‘Star Trek 2′ Image Clarifies Japanese Trailer Footage? Villain Alias Revealed

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

Star Trek Into Darkness Villain Name Star Trek 2 Image Clarifies Japanese Trailer Footage? Villain Alias Revealed

One day after our own Vic Holtreman had a chance to check out the nine minute Star Trek Into Darkness prologue (read his preview), Paramount Pictures has released the first official image from the highly anticipated sequel. While the image isn’t quite as revealing as the gallery of HD trailer screen grabs we collected from the Star Trek 2 trailer, it does add a new bit of speculation for footage associated with the Japanese trailer debut – specifically a shot that was reminiscent of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan finale.

Of course, for every mystery that we might solve, a new one usually arises and the new image is no exception – begging the question: who is John Harrison really?

Check out the new Star Trek Into Darkness image below (click to enlarge):

Star Trek Into Darkness Image 570x379 Star Trek 2 Image Clarifies Japanese Trailer Footage? Villain Alias Revealed

Let’s start with the good news.

The new Star Trek 2 image, which features Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Chris Pine could create context for the controversial closing seconds of the Star Trek 2 Japanese trailer – which depicts a black-blue sleeved hand and a blue Starfleet sleeved hand separated by a piece of glass. Many viewers immediately noted that the clip was a nod to the closing of  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – where Spock locks himself inside a glass-walled Enterprise warp core, absorbing a lethal dose of radiation, to save the ship and the crew (not to mention setting up the plot of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock).

As a result, commenters and industry insiders began to wonder if a) the image could be taken as evidence that Cumberbatch’s villain is actually Khan and b) would director J.J. Abrams present Quinto’s Spock (or Chris Pine’s Kirk) with an equally uncertain future at the end of his Star Trek 2?

However, the image might shed doubt on speculation that Kirk and Spock are separated by glass in Trek Into Darkness – as that fitted black-blue sleeve could belong to Cumberbatch, who is trapped inside a glass prison cell at one point (wearing a tight-fitting black-blue shirt) instead of Kirk (wearing a black-blue jacket). Could Cumberbatch escape his cell, cause a lot of havoc, and end up separated from Spock by another piece of glass? Maybe there’s a connection we don’t yet know between Spock and the Cumberbatch character that could lead to a tender moment late in the film?

Star Trek 2 Spock Hand 570x243 Star Trek 2 Image Clarifies Japanese Trailer Footage? Villain Alias Revealed

We’ll have to wait and see more footage for a reason behind his capture and the potential fallout but, for now, skeptical fans might be able to relax a bit with an alternate take on the clip – especially since Abrams isn’t likely to deliver a point-by-point recreation of the Star Trek 2 plot (whether Cumberbatch is playing Khan or not).

Now the bad news: the image also includes a head-scratching caption that further muddies Cumberbatch villain speculation – as the character is actually “named.”

Here’s the associated caption:

(Left to right) Zachary Quinto is Spock, Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison and Chris Pine is Kirk in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

It’s easy to dismiss the John Harrison name as nothing more than a placeholder for the villain’s true identity – or, at the very least, a less-recognizable alias the character uses in the film. However, Paramount’s choice to caption the official image with a potentially “fake” identity, instead of a real one, tells us one thing: whoever Cumberbatch is playing, his name will be recognizable – be it Gary Mitchell or Khan Noonien Singh. There would have been no reason to withhold the character’s true name this long if he was a new person entirely.

The Gary Mitchell character has come under a lot of scrutiny ever since Karl Urban dropped his name several months back but he’s not the most recognizable member of the Star Trek rogues gallery – meaning, why would Paramount go to such great lengths to hide the identity of a character that only regular Trekkies would remember? This isn’t to say that Mitchell wouldn’t be interesting, and the filmmakers could be trying to keep as much of his storyline under wraps as possible, but this is an all-new Trek universe – meaning whether Cumberbatch plays Khan, Mitchell, or a young time-displaced Captain Picard (kidding), the plot does not have to follow the same twists and turns.

Star Trek 2 Wrath of Kahn Star Trek 2 Image Clarifies Japanese Trailer Footage? Villain Alias Revealed

As a result, the more that Paramount tries to keep Cumberbatch’s identity a mystery, the more it stands to reason that the final reveal will be worthy of secrecy – i.e. a new take on Khan. Remember, Cumberbatch himself referred to the Star Trek 2 role as “iconic” and “memorable.” By the time his identify is finally unveiled, complaints about Abrams revisiting a classic Trek villain will mostly be drowned-out by excitement for the final film’s release.

Of course, we could be entirely wrong and the filmmakers could be paving the way for an all-new name to terrify humanity…  John Harrison! Right, probably not.

For more Star Trek Into Darkness trailer speculation, check out episode 69 of the Screen Rant Underground podcast.


Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future updates on Star Trek Into Darkness as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters (regular and IMAX 3D) on May 17th, 2013.

Source: Paramount Pictures

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  1. It’s a time displaced Colonel Philip Green, from the Original Series–> The Savage Curtain.
    You know the dude that started World War III in the 21st Century StarTrek Universe.

  2. I don’t think he is playing Khan – if he is – then Abrams royally screwed this up. Khan will be in the third movie most likely.

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  4. So, here’s my theory.

    “John Harrison” isn’t in a prison in the above photo. It _looks_ more like an airlock with the central circular element on the back wall. Perhaps John Harrison is trapped there and for whatever reason, releasing him will be a danger to the ship. If it’s along the lines of Gary Mitchell, then perhaps Kirk and Spock realize the danger he poses, and plans to eject him out the airlock. Having been a crew member, he might have been friends with Spock, and therefore Spock is giving him the “Needs of the Many” speech before they open the airlock.

    It could easily be a flashback scene from a couple of years BEFORE this movie, since the movie itself occurs a few years after the prequel.

    Just my various ramblings… Additionally, I just now read about the comic which people are saying is canon, and in which Gary Mitchell dies. What if he didn’t ACTUALLY die? The comic description says that Spock neck pinches Mitchell, giving Kirk time to phaser him. There’s a photo out there that shows Spock neck pinching Cumberbatch’s character.

    So.. here’s my thoughts now:

    The first 9 minutes we see in front of the Hobbit will NOT actually be the very first 9 minutes of the movie. They’ll be the first 9 minutes after the teaser (like the teaser that started the prequel and all the TV series). The teaser in the new movie will be a condensed version of the comics. We’ll see the above image in some fashion. Mitchell will escape before being airlocked. Spock will have to nerve pinch him, Kirk will phaser him, they’ll assume he’s dead and give him the Star Fleet burial. Cue Star Trek: Into Darkness title. Next shot is ‘John Harrison’ (probably the name he uses to not tip off anyone who he was) in the hospital (or perhaps this bit is the very end of the teaser). And then the rest of the movie begins.

  5. Here’s what I’ve surmised based on the trailer, still photos, news releases, and interviews: “Star Trek Into Darkness” is a either a sequel to the Gary Mitchell story, or a re-telling of it with a storyline that extends beyond his presumed death — more likely the former. My suspicions are listed below in the form of a chronological story outline (though the film might incorporate flashbacks or some other nonlinear storytelling device).

    After being left on Delta Vega, Gary Mitchell is discovered by Klingons (and, if dead, is resurrected by them). Still burning with contempt for humans in general and Kirk in particular, Mitchell plots his revenge. The Klingons are only too happy to accommodate him, seeing his powers as an awesome weapon that could defeat Starfleet and the Federation.

    Returning to Earth, Mitchell assumes the name “John Harrison” (who, as fans have pointed out, was a real-life British helmsman/navigator; Mitchell’s selection of this name was a nod to his position aboard Kirk’s Enterprise). He then proceeds to destroy Terran civilization, starting with the city of London.

    The Enterprise subsequently returns to Earth after receiving a Priority One distress call. Once it arrives, Mitchell pulls the ship from orbit and crashes it into San Francisco Bay. Before he can cause further havoc, Mitchell somehow loses his powers and is captured.

    At this point, an operation to salvage the Enterprise gets underway, presumably led by Scotty. Kirk uses this down-time to interrogate Mitchell and also renew his relationship with Carol Marcus (to whom he had previously been introduced by Mitchell). The Enterprise is finally pulled from the ocean and returns to orbit, probably with Carol Marcus transferring aboard.

    Mitchell’s powers start returning and he escapes confinement, crashing through the wall of a room where a small conference at Starfleet headquarters is taking place. Learning of this, Spock gives chase on foot. With the help of his Klingon buddies, Mitchell escapes to their ship and flees to the Klingon home world. Kirk and the Enterprise give chase. En route, Carol Marcus examines Mitchell’s medical records and discovers a way to nullify his powers, perhaps by simply re-tuning a phaser.

    Arriving at the Klingon home world, Kirk and company track Mitchell to an underground lair situated inside an active volcano. They don suits that protect them from the volcano’s temperatures, and once inside the lair must battle Klingons hand-to-hand before taking on Mitchell. At some point, Mitchell again loses his powers (perhaps after being blasted by Uhura with the re-tuned phaser) and is punched out by Kirk and neck-pinched by Spock.

    What happens after that? Though a volcano supposedly figures in the opening sequence of the film, with Kirk trying to prevent its eruption, I suspect another volcano figures in Mitchell’s ultimate destruction. Its eruption is either caused naturally or is triggered by Kirk, who uses the same type of device he employed to keep the earlier volcano from erupting (presumably it can be adjusted to cause eruptions). And the Klingons who aided Mitchell are likewise destroyed by it in a metaphorical pact-with-the-devil/death-by-fire-and-brimstone finale.

    One thing that seemingly doesn’t fit with this scenario (feel free to point out other things that don’t fit) is that the what is apparently the Enterprise crashes into SF Bay while many people are apparently gathered around. Are they part of the Federation/Starfleet celebration? Would they be celebrating after “civilization” has been destroyed? Either my chronology is wrong, or this is a different group of people (i.e. – non-celebrants, perhaps people who were told to evacuate buildings close the the Enterprise’s projected impact point). Oh, and Carol Marcus, having now experienced life-and-death adventure with Kirk, decides their respective lifestyles are incompatible and dumps him.

    What’cha think? Place your bets…

    • I think it’s noooooooooot Garyyyyyyy Miiiiiiiiiiitchell!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • Patrick. Nice thought.

      But it is not the enterprise that crashed into the bay. That ship is to small, there is not secondary hull, and it looks like the old NX Class Enterprise

      If Mitchell regained his power, then broke out of the brig, why run? Simply kill everyone trying to stop you.

      If you look at the trailer, with the bridge crew you will see it is not the Enterprise bridge, and it is going down at a steep decent. That is the ship that proably crashed.

      The Volcano is in the first act of the Movie, as part it is the mission to save a dying planet. Then the enterprise is called back. They established the Away Mission to save the planet in the synopis.

      The Ship crashes into the bay and skims the surface. It would have went straight down into the water. I think the ship is what crashes into the buidlings.

      John Harrison starts off in the 9 minutes talking to a couple who is losing their child and he offers to help them.

      That takes 2 minutes, the rest is the Enterprise crew on the away mission.

      • Points taken, Jeff. Thanks for your input!

        If indeed that’s an NX class ship crashing into SF Bay, then I suspect it’s one of perhaps many Starfleet ships that “Harrison” is pulling from orbit with his powers. This would fit with the publicity releases which, if I remember correctly, state that Kirk and company return to Earth and find Starfleet (and civilization itself?) decimated. I figured it was the Enterprise because the trailer depicts an interior shot of Enterprise crew members hanging from and falling down an upended corridor, and the ship that’s crashing into SF Bay is certainly at a pitched angle.

        My counter-argument on Mitchell regaining his power and breaking out would be this: in the trailer, we see only an explosion in what appears to be a conference room — we don’t see what happens after that (aside from him crashing through a window), which means he could indeed kill everyone who tries to stop him. And Spock, hanging out at a nearby Vulcan deli (kidding), is informed of the escape and runs to the scene.

        The volcano: speculation-wise, I took a shot in the dark with that one. Harrison’s lair certainly appears to be subterranean with what looks like (to my eye, anyway) Klingon-style architecture. (Check out the still photos of Qunito and Saldana fighting Cumberbatch in front of the green screen; the rust-colored structures around them smell of Klingon design.) Perhaps Harrison returns to the volcano planet, or perhaps the underground lair is indeed on the Klingon home world.

        Also, having Harrison appear in the film’s opening might involve a bit of creative editing. Robert speculated (see above) that the nine minutes shown in theaters may in fact not be the first nine minutes of the film. I tend to agree, otherwise we’d have to learn Harrison’s story either through flashbacks or by having someone explain it — and having someone explain his origins is far less entertaining than actually showing it. (Though, it just occurred to me that Khan did a good job of explaining his origins in TWOK. Whatever.)

        I do think it’s logical that Harrison is Mitchell, and that the Klingons find him and forge an alliance with him — given his grudge against Starfleet and his super powers, this would be to their mutual benefit. And one or two of the Klingons reportedly have substantial roles, which suggests they meet him early in the film.

        That said, my money’s on Harrison being Mitchell. I’ll betcha ten credits and a year’s supply of tribble feed.

  6. Say it ain’t so, is it Kodos? Lol

  7. @L4YERCAKE: just curious — what makes you think it’s not Gary Mitchell? Share your thoughts, please.

    • This is from an article on Trekmovie.com, I feel I’ve been saying this over and over so I’ll let this person do it instead:

      Could it be Gary Mitchell, the next logical super powered choice? (as discussed on TrekMovie last week) Unlikely. Roberto Orci has confirmed to TrekMovie.com that the IDW comics are canon. The first two issues of the ongoing IDW Star Trek comics were inaugurated with the entire story of Gary Mitchell. Is it possible that the creators of a huge budget Hollywood film would allow their main baddie to be introduced in the pages of a monthly comic, especially a team of filmmakers known for their secrecy? Possibly, but those kind of reveals are usually reserved for specified prequel comics, of which issues 1 and 2 were not. And, why tell Mitchell’s entire story and then have to resurrect him for the film, leaving film audiences who do not read the comics out of the loop?

      • And his eyes are glowing in the comic. If the comics are canon according to the writers of the movie, wouldn’t Cumberbatch’s eyes be glowing in the trailer if he was Gary Mitchell?

        Fun debate, regardless!

        • Mitchell went back and forth a few times.

          How do you think they managed to kill him?

          Glowing eye, Impossible to kill. Stab at his humanity and bring it out…then kill him.

        • As I read the comic book, I have to wonder.

          At the end, one of mitchell’s eyes started to glow.

          And he and Kelso were buried in Space.


  8. There is a photograph attached to John Harrison’s right sleeve. It looks like a woman. Anyone else see this?

  9. Any chance, John Harrison, is spock’s brother – Sybock – surgically altered to look like a human

  10. He’s not Khan, but he is an augment. The scene with the cyro tanks is the crew of the Botany Bay.