As J.J. Abrams’s second “Star Trek” movie starts to build steam, Benicio Del Toro has signed on for a role in the movie. Excitement builds as people began to wonder who he might portray in this new chapter. One of the popular options is for Del Toro to portray Khan, the bad guy from the second movie in the original franchise.
On Dec. 2, Latino Review released a news exclusive that, according to its sources, Del Toro is playing Khan. The article itself ended with a disclaimer that fans should “expect rebuttals and denials.” That is important to remember because, on Dec. 3, Drew McWeeny at HitFix asked Abrams personally about this casting news and Abrams responded with two words: “Not true.”
One source says it is true and to expect denials and the filmmaker himself denied it straight up. The question is, what makes Khan so important that fans want to see him in this new movie?
The Origins of Khan
Khan first appeared in the original “Star Trek” television series, genetically engineered superman, created to withstand all human limitations. In the beginning he was one of the most peaceful rulers of the supermen, ruling his people with a fair hand. However, earth deemed all supermen dangerous and destroyed most of them, only a handful, including Khan escaping.
Captain Kirk and the Enterprise find the ship Khan escaped on, with everyone frozen in suspended animation. Khan awakens and begins a plan to take over the Enterprise, but when he makes threats on Kirk’s life, the crew overpowers him and Kirk sentences him to live out his days on an un-colonized world, making Kirk his mortal enemy.
“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”
The character of Khan remained fresh in fans’ memories. When it came time to work on the second film in the movie series, Khan became the preferred villain. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” remains, arguably, the greatest in the series, breaking new ground for the franchise. The original actor who played Khan, Ricardo Montalban, continued the role and became the Joker to Captain Kirk’s Batman.
There is much to enjoy about the Khan character, most of all his belief that what he is doing is right. Earth wronged Khan and he has a right to feel betrayed. Kirk wronged Khan, at least in the character’s own mind, and his hatred is justified. Everything Khan did was for an ultimate goal he believed was right.
Benicio Del Toro
Del Toro is an interesting choice in the new “Star Trek” movie: an Academy Award-winning actor who has also appeared in genre fare such as “The Wolfman” and “Sin City.” He will be great as a bad guy in Abrams’s “Star Trek” world but should that character be Khan?
In the last “Star Trek” movie, Abrams changed the timeline for the entire universe. Now, anything that happens in future films is not reliant on what happened in the past movies thanks to the two separate timelines. There are now two Spocks, each from alternate worlds, proving the fact that these are now new adventures with the same characters.
This means Khan and Kirk can now have a completely different history when they eventually meet. Bringing back Khan is a great idea, and Del Toro would be fine in the role. However, Abrams denies it, so for now that is all fans have to go on.
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