Or at least, it’s the latest theory about who Benedict Cumberbatch is really playing. Ever since the film’s announcement all anyone can talk about is who would be the villain. Would it be Khan? Another new character? Maybe some other villain from Star Trek‘s past? With the reveal Cumberbatch is playing a former Starfleet member, John Harrison, the theories continue to fly. Is that his real name? Could Harrison either be Khan or an associate of his?
This latest one comes from the pages of IDW‘s upcoming prequel comic, Countdown to Darkness, releasing tomorrow. Bleeding Cool has the scoop and it begins with Bob Orci‘s comments months ago that the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness would be a character from Star Trek‘s history. He also happens to be co-writing this tie-in comic.
We’ll delve into this theory below the cut as it spoils the ending of Countdown to Darkness‘ first issue.
Above is the last page of the comic, introducing Robert April. Who’s that, you ask? Bleeding Cool’s Brendon Connelly did some digging and learned that April originally appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode, “The Counter-Clock Incident.” And while it’s debatable whether the cartoon is canon or not, the use of the name most likely isn’t coincidence. Robert April has also appeared in other Trek novels, where he’s been described as British.
So our first clue is April is British and so is Cumberbatch. But then, why don’t they look alike? First you could say the interpretation of Countdown to Darkness‘ artist, David Messina, isn’t entirely beholden to the movie. For instance his Captain Kirk doesn’t look exactly like Chris Pine, though I’ll admit it bears a closer likeness than this April to Cumberbatch.
This brings us to possible piece of evidence number two: in that animated episode April was a character who was aging backwards. So maybe, when we meet him in the film he’s de-aged from this appearance in the comic. It’s also theorized that maybe by the time of Into Darkness he’s learned to handle the de-aging and such knowledge would be helpful to someone suffering a degenerative disease, like the little girl Harrison offers to help in the film’s opening minutes.
But wait, there’s more! In the trailers we see Harrison wielding a giant gun, and that gun’s got a name: April’s Gatling Gun, as reported by Hit Fix‘s Drew McWeeny when he visited Bad Robot’s offices and saw the gun in a book of production art. Isn’t that interesting?
Connelly has even more tidbits that would tie Harrison and April together, including his tenure as a former Enterprise captain and his connection to Pike. For further details check out Bleeding Cool‘s original article. What do you think of this theory? I’ll admit it does sound like a stretch, but hell, at this point Harrison could be anyone. And until Star Trek Into Darkness releases on May 17th, we’ll keep guessing.