News Column

'Star Trek Into Darkness': The Return of Khan?

May 17, 2013

Brian Dukes

May 17--"Star Trek Into Darkness" beams down this weekend, and you can bet I'll be one of the millions of fans crammed into movie theaters like a cargo bay full of tribbles.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is the second (and final?) "Star Trek" film directed by J.J. Abrams.

I've made an effort to avoid any spoilers about the film, which has been difficult considering that the film's villain is being portrayed by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

You may know Cumberbatch from his amazing work on BBC's "Sherlock."

Here's my obligatory SPOILER ALERT for those of you who wish to remain as uninformed about the film as possible. You've been warned.

The trailer's action sequences, among other things, have led to widespread speculation that Cumberbatch will be portraying a rebooted version of the classic villain Khan Noonien Singh.

If you don't know who that is, please stop reading this and start watching 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" or the 1967 episode of the original "Star Trek" TV series titled "Space Seed."

I'd be fine if Cumberbatch is Kahn. I'd be fine if he isn't.

I just want a great "Star Trek" film, and I know Abrams will deliver.

I am a little worried that playing the Khan card with the second film dooms future installments of the rebooted franchise to follow in the footsteps of the previous films.

Are we going to get rebooted versions of other "Star Trek" films, such as "The Search for Spock" or "The Voyage Home"?

One of the biggest complaints I've heard from "Star Trek" lifers, such as my dad, is that Abrams' rebooting of the "Trek" universe means disregarding previous film canon. We'll never go on those adventures, and the events of those films never happened or mattered.

My opposing view is that a reboot of the universe means Abrams can open things up, and we can actually, you know, explore new worlds as promised in the original show's premise. I don't want to see an Abrams treatment of movies we've already seen.

Considering that Abrams is most likely done as director for "Star Trek," since he's moving on to helm the "Star Wars" reboot, maybe this won't happen.

I hope not.

Then again, if Abrams rebooted the phone book, I'd read it.

But what happened to boldly going where no one has gone before?

Staff writer Brian Dukes can be reached at or 486-3523.


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