I Don’t Care Who Benedict Cumberbatch is in Star Trek Into Darkness…

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And neither should you.

I’ve been avoiding all the discussion about Benedict Cumberbatch’s mysterious role in the newest Star Trek film.  IMDB still thinks he’s Khan; other people think he’s Gary Mitchell.  Me?  I used to speculate, but have officially taken the “I don’t give a shit” attitude.

Why?  Because isn’t part of the fun not knowing who he’s supposed to be?  Isn’t that why we go to movies? For the surprise.  For the excitement.  For that amazing moment when the villain is
revealed and we have to ask ourselves what he’s going to do next!  And isn’t thinking about it too much taking so much away from what makes movies great?

In my mind, arguing and bickering and digging for answers about Cumberbatch’s role is pointless.  It is also destructive to the viewing experience.  He might be Khan.  He might be John Harrison (as in an actual character and not a cover).  He might be Gary Mitchell.  Or he might be Quigloo the Monstrous, Lord of Darkness, King of the Micklefooze System!  Either way, I don’t want to know before I see the film.  I’m not seeing Star Trek Into Darkness because I’m expecting Khan or John Harrison or whatever.  I plan to see the film because I think Cumberbatch will put out an amazing performance.  In fact, I expect him to, despite all my reservations about J. J. Abrams’ foray into the Star Trek universe.

In a sense, I’m treating this like my first Star Trek movie now, and will do so with future films I intend to see.  When I was a youngling (Obi!), my grandma sat me down and had me watch Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home.  I loved it.  There was humor, cool spaceships, and Leonard Nemoy dressed like some kind of cross between The Karate Kid and a guy from a Snuggie commercial.  Plus, the story was pretty cool.  It remains one of my favorite science fiction movies (nostalgia and all) and turned me into a little whale lover (which my grandmother promptly ended when she tried to drown me in the ocean — love you, grams).  I want to have that experience again.  The wonder.  The joy.  The excitement.

What about you?  Are you tired of the constant attempts to find all the answers?  Do you find yourself missing some of the excitement?


P.S.:  This post was inspired by Andrew Liptak’s recent editorial on SF Signal.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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