Idris Elba Meanderingly Describes His Character In Star Trek Beyond


Idris Elba, who has been cast as the villain of Star Trek Beyond, gave an interview with MTV recently where he described his character as, among other things, “groundbreaking” for the Star Trek franchise.

I think ’Star Trek’ has prided themselves as being quite classic when it comes to villains, like ’he’s a guy who wants to end the world,’ there’s no doubt about that. But in this version of the film, there’s a slightly different twist to that. It’s quite an interesting journey, which I think is groundbreaking for the franchise. But, it still keeps with the ’classic bad guy is a classic bad guy’ tone.

Now, I have absolutely no idea what any of this means. Honestly Elba’s quote kind of reminds me of the behind the scenes footage from Star Trek Nemesis where director Stuart Baird insists that Shinzon wasn’t really a “bad guy” (despite all the mass murder and mind rape and stuff). However, it seems more likely that Elba and his publicity team have successfully grabbed a lot of attention without giving anything away – that’s smart Internet.

So now we know there’s a groundbreaking twist to this villain, but not much else.

Cinemablend speculated that he could be General Chang, Commander Kruge, Admiral Cartwright, the God of Sha Ka Ree, Sybok, or the Gorn. Writer/Scotty Simon Pegg has intimated that he is not a Klingon, that rules out the first two. (However, “Khan” was also said to not be “Khan” for Into Darkness, so who knows?)

Star Trek V is such a sore spot in the franchise I doubt anyone wants to revisit it. And Admiral Marcus from Into Darkness fulfilled the same purpose that a rebooted Admiral Cartwright might (hardly “groundbreaking”). That would basically just leave the Gorn. We do know that assistant villain Sofia Boutella will wear make-up that makes her look like a Xindi skunk, so some hard core Gorn seems unlikely.

Now it’s possible that Elba is using the term “groundbreaking” in the literal sense, and that his villain’s scheme is to create artificial earthquakes to kill everyone on the Earth’s surface, except for his own “master race” on Mt. Everest. So yes, I am betting right now that Elba’s character is none other than Hippocrates Noah, supervillain of Dr. Bashir’s spy program.

C’mon. It would still make more sense than “Khan” ever did



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Kirk, James T.

Wow…. There was a time when trekmovie was the place to come, now you’re almost a week late reporting news and reporting on it incredibably badly.


I’m not sure whether the lack of publicity surrounding this film is due to the obvious extensive security surrounding it or whether there is just very little interest in it.


Has Pegg finished writing it yet?

Harry Ballz

Idris Elba is a good actor.

But, hey, they had Benedict Cumberbatch (probably the best actor today) in STID, and look at what a TURD that movie turned out to be. Pure sh*t.

It all starts with a GREAT SCRIPT, which we are yet to see with this relaunched franchise.


Compare the writing on Shaun of the Dead, Spaced, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End to STID.

Pegg can write and can include though lines and character development etc.

He’s no Damon Lindelof who hands in a script he hasn’t even finished.


Not sure what Star Trek hasn’t done yet in one of its hundreds of episodes and the movies. But considering that trangenders are a big talk in the US seemingly now and when a series has a transgender character, they like to use “groundbreaking” to describe it, maybe the bad guy is not a classical “guy”. Maybe the race he is part of has just one gender or something like this. Or can change the gender. I think some animals can do this. So why not a fictional alien?

Harry Ballz

David, for the sake of all Trekkers, I hope you’re right!

Yay! Another villain. This is why Trek needs to go back to the small screen.


“Stuart Baird insists that Shinzon wasn’t really a “bad guy” (despite all the mass murder and mind rape and stuff).”

Shinzon never committed mind rape. That was done by one of the other Remans.

Yes, Idris Elba says a lot of nothing. Par for the course really, when it comes to what is said about movies before they’ve even reached the post-production stage.

Bryan with Pointy nacelles and a Big Dish

I’ve got a bad feeling on this….another villain hell-bent on destroying someone or thing or place. Perhaps with all the expected specialness of the 50th anniversary we are to expect something really celebratory and moving. Unless they manage to get Shatner to make a visit, or any other remaining original cast members, methinks it will be another forgettable voyage.

Thanks Paramount/CBS for all we Trekkers have done for your bottom line in keeping the Enterprise afloat.


I am thrilled. Can’t wait. I love a great villain, I enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. Bring it on!!!!

Granite Trek

Y’know, Sisko went off to be with the Prophets, who ignore such things as linear time and multi-dimentional physics, so hey, he could pop up in this universe with a much more reasonable and less complicated explanation for being there than, say, Spock. But nah, he’s a fan known character from a series that I love dearly as arguably my favorite of all the Trek series, but has historically been the bastard stepchild as far as Paramount and CBS have been concerned. No way they’d use a DS9 character on a blockbuster budget movie. Heck, they won’t even give DS9 a proper Blu-Ray remastering…

Three of Nineteen

Star Trek prides itself for cardboard cut-out villains that just want to end the world?
Did he only watch ’09?
Star Trek’s best villains were the ones that either had a personal connection to the crew, like Khan Prime, see themselves as the hero, like Dukat, or are a reflection of the Federation, like the Borg and the Dominion.

The movie villains really DON’T need to have these Earth/Federation/Galaxy disrupting stakes EVERY time. Smaller stakes can make for a lot more impactful drama by being personal or challenging the values of the Federation.


Heheh maybe he appears as Section 31 Agent 007 ;-p

I hope he’s a character more *like* Dr Daystrom (not a rebooted Daystrom) who feels he’s doing good works that turn out very badly.

Someone other than a “villain” (groan)! Ugh! Enough of that.


“Maybe the race he is part of has just one gender or something like this. Or can change the gender.”

I made such a suggestion some time back on this site and wrote a couple of short scenes dealing with such a character.

It went – Captain Kirk entered a lift and in there stood a lovely alien woman with her human husband. Kirk, being Kirk (ie a healthy, heterosexual human male), could not help but notice the attractive female. However, a few days later, Kirk is relaxing in the recreation lounge and notices the same person, except that *she* is different somehow and looks male. The human husband joins *him* and they embrace each other. Kirk finds out that the alien woman in the lift and the alien man sitting across from him are one in the same person. *She* has gone through a normal cycle for that species and has become a *he*.

Been there, done that already – well, sort of…:)

Walt Kozlowski

He will be the Anti-Q!

The ShadowKnows

Star Trek is being overshadowed by Star Wars, sandwiched between two movies in a span of just 12 months. Hopefully Paramount will make at least some effort to celebrate what has been an extremely profitable franchise for Viacom / CBS as we approach the movie’s release date.

Prodigal Son

@ Jared

I don’t think I am imagining a bit of snarky undertone to your news article here? Why not just be direct and “let out” the points that you really want to make here?

Walt Kozlowski

@ 15. Yeah I was around for the 25th! Next Generation cross over with Unification, Star Trek VI, TV 25th special and promotion for DS9! The 30th was pretty good too. DS9 Tribbles episode, TV special(Star Trek 30 Years and Beyond )(Ironic hah) and Star Trek First Contact!

Walt Kozlowski

If Elba’s villain is New, Why not give him a name? Unless the name would denote him as an established race or other historic figure that would spoil the plot?


Great. Another villain story. Please put Trek back on TV and stop with this villain crap. Let’s go on the 5 year mission and explore something interesting.


I am guessing he is playing a villain out for revenge with a doomsday weapon in a big black ship.

Walt Kozlowski

It’s either a villain or a miss understood entity! Even during a five year mission.

When will we be able to get away from “The Villain Of The Week” and back to “Exploration and seeking out strange, new worlds and civilizations”?

Duane Boda

DS9 – No Blu-Ray? I never seen Voyager on Blu-Ray either

or am I mistaken? Any info on Voyager on Blu-Ray would be

greatly appreciated – Thank You.


I think some of you need to really take a look at the series.

Maybe they didn’t have a “villain” every week per se, but there was a “good guy / bad guy” type thing every week. Even if it ended up being a misunderstanding at the end.

Pure exploration would be ridiculously boring, especially on a weekly basis.

“Hey, lets fly over there and look at that nebula. OK, now lets fly over there and look at that asteroid. OK, now lets explore that space dust…”


#24. Rich pit. “I think some of you need to really take a look at the series….”

Amen to that.


@9 (Keachick): No, Shinzon had his chief henchman (played by Ron Perlman) use his mental powers to facilitate the mind rape. Remans have similar genes to Vulcans and Romulans, and possess a certain degree of telepathy.

Prodigal Son

Yep — that was TOS!

There are way too many “TNG-revisionist” fans here who want slow and plodding TNG type stories instead of getting back to TOS Trek, which is what these movies are suppose to be doing, even given that STID was a bit of a misfire.

26. richpit – September 29, 2015
I think some of you need to really take a look at the series.

Maybe they didn’t have a “villain” every week per se, but there was a “good guy / bad guy” type thing every week. Even if it ended up being a misunderstanding at the end.

Pure exploration would be ridiculously boring, especially on a weekly basis.

“Hey, lets fly over there and look at that nebula. OK, now lets fly over there and look at that asteroid. OK, now lets explore that space dust…”

Walt Kozlowski

Here Here. Good guys Vs Bad guys,even on those strange new worlds! No matter if it is TOS, STNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise! It’s called drama.

Son of Jello

Its going to be about a group of space settlers that the enterprise comes across. Being starfleet they jump at the chance to help. But unfortunately they realize to late that the colonists are some pretty messed up people.They are not the go getting expand federation space as colonists for the good of all alien kind type that they automatically assumed they were. Now the enterprise crew have to extract themselves from a situation where being tolerant does not mean tolerating the intolerable.

So they cant ignore the “incredibly disturbing colonist activities” they have technically supported and help set up. Unfortunately they are stuck with these people being in federation space but not a part of the federation. (due to the pretty unnerving society they wont be accepted into any civilized community). Due to the Enterprises help they now trade with the federation
and demand protection and support from SF when needed (to protect trade of course we are not supporting them were just supporting trade). So the enterprises first mission ends with the creation of such a complete disaster that it has the crew doubting the very foundations, reasons, morality and motivations that they are about to depend on when they explore the galaxy.

So Idris Elba is the guy who plays the enterprise crew and shatters all the confidence they have in who they are and what they are trying to achieve. So hes not really a bad guy because no ones wrong in what they are doing or trying to achieve

Walt Kozlowski

oh yeah,I will say they could let up on the Earth or Federation must be destroyed plots.


“’he’s a guy who wants to end the world,’ there’s no doubt about that.”

Reminds me of what Damon Lindelof said about having to blow up the Earth if you spend $100M making an action movie.

So, the Earth is under threat yet again and Kirk et al have to save it. Am I really going to pay money to see this thing? I do have a weakness for movie theater popcorn. . . .

I would take “groundbreaking” as a relative descriptor of the villain of this movie. There hasn’t been a villain with a red beard yet, so that would be “groundbreaking.” Pretty exciting stuff.

Son of Jello

So that’s the movie plot then?

Walt Kozlowski

He wants to end the world as in strange new world.

Walt Kozlowski

I think Elba was just saying this bad guy is more dynamic. Like every other.

“more dynamic”

@35: Yeah, this baddie has awesome (dance) moves ;-)


I miss the days when this site had well-written articles on it and was integral to the Star Trek fan community.

Prodigal Son

@ Dandru

Yes, this “news article” certainly not the sites finest hour. Sarcasm and back-handed compliments are not what Anthony Pascale foinded this site on.


Well one thing we do know is the director (forget his name) wants the villain to be something new, and create his own mark in the trek canon. So that eliminates any known species/character in the trek universe to date. I also don’t foresee the villain Elba will be playing to be human, and having Trek go with two human villains back to back.

One thing I don’t agree with is not including the Klingons, as the build up to them playing a key role in this upcoming movie is looking to be all for nothing. Personally, I would much rather have Elba be a Klingon, as he would pull it off with flying colors, and the previous two movies have sort of built them up as being a major threat.


“groundbreaking”… yeah, he’ll be Khan.
Only this time Khan won’t be a blue-eyed white Englishman but a black Englishman – massive plot twist impending!


37. Dandru – September 29, 2015

I miss the days when this site had well-written articles on it and was integral to the Star Trek fan community.

Do you mean that you want the site to act as the PR agent of Bad Robot and Paramount, promoting their projects and putting a positive spin on whatever news release they put out?

Otherwise, I don’t see what there is to complain about from the people here. There hasn’t been much info leaked or released about this movie. This news release was very limited and its content rather lame. Jared put it into a historical Trek-movie perspective, gave an interpretation of what it could mean, and speculated a bit on the character.

If you want more info about the movie, or more exciting info, it’s the studio and the production that you should be blaming, not the people here writing the articles for your entertainment.


P.S. And pretty much everything that we have come to learn about this movie does not bode particularly well, in any case. So, again, I think that you should be blaming Paramount for disrespecting the franchise and the fans rather than blaming fans like Jared.

James Fine

After that last movie… I am just not interested in the J.J. Verse Trek. This is not my STAR TREK. Star Trek Continues is carrying on the tradition of Roddenberry and the Original Trek. Check out those 5 episodes and you will see what Star Trek should be. I had hopes for this coming movie when I heard Pegg was doing the writing then I heard the producers got ahold of him and said “Make it less Star Trekkie.” If he does that it will be another piece of space crap. Just not excited or interested and I think the public is not excited.

Tiberius Subprime

They said this new movie would not be anywhere near Earth, so it can’t be Noah or any other villain in an Earth or near- Earth setting.

I’m betting it’s some paradise world the “villain” wants to destroy…oh, that sounds like Insurrection…


15 Keachick

Borrowing a concept from the Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness”?

(the Gethenians are neuters who assume a gender on a recurring cycle – either male or female, and, those who are mono-gendered are looked upon as perverts)

B Kramer

It’s a STAR TREK BEYOND Boys’ Club at Dubai Press Conference Launching Next Phase of Filming

B Kramer

You beat me to it Kevin. LLAP