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Cumberbatch: Star Trek Into Darkness Has ‘Chilling’ Parallels To Modern World February 5, 2013

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Before Star Trek Into Darkness was scripted the filmmakers had said they were hoping to make a film that was more relevant to the issues of the day. In a newly released video interview excerpt, the actor who plays the film’s villain notes that the parallels to the modern world are "chilling." Watch him talk about his inspiration for the role below.  

 

 

Cumberbatch: Modern Parallel’s to Into Darkness ‘Chilling’

MTV has released another excerpt from their video interview with Star Trek Into Darkness actor Benedict Cumberbatch. This time they talked about where the actor looked for inspiration for his role of the villain John Harrison. Cumberbatch said…

"[Look at] real social history and present history, everything that’s going on: uprisings, people who are trying to spread democracy or fight their cause, and not necessarily through political means … he is a terrorist, and sadly, that’s part of the fabric of our modern world. You don’t need to look far to research that one. But I did look at certain terrorist groups in the past, but it was important to me to ground him in a reality that’s based more on his story than, say, a parallel in the real world. What should certainly be chilling are the parallels to the modern world."

Here is the video

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Comments

1. Pointing Out The Obvious - February 6, 2013

If you’re going to post videos, make sure they’re view-able internationally.

2. Aix - February 6, 2013

Is he playing Julian Assange, by any chance? Oh, wait. Wrong movie.

3. MJ - February 6, 2013

Enough whining please from people who can’t get access to videos.

4. katie - February 6, 2013

Julian Assange is a true hero.

5. Garth Faction - February 6, 2013

I’m surprised no one is seeing this as a hint of Khan — sort of making Khan himself a “terrorist” in our age… while I still think “Garth” is possible with everything we have seen, we could see hints that “Khan” in the new universe was a terrorist trying to get power instead of really having power, and was a Bin Laden figure who fled into space instead of being killed by drone strikes?

6. Rod of Rassilon - February 6, 2013

What MJ doesn’t whine?

7. MJ Kelly - February 6, 2013

3 Says a person who doesn’t have issues with getting access to videos.
and complains when a new story isnt posted at the drop of a hat.

8. MJ - February 6, 2013

@4 Yea, he, Roman Polanski, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown — all great heroes to be proud of and celebrate. What great and honorable men they all are.

9. MJ - February 6, 2013

@6 @7. Exactly, I am an expert on it., so who better than to identify it when it happens, right? :-)

10. Picard's Slappy Patty - February 6, 2013

What a load of old ramble, ramble?

11. chrisfawkes.com - February 6, 2013

Julian Assange is a criminal . What a dill.

12. agnes gorgulla - February 6, 2013

any story who wants to be seen or read or whatever has to have some kind of connection to the audience. so it´s NOT that new to say: “parallels to the modern world”. IF I want to see a story about ANYTHING i´d watch SOMETHING. But a good movie HAS to have some kind of relation to me, show me how these people would react in a situation like ours. NOT ours, LIKE ours.
So, short: Everything BC says fits to EVERY Star Trek movie.
good about is, that this one has it, too.

13. Disgusted by Number 4 - February 6, 2013

#4 errr … Julian Assange is actually a top-level piece of shit. He’s hiding from Sweden (freedom-of-information capital) in the embassy of Ecuador (a country that absolutely shuts down its own journalists). And his entire reasoning for hiding? “Er I’m innocent!”

Yeah, great thinking. Next time I have a court date, I’ll just stay home because, y’know what? I’m innocent and the rules shouldn’t apply to me.

If his cause was worth anything – anything at all – he’d go to court, possibly get apprehended by the US, and use the trial as a platform for delivering his message. Instead, he’s doing what guilty men do – slipping and sliding and doing everything he can to stay ‘free’, no matter how pathetic it is.

He’s a worm and I can’t wait for him to get what’s coming to him.

14. MindMeld - February 6, 2013

Don’t get started on politics, Trekkie. Run to your TV, turn on the news and let them tell you how to think.

15. Disgusted by Number 14 as well - February 6, 2013

Hey 14, is that any different to letting the nice man on the internet tell you how to think? 10 points for unintentional irony there, sir.

16. CJS - February 6, 2013

Zero Trek 30

17. Rod of Rassilon - February 6, 2013

13 must be a high court judge.

Funny how the overly opinionated always show themselves up.

18. Kurn - February 6, 2013

Aha, a guy who stands up for transparency and real journalism is a criminal. NuTrek does not incidentally attract a lot of reactionary people.

19. msn1701 - February 6, 2013

He’s absolutely right! So his character is obviously a dictator. Gee I WONDER who it could BE. It doesn’t take a genius, folks. Especially since he’s based off a famous TOS villain. Duh. :P

20. Phil - February 6, 2013

It looks like there are a few newbies here. Generally, trolling for political debate will be shut down on short order. I’m sure there is a Julian Assange fan page…somewhere…where you can go drool all over your hero. Just don’t do it here…..

21. Phil - February 6, 2013

RE: John Harrison…soif the movie parallels the modern world, how will Treks inevitible happy ending play out in real life?

22. Kurn - February 6, 2013

How about you first swallow some of your own medicine, hypocrite?
People who have no issues with war crimes but with the guys who discover them … yet at the same time kike a progressive sci-fi franchise are obviously capable of double-think.

23. Mark Lynch - February 6, 2013

@3
So as long as you can get to see it MJ, that`s okay huh?

Give me a break.

24. Calastir - February 6, 2013

I suppose Cumberbatch means that John Harrison is similar to Norwegian anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Behring Breivik; a mass murderer who views himself as a lone crusader.
If that is the case, of course he can’t say that so literally.

25. Jenna - February 6, 2013

It’s too bad MTV doesn’t make it’s videos more widely available, but are people really suggesting that this means this site shouldn’t share it at all? Since you’re not lucky enough to be able to see it, others shouldn’t? And isn’t getting a transcript of what was said better than nothing? (Also, btw, people do usually get these onto youtube fairly quickly)

26. Gary S - February 6, 2013

Everybody here gets to see the transcript.
perhaps someday, there will be a way to share the video with everyone.
Until that time, the words will have to do .

27. Gary S - February 6, 2013

Just curious, is Khan really the only Trek villain that could be considered a Terrorist ?

28. Garth Faction - February 6, 2013

Gary

Nope. Garth certainly could be one.

29. Curious Cadet - February 6, 2013

@5 Gart Faction,

Calling Harrison a terrorist and calling upon past terrorist groups for inspiration make him less likely to be Khan.

Othe threads have analyzed What we know about Khan in detail, and he was anything but a terrorist. Khan was a “benevolent” dictator only fighting when attacked, no massacres; an essentially peaceful reign. Add to that Khan’s only stated goal — to rule — and Abram’s description as the ultimate psychopath, then you have a very unsympathetic character if that’s all he hopes to achieve by resorting to terrorism. And we know that Harrison’s cause is supposed to elicit sympathy from the audience.

Of course anything could have changed in this alternate reality, but this seems less and less like Khan the more we learn.

Now, could he be one of the other Botany Bay survivors? Absolutely. We know the other “supermen” were far more volatile than Khan in their rule, and could easily have different goals than Khan in that respect, based on having religious doctrines which Khan seemed to eschew. An Islamic superman for instance, to tie it directly to modern terrorists.

Now, if Harrison turns out to be a Klingon let’s say, and to find the Federation has been holding large numbers of Klingons in a Guantanamo Bay like prison, then that would be a sympathetic terrorist cause as well as fit wih the plot details we’ve been given (I still find it interesting that the IDW Mirror comic references regular Klingon terrorist attacks, suggesting something that might also exist in the regular alt universe in some smaller way given that this Starfleet has been intimated to be far darker than TOS).

So while it might still be Khan, it seems far less likely than other possibilities. And if it’s not khan, it won’t be “Khan-centric” either. Even if it’s another Botany Bay survivor, it will have nothing to do with Khan.

30. boborci - February 6, 2013

Assange is an unwitting CIA dupe leaking meaningless evidecne to make it seem as though America’s worst secrets are exposed when actually the leaks merely corrborate neocon war propaganda against their selected enemies.

Unless of course you can find antying among his documents that we didn’t already know or that hurt anyone in government.

31. boborci - February 6, 2013

But that’s just me. I digress.

32. gingerly - February 6, 2013

…And so could Joachim, whom I believe he is playing.

33. gingerly - February 6, 2013

@29

I love it!

Mention something vaguely shady and Bob comes correct with a conspiracy theory for it.

Bob, is there anything big that the world should know about that’s easy to look up, but was covered up and/or propaganda did such a good job, that the general populace just very wrong ideas about it?

34. Jon - February 6, 2013

I’m really afraid Into Darkness will do the same thing that Dark Knight Rises did, portraying the Occupy movement as a bunch of murderous terrorists enthralled to an evil, charismatic leader.

35. Mad Mann - February 6, 2013

32. Off the top of my head: Thomas Edison. He was given way to much credit for all of his “inventions.” The more I read about him and Tesla and Westinghouse the more I realize how much the world was duped into believing Edison created it all. It just burns me since I went to Edison Junior High School.

I would have also said Lance Armstrong, but he admitted to it a few weeks ago.

36. Curious Cadet - February 6, 2013

@5 Garth Faction,

I previously posted a well reasoned response, but I suspect certain political buzz-words sent it to the spam filter.

Suffice it to say, all this terrorism talk makes it less likely to be Khan for me, as recently debated — Khan was a peaceful, benevolent dictator, fighting only when attacked. Not likely to resort to terrorist activity, which would only serve to make Khan less sympathetic to audiences, given his stated goal: to rule.

Harrison must have a compelling reason to sympathize with him, especially given that Abrams has essentially described him as the ultimate psychopath. And there are other more appropriate antagonists from canon than Khan to achieve that.

37. gingerly - February 6, 2013

@34

Oh, I have my own conspiracy theory about Lance.

I believe the cycling association knew Armstrong was doping and was complicit in it.

38. Phil - February 6, 2013

@29. That’s hardly a news flash, Bob. Mostly diplomatic cables and stuff that is at best slightly embarrassing. Not sure how that makes him a CIA dupe, as opposed to a grandstanding opportunist who managed to abuse his fifteen minutes of fame….

39. Garth Faction - February 6, 2013

Curios

Notice what I said, I was suggesting that in the “reboot” universe I can see them changing Khan. Heck, there is the possibility that records on Khan were wrong, even in TOS, and fabricated by some distant followers of his. It could be “the historical Khan” vs “the mythic Khan” kind of thing. So I think it does raise Khan’s chances.. but I still say Garth still is in the running.. But I can see ret-Khan happening due to 9-11.

40. Phil - February 6, 2013

@36. Well, that’s not a news flash, either. What was impossible to find when Lance was at his peak was a cyclist who was NOT doping.

41. sean - February 6, 2013

#33

Filming on TDKR was completed before Occupy even began. It has much closer parallels to The French Revolution than OWS.

42. sean - February 6, 2013

#36

At this point, that’s not even a conspiracy theory. It’s obvious that all those cyclists were doping, and when a problem is that widespread there’s no way someone in authority isn’t turning a blind eye to it.

43. gingerly - February 6, 2013

@41

I believe it.

But I think they even covered for him because his story was bringing so many new fans, attention, (and money) to the sport.

Think about it.

If you’re not a bicycling fan, is there anything else you know about it besides Lance Armstrong?

44. Jack - February 6, 2013

This seems like a few points for Team He’s-Not-Khan… Who knows?

45. sean - February 6, 2013

#42

Oh he’s definitely the golden boy of the cycling world, no doubt. Lots of people had reasons (mostly financial) for covering for him.

46. Trekkiegal63 - February 6, 2013

Sounds like Star Trek Into Darkness is giving every indication of being…(dun, dun, dunnnn) an allegory.

I’m definitely on board for that! In fact, I’m feeling a little naustalgic…

(Jack – I tease, I tease :))

47. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 6, 2013

#24 – interesting call. The terrorist attack in Norway happened on 24 August 2012. However, I did find this – a terrorist/murderer who is now doing time in jail who he was influenced by and who he greatly admired.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235024/Anders-Behring-Breivik-smitten-neo-Nazi-Beate-Zschaepe-assassinated-9-businessmen.html#axzz2K8vlm0nM

48. Red Dead Ryan - February 6, 2013

The difference is, Lance Armstrong used his money and influence to pay off those in charge of the various cycling associations (which would be considered corruption) and to launch lawsuits against witnesses to bully them into silence. That’s the difference between him, and other cheaters like Floyd Landis, who was first encouraged by Armstrong to do steroids but subsequently thrown under the bus to save his own ass.

If it was merely about the cheating, no one would care. Armstrong would simply be the best of the cheaters. The sport is rife with cheating, so that part would be understandable. Sometimes cheating is necessary.

The main issue is with the man himself, and how he conducted himself. He went to great lengths to cover up his cheating, all the while presenting himself as a great role model in the fight against cancer.

He’s been exposed as a liar, a fraud, a cheat, and a hypocrite.

The irony is, had been forthcoming about his cheating several years ago, he might not have been stripped of his titles. He could have easily made the case for why he should keep them.

But no, he resorted to bribery, blackmail, lawsuits and other bullying tactics to keep it all quiet.

One now has to wonder if Armstrong even had cancer in the first place.

49. sean - February 6, 2013

#46

The attack in Norway happened on July 22nd, 2011.

50. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 6, 2013

I don’t think that Julian Assange is a terrorist, just an apparent whistleblower and governments just hate whistleblowers.

51. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 6, 2013

#49 – Yes, you are correct. My bad…oh dear. The sentencing of Anders Behring Breivik to 21 years imprisonment took place in Oslo on 24 August 2012.

Given that the mass shootings occurred on 22 July 2011, it would be interesting to know if the writers and Benedict Cumberbatch may have based some of the characterization of John Harrison on this Norwegian terrorist.

52. sean - February 6, 2013

#51

I hope not, given that Breivik’s entire ideology is basically just ‘I hate Muslims’.

53. Smike - February 6, 2013

@11:
“Julian Assange is a criminal . What a dill.”

So was Guy Fawkes. So was Robin Hood. (If he ever existed)…or Spartacus…you can be both, criminal and heroe to some (though Guy Fawkes is still regarded a criminal by Unionists)…

54. Jon - February 6, 2013

@41 – not true, several scenes from Dark Knight Rises was still filming when the occupy wall street protests were happening. I know this because there were bunch of camera crews filming cop cars that said “Gotham City Police” during an October 2011 protest.

55. Jack Zymurgy - February 6, 2013

@boborci – don’t just blame the neocons. Obama has steadily continued and in many ways expanded Bush foreign policy.

In other words, there is plenty of blame to go around. (Or credit I guess, if you are into endless war.)

56. sean - February 6, 2013

#54

The script was written in 2010 and primary filming was finished around the same time OWS began, so I stand by my original statement. Nolan specifically referenced A Tale of Two Cities as a source of inspiration for the film.

57. Red Dead Ryan - February 6, 2013

Let’s not forget that two women have accused Julian Assange of rape before you bestow the titles of “rebel” and “hero” upon him.

Just sayin’.

58. Phil - February 6, 2013

@55. Obama is a closet neocon, then? Who knew…

59. Joe Schmoe - February 6, 2013

Someone needs to teach Cumby how to dress. How lame is that collar?

60. Phil - February 6, 2013

@60. If it makes you feel better, I’m still Hugo-less….

61. MJ - February 6, 2013

@23 “So as long as you can get to see it MJ, that`s okay huh?”

Anthony has no control over international access to videos he provides links to. So for “Pointing Out The Obvious” to basically say that he should only post videos that can been seen around the world is pointless and out of Anthony’s control. And since we have see multiple posts from people overseas say this recently, yea, it’s becoming annoying.

What would you have Anthony do about it?????

62. MJ - February 6, 2013

“How about you first swallow some of your own medicine, hypocrite?
People who have no issues with war crimes but with the guys who discover them … yet at the same time kike a progressive sci-fi franchise are obviously capable of double-think.”

Good discussion what a hypocrite is. JA is a hypocrite for promoting truth while his own life is complete lie, and you are a hypocrite for overlooking his criminal behavior against women because you like his work.

Yea, I agree with Phil, go find yourself a JA fan page and stop the worship here, please.

63. MJ - February 6, 2013

@13 “Julian Assange is actually a top-level piece of shit. He’s hiding from Sweden (freedom-of-information capital) in the embassy of Ecuador (a country that absolutely shuts down its own journalists). And his entire reasoning for hiding? “Er I’m innocent!” Yeah, great thinking. Next time I have a court date, I’ll just stay home because, y’know what? I’m innocent and the rules shouldn’t apply to me. If his cause was worth anything – anything at all – he’d go to court, possibly get apprehended by the US, and use the trial as a platform for delivering his message. Instead, he’s doing what guilty men do – slipping and sliding and doing everything he can to stay ‘free’, no matter how pathetic it is.He’s a worm and I can’t wait for him to get what’s coming to him.”

E X A C T L Y ! ! !

64. Mark Lynch - February 6, 2013

@64

I don’t have a problem with videos being just for the country of origin. What I do have a problem with, I suppose, is 1) people moaning about it when as you just rightly stated, AP has no control of that stuff.

And 2) I don’t like it when someone is rude t those who are disappointed they can’t see the video.

I hear so many stupid arguments at home, I guess I am a bit over sensitive these days…

Sorry.

65. Classy M - February 6, 2013

#21: ‘how will Treks inevitible happy ending play out in real life?’

I completely disagree that Trek = inevitable happy ending. In fact, some of the most profound episodes and films were anything but. ‘Charlie X’, ‘Doomsday Machine’ and even ‘The Wrath of Khan’ didn’t have happy endings.

66. Mark Lynch - February 6, 2013

“t those” = “to those” (but you probably guessed that)

FFS

67. MJ - February 6, 2013

@67. Fair enough. Yea, sorry for being rude.

68. BJ (TheFreshMaker) - February 6, 2013

@20. Phil – February 6, 2013
“It looks like there are a few newbies here. Generally, trolling for political debate will be shut down on short order.”

Unless your name is Bob Orci and the owners of the site don’t want to make you mad and keep your coming back, Even if you turn a Trek post discussion into a conspiracy lesson.

69. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 6, 2013

As far as I know, the Swedes want Julian Assange to answer to the charges of sexual assault/rape that have been laid against him. I think he should return to Sweden to face a court trial on the charges of sex crimes being laid against him. If he is indeed guilty, then no doubt he does not want to face imprisonment.

As for the other charges, perhaps he is not sure he will get a fair hearing/trial which is why he is on the run.

Just because someone runs does not necessarily mean they are guilty, nor does it mean they are innocent either. He has not been tried in any court of law so in fact, nobody actually know for he should get coming to him.

As for the other charges, perhaps he is not sure he will get a fair hearing/trial which is why he is on the run.

It seems that most of you have already passed judgement and convicted him already. I rest my case.

I have no idea how guilty or otherwise he is of the various charges laid against him and what’s more – NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU!

70. Trekkiegal63 - February 6, 2013

#68 Classy M:

Never made that parallel before but you are absolutely correct. And the odd thing? “Doomsday Machine” is one of my favorite episodes and the “Wrath of Khan” my favorite movie. There is something to be said for the unhappy Trek endings… when they do them they are haunting (excluding, of course, “Nemesis” – the impact of Data’s sacrifice was drastically lessoned by the existence of B-4).

71. Michael Hall - February 6, 2013

“Assange is an unwitting CIA dupe leaking meaningless evidecne to make it seem as though America’s worst secrets are exposed when actually the leaks merely corrborate neocon war propaganda against their selected enemies.”

Interesting take, if maybe a little reductive. The tape Bradley Manning (to open yet another contentious can of worms) posted online after allegedly receiving it from Assange, which showed U.S. pilots indiscriminately gunning down fleeing Iraqis, may not have embarrassed or brought down anyone in the U.S. government directly–but it should have.

My total lack of knowledge regarding Assange’s guilt or innocence in the Swedish complaint aside, let me second the poster above who noted the incongruity of fans of a progressive entertainment franchise taking greater issue with the whistle-blower than the very real crimes he exposes.

72. Anthony Pascale - February 6, 2013

Couple things

1. Please stop with the personal attacks and tone down the politics

2. Thanks to those who have pointed out that we can’t control video availability. It is our policy to post videos of interest with any important text pulled out. Its worth noting that in the past we have posted UK only video from the BBC. So it goes both ways.

73. K-7 - February 6, 2013

@74.

“Mussolini made the trains run on time.”

74. Jovius - February 6, 2013

Trekkiegal63:

Re: Your earlier statement about allegory… I really hope you’re right. That and philosophy were the two biggest things I felt were missing from “Star Trek” (2009). It wasn’t a bad movie, it was definitely fun, but some of the jokes were out of place and it could have used some more… intellectualism. Even a short conversation where Spock and Kirk muse over whether Nero was righteous in his aims would have been nice. In the more action-oriented Star Trek films and episodes we’ve had a good dose of making relevant connections to present day issues and waxing a little philosophy. Indeed, “Inception” showed you could make an action sci-fi movie that had a smart and thought provoking story.

75. Classy M - February 6, 2013

#73 Trekkiegal63 – Trek’s willingness to deliver the occasional downbeat ending was one of the things that set it apart. While most other shows of the ’60s ended with the cast laughing together, the ST cast were often left dealing with very sad consequences. ‘Let That Be Your Last Battlefield’ for instance, and let’s not forget Harlan Ellison’s haunting ‘City on the Edge of Forever’. Those tend to be the episodes that resonate even today.

If ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is done well, I have hopes that Harrison’s cause will be seen as just and his destruction will weigh heavily upon the Enterprise crew. The best Trek villains have always been those whose causes connected with the crew and, by extension, with us the viewers.

76. Disinvited - February 6, 2013

36. Curious Cadet – February 6, 2013

“Suffice it to say, all this terrorism talk makes it less likely to be Khan for me, as recently debated — Khan was a peaceful, benevolent dictator, fighting only when attacked.”

You have got to be kidding. In SPACE SEED, when did anyone of Kirk or his crew attack Khan to justify his actions under this stated reasoning?

I’ll say this again: Khan might have adjusted the historical records to look favorably on him and his legacy but he never acts like the man described in those accounts, in the episode or the movie.

77. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 6, 2013

NB – I was to able to see the video posted here. It seemed to take a while to load and at first I thought I would not get to see it because I was not in the right country, then there he – that “John Harrison” man…:) was, sitting there, attempting to explain his indiscretions…;).

This happened another time (can’t recall – sorry) when I thought I could not see it. Later my son came onto the site to check it out and lo, the video played. Not sure what is going on, but maybe check it again later…

78. Not Annoyed By 75 At All - February 6, 2013

That’s actually a really cool way of handling it – I was just expecting all of the posts to disappear.
PS. Sorry for not having a screen name, for some reason my browser never seems to keep one in place. Stupid cookies.

79. Trekkiegal63 - February 6, 2013

#77 Jovius:

I really hope you’re right. That and philosophy were the two biggest things I felt were missing from “Star Trek” (2009). It wasn’t a bad movie, it was definitely fun, but some of the jokes were out of place and it could have used some more… intellectualism.

Agreed, on all counts. I enjoyed the film at face value. A movie’s ultimate job is to entertain and ST2009 was entertaining, but the thing that always made Trek stand out for me was the use of the allegory. “The Wrath of Khan”, “Voyage Home”, Undiscovered Country – arguably the three better Trek movies, all of which contained an allegorical storyline (and, of course, all of the wonderful TOS episodes”The Enemy Within” “Doomsday Machine”,”A Private Little War”, etc.). “Voyage Home” is actually a good example of a movie that is fun and cute, conceived for the entire purpose of being fun and cute, but also containing those profound character moments, as you indicated, that can make a Trek film, i.e. McCoy and Spock’s exchange on making a guess. “Tell my mother I feel… fine.” Jim’s elation over his demotion. Spock standing with his shipmates at the trial, etc. All profoundly philosophical when scratching beneath the surface.

I kind of give ST2009 a little bit of leeway for not being allegorical as they had to set a stage and reintroduce the characters to a new generation, but I have strong hopes that “Into Darkness” will follow the mantel of allegory that makes Trek shine.

80. Trekkiegal63 - February 6, 2013

If ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is done well, I have hopes that Harrison’s cause will be seen as just and his destruction will weigh heavily upon the Enterprise crew. The best Trek villains have always been those whose causes connected with the crew and, by extension, with us the viewers.

I second this wholeheartedly. The more memorable villains are those where, while you might not agree with their actions, they are relatable… their motivations if not condoned, at least understandable. i.e. Khan had a legit complaint, Kirk left him on that planet without following-up. In “Space Seed” Khan had that hearing, and was given a choice, prison or exile, one wonders if he would have made a different choice if he had any indication what fate lay in store for him… so yes, I get what you’re saying and it is my hope for “Into Darkness” as well.

81. Michael Hall - February 6, 2013

“Even a short conversation where Spock and Kirk muse over whether Nero was righteous in his aims would have been nice. In the more action-oriented Star Trek films and episodes we’ve had a good dose of making relevant connections to present day issues and waxing a little philosophy.”

Well, it would have been difficult for them to seriously muse over Nero’s motivation for doing what he did because that motivation just didn’t make any sense at all. He’s angry to the extent that he’s willing to commit mass genocide not because Spock and the Federation destroyed his homeworld, but because they did their best to save it and failed anyway. That’s so profoundly unreasonable that it makes him and his actions virtually weightless and impersonal, and which is why, more than all of my qualms about the production design, lame jokes, plot holes, and bad science, Trek 2009 just doesn’t work for me. Because Nero has no relatable point of view, there are no moral stakes; he might just as well be an approaching black hole or doomsday machine to be defeated using TNG-era technobabble.

Fortunately, what we’ve seen of INTO DARKNESS suggests an antagonist who’s been much better thought-out. Which is good news, since I agree completely with your larger point that a substance-free Trek is one that’s hardly worth doing (or watching) at all.

82. dmduncan - February 6, 2013

30: “Unless of course you can find antying among his documents that we didn’t already know or that hurt anyone in government.”

Well, y’know, he said he had UFO related documents. I haven’t even seen THOSE released yet. What’s up with that?

83. dmduncan - February 6, 2013

79: “I’ll say this again: Khan might have adjusted the historical records to look favorably on him and his legacy but he never acts like the man described in those accounts, in the episode or the movie.”

Who acts the same way under all conditions at all times? Do you?

History is also written by the winners. And Khan lost.

84. Disinvited - February 6, 2013

#87. dmduncan – February 6, 2013

Indeed, but the episode says the records were fragmented (by WW III?) so who knows who authored what account that survived? Heck, they didn’t even recognize him on sight even they though “knew” enough to admire and wax philosophical about him.

85. Disinvited - February 6, 2013

#87. dmduncan – February 6, 2013

Heck, its not definitive but one could argue that history, for more than some, is now written by whoever is clever enough to write a persistent virus that keeps his version intact on Wikipedia.

I’d have to check but didn’t Watson use a snapshot of Wikipedia as one its sources of history?

86. Phil - February 6, 2013

@71. Not sure that debating conspiracy is the same as debating politics. Having observed the Kennedy debates here for a while now, the list of killers is about ten deep, with each having someone arguing passionately for their particular suspect. Maybe that all did it, who knows?

87. Michael Hall - February 6, 2013

“Heck, they didn’t even recognize him on sight even they though “knew” enough to admire and wax philosophical about him.”

Yeah, that would have made more sense if they hadn’t already brought up the Eugenics Wars and the fact that about eighty of those genetic tyrants had gone missing. No wonder Khan was skeptical of Kirk’s intelligence, if not his powers of deduction, and felt that “it appears we will do very well in your century.”

88. Disinvited - February 6, 2013

#87. dmduncan – February 6, 2013

“Who acts the same way under all conditions at all times? Do you?”

Well mine is not the superior that Khan fancies himself to be.

Even so, men, even superior ones who would be philosopher kings often reveal themselves in their habits.

In SPACE SEED, The Enterprise crew represents no threat to Khan and his people. They are not fanatically planning to blow the Botany Bay up. And yet, Khan resorts to not just merely torture an individual but the brand where he makes the others watch. In TWoK, the space station Regula I scientists, again, are no threat to Khan and his people. And yet, again, he resorts to the same brand of torture – multiple times until he runs out of bodies to watch in which case he changes the pattern.

By his habits we do know him.

89. boborci - February 6, 2013

38 Because Assange didn’t rapel down into a CIA facility and ssteal this info. It was “leaked” to him.

90. boborci - February 6, 2013

38. So he is both. Your theory not mutually exclusive.

91. boborci - February 6, 2013

59. No, he is quite out in the open.

92. Michael Hall - February 6, 2013

“So he is both. Your theory not mutually exclusive.”

Kind of like Harrison/Khan? :-)

93. dmduncan - February 6, 2013

92. Disinvited – February 6, 2013

Khan wasn’t a total monster, and that’s in the episode. Marla loved him and even the guy he tried to kill admired and pardoned him. That episode leaves me with the same wary admiration for him that Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty felt.

94. Basement Blogger - February 6, 2013

Seems like this Star Trek is going to have some big ideas. Bravo. I can’t wait to see it.

95. fansincesixtynine - February 6, 2013

Wow. This is getting too heated for me.

96. Red Dead Ryan - February 6, 2013

#72.

I’m confused with your post. On the one hand, you think Assange should return to Sweden to stand trial, but on the other, you come up with flimsy excuses as to why he is still in hiding.

Then you presume to tell the rest of us that we don’t know the full story, and that he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Well which one is it?

In my opinion, Assange released the documents as a distraction from the fact he was being accused of raping two women. So that he would be able to play the “victim card” to his followers, who themselves would start blaming the innocent women as being tools of the Swedish government out to persecute Assange.

97. MJ - February 6, 2013

Thanks Anthony for sending the imposter to the Phantom Zone.

98. MJ - February 6, 2013

@96. Dexter is inferring that if a criminal does things that agree with his politics then he is willing to give that guy a free pass.

99. Red Dead Ryan - February 6, 2013

#98.

Actually, I was referring to Keachick, who was originally at 72 but pushed up to 69 now.

100. Red Shirt Diaries - February 6, 2013

Red Dead Ryan,

Michael Hall’s admitted, ” total lack of knowledge regarding Assange’s guilt or innocence in the Swedish complaint,” shows his moral bankruptcy on this topic.

It’s inconvenient for Michael Hall to have to learn about Assange’s guilt, because that would interfere with Hall’s being so happy about wikileaks. And so, Hall deliberately buries his head in the sand with the weak excuse that is basically “oh lillte ole me doesn’t have the foggiest idea about the criminal behavior of this guy.” This from one of the greatest know-it-all posters in the history of Trekmovie.com?

Give me a break, Michael Hall.

101. Red Dead Ryan - February 6, 2013

#98, 100.

I agree with you about Dexter’s obnoxious comments. It just proves his ignorance on topics he couldn’t be bothered learning about.

102. Phil - February 6, 2013

@98. Of course. These guys just give so much to the world, the least we can do if overlook their trivial transgressions. Anyone recall that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a trail of assult investigations behind him that always seem to get dropped? I guess it’s okay to rape the maid as long as you are slaving away for the betterment of mankind.

103. William Kennedy Smith - February 6, 2013

What are you talking about, Phil?

104. Disinvited - February 7, 2013

dmduncan February 6, 2013

Well the numbers are in flux so I’m not bothering with that. Can’t quote because my mobile device is limited. But I’m sure you can figure this reply out.

Hitler loved his dog and Mussolini made the trains run on time. Hyperbole on my part? Perhaps…I liked Khan the character in how the role was acted/directed and written. But as a man if he were real?

I just have trouble with a guy that in Space Seed uses torture as his go to card merely to try to persuade the E crew to obey him.

In the episode, I can buy that Kirk thought Khan was employing a bluff and would put him through hell but not actually kill him. But the movie comes along and removes all doubt and THAT man definitely is a monster – the kind that would resort to terrorism to get what he felt he needed to rule, whether it be Genesis or April’s weaponry.

105. Mark Lynch - February 7, 2013

@97
I must say that I did not think that was you MJ… It just didn’t read right. :-)

A big well done to AP for nuking them. Any chance of a proper forum so that these things can be totally eliminated?

106. Garth Faction - February 7, 2013

Khan

Remember about Khan, he was supposed to be the BEST, kindest, most benevolent of the dictators; it didn’t say he was kind, or benevolent, only in comparison he was. The years between SS and WOK made all the bad come out even more. No real surprise: people aren’t static.

107. Curious Cadet - February 7, 2013

@104 Disinvited,
“I just have trouble with a guy that in Space Seed uses torture as his go to card merely to try to persuade the E crew to obey him.”

I have trouble with anybody who uses torture period. This includes the US — the good guys. Some might say the US are terrorists in plain sight in the territories they occupy.

Plus, he was not torturing them. He was flat out executing them for not joining him — what use were they otherwise, as they could always escape and otherwise thwart him wilut the resources to secure them all. And he was not using the threat of execution merely to persuade them to obey him, he needed a traitor, just one knowledgeable crewman to help him run a ship that could take months to master otherwise, and Khan was nothing if not impatient. What would Kirk have done if he had remained in control of the bridge? Most likely he would have ordered the ship to self-destruct, especially if he discovered members of his crew had defected as McGivers had already done. Did they attack Khan? No, but when they found out who he was and reacted accordingly, that was the same as an attack. As far as Khan knew, he and the other survivors were being taken to be tried and executed.

And TWOK cannot be cited here. The kind of trial endured between Space Seed and that movie could have easily resulted in abhorrent behavior by anyone.

No one ever said Khan wasn’t capable of atrocities. Just that his M.O. was different than the others. Though his stated goal was to rule. As far as I know, that’s the only thing that motivated Khan: conquer and rule. Add to that Abrams description of the ultimate psychopath, and terrorism to the pot and you have one amazingly unsympathetic character.

Now it is a different timeline, so who Knows, one plausible scenario is that Khan is discovered on the BB, held captive and tortured for years (for whatever reason), his “family” killed, he becomes twisted, escapes and seeks revenge on his captors as a one man terrorist — and to do this, he has some complicated plastic surgery to alter his appearance so he is not recognized. (Or some variation of this story) So we don’t really have to learn anything about who Khan was, and just tell this story, which is otherwise one that would evoke sympathy from the audience.

But then it’s not Khan. Oh, I suppose they tell us the same thing we know in Space Seed (or less), but in this story (reconciling with what we know), like modern day terrorists in US custody, Khan has actually suffered at the hands of the Federation, tainting the good guys and making the bad guy more sympathetic. But this could be anybody — why tell is particular story using Khan — Khan’s backstory is confusing out of context: “who is this guy? He’s a genetically enhanced dictator from the 90s, put into suspended animation after a failed coup d’état, who altered his appearance after being revived and detained by the Federation.”

At the end of the day, no matter how complex or multi-layered they may make the story, if Harrison is Khan it has to boil down to something like this, and for me it’s convoluted and not a very interesting use of Khan.

Khan as undercover terrorist? Why bother? That’s not what any fan knows or expects from that character. Imagine a Batman film where the Joker spends the entire movie with a surgically altered average looking face, pretending to be Bill Smith, a minor Gotham City government employee working alone. Where would be the fun in that?

108. Garth Faction - February 7, 2013

(A large picture of their guest in on a screen)
KIRK: Name, Khan, as we know him today. (Spock changes the picture) Name, Khan Noonien Singh.
SPOCK: From 1992 through 1996, absolute ruler of more than a quarter of your world. From Asia through the Middle East.
MCCOY: The last of the tyrants to be overthrown.
SCOTT: I must confess, gentlemen. I’ve always held a sneaking admiration for this one.
KIRK: He was the best of the tyrants and the most dangerous. They were supermen, in a sense. Stronger, braver, certainly more ambitious, more daring.
SPOCK: Gentlemen, this romanticism about a ruthless dictator is
KIRK: Mister Spock, we humans have a streak of barbarism in us. Appalling, but there, nevertheless.
SCOTT: There were no massacres under his rule.
SPOCK: And as little freedom.
MCCOY: No wars until he was attacked.
SPOCK: Gentlemen.
KIRK: Mister Spock, you misunderstand us. We can be against him and admire him all at the same time.
SPOCK: Illogical.
KIRK: Totally. This is the Captain. Put a twenty four hour security on Mister Khan’s quarters, effective immediately.

—-

I think there is romanticism going on as to Khan’s “nobility.” He was better – but most brutal. How was he better? I think he was capable of helping people he cared for, but he still would go any means necessary in brutality (and so be a terrorist). That’s the thing. Khan was still bad…. not to be romantic about him…

109. Phil - February 7, 2013

@103. There tends to be a mind set among folks who view themselves as Progressive that because of the nobility of what they believe that certain, possibly illegal activities they participate in should earn them a free pass. It’s nothing more then corrpution, and not just an issue among the left, but it becomes a bit hard to swallow lectures from these folks about the superiority of their belief when they are stealing your money or raping your women….and before anyone gets unglued, the Neocon mentality is just as bad.

110. tman - February 7, 2013

Terrorism is a means to an end. When numbers are few it is far more effective than passive resistance. Harrison being a terrorist doesn’t exclude him being Khan. That said, Khan was vain and knowing his fatal flaws ahead of time worries me; however, Cumberbatch seems pretty confident too. I suspect Khan will be in it, but maybe not this guy and maybe not even woken up. I suspect the story focuses on an augment and based on the initial casting I was suspecting they wanted to use”Joachim” but after they got Cumberbath they created a new character, possibly inspired by the original script name for Khan.

What strikes me is the question of how far mankind should go with “augmentation” of human capability. — I’m hopeful they will address this or a similar fundamental question. If you can avoid disease, increase lifetime, increase our contributions to humanity; where do you draw the line and what is the rational basis for doing so. If there’s a cause like that worth fighting for the question after that is how do you get a means to that end: Do you need to get more augments, do you need to consolidate power or destroy political and social structures that stand in your way? Again terrorism is just a means to an end.

111. Curious Cadet - February 7, 2013

@108 Garth Faction,

Spock also describes Khan and his “brethren” as “Supermen”. Kirk immediately takes exception dismissively correcting that “they were hardly Supermen”. Indeed, we only have Khan’s boisterous statement that he has 5x Kirk’s strength before Kirk (who has just been decompressed by the way), handily defeats Khan, seemingly confirming his earlier assessment.

Given the assertion around here that Harrison is shown to have superhero-like physical powers based on one :42 clip taken out of context in the first trailer, this is even more reason to not believe he is Khan.

112. Garth Faction - February 7, 2013

111 CC

I think many people are confusing what they see as being all his own ability; I think a lot of what we see is tech-boosted..

113. Disinvited - February 7, 2013

#110. tman

Well the message of the FRINGE finale was that augmentation isn’t bad as long as the whole mind is augmented. Trying to pick one aspect as being somehow more important than the others leads to imbalance and the road to evil.

It’s possible STID explores that as well.

114. Kurn - February 7, 2013

I’d appreciate it if the next Trek TV series features a writer who is politically uneducated and into conspiracy theories lest the quality of the product declines even further.

115. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 7, 2013

#96 – Both. There are actually two important issues here – There are two separate charges filed against Julian Assange and they should be treated as such. People here do not seem to be doing that.

(a) Giving the “benefit of the doubt” is what is meant by “presuming innocence until proven guilty”. This is the basis of our criminal legal systems (USA, UK, Canada?, Australia, NZ…) but not in France where the onus is on the accused to prove his innocence. I have no idea where Sweden stands in this respect.

” *In my opinion*, Assange released the documents as a distraction…”
Yes, and that is all it is – your opinion – no doubt one shared by many others. But do you actually know that for a fact?

(b) As for the charges -
On the rape charges, he needs to have the authorities either prove his guilt or he prove his innocence, depending how the law operates in Sweden. Closure needs to happen for himself and his (*alleged) victims and this cannot happen at the moment.
*(- which, if the law is the same in Sweden as it is here, is what these victims are – ie alleged).

On the other charges, as in being accused of leaking Government secrets etc, that is more tricky. As I said before, Governments tend to not like apparent whistle-blowers and will do anything to shut them down…Guantanamo Bay (and other less well known places but as effective…) anyone? – I doubt that only suspected terrorists are holed up there right now with little or no access to legal representation or anything. In this respect, I think that Assange may have some cause to worry…

That being said, he should come back to have his day in court on the rape charges, in order to have his innocence or guilt properly proved, because those charges are the more serious.

116. Red Dead Ryan - February 7, 2013

Look, the documents released were full of info everybody already knew, and stuff that might have been a minor embarrassment to governments, nothing more.

The whole thing was massively overhyped.

It’s not like highly detailed and classified Israeli plans for a pre-emptive strike on Iran were released.

117. Red Dead Ryan - February 7, 2013

#115.

“That being said, he should come back to have his day in court on the rape charges, in order to have have his innocence or guilt properly proved, because those charges are the more serious.”

You admit the rape charges are more important. That he should go to Sweden and stand trial.

But you also continue to defend and justify his running from the law in the case of the leaks.

Talk about trying to have it both ways!

Sheesh!

118. Garth Faction - February 7, 2013

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/nailbiter111/news/?a=73917

Well, looks like we know now..

119. dmduncan - February 7, 2013

104. Disinvited – February 7, 2013

It’s absurd to discuss him like he has three dimensional existence and an actual history that you or I can cite facts about as if there were a possibility one of us could be right in appeal to those facts, and the other wrong.

He is how he is written. SS introduced the character and gave us guidelines for the future to build on. Nick Meyer then picked it up and turned him into a madman hellbent on revenge.

That’s just not the only way to do him. That’s not the only way to build either a past or a future for the character introduced in SS.

When Kirk says, “we can admire him and be against him at the same time,” he is saying he has both positive and negative qualities…unlike Hannibal Lecter’s neighbor in the adjacent cell.

Even Lecter has positive qualities.

Admitting that someone bad has positive qualities doesn’t mean you oppose him any the less. But trying to make the Hitler vibe rub off on this fictional character is extreme. It doesn’t fit him, and in rebooting that character I would reject it instantly without further thought. It’s just too easy.

120. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 7, 2013

I can understand why he might run from the law because it is possible that he may not get a fair hearing when it comes to the leaks. Why is that so hard for you to understand? Sheesh yourself!

He needs to acquit himself of good legal representation and have his innocence or guilt proved as per the rape charges in a Swedish court of law.

Why do I bother sometimes? Duh!

121. Disinvited - February 7, 2013

#119. dmduncan

I get your tack. It’s an interesting one. It’s been a while now but didn’t you advocate Khan should go bad in the AU and then redeem himself in the third act by dying in a selfless act?

But when you think of it, the US founding fathers were considered terrorists too – so if Khan were a Eugenics terrorist as I suggest, he’d be in good company?

You want me to keep him redeemable? Since I believe in the power of redemption, I can do that. But I do wonder just how bad we can let him get that a paying audience will accept it?

122. Phil - February 7, 2013

@120. Two words for you – due process. Look it up.

123. Red Dead Ryan - February 7, 2013

#120.

By your logic, Assange might not get a fair trial in Sweden over the rape charges either, except that you insisted he he go back to answer those charges!

C’mon, now, your arguments are plain ridiculous and illogical!

Honestly!

SHEESH!

124. Michael Hall - February 7, 2013

“@96. Dexter is inferring that if a criminal does things that agree with his politics then he is willing to give that guy a free pass.”

“My total lack of knowledge regarding Assange’s guilt or innocence in the Swedish complaint aside” is what I stated. What can be inferred from that, you bullying ass, is that since I have no idea whether Julian Assange is guilty of the crime he’s accused of I’m hardly in a position to exonerate or excuse his actions, notwithstanding your (unwarranted) assumption that we share the same political views.

It would be just peachy by me if Assange were to travel to Sweden and face his accusers, and to suffer the consequences if he’s found guilty under Swedish law and by a Swedish court. Those close to him insist that he’s willing to do so, but only if the Swedes and the Brits offer gurantees that he won’t be extradited to a third country–guess which?–where he’ll wind up doing solitary in the Quantico basement for life, while those who prattle about “due process”–I’m thinking of the Hugo-less Phil here–howl their approval and our vaunted corporate media uncovers more entertaining celebrity gossip to distract us with. I don’t know if that’s true either–Assange hasn’t made the offer himself, publicly–but so far neither country has been willing to give those assurances in any case.

That the original prosecutor in this case dropped the charges only to see them reinstated by her bosses after pressure was brought to bear by a well-known right-wing politician in that country suggests that the issues are perhaps not as clear-cut as you and the other bloviators howling for Assange’s blood on this thread insist. The authorities have been rightfully silent on the particulars of what supposedly happened between Assange and the two women he’s accused of assaulting, but since the sex apparently was consensual up to a certain point it’s a fair bet that all things being equal he never would have been charged with rape if this had taken place in the United States, his actions not rising to the level of “forcible rape” (or, if you’re a Republican, “legitimate” rape).

Even if his actions designate him a first-class creep—and what we’ve seen so far suggests that could certainly be the case—it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a rapist or even a criminal of any sort. At this point, I just don’t know enough to know. And neither do you.

My larger point was to note the curious sort of mentality which would take greater umbrage at the accusations against Julian Assange than the very real and numerous acts of cruelty and criminality he’s helped to uncover, such as American chopper pilots joking amongst themselves while they mow down fleeing (and apparently unarmed) Iraqi civilians like rabid dogs. That’s not really a whole lot like giving a rapist a Hail Mary pass just because you like his politics, but that I have to explain the distinction to someone who thought it perfectly just and proper that young women were sentenced to years in a freezing gulag for mouthing-off in choich should, of course, come as no surprise to anyone.

125. Michael Hall - February 7, 2013

Oh, and Phil? What I said about Assange goes double for Strauss-Kahn, who had the curious ability–something fairly unique to our age, I suppose–of being a nominal Socialist while running the IMF. I had no problems with him facing the music and spending a night or two in Riker’s while he waited to do so. In the end, I got the same story that you and millions of others did: the NY prosecutors said the accuser’s story fell apart in a million pieces and so they dropped the charges. Who’s to say what really happened, but if the fix was in my guess was that it probably had more to do with him being rich and well-connected than a French Lefty elitist. And while I find your doubts about the impartiality of our justice system to be very touching and patriotic, you’ll really need to take that up with those who let him go

126. Jack - February 8, 2013

Assange endangered no one really, the info wasn’t important — although I think his fall, as it were, had at least as much to do with Julian Assange as conspiracies, governments or anyone else. Sometimes you get lucky.

127. Rose (as in Keachick) - February 8, 2013

“By your logic, Assange might not get a fair trial in Sweden over the rape charges either, except that you insisted he he go back to answer those charges!”

I did not say that. Read what I actually said!

I said that maybe Assange believes that he will not receive a fair trial over the other charges. Once the authorities have him in their custody, then some lack of due process may well happen, not in the case of the rape charges, but in regard to the other charges.

Grief. How much clearer do I have to be?

128. Michael Hall - February 8, 2013

Trust me–with that one, you’ll never be clear enough.

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