'Star Trek Into Darkness' Character Details Enlighten And Confuse

Star Trek

By Hannah Soo Park

Slowly, but surely, the mystery of "Star Trek Into Darkness" continues to unravel this week. We're just a few days away from getting access to the film's first nine minutes, set to set to screen before "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in select IMAX theaters this Friday. And today, we've not only gotten an official image from the film to share with you, but also major character news— one, in particular, involving a familiar face returning to the U.S.S. Enterprise.

"Who is John Harrison?" is the question most of us are asking this morning, in light of the first official movie still released by Paramount Pictures. The studio unveiled an image of Benedict Cumberbatch's character standing in what appears to be a holding area in the Enterprise, with Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) on the other side of the glass. But what really has us scratching our heads is the image caption, which singles Cumberbatch out as "John Harrison." Yeah, we're not so sure who that is, either. Whether the questionable name is meant to be an alias or a decoy for the movie's actual villain, we now have a good look at him under the glass, right?

And while John Harrison may not be recognizable to Trekkies, the name Dr. Carol Marcus should ring a few bells. ComingSoon.net reports that J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Alice Eve's character, seen briefly in last week's online trailer debut, is, in fact, the science maven we know from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Marcus, originally played by Bibi Besch, was a civilian scientist in "Khan," but according to TrekMovie.com, she'll be an official Starfleet member and "a science officer…with the rank of lieutenant" in "Into Darkness."

We also know that Marcus was Kirk's love interest and the mother of his son, David. The original and new films are expected to unfold in alternate timelines (as seen in Abram's first "Star Trek" reboot), so it's possible that we'll see Marcus and Kirk carry out a similar, if not the same, relationship in the upcoming installment.

Be sure to catch the extended preview of "Star Trek Into Darkness" this Friday before selected screenings of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and watch the movie when it hits theaters May 17, 2013.