There's been a lot of speculation on who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in Star Trek Into Darkness, with the most prevalent name being Gary Mitchell. This week it was announced he's actually playing someone named John Harrison, which triggered this particular thought.

Quite some time ago, Karl Urban let slip that Benedict Cumberbatch was doing a great job as Gary Mitchell in the Star Trek sequel, which became an oft-repeated headline across the Internet. It seemed as though the actor had really screwed up, breaking a vow of secrecy that everyone associated with the new film — and probably their ancestors and descendants as well if JJ Abrams had his way — had taken. But would Urban REALLY make such an elementary mistake?

So it seemed that Gary Mitchell was the likely antagonist of the film, with many believing that it could just as likely be genetic superman Khan Noonian Singh. And THEN we saw trailer and images of actress Alice Eve, who it seemed could be playing Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, also from the second Star Trek pilot which featured Mitchell, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

But THEN, came word that she was actually playing Carol Marcus, who audiences met in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 30 years ago, and who turned out to not only be Kirk’s lost love but the mother of his son, David. So, inquiring minds want to know, why have Gary Mitchell as a villain yet bring in a tie-in in the form of Carol Marcus that has more of a connection with Khan? Added into the mix is that shot from the Japanese trailer with two hands separated by glass, forming the Vulcan salute (an homage to Spock’s death in Wrath of Khan); plus the trailer seems to show nothing telekinetic on Cumberbatch’s part, although he does perform some superhuman leaps that would be in line with Khan.

Into this ever-churning recipe of speculation came the announcement this week that Cumberbatch was playing someone named John Harrison, which could have easily be a cover name (though the creatives involved with the production insist that it isn’t). JJ Abrams also noted that there are “definitely nods to prior Trek lore in the film.”

With all of that in mind, one other thought comes to mind. One of the notions behind the rejiggered timeline as established in the 2009 film is that it would allow Star Trek history to unfold, but in different ways, some massive and some subtle. If we go with the idea that the Enterprise could still encounter many of the same situations that they did the first time around (and that’s certainly the premise behind IDW’s ongoing comic, which is overseen by the films’ co-writer Roberto Orci), in Star Trek Into Darkness couldn’t the Enterprise STILL encounter the space vessel S.S. Botany Bay — the ship filled with genetic supermen in suspended animation who fled Earth following the Eugenics Wars. But instead of reawakening Khan as Kirk and company had done so in the original timeline, they instead awaken…oh, say, John Harrison? This would allow the film to tap into Trek lore while taking the idea in an entirely different direction, leaving a sleeping Khan for a potential future adventure.

Does anyone else find that notion intriguing or in the realm of possibility? Would love to hear your thoughts on the whole John Harrison/Gary Mitchell/Khan thing.
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MrYurMomm - 12/12/2012, 10:00 AM
Seriously, right?
diagnostic - 12/12/2012, 10:03 AM
We may have to wait until this comes out n DVD or pay per view.
Moriarty117 - 12/12/2012, 10:06 AM
I think John Harrison was a character in the Original series...either in "Where no man has gone before" or "Space Seed". J.J. Abrams has an interview (available on IGN) where he confirms that the villain's name IS John Harrison and he's an amalgamation of Khan and Mitchell.

John Harrison is just such a better name than Gary Mitchell, IMO.
ahhmynuts - 12/12/2012, 10:11 AM
i think karl urban just used a made up name
hartley07 - 12/12/2012, 10:13 AM

hahahh ive been thinking the same thing.....

imagine in star wars if the imperial march starts playing, darth vader walks in, and everyone goes "OMG ITS.........GARY!!! AAAUUUGGGHH!!!!" Itd be f*cking retarded.
mawilli4 - 12/12/2012, 10:22 AM
I love how close Abrams and Paramount are playing this to the chest. his first Trek was fantastic. and i'm hoping beyond all hope this lives up.
Canon108 - 12/12/2012, 10:25 AM
This could be a stretch...but does anyone think Kahn could steal Harrison's identity in order to gain access to Starfleet? They're probably familiar with the eugenics war and Kahn in general...

If John Harrison (who was in 27 episodes of the original series) turns out to go the Gary Mitchell route, that's one thing. But I think there's more to this character then they're letting on. Kahn nearly killed John Harrison in 'Space Seed' if my memory's correct, I think there's a chance that John Harrison is really Kahn trying to infiltrate Starfleet.
6of13 - 12/12/2012, 10:25 AM
John Harrison did appear in TOS but was more like a background character who was present in certain important episodes. So I got to thinking (and this is just a random thought) that he could be a agent in the temporal cold war from Enterprise just like crewman Daniels. Being from the future might explain that he could have technology making him a "one-man-weapon of mass destruction".
MoonDoggyX - 12/12/2012, 10:38 AM
I just now watched the trailer... wow... wow... I will have to say that Star Trek so far has the best trailer of anything I've seen for next summer... wow...
GUNSMITH - 12/12/2012, 10:41 AM
Canon108 - 12/12/2012, 10:48 AM

The real trailer comes out tomorrow...what we got last week was the preview to the trailer.
supermarioworldE - 12/12/2012, 10:51 AM
He's george's brother.
WruceBane - 12/12/2012, 11:45 AM
from wikipedia's Khan article:

Harold Ericson + John Ericson (who are revealed to have a villainous alter ego that ends up being changed to Khan) = John Harrison (whose alter ego is Khan)

....perhaps Khan is a TITLE, rather than a name, as it is often used elsewhere in sci-fi?

WruceBane - 12/12/2012, 11:48 AM
In "Space Seed" writer Carey Wilber's original plot treatment, the character of Khan was a Nordic superman named Harold Erricsen. The first draft of the script introduced the character as John Ericssen— who is revealed to be a man involved in "the First World Tyranny", named Ragnar Thorwald. The character of Thorwald was more brutal than Khan in the final version, killing guards using a phaser.
WruceBane - 12/12/2012, 11:48 AM
beane2099 - 12/12/2012, 12:11 PM
I don't see why the use of Carol Marcus can't be independent of using Khan. I mean Kirk did have to meet her at some point earlier in his life, seeing as how David was in his 20's when they met in Wrath of Khan and all. Honestly, I don't care what the name of the villain is. I care more if he's gonna be cool. And thus far, he looks cool. Benediction Cucumber is alright in my book.
Goran - 12/12/2012, 12:32 PM
All of this is very intriguing! That's what I love about Abrams' movies, the secrecy and speculation :)

I think we'll all find out when ST:ID hits theaters
InfiniteMonkey - 12/12/2012, 12:41 PM
John Harrison, yeah mates, a pseudo-Beatles band mate right? LOL

Everything is Bullshit until the Shit hits the Theatre fan.
Azazel1 - 12/12/2012, 12:52 PM
I must say the trailer looked awesome whoever he is playing!!!!
G - 12/12/2012, 1:02 PM
Maybe his superpowers (whoever "he" is) have something to do with early Genesis experiments/protomatter?
SpideyQuad - 12/12/2012, 2:04 PM
If anyone knows JJ Abrams… It's all about "The Mystery Box"
Jollem - 12/12/2012, 3:05 PM
this guy

vonstallin - 12/12/2012, 5:07 PM
If they wanted to make a two parter like Nolan wanted for Joker in Dark Knight...they could have him as John who is attempting to to free Khan, or set up a world to take over...and the third part of the movie can be Khan.

Benicio Del Toro was busy I think when this was filmed so that would open up a way for him to play Khan....

just guessing.
Rowsdower - 12/12/2012, 6:41 PM
These writers don't know how to do an un-Khan-like villain. Nero was just Spock's Khan.

Khan: I loved my family, now I want VENGEANCE! Then used spacebugs to turn people into zombies. Big spaceship confrontation.

Nero: I loved my family, now I want VENGEANCE! (also used bugs that crawl into your head and affect the mind) Big spaceship confrontation.

Cumberbatch: I loved my family, now I want VENGEANCE! (will probably use space slugs and have a big spaceship confrontation.

It is possible for a badguy to have a normal name. Stop comparing Trek to Star Wars, just because they both start with the word Star.
xXkryptoniteXx - 12/12/2012, 8:39 PM
Im telling you, he is Khan.
psychoj867 - 12/12/2012, 8:44 PM
@SuspenseSmith I don't think you understand what the term "breaking the fourth wall" means in film. Breaking the fourth wall means that the characters in the film acknowledge that they are in a film and by doings so the the story being told is not real.
LP4 - 12/12/2012, 9:17 PM
@xXkryptoniteXx- Why do you insist on Khan when it's pretty damn [frick]ing clear he ISN'T Khan?
GnomeSauce - 12/12/2012, 9:38 PM
This is dragging out way too long. They should have a 3 yr. turnaround on these films, max.
LP4 - 12/13/2012, 8:06 AM
People who keep insisting the guy is Khan, no offense are [frick]ING IDIOTS!!! And are annoying as shit. I can't wait for this [frick]ing movie to finally come out so all the god damn mother[frick]ing Khanspirators can shut the hell up finally.

@SotoJuiceMan- PREACH TO THE CHOIR! I totally agree with you! As you stated, Nero changing the timeline and altering the universe would have ZERO effect on Khan since he came from the 20th century and that is a little known fact the stupid Khanspirators just don't seem to [frick]ing understand. They think Cumberbatch is Khan but just altered with the new timeline but that shows they don't even understand a DAMN THING about the character.

Not to mention, i posted an article where Cumberbatch flat out DENIES the Khan rumors and stated he isn't playing Khan. LOL
LP4 - 12/13/2012, 8:10 AM
Khanspirators just seem like a bunch of zombies, they follow each other. That or a pack of monkeys-

monkey see, monkey do

LP4 - 12/14/2012, 7:26 AM
@SotoJuiceMan- You are right my friend! Trekmovie in fact confirmed that this film takes place exactly 1 year after the end of the 1st! This is great news, makes it even less likely Khan is the villain
LP4 - 12/14/2012, 8:04 AM
At this point if I HAD to choose between Khan and Gary Mitchell, I'd go with Gary Mitchell in a heartbeat. Gary was in episode of TOS and got killed off.

Khan was in an episode of TOS, then he had HIS OWN [frick]ING MOVIE...and even has his own comic based on TOS called- "Khan: Ruling in Hell" great book, i liked it and it bridged "Space Seed" to "TWOK" perfectly. But see that's my point. We've already seen Khan's entire story played out. Gary, we haven't seen much of that guy. So Gary would be a much more inspired and fresh choice than Khan.

But personally, I'd rather just have a brand new, non-canon character be the villain. Like Nero. Who by the way, Nero was the Khan of the Abrams trek films. Both he and Khan seeked revenge- one against kirk, the other against spock. Nero yelled out "Spooooooooock!" the same way Kirk yelled out "Khaaaaaaaaaaan!" Khan waited 2 decades for his revenge against Kirk. Nero waited 25 years for his revenge against Spock.

Both Nero and Khan died in epic space battles from their ships. Oh and both of them were men out of their own timelines- Nero came from the future. Khan came from the past.


Nero is J.J Abram's own Khan. So let's leave Khan to rest in peace, ok? No more Khan.
LP4 - 12/14/2012, 8:41 AM
I know I'll sound like a homo for saying this but Benedict has a really nice voice, damn I wish i had that voice. I watched a few interviews with him on ...damn perfect voice.
ikkyu88 - 12/19/2012, 9:58 AM
Here's another interesting concept on the "John Harrison" character.... since in the original Trek episodes he was always in the background and went thru many different departments and ranks.... Maybe they are taking this character and using him like a... wait for it.... a Professor Moriarty type character.... a spy of some sort always working in the background and messing with stuff as it happens for a greater cause... Like a big chess game... It could prove intriguing with a more mental game for Kirk... and possibly very memorable.... yes there is still action.... we always have to get from point A to B...

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