Cumberbatch Contrasts His Harrison With McDowell’s Soran + Talks Trekkie Desire For Spoilers |
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Cumberbatch Contrasts His Harrison With McDowell’s Soran + Talks Trekkie Desire For Spoilers January 7, 2013

by Staff , Filed under: Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Another interview with Star Trek Into Darkness bad guy actor Benedict Cumberbatch where he talks about his role as John Harrison and even contrasts it with Malcolm McDowell’s role in Star Trek Generations. He also weighs in on Trekkie’s desire for movie details, comparing it to kid’s wanting more candy. Get the details below


Cumberbatch contrasts His John Harrison with McDowell’s Soran

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly Star Trek Into Darkness bad guy Benedict Cumberbatch described his character as "a one-man weapon of mass destruction, a terrorist with a cause.” He also contrasted his role with one of his acting heroes Malcolm McDowell, who in 1994 played Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations

“What actors like [McDowell] do is resist the mustache twirling,” Cumberbatch said. “It’s very easy to come off as just crazy [in the villain role] and I tried with this role to look for something unsettling and investigative. He is a great story, my character. I can’t say who the guy is but his story has some amazing — and starkly modern — parables. And best of all, it’s been so much fun. Playing the not-good-guy is really fun. But that’s all I can say.”

Cumberbatch (R) admires McDowell’s Soran in Generations (L)

Cumberbatch also weighed in on director JJ Abrams well-known secrecy and how it relates to Star Trek fans…

“Mystique is rare now, isn’t it? There aren’t that many enigmas in this modern world,” Cumberbatch said. “Myself, I quite enjoyed seeing Super 8 and not knowing the story and then being mesmerized by it … [but] we live in the modern world, which is a place of oversaturation and now people, especially Trekkies, want to know everything before they witness it themselves. It’s strange to me. I think of it as a kid having a box of chocolates and not knowing what’s good for them. They eat three and they keep eating as they get sick… and the candy is gone.”

Cumberbatch compares Trekkie desire for spoilers to kids wanting candy


1. Lostrod - January 7, 2013


I can understand a degree of secrecy. I think they’ve managed the right mix of secrecy and publicity.


2. The Great Bird Lives - January 7, 2013

I’m not candy 1st?

3. The Great Bird Lives - January 7, 2013

Actually my Trek is not candy- It’s knowledge

4. SherlockFangirl - January 7, 2013

I notice “can’t say who the guy is”…

Hiding something are we, dear Benedict?

5. Alec - January 7, 2013

‘I can’t say who the guy is’

Of course you can. He’s John Harrison, right? There’s nothing more to add, unless he’s really playing Khan. I’d rather market my film with Khan, whom everyone knows (colloquially) than make up some character to be the ultimate test for our heroes: I’m sure JJ agrees….

6. Harry Seldom - January 7, 2013

Trek is not candy. It’s far more addicting . . . like Heroin . . . . or tobacco…

— Harry

7. Dave1119 - January 7, 2013

#4. Yes.. I noticed that too. “I can’t say who the guy is”. That seems to imply that he is someone other than just John Harrison. Someone we already know maybe…

8. Lostrod - January 7, 2013


You know, that is an odd choice of words for him to use. If he really is John Harrison, then why not say John Harrison?


9. Cranston - January 7, 2013

“…they keep eating as they get sick, and the candy is gone.” Such a good metaphor for spoiler-obsessiveness.

10. Giez (@theGiez) - January 7, 2013

‘I can’t say who the guy is’

Not “who”… but “what” this guy is… there’s your ? to be answered…

Right Bob Orci?!

Plus who Peter Weller is :)

11. Jonboc - January 7, 2013

I just realized this movie, that I’ve patiently waited so long for, is just around the corner. I mean, it was just Halloween, right?

…the month of May will be on us in no time! I love the secrecy, love the surprise and appreciate the efforts of the whole Bad Robot team to make my Christmas morning, in May, just a little more exciting! Looking forward to the gradually increasing roll-out of info and seeing the publicity machine get up to full speed in the months ahead.

12. Nony - January 7, 2013

‘Not knowing what’s good for them.’ Really? Everyone consumes their popular media in a different way. I read all the spoilers, I look at the last chapter first, because as I watch or read something, I enjoy knowing what is going to happen, how it all comes together, and how it was done. Spoilers don’t seem to lessen my enjoyment of the finished product at all, any more than surprises increase it.

By all means, filmmakers, keep things secret because you’re proud of them and want people to see them in a complete form first. It’s absolutely your right! Just don’t patronize me – as I feel I have been, a bit – by telling me you know what’s good for me and you know how I will or will not enjoy something. That’s not a good way to defend your spoiler policies.

13. Cecilia Calabrese - January 7, 2013

Sooo can’t wait for this!

14. Spock - January 7, 2013

C’mon, people. “I can’t say who the guy is” is describing his personality/story, etc., not his ‘name’. This is an actor discussing the character, the role. He’s John Harrison.

15. Spike - January 7, 2013

What if he is Harrison and Peter Weller is Khan… Just thinking.

16. Spike - January 7, 2013

Harrison dies in the end, but accomplishes his goal of awakening Khan?

17. Adolescent Nightmare - January 7, 2013


18. Johnny - January 7, 2013

@14 – Spock

“C’mon, people. “I can’t say who the guy is” is describing his personality/story, etc., not his ‘name’. This is an actor discussing the character, the role. He’s John Harrison.”


This. That’s how I read it, anyways. He can’t say anything about his character’s backstory, his motives, etc. He can’t say what his purpose in the movie is.

Not that this will stop all you conspiracy theorists from salivating…

19. Basement Blogger - January 7, 2013

As much as I like to speculate, I do want some secrecy in regards to plot. Now, if the guys have something like a parallel universe as the result of time travel then I want to know that. Throwing out a line like “alternate reality” was not good enough since many Trekkers viewed time travel like “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Still, will continue to speculate. Come on Benedict you play Sherlock. It’s fun. And by the way, knowing that Bane and Catwoman were in The Dark Knight Rises did not stop me from seeing it. Twice. Once at a regular theater and the second time at IMAX. Regardless, can’t wait for the day when the movie opens.

20. Kirk Nelson - January 7, 2013

How do you feel about bit size candies? like: Who is Peter Weller paying???

21. soran - January 7, 2013

I agree with spike, I bet John Harrison, is Harrison! And in the trailer there is a quick scene with two men walking out of a room with stasis pods!!

22. Sebastian S. - January 7, 2013

I wonder if anyone out there STILL believes he’s playing Khan…. ;-P

23. Spike - January 7, 2013

@20 Kirk Nelson… Paying or playing cause Peter Weller is playing Khan, brother..

24. Flaming Nacelles Forever - January 7, 2013


Peter Weller is Khan. He’s revealed at the end of the movie. It’s a set-up for the third film.

25. Phil - January 7, 2013

Don’t all terrorists have causes? Gotta be careful with the Malcolm McDowell comparisons, as Soren was completely driven by self interest…

26. Spike - January 7, 2013

Flaming nacelles forever… Exactly what I’m thinking, it’ll end and then maybe after credits, it will show the cryogenic tubes and in the window will be Peter Weller “Khan” and he will open his eyes, the end. They say the movies will be a trilogy, how best to end it other the. With Kirks greatest e enemy. Just my two cents…. Sorry Bob Orci ;-)

27. Spike - January 7, 2013

Wish I could edit posts , then with, I meant to say. Sorry

28. - January 7, 2013

McDowell is a great actor but his turn in generations was so bad.

I hope Cumberbach’s John Harrison is leagues better than that.

Yep, Peter Weller is a dead ringer for Ricardo Montalban, how could anyone have missed that.

29. njdss4 - January 7, 2013

Only Cumberbatch can get away with calling Trekkies spoiled children. Maybe it’s more than we all grew up with Trek on TV every week, and now having to wait 4 years between new Trek is kinda rough. I guess he’d say “suck it up”!

30. Curious Cadet - January 7, 2013


Weller plays a new character created by Orci. He cannot be Khan, unless Orci lied, and he said he didn’t.

Harrison is a character from TOS canon. Again unless Orci is lying, and he said he didn’t, then Harrison must have a direct canon connection. Therefore Harrison is an alias, or referenced in TOS canon in some respect, since he’s obviously not a named character.

31. MJ - January 7, 2013

I don’t care, I still want my Trek chocolates NOW !!!!

32. Aurore - January 7, 2013

“…… and now people, especially Trekkies, want to know everything before they witness it themselves. It’s strange to me. I think of it as a kid having a box of chocolates and not knowing what’s good for them. They eat three and they keep eating as they get sick… and the candy is gone.”


This statement by Mr. Cumberbatch is a clue…..

Benedict Cumberbatch as…Trek’s….”Khandyman” ?

….Only in HollywoOd….


33. chaz root - January 7, 2013


Ron Veto played Technician First Class Harrison in a bunch of TOS episodes, including “Space Seed”:

And of course there was William B. Harrison, Flight Officer of the doomed SS Beagle crew in TOS “Bread and Circuses”:

Isn’t Peter Weller a bit older than a TOS era Ricardo Montalban? I’m not seeing Khan.

34. Johnny - January 7, 2013

Guys, obviously Orci’s “one lie” was when he said that Cumberbatch is playing a character from canon.

Otherwise, he’s already given away the fact that John Harrison is an alias.

Oh, the mind games they’re playing with us…

35. Curious Cadet - January 7, 2013

@34 Johnny,

Orci’s one lie was about lying. Nothing else. He’s already set the record straight.

36. Disinvited - January 7, 2013

#33. chaz root

And there was a Dr. Harrison in Pathology in THE NAKED TIME.

37. lilfa - January 7, 2013

You know I really don’t understand why no one is even considering Kodos!
Think about it. Think about the horrific event that took place before the eyes of a young man, a boy even; the massacre of 4000 people at the hands of one man in the name of survival and the greater good. Extreme circumstances do call for extreme measures. Still an extraordinarily charismatic and manipulative man who can bring men and women so completely under his spell and twist their logic to such a degree that they would go along with whatever he says even if it means the murder of their own friends and family.
And that catastrophe must have had such an effect on the forming of our captain Kirk, at such a young age. And this Kirk hasn’t had that, at least not to our knowledge. And it’s perfect, because in TOS Kodos is just a dread inducing name of the times past, a villain that has come and gone and has had his mark in the history of our heroes lives, but has never been explored in any depth. We don’t even know his real name, only that he chose Kodos when he seized power on Tarsus IV and later Karidian as a fugitive on the run. So why can’t it be John Harrison?
If they bring Khan back, it’s always going to be in the shadow of the original, no matter how good their version might be. But with Kodos they have a chance to make history. And in the course of it, make Kirk the man he later became.
There needn’t have been a Tarsus IV desolation in this reality. But Kodos was a driven man, willing and able to make the hardest choices for what he perceived as the right reasons. A man in whose eyes the good of the people and their continued existence warranted the slaughter of so many innocents, selected by his own misguided ideas of eugenics, someone capable of rallying others to his cause to such an extent as to turn them against their own. And that is a man who will leave his mark in history regardless of the reality he is in. Who’s to say under different circumstances with the same goals at heart he would not commit even greater atrocities, destroying entire cities and who knows what else all for the sake of the people and in their name.
Maybe the villain is Khan or someone else and my logic is completely flawed, no matter. I do think he would make a great and complex villain. I’m sure whoever it turns out to be, he would be better than all our expectation. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing him after all.

38. Buzz Cagney - January 7, 2013

#24 but they could have found a far better actor to play Khan. Javier Bardem would have been/would be magnificent. Would probably have bested Ricardo.

39. Iva - January 8, 2013

I wish this whole affair wasn’t so….. Cumberbatch centric.

You’d think he was the main character, he acts like he invented Star Trek or something.
No offense to his fans.
But he is just a guest appearance, the movie is not about him, please do not make it all about him.

And I hope that Bones and the medical bay get some love, make him important, make his relationship to Kirk and Spock important. Don’t dumb him down to running around after Kirk and Spock and shooting. That’s what background redshirt security characters are for, not important people.

40. Ciaran - January 8, 2013


I feel exactly the same as you! Knowing spoilers never dampens my enjoyment of a movie!

41. Son Of MJ - January 8, 2013

He means he can’t say what makes him tick, his motivation.
wait for it…….

Makes him “the guy he is.”
If he tells you his motivation and MO he has let the cat out of the bag.
really wish people would quit reading these supposed clues as confirmation of Khan when its clearly NOT.

42. Tesla's Cat - January 8, 2013

It’s all about marketing. If you know the ins and out six months before, would you still be all that keen to see it once it finally appears, or will it seem like old hat? In the week the film appears its every secret will be all over the net.

I quite like having someting to look forward to, myself. :}

43. Candyman - January 8, 2013

It’s so funny how most of the comments here prove Cumberbatch’s candy theory right :D

44. Aurore - January 8, 2013

“Benedict Cumberbatch as…Trek’s….’Khandyman’ ?
….Only in HollywoOd….”


What, you thought Tony Todd was the only actor capable of portraying “him” ?!

You ain’t seen nothing yet!!!


45. SirBroiler - January 8, 2013

Augment but not Khan. It’s that simple.

46. son of jello - January 8, 2013

It a pity we cant set out trail of Jelly Babies and see how many stagnating Khan fans we can jam into a tardis and then time travel there ass back to the 60s. Giuve them a couple of groundhogs for pets a let them relive the past and the old been there done that ideas that they seem so eager to participate in. Youve had Star Trek for over 47 years the supports been great but sorry my friend time to moove on and welcome a new generation to Star Trek. (new/next generation why does that sound familiar) I dont want my Star Trek to live in the 1960 or early 80s anymore Mr Wizard. I want my Star Trek with JJ juice theres nothing sexier than someone or something that keeps its secrets and holds the attention of there audience with the alure of the unknown and promises of adventure. Be gratefull someone is making the effort to entertain you with a new interpritation of something you seem to think is your property, it isnt. Theres plenty of fan made star trek. Go and watch that and guive them a hard time about Khan. there living in the 1970s with Phase 2.

47. Aurore - January 8, 2013

Speaking about candy….I wonder if my suggestion to include the word “sugarplum” into the script of the sequel, has been considered…

…Mmmmmmm….candy….small round piece of sugary candy….
June is fast approaching……I will find out soon enough….


48. Jason - January 8, 2013

I’d wager that Weller is playing one of the Klingon speaking roles. He does have a terrific voice, which i think sounds similar to Michael Ansara’s ‘Kang.’ I don’t really see him playing a human role as he’s already appeared as such before.

49. Aurore - January 8, 2013

“…..I don’t really see him playing a human role as he’s already appeared as such before.”

As I understand it, he won’t be wearing any “prosthetics”:

“No. do I look like an alien to you? No man. Let me put it this way. I have my own ship”

50. Sebastian S. - January 8, 2013

# 24 and # 26

Peter Weller is 65 years old.
No offense to the actor (whom I loved in Robocop and Buckaroo Banzai) but he’s just a bit long in the tooth to be playing a ‘fresh from the Botany Bay’ Khan (not to mention the entirely wrong ethnic type).

I don’t deny the producers might do Khan in a third movie (hope not, but it’s possible), but I doubt very much Weller (at his age) will be playing him. Remember that Montalban was only in his mid-40s when he first played Khan, and about 61 or so when he reprised the role in TWOK (which was fifteen years after TOS’ Space Seed). So casting issues aside, the math doesn’t work, either….

But at least the issue of whether Cumberbatch is playing Khan or not seems to be (finally) put to bed (or cryosleep) once and for all. At any rate, I was really hoping that Cumberbatch’s character would be an original one. The whole ‘it’s a canon character’ misdirection is what threw me (and everyone else apparently).

Here’s to new characters and fresh ideas! ;-)

51. BulletInTheFace - January 8, 2013

It’s not Khan. It’s not Kodos. It’s not Kang.

Jesus, people.

(And no, it’s not Jesus either.)

52. Sebastian S. - January 8, 2013

I could very easily imagine Weller playing a Klingon, though….

53. Sebastian S. - January 8, 2013

# 51 BITF

LOL! ;-D

Jesus was my next choice for Weller…. ;-P

Actually, Weller was supposed to be playing a CEO of a corporation (doesn’t sound terribly Klingon to me). Maybe he’s a really tall Ferengi (hee hee….).

54. Khan 2.0 - January 8, 2013

i think Khan will be played by…..Richardo Montalban (1966 Space Seed era)

like happened with Brando in Superman Returns and Arnie in T4 and even Jeff Bridges in Tron 2….it can be done – especially if its just a brief cameo at the end of a revived Khan (who would die along with Harrison).

Harrison will be revealed to be one of Khans people – Joachim as BC looks just like the guy who played him in TWOK

55. IPIUIL - January 8, 2013

@Kahn 2.0
Since Richardo died in 2009, i don’t think that’s gonna happen ;-)

56. Sebastian S. - January 8, 2013

# 54

I still don’t see any hint that they’re following a “Space Seed/Botany Bay” storyline. But again, it’s possible (though not desirable IMO) that a 3rd movie might go that route….

While I think Harrison is supposed to be a physical augment of some sort, I thinking he was created by Starfleet or section 31 (or Peter Weller’s mystery CEO), and is not a member of the Botany Bay crew.

And Joachim would be much younger than the 15 years older version we see in TWOK. I can’t see a whole movie from Khan’s henchmen. That’d be like a Dark Knight sequel based on one of the Joker’s goons…

# 55

I doubt there is ample dialogue/material for them to base a ‘digital Khan’ on. In the case of the late Brando in “Superman Returns” they had tons of unused takes from the first Superman movie to use (for dialogue). TWOK (and TOS Space Seed) were shot in a more spartan way. I doubt there’s much unused material to work with.

57. Aurore - January 8, 2013

On past threads, I said that I believed the “villain”, now known as John Harrison, could be anyone.

A few days before his identity was revealed, I told Mr. Orci that I was still holding out hope for a brand new character (as well as a new title).

Understandably, little is known about John, so far.

Thus, unless otherwise proven wrong, I’ll continue to think that he’s a brand new character to the canon.

….I still don’t like the title of course, but, at least, now, I only curse DamOn once in a while….


58. Moputo Jones - January 8, 2013

From hell’s heart I stab at thee, just not from John Harrison. I love candy, by the way.

59. Jason Medeiros - January 8, 2013

Is everyone forgetting that Weller is John Frederick Paxton?

60. gingerly - January 8, 2013

I think of it as a kid having a box of chocolates and not knowing what’s good for them. They eat three and they keep eating as they get sick… and the candy is gone.

Apt analogy.

This is our culture now, thanks to the internet, which is why I think doing some non-plot relevant world building is the safe alternative.

Like did before Fellowship came out.

Instead of spoiling us, tell us more about Klingon culture, about Uhura’s backstory in Africa, and about the Enterprise specs, for instance.

61. Skulltrail - January 8, 2013

Another idea just came to my mind! Maybe Weller is playing the old version of Robert April and Cumberbatch the young version of April?!

62. Aurore - January 8, 2013

Some, online, are betting that Mr. Weller is “Admiral Marcus” (?).

Whoever he ends up playing, he’ll be a don’t-mess-with-me type of character, that much is certain.

That is what I expect, at any rate.

63. Curious Cadet - January 8, 2013

@37. lilfa,
“You know I really don’t understand why no one is even considering Kodos!”

Kodos keeps coming up, and there’s nothing wrong with a koror conceptually. The PROBLEM with Kodos is that he’s too old. In this time-line he would be in his late 50s if not 60s. Cumberbatch is 36.

While they can retcon anything they want in this timeline, this is my problem with the Khan arguments — they would have to concoct the most ridiculous scenario to retcon Cumberbatch for the fans as to overly complicate the backstory for new audiences. So many here keep saying how Khan is so recognizable, but he isn’t not to new audiences, most of whom probably don’t know who Ricardo Montalban is either.

Retconing Kodos to be Cumberbatch would be even worse than Khan. He’d need more than plastic surgery, he’d need at a minimum the fountain of youth (which after alias and again in Lost, I wouldn’t put past Abrams).

64. oliver - January 8, 2013

Head out beyond this site and you’ll find the excitement for this film is centred around Cumberbatch’s performance – which is as it should be. He is a great actor. Maybe one of the greatest in many years so less of the snide comments please.

65. ME!! - January 8, 2013

PERFECT analogy!!

66. ME!! - January 8, 2013

@59: A hundred years later? He’d either have to have some serious old make-up, be in flashbacks (possibly but not likely), or have been cryogenically frozen (also possible as we’ve seen from the trailer, but just as unlikely).

I believe he’s playing a new character especially in light of the fact that everyone’s been very secretive of even who he’s playing.

67. The Keeper - January 8, 2013

We already know the character’s name.
John Harrison
When Cumberbatch says he can’t say “who” he is, he’s really not implying John Harrison is some one other then John Harrison.
He’s saying because of the story to reveal any more about the character would be a spoiler, hence ruining the story.
So relax, and stop reading more into it.

68. Michael - January 8, 2013


69. lilfa - January 8, 2013

@ 63. Curious Cadet
Not necessarily. We saw him as an old man, but we’re talking 20 years before TOS events so he would be forty or so. And there is also his interest in eugenics- I think that concept will play a part in this movie- so instead of getting an opportunity to use those ideas to handpick victims, perhaps he’ll try his hands at some genetic engineering; that could account for the more than ordinary vibe we get about him from the trailer. The point is whoever he might be, new or old, I don’t think characteristics such as age or ethnicity would factor all that much in casting, especially in the light of just how talented BC truly is. Delta Vega turned out to be an ice planet didn’t it? All I’m saying is with all the hype surrounding the character, if he is anyone other than John Harrison at all, it would come out toward the end, out of the blue and take us all by surprise.

70. Jack - January 8, 2013

69. Isn’t this just a decade or so before TOS?

71. Jack - January 8, 2013

21. “I agree with spike, I bet John Harrison, is Harrison! And in the trailer there is a quick scene with two men walking out of a room with stasis pods!!”

There is? I totally missed it.

72. NuFan - January 8, 2013

“I can’t say who the guy is”

You don’t even need to, Ben.

73. lilfa - January 8, 2013

No his daughter who is 19 was born after the events, so that puts it twenty years or more before “The Conscience of the King”. Also I think in the episode they specifically say that it occurred twenty years before.

74. LogicalLeopard - January 8, 2013

I think John Harrison, whether he is genetically engineered, Khan, Kodos, or not, is a character interested in widespread use of genetic engineering for humans. I think Peter Weller is a businessman, as he said, who is interested in being the first one in on this when it happens, so he can reap the financial benefits. He’s probably financing Harrison as well.

Uhnmmmm….but on second thought. What if Weller is Kodos? He’s a better phsyical fit. Maybe in this timeline, instead of repenting and becoming an actor, he’s recruited into the whole Eugenics thing. Or, to get the timeline right, he flees his planet, repents, becomes an actor, then is contacted by John Harrison, who has figured out who he is, who brings him back into the eugenics fold.

75. lilfa - January 8, 2013

Maybe there was a Tarsus IV holocaust, perhaps even a more staggering one. And maybe Starfleet was far too busy to come to the rescue of the stranded colonists in time. Maybe instead of the young midshipman James T. Kirk outposted there at the onslaught of tragedy, there was an officer named John Harrison who got caught up in the revolution and genocide that ensued; helpless to do his duty, to keep the people from the harm so wrongly done them by that one man. And devastations such as this tend to change people for the better or worse.
Let’s add another twist. Maybe this Tarsus IV isn’t an agricultural colony; instead a classified research base that has Dr. Kodos as the person in charge. And you can guess what a man capable of murdering 4000 people in one reality could be capable of in another. Now add one John Harrison to the mix; an officer with the greatest regard for the Federation that he believes in and would lay his life down to save, ready to undergo whatever experiments the doctor deems necessary in order to ensure the future of all the federation worlds, so that there would never be another tragedy like Vulcan. Now when the experiments fail, as they inevitably do, and instead of giving birth to the next generation of better stronger Starfleet officers, they give birth to a travesty of all it stood for, you can guess Kodos’s reaction.
Kodos of course decides to kill them all, john escapes, finds many more Tarsus IV all doing experiments and what not and societies and allegiances within Starfleet that condone even worse atrocities. So he decides that federation itself is the threat to its own values and essence, decides to do something about it. And there you have the bombings of London and San Francisco. Though why it’s not Paris has got me; It is the other Capital after all.
This one is neat, because you can have Tom Weller as Kodos and BC as John Harrison and it would explain all the secrecy involved with Weller’s character. But I must say the first one resonates better with me, if only for the poetic aspects of it.

76. Curious Cadet - January 8, 2013

@69 lilfa,

But look how much you have to retcon this to make him fit. And you haven’t even addressed the other clues. Where is his motive for revenge? What about his background would make audiences sympathetic?

First, CotK took place in 2266. STID takes place in 2258 (only 8 years). Kirk is 25 and Harrison appears to be a contemporary (also late 20s). Kodos looked to be in his 60s in TOS. The actor was actually 56. So knock eight years off and Kodos would still be 48 (based on the actors age) — still 12 years older than Cumberbatch who appears much younger still.

It’s not that Kodos couldn’t be shoe-horned into this, but so could a lot of other characters, including Khan. The question then is why? Why go to all that trouble when they could start with a relatively clean slate and develop a minor character reference? Abrams has already said he’s not making this movie for the fans. And general audiences aren’t going to care who Harrison is in relation to canon. People keep relating this to Batman and Harrison to one of the Joker’s henchmen, but it’s not! The audience Abams hopes to attract knows little more than Kirk, Spock and maybe Klingons. Khan is meaningless to the majority of the new audiences Abrams hopes to attract. But Khan, Kodos, and other iconic characters matter a lot to the fans. So why would Abrams, much less Orci, jump through hoops to make an iconic character fit into Harrison, stripping much of the characterization away in the process? It makes no sense.

In the end I hope to be pleasantly surprised by a canon reference twist nobody has really thought about yet — as I have said all along, there’s a lot of picking of the easy low-hanging fruit going on here (Khan, Garth, Mitchell, Kodos), and not a lot of critical thinking.

77. Curious Cadet - January 8, 2013

@75 lilfa,

Much better. This is the kind of story I expect them to tell relating John Harrison to canon. Of course Weller still can’t be Kodos, because Weller does NOT play a character from canon.

78. lilfa - January 8, 2013

@76 Curious Cadet,
Yeah me too, I’d love to be blindsided by any reveal, if indeed there is one. I’m relatively new to trek, so I’m just giving my imagination a free run with all the characters and feeling my way around the trek universe. I must say I’m really hoping it’s not Mitchel or Khan…

79. BulletInTheFace - January 8, 2013

#61: The Robert April idea has been discussed several times, actually. But it just doesn’t make any sense.

80. BulletInTheFace - January 8, 2013

#69: This film doesn’t take place 20 years before TOS. Where did you get that idea?

81. lilfa - January 8, 2013

@ 80.
I didn’t say it did. I said The Tarsus IV massacre occurred 20 years prior to the events of TOS season one episode, “The Conscience of the King”.

82. Broanley - January 8, 2013

Knowledge is candy, man.

83. BulletInTheFace - January 8, 2013

#81: Oh, my apologies–that’ll teach me not to read too quickly. :)

84. Chris Roberts - January 8, 2013

Interesting comparison. What if BC were actually playing Soran (in the Abramsverse)?

85. LizardGirl - January 8, 2013

Ah, you can’t get angry with Benedict. He’s Sherlock for goodness sake! We should be honored to be insulted by the likes of him! Though, to be honest, It doesn’t read as an insult so much as an observation. Pretty spot on, too.

I still feel like I’m in 2012, but wow, it’s Jan. 2013. I wouldn’t say STID is around the corner, but it’s definitely down the road. Personally, I enjoy getting updates. It keeps me excited about this movie!

86. Robert - January 8, 2013

I keep thinking Colonel Green is John Harrison after some plastic surgery.

87. Lilfa - January 8, 2013

:) You know that 20 years was always confusing, even at the time of the original episode.

88. Marja - January 8, 2013

Personally I love the idea of Kodos. HE would be a great and complicated ‘villain.’

Did you know Arnold Moss [original Kodos] writes crossword puzzles?

89. pilotfred - January 9, 2013

I can’t say who the guy is

yeah you can its not khan, it is john Harrison

i am thinking he is the one-man weapon of mass destruction, not that he has the weapon as in the weapon is him and john convincers other to join him and become a human bomb themselves not as powerful as his, petter Weller character is working with john

90. Aleksandar Cuk - January 9, 2013

Okay in the cryo tube photo, the guy on the left is HUGE. He has a bodybuilder type phisique. Could this be Khan? Or just a huge ass klingon or something similar? I agree with which ever poster said the right person is Harrison. I don’t know what to think of this, as I have never given much thought to that clip, but it doesn’t look like it is set in 2259 or whichever year the movie starts.

91. Kenji - January 10, 2013

I’m very geeked that he was aware of Soren in Generations. Trek has not always been graced with key staff aware of the canon (see: Stuart Baird).

92. Son of Captain Garth - January 12, 2013

It’s really refreshing to listen to erudite, considered remarks from a well-educated, trained actor as opposed to the mindless drivel spewed by so many pop-culture figures, many of whom struggle with simple subject-verb agreement, let alone forming coherent, thoughtful comments.

As for the nature of his comments, I likewise miss a little anticipation. Didn’t Spock tell us as much at the end of “Amok Time” when he said that wanting is sometimes more pleasant than having? Tease me a little, maybe blow softly in my ear before you kiss me.

93. Horta - January 13, 2013

Totally by chance, I watched the Star Trek episode with Garth last night, and I said to my wife: “they could do this story in a way that isn’t so cheesy and it would make a good story…then it hit me. I believe that Cumberbatch is playing Garth. The voice-over by Pike is Pike talking to Garth years before not Pike talking to Kirk; In the trailer you see Kirk speaking at a funeral or memorial service; it is Garth’s crew that died. The Antos incident may or may not have happened. Garth escapes from the asylum, and here he is to wreak havoc on Earth for whatever twisted reason he has.

94. Son of Captain Garth - January 14, 2013

To: Horta

I believe it’s called “Whom the Gods Would Destroy,” from the Latin proverb, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad” (Latin: Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius). Ironically, this is best illustrated in Greek drama (Oresteia, etc.) and Jersey Shore.

95. Rose (as in Keachick) - January 14, 2013

What is “koror” other than being part of the Palau Island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean?

96. GG - January 14, 2013

Ok, how about this theory..

He’s Khan.. BUT, the Botany Bay was revived by another ship, and Khan changed his own name to “John Harrison”, and actually joined and infiltrated Starfleet? That way, they could do a Khan story, and not have to call him Khan before the movie comes out and spoil it. They could hide his identity from us, and call him John Harrison without having to lie to us, because that’s what HE calls himself. Maybe he changed his own name to hide himself?

Ok, I don’t REALLY think this. The idea just popped into my head, and I thought it was a fun idea.

97. Scott U - January 15, 2013

Just a thought: Couldn’t the mind meld with Spock Prime have given the new timeline Kirk certain knowledge? Maybe Harrison wants to revive Kahn and his crew but Kirk is against it? Maybe meeting at Starfleet is discussing what to do with the cryogenectly frozen renegades? Maybe ending of this film will lead directly into next sequel like the comics lead directly to the films?

98. Julienna - January 15, 2013

FYI These are two separate quotations E online linked together on the web, but not in print. The candy thing was in general and not directed at Trekkies (everything after Trekkie is a separate quote)

99. badrunner - January 17, 2013

I don’t think the villain is Kahn. I think it is just some new character for this movie, totally new. Basically like the comparison to Star Trek Generations. It will probably be a movie just like 2009 with a different scenario.

100. Tony Todd's Tears - January 18, 2013

And Bendidict Cumberbatch as Bob Johnson

101. ewplayer3 - January 21, 2013

All this speculation and talk about Orci…

Let’s start with rule #1
What’s the first rule about The Doctor?
The Doctor lies
Orci = The Doctor

One of Orci’s two statements is a lie. Unfortunately, we won’t know which until the movie is out (more than likely).

102. Chris - January 22, 2013

Alvar Hanso…hows that for a crossover? is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.