As you probably already know I happen to be a long-time trekkie. Quite a serious one actually. Let’s not delve into details right now, suffice to say I own a TNG science officer uniform I used to wear in public not that long ago (well it was a long ago actually but anyway).
Today, first thing in the morning, a colleage told me Cumberbatch is going to be Khan after all. To prove this he showed me a photo of Khan (from The Wrath) where he’s wearing a peculiar Starfleet pendand and immediately after than he opened the shop page of the official Star trek .com site where the same trinket seems to have been made available over the weekend as new arrival, in a designer edition.
Now, I have no idea what that pendant means, whether I’m supposed to know already as a trekkie or if it will be revealed in the STID movie maybe. Let’s face it, I’m hopeless at Star Trek trivia, always have been. My colleague though, he is already wondering if whatever is going to happen will have to be considered canon at all, especially with Carol Marcus around, as JJ Abrams is cleverly working in an alternative timeline (if you don’t know who Carol Marcus is, there you are, I feel like that all the time).
At Star Trek conventions during the Nineties, in Italy, there used to be trivia nights. They were called The Kobayashi Maru and always sounded like big bonding events. You and your fellow trekkies, battling all night long to reach the perfect understanding of the Roddenberrian universe and then having breakfast at dawn as your M-class planet gently turned you to face the sun.
Happily I would show up at 21:00, in full uniform, with bottled water. Immediately I would be presented with the first phase of the quest: a booklet of close-ended questions. Hundreds of names, planets, stardates. Some of them were vaguely familiar, some I may had heard before but was not sure, others made me totally blank. Also, I was astonished to realise how little I cared about all those names, planets and stardates, even as a trekkie.
Before 22:00 I would be headed to the bar already.
Anyway, we’ve been exposed to tons of promo material during the past few months and we’ve been dutifully informed that Cumberbatch, Khan or not not Khan, is going to be a quintessential European villain. I’m game.
But I want it to be quite clear that I never asked for tall dark and handsome in the first place. Abrams went that way deliberately. He was the one who made Cumberbatch eat 4000 calories a day, train 2 hours a day and then wear an acrilic startfleet uniforms (believe me, I know about those uniforms). Not me. Never me. I would have been perfectly happy with any regular outsider in good shape. A glasz-eyed deranged scientist. A menacing non-humanoid alien from the the delta quadrant. I would have been happy with a deep incorporeal voice from a singularity of the space time continuum.
But Abrams insisted. So what we’re going to see, in our IMAX theaters, is a 52-feet tall, hair dyed pitch black, toned Cumberbatch in a black faded starfleet uniform brandishing what looks like a flame thrower. Honestly, it will make me instantly forget what little I knew about trivia and this was probably Abrams’s plan all along.
Forget the nonsense, love the characters, love the Roddenberrian universe.