Does ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ title confirm Gary Mitchell as villain?

Friend-turned-enemy would make for great film foil for Captain James T. Kirk

Gary Mitchell in 'Star Trek'
Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) is consumed by power in 'Star Trek'
Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) is consumed by power in ‘Star Trek’

J.J. Abrams is taking Star Trek to the dark side.

The big budget sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot has a title. According to a report via Trek Movie, the film will be called Star Trek Into Darkness. Paramount Pictures confirmed this would be the title on Monday.

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I don’t know that it’s a great title, but it is a clever take on the use of the phrase “Star Trek.”

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But what struck me is that if this is indeed the title, could it be further confirmation that the long speculated villain in the film is Gary Mitchell?

The Original Series character as the villain isn’t out of left field. His name has been speculated heavily, especially after Karl Urban – who plays Dr. McCoy in the reboot – let slip in July that Benedict Cumberbatch, who reportedly is playing the film’s bad guy, is “awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”

Many hoped or claimed it would be Khan of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan fame, but personally I think that’d be a terrible idea. That film is the most celebrated of the Trek movies (and rightfully so), and using him would have a feeling of been there-done that. At least to me.

For those not familiar with Gary Mitchell, he featured in Star Trek‘s second pilot episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” He was a close friend of Captain James T. Kirk when they were in the Academy, and the pair then served together on the USS Enterprise.

In that pilot, the Enterprise enters the very edge of the galaxy, where space has a negative effect on people. Those with latent psychic abilities get those talents amplified ten-fold. Mitchell is one of those people.

However, the heightened abilities corrupts him. As a result, he and Kirk are forced to battle one another, and Kirk ends up killing his one-time friend.

So the idea of Into Darkness could suggest that they are leaving the galaxy, going beyond the stars? Or perhaps just going somewhere else that could lead to the same effect or something similar. That’s assuming the title has a double meaning: That the crew is actually going “into darkness,” and that they are emotionally going to a dark place.

Either way, feels to me that Mitchell is our bad man.

Of all the villains from The Original Series, he is a perfect foil. There’s lots of story that can be mined, and it’s extremely suitable for a film. Plus it could also allow them to bring in Carol Marcus, who was arguably the love of Kirk’s life and it has long been suggested that Mitchell introduced the two.

I’m going out on a limb with all this, I know. But seems plausible.

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

One thought on “Does ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ title confirm Gary Mitchell as villain?

  1. Personally, especially after the poster release, Mitchell has to be the villain! Plus its one thing that raises the stakes for Kirk who won’t stop until he brings Mitchell down! But being in a “alternate timeline/universe” Mitchell may cause more destruction for the Federation than what could be delivered in an hour tv episode!

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