News has been relatively mum on "Star Trek 3," the sequel to last year's "Star Trek Into Darkness" since former co-writer Robert Orci took over directing duties from J.J. Abrams. Now, Orci has gone on record with the "Humans From Earth" podcast (and helpfully transcribed by TrekMovie), teasing just where the next film in the series will be set:
"In [Into Darkness] they set out finally where the original series started," Orci said. "The first two films – especially the 2009 [Star Trek] – was an origin story. It was about them coming together. So they weren’t the characters they were in the original series. They were growing into them and that continues on in the second movie. So in this movie they are closer than they are to the original series characters than you have ever seen. They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space."
This parallels where the official tie-in comic from IDW has been heading, as it follows the adventures of Captain Kirk and crew between the movies. Though various adventures have pulled the Enterprise back towards Earth's orbit, they've begun that fabled five-year journey in earnest.
But with Earth out of the running, where, exactly, will "ST3" pull its bad guys from? Here are 10 possibilities of villains for the sequel:
This seems to be the most obvious set up, given "Into Darkness" was promising the coming war between the ridge-headed baddies, and the rest of the galaxy. But not so fast! Orci also states on the podcast that, "Because this is an alternative universe I think we can choose. I don’t feel the pressure to revisit anyone or not. We are lucky that way, but we have the ability to cherry pick what has become before. It will depend on what serves the story best."
One would think the plotline set up in the previous movie would serve the story best, but we could be wrong. Adding fuel to that fire? The Klingon/Earth war was semi-settled in recent issues of the "Star Trek" comic; and as mentioned, these are stories that are being developed with Orci and company.
Also against the Klingons' inclusion? They're not listed as one of Orci's faves, which are instead, the following:
Yes, Vulcans (the race Spock comes from) and Romulans are the two most featured in the 2009 "Star Trek" revamp, but that doesn't mean they can't come back for the next go-around, particularly as Orci is a fan. In fact, with the Vulcans semi-homeless and wandering the Universe, and Romulans out there somewhere, it stands to reason the Enterprise could be caught in the crossfire of a rematch.
Also listed as one of Orci's fave races, the lizard-like killers could be written off as they were featured heavily in the also-in-continuity tie-in video game. But hey, it might be nice to have some non-human villains in the next film, and the audience that played the video game isn't the one seeing the movies, for the most part. File this under maybe.
The comics ably covered the classic "Trouble With Tribbles" storyline, which found tiny fuzzballs exploding all over the Enterprise. It's also not the type of menace you want in a feature-length film, despite this being the fourth of Orci's four picks for fave "Star Trek" villains. Sorry, we'll just have to wait for the next reboot to see a dark, gritty take on the furballs.
The Mirror Universe
The slightly more bearded versions of the Enterprise and crew took center stage in various episodes of the original and spin-off "Star Trek" series. This is another plotline that's been covered a few times in the comics, including an alternate universe where all the Enterprise dudes were ladies, and vice-versa. So it's entirely possible we could get a journey not just through space, but dimensions as well, particularly as the prospect of literally reflecting whatever the crew is going through at the time is a dramatically enticing one.
The semi-evil spy organization that tried to control Khan in "Into Darkness" is still around in the comics, and continues to be an engaging foil for the crew. Their mission is to protect Earth, the Federation and its interests, so one would think they wouldn't venture into deep space. But involving Section 31 in some aspect would allow new human characters to enter the mix where they might not otherwise.
I'll be honest: this is the number one pick I expect will be the big bad guys for "ST3." That's not based on actual knowledge, just intuition, but the assimilating cyborgs are probably the most recognizable villains in "Star Trek" history to the general public since Khan. And though they've never tussled with the original crew that would be a large part of the draw.
Let's go deep: the reason they first fought the "Next Generation" cast is that previously the Federation hadn't gone far enough in space to encounter them. Yes, there were hidden encounters in the origin series "Enterprise," which is technically still in continuity, and many spin-off works. But in the original series, there would have been no reason for Kirk and company to get assimilated.
Now, everything has changed, and if you look closely at Orci's comments, he's saying the crew will go into deep space. Deep space is where the Borg live. The next "Star Trek" film is being released for the 50th anniversary of the franchise, so they're going to want the biggest, most bombastic movie ever. Bring on the Borg.
The all-powerful Q is another vestige of "Next Generation," and not technically a villain — just a curious, unstoppable alien. He would definitely bring something different to the new movie series, though frankly, we don't see it happening: nu-Trek has been all about the punching, and Q is all about the philosophy.
Here's a crazy stretch for you: what if "Star Trek 3" brought back Malcolm McDowell's insane scientist from "Star Trek Generations?" The movie isn't exactly a fan, or critical favorite, but the villain managed to bring together the crew of two Enterprises, teaming up William Shatner's Captain Kirk with Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard. It would be a fitting tribute to the upcoming anniversary to revisit the team-up well, maybe bringing together all the crews and captains with Chris Pine's Kirk.
And who better to do that than Soran? The new series hasn't shied away from time travel, or mixing casts, so lets a have big ol' clusterf**k to celebrate 50 years of "Star Trek!"
Or alternately, we could just come up with a new villain, something that hasn't been seen before. That would be nice.
Who do you think the villain should be in "Star Trek 3?"