No Khan For Star Trek 2, Different Original Series Villain Rumored Instead

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star Trek
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

It's been a long wait for the sequel to J.J. Abrams' Star Trek and considering how many projects the man currently has on his plate, we may have to wait even longer. In recent months the biggest detail that has come out about the project was Damon Lindelof comparing it The Dark Knight. Now, finally, we are getting some of the bigger picture.

Badass Digest claims to have a source close to the Star Trek 2 production who has leaked a few details regarding what we might see in the sequel. First off, the source has confirmed that Khan will not be the villain in the film. In actuality, the film won't focus on a traditional villain, rather a season one character from the original series. According to the article, the character could be "Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta," though the source was unwilling to be more specific, and of course this is just an unsubstantiated rumor for now.

Each of those potential bad guys represents a very distinctly different tone which could be set for the sequel. Going with the Horta means going the route of a gritty, tension filled monster movie. Hortas are burrowing, rock-like creatures who, in their original series appearance, terrorized a mining colony. It happened in an episode titled “Devil in the Dark” which should tell you all you need to know about the horror-movie tone. It is, however, also the episode which birthed my favorite McCoyism: “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer!”

Here’s Spock mind-melding with a Horta:

Harry Mudd (full name Harcourt Fenton Mudd) on the other hand means setting a more playful, whimsical tone. He’s kind of like Captain Jack Sparrow, a freewheeling pirate, con man, and trader who hops through the galaxy generally annoying everyone he comes in contact with. In the original series he was never a villain, at least not exactly and it’s hard to imagine him working as the central bad guy in any feature film, though he'd be a lot of fun.

Here’s Harry Mudd:

Trelane is a lot like “Q”, if any of you remember him from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The self-styled “Squire of Gothos” is a god-like being with the personality of a small, naughty boy. He’d strike a balance between the more whimsical tone of Harry Mudd and the deadly seriousness of a being with godlike powers.

Here’s a look at the original Trelane:

Any movie featuring the Talosians would be almost entirely cerebral, and if there’s one thing the new Trek is not, it’s cerebral. They were first introduced in the unaired pilot for the original Star Trek which starred Captain Pike, not Captain Kirk as commander of the Enterprise. In terms of the timeline, Pike’s encounter with the Talosians actually happened before the events in the new Star Trek. It’s the only thing from the original Trek series that wouldn’t have been changed by the time-warping events of the last film. The Talosians are an ancient, dying race with the power to control minds, looking for a way to save themselves.

Here’s what Talosians look like:

Lastly there’s Gary Mitchell who, to me, make the most sense. Mitchell is James T. Kirk’s best friend, or at least he was until he accidentally receives godlike powers and begins to regard everyone aboard the Enterprise as bugs to be swatted. The potential for pathos and intense character drama is limitless, with Kirk and Spock battling against a creature beyond their comprehension and Kirk forced to kill someone he cares about. Using Gary Mitchell would fit the dynamic of the first movie, which seemed to be more about the developing relationship between Kirk and Spock above all else. After the first film they’re now comfortable allies, but in the original series it was Mitchell’s madness which first moved Kirk and Spock towards real friendship.

Here’s a look at Gary Mitchell:

But who knows if any of this will pan out. It’s just a crazy rumor. In fact it doesn’t really seem to fit at all with this rumor from the generally reliable TrekMovie in which they say that writer Damon Lindelof has been hinting that Star Trek: The Next will involve a Vulcan female. None of the five villains being rumored would really fit with a storyline in which the Enterprise crew become entangled with Vulcans, and with so few of them in the universe it’s hard to imagine one just randomly showing up on the Enterprise unless the story was somehow crafted around it. The notion that there might be a Vulcan female involved suggests that instead of using one of these villains, the movie might be about Spock facing pon farr (the 7 year itch Vulcans get which drives them crazy until they have sex) and that the Vulcan female might be his spurned lover from the original series, T’Pring.

Here's a look at T'Pring as she appeared in the original series:

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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.