First off, let’s dispel the rumor of a young Khan once and for all…
1) Khan has NO super powers. He is genetically superior to the average human, altered into a Napoleonic genius with a thirst for conquest, but he’s not psychic; he can’t cause mass destruction without a starship or army. The synopsis for INTO DARKNESS calls the villain a “one-man weapon of mass destruction.” That ain’t Khan. Some of the destruction Cumberbatch creates in the teaser is well outside the abilities of Khan.
2) Khan, at least in the original canon, was from 1999 (I believe), one of the genetic “super-humans” (again, in intellect and strength, NO actual superpowers) marooned in space after attempting to conquer Earth. That was long before Kirk or Starfleet’s time. And Cumberbatch’s character seems to want revenge against both.
THIS WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED IN THIS NEW TIMELINE. After all, it happened long before Nero and Spock returned from the future, changing the fate of Kirk and his crew.
3) J.J. and crew would be fools to touch Khan. It’s like redoing the Joker… but Abrams is NO Christopher Nolan. Just watch the steaming pile of SUPER 8.
Now, more reasons (in addition to the ones in my past blog), why it looks to be Mitchell…
1) The girl with the blond hair (Alice Eve). Look at her. Though so-far nameless, she looks an awful like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, the only other Enterprise crew member to receive psychic powers with Mitchell during the magnetic storm encountered while trying to exit the galaxy in THE ORIGINAL SERIES (TOS) episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
Now, Dr. Dehner was not in the IDW comic version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” which is officially canon with the new timeline, so she never received powers herself. But… she has a history with Mitchell… and Bones… regardless and is key to the original episode. The only reason she is not on the ship at the time of the accident in the comic is because Bones is already the Enterprise’s top physician, at the start of the comic, where in TOS she was his predecessor.
The comic also mentions the two have had a romantic past which is why she and Bones were not both assigned to the same starship.
So what does Mitchell want with Dr. Dehner now (assuming it is Dehner)? She’s powerless. Does he love her? Do his powers allow him to somehow remember the other timeline where they were empowered together? Driving him to seek a way to transform her as well so they can be together? Or does he simply sense the minor TK (LOOPER speak for telekinesis) in her already. Either way, she’s totally in peril at some point… and is featured in the teaser more than many classic crew members.
2) Cumberbatch wears a Starfleet uniform and even is sitting in a Captain’s chair in parts of the trailer. Khan was never a part of, nor never wanted to be in Starfleet. Though he did steal the Enterprise and would destroy the rest the fleet with glee, I can’t see him dressing in uniform of his enemy. On the other hand, Mitchell is a former member of Starfleet and a personal rival of Kirk’s.
What glee it would bring Mitchell to prove he is the better Captain after all.
3) Bones said it. On a press junket for DREDD, Karl Urban aka STAR TREK’s Bones said Cumberbatch is “awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”
Sure, this could be misdirection, but what are the odds he would plant it months ago only to have the trailer seemingly support his claim? That’s too intricate, even for an Abrams secret.
Loose lips sink starships, Bones McCoy!
4) Mitchell’s been in the IDW comic series that is canon. Khan has not (unless he is the focus of the new “Countdown To Darkness” mini-series, in which case my theories are fucked).
Sure, he dies, but he also has powers no one, not even Spock understands. It’s not outside STAR TREK logic to think Mitchell was already unkillable when Kirk thought he did the deed. In which case, how in the world will they defeat him this time?
Maybe it’s neither Mitchell nor Khan.
What if this is what Abrams wants? All this speculation between Khan and Mitchell when it is someone completely different?
After all, how does this quote from the Japanese teaser apply to Mitchell?
“Is there anything you would not do, for your family?”
The line could simply be Mitchell questioning Kirk’s allegiance to his “family” aka crew, though it almost sounds like an explanation for his own actions. Perhaps this character is not Mitchell and is seeking revenge for his own lost family (though that’s a lil’ similiar to Nero’s plight).
I guess we’ll all know soon enough. There will be 9 minutes of INTO DARKNESS on THE HOBBIT Imax Friday, with a real trailer for the film following on the 17th.