For Star Trek fans, it’s been a long, difficult wait for the sequel to J.J. Abrams’ hugely successful 2009 franchise reboot. With the theatrical release of Star Trek Into Darkness only a few months away, anticipation is higher than ever, especially after the recent release of the film’s first trailer.

Abrams – like many of his contemporaries – has been pretty secretive regarding his film’s plot details and character arcs, but perhaps the most mysterious element has been the identity of the villainous new character played by Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch. We know that Cumberbatch is playing a man named John Harrison, but speculation has persisted that this is merely an alias, with his true identity still unknown.

The ambiguity continues in the latest word from Abrams about the film – courtesy of Japan’s GyaO! (via TrekMovie) – but he does drop a bit more insight into the villain’s background and motivation. Here’s what he had to say:

“So this movie doesn’t require you [to] have seen the first movie. The characters are a group of people who have recently come together and find themselves up against this incredibly terrifying force. His name is John Harrison and he is sort of an average – that is what makes him so scary – he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda. After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the US, our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him. And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. ‘Into Darkness’ is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.”

What’s most intriguing about Abrams’ comment is the fact that Harrison has a “secret agenda.” That certainly invites speculation regarding whether or not the character will have an eleventh hour reveal as an established figure in the Star Trek mythos. Cue the onslaught of fanboys everywhere crying that this possibility harkens too closely to the finale of The Dark Knight Rises.

Abrams also confirmed that (at least) two terrorist attacks will figure into the plot of Into Darkness, one set in London and the other somewhere in the United States. Regardless of the level of devastation and actual, well, darkness involved in the film’s story, Abrams asserts that his Star Trek sequel will send a positive message before the credits roll.

“I love movies that are big and unabashedly a huge fan of big pop mass appeal movies. I do love that. I love being in a theater packed with people and everyone gasping at the same time and having that communal experience. I don’t like going to the movies to feel bad. I don’t like going to the movies to feel depressed and feel diminished. The reason you go to the movies is to feel bigger and stronger and happier. So this is a movie that they certainly go ‘into darkness,’ but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards.”

At this point, there’s little chance we’ll have a definite answer regarding the true nature Cumberbatch’s character and where the Star Trek franchise will boldly go after Into Darkness, but in the meantime, it seems that Abrams has taken great care and consideration in designing a film that will satisfy fans.

Do you like what you’re hearing about the character of John Harrison and the nature of Star Trek Into Darkness? Sound off below.

Star Trek Into Darkness zooms into theaters on May 17th, 2013.

Source: GyaO! [via TrekMovie]