One particularly industrious blogger broke down the minute long teaser trailer almost frame by frame. There’s a lot to decipher, but not many concrete answers. The movie doesn’t come out until May 17, 2013, so there’s plenty of time to speculate.
A synopsis of the film released by Paramount does mention Starfleet being torn apart by an enemy within and that Kirk must make a sacrifice for the only family he knows, which would be the Enterprise crew. The current Star Trek comic book by IDW Publishing reportedly stays true to the movie version and could help with a few clues about the movie.
Benedict Cumberpatch plays the villain. The most speculated question is who that villain is. Most people have him pegged as arguably the most popular villain in the original Star Trek series, Khan Noonian Singh. Khan was originally played by Ricardo Montalban in both the TV series and what many consider the best Star Trek film to date, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. There are many visual clues to this possibly, including the outfits he wears in parts of the teaser trailer. The director, J.J. Abrams, also mentioned that Khan would definitely be around in this reboot timeline of Star Trek even though he wouldn’t necessarily have the same history with Kirk. His nature would still be the same and he could be considered a villain.
There is another batch of people who think the villain may be Gary Mitchell, a character in another original Star Trek TV series episode who gained god-like powers and was only thwarted with the help of another crew member who had also obtained those powers, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. In the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer, Alice Eve is a dead ringer for Sally Kellerman’s portrayal of Dehner in the original series, right down to the distinctive haircut.
Viewing the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer elicits more hints to the villain being Mitchell. What appears to be a memorial service before the attack on Earth, seeing Cumberpatch in a Starfleet uniform, and the brief movie synopsis says the Enterprise crew “find an unstoppable force from within their own organization has detonated the fleet”. These are all implications the villain is a member of Starfleet, which apply to Mitchell but not Khan.
Where this gets a little tricky is that the Gary Mitchell character was already featured and killed in the IDW comic book series, which supposedly is true to the current reboot timeline. If the villain is Gary Mitchell, he has to come back from the dead to seek vengeance. Throw in the marketing aspect that everyone knows who Khan is, whether or not they’re a Trekkie. Only Trekkies will immediately know who Gary Mitchell is, so you have a compelling argument for Khan being the villain.
The Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but that’s just what the studio ordered to build suspense. A full 9-minute trailer will be shown before the IMAX version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starting December 17th. This is perhaps a bid to sell more IMAX tickets, which carry a premium over normal tickets.
Who do you think the villain will be? Let me know in the comments below!