Since J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reborquel premiered and excited people for Gene Rodenberry’s universe again (or, considering the movie’s massive success, most likely for the first time), there’s long been speculation about what story the inevitable sequel might tell. Even more specifically, burning rumors of who the next movie’s villain might (ought) to be. Leading that charge has always been a reinterpretation of Ricardo Montalban’s legendary Khan Noonien Singh, from both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the TOS episode “Space Seed.” Everyone involved has confirmed at some point or another that they would go back to The Original Series for inspiration, which only ignited the Khan rumors further. Though, there was also talk of long-term series villains the Klingons entering the mix after hitting the cutting floor in the last go-round.
Well, with news that Abrams has approached Benicio Del Toro, and put the actor on the top of his list, to portray Star Trek 2’s lead villain, the fans are being further inflamed. (Or however that metaphor goes.) Every outlet seems to be implying the Khan rumor all over again, but that is likely because the first Star Trek II was the most popular and memorable of the bunch (besides “the one with the whales”), but also because Del Toro would certainly be qualified to fill Montalban’s rich Corinthian leather. Plus, keeping it a big mystery only serves to deepen the expectation for the official announcement, so at this point any other character would just be a figurative smack upside the head. Then again, if Del Toro’s not a Klingon then that forehead might very well be wasted.
If he is Khan, though, I do worry/wonder if they’ll massage the new timeline a bit more to allow for a new version of Kirstie Alley’s Saavik. Knead out 20 years or so of continuity to make the lady Vulcan a love interest for Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk, which would probably also be a point of tension with Zachary Quinto’s Spock. Olivia Wilde would be an obvious choice, as the role would put her relative stiffness and occasional vacuity to good use. So, let’s go ahead and get that rumor started, shall we?
Who do you think Del Toro might be playing? Who should he be playing?
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force and tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He really doesn’t care who the villain of the next Trek is, as long as there’s some damn galactic discoveries and at least one philosophical question to be answered.