I have an informant placed close to the production of JJ Abrams' Star Trek 2, and this informant got in touch with me to reveal that it looks like the storyline of the film has been decided. This person says that until the script is turned in anything could change, but right now there are two things that look to be set in stone:
1) Khan will not be the villain. You would think this would go without saying, but people keep speculating. In fact, my source says that the film won't be focused on a traditional 'villain' type at all. Which leads us to:
2) The story will focus on a classic Trek character. And when I say classic, I mean a character who appeared in season one of the original series, when Gene Roddenberry was in charge.
Some sources give you all sorts of info, but this source likes to play games. I couldn’t get the exact character from them, but I got an email that reads:
It’s definitely a character that will make fans of TOS excited. Think along the lines of Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta. Actually it’s one of those that I named.
Repeated requests for clarification were met with only
Okay then, mysterious and uncooperative source, here’s my rundown of those characters, in order from least likely to most likely:
The Horta: A silicone based life form that is killing miners on the planet Janus IV. These shambling rock monsters - who look kind of like fringed rugs - aren’t evil, they’re just trying to protect their eggs, which miners can’t tell apart from rocks.
Odds: 100:1. A great episode, and one that really captures the spirit of Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. But the story is too small for a movie, and I don’t really see how you include the Horta in a larger story without making them just a footnote.
Harry Mudd: A space charlatan who first comes into contact with the Enterprise when they find him smuggling a ship full of beautiful women. It turns out that Mudd has been making these women beautiful with an illegal ‘Venus Pill.’ Mudd showed up again in the original series, this time on a planet full of beautiful android women, and he popped up in the Star Trek animated series, which is apparently canon.
Odds: 50:1. Mudd’s a terrific comedic character, and as a con man he could end up involved in something bigger and movie-sized. But he seems too funny for the second film; the new Trek is still setting its tone. I think if they go to Harry Mudd it’ll be in the third or fourth film.
The Talosians: In the original pilot for Star Trek, when Captain Pike was still in charge, the Enterprise visited Talos IV and discovered the local inhabitants to be a big-headed race who wanted to keep humans in a zoo and who could beam any image into their brains. The Talosians were considered so dangerous the planet was quarantined, under penaltgy of death. Talos IV returned in the only TOS two parter, The Menagerie, when Spock hijacked the Enterprise to bring a crippled and deformed Pike to Talos IV, where the Talosians would let him experience life as a whole man.
Odds: 10:1. Pike isn’t deformed like he is in the original series, but he is in a wheelchair. Then again, there were no previous adventures of the Starship Enterprise, as they got mucked up on their maiden voyage in the first film. Still, the Talosians are strong characters, and having the crew dealing with Talosian-created illusions would be a great way to combine the character building of The Naked Time episode (when everyone’s inner personality came to the fore) with the variety of Shore Leave (where a telepathic planet made people’s thoughts come true). And there’s another, darker side - what if the Federation wanted the power of the Talosians as a weapon? Yeah, it’s shades of Insurrection, but it wouldn’t be shitty.
Trelane: A godlike creature who ensnares the Enterprise and toys with the crew. His gimmick is that he’s a couple of centuries behind on Earth culture, so his whole planet is done up in 17th century fashion. It turns out that Trelane isn’t as big a guy as he pretends though - he’s actually a baby god, and in the end his parents spank him and take him away.
Odds: 5:1. On his own he’s not a terribly interesting character for a movie, but later tie-in books revealed that he was a part of the Q Continuum, the godlike beings introduced in The Next Generation. Bringing in Q or a Q-like being could allow Abrams and company the opportunity to play with the fact that their films take place in an alternate universe, as Q would probably have access to all realities. At any rate, bringing in Trelane or another Q character would give the same opportunities as the Talosians, since they could make any fantasy, thoughts or dreams come true for the characters. Also, you could have Justin Bieber play him.
Gary Mitchell: In the second pilot for Star Trek, Gary Mitchell is Kirk’s best friend and the Enterprise’s helmsman. When the ship attempts to go outside the galaxy, farther than any spacecraft has ever traveled, they hit a weird energy field. That energy field gives Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner (played by Sally Kellerman in the original show!) godlike abilities. Mitchell couldn’t deal with his power and began to crack, forcing Kirk to battle his best friend - who could now kill him with a thought.
Odds: 2:1. This is the character I would most like to see pop up in the movies. First of all, the original episode gives a great title for the new movie: Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before. Second, Gary Mitchell is a character who presents a deeply personal struggle for Kirk while not being a traditional bad guy. If the movie takes the character but doesn’t adapt the episode closely we could see a situation where a godlike Gary Mitchell brings a state of tension between the Federation and the Klingon Empire - imagine if the Klingons think Mitchell is a new Federation superweapon and come to destroy him? You’d have Kirk trapped between a Klingon invasion fleet and his omnipotent and amoral best friend.
There you have it. I trust this source, even if they’re being kind of a pain in the butt about specifics. As for the idea of no Khan and a classic TOS character being the focus - hell yeah, I say. That’s the kind of thing that makes me feel very excited about this sequel. Also, the idea that they’re shying away from a bad guy vs good guy storyline only confirms that Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman get Star Trek.
Now we wait for the denials or no comments or confirmations…