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Film: Who is John Harrison in upcoming 'Star Trek Into Darkness'?

A diehard Trekkie like myself was critical of J.J. Abram’s 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. Sure, most incongruities could be glossed over with a simple “But it’s a parallel universe!” — but sometimes, that just didn’t jive. I mean, Uhura and Spock in a romantic relationship? I don’t care what planet you’re from — that’s completely off-script from “Star Trek: The Original Series.”

But with the second trailer just released for the 2009 film’s sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness” has got the action/sci-fi fangirl in me dizzy with excitement.

BBC’s “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch flexes his villainous muscles in the two short trailers already out for the film. This last week, he announced that his character’s name is John Harrison, an individual who he describes as “a terrorist” and “a one-man weapon of mass destruction.” Cumberbatch assures audiences that they will, at one point in the film, sympathize with his villainous character and his motives for destroying Star Fleet (an event hinted at in the trailers and synopsis).

Many who saw “The Hobbit” in IMAX were lucky enough to view the first nine minutes of “Into Darkness,” wherein (***SPOILER ALERT***) Harrison approaches a father whose daughter is apparently in an irreversible coma. He assures the man that he can save his daughter. Cut to Kirk and McCoy fleeing form natives to a foreign planet and Spock jumping into a volcano.

But many “Original Series” fans are asking: Just who is John Harrison? The character is not one from the 1966 series or resulting films, leaving many to wonder if Harrison is an original creation of Abrams. Others, however, believe Abrams may be playing the same card pulled by “The Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan. Nolan introduced a seemingly original character into the final installment of his “Batman” trilogy, only for that person’s name to be revealed as an alias and for them to emerge at the end of the film as a character known from the “Batman” comic books. Will Harrison share a similar fate?

Regardless, Cumberbatch and Abrams leave film-lovers and Trekkies alike hungry for more information about the mysterious villain (or should we say anti-hero?). Or will audiences be kept in “into darkness” until the film’s release in May 2013?

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