If Other Classic “Star Trek” Villains Received Power Upgrades for Future Sequels

Benedict Cumberbatch, "Star Trek Into Darkness"Most of you have already seen the new “announcement trailer” for Star Trek: Into Darkness, apparently heralding the real teaser trailer scheduled for release on December 17th. Internet fans continue debating the exact identity of the villain played by TV’s Sherlock, the inimitable Benedict Cumberbatch. The early rumor-mongers assumed he was Khan, but the more recent consensus is the superhuman Gary Mitchell from the original series’ second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. 1966 special effects limited Mitchell’s displays of power, but if that’s SuperCumberbatch’s true identity, then today’s cinematic tools have upgraded him to the same weight class as General Zod, Hancock, and the Chronicle teens. I look forward to seeing him punch the Enterprise out of orbit, and to watching the new Captain Kirk devise something besides an instant avalanche to end their rebooted confrontation.

After Mitchell’s ostensible facelift and the redesigned Romulans who menaced our new crew in director J.J. Abrams’ first Trek film, it’s safe to assume other classic Trek villains are vying for their turn in line to be extracted from mothballing and upconverted for future sequels. The possibilities are many:

* Apollo: The alien in a toga from “Who Mourns for Adonais?” who pretended to be the original Greek god impressed me when I watched the episode as an eight-year-old. In today’s world, imagine Our Heroes taking on an Apollo straight out of the new Clash of the Titans, all muscles and bone-crunching sound effects and flared nostrils and blinding lens-flare armor. Considering that Luke Evans had so little screen time in the Titans role (his one big scene was deleted and made him look petulant), he could reprise the role here and enjoy actual screen time for a change, not to mention superpowers.

* The Horta: The non-humanoid killer from “Devil in the Dark” was a living, shambling mound seeking vengeance for its slaughtered offspring. The new version would be sixty feet tall, but possessed of the same guilt-inducing motivation — a cross between Godzilla and the Creeping Terror.

* Klingons: The original species reminded me of Snidely Whiplash minus a hat. Modern renditions have given them snarlier attitudes, better dialogue, and more deformed facial prosthetics. The new new Klingons need to rely less on monster makeup and more on physical imposition. Michael Dorn’s Worf was a towering six-foot-four, but if he had muscles, his Starfleet unitard and bulky jackets hid them well. I never felt as though he could truly snap an opponent over his knee. Nü-Klingons need to be tall, ugly, and seriously muscular for maximum scariness, leaving no room for pretend-karate or “love” poetry or completely not-intimidating Shakespeare recitals. At the forefront would be the six-foot-five dynamic duo of Dolph Lundgren and the Rock as the shortest guys in the room. All their henchmen would be played by wrestlers even taller, wider, and angrier. WikiPedia reveals several viable candidates above that baseline, including some with film credits such as The Punisher‘s Kevin Nash and X-Men‘s Tyler Mane. Imagine a reboot scene wherein Sabretooth calls the Enterprise “a garbage scow” to Simon Pegg’s face, and all the hilarity certain to follow. Now that would be good popcorn-filmin’.

* Space hippies: The colonists of Omicron Ceti III from “This Side of Paradise” would be transformed from communal ragamuffins of questionable fashion sense to the straight-laced, no-nonsense activists known as Occupy Starfleet, determined to expose the seamy underbelly of the Federation and the blood they spilled behind closed doors in direct, covert contradiction to their precious Prime Directive. Granted, half of America would refuse to see this film, but Hollywood would love it enough to throw some Oscar nominations at it.

* Bela Okmyx and his gang: Already rebooted. It’s called Gangster Squad.

* The Doomsday Machine: A Star Destroyer that can eat planets whole is an amazing concept that needs no conceptual tweaking, but it desperately needs a visual overhaul. No Starfleet officer in their right mind would be afraid of a giant flying waffle cone. The maw looks great, but needs to be attached to a sleeker, more sophisticated chassis. Also, it should have superfluous extra cannons all over it, and it should be capable of unrealistic evasive maneuvers instead of having the realistic grace of an anemic hippo. When Doomsday Machine 2.0 threatens a planet, its denizens should be panicking about their imminent death, not about the eventual death-by-swallowing of their great-grandchildren.

* Tribbles: Those soft, fuzzy, marketable newborns were so cuuuuute dogpiling on poor William Shatner. Now let’s meet some full-grown adults, weighing in at three hundred pounds, sporting venomous fangs, and headlining a sequel subtitled The Tribbles of Terror.

* The Gorn: Ripoffs of the Lizard from Amazing Spider-Man. Good luck in that arena, Kirk.

* The aliens who stole Spock’s brain: No.

* * * * *

For those who missed out, here’s an opportunity to catch that pre-trailer before a longer, even better one arrives on December 17th. Notice the stark contrast between this new villain’s sinister, methodical cadence and Holmes’ overcaffeinated 500-wpm patter.

One response

  1. Pingback: Star Trek Into Darkness 9 Min. Prologue… « The Raptor's Claw

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