My Name Is Legion wrote:
Yeah, the notion that race has anything important to do with Khan is arrant nonsense.
Folks who develop "expectations" about people's backgrounds based on their surnames must live in a frequent state of surprise if not shock.
If we were talking about a new character, you would be correct. Khan, however, is an established character portrayed in an iconic fashion, so it's fair to make certain assumptions about his race, nationality, etc. based on the Khan we've seen before. What a lot of people fail to understand is that Abrams and his team may have chosen to simply ignore those assumptions.
In fact, the longer this goes on, the more I'm leaning toward the Khan theory. They were after Del Toro for the role originally, which might suggest at least a superficial effort to match the Montalbahn template, but when that didn't pan out they just decided not to limit themselves. If Cumberbatch's audition blew them away as much as they said it did, maybe his skin tone and accent simply ceased to matter.
But what about Khan predating the timeline changes? Well, maybe this timeline is actually a lot more divergent than anyone realized. Maybe something else changed things much further in the past so even Khan was affected. Or maybe Abrams just said screw it, we're going with Cumberbatch, and let the fanboys bitch. For the record, I'll be one of those, but I'm also willing to be sufficiently entertained by the movie that I really don't care in the end. I gave up being a Trek purist a long time ago.
So if it is
Khan, how does he fit into the new timeline? Well, just off the top of my head, what if the new Star Trek timeline was actually created long before Nero's temporal incursion in the last movie? What if the new Star Trek timeline is actually our
timeline, one in which the Eugenics Wars were somehow prevented from happening? What if Gary Seven, played by Robert Lansing dead ringer Peter Weller, somehow thwarted Khan before he could rise to conquer half the world and either shipped him off in cryo sleep aboard the Botany Bay
or simply froze him and stashed him in the basement for a couple of hundred years? What if someone other than Kirk and the Enterprise
found him and revived him, turning him loose on the world that wronged him and denied him his destiny?
That's just one possible scenario out of dozens in which Khan, or some incarnation of him, might be the villain. The fact that Cumberbatch bears no resemblance whatsoever to Montalbahn may be entirely beside the point.