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Vektor December 11 2012 07:04 PM

What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I just posted a comment in a different thread that got me thinking about this and I wanted to follow up on it in more detail.

What if Cumberbatch's John Harrison is not the actual villain in this movie? What if he's just an operative for the real villain who somehow betrayed or abandoned him and now Harrison has returned to "have his vengeance" with Starfleet and the planet Earth caught in the crossfire? What if the real villain is actually being played by Peter Weller, the one major cast member who has yet to be identified and has remained so far under the radar he's almost been forgotten?

As tempted as I am to dismiss the Section 31 speculations, knowing how well steeped Orci and some of the others are in Trek esoterica does make me wonder. I can imagine a scenario in which John Harrison is a Section 31 agent, perhaps genetically augmented, and Peter Weller is the head of Section 31, operating from a secretly built, technologically advanced starship, maybe the one with the darker interior we've seen in the previews, and maybe even the one we see crashing into San Francisco bay.

We know the opening of the film (SPOILERS AHEAD) involves the Enterprise crew intervening to save a primitive alien culture from destruction by a catastrophic volcanic eruption, but a dilemma arises when Kirk has to choose between letting Spock die and violating the Prime Directive by revealing the Enterprise to the natives. Of course we can guess which option Kirk chooses and, by some accounts, gets in a degree of trouble for it with Pike and others at Starfleet. This sounds to me like the perfect setup for a confrontation with an organization like Section 31 whose very existence is antithetical to the Prime Directive.

John Harrison could be, as 137th Gebirg commented on my original post, a "Jason Bourne-style character gone completely off the reservation." Or perhaps someone more like Raoul Silva in the latest James Bond flick, Skyfall, a deadly former agent hell-bent on revenge against the head of MI6 who sold him out and left him for dead. I'm guessing he's somewhere in-between, disillusioned both with the shadowy organization he works for and the people who have no clue or appreciation of the sacrifices he has made to protect them from a dangerous galaxy. Go back and listen to his voiceover in the teaser trailer and consider it in that context.

It's even possible that Harrison redeems himself before the end. Perhaps he realizes the damage he has done and seeks to atone for it. Maybe this has something to do with the scene, presumably in the ship's brig, with hands on two sides of the glass that supposedly belong to Spock and Harrison. Or maybe Harrison actually sacrifices himself in order to defeat Weller's character and this is a moment of understanding between former enemies. Lots of possibilities.

Here's one more: What if Weller not only plays the real villain, but that villain is actually someone we are all well acquainted with? What if the writers' comments about the "villain" being a canon character from TOS were accurate after all? What if Section 31 was actually founded by a very familiar character, one who was a product of genetic engineering and selective breeding but was not Khan, one who's very purpose in life was to intervene in human events for the supposed betterment of mankind?

What if the real villain of Star Trek Into Darkness is Gary Seven?

Gojira December 11 2012 07:15 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I have suspected that Weller's character could be the true villain and that Cumberbatch's character is just a henchman.

SalvorHardin December 11 2012 07:18 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I must admit I enjoy your theory.
How about this. What if GATT2000 is actually Beta 5 reimagined?

urbandk December 11 2012 07:24 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I like where this speculation is going. Fun.

Admiral Buzzkill December 11 2012 07:28 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I don't think that Gary 7 would be a good idea.

Beyond that, there seem to be indications that Weller is Admiral Marcus.

Dick Whitman December 11 2012 07:35 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
Admiral Marcus could have villainous motivations.

Vektor December 11 2012 07:36 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
Yeah, I've picked up on that in a couple of places since I drafted this post, though I have yet to see a reference for it. It wouldn't really change my theory much. Admiral Marcus could be the head of Section 31, or Section 31 might not figure into it at all, just some branch of Starfleet with nefarious motives.

Then again, if Gary Seven had been alive and manipulating events on Earth and throughout the Federation for 250 years, he certainly wouldn't have gone by the name Gary Seven that whole time. Maybe Seven is Admiral Marcus and Carol Marcus is his daughter. Total speculation, sure, but so is everything else.

Personally, I think Gary Seven as the founder and head of Section 31 makes perfect sense. Wouldn't be the first time Hollywood has taken a protagonist and turned them into an antagonist as time and tragedy or other forces have worn them down.

Also, I can't get over how much Peter Weller looks like Robert Lansing.

YellowSubmarine December 11 2012 07:43 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
The thing that I liked about Gary Seven is that he was part of the 20th century, and I like stories set in our past. Into Darkness is not set in our past, so I don't see why I'd enjoy Gary Seven more than I'd enjoy John Harrison or Mary Williams. If the villain is Gary Seven I won't get any additional enjoyment because of it, and it will be barely more than just a name. OK, I'll get some references in my head and some tiny bit of excitement, but that's it.

I'm much more looking forward to seeing Carol Marcus.

Shilliam Watner December 11 2012 07:46 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?

My Name Is Legion wrote: (Post 7382728)
I don't think that Gary 7 would be a good idea.

Beyond that, there seem to be indications that Weller is Admiral Marcus.

What are they saying the indications are that makes Weller Admiral Marcus?

Temis the Vorta December 11 2012 09:23 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
John Harrison isn't the villain, he's just some hapless Starfleet officer who was killed by Lord Garth, the shapeshifter, and replaced so that he could carry out his nefarious schemes to insanely destroy the Federation bwahahaha!!! Cumby is playing two characters.

Which leaves open the question, what does Lord Garth look like in reality? He needs to be an older guy - is that who Weller is playing?

And that's my final answer, I'm sick of coming here and feeling like a damn ping pong ball! :rommie:

Matt S December 11 2012 09:27 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
good theory, OP! They do want this to look Khan-centric. If Khan is in the movie, let it be Javier Bardem. The only actor alive who has the right size grapefruits, IMO

Dukhat December 11 2012 09:27 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
The trailer gave pretty much every indication that BC is the villain.

trekkiebaggio December 11 2012 09:31 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
This is a fun theory to consider :)

Xaios December 11 2012 09:47 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I do think Cumbercatch is a villain based on what he says in the trailer, but the odds at this point also point to him at least being a sympathetic villain. His monologue in the teasure suggests that he's going to shatter the peace that Earth has enjoyed, which certainly seems... villainous. On the flipside, if it is him behind the glass at the end of the extended trailer (a theory which has been given more credence by the recently spoiled pic of his character in the brig opposite Kirk and Spock, separated by a glass pane), then that means that Spock is giving him the vulcan salute, something he probably wouldn't do unless he sympathized with him in a fairly significant way.

It seems that Benny is a villain, but there's probably also another villain opposite him with which he is engaged, and the Enterprise is playing damage control, trying to help people who are caught in the crossfire, find a way to bring back peace, and save face for Starfleet.

Vektor December 11 2012 10:32 PM

Re: What if Cumberbatch is not the "Villain"?
I wasn't suggesting that Harrison isn't a villain. I have no doubt that he is up to some very bad things and will be the prime mover in this film, but there could be an even bigger villain not yet revealed, especially if Harrison truly is a completely original character and not somebody like Khan or Mitchell masquerading under an alias.

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