Khan has always been the lazy but obvious choice for the villain in the first sequel to JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek, to the point that many have considered it a foregone conclusion. Even long after Benedict Cumberbatch was cast and signs pointed in another direction, “confirmations” slipped out that he was indeed playing some interpretation of Kahn, until Simon Pegg finally said outright, “It’s not Khan.”

And while I’ve not kept up on the deeper rumors and speculation, it seems a different theory has turned out to be true, with a confirmation coming from actor Karl Urban in a magazine interview. His statement?

“[Benedict is] awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”

Oh shit, time for this Star Trek timeline to have its own Phoenix Saga.

If you (like me) require a trip to Memory Alpha (the Star Trek wiki) to know who the hell Mitchell is, here are some cliff notes:

A good friend of Kirk’s going back to the Academy, Gary Mitchell is a talented man who not only  introduced Kirk to his almost-wife, but also had very mild psychic abilities. Kirk and Mitchell shared a number of adventures, but the real story came when Mitchell was exposed to the “Galactic Barrier” which imbued him with nearly God-like powers of matter manipulation, psychic ability, and telekinesis. Kirk ultimately had to wack him on a lonely planet with a little bit of luck and help from another supernaturally-enhanced human.

Some have suspected Mitchell might be the villain, as the IDW Star Trek comics have apparently done this story in this timeline already. In fact, the comics have apparently already retconned the end of the story as well, in such a way that leaked set photos seem to match… which I find weird. I don’t know how deep the extended universe stuff goes with this character though, so that discussion might be better left to the comments.

In any event, this definitely sounds like a solid path towards escalating the threat for the second Trek film, after a villain who obliterated entire planets and traveled through time for revenge. Star Trek has a long history of dealing with universal forces and amoral beings, so this is definitely a logical choice. Or Urban is fucking with us.

I’m sure we’ll hear word from someone else soon enough. But chew out your thoughts on this villain in the new FB comments below, or on the message board for you anonymity lovers…

Source | Total Film