatch play Khan just has bad idea written all over it. An Indian friend of mine and I recently had a good laugh over it at lunch the other day…

I see no real good that could come from such a casting decision. Cumberbatch is a marvelous actor and I’m a HUGE fan of his BBC Sherlock series. When I first heard he was in new ST, I was over the moon happy about it. But pigeonholing him into someone else’s leftover villain role would be a tremendous disservice to both the character AND the actor….

384. Aurore - December 13, 2012

@ John Tenuto

I did not like your article.

Most notably, the following part :

“And ultimately, Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers, embracing diversity, and we know that no actor should be limited in the roles they play by their ethnicity, only by their talent. I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.”

….To which I could not reply.

After my post was removed, instead of commenting on this thread the way I did, I should have followed the discussion quietly.

My apologies for failing to do so.

___________

@ The fellow fan who wrote these lines:

“I for one appreciate the humility with which you put forth your speculation. Very thoughtful and well laid out. An in a humble and respectful manner ….”

Please accept my sincere apologies for using your post in order to mock the content of this article.

My behaviour was unacceptable.

I am sorry.

385. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Randall:

So you shouldn’t watch Blackadder OR listen to the Doctor Who audio, The Kingmaker, because Richard III is different from your perception of him in them. Some people say the whole “historical Richard” was propaganda created by Thomas More. The historical Richard is far more complex. And if you take him out of the time you think he is, he might end up writing Shakespeare’s plays.

And, if you watch Fringe, you will see the “same person” having radically different backgrounds, ending up quite different in character. This is what alternative universes do — the essential person will be the same, but the trick is to figure out how environment changes them!

386. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

Mr. Tenuto,

“Actually, all our memors and production information shows something very different occurred. The role of Khan was changed from a European or Nordic Harold Ericsson because Ricardo Montalban was cast. The character’s background and name was changed because of the actor chosen, and some of the dialog very late, near filming of the episode. We will have more details on this when all the research is completed, but we have confirmed this both with interviews and original production documents.”

That’s all historically very interesting (to us diehards, anyway). Nevertheless, I really still don’t buy (or at least understand) your logic here. Whatever the facts behind the origins of the character, Khan is established in “Space Seed” as an inhabitant of Northern India who wound up ruling that entire area of the world during the Eugenics period. No “timeline incursion” from the previous film could justify a dramatic change in the character’s ethnicity. And while I would love to live a world where questions of ethnicity or “race” were completely irrelevant in terms of what a person can do or what parts they can play, again, that admirable sentiment really isn’t relevant in this case. The character, as established, is who is he is. If you want to change his background for the purposes of a reboot and say that he ruled over most of Europe instead, then fine. But if you want to preserve the link with the “Prime” TOS universe as it evolved over those three seasons and six movies, it doesn’t make any more sense for Cumberbatch to be playing this part than it does to cast Ricardo Montalban as Abraham Lincoln.

There is one caveat to this, of course: that Cumberbatch is indeed playing Khan, but that the writers will account for the differences with the character we know as part of the film’s plot, rather than just blowing them off by disregarding his established history as you imply. My guess (and it’s only a guess at this point) would be that that is precisely what has happened, and that the challenge involved in believably squaring that particular circle may even account for why the film’s production wound up being delayed as long as it was.

387. MJ - December 13, 2012

Randall, dude, you can type 100’s of pages of posts here, recycling the same old stale reasons, treating Khan like he actually exists right now drifting past Pluto in hibernation, but it’s not going to change anything. It”s Khan dude or at least a Khan-centric story.

Does anyone really think that Anthony, who broke the Khan story last Spring, would have green-lighted John’s article to be published here if he still wasn’t confident in his original break new story???

Come on, stop and smell the coffee, dude!

388. jagen - December 13, 2012

#384. Huge respect for someone who owns a mistake in judgement, as I have or do almost every day. Kudos. Even if we disagree, much respect. These posts can get heated!

389. Randall - December 13, 2012

@385 Garth

You entirely missed the point of what I was saying. Entirely. Yes, you can interpret Richard III… great. I’ll check it out. But that’s NOT Shakespeare’s Richard III, is what I’m saying. Get it?

390. R. Banks - December 13, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the film 13 Days where Bruce Greenwood portrays President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. I initially had doubts about Greenwood being cast in this role because in my opinion he bears little to no physical resemblance to JFK.

However, upon seeing the film, Greenwood had me convinced that I was indeed watching JFK. His voice, mannerisms, indeed Greenwood’s excellent acting in general, is the reason for this.

If Greenwood could convincingly portray JFK, I see no reason why another outstanding actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, could not convince me he is portraying Khan.

Whatever and whoever the character John Harrison turns out to be, one thing is for sure-Cumberbatch will deliver a stellar performance as the villain.

Thanks for the insightful article Mr. Tenuto.

May 17 cannot come soon enough!

391. Jay - December 13, 2012

#375 Who knows his last name?

Ask 100 people on the street who Khan is and alot will know he is a bad guy in Star Trek, but i doubt more than 5 will know his last name or his real ethnicity.

That’s the point I’m making. It is not insulting to anyone that people don’t know Khan is Indian – or was. It’s just a fact that most people that know the character of Khan as it relates to Star Trek do not know his ethnicity, and I would bet MOST would say he is hispanic because of TWOK and who played him.

This is probably what JJ was thinking when he said he didn’t make this movie just for Star Trek fans. he knows that a certain segment of the Star Trek fan base will get all upset that a while guy is playing Khan –but he also knows that just about EVERYONE else seeing this movie will not care and won’t know any difference. A certain number will remember that RC played Khan in TWOK, but pretty much anyone under 25 won’t even know that. They will just know they have heard of the name Khan before.

JJ is probably thinking, and rightfully so, that 95% of those that go see this movie will not know the characters last name or that he was originally written as an Indian character and therefore they won’t care that it was changed for this movie.

392. Randall - December 13, 2012

@ 387 MJ:

Reread again. I don’t give a shit about your hard-on for Khan. If it’s Khan, whoopee for you. Frankly, it’s a disappointment to me, because the character’s been done. I’d rather see something new.

But if it IS Khan—-if Cumberbatch is playing him—then there’s a very disturbing racial thing here that I have been pointing out—and I’m not alone in it.

393. TheWrathOfBong - December 13, 2012

I agree that Carol Marcus was brought back for the Khan connection. However, maybe that’s what is throwing us off–we’re assuming the Khan connection is to THIS MOVIE.

Let me throw a scenario out here:

STID: We’ve been told there isn’t really a love story element to STID. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a flirty subplot between Kirk and Marcus. We’ve established that this universe’s Kirk is also a player, and Marcus is a cutie. I’d be shocked if Kirk didn’t make a pass at her at some point. But one of Marcus’ defining features is that she is as smart as Kirk and won’t fall for his BS. So she always blows him off, being the smart, confident woman she is. This intrigues him more, but she still won’t take him seriously, for the same reason Pike warns him–his cockiness and swagger, thinking he can’t fail. However, Kirk and Marcus have to work together to save the day in this movie (we know Marcus plays a big role in figuring out some mystery). I’m not envisioning a Speed-like ending where they are in love because they went through a stressful event together. But we can be certain that Kirk rises to Pike’s challenge (even if Pike dies in the process), and when that happens, Marcus is impressed and tells him that maybe she’ll have dinner with him after all.

Post-credits sequence: Botany Bay. Or, the events of this movie lead to the introduction of Khan in the next movie.

NEXT MOVIE: Several years later. Either Marcus is pregnant with David, or perhaps he is a couple years old and she and Kirk are estranged. Enter Khan, who puts Marcus and David in peril, and Kirk has to save them. Either Khan holds a vengeance against Kirk because of the events in STID, or they combine Space Seed/TWOK in a very broad way (showing both the discovery of Khan and his revenge in one movie, but not much more similar than than).

This fits what we know, and makes sense. There are enough characters in ST that there are necessarily several subplots, meaning that there wouldn’t be that much time to establish a relationship between Kirk and Marcus (let alone have her get pregnant if that’s where they go) before Khan puts her in danger. Maybe the producers felt they wouldn’t have enough time to build a suitable emotional connection between her and Kirk in one movie. So, once they decided to push Khan to a third movie, they introduce Carol in the second one. The movie ends with her and Kirk’s relationship just beginning, and so when we next see them in the third movie, we know that lots has happened between the movies and the relationship/connection feels earned, not just like a convenient story element. Plus it lets us see them meet, then gives them time to marry and have a kid, and maybe break up, between movies, setting up the third movie nicely. (Thematically nice, too: after having Earth-saving adventures the first two movies, the third one is on a much more personal scale.)

394. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Randall

And the point I am making is JJ Trek’s universe is not the TOS universe! So of course Khan would be different, even as Spock is different. That’s bloody obvious. If your point is he won’t be Khan because of it then you would fail, just like Richard III in Blackadder and in The Kingmaker is still Richard III, even if not Shakespeare’s Richard III.

395. The Original Spock's Brain - December 13, 2012

Sybok

396. razzo - December 13, 2012

@382: Dude you’re starting to look desperate.

Even NOW-A-DAYS, we have people with names from many origins and do not necessarily have 100% or their family background from it’s source.
But Personally I don’t think they’ll try to make him this or that, they’ll simply ADAPT some IRRELEVANT details from the character background, so everything will match better the new actor.

AS THEY DID BEFORE to the last actor that performed the character.

How racist can one be to think just because a name has this or that origin, it MUST mean the person HAVE to look like THEIR CONCEPT of what someone with that background name would have?

You’re forgetting that this “established” character IS NOT DEFINED BY HIS ETHNICITY. Saying that is extremely racist. Just stop.

He is defined by his ACTS, his PRINCIPLES, his MOTIVATIONS, his ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Saying that any of what makes him HIM depends on his ethnicity is RACISM.

The only thing that bothers you is that he wont be LOOKING like the previous.

GET THE HEEL OVER IT.

397. razzo - December 13, 2012

*HELL

now I can’t stop laughing at HEEL

398. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@390 R. Banks,
“If Greenwood could convincingly portray JFK, I see no reason why another outstanding actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, could not convince me he is portraying Khan.”

So by this logic, Greenwood could convincingly portray Martin Luther King Jr.? Because that is the essence of the argument that is being made here.

399. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

Do what? Nobody has been able to shoot down any of my ideas…

We don’t yet know how much of who we are, how we feel and behave is based on our genetic background or on the environment we find ourselves in. Clearly, both have an impact, but how much each has – well, the jury is still out.

Therefore, race and the DNA/genetics that determine these obvious visible variations seen among humans, along with the not so obvious (much harder to determine) may well have as big an impact on how a person sees and adapts to the world around him as anything else. One cannot immediately dismiss then, the notion that the racial makeup of a person can form part of his overall fundamental makeup. Following on from that rationale, having this iteration of Khan come from a different race from the TOS episode and movie is, well, silly, for starters…

Why do you think that there are so many different languages, cultures and religions? There is much in common between them, but there are also differences. Clearly, some can be obviously explained by the environment the various people find themselves, but other differences are not so easily explained.

It is clear that people can be wired up differently….

I am not, for one minute, suggesting that one race is better than another or anything like that. What I am suggesting that colour could indicate a slightly different mindset of the individual from others around him who are not of the same colour. This is not being racist. This is suggesting that we are diverse beings and some of that inner diversity can be manifest in our skin colour. What I am suggesting is (self) acceptance.

I am sorry if what I write here bothers some – on both sides of the spectrum – and there are clearly two sides here.

400. Capt.Hunter - December 13, 2012

I’m not sure if anyone has ever brought this up. Several months ago it had been announced that CBS had shutdown an episode that was about to go into Production over at Star Trek Phase 2. It was called He Walked Among us. Everyone has been saying it’s Kahn, but what if the villian and the story is actually inspired by this never aired episode from TOS.

401. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

398. Curious Cadet – December 13, 2012

So by this logic, Greenwood could convincingly portray Martin Luther King Jr.? Because that is the essence of the argument that is being made here.

***************

UNLESS Khan’s appearance is altered in the plot of the movie. Plastic surgery to avoid being identified/infiltrate Starfleet.

So, if you have a movie in which Martin Luther King is frozen in time, then attempts to take over Starfleet and blow up a few things, but needs a disguise because he’s on the back of every church fan in the Federation, then yeah, Bruce Greenwood could play MLK….

402. Jay - December 13, 2012

#398 Not the same thing.

Everyone knows who MLK is. He also was a REAL person in REAL history.

Khan is a fictional character that few outside of Trek fans even know who he is. Alot of casual fans, and sci fi movie fans probably could say he is a bad guy in Star Trek, but pretty much nothing beyond that.

You have to realize that TWOK came out 30 years ago. Anyone, outside of Trekkies, that even knows who Khan is, probably won’t know his last name or what ethnicity he was supposed to be. That’s why it won’t matter if BC is Khan.

The biggest movie going demographic is 18-35. TWOK came out 30 years ago. Ask yourself what percentage of 18-35 years olds knows the name Khan. Maybe 40% if you are really generous. now how many know his last name or ethnicity? I bet it close to 1% or less.

So, if you are in the buisness of making movies and you cast BC because he was the best to audition for the role, and knowing that 1% of the target demographic knows the character was originally Indian – would you do it? If your paycheck depended on it? Of course you would.

403. Masshuu il Thulcandra - December 13, 2012

You are wrong on so many levels. Wait and see.
My best guess Garth or Roger Korby. I say Korby.

404. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

If Spock isn’t played by a real Vulcan, I call speciesism!

405. Anaxagoras of the South - December 13, 2012

@Ctrl-Opt-Del In re: Khan not having mental powers.

Actually, that may not be entirely true. In one of the earlier scripts for the Wrath of Khan, Khan did, indeed, have vast mental powers and when Kirk challenged to fight mano a mano, he did just that…and whipped Kirk using illusion-generating abilities.

“As Enterprise approached the planet, its engines were badly damaged, and Spock sacrificed his life to get them back online in time for Kirk to fight the Reliant off. Later, Khan and Kirk would fight a psychic battle in a variety of exotic locations, using quarterstaffs, whips, and swords. Khan, who had acquired impressive mental powers during his isolation, eventually won, but Kirk survived because he understood that the weapons were only illusory. The film ended with a pitched space battle in orbit around the planet, in which Kirk defeated his enemy with his superior tactics.”

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek_II:_The_Wrath_of_Khan

I remember reading–I believe it was the TWOK magazine that came out at the time–that Meyers originally wanted Khan to be something of a mental sorcerer.

Now, that’s not saying that JJ is going for Khan–my personal opinion is that the part was originally supposed to be Khan but that when they couldn’t get an actor that fit the ethnicity, they rejiggered it so that it was one of Khan’s augment followers on the Botany Bay to fit Cumberbatch–but that if you really wanted to dig deep into Trek lore, you could find something like the above–Khan having psionic abilities of a sort–that would help support that hypothesis.

It goes without saying that if Khan was capable of that kind of psionic ability, it’s not much of a stretch to think that any of the other augments could as well.

406. Ken - December 13, 2012

IF it is Kahn, I’m through with this franchise!!

Your argument regarding ethnicity does NOT hold water.

While Chris Pine doesn’t look like Shatner, he is believably a young version of the character. If all of a sudden, Kirk were played by an african american, it would be wrong. The same goes for Kahn.

It cannot be Kahn. Or should I say, it SHOULDN’T be. Rather, it should be another survivor of the Botany Bay. In this reality, a John Harrison lives but Kahn does not. In fact, could John Harrison be Joachim …. from ST II? Yoachim….John

Wasn’t that character Kahn’s son?

Maybe in this reality, Kahn is killed and Yoachim goes for revenge against the Federation.

407. MJ - December 13, 2012

“Whatever the facts behind the origins of the character, Khan is established in “Space Seed” as an inhabitant of Northern India who wound up ruling that entire area of the world during the Eugenics period. No “timeline incursion” from the previous film could justify a dramatic change in the character’s ethnicity.”

Dexter, the back-story for Khan is moot. The Eugenics Wars in the 1990’s never happened with 50 million people being killed as Khan rose to power, nor did technologies for suspended animation and even slow travel develop by then. Gene L. Coon did the best he could with the back-story, but it simply is no longer credible — THIS IS A FACT!!!

Thus, the writers have significant freedom to write the back story for Khan, since the original back story has been proven CONCLUSIVELY to be false.

408. MJ - December 13, 2012

“and even slow interstellar travel”

409. R. Banks - December 13, 2012

@398-

Just to clarify, I am not participating in an “argument” here. I am simply offering my personal opinion of the capabilities of two fine actors as it relates to Mr. Tenuto’s article, and the upcoming film, which is what I assume this comment section following his article is for.

410. sean - December 13, 2012

#407

MJ, that argument doesn’t work. Either it’s fiction or it’s not, you can’t argue that one part of the fiction isn’t real because it didn’t happen in the real world. None of it happened in the real world. The writers aren’t beholden to our reality.

411. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

“And, if you watch Fringe, you will see the “same person” having radically different backgrounds, ending up quite different in character. This is what alternative universes do — the essential person will be the same, but the trick is to figure out how environment changes them!”

Except that these characters are still very similar to their other universe counterparts. They are not radically different at all. The only two characters who seem different are the Walter Bishops. This could well be explained by the Walter Bishop (who spent time in a mental institution) asked to have part of his brain removed by William Bell, because he was afraid/did not like the person he was becoming. The Secretary of Defence Walter Bishop is much more hardnosed and this is maybe what the other Bishop feared he would become.

What is of even more consequence to this discussion is that none of the characters were of another race in their other universe!

Bad example.

412. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

402. Jay – December 13, 2012
#398 Not the same thing.

Everyone knows who MLK is. He also was a REAL person in REAL history.

****************************

Hmmnn….I know this sounds crazy, but what if Khan IS white?

Ricardo Montalban is from Mexico. But he’s ethnically European because his parents were Spanish immigrants to Mexico. For Space Seed, I don’t know if he was just really tan, or bronzed, or both.

But regardless of that, maybe Khan was born John Harrison on Earth as an augment, tried to take over the world, thought India was the place to start, so got a little plastic surgery, a tan, and started taking over. When he’s found prior to this movie, he has the time to change back and conceal the Khan identity he made centuries ago

Weird, I know, but maybe that’s the big twist.

413. jagen - December 13, 2012

Lol #404. Good one.

414. Classy M - December 13, 2012

Though I can see both sides of this debate, there are a few things that come to mind:

Firstly, having an actor play a real life character of a different ethnicity isn’t the same thing as a fictional character of another race. I wouldn’t have a white actor play MLK, but I would have no problem with black British actor Idris Elba playing James Bond. (he’s currently in talks to take over the part after Daniel Craig).

Secondly, purely in the ‘for what it’s worth’ category: Patrick Stewart once played Othello.

My American-born daughter is currently in a huff because Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis is playing Lincoln. She thinks an American actor should have played the part and there’s no persuading her DDL is a brilliant actor and captures the spirit of the president perfectly. How far do we take these objections?

As to Khan, as an augment he could be whatever ethnicity his creators chose to make him.

All of which aside, i still have an open mind as to whom Cumberbatch is playing. As long as the part is well-written I don’t really care if he’s called Winnie the Pooh!

415. CJS - December 13, 2012

All the Khan haters should just hope that it is Khan, because if it isn’t, the whole Khan potential will still be out there hanging over the four years between STID and ST17. Once everyone gets Khan out of their system, the rebooted franchise will have the space it needs to start exploring new possibilities.

416. Larry Kinn - December 13, 2012

The more I hear about this film, the worse it sounds. Count me in with the other people who will be going to see Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby instead now. Thanks for alienating me with your bs, Paramount and Abrams.

417. MJ - December 13, 2012

@410. Sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. People would be laughing their asses off in your local movie theater if the Khan in STID said that he escaped Earth in the 1990’s from the Eugenics Wars on an interstellar ship in suspended animation. You can’t deny this — people would be laughing at it.

418. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

I think, also, with concluding that because Carol Marcus features in this movies, then that name must be around somewhere, are confusing Trek-lore with Khan-lore.

Carol Marcus is part of Trek-lore, because (in the prime universe) she was the lover of one of Star Trek’s principle characters, James Kirk, and became mother of his child – something that cannot be dismissed as superficial. Whether similar events between Carol and Jim unfold in this alternate universe remains to be seen.

Kirk, like the rest of the main Enterprise crew, are main characters and are the core of Star Trek TOS. Khan is not – he is subordinate at best.

And btw, if I do not wish to write *that name*, I do not have to…

419. Jay - December 13, 2012

#414 Oh LORD!!! Can you imagine the hell that will be unleashed if a black guy is cast as James Bond????

I mean what next??? A white guy playing Khan?

— oh wait

420. alec - December 13, 2012

It’s obviously Khan! It was obvious months ago and everything since has just confirmed it. It’s just wishful thinking on the part of some fans who don’t want to accept the truth: Khan has returned (again). I do find it amusing when some say that it cant be Khan because, e.g., he’s wearing a partial Star Fleet uniform! This is not going to be exactly like Space Seed, all the more so, TWOK. This is going to be an original take on a familiar (to fans) tale. He may be picked up by the Klingons. He may want to hide his identity by using another name (he is a rather notorious, wanted man)….

421. Jay - December 13, 2012

#412 I think he was bronzed in Space Seed. It looks like makeup, and he was much pale-er in TWOK.

Are you actually starting to accept the possiblity that BC is Khan?? I’m encouraged.

Believe me, a year ago I was dead set against the idea, but having seen what I have seen from the trailers and all, I can’t deny the liklihood any more.

422. K-7 - December 13, 2012

Sean, the ST universe does not violate known major events in Earth’s past history which are part of our “real” known timeline today. Sure, “the future” is fiction, but major historical events are locked in as part of the past.

People view ST as a future vision for this world, not as some alternate universe-like “Game of Thrones” type of story.

423. Jay - December 13, 2012

#417 yes that part of the “history” has to be changed… if it is even mentioned, which i doubt it is in the movie.

424. K-7 - December 13, 2012

@419. Bring on a black Bond.

This is the 21st Century.

Loved the female Starbuck, BTW.

425. Jay - December 13, 2012

#418 She is not part of Trek-lore because her character was never heard of before TWOK. She is directly linked to Khan.

Again, you keep acting like there was a real history there. There isn’t. That character only appeared with Khan. That is why it is significant that the character was brought back for this movie. Because of the fact that it only appeared with Khan. That is the clue that the movie is about Khan.

Otherwise they could have used any other character for Kirk to flirt with.

426. R. Banks - December 13, 2012

@414-

An excellent post Classy M.

I didn’t know about the Idris Elba/James Bond talks.

I think he’d make a great James Bond.

427. K-7 - December 13, 2012

“People would be laughing their asses off in your local movie theater if the Khan in STID said that he escaped Earth in the 1990′s from the Eugenics Wars on an interstellar ship in suspended animation. You can’t deny this — people would be laughing at it.”

Yes, it would nearly ruin the movie.

428. sean - December 13, 2012

#414

A few differences in those comparisons…

A)A black actor playing Bond would be progressive. No black actor has played Bond, and there’s no reason a black actor cannot play Bond (other than flat-out racism).

B)American isn’t a race or an ethnic background. DDL can play Lincoln because DDL is a white European, and Lincoln was descended from white Europeans. There’s also not a long and established history of Irishwashing in Hollywood to make that particular casting choice unpleasant.

429. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Khan is going to mention Buck Rogers…. too…

430. PEB - December 13, 2012

If it’s Khan it wouldnt be a big problem. Why? Because this wouldnt be a re-telling of TWOK it would include elements of Space Seed which I rewatched the other day. I had a problem with the idea of doing Khan at first but after rewatching the episode, it could be a good idea to explore it in this way. Khan originally wanted to rule over earth as basically a dictator. It makes perfect sense for him to try to dissolve Starfleet, cause chaos on earth and rule it for himself. And the vengence part, the “I have returned” quote fits with Khan returning to the place he (and his followers) escaped from on the Botany Bay. Remember there were no logs of the Botany Bay being launched into space. I’m not saying it is Khan because there’s no way of spelling out who the villan is exactly besides the name he’s been given but it could work out well if it is because while the general public will think “Wrath of Khan” there’s no way to tell that story when Space Seed hasnt even happened yet. Anyone could find the cryo ship in this timeline. And in that shot of the Starfleet officer being blown out of his chair, look closely, green energy hits him/her. A lot like a disruptor, a Klingon disruptor maybe. On top of beating up a few Klingons, maybe this villain uses a group/fleet of Klingons to lead an attack on earth. There’s no real way of knowing exactly what’s going on here but the guessing is fun. Back when the photos leaked I wouldn’t have guessed an elaborate volcano shoot would be taking place within the first 9 minutes of the film so hey all bets are off.

431. razzo - December 13, 2012

I see that some people are getting more and more frustrated by the fact that their arguments against Khan have been destroyed one by one pretty fast and now they’re pretending to be SJWs.

If there’s anything worse than a SJW is people that only turns into one when convenient.

The character was supposed to be from European origin. They were impressed by the actor’s performance and ADAPTED the character to him.

WHY?

Because where he comes from DOES NOT MATTER.

It didn’t matter then, and it continues to NOT MATTER now.

What’s important is the character’s objectives, actions, thoughts, accomplishments, plot in general and how he will interact with the main characters.

THAT’S IT. He comes from a culture evolved enough that won’t treat him as more or less because he had Indian or Alaskan origin. He was a super human genetically enhanced. They make it very clear their being is “superior”. End of story. It doesn’t matter where do ANY of those hibernating with Khan had background from.

You who are complaining about it are MISSING THE POINT.
The experiment had several different ethnic samples because the point was make them all equal in their superior strength and mind.

It doesn’t make sense saying the character has been “whitewashed”.
They wanted someone who looked like the previous, yes they did, but then, they have an opportunity to cast a guy whose career is skyrocketing in international cinema right now, if you don’t know.

And since they were impressed by his audition, why not cast him?
JUST LIKE IT HAPPENED BEFORE.

It was joining what’s useful to what’s profitable. They got an actor whose performance convinced them and had enough presence and strength, and at the same time, a face that’s hip at the moment, a name that only grows and drags enough media with him.

Physically, the character just have to be strong and gorgeous, which both actors are, in different ways.

_______
Also, whoever brought up Idris Elba as James Bond, YES, you got the essence of the thing!!
(It’s been a while since I got news on this, btw, how are the chances atm?)

432. Garth Faction - December 13, 2012

Columbo was originally to be an Irishman, and they wanted Patrick McGoohan for the part. I guess they became racist, too….

433. sean - December 13, 2012

#422

Actually it does. ST has referred to numerous so-called historical events that never happened in our world. The Star Trek Universe has always been a sort of parallel reality. They kept referring to the Eugenics Wars as having happened long after they didn’t happen in the real world.

434. MJ - December 13, 2012

Well said and thougtful, razzo.

435. sean - December 13, 2012

Honestly folks, this really isn’t that hard. There is a long and troubled history in Hollywood of slapping makeup on white people and calling them something else. Many of these portrayals are offensive. And it hasn’t gone away, just witness the new Lone Ranger movie where Johnny effin’ Depp is playing Tonto. TONTO.

436. Sharr - December 13, 2012

Two things, we saw augments show just the same abilities that “John Harrison” did in Enterprise. They were super strong, took out a bunch of Klingons in a blink of an eye.

Or of course, he’s an android…

And Khan can be in StarFleet if he was awoken sometime following Nero’s incursion by those other than Federation people, the smart thing for him to have done would be to infiltrate StarFleet and try to undermine it.

437. razzo - December 13, 2012

At #431 with “he comes from a culture…” I was talking about the Enterprise crew, but worded it wrong because I started writing with other phrase in mind, so it doesn’t make sense that way, sorry.

438. Superman - December 13, 2012

razzo, please. They’ve all been ordered to act coy with Khan so that they can keep fans guessing. They don’t want it figured out, so they’re playing with the illusion of Khan. Could it be possible that Khan was going to be the villain when del Toro was being considered? Yes.

But they’ve gone another route here, and, IMO, a far better one. You will see how much better John Harrison is for this universe/version of Trek.

He will be the Khan of this generation’s Trek, but he is NOT Khan.

He’s a British super-soldier from the Eugenics Wars who was aboard the Botany Bay. He was even IN Space Seed, though never given a name.

Until now.

439. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

What does SJW mean?

Yes, Carol is part of Trek-lore, as in part of Star Trek canon. The fact that we only met her in TWOK does not negate the fact that she has a history. That history was fully explained in the movie and proof was a young man called David. She could have easily been brought into any other Star Trek story because her story is related to Kirk. That name just happened to turn up and make life for her and son David *interesting*… Same with KM simulation test.

The fact that both were made to tie with whathisname could be considered good story writing, but neither need have anything to do with whathisname, either in prime universe or this alternate universe.

I gotta go – I have to do something more intellectually edifying, as in sit through a children’s mass and then take my daughter Christmas shopping…

440. Trekzilla - December 13, 2012

#405 — I had completely forgotten about that early draft!
Still, if Khan had such mental powers, why didn’t he use them in Space Seed? I based my earlier comment on what had been seen on the screen.

441. Sharr - December 13, 2012

When they talk about his metal abilities, I never get the impression they mean “magic” like power, but rather – he’s very smart…

As to the ethnic thing, what used to be the British Empire had a bit of history with India — You can have a white guy named “Khan” if you want simple as that.

The only reason it should bug a Trekkie is if they’re too fixated on the notion of ethnic groups. Which they should know better than to be. But Trek in its own way does tend to place things into boxes.

442. Larry Kinn - December 13, 2012

#435 Sean – Yes, I was shocked and disgusted when I heard about Tonto too. However, I later read that Depp allegedly does have a small amount of Cherokee ancestry. Do you think that makes any difference?

443. Superman - December 13, 2012

And as for this movie being “about Khan?” Hardly. Khan will be seen in his cryo chamber, McCoy will fail to save him, and that will be that.

Then they’ll find Harrison. They’re able to revive him. They do so, and things go poorly.

As for the rest of the Augments, not as many will survive as in “Space Seed.”

But Harrison won’t be alone.

444. MJ - December 13, 2012

@433. Please cite just one example then after December 31, 2000 (when the 1990’s were done) where either an Voyager or Enterprise episode specifically referenced the Eugenics Wars and Khan happening in the 1990’s???

Also, please cite for me where the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, view Star Trek as an alternate universe, not part of a potential future for us — I’d really like to see this info from you???

445. MJ - December 13, 2012

@435, Hey Einstein, Johhny Depp is part Cherokee. Sheesh, you information here is wrong even outside of this Khan discussion.

446. MJ - December 13, 2012

@443. I like it!

447. razzo - December 13, 2012

@438: Look at all the evidence of Khan being at least the theme of the movie.

Now consider the fact that making a character that is the exact same as another is impractical, disrespectful and a bloody waste of the original character.

Why would they not make him Khan?

It simply doesn’t make sense to waste that character, he will be in the movie, and if it will, he won’t be wasted, therefore he will be the main villain.

Whether people like it or not.

448. OtherGuy - December 13, 2012

443. That’s good.

I don’t like it. But it’s good for this universe.

My prediction is that JJTrek will never be as good as the original.
Perhaps if they spent a billion, it might.

449. Gary S. - December 13, 2012

It is more accurate to say that she only appeared in the same movie with Khan.
They had no scenes together.

450. Jay - December 13, 2012

#443 Doesn’t bother me. I have said that I thought this movie is about Khan – or directly linked to Khan in some way – even if BC is not Khan.

So that would fit and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if something like that happens in the movie.

At the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if BC is Khan either.

451. TheWrathOfBong - December 13, 2012

Star Trek isn’t real. So its universe is anything the producers want it to be. They’ll take cues and ideas from canon, but their charge is making a good film that entertains the masses, not to make a film that doesn’t cause discontinuities in the Star Trek universe. Whoever or whatever they take from canon, they’ll take the parts they want to use and will feel free to change the rest to suit their story.

That doesn’t mean we can’t look to canon for clues on who BC is playing, but people are sticking to small details from canon (details that did not influence the character’s story arc), like the date of the Eugenics wars or Khan’s ethnicity, as though these details are conclusive proof that BC’s character could not possibly be Khan. And they’re being cocky when they’re doing it, as though the rest of us are stupid for not seeing the obvious.

Nobody in here save for boborci knows who BC is playing, and boborci ain’t telling. We can guess all day. But canon is not some real, actual universe–it is just a series of old stories. This is a new story, and it will be whatever the storyteller wants, whether it disturbs canon or not. So stop saying that some small canonical detail is conclusive proof that the villian is or isn’t Khan. You just make yourself sound like an idiot.

452. Jay - December 13, 2012

#448 I think your “prediction” is already proved false with ST2009

453. Aurore - December 13, 2012

….I should have followed the discussion quietly….or simply said that I found your arguments unconvincing.

Is John Harrison Khan Noonien Singh?

To you and some fellow fans, he most definitely is.

For me, he is not.

Let us agree to disagree, knowing that we will certainly know more about John Harrison in a few months…..

:)

454. Jay - December 13, 2012

#451 True. And canon was violated many times in the TOS series itself. And of course in the movies and follow up TV shows. It happens.

The essence is the same and the point is to tell a good story.

455. Superman - December 13, 2012

razzo, you continue to demonstrate “two dimensional thinking.”

This ISN’T the prime universe. Things are supposed to be different.

And from a purely logical standpoint, how can you possibly know that any of the other Augments are more/less interesting than Khan?

You mean to tell me that a group of people who were bred with “superior intellects” wouldn’t have a least ONE guy who wouldn’t have aspirations of overthrowing the leader? Did you watch the episodes of Enterprise with the Augments?

These guys are ruthless and self-serving. Instead of treading on the best of the original Trek episodes and movies, they’re going with a twist on it and retooling it for a new universe.

You need to let it go. It’s not Khan. All of the TWOK references are “remnants,” if you will, of the old universe. But in this timeline, Khan dies. Harrison will take his place and wreak a havoc far greater than one starship and one captain.

456. The Great Bird lives - December 13, 2012

What if young, adolescent Kirk’s friend Johnny- the one that was originally George Samuel Jr. in the deleted scene. Young Kirk’s voice was overdubbed to say “Hey, Johnny” as he was whizzing by in the ‘vette’.
What If Johnny’s last name is Harrison. The young boy was running away. what If he was abducted by someone who was searching for a specimen to conduct genetic experimentation on. Perhaps Johnny Harrison zips through Starfleet Academy, destined to be the youngest Captain in the fleet- even rumored to be Captain Pikes replacement as the new Enterprises Commander. But then whoosh! In comes cadet Kirk, who cheats on the Kobayashi Maru test, and manages to become Captain of the Enterprise…. Not ensign, not lieutenant, but captain,
Sounds like somebody’s gonna be pissed.

457. K-7 - December 13, 2012

Funny how Sean all of a sudden disappeared…

458. The Great Bird Is The word - December 13, 2012

Doomsday Is just a myth….. besides, we’ve got a Federation to build.

Live long, and prosper

459. Chris Roberts - December 13, 2012

And what is “Khan’s” motivation for vengeance?

Everybody he lost the war to, have been dead for three hundred years.

Is there much evidence from watching Space Seed, that once he’d taken over the Enterprise, he’d have returned to Earth? The galaxy is a big place. The Augments’ need for conquest and Empire building wouldn’t necessarily involve the planet of their birth rightaway.

460. illeia - December 13, 2012

You know what would be awesome? If the writers thought process went something like this:

“Geez, we only have one main female character out of six main characters and that is SUCH old-fashioned 1960’s crap to have just one token woman. Hmm, were there other cool women who would have been around during this time? Yeah, there is this amazing scientist named Carol Marcus! She made the genesis device in the prime timeline–she’s a brilliant scientist and she would be an awesome character. And she could either make an authentic love interest for Kirk…or someone else.”

Wouldn’t that be awesome? To bring in another female character purely because that would be awesome? Because she’s an awesome character who is important, smart and capable on her own? Because men and women both like female characters and there aren’t enough female characters?

What would be lame is if bringing in a female character is only to develop or “signal” a male character. That would be really, really lame. Not cool at all.

461. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

“The only reason it should bug a Trekkie is if they’re too fixated on the notion of ethnic groups”

Heritage and culture (which would include race and ethnicity) tends to be important for everyone, whether they admit or not. We are who we are, who our families were/are. To dismiss this is insensitive and ignorant.

The only thing fixation I see here is the 2D twat fixation – one that started soon after the release of ST09.

462. K-7 - December 13, 2012

#460. But please, no bald ladies. ;-)

463. Anaxagoras of the South - December 13, 2012

@Trekzilla

From the description, I, too, had assumed when they said ‘mental abilities’ in reference to STID it meant “superior intellect” or perhaps a kind of crazy-wicked charisma. I merely mentioned the alternate script from TWOK to note that, initially at least, Khan was conceived of as developing psionic abilities AFTER having been exiled to Ceti Alpha V.

As to why that happened, who knows? Maybe in the isolation of the area, cut off from civilization and forced to forage, he was able to focus on his psionic potential. If one presumes humans have psi potential and that augments are the epitome of human development, then perhaps it’s not too much of a stretch to assume he could develop those kinds of powers during his exile, which would explain why he didn’t have them in Space Seed: he had no reason to focus and, hence, didn’t develop it.

As for ethnic arguments…once more, I’m not necessarily arguing for Khan. Just another augment on the Botany Bay. HOWEVER…how many of you folks have ever even MET a Sikh? I have. I’ve known several. They’re from northern India–or, rather, northwestern–and ethnically they are Caucasian, not Asian, just as most others in India are classified (keeping in mind that ‘race’ is a very nebulous and pernicious concept in the first place). Of the three Sikh families I’ve known, two were fairly dark-skinned. One was not. In fact, this one family had lighter skin than I and my background is German/Armenian (yeah, weird combo; sue me). Additionally, everyone is forgetting that you can also CONVERT to Sikhism and, thusly, according to tradition, change your name. A common male Sikh name is ‘Singh.’ Indeed, all baptized male Sikhs have to have the name. So any convert, if he’s an orthodox Sikh, is almost certainly going to have that surname, even if it wasn’t there from birth.

All the above is appropos of merely saying that we’re getting caught up in ethnic discussions where there need not be a problem, particularly if it turns out that ‘John Harrison’ converted to Sikhism or if he’s simply lighter-skinned than many of his brethren.

Need that be the case? No. Am I arguing it HAS to be Khan? Absolutely NOT and, I’ll say it again, it’s probably just another augment that will have many–if not ALL–the attributes originally destined for a Khan reboot character they’d planned for Benicio and others.

464. K-7 - December 13, 2012

“The only thing fixation I see here is the 2D twat fixation.”

Did I really just read this? ;-)

465. K-7 - December 13, 2012

@464. “This isn’t the Khan you’re looking for…move along.”

;-)

466. TrekMadeMeWonder - December 13, 2012

Well, well, well…excuse me for butting in again, but…

If Khan was such a threat, why did’nt Spock SIMPLY warn Starfleet??!!

Hell, why does’nt Kirk already know this??!!! Kirk has already Mind-melded with Spock. Our beloved Shatner-Kirk would have figured this all out, so-o-o long ago.

Face it. The whole freakin’ JJ Universe just sucks all the air out of Trek!

ILLOGICAL!

Just thinking about Trek these days brings frustration when you try to figure out how the whole blasted universe is supposed to work! You end up talking with you’re Trekkie friends about it, and it all comes up as an ILLOGICAL mess!

We don’t talk about the wonder of Star Trek anymore, we regrettably end up talking about the JJ time-line messup, each and everytime.

JJ’s Trek has unfortunatly and LITERALLY destroyed Rodenberry’s universe. And, I think if you we’re to ask Gene a few years ago what he thought of a movie like the last one, he might have simply said, “I’d prefer it if we could keep Star Trek and the time line as it is. There are so many possibilities in our own future.”

Fix the damned Universe and give us all the Trek we want on the big screen!

I’m not bitter, just dismayed that we almost had it all. Its just not worth my time to tune in here as much anymore with the current administration in charge of Trek.

To me, Star Trek will always be about the Enterprise crew and voyages.
Not some undefined, unispired, V’Ger-like, alternate-smuckitymuck. Yeah, it was fun the first time. but you have to face facts (like Kirk’s mind-meld) in the next movie.

I pity the writers. Although I will be the first to applaud them if this new Kirk is wise enough to wrap his head around the whole Nero mess, and is ultimately able to fix things.

467. razzo - December 13, 2012

@455: I will let go of wasting my time with you.

There’s actually one single simple and incontestable proof for Khan.
The post-credits scene. It would show Botany Bay.

Now, I bet this is a pretty simple question: what do post-credits scenes mean, as used in the last few action blockbusters?

There is simply no reason to show that ship if it wasn’t the plot of the second movie. I know it. That’s my area, I’m a filmmaker and scriptwriter. No reason.

So, what does Botany Bay mean? That’s a scream of ”look who’s coming”. Khan will be in the movie. There’s no room for two identically built villains in the same movie, Bc plays the master villain, which means BC will play Khan.

468. K-7 - December 13, 2012

my error — post #465 is meant to be addressed to #463

469. Jay - December 13, 2012

#455 He is talking about from an artistic point of view. As a writer, as a filmaker, why would you create a character that is exactly the same as another already existing character just a different skin color?

He is saying that wouldn’t make sense. He has a good point.

470. K-7 - December 13, 2012

You are not “making we wonder” why Trek fans are so damn spoiled — you just illustrated it. My goodness, the level of entitlement and bitching here is getting hard to stomach. JJ saved Trek, you thankless brat.

471. Jay - December 13, 2012

#466 Just because he mind melded with Spock doesn’t mean he knows everything that Spock knows. He only showed him what was important to getting him back in command of the Enterprise. Nothing more.

And you don’t know if they covered Spock warning about Khan in this movie or not. I’m sure they have.

Also, if you want to harp on “ILLOGICAL” and plot holes in Trek, feel free to beging with TOS which was full of contradictions and huge plot holes.

JJ’s Trek isn’t any worse than TOS in that respect.

472. illeia - December 13, 2012

Thanks for all the entertaining theories, although the “This HAS to be true!!!111!!!” stuff is a little pathetic.

I was just wondering if anyone here agrees that most of presented possible storylines seems, well, extremely tortured and ridiculous–usually so it can lead to some reveal that someone finds personally cool. (Say because someone wants/doesn’t want Kahn/Mitchell/Garth to be in a movie.)

How would an outsider, a non-Star Trek fan reacts to many of these storylines? “That sounds stupid.” The target audience (as many people as possible from across the entire globe) just wants a fun, awesome story that makes sense to them. So the characters have to be universal and understandable and likable to those viewers. The motives and plot have to be simple, compelling, and understandable.

The more convoluted and tortured a plot anyone puts forward, the less likely that would work for the kind of movie these people are trying to make.

Occam’s razor, people.

473. CaptainEd - December 13, 2012

It is not Khan…..Kirk doesn’t have a son at this point,, JJ said this movie is not just for Star trek fans but for everyone which leads me to beleive he is taken these films where Star Trek has not gon before. The japanese vision with the hand on the glass, the shirt looks to be the dcotors or spock on the outer glass and the person inside the glass shirt looks to be the same as the villian.
I think JJ is taken this in a new direction and may be a new person never before seen in ST.
Khan has been done before don’t really think were going there again.

474. razzo - December 13, 2012

@469: Thanks for the support! It’s ”she”, btw. :)

@470: I have no idea who was this post directed to, but it’s so short and eloquent and fits as answer to so many people here, it’s perfect.

475. K-7 - December 13, 2012

Thanks razzo,

It was directed to TrekMadeMeWonder, hence my “making me wonder” reference.

476. MJ - December 13, 2012

@472. If you told a lot of people the story-line for Trek 2009 in advance, I could see a lot of them saying, oh that’s convoluted, what about Occam’s razor, etc. etc. Your point is superficial.

477. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

Argument falls apart at the casting level.

If it turns out to be Khan, I seriously doubt that Tenuto’s account of why they picked Cumberbatch will be the reason that accounts for the obvious racial difference.

Of course, I could be wrong. They could invoke artistic license to excuse the fact that they simply WANTED Cumberbatch to play the part. Period. And everybody just get over it please. That’s the ultimate trump card, and they hold it. But it’s also the equivalent of that horrible song I heard from the 1950’s or 60’s the other day: “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”

I don’t think they are so insensitive. I really don’t think that’s the card they chose to play. If John Harrison is Khan, then there will be a REASON why he looks different than the way he does in Space Seed and TWOK.

When I started my theorizing in earnest, I discovered the best reason AGAINST doing Khan was simply the fact that there’s so much potential in other Star Trek characters, that doing or RE imagining Khan is not necessary. Which isn’t an argument that they wouldn’t and didn’t do Khan.

I realized, for example, that Colonel Green is a potentially more formidable adversary that Khan. After all, when the Excalbians are shuffling through the history books looking for villains to pit Kirk and Spock against, it isn’t Khan Noonien Singh that they choose, it’s Genghis Khan and COLONEL GREEN!

The Excalbians put Colonel Green in the same category as Genghis Khan!

He must be a pretty bad ass dude if that’s the company he belongs in.

Likewise for JOTR theory, with Harrison being Kirk’s brother. I mean, it’s hard to imagine squeezing more emotion and drama out of a scenario than having your own flesh and blood becoming a villain out of your worst nightmare.

So there are better things to do than Khan. There are unexplored opportunities.

Still, a man is only as good at doing philosophy as he is at imagining the impossible. And with that, I have developed a new theory.

K Theory.

Because I have to account for the possibility.

I mean, imagine if I am sitting in the theater watching this thing, and somewhere out of my peripheral vision comes the revelation that John Harrison is Khan.

NOT to see that coming after all this would be like getting a wedgie, a kick in the nads, and a pie in the face all at the same time.

And that kind of “aggression will not stand…man…it will not…okay?”

So, in honor of MJ and RDR who have so steadfastly kept BOTH their teensy weensy little skulls firmly implanted betwixt Khan’s buttcheeks, I will now imagine the impossible. I will do what both of those gentleman have been making burnt offerings to their gods in prayer that I would do.

So put away your incense sticks, RDR. Engorge yourself on no more chickens, MJ. You have been heard.

K Theory. SPOILER ALERT, yada, yada, yada….

In developing a theory to explain how Khan could realistically appear in this movie looking like Cumberbatch, I had two criteria:

1. It could not start a war between the United States and India.
2. I myself had to actually LIKE the scenario.

It wasn’t easy, but I like what I came up with. I really do. And the most important thing you need to understand it is to understand that these guys like to do mashups. They like to remix things, taking a little bit of this from that, and adding it to a little bit of that from this.

Now I’m not saying this is really what you are going to see, but if I can come up with a scenario for Khan that I am satisfied with, Mr. Cranky Pants that I am — then I am SURE they could come up with one too.

At some point in the film, we get a flashback that quickly lays out the backstory, much like what we got with Spock Prime’s mind meld to Kirk in ST.09. In this film, it goes something like this:

The SS Botany Bay gets caught in the gravity well of an alien planet and falls into a decaying orbit.

The system that is supposed to awaken the pilot and engineer with enough time to safely land the ship has malfunctioned.

When the system does it’s job, and the pilot and engineer awaken, the Botany Bay is already burning through the atmosphere, and they panic through emergency protocols to separate the landing section from the orbiter.

The inhabitants of this planet are NOT a space traveling civilization, but they actively HOST visitors from other worlds and are a member world of the UFP. They are an introverted species who, like Tibetan monks, develop the hidden potentialities of the living organism rather than technology.

Thus, when they notice this ship flaming through their atmosphere, there is nothing they can do but watch.

On board the Botany Bay, the pilot and engineer manage to separate the lander from the oribiter, which has fallen apart. All they can do is deploy the chute and hope for the best. There isn’t time to do anything else.

The lander, with its full complement of superhuman cargo, crashes violently. The pilot and engineer are killed, as are most of the supermen and superwomen.

When the aliens find the ship, they find some of the supermen are still alive. Badly mangled, and groaning in pain, one of them is Khan, and this is not the wake up call he ever imagined having.

The aliens take Khan and immediately give him medical attention.

The name of this alien world is ANTOS IV. And in THIS universe, it is not Garth of Izar whom the gentle aliens of that world nurse back to health and teach the secrets of cellular metamorphosis.

This time, they teach it to Khan.

478. Roxanne Mackenzie - December 13, 2012

I think that we ARE getting “Khan” but not in the traditional sense. The reboot opens up so much and gives Abrams a chance to tweak things. So is John, Khan for all greater purposes, yes but not how we remember.

I might be ok with this but Abrams has earned my trust. Lets see what he does with it.

479. sean - December 13, 2012

#445

Depp makes vague claims about some relative, somewhere, that was part Cherokee. His justification for it is that he’s from Kentucky, so hey, there must be some Native American in there somewhere. He has provided no proof for this. This is like people that go around wearing headdresses and say it’s okay because hey, they’re totally 1/64th Navajo!

Many Native Americans are extremely offended that he was cast in that role. It’s so profoundly insensitive one wonders how it ever made it out of a boardroom.

480. SoonerDave - December 13, 2012

@466

You know, I don’t typically respond to posts like that, because I try (not always successfully) to operate in an “everyone’s entitled to an opinion” universe. You say poTAYto, I say poTAHto, and on down the road we go.

But this post is over the top. “Sucked the life out of Roddenberry’s universe”? Really?

Roddenberry was a marginally successful TV writer who wanted to write political commentary in the form of a Wagon Train to the stars, *because he wanted to make a living*. He wasn’t god. He was a creative person, to be sure, and Trek is a great deal of fun, but I think the time has to come when we all get back to the fact that Trek is a great intellectual franchise, a great storytelling franchise, but at the end of the day, it isn’t life.

I mean, speculating on the villain is actually kinda fun to a point, but when people start cross-coordinating nuances of vocal inflections and syllabic constructs to draw one-off inferences that the villain HAS to be this guy or that guy BECAUSE IT JUST HAS TO BE, that’s not fun anymore. It puts Trek on a pedestal not even Roddenberry wanted it to be put on.

It isn’t religion, folks. It’s a hobby, a diversion, a bit of escapism, but ultimately, its fantasy. I cannot for the life of me understand why some folks are treating the JJAbrams incarnation as some sort of apostasy. It makes me appreciate all the more his recent comments to the effect of “Well, if the Enterprise under water keeps you from seeing the movie, great, good luck, and enjoy your reruns.” There comes a point in time when you realize you can’t please some people, because some of those people refuse to be pleased.

Its fun, on the one hand, to point out the hole that shows Chekov wasn’t on the Enterprise in Space Seed, but Khan knew him in Wrath of Khan. Okay, hah, that’s a goof. And over 25 years, we’ve all gotten a chuckle out of it. These days, now, we’ve got what some have called the canonistas who ascribe a level of consistency to Trek *THAT JUST DOESN’T EXIST* We’ve got people here, epitomized in this post, that take Trek as some sort of inviolate gospel.

And that’s just plain silly.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy it. On the other hand, if you don’t want to watch it, you don’t like the Abrams incarnation, hey, that’s great, too, and 100% your prerogative, but I’d suggest you also back away from the boards, and move on to something new and more entertaining.

I, for one, while I see some of the warts, am looking forward to another great Trek adventure, and am delighted my childhood friend of 40 years is getting one more fresh shot at the big screen. For me, its 100% win, Khan or no Khan.

481. sean - December 13, 2012

#444

I have no idea why you’re asking about Rodenberry as his creation moved out of his hands in the 80s. What he thought on the subject isn’t sacrosanct.

There are simply too many references to events that never took place in our universe. It goes well beyond the Eugenics Wars. How else do you explain all the inconsistencies?

482. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

@410. Sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. People would be laughing their asses off in your local movie theater if the Khan in STID said that he escaped Earth in the 1990′s from the Eugenics Wars on an interstellar ship in suspended animation. You can’t deny this — people would be laughing at it.”

Actually, moviegoers were chuckling at Montalban’s historical recap in TWOK back in 1982. I know; I was there.

“Dexter, the back-story for Khan is moot. The Eugenics Wars in the 1990′s never happened with 50 million people being killed as Khan rose to power, nor did technologies for suspended animation and even slow travel develop by then. Gene L. Coon did the best he could with the back-story, but it simply is no longer credible — THIS IS A FACT!!!”

Getting a little shrill, aren’t we? As has often been noted on the intertubes, putting something in all caps and proclaiming it as ‘fact’ doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Oh, fer chrissakes. Nerds have been having this lame discussion since 1992, and it wasn’t necessary even back then. For the record, there never has been any such place as McKinley Air Force Base, nor did Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher ever make it to Saturn. Nevertheless, those things are, and remain, part of the established Star Trek mythos. And the fact is that Khan’s backstory wouldn’t matter much more than those other anachronisms, had not Nick Meyer’s feature film elevated its prominence beyond a few lines of dialogue in what was, truthfully, a middling first-season episode. Obviously, the dates chosen were unfortunate in retrospect, since no one involved in the production of TOS would have believed anyone would be talking about all this in the far-future era of 2012 (and would possibly still not believe it due to its sheer geekiness), but there it is. Writers dealing with the Federation’s taboo on genetic engineering in DS9 and the “Augments” arc in Enterprise worked with the backstory as best they could; I didn’t envy them.

But the story is the story. (And yes, TOS was never anything but an “alternate” universe for Roddenberry to tell his tales in, and never to be taken seriously as a depiction of a possible human future. If you don’t believe that, you never heard any of the man’s college lectures back during the ’70s). The fact is that if J.J. Abrams’ “Supreme Court” wanted to do a complete reboot of the Trek universe they were entirely free to do so, but (at least according to Bob Orci) out of respect for what had gone before they came up with their “re-imagining” compromise instead, maintaining the backstory of the Trek ‘verse but slightly altering the destinies of the central characters via Nero’s “time incursion” so their eventual fates once again would be unknown, and even bringing in Leonard Nimoy as a way to link the two universes. Well, Khan’s backstory ain’t covered by that, sorry, and the easiest (and most honest) way to deal with the whole issue would be what Nick Meyer easily could have done himself: just not mention specific dates with regards to the Botony Bay and Eugenics Wars at all.

Again, my guess at this point would be that ‘John Harrison’ turns out to be Khan after all, but that the filmmakers incorporated the explanation for how that could possibly be as part of the film’s plot. Which means, in a roundabout sort of way, that I’m giving them considerably more credit for wanting to handle this conundrum in a creative way than you are. (Rather ironic, I know, given my opinion of their work on the last film.) And now, since this is the geekiest thread I’ve yet to encounter on Trekmovie (which means it’s the geekiest thread that’s ever been), I’m done here.

483. wi-kiry-lan - December 13, 2012

For the record (and from memory)
Khan was mentioned in a DS9 episode but the admiral botched the date.
(I believe he was saying Bashir is an ok guy despite being superhuman) – the writer said it was a typo on the ds9 newsgroup and said the 1990s date is still canon.

And then Enterprise’s dealing with them and Archer mentions a great grandfather fighting in the Eugenic Wars – which stretches the normal span between generations but is by no means impossible for a 1990s date. Old men can have kids.

484. K-7 - December 13, 2012

“Many Native Americans are extremely offended that he was cast in that role. It’s so profoundly insensitive one wonders how it ever made it out of a boardroom.”

Huh? What are you talking about? He was recently made a member of the Cherokee nation. And just look at him, dude — he obviously is not a pasty white guy.

Actually, I find your comments on his race borderline offensive. I do think you mean well though, but you are living in the past, with some antiquated affirmative action ideas that were appropriate in the latter half of the last century, but not application to today’s multicultural society.

485. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

479. sean – December 13, 2012

Johnny Depp can play an American Indian. He can get away with it. Not the same as Cumberbatch as a Punjabi Sikh.

486. Vincent - December 13, 2012

Seriously if the villian REALLY is John Harrisson, that is the laziest and lamest villain name for Star Trek.

I am still definitely going with Khan.

487. Benny - December 13, 2012

Okay, I’m convinced. Khan it is.

488. K-7 - December 13, 2012

FYI

http://www.contactmusic.com/news/johnny-depp-formally-adopted-into-cherokee-tribe_1331503

489. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

I wouldn’t buy Cumberbatch as Dr. Richard Daystrom with a bad case of vitiligo in the rebootiverse either.

490. sean - December 13, 2012

#484

We will never solve the problem of racism by pretending we’ve already done it. We do live in a multiracial society, but we do not live in a post-racial society. There is a big difference.

A cursory internet search will show you that Depp’s role is seen as extremely offensive to many native people, regardless of whether the official representatives of the Cherokee Nation have decided it’s okay for him to play Tonto.

491. Superman - December 13, 2012

razzo, thanks for correcting me. I’d forgotten that only KHAN was on the Botany Bay.

You’re grasping at straws here. It’s NOT Khan. It IS another member of the Botany Bay crew. It’s a NEW take and a NEW universe.

You can hold on to your belief as long as you wish. That’s your prerogative.

But please, stop trying to make it sound as if you have irrefutable logic and proof with which to make these assertions. You simply do not.

I, however, do. I can’t say more than that, but I happen to know things about this movie that few others do (and we’ve all agreed not to say more than that).

I can tell you it’s John Harrison, and that John Harrison is a NEW villain. The coy “hints,” possible “allusions” to TWOK? They’re thematic devices in a film set in an already established context which involves an altered timeline “righting itself.” Part of what needs to be “righted” is that Khan dies. The vacuum of his loss if filled by John Harrison, who will be for this timeline the profound threat that Khan was for the prime timeline.

492. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

Hi Everyone

Thanks for the discussions today. It was like a Star Trek debate society meeting!

I would like to clarify that my editorial was meant to persuade anyone to my thinking. I do not ever think it is worth trying to convert people. Rather, the idea of the article was share a theory, one that could certainly be flawed or wrong. I hoped it would inspire others to share their theories.

We get Star Trek films so infrequently, so the anticipation of waiting is some of the fun, and I think talking with fellow fans about their ideas and theories, different or the same, is a great experience.

Thanks again for reading and for the comments.

John

493. John Tenuto - December 13, 2012

In reference to my reply #492

I meant to say that my editorial was NOT meant to persuade anyone to my thinking.

What would Freud say about that mistake! Sorry about the typo

John

494. Benny - December 13, 2012

@35

That is a very racist last statement you make.

495. Emperor Mike of the Empire - December 13, 2012

Here is a theory. John could be someone like Julian Bashier of DS9. An Augment who was changed as a child and who kept it a secret and joined Star Fleet only to have some bad things happen and he becomes a bad guy who thinks he is doing right. Just an idea.

496. K-7 - December 13, 2012

@490. Again, in regards to most of us today, you are living in the past dude. Old ideas like yours actually just remind people of differences instead of bringing them together. Racism is being gradually wiped out by person-to-person interaction here at this point in time in our culture. Politicians playing the race card in elections or Trek fans playing the race card in regards to casting are backwards steps. You need to modernize your views.

497. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

490. sean – December 13, 2012

That’s political correctness, sean. You can’t always tell by looking at somebody who their grandparents were, and in certain places racial identity is based on more than just blood quanta. Depp could get by on the rez.

498. Benny - December 13, 2012

@106

I like this theory also.

499. razzo - December 13, 2012

@491: No, he’s not the only one on Botany Bay, that is not the point at all.

The point it, showing an iconic ship like that has only one objective: thrill audience with a glimpse of what’s coming.
Botany Bay is iconic and what it immediately evokes is the big villain that has his origin there. That’s it.

If you’re going to pretend you have more information than most people, then at least try to sound convincing.

If you’re telling the truth, please notice that nothing of what you say goes beyond what’s been said by crew and cast.
It makes sense as a theory and it’s basically the same theory that many others have agreed on for a while, but is simply not practical from a industrial perspective to ignore a big name for their villain, and make an identically built one take his place.

500. razzo - December 13, 2012

The point is*

501. thomas vinelli - December 13, 2012

Everyone that has seen the 9 min trailer, says this Villain has some sort of healing powers. If that’s true, then were forgetting a important point in this debate. I was thinking maybe the Villain says that , but doesn’t really have healing powers, a Khan, no pun intended. don’t villains lie?? If that’s true then Khan makes sense. And since the trailer is 9 mins then we won’t know for sure until May 2013. I’m sure this will be a very good film ,maybe better then Trek 2009.
But its a let down that it would be a retelling of Khan or Khan in another way. If home video never happened , Star trek 2 WOK would be long forgotten , but i’m sure even the new Star trek fans to come into the fold since Trek 2009 ,know Khan was done before or maybe seen Trek 2. I thought for sure the way the writers were talking we would see something new from Star Trek. If you think of all the great writers in all of the TV series, that had to come up with show after show for 25 years , just counting the spin offs of TOS. You would think J.J’S guys could have come up with something better then Khan. I’m sure it will be done just fine and i’m no writer, but all this time taken to write something really new and Trek , what do we get …looks like Khan !!!

I also think maybe Paramount had some say in this. Studio exec. always tend to stick there nose where it don’t belong, they always want to control whats happening with the production, because they can!! Maybe not true , but i’d bet on that more than who’s the Villain.
Well its done , will see in 2013, but again to resort to Khan …what a let down

502. Jack - December 13, 2012

Why mix up Marcus and not-Khan? Because she was important in Kirk’s life long before, and long after, Khan.

Yep, Harrison and Harold Erickson… but I still hope there’s no Khan connection.

You know, I wonder whether the “It’s Mitchell/It’s Khan” stuff was intimidating non-Trek fans, who might think they need to know all this absurd
backstory to enjoy the film.

Still, the “who is it?” has cost them little (other than a lot of security on set and probably a bunch of lawyering to arrange nondisclosure agreements) and gotten incredible publicity. Works a lot better at devloping mystery than an ARG.

503. Khan Khan Not Khan - December 13, 2012

It’s rather simple:

* Gary Mitchell’s story was told in the IDW comics. boborci has confirmed these are CANON Star Trek stories for NuTrek.

* Khan’s story has not been told in the IDW comics.

Hmmm… More clues?

I maintain it’s not Khan himself. It’s one of his henchmen, perhaps someone that was awakened from suspended animation. For whatever reason, Khan and the others are still asleep.

The tubes are likely Khan’s people (and possible Khan himself), still asleep.

The leaked photos with Quinto and Cumberbatch fighting… perhaps on the exterior of a crashed S.S. Botany Bay?

And what of Peter Weller’s “CEO” character? And the Klingons?

Whatever the case, this story IS related to Khan, imho. It’s not Gary Mitchell. It’s not Garth of Izar. Frankly, I’m saddened it’s not the Mirror Universe storyline. THAT would have made an exciting story! But I’m looking forward to ST Into Darkness with great anticipation!

504. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

“Seriously if the villian REALLY is John Harrisson, that is the laziest and lamest villain name for Star Trek.”

Ya think so? Seriously, it would be ‘Nero.’

505. Aleksandar Cuk - December 13, 2012

For the people supporting this article’s “evidence” that the villain is Khan: Do you understand the concept of an homage? Directors and writers use it all the time in movies to pay respect to previous works (whether in the same franchise or not). In my opinion, it would be extremely shallow if they did Khan in face of all these little nods to TOS and TWOK.
Carol Marcus for example. There is no connection between her and Khan…yes they both appear in TWOK, so what? Her character is an homage. Most people won’t care about her name, but it’s gonna be a nod to the fans and Star Trek in general. The same thing applies to the collar and the glass scene (especially this scene, because we don’t even know if it’s depicting Spock and Kirk). Why are you taking these small things so seriously?
Also, Khan doesn’t equate to better business. It’s been a while since Khan, and most of the new fans will only have heard of the name (if that). There is no way Khan would make a difference in box office totals.
Finally, ethnicity does matter. Star Trek is not Batman or some other IP that has went through multiple treatments. ST relies on canon, and this much of a change in the character’s ethnicity would be disrespectful to the character and his makers (whether you believe its a racial issue or not)

506. jeff rubin - December 13, 2012

GOT THIS ONE ABSOLUTELY FIGURED OUT: Cumberbatch will play a character consistent with “canon,” we’ve been told by Orci and company. At the same time, no one knows who this Harrison dude is. How is that possible?

Simple: Cumberbatch will play another of the genetic “supermen” in Khan’s group, probably one of the frozen stiffs from the Botany Bay. But in this timeline, he’ll have established dominance over Khan, and probably killed him, making him the new alpha among these refugees and thus a bigger threat than Khan.

Think about it: The producers get to give the audience a few winks to TOS and Wrath of Khan, but by making the threat a different Eugenics War superman, they can go their own way and still do something fresh.

507. psb2009 - December 13, 2012

Khan as the villain in ST2 made sense because he had history with Kirk and the whole plot could be structured around that. Here, the history wouldn’t exist- Khan will have just been woken up, perhaps bent on revenge against earth, but he would barely know Kirk. The motive for him, or for Kirk, to be hell bent on stopping each other, would lack this very important dramatic spin of TWOK. I think the crew behind the new Trek are too smart to have a one-dimensional bad guy. It is someone else.

508. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

Gingerly? Where are you?

It’s not going to be Khan.

If John Harrison is another member of the Botany Bay — like the real triggerman of the JFK assassination, or something — then that is one of the older theories floating around: J Theory (Joaquim Theory).

Joaquim is just a “stand-in” for “some other Botany Bay superdude.”

So if the evidence continues to mount that it’s Khan — disregard it. J Theory is being validated.

I think gingerly liked J Theory. She may end up having put her money on the right horse.

And BTW, that also explains the casting shenanigans, which is something I’ve been looking for every theory to do. K Theory did it the worst, which is also why it isn’t my favorite.

I’ll bet that they started out with JOAQUIM as the antagonist in the script, and when they couldn’t get Del Toro, and Cumberbatch knocked them out with his performance, JOAQUIM morphed into HARRISON.

Bob’s lie, in that case, would be that the villain was CANON.

So J Theory — one of the oldest — is now a top contender!

509. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

So, the score is:

M Theory (Mitchell): OUT.
K Theory (Khan) OUT.

J Theory (Joaquim): IN
CG Theory (Colonel Green): IN
JOTR Theory (Kirk’s brother): IN

And we still need to know who Weller is playing. They released the name of Cumberbatch’s character, which is more than they are doing for Peter Weller. They are keeping that one close, and very few of us seem focused on it.

510. Superman - December 13, 2012

I don’t see why this is so hard for people to get.

Go watch “Space Seed” again. Notice that Bones has a matter of SECONDS to save Khan’s live aboard the Botany Bay.

SECONDS.

Is it that hard to grasp that, like in real life, things can change dramatically in only a matter of seconds?

In the Prime timeline, Khan is saved. His crew is revived later.

In this timeline, he dies. The next chamber over is Harrison’s. Bones is able to revive him. He’s taken aboard the Enterprise, given a uniform (a HOMAGE to Khan in Space Seed), and is monitored in sickbay.

As in the Prime timeline, Spock investigates. Finds out who Khan was, that he was really bad news. Then reads the bios of the other Augments (recall we never hear their origins in the Prime timeline) and learns that John Harrison is also very, very bad news.

Harrison is put into the brig after showing malicious intent, hence the pic we’ve seen.

I’ve said too much already, but hopefully, razzo, this will get you to understand: ALL of your “evidence” references the homages to the timeline fans know. Those are the nods to them. To the general audience, who won’t get them, they are simply beats in a new story.

It’s that simple, and yet, that brilliant.

511. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

504. Michael Hall – December 13, 2012

“Seriously if the villian REALLY is John Harrisson, that is the laziest and lamest villain name for Star Trek.”

Ya think so? Seriously, it would be ‘Nero.’

***

Come on, Michael. At least wait to see the movie before you start attacking it. Give Cumberbatch the benefit of the doubt that when he read the part, he saw something there worth doing not measured by $$$ alone.

512. razzo - December 13, 2012

To be honest at first I didn’t want it to be Khan.

I just got thrilled for a new movie, and I wanted it to have a new villain with a brand new story and everything.

My biggest satisfaction is to watch Kirk, Spock and the main crew facing adversity and impossible situations, all in a movie made with modern technology and with a touch of references to the previous Star Trek titles.

But after a couple of evidences that this movie goes with a Khan-related plot, I simply admitted he would be the villain.
And I didn’t even get to know the whole list of proofs at that time, I just used logic.

The thing is, now I’ll be really disappointed on their work if it’s not Khan, despite all these facts that lead us to believe it is.
Because it would mean they sucked the entire Khan story and used it in another character.
That’s inadmissible.

They have so much potential, so much quality, and are so concerned (allegedly) about the characters’ depth, then copying a villain for the sake of it just doesn’t add!

It doesn’t make sense to make a villain who consists of the exact same as Khan and fill the movie with direct links to him, and yet completely waste him.

That would be the dumbest thing ever. It simply can’t be. It’s not only improbable, it’s plain stupid.

Either he would be in the movie, or not at all.
If he is, in any sense, then he must be the master villain AND be played by BC (I’m not even saying John Harrison=Khan, it’s a possibility, but the fact is that BC would play Khan if he is in the movie), simply because having two identically built and driven villains in the same movie is just not possible at all.
If he is not, then this movie and all its makers stand for are the biggest waste of money, time, talent, creativity and opportunity ever.

And since I personally believe they ARE worth my time and trust, I think they won’t make this movie a let-down in any way.

To be even more honest I’m just following the threads/posts here because there’s always fresh news and I’m just waiting for someone to spill the beans at any moment.

Then I’ll be gone and wait for the premiere.

513. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@463 Anaxagoras of the South,

Thanks for that very well reasoned explanation. You remind me why I come here, to learn something new, and get a different point of view.

As for the current argument, I’ve sort of gotten the idea just now that the opposing sides are playing two different games.

It’s not that Khan can’t be re-imagined as a white guy with an English accent. This makes perfect sense from a number of facts, including yours.

I think the opposition is saying, you shouldn’t do this. And yes many hardcore Trek fans, have a point. Just like Superman has Blue eyes. You don’t change something that is an iconic part of the character for the fan base. Obviously for Abrams, eye color is not a big deal. And I would generally agree. Personally, I don’t really care how they choose to depict Khan, I can come up with many convoluted backstories to reconcile Khan’s appearance.

But that’s not the point.

The point is there’s a game being played which Orci has informally agreed to host here … And that is one where Orci tells us things, things like he doesn’t lie. Things like John Harrison comes from Canon. That he is a fan like us and honors canon prior to Nero’s incursion.

So to play the game, we follow the rules and make guesses accordingly. But if they are going to retcon Khan so that Cumberbatch can play him, then they’ve changed the rules without telling us, and then are essentially cheating. In which case, then all this is really no fun.

On the other hand, the opposition only seems to care about fitting a Khan peg into a John hole. And that means, anything Orci has said to us doesn’t matter, because they assume he doesn’t really care about things he’s previously told this on this forum. As I said, its easy to make John Harrison Khan. But not while being true to canon as Orci previously pledged.

In the end, what I don’t understand is that if the filmmakers want so bad to hide the true identity of the villain, then why all but hang a sign on Cumberbatch saying he’s Khan? What’s with the subterfuge? Why call him John Harrison if he’s really Khan? If all signs point to Khan, what’s the point? If we all agree tomorrow it’s Khan because Abrams has done such a good job giving us clues that its him, what would the Supreme Court do if it really is him? Try to convince us it’s not him?

514. razzo - December 13, 2012

@510: Actually you haven’t said too much, you have said less than many other people have, on the same theory.

It’s cool and I like it and yes it makes total sense, structure-wise!
Seriously, it fits and your point is valid as a consistent theory.

But again, it doesn’t explain the behavior of the movie marketing/crew/cast/etc.

And you said nothing more than what people have been saying for a few days.
I’d honestly like to know you have more information than most people (it’s nice to know some well-informed users are adding up to the debate), but you give no signs of it, except for your saying so.

I’m getting tired of all this discussion, though. So, if you have some really new info to share, please type my nick in your post when you write it, so I can track it if I come back to check the discussion pages. Then I’ll be glad to talk about whatever it is.

515. MJ - December 13, 2012

@482 / Micheal Hall: ” For the record, there never has been any such place as McKinley Air Force Base, nor did Colonel Shaun Geoffrey Christopher ever make it to Saturn. Nevertheless, those things are, and remain, part of the established Star Trek mythos.”

Sure, we can nitpick some minor historical details in a couple of episodes, but that hardly provides cover for a massive event in human history that has now been show to never have happened — the 1990’s Eugenics Wars and Khan”s rise to power and leaving on a star-ship with suspended animation capability.

“And yes, TOS was never anything but an “alternate” universe for Roddenberry to tell his tales in, and never to be taken seriously as a depiction of a possible human future. If you don’t believe that, you never heard any of the man’s college lectures back during the ’70s”

Having spent a four-day weekend in 1977 with Gene and a small group of pro-space enthusiasts in DC, I can personally attest to he fact that he did view Star Trek as a possible future for us — he freaking said so directly to us. If Rod Roddenberry is viewing this post, I am sure he could confirm that this was Gene’s view as well. Star Trek was not intended as a Harry Turtledove-style alternate history story — and we all know that whether it is convenient to mention that here or not.

And Michael, even if I were to agree with what you are saying (and I don’t), then basically you provide all these well thought our reasons on why Star Trek is an alternate universe, but then insist the story of Khan and Khan himself stay statics. Isn’t that essentially hypocritical? Why not just create a slightly different alternative universe then where Khan is a bit different looking and the Eugenics Wars happen as part of WWIII in the 2050’s.

So either way you want it, Khan is in play here for the new movie with a different look and a new back-story. I think it may not end up being Khan exactly, but a Khan-centric story (and I welcome DM Duncan on board my bandwagon in that regard) that we will not know much more about until we all see the movie.

516. MJ - December 13, 2012

DM, I do like your Botany Bay-based scenario for a Khan-like movie. It is certainly one possibility for a Khan-concentric film here.

517. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

421. Jay – December 13, 2012

#412 I think he was bronzed in Space Seed. It looks like makeup, and he was much pale-er in TWOK.

Are you actually starting to accept the possiblity that BC is Khan?? I’m encouraged.

***************

I’ve ALWAYS thought it was Khan. I know BC could be other characters, but Khan is the clear frontrunner. All I was disputing is the claim that Carol Marcus wouldn’t be in the movie without Khan. That’s nuts, she’s the mother of his child, so its not odd that she’d be in a movie without Khan. It’s like if we saw Sulu have a kid, that doesn’t automatically mean we’re going to see Dr. Soran show up.

Each factoid that points to Khan (The glass, Marcus, the stoyline, BC strength, Botany Bay scene that they wanted for ST09, etc) can be explained away on their own. It’s only when you consider them together that it indicates Khan. And there happens to be a lot of support for the Khan theory, and you don’t have to stretch much to make Khan fit the villian.

518. MJ - December 13, 2012

@513 “So to play the game, we follow the rules and make guesses accordingly. But if they are going to retcon Khan so that Cumberbatch can play him, then they’ve changed the rules without telling us, and then are essentially cheating. In which case, then all this is really no fun.”

Regarding Khan and Eugenics Wars, history has already changed those rules above and beyond what JJ and company can do — the Eugenics War/Khan Story never happened in the 1990’s, so this film is as good as any opportunity in Trek to re-imagine and update the Khan story so that it is not historically irrelevant and silly anymore.

History changed the rules anyway, so go make us a new Khan, Bob.

519. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

516. MJ – December 13, 2012

I don’t think it’s likely, you understand, but that is one way that I would buy it.

Khan as a shapeshifting superman, rather than Garth of Izar.

520. Red Shirt Diaries - December 13, 2012

Guys, Star Trek has always been about the future, and a better world. I don’t recall any of ST’s leaders over the years saying it was alternate history scifi. That’s just preposterous!

Star Trek is a vision for the future; it’s not suppose to be like an Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter type of alternate history. Give me a break!

521. razzo - December 13, 2012

@513: You bring some good points. Like the feeling that they’re cheating on the game they started part. It’s a really annoying thing and I feel like all this secret is starting to piss me off more than intriguing or anything else.

If they openly announced that THE VILLAIN IS JOHN HARRISON, then what on Earth is the point of STILL refusing to talk about Khan, and even MENTION the character’s name?

“Make people guess” is not an answer. Guess WHAT, if they already stated who’s the freaking villain?

It’s so annoying. That’s why I’m just waiting for one of them trip in their lying way. A few trips happened but nothing conclusive enough. But It’ll be soon, they won’t hold this for 10 months.

Maybe they’ll simply make a big fuss about Khan soon, and act as if it was a big surprise and make it go to the cover of magazines and headlines of sites worldwide.

Either way, I’d like to see what you said happening. If all the fans agreed it’s Khan, then what would they do? I really would like that to happen.

But most of fans don’t know how to play this and will simply keep debating and making them happy with the speculations growing around the movie.

522. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 477 dmduncan,

Hell yeah man, I like that setup. That is a Kahn related story I’d like to see. Great imagery. Way to use Trek canon to please everybody!

In the end though, if we really all want it to be Khan, all we have to do is go back to the beginning in Space Seed from which we learned what Khan is supposed to look like. Because McGivers was instantly smitten, and suspected he was Khan from the start, she was offering an opinion based on knowledge rather than observation, which she kept to herself. Then we discount Montalban’s appearance, which is not correct anyway, and we land with Cumberbatch in the role.

But I’m like you. If it is Khan, despite all the flashing neon signs point directly at it being Khan, then Orci will honor his pledge to us and reconcile this disparity with canon, and not just Khan’s appearance but change of M.O. as well. Frankly I would even be happy in part with something like “the Klingons ran experiments on him and altered his DNA in the process”.

523. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

dmduncan–

“Come on, Michael. At least wait to see the movie before you start attacking it. Give Cumberbatch the benefit of the doubt that when he read the part, he saw something there worth doing not measured by $$$ alone.”

Think you misunderstood my post, guy, which was just about Trek 2009’s villain being named ‘Nero’–which I thought was just a really lame moniker for the captain of a Romulan mining ship, and still do. As for STID, I make no judgements at all, and am in fact encouraged by some of what I’ve seen and read. (At the very least, if relying on a villain to propel the story once again they must, it looks like they’re making the effort to give him some texture and decent motivation this time out, whoever he turns out to be.) I’m looking forward to seeing the footage over the weekend, will keep an open mind, and if I like what I see then (and in May, of course) I’ll be happy to say so. Fair enough?

524. jelly - December 13, 2012

I just don’t like the point Carol Marcus is there so it has to be Kahn. She is involved with Kirk long before TWOK, it would seem almost too much of a coincidence Marcus and Kahn show up at the same time in the alternate reality timeline.

525. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

512: “It doesn’t make sense to make a villain who consists of the exact same as Khan and fill the movie with direct links to him, and yet completely waste him.”

“That would be the dumbest thing ever. It simply can’t be. It’s not only improbable, it’s plain stupid.”

No, it isn’t stupid. It’s smart, from just about every angle, including the marketing campaign which is generating so much khantroversy.

Because Khan and Joachim-stand-in Harrison are both supermen on the same Botany Bay, all clues that point to Khan as the villain could point just as plausibly at Harrison.

The fans would be tricking themselves.

As long as nobody OFFICIAL outright LIED to us and said that yes, the villain was Khan, then it’s the fans who are falsely concocting the Khan scenario by misreading the direction the clues being released point in.

The could point just as well to Joachim-stand-in Harrison as at Khan.

The only khanfirmation we got was AP’s mystery source. But we now know that they are actively DISinforming us.

Bob’s lie. Karl Urban’s little Gary Mitchell slip. Perhaps even Capt. April’s Gatling Gun. Yes, AP’s mystery source could have done the same thing.

I don’t think they have many countermeasures left to use against us. :-)

One of those theories I outlined is going to be it.

In addition, Harrison gives them something Khan does not: a NEW character to develop. New personality, new motivation, new everything.

The reason J Theory has persisted so long is because it’s a good idea.

526. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

523: “Think you misunderstood my post, guy, which was just about Trek 2009′s villain being named ‘Nero’”

You are right, I did. Thanks for the clarification.

527. MJ - December 13, 2012

@525. DM, I am pretty much on board with everything you are saying here. This also explains the key evidence of Anthony’s breaking story on Khan being villain — yea, Khan himself would not be exactly the villain, but the jist of Anthony’s story is essentially correct with this nuKhan being the villain.

528. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

BUT……i’ll add a caveat to my comments on Khan.

I fully think that these writers are capable of shaking things up. Think about Vulcan in the last movie, who saw that coming? So I’m expecting the twist in Harrison to be well executed. And although I think its Khan, I’m only 60% sure.

529. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

Remember TWO facts:

Lindelof said how they joked about putting an image of the Botany Bay at the end of the movie.

And remember how Bob affirmed that they did the story they always wanted to do.

Which does not necessarily indicate a KHAN story, but a BOTANY BAY SUPERVILLAIN story.

Doing a Joachim-stand-in character has MORE than the benefits of Khan — new person, new motivation, more for the writers to contribute to canon.

530. MJ - December 13, 2012

Right now, I would place the odds at:

Khan himself as the villain: 40%

nuKhan/Jochim/Botany Bay guy being villain: 60%

Either way you have here, it is going to be a Khan-centric story — that is at least 95% probable at this point I would say.

531. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

527. MJ – December 13, 2012

He’s a stand in! It explains WHY K Theory won’t go away and why so many people keep seeing Khan in this. In this new universe it will not be Khan, it will be this new guy, Harrison.

I’m confident that if they had been able to sign Benicio Del Toro, this character’s name would be Joachiim instead of Harrison.

And remember, MJ, I’m pretty sure you yourself endorsed J Theory at one time.

It may be time to get back with it! ;-)

532. MJ - December 13, 2012

@530. Wow, I can’t believe in all the time I have held the “it’s Khan” position here in the last 14 months that I had actually completely forgotten about that key piece of info about that intended “Botany Bay floating in space” scene for the end of the first movie.

This info is like the last “circumstantial smoking gun” that “broke the camels back” here if I might risk using multiple over-used cliches in one sentence to “drive my point home.” :-)

533. MJ - December 13, 2012

@532. I agree. I’ve been preaching a “Khan-centric” story for the past week now, which encompasses option like that — but you have done a great service here by really spelling out how this scenario could work.

You are correct. It’s looking like that will most likely be the case, although I maintain that Khan himself is also still in play, if less likely.

534. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@ 518 MJ,

You and I are NEVER going to agree on this.

Fiction by default takes place in an alternate universe, often parallel to our own immediate timeline. It is understood. By EVERYONE.

There was no Major Anthony Nelson in the NASA Space Program in the 1960s. No JR Ewing in 1980s Dallas, no president Bartlett in the White House in the 90s, no airline called Oceanic Air, there is no basement lab in the Kresge Building on the Longwood Campus of Harvard University, in Boston, Massachusetts, where Walter Bishop ran his Fringe Programs in the 1970s and 80s and currently resides. Yet audiences have been accepting such premises since the invention of entertainment and somehow managing not to laugh their heads off because they know its not real.

It is laughable to discuss a fictional TV series in which events may occur during our recorded history as if the series is reality.

535. CptnKrunch - December 13, 2012

Cumberbatch reportedly plays a cannon character…”John Harrison” is not a name that appears in TOS cannon…so…the name “John Harrison” is an alias…a character with super powers who does inhabit TOS cannon is “Charlie X” (an alias)…therefore…Charlie is more likely than Kahn to be the character that Cumberbatch is portraying.

536. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

533. MJ – December 13, 2012

We’ll might SEE Khan. Maybe a flashback scenario showing what happened to the Botany Bay. Because if the movie BEGINS with Harrison as we are told it does, then the Botany Bay story is already in the past. They’ve been discovered by whomever and are now inside starfleet as the film begins.

So we will have to get a flashback.

537. No Khan - December 13, 2012

Could they really be that bankrupt story telling wise as to kill Spock to copy TWOK in some fashion. The reason Spock was killed was due to Nimoy demanding he dies.

538. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

we’ll = we

539. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

531 dmduncan

The only thing about Harriman being a new character is this: Why wouldn’t they just say he’s a new character, a terrorist, and don’t show clips with him jumping around, saving the reveal that he’s an augment for the movie? The subterfuge makes it look like its a Canon character, because they haven’t said it isn’t.

540. LogicalLeopard - December 13, 2012

531 dmduncan

The only thing about Harriman being a new character is this: Why wouldn’t they just say he’s a new character, a terrorist, and don’t show clips with him jumping around, saving the reveal that he’s an augment for the movie? The subterfuge makes it look like its a Canon character, because they haven’t said it isn’t.

541. MJ - December 13, 2012

@534. Dude, the entire reason I have loved scifi, especially hard scifi taking place 50 years or more in OUR future, much more than fantasy all my life is because I like the idea that it could actually happen. So when I have it in my favorite scifi media show, ST, where something like the Eugenics Wars and Khan didn’t happen in the 1990’s, my preference is that this gets eventually fixed in a story at some point. Again, I get the suspension of disbelief for minor things that are singular in certain episodes where they might time travel — I don’t fret over those.

There I go again! Yea, we are probably going to disagree on this forever! :-))

542. MJ - December 13, 2012

All, I feel like we reached a threshold now where finally, after over a year of debating on this, over 50% of the people here are thinking some take on the Khan story will be the basis for this movie.

I think this is a watershed.

543. Michael Hall - December 13, 2012

“Having spent a four-day weekend in 1977 with Gene and a small group of pro-space enthusiasts in DC, I can personally attest to he fact that he did view Star Trek as a possible future for us — he freaking said so directly to us. If Rod Roddenberry is viewing this post, I am sure he could confirm that this was Gene’s view as well. Star Trek was not intended as a Harry Turtledove-style alternate history story — and we all know that whether it is convenient to mention that here or not.”

Well, that’s interesting. Not by any means questioning your statement, but all I can tell you is that I heard Roddenberry speak on at least three separate occasions, and his take on Trek and its cultural (let alone futurological) significance was always very measured: it was an accomplishment he was certainly proud of (though there were any number of episodes he wished he could bury), but one that in its specifics in no way reflected his view of what the future would actually hold, save that he thought it would be an exciting and hopeful one. (His laugh line, always repeated at the events I attended, was something to the effect that “Had I proposed a series that showed the future the way I really saw it, I probably would have been arrested!”) He was also fond of saying that the true magic of Trek lay not in the show itself, but rather in the hopes and dreams of its fans for a better world. Personally I like what Roddenberry said in my company a heckuva lot more than what he said in yours, as it reflects both a humility and a grounded appraisal of what Trek really accomplished in the great scheme of things that his critics rarely give him credit for.

“And Michael, even if I were to agree with what you are saying (and I don’t), then basically you provide all these well thought our reasons on why Star Trek is an alternate universe, but then insist the story of Khan and Khan himself stay statics. Isn’t that essentially hypocritical? Why not just create a slightly different alternative universe then where Khan is a bit different looking and the Eugenics Wars happen as part of WWIII in the 2050′s.”

Actually I don’t ‘insist’ on anything at all but that the filmmakers play by the rules they initially proposed, or go ahead and admit that the game has changed. And just to refresh your memory, their premise in 2009 went like this: create a time-altered framework where characters and events unfold differently going forward, in the reasonable interest of allowing for some creative wiggle-room in a fictional universe that just about everyone agreed had grown stale and over-burdened with its own mythology. Fine. That was their choice, and their definition of the distinction between a “re-imagining” and a “reboot.” It doesn’t cover changing the entire backstory of a major historical character just because there’s a particular actor you have a hard-on to cast. As I said in an earlier post, if it turns out that Cumberbatch was the absolute dicator of Europe in the J.J. ‘verse rather than Asia, fine. Again, my guess is that isn’t in fact what the filmmakers are up to. But if they are, then call it a reboot, because that’s what it is.

544. CptnKrunch - December 13, 2012

I’m certain of three things at this point…the world will not end on December 21…whenever Useless Moonvest is put into a transporter loop ST will return to the small screen…and John Harrison is not Kahn.

545. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

539. LogicalLeopard – December 13, 2012

Because they are trying to hide his identity. They may be having a discussion about whether they showed the right cuts or not, i.e., did they reveal too much with that cut or this one? Bottom line is, if he is not a TOTALLY new character there is a danger we could discover his identity. If he’s totally new, we couldn’t do that. We’d literally have to read their minds to know what they were thinking.

I think of Harrison as pseudo-canon. His character is IMPLIED by canon because there were many people on the Botany Bay whose names we never discovered.

And I do think that Harrison would be Joachim right now had Del Toro been signed.

Even though Harrison is a new character, he is implied by canon as I said, so unlike a totally new character, there was some danger we could figure out who he was.

There’s more to it than that, but that’s enough.

546. MJ - December 13, 2012

@534 “Personally I like what Roddenberry said in my company a heckuva lot more than what he said in yours, as it reflects both a humility and a grounded appraisal of what Trek really accomplished in the great scheme of things that his critics rarely give him credit for.”

Well, the context of my contact with Gene was what was called in the late 70’s and early 80’s the “pro-space moment”, which consisted of the L-5 Society, World Space Federation, National Space Society, Oneill’s group and others. And he was part of a convention we put on in DC where we tried to bring science fiction fans, Trek fans, futurists, NASA and space buffs together to plot this great vision of a space future (man, I wish that had worked out — ah, the naivety of youth). Additionally, Gene assisted us about two years later in getting a NASA official to support another event — Gene had some pull and some contacts at NASA.

So this context may be why we heard a different message from you?

” It doesn’t cover changing the entire back-story of a major historical character just because there’s a particular actor you have a hard-on to cast.”

At a philosophical level here, yea, I agree with this. However, the exception here in this specific case is that given the Eugenics Wars/Khan never happened in the 1990’s, I’d like to see the back-story redone anyhow. And given that, it is therefore less important for me that the re-imagined Khan look like a Hispanic trying to play an Indian again.

547. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

For the purposes of this game, I’ve been thinking of JJ as Colonel Graff.

I love JJ…but I hate Graff. ;-)

548. MJ - December 13, 2012

@545 DM, it’s possible that he is used and abused by Starfleet black ops (including the Klingon fight), and then escapes or twists the Enterprise’s crew into getting out from Star-fleets control…the genie get’s out of the bottle…and then he wants to both settle scores with Starfleet as well as Earth in general.

And Weller might be his handler.

549. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

I’m not giving up Weller as Paxton.

They still have his identity concealed, and Paxton’s gene-freak background ties him thematically to the Botany Bay.

He may play a small but crucial role in the story, like Spock Prime did in ST.09, perhaps with the backstory of the Botany Bay’s discovery in this timeline.

That, or maybe the Captain April stuff was not a red herring. Could be Weller. But I’m not testing my weight on that yet.

550. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@549 dmduncan,

Even though Orci said Weller is not canon?

Don’t get me Wrong, I’d like to see Weller tied to canon, but in light of Orci’s recent statements about lying …

551. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

He said he lied. He also said he lied about saying that he lied! So he’s having some fun here too. :-) Which is good.

So I’m sticking to what makes sense to me in me context of everything else until I get something better to go on.

552. Superman - December 13, 2012

For those hung up on the “canon character” thing:

this comment does not in any way, shape, or form imply a PREVIOUS character from canon. Rather, it rather slyly refers to a character FROM the previous canon.

Meaning? ALL of the Botany Bay crew are canon characters as they all appeared in some form in either “Space Seed” or TWOK.

Please, do yourself a favor, and accept that it isn’t Khan. Save yourself the disappointment.

553. DeShonn Steinblatt - December 13, 2012

You don’t respect canon by refusing to change anything so die-hards can pretend there is only one universe.

You respect canon by boxing it up and leaving it behind unchanged, never to be referenced again.

554. Adolescent Nightmare - December 13, 2012

There is no canon now.

555. FSL - December 13, 2012

Isn’t “Khan” a title, as in “Khan” Noonien Singh. So Cumberbatch can be playing a “Khan” John Harrison.

556. Thomas - December 13, 2012

I’m increasingly convinced that John Harrison is not Khan, but was originally written to be. The initial casting preferences lean toward the possibility of Khan, but once Cumberbatch was cast, I believe the character was tweaked somewhat to more appropriately fit the actor. Yes, he seems to have some Khan-like qualities, but there are differences in the character that cannot be explained by the timeline change; namely, his ethnicity. The change in the timeline cannot explain how a man who should be clearly understood to be Hindi is suddenly a white man of English extraction. Everyone on these threads is throwing out the kind of convoluted fan theories that only people on these threads would ever consider, accept, digest, etc., i.e. nothing that would (or should) ever end up on screen. All that to say nothing of the fact that people would raise holy hell if an Indian character was played by a white actor. People on these threads have already cited the protesting of Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger by Native American groups. Why should anyone think that STiD would be the exception?

“And ultimately, Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers, embracing diversity, and we know that no actor should be limited in the roles they play by their ethnicity, only by their talent. I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.”

While I generally agree with Tenuto’s sentiment, I challenge it with this question:

Would Star Trek fans openly accept and embrace the character of James T. Kirk if J.J. recast him as a black man? By the logic being thrown around by people on these threads, it’s just as valid a notion as making Khan white.

557. Vedek Anon - December 13, 2012

Don’t like to weigh in often, but I have one very large beef with the KKKKhan is ccomminng to kkkill us (props to Kevin Kline). If you were Spock, and you have already f**ked up the timeline by having your homeworld accidentally wiped from the universe.

Wouldn’t you possibly tell Starfleet Command, “Hey, how ’bout you not wake up the psychopath sleeping in sector 332. He’s a bad guy. Here is one torpedo, there is the Botany Bay, you do the math.”

Just Saying…..

558. Curious Cadet - December 13, 2012

@552 Superman,

Actually for my money, this includes any character referenced but never seen. I would much prefer John Harrison’s background to be connected to a character that hasn’t even been mentioned through one of these references, rather than have ANYTHING to do with Khan.

But my position on this has ALWAYS been that everything is on the table, though arguably some things are more likely than others. Khan is by no means at this point a lock, with Khan-adjacent doing marginally better. The jury is still, out on Khan-centric, and I wonder exactly to what that will extend … We’re the augment stories from Enterprise Khan-centric, or Khan-adjacent? After all, Khan was merely one of many augments, the fates of all were never clearly established in canon — and up to 90 were unaccounted for after Khan and his 84 followers left in the Botany Bay. This could be someone completely unrelated to Khan at all.

559. Thomas - December 13, 2012

558. Curious Cadet

Your theory (and canonically-established facts) dovetail nicely with the theory that John Harrison is a rewritten Khan character. That is, he was meant to be Khan, but casting forced an adjustment of the character.

560. Anthony Pascale - December 13, 2012

I have been busy today and so haven’t been reading through the comments but firstly I want to thank John for offering to pen his analysis. This was all him. I wrote about Khan and some other things back in April so I don’t really have a theory, but John’s take shows why he is a professor and I am not.

And by the way if one of the contributors had an interesting analysis on why the villain was actually The Borg, or Gary Mitchell, with a compelling case. I would have run that as well. Diversity of voices is important to me here at TM.

And as I have always said I very much encourage and welcome reader commentary and opinions here, but also a sense of decorum. And I must admit that I expect a bit of deference to the contributing writers as they put in a lot of effort and its just the nice thing to do. And so I ask everyone who seems to be getting a bit overheated to relax, take a chill pill, and find way to debate or even object without being objectionable and in general nasty.

Thank you and have a nice day

561. BulletInTheFace - December 13, 2012

He is not Khan.

Period.

He never was Khan.

He isn’t Khan.

That much is absolutely clear.

You guys are going ballistic over a non-issue.

562. Rose (as in Keachick) - December 13, 2012

“2D twat” is my new name for that guy from that 1982 Star Trek movie where the villain was that 2D twat from the TOS episode Space Seed.

In that 1982 movie, it was either Spock or Kirk who noticed that this individual was two dimensional in his way of thinking. The Enterprise and the Reliant were both hiding out in the nebula whatsitsname. Hence the 2D bit and ‘twat’ because well, he was a bit of an annoying twat at times…

I hope for a *better* John Harrison. With that name being so frequently seen and heard now, it is hardly surprising that Zachary Quinto or any of the other actors for that matter, might slip up and say that name without it necessarily meaning anything at all.

Therefore, that man is now named 2D twat or that Ricardo guy (no disrespect intended for Ricardo Montalban, who was just brilliant).

Kudos to Benedict Cumberbatch – so far, he seems to be holding up well.

563. dmduncan - December 13, 2012

“I have been busy today and so haven’t been reading through the comments but firstly I want to thank John for offering to pen his analysis. This was all him. I wrote about Khan and some other things back in April so I don’t really have a theory, but John’s take shows why he is a professor and I am not.”

Tenuto is wrong, though. As wrong as your shadowy source. John Harrison IS John Harrison. He’s not going to pull his face off at the end of the movie and reveal Khan.

564. MJ - December 13, 2012

@563 “Tenuto is wrong, though. As wrong as your shadowy source. John Harrison IS John Harrison. He’s not going to pull his face off at the end of the movie and reveal Khan.”

Can you imagine how fun that would be though if at the end of the movie, he does pull some bio-tech face mask off, an a CGI-created Montelban-Khan is under it. The would be so bizarre!

565. L4YERCAKE - December 13, 2012

To anyone who thinks they started with Khan and then rewrote the character to fit Cumberbatch:

Come on. If Christopher Nolan had originally planned to use the Joker in The Dark Knight and then had a change of heart and rewrote it as an original character called “The Mime” or some such, no matter how great the performance was he would’ve been furiously derided for all time for not just going with the Joker in the first place, and rightly so.

It’s Khan. One really hasn’t needed to have access to thousands of photos and papers to piece all this together, it’s been obvious for months, if not years now. Abrams and co. are doing the right thing to tease us and it’s fun. Most likely it means they have an awesome story and want us to experience as much of it as a surprise as possible while still getting everyone they possibly can into the theaters to see it. Means they’re probably proud and respectful of what they’ve accomplished and can’t wait to finally present their gift as a love letter to Trek fans, old and new.

(And no disrespect meant to the writer of this article, by the way.)

566. Aurore - December 13, 2012

Offering to pen one’s analysis is fine.

Pretending to know what Ricardo Montalbán would think of the casting:

“I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.”

Is another matter altogether, as far as I am concerned.

Especially, if this kind of statement is not allowed to be challenged.

567. boborci - December 13, 2012

32. americon

well, JJ sure keeps hiring me (a cuban/mexican) a whole lot;)

568. boborci - December 13, 2012

109. Not a Doctor – December 13, 2012
krikey…I don’t even believe my own theories once I read them

———–

LOL! Hilarious. totally know that feeling;)

569. boborci - December 13, 2012

276. Hat Rick – December 13, 2012
Some day, peeps, I will do a book on this whole “Is It Khan” thing, wherein people break dance on the head of a pin wondering how many pah’wraiths can share the same floor.

The book will be entitled — and I’ve copyrighted it — “The Metaphysics of Darkness: From Kant to Khan” (first of 79 volumes).

You are all invited to the book signing party, held at the future site of Starfleet HQ, after it is built.

————————

I will be there asking for your autograph!

570. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 14, 2012

@ John Tenuto, while your arguments are intriguing, I do not agree. I believe that Harrrison is an Augment, like Khan, but that is the end of it.

571. Aurore - December 14, 2012

“…And ultimately, Star Trek fans are progressive thinkers, embracing diversity, and we know that no actor should be limited in the roles they play by their ethnicity, only by their talent. I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.”
_________

If I may….

He was a great man, in my opinion.

And, although I do not know what he would think, I like to believe that he would understand that some fans, like me, would appreciate the fact that Indian actors be, at least, given the opportunity to compete for the role of a man from Northern India, probably a Sikh (if such a character were to appear in the sequel):

“…..To be judged by our ability, or, lack of ability.
If we don’t have the ability, we don’t deserve the role.

What we do deserve is the opportunity to compete.
The opportunity to compete for that role.

If Eli Wallach can play a Mexican bandit better than I can, he should do it. Because in the final analysis (?), the better actor should get the role.

But, we would like very much to have the opportunity to compete for the role….”

Link if authorized, here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jbD6Ovgllc

(Starts at 12:44, but, to me, the whole interview is worth it. Even if at some point, I completely disagree with what Mr. Montalbán says about Khan Noonien Singh’s nationality.)

572. Aleksandar Cuk - December 14, 2012

boborci you must be having a good laugh right about now… can you reveal this much: has anyone on this site come close to the right scenario?

573. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#572

Hello Aurore,

As a husband of a Hispanic wife and father of a Hispanic boy, and as someone with Middle Eastern roots, I am well aware of the discrimination faced by Hispanics in society. As a sociologist, I have been a student and teacher of that history of racism and have great room in my heart for any who fight against injustice. From your post, it is evident you share a passion for equality and you have my thanks for that.

I would ask however that there is a consideration that my argument was never that a Hispanic actor (in deference to Ricardo Montalban) or an Indian actor (in deference to the generally held, and likely, assumption that because Khan is a Sikh, he is from India) should not be given the role. In fact, it appears that many actors of these backgrounds were tested for the role, whether it be Khan or not.

And you will probably not find another fan who honors Ricardo Montalban more than I do. My wife and I run a website in his honor (www.montalbanfans.com) and we have studied his life in detail. We have been fortunate to interview the actors and artists who have worked with him. We give a two hour lecture about his life story of activism and acting at the invitation of local Hispanic alliances and groups in our community.

But, I would never presume to speak for him or anyone else but myself. If you notice, the article says: “I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.”

I think.

Not I know.

But, I think.

And there are many interviews with Ricardo Montalban, among them his 1980 biography which I cannot recommend more for an amazing read about an amazing life, in which he wants everyone, of all ethnicities and races, to be treated with respect and love. In fact, love is the primary message of almost all of his interviews in his later years. The power of love and his religion.

I am more than aware of his work and role in the creation of Nostoros, a group I support and make my community aware which tries to bring attention to Hispanics and Latinos/Latinas in the arts. Montalban worked tirelessly for Hispanics to not only get roles, but to get roles that are of great variety. Thus, my comment on what I think.

My argument is that people should be judge by their talents and abiilities. I hope that JJ Abrams and his team selected the best actor they could find for all the roles played in the film. There is also the reality of actor availability and even whether the production could afford an actor that also plays a role, but those are matters of economics and logistics.

I do not appreciate any implication that because I am okay with a role being played by the best actor available and affordable that somehow that is a defense for not hiring Hispanic or Indian actors for roles.

My family experiences prejudice, like many do, and many more suffer much more. My wife has been denied work because of her heritage. I would not wish that on anyone and do not appreciate the implication of some of the replies here.

John

574. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

571. 4 8 15 16 23 42 – December 14, 2012
@ John Tenuto, while your arguments are intriguing, I do not agree. I believe that Harrrison is an Augment, like Khan, but that is the end of it.

—————————————————————-

Thanks for the reply! Harrison being an augment like Khan, but not Khan, is a real possibility and a fascinating theory also to think about!

John

575. Khan 2.0 - December 14, 2012

Like John Tenuto I too think the evidence is too strong in favour of khan for khan not to feature in some way….

Maybe BC is playing Khan but genetically altered (by the klingons? Peter wellers CEO guy?) to look like an English dude to infiltrate Starfleet (in a similar way to the villain from 2002 Bond film Die Another Day). However the big twist will be that when we see Khan it will be 1967 Space Seed Richardo Montalban (either in a photo or CG augmented footage when Kirk or Spock discover who he is – like the way Brando was still Jor El amongst the all new cast of Superman Returns)

Unless BC is playing one of Khans followers (Joachim as BC looks abit like the guy who played him in TWOK) who has been reprogrammed/re-educated to infiltrate Starfleet and is trying to find Khan who is locked away in some secret Area 51 type base (and will be played by a CG 1967 Richardo Monalban in a cameo like CG Arnie at the end of Terminator 4) leading to a climax involving a revived Khan (who will die along with Harrison…or will go on to appear in some way in ST3)

Either way I have a sneaky feeling we may see some Montalkhan in STID

576. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - December 14, 2012

@ John Tenuto, #575 –

Oh, heh, I didn’t actually expect you to reply. Looking back at my original comment, I think it’s thin on rationale.

As I stated, I think it’s clear that Harrison is an Augment, and because of this, I have to take your point #1 seriously, especially because there have been statements by the writers that the character is canon.

Since reading your article, two factors emerged that provoked me to solidify my position as to whether Harrison is Khan. The first is a quote from Cumberbatch, which was published here a day after your article: “But he has a cause; however violent and destructive the effects of his actions are, the reasons and intentions behind them are pretty noble, so hopefully at some stage in the story you’ll have a sympathy for him.”

I find two things striking about this quote: (1) Khan is a megalomaniac; the only cause Khan ever had was to gain power. Khan has no need to appeal to a cause, only his fitness as a leader, which he perceives to be self-evident. Like Hitler, Khan needs charisma to lure his followers in (and to that extent, there may be need to appeal to some external factors), but after the initial seduction, he demands blind devotion. On the other hand, the leader of a movement that follows a cause has a different approach. While power may be a goal, he will always openly appeal to the cause and external factors, not his own leadership abilities first and foremost. (2) Since Khan is a megalomaniac, and also a sociopath, viewers who are already inclined to see him as a villain (as opposed to any devoted followers) have no reason to feel sympathy for him. I might have momentarily felt sympathy for Khan when he described losing his wife, but as soon as the “superior intellect” stuff starts up, all sympathy disappears.

Besides the quote from Cumberbatch, something else came up on the 13th. From the long trailer, it has emerged (or been confirmed) that Harrison possesses some abilities or has access to resources that can heal people. I suspect that this involves some kind of gene therapy that ties with the genetic engineering of Augments. Khan has never been portrayed in such a light. He is, in his perception, self-evidently a natural-born and purpose-bred leader. Just as he needs no cause other than his own will to power, he needs demonstrate no other abilities outside of his innate capability to lead. Someone else can be a health provider, Khan is Khan!

Well, thanks for responding to my first post. We’ll see if I have worn out my welcome with this lengthy post.

577. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#567

Hi Aurore,

I did not see your reply in #567 before crafting my response of #574. I would like to add to that #574 reply that my comments in the article about what I think about Ricardo Montalban’s philosophy has to do with acting/ethnicity in general, not anything about Benedict Cumberbatch or the new film. If you note, the Montalban observation is following a generic statement of equality and is a paragraph that is not really about the film but Star Trek fans.

Thank you again

John

578. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#577, thanks for the reply! I try to read all the comments and I enjoyed your theories. Thinking about our newest observations that you write about, I was thinking how different Khan from “Space Seed” is compared to Khan from TWOK. The Khan from TWOK is a really the tortured soul, the person with a vendetta who is willing to risk his people for vengeance. The Khan from “Space Seed” is different, however. There are flashes of anger, including that disturbing sequence with Marla McGivers. However, he is intellectually stable, however cold, in that episode and while a villain, is fighting for a cause: that of his family of what we now call augments. What do you think of that theory? Thanks again!

John

579. Khan 2.0 - December 14, 2012

hey John what you think of my theory that the *real* Khan might be in STID (post 576)

580. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#580, Khan 2.0

Thanks for asking! I think that is a creative idea, that would use the technology of today as an homage to Ricardo Montalban’s iconic performance! And it certainly explains a great deal of the conflicting information!

581. Khan 2.0 - December 14, 2012

@581 yes indeed.

and regarding any possible klingon connection in STID – funnily enough early reports about The Wrath of Khan erroneously said Khan was leader of the klingons….plus in Trek II khan mentions the old klingon proverb…maybe that was an unintentional foreshadow to a another reality where he is their leader or adversary in STID?

582. Scott Macy - December 14, 2012

Well done John. Not only did you touch on a subject of great interest (almost 600 posts in 24 hours!!!), but you graciously replied to many. Ultimately, your article/blog was insightful and intriguing. Keep ‘em coming. :)

583. Aurore - December 14, 2012

“…But, I would never presume to speak for him or anyone else but myself. If you notice, the article says: ‘I think Ricardo Montalban would agree with that sentiment.’

I think.

Not I know.

But, I think.”

I did notice the choice of words.

I also noticed that it concluded the sixth part of your article: “6) The Khan ethnicity factor isn’t a factor”.

Which is not an opinion I share. Thus, I assumed, not knew for a fact, but assumed that the implication was that you thought Mr. Montalbán would agree with that sentiment.

That is what I disliked in your argument.

” And there are many interviews with Ricardo Montalban, among them his 1980 biography which I cannot recommend more for an amazing read about an amazing life, in which he wants everyone, of all ethnicities and races, to be treated with respect and love. In fact, love is the primary message of almost all of his interviews in his later years. The power of love and his religion.

I am more than aware of his work and role in the creation of Nostoros, a group I support and make my community aware which tries to bring attention to Hispanics and Latinos/Latinas in the arts. Montalban worked tirelessly for Hispanics to not only get roles, but to get roles that are of great variety. Thus, my comment on what I think.”

I have always been at odds with the notion that Hispanic actors should be considered first, to play a man from Northern India.

In the past, I’ve also said that Mr. Abrams would not, in my opinion, cast Hispanic actors for the role of Khan, without giving Indian actors a chance.

They have a right to compete for the role. Should Khan appear in the sequel.

You stated that many actors of Hispanic and/or Indian backgrounds were tested for the role, “whether it be Khan or not.” I presumed you meant male actors for the upcoming sequel.

It may be, but, if so, I did not hear much about them. Only about the Hispanic actors that were considered.

Interestingly, the reasons why you said you thought you could say what you did are identical to the reasons why I like to believe that Mr. Montalbán would understand why I spoke of Indian actors’right to compete.

Hence the post I wrote@ 572.
I, too, am aware of his work.

I wasn’t trying to lecture you. I merely was giving an opinion, again, to me, the Khan ethnicity factor is an important one to be taken into account.

“I do not appreciate any implication that because I am okay with a role being played by the best actor available and affordable that somehow that is a defense for not hiring Hispanic or Indian actors for roles.”

As I said, the way you chose to title the paragraph I objected to, along with its content, did not make it clear to me:

“One of the more popular argument against Harrison being Khan is that Cumberbatch is neither Hispanic like Ricardo Montalban, nor Indian like the character. I would reject this ethnicity based argument for several reasons….”

I personally would not reject that argument .
Which is why we disagree.

584. Aurore - December 14, 2012

(I had not seen your post @ 578.
before typing@584.)

Thank you for your replies.

585. Aurore - December 14, 2012

Correction.584.

Only about the Hispanic actors that were considered.
=
Only about the Hispanic actors who were considered.

586. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#584

Hello Aurore,

Thank you for the discussion. I am not certain that I disagree with you. Perhaps you disagree with me, but I do not think the reverse is true.

Indeed, I agree with you on everything except perhaps your intrepretation of my intentions.

The title of that section about “ethnicty isn’t a factor” does not refer to:

1) ethnicity in society or in reality not being a factor or important concern (after all, I have ethnicity and race, too, as does everyone, which has, and continues, to shape my experiences and opportunities)

or

2) that ethnicity and racial concerns in how Hollywood casts various roles does not have a disturbing and prejudicial concern. Indeed, I volunteer my time to give talks on Hollywood stereotypes of Italians and Hispanics to my community, and see this as important issue.

The idea that title and my disucssion was conveying was that I was rejecting the argument that some have forwarded that Benedict Cumberbatch can not be Khan because he is not, atleast presumedly, not Indian or Hispanic. The rejection was of the argument that ethnicity alone is the determing factor if he should/could play Khan.

In fact, I end the article saying that I am not saying I want it to be Khan, but that I think it is. Describing something isn’t agreeing with something, here being the decision to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan (presuming that he is Khan of course which is a guess).

Nowhere in any writing I have ever done would I minimize racial or ethnic disparity. My argument was that in reference to Khan’s casting, the ethnicity of the actor is not a factor that disqaulifies John Harrison from really being Khan as a possibility.

My reference to Ricardo Montalban was about his life long commitment to equality of opportunity and a world where merit is most important.

I hope this clarifies my arguments if it was not clear originally.

Thank you again

John

587. Aurore - December 14, 2012

Correction. 584.
you chose to title the paragraph…
=
you chose to title the part….

(sorry for the multiple posts)

588. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#583

Hi Scott,

Thanks so much for the kind words! I love nothing better than learning from fellow fans who help me rethink my ideas, or to better explain my reasoning when it is not clear.

I can’t wait until May!

Thanks again, your words mean a great deal to me!

John

589. dmduncan - December 14, 2012

John, those of us (ME) who reject the notion that Cumberbatch is Khan because Cumberbatch is not Punjabi do not do so because we think that he CANNOT play the role.

If you hire him for it, then obviously he plays it. It is entirely POSSIBLE.

We (I) reject it because that is not the best of all possible worlds scenario. It will LACK credibility, especially to those people who are Punjabi and Sikh, as Jai, who is both, pointed out long ago.

More importantly, it doesn’t make sense from the standpoint of WHO THESE FILM MAKER’S are.

And that is where I think you and others are getting it so wrong.

I maintain that IF they were doing Khan, THEN they would cast someone who looks more the part than Cumberbatch. It makes no sense to me that JJ would be concerned about casting Cho (Korean) to play Sulu (Japanese), and then with careless abandon cast Cumberbatch as Khan.

That scenario does not fit who these moviemakers seem to be.

In addition, ALL the clues we got so far which point to Khan, point JUST AS WELL to some other Botany Bay figure. One who is unknown at the moment. Someone with the name John Harrison.

And THAT theory, which I call the J Theory, explains the casting shenanigans we are all so familiar with, along with the impenetrable secrecy that has surrounded this character’s name.

John Harrison IS John Harrison.

We can give up our hunt for Scooby snack rewards on that question. Khan isn’t wearing a John Harrison suit.

John Harrison is a super villain from the Botany Bay.

When they wrote the screenplay, he was Joaquim. They looked to Del Toro for the part. When they couldn’t get him they considered Edgar Ramirez and Jordi Molla, hoping to salvage the ethnicity of the character.

Then they saw Cumberbatch. He was spectacular. They signed him.

And over night Joaquim changed into John Harrison, a character implied by canon as one of the other Botany Bay super villains.

So, why all the secrecy surrounding his name?

It was a FIRM habit from the days when the character’s name was Joaquim, when they couldn’t speak the name because that would give the whole thing away.

Then, at some point, they realize they can release the name John Harrison, and reap the benefit of mass confusion as people scratched their heads over why they were so secret, hatching a million theories to explain it.

590. dmduncan - December 14, 2012

The “secret” of John Harrison, is that he was originally conceived as Joachim — Khan’s compatriot.

591. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#590 dmduncan:

Thank you for the details, and it helps me better understand the thoughts of fellow fans. Giving Joaquim such a place of importance in a Star Trek film, if that who John Harrison was or is, would have been a fascinating (sorry, Spock) idea. I have always loved the debates about who Judson Scott’s character really is in TWOK, so I would love to learn more about the character, prime universe or new universe. Thanks again!

John

592. Aurore - December 14, 2012

“The idea that title and my disucssion was conveying was that I was rejecting the argument that some have forwarded that Benedict Cumberbatch can not be Khan because he is not, atleast presumedly, not Indian or Hispanic. The rejection was of the argument that ethnicity alone is the determing factor if he should/could play Khan.”*

From the start, on past threads, I was rejecting the idea that the villain could be Khan for I did not think that a man from India would be portrayed by an Hispanic actor. Not in a Star Trek movie, and, certainly not in 2013.

But, more importantly being aware of Mr. Abrams concerns over the casting of John Cho for the role of Sulu, I was convinced that he would not take the decision to cast an actor supposed to portray Khan, lightly.

“In fact, I end the article saying that I am not saying I want it to be Khan, but that I think it is. Describing something isn’t agreeing with something, here being the decision to cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan (presuming that he is Khan of course which is a guess).”

I understood that.

I was disagreeing with your description.

:))

*I agree with what dmduncan said, overall and on that particular point, @ 590.

593. Aurore - December 14, 2012

Correction.593

Mr. Abrams’concerns…

594. John Tenuto - December 14, 2012

#593

Hello Aurore,

Thank you for your clarifications and thoughts. I appreciated learning what you think. Best wishes today!

John

595. Aurore - December 14, 2012

@594. John Tenuto – December 14, 2012

Thank you for the discussion.

Aurore

596. Aurore - December 14, 2012

“John, those of us (ME) who reject the notion that Cumberbatch is Khan because Cumberbatch is not Punjabi do not do so because we think that he CANNOT play the role etc….”
________

Earlier, I meant to say that I was referring to that post (@ 589) by dmduncan .

:)

597. Kev - December 14, 2012

Hmmm it could just be another superhuman or one of Khan’s rivals on a different ship that also launched from earth to get away from it all back in the 1990’s

you know to get away from Nsync and all that lol

maybe as a twist in this world this guy was worse than Khan and beat him.

after all this is technically 4 years earlier than Kirk running into Khan in the tv show, what’s to say that the fights between the kilingons and Nero’s ship didnt maybe provoke a military response from the klingons and they bumped into either Khan or someone elses stasis ship abit earlier than they were supposed to.

plus Vulcan is gone and maybe the romulans and klingons are quickly trying to eat up there now vacant Territory and found one of the other ships floating about there.

I kind of hope for that alone that this isnt khan but a khan like superman

598. conscienceoftheking - December 14, 2012

Frankly, if he isn’t Khan, and they are dead set on having Khan later, AND they want to be “ethnically correct”, I say go with…

Naveen Andrews from Lost. He’s worked with JJ in the past, he’s can be jacked physically, and he has the acting chops for a 21st century take on the role.

Just my two cents

http://cornersofchaos.blogspot.com/

599. dmduncan - December 14, 2012

How many different ways have I spelled/mispelled Joaquim so far?

600. Gary S. - December 14, 2012

If Khan or his history is somehow connected to to this film,
How do they approach the prequel comics without giving the secret away?

601. John from Cincinnati - December 14, 2012

So….Benicio del Toro was going to play a villain named John Harrison?

That makes no sense at all.

602. John from Cincinnati - December 14, 2012

I don’t ever remember Khan having powers to heal though

603. John from Cincinnati - December 14, 2012

Another Khan connection:

In Space Seed Checkov wasn’t in the episode and was later explained that he could’ve been “down in Engineering or Security” which would explain Khan recognizing him in STII The Wrath of Khan

Isn’t Checkov seen wearing a red shirt in the new trailers…..?

604. Gary S - December 14, 2012

About the red tunics,
Any subtle difference that might tell us if Chekov is in security or engineering?

605. clarkfischer - December 14, 2012

What about thiss since we have a daughter of Indian extraction who is rapidly aging-Khan Noonia Singh?

606. Aurore - December 15, 2012

…Well I agree with what dmduncan said, except when it comes to the “J theory”.

I am not sure at all the story will have anything to do with Khan, the Botany Bay etc…

607. Trek Fan - December 15, 2012

@ MJ

Regarding your whole “the 1990’s Eugenices war didn’t happen so they can make up anything for his backstory now.”

The events in the George Orwell novel, 1984, never happened in 1984. Does that make the novel moot and shouldn’t be read today? Should it be pulled off the shelves and not be talked about because it didn’t happen?

Students still read this novel in school today. It was a man’s FICTIONAL vision of the future.

The event in the movie, 2012, didn’t happen. Why? BECAUSE IT WAS A MOVIE! Not a prediction of the future.

Just because the 1990’s Eugenics war did not happen in real life… didn’t mean it did not happen in the Star Trek Universe. Star Trek is a fictional TV show about one man’s FICTIONAL vision of the future. Star Trek is never going to happen in real life, dude. It wasn’t a prediction of the future.

Where is my George Jetson flying car that folds up into a briefcase??

608. robert - December 15, 2012

just throwing out a name , Col. Green,

609. Chris - December 15, 2012

I’m hoping he’s Gary Mitchell. I always thought the Mitchell character deserved a better fate than he received. We’re led to believe in WNMHGB that Mitchell is close to Kirk in the same way that Spock and McCoy would later become to him, and certainly would have fit nicely into the rest of the E’s original crew that we know and love, had he not been zapped by the barrier. Plus, the blonde chick in the pictures reminds me more of Elizabeth Dehner than Carol Marcus, she has the same hairstyle that Sally “Hotlips” Kellerman had in that episode.

Unrelated, but forty-five years later, I’m still waiting for Finnegan to reappear in JTK’s life again.

610. jorge - December 17, 2012

Is this a blog or something? This is more of a forum post than an article.

611. John Tenuto - December 17, 2012

#610

Hi Jorge,

Thank you for your reply.

John Tenuto

612. John Tenuto - December 17, 2012

#608

Colonel Green is a great guess! Now that is a theory to ponder!

613. Walt - December 17, 2012

Roddenberry did have Robert April as his original captain, but April was captain of the starship S.S. Yorktown, not the Enterprise.

If Roddenberry initial written summary of Star Trek is canon, then it needs to be taken in its entirety.

614. John Tentuo - December 17, 2012

#613

Hi Walt

I was thinking of “The Counter Clock Incident” of the animated show where April makes an appearance as the first capatin of the U.S.S. Enterprise as that is a filmed adventure. Thanks!

John

615. dmduncan - December 17, 2012

I outlined CG Theory (Colonel Green) in that other thread, and why it makes sense. It has some unique aspects, but it is currently out of first place with dmduncan as the most likely scenario.

616. Tara - December 18, 2012

What character will Peter Weller be playing?

617. captainedd - December 19, 2012

@616 – John Paxton

618. S. Flavio Espinoza - January 7, 2013

Not using Kahn would be akin to not using the Klingons. Kahn and the Klingons are Kirk’s arch enemies. The Ra’s al Gul argument is spot on. For all of you against it being Kahn I have a question — Do you think the Dark Knight would have been better without the Joker?

By that argument they should replace the Klingons with some random new arch enemies of the Federation. Hm… that’s a good idea. Here are some possible names for this new species:

The Klackons, the Klinons, the Killongs, etc… Also, a better name for John Harrison would have been Kron Noobian Spoon.

(I actually like the Killongs!)

Given your argument not to rehash old characters they should have named the new science officer Sprok of Vultan!

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