UPDATE 2: Empire Mag Into Darkness Cover Story Has Plot/Villain Details + New Images (w/ 1st look at Pike)

UPDATED: It’s a Christmas Miracle. The brand new Empire Magazine has a cover story from a Star Trek Into Darkness set visit including interviews with JJ Abrams and some of the cast. They also have some brand new exclusive images. TrekMovie has some excerpts of Abrams, Cumberbatch and Pine giving more details (and spoilers) on the film and its villain. Check that out below along with new images. [UPDATE 2:  more images added]


UPDATE: More Details on John Harrison & Into Darkness

The new Empire Magazine Star Trek Into Darkness set visit feature contains new images, cool new covers and interview quotes from director JJ Abrams and some of the stars. Some of the most interesting quotes are regarding the film’s villain, John Harrison, who is the subject of much discussion and speculation.

New image of Cumberbatch facing off with Kirk

Here is what some of them had to say about Harrison (interesting tidbits highlighted)…

Abrams: He was within Starfleet and has now turned against the organization and is hell-bent on revenge. He’s responsible for a very violent, horrific attack in London and then one in the States. He believes he and others were wronged and is focused on destruction. He’s an incredibly brilliant strategist who is aware of various truths that Kirk is not privy to.

Pine: He is Kirk’s shadow of death, his Achilles’ heel. He is just a big mirror reflecting all of Kirk’s insecurities back at him. He is just as intelligent and logical as Spock, but is also one very bad motherf—er.

Cumberbatch: He’s sort of superhuman, pretty much unbeatable. Brainy and brawny. He manipulates situations. He’s incarcerated when Kirk is talking to him and yet he still gets Kirk to do his work for him. He pushes him into a corner where the only route to salvation is cooperation. There is a real Hannibal Lecter quality to him.

The article also describes Harrison as a "Starfleet officer turned Galactic terrorist" as well as an "ex-Starfleet employee."

New image of Zachary Quinto as Spock

Some other highlights from the article

  • Mention of Kirk "forced into a rash decision that breaks a critical Starfleet command, puts his crew in danger and costs him his captain’s chair."

  • The mission to capture Harrison described as an attempt for Kirk to "rectify his mistake"

  • Film involves dozens of new sets/locations, including Kirk’s apartment

New Image (scan) of Kirk and Pike (Bruce Greenwood)

Check out these cool covers

There is much more in new issue of Empire Magazine (including additional new exclusive images). Pick up the digital copy at iTunes or on  newstands on December 27th. Here are the two cool collectible covers.

The Pine cover shows Kirk wearing civilian atire which he dons when he goes on a mission to the Klingon home world of Qo’noS to capture Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison, who can be seen shackled in the other cover.

Additional covers Empire Magazine.

UPDATE 2: More Images

More image scans are now available…

Director JJ Abrams conferring with Chris Pine next to a shuttle craft
(different design than seen in Star Trek 2009 – may not bee Starfleet craft)

Spock in the Volcano on Nibiru

Uhura on Qu’noS

Cumberbatch in the brig

Cumberbatch crashing through window

Thanks to Alister

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LOVE the Cumberbatch cover! :D

Darn, I want this Issue!

I totally want this! Love Chris Pine’s Kirk! Gorgeous and talented! May will just not come fast enough!!

That handcuff device thingy is total overkill. He’s just an average guy called John Harrison. ;-)

Getting both of these covers!

Plus, look at this!


Try and guess what movie they named as the #1 must-see in 2013! LOL.

I`m truly tired of unsympathetic villans. Will we be able to feel for Harrisson in the movie? I was hoping wed get some sort of understanding with Nero, however he went from being a sympathetic character in the Countdown comics,.to your stereotypical villan. I LOVE the villians that you can be sympathetic to, and not have to rollmy eyes thinking ” Oh, GREAT! ANOTHER unsympathetic villian!” I want to understand what Harisson is going through.

I downloaded the issue for iPad this morning great article as usual and the animated ipad covers are fantastic!
Oh and a Merry Christmas to all from me in Scotland!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

Those covers look like Jason Bourne in Blade Runner. It’s not Trek as I’ve ever known, and that is EXACTLY the point. JJ has very wisely taken the franchise in the direction of appealing to the ticket buying public. We Trekkers which make up a completely insignificant percentage of the total audience will still go see the movie even though the (very few) ones like me will do so in a severe state of handwringing. I never thought I’d say this, but just speaking for myself: All of a sudden Berman and Braga don’t look so bad… :(

The tiny glimmer of hope (for me) is in the nacelle configuration of the SF Bay crasher. Maybe, just maybe, this film has a TOS/TNG universe section like the first film’s superlative Kelvin scenes. At least I’ll have something to watch over and over again on the DVD! :)

Certainly you haven’t been reading/watching Cumberbatch’s recent interviews about his character in STID. He has been telling people that even though JH is a terrorist, you will sympathize with his cause. :)

Did someone notice the ornament on his sleeve? that looks very vintage?

Not sure why but they made me laugh out loud!
Is this movie a comedy do we know?
I can picture Kirk giving it the whole ‘do you feel lucky, punk?’ Dirty Harry routine judging by that picture.

@11 that is the most ridiculous comment I’ve ever heard….

The Cumberbatch cover…..who is this?

@13 John Rambo,

It’s Khan Gary Harrison of Izar…. ;-)

@12 I didn’t laugh at it but I did think of Dirty Harry, so it’s not so ridiculous I guess. I have a tendency to cringe a little when I see Hollywood place so much visual emphasis on guns and violence, even more so when it’s in Trek, also that they feel like one way to get non-fans to see this movie is to make Kirk look like a bad-ass by putting a big gun in his hand.

That being said, I’m sure I will enjoy this movie very much. Can hardly wait!

….Presumably captured and put into the restraints on…. Kronos?

What were you doing there, Johnny?!

What is so wrong about living an average (albeit comfortable) life, anyway?!


So, what’s keeping the Xmas trailer? ;-)


I’ve been following this site since I discovered Star Trek last year and I never dared to comment among great trekkies like you.
But, in the first picture, there is something wich intrigue me. Instead of holding his phaser firmly with his two hands, Spock have the three last fingers of his left hand extended, as if, he was indicating the number three, like in «There are three enemies in front of us» or «Enemies (or John Harisson) are (is) at three hundred meters of us» to a person (probably Kirk or Uhura) near him.
What do you think?

@15: Yeah, to me these covers are kinda like doing Toy Story 4 with Woody sporting a killer’s deadeye stare, dressed in black leather and holding a Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum. In what freakin’ universe is this Trek? Oh yeah, I forgot… in the JJverse. :(

The Empire feature is excellent but be advised it contains some major spoilers.

I was already really looking forward to the film, but after reading Empire I’m even more excited. It’s great to see them doing something new and unexpected.

(The ‘Cumberbatchweb’ on twitter has links if you want to check them out.)

Don’t forget Kirk was in a leather jacket for mug of STIII do it’s not really breaking with tradition. The costume designer for this film is just a little more trendy.

Now I think we’re being fed too much info. Hahaha! Isn’t this too early a time for an Empire cover? Are they going to do another come April? Meh. Must be reserving for Man of Steel and IM3. Nevertheless, this is great!

Pine, old boy, you look Jack Reacher-ish in that cover. No Bones photos? Really?!

“Article has been updated/rewritten with spoiler highlights from the article…”

Good stuff !!!

And, now, I would not mind knowing what character Mr. Weller is playing…
…Not to sound ungrateful or anything….


Oh for God sake, Kirk loses his command? How long are we going to be seeing him in his freaking captain’s uniform for? It seems to be as long as we did in the first movie! When are we going to see a movie where Kirk is in command of the Enterprise for the entire duration of the film?

“Mention of Kirk “forced into a rash decision that breaks a critical Starfleet command, puts his crew in danger and costs him his captain’s chair.”

He has violated the prime directive in order to save spock from the volcano!

Cumberbatch cover looks great, but Chris Pine cover, not so much especially for the expression of his face lmao, can not be taken seriously.

Here is a wild guess what is going on… The one thing that is not being talked about is the Peter Weller character (CEO). My guess is that he is connected to generic engineering and some how a division of the federation is sponsoring new research. The John Harrison character may have discovered some hidden agenda and wants to stop it. Harrison may have started normal but from the research has develop superpowers from a new genetic drug which also saves the little girl. Maybe Harrison feels what the federation is doing is morally wrong. Maybe the research is based on the discovery of botany bay ship and in this timeline is discovered not by enterprise but another starship? This secret section of the federation is experimenting on the frozen crew. Harrison discovers this and feels the federation is corrupted or is connected some how to khan and seeking revenge for his family. I am not sure how the Klingons are involved but may be the federation is concern about a war between them and what this research for a potential war with them?
Maybe its the klingons who finds the botany bay ship and Harrison is trying to rescue them. The Federation knows this and starts up research on genetic engineering based on old records to make sure that the Klingons don’t have a tactical advantage.

I could be completely wrong on this but fun to guess.

#18 French Fan

I noticed the fingers looked a little odd myself and you could be right but it also looks like the gun handle is completely enveloped in Spock’s right hand and he is clasping that hand with his left and there is simply nothing for those fingers to hang onto.

Kirk’s apartment? So is he relieved of his command? Does the E get destroyed/disabled/decommissioned? There are all those scenes of an empty ship in the trailer…

Oops. I missed the ‘loses his command’ part of the article on my first, rabidly quick read…

Hmm…”…employee of Starfleet…” if the Merchant Marines maintains the same relationsheep with Starfleet as it presently does with the U.S. military. those Bill Harrisonites may be on to something.

I expect breaching the prime directive to rescue spock and risking the enterprise above a volcanic eruption might be what get Kirks in trouble with the brass…

Nice! Didn’t recognize Cumberbatch on his cover at first. NEED to see this movie, ASAP!

#15. Like the promo images from Where No Man Has Gone Before? :) Kirk with the phaser rifle is a great shot…

#28. starranger 7

During times of war in the U.S., The Merchant Marines a mixture of private and government vessels mostly involved in the shipping of cargo and the commerce thereof, becomes a part of the U.S. Navy. This could be how Weller’s CEO, a shipowner, and Harrison became a part of Starfleet, via the 23rd centuries’ Merchant Marines.

I think this can be Space Seed related. Harrison could be a descendant of one of the Botany Bay people they didn’t know about. One of them could have knocked up somebody who kept quiet about it because they were being captured and exiled. I think maybe the cure he says he knows about is probably just a way to manipulate a Starfleet person into doing something. There probably isn’t a cure.

…or this could be a built up movie. A prologue if I may say so. Its de facto for an expensive endeavor this size! The real “enterprise” begins in Star Trek III…:):)

@37: “There probably isn’t a cure.”

So, you’d let that beautiful little girl die?
C’mon, it’s Christmas Eve? ;-)

I believe that Harrison will indeed provide the cure as promised. He may well be an antagonist, but he seems, by all accounts, to be principled. It doesnt seem likely that he would make a promise and break it in the course of avenging what seems to be a series of moral deficincies and perhaps broken promises made by Starfleet.

The rash decision Kirk makes will NOT be the prime directive thing from the start of the movie. I am guessing here, but I am thinking that he lets Harrison get out of the brig, or takes him somewhere to follow up on information Harrison offers…all against the command of Starfleet.

yuck and yuck

@ 39 and 40. Harrison as described as Hannibal Lector, the Joker and Jack from the Shining. There is nothing about that description that makes me think he would follow through with a cure.

Looking at the photo of Pike and Kirk in dress uniforms, I’m guessing that the funeral is not for Pike. :-) Yep, this is just speculation, just like I guessed and am probably wrong that Peter Weller is Paxton or a relative of Paxton. But speaking of Weller, I’m guessing that he is a key in that he either frees Khan or defrosts him.

That cover picture of Kirk is probably the least…Kirky picture I’ve ever seen of Kirk ever.

At least give the man a phaser that doesn’t look like a 20th century pistol and a jacket that doesn’t look like the one I have in my closet.

18 A French Fan

Good observation. I think he’s just in the process of raising the weapon and putting his hands around it completely. But he could be in the process of raising his fingers to signal someone.


Respectfully disagree. Lecter would also fulfill a promise.

If you consider what Cumby says about the viewer sympathsizing with JH, certainly a way to engender sympathy will to demonstrate morality and/or consistency.

Its worth pointing out something interesting about Kirk in the Brig pics we’ve seen (spoiler: HE’S THE SAME!)

First pic of Kirk and Spock looking at Harrison in the Brig:

New Empire pic:

As someone pointed out in that original picture’s comment section, Kirk did in fact look a bit photoshopped in. And now we know he was indeed doctored in!

Or he’s just standing really, really still…

So, it looks like Kirk is going to go through some sort of discipline, maybe a suspension pending a court martial. Then, the terror attacks start, and he mobilizes the Enterprise in defiance of orders to catch Harrison. Sounds like Kirk to me.

Or maybe he’s not suspended. Probably restricted to the starbase or put on sector patrol.

#42 – Harrison doesn’t offer a cure, he offers to ‘save’ her.

We don’t know what that entails. Maybe he’ll put her into cryogenic stasis, or transfer her brain into an android. It may be a case of the ‘cure’ being worse than the illness.

And I agree with #46. As Rob says, the viewer is far more likely to sympathise with Harrison if he’s seen to be moral. About some things, anyway.

Ok J. J. Abrams, stop talking about the movie now please! … lol

and btw … the cover of Chris Pine is as good as the cover of Benedict Cumberbatch … or both are awful … as you prefer! … I’m being a bit ironic, of course!

Merry Christmas!!!

;-) :-)