There’s a tight lid over J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel. The damn thing doesn’t even have a name yet. The biggest question of all is who the villain will be. We know that Benedict Cumberbatch will play the primary antagonist, but no one has any idea about the identity of said bad guy. Everybody has a pet theory, the most popular of which was that Cumberbatch would play Khan, the character immortalized by Ricardo Montalban. That rumor has been pretty thoroughly quashed.
While we aren’t any closer to knowing who the villain is, co-writer/producer Roberto Orci listed a handful of characters who won’t be in the Star Trek sequel. Here’s the list of familiar names: Gary Mitchell, Charlie X, Ruk, The Borg, and Janice Rand.
Keen observers will notice one puzzling omission from this list: Khan. There are a few potential reasons for this. First, this is a backdoor way of saying that Khan is in the movie. Second, Khan will be in the movie, but in a minor capacity (maybe he’ll die early, or show up after the credits to tease a third movie). Third, Orci didn’t mention Khan because that theory has already been so thoroughly debunked that he didn’t feel the need to even bring it up. Fourth, if he listed every Star Trek character who isn’t in the movie, it would’ve been a really long night. And maybe they’re just messing with fans because they know we’re easy to rile up, and it keeps people talking about their movie.
We could sit here all day and spout elaborate conspiracy theories and try to decipher what Orci is “trying” to say, but none of that will amount to anything. Truth is we’re not any closer to knowing who Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise will tussle with, and it doesn’t matter. Cumberbatch’s character, whoever it winds up being, is supposed to be a badass. Writer Alex Kurtzman described him as “an incredibly formidable presence…Are you going to be scared of him? Shit yeah!” Isn’t that all we really want in the end, that the villain give our heroes a legitimate run for their money?