STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Roundup: New Images, Empire Covers, Synopsis, and J.J. Abrams Reveals More About the Villain’s Backstory and “Secret Agenda”

     December 24, 2012

star trek into darkness zachary quinto

It’s a very Star Trek Christmas Eve thanks to Empire Magazine, who released a lot of great Star Trek Into Darkness material as part of their 2013 preview issue.  There are four versions of the magazine cover featuring Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch, eleven new images (highlighted by a gun-toting Zachary Quinto previewed above), and a synopsis with new information.  In a separate venue, director J.J. Abrams revealed more about the mysterious villain character, John Harrison, that Cumberbatch plays: “He is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda.”

Hit the jump for all the images and info.

First, Abrams’ full comments on the villain and the threat he poses [via Trek Movie]:


“So this movie doesn’t require you have seen the first movie.  The characters are a group of people who have recently come together and find themselves up against this incredibly terrifying force.  His name is John Harrison and he is sort of an average—that is what makes him so scary—he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda.  After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the US, our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him.  And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. Into Darkness is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.”

I don’t know much about the Trek universe, but Harrison’s backstory continues to diverge from Khan’s.  Maybe the boring name is not hiding the fact that Cumberbatch is actually Khan.  Maybe it is just the name of an “average guy” who also happens to be a supervillain, and that is scary.

Yet the sequel isn’t all about the darkness, says Abrams:


“This is a movie that they certainly go ‘into darkness,’ but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards.”

Empire adds a bit more texture to the official synopsis with their description of the film [via Bleeding Cool]:

“With Earth under terrorist attack from Benedict Cumberbatch’s ex-Starfleet employee John Harrison, Kirk is this time forced into a rash decision that breaks a critical Starfleet command, puts his crew in danger & costs him his captain’s chair.  Now out of uniform and dressed down in space civvies of black leather jackets and boots, our three heroes have separated from the Enterprise and headed off on a mission to try and rectify his mistake…”

For comparison, here’s the official synopsis:

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.


Finally here are the images and magazine covers from Empire [scans via CBM]:


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Star Trek Into Darkness opens May 17, 2013.

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