Nob Akimoto wrote:
I think the problem with Khan as the villain in <i>Into Darkness</i> is actually the opposite of the humanizing, though. The casting issue is one, but I actually thought making the character into Khan turned 'Harrison' from "man victimized while being the victimizer" into "monster from earth's history" and detracted from the ambiguity of his role.
And that the significance of the name would only apply to people who knew the character's background (and him being an evil dictator superman from the past)
I see where you are going. And if you base him solely off TWOK, which I'm sure most people do, the monster label fits better, IMO. But if you take it back to Space Seed, Khan was certainly a villain but he wasn't portrayed as a monster per se. He certainly was capable of doing monstrous things but he wasn't genocidal like he was portrayed in Into Darkness. However the perhaps widespread but maybe vague notion of Khan as villain perhaps does inform the audience this guy is evil or beyond redemption, that he doesn't have a point of view that should be seriously entertained.
I also think turning Harrison into Khan was a mistake for other reasons. It made it too easy for the filmmakers to do a soft remake of TWOK and it required some fore knowledge of who Khan was for the reveal to really have any impact. So I think it lessened the possibilities for Harrison as a character and took him and the story into more predictable waters.