Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Star Trek' Villain Is 'A Terrorist'

'He has extraordinary physical powers, but also mental powers,' the actor tells MTV News about his mysterious 'Star Trek' villain.

At long last, Benedict Cumberbatch's "Star Trek" villain has a name: John Harrison. But that doesn't make James T. Kirk's new nemesis any less enigmatic.

Speaking with MTV News, Cumberbatch pulled the curtain back on his "Trek" role, but not at the expense of revealing the character's true purpose and motivation. "He's a terrorist; he operates as a terrorist," said the British actor. "He has extraordinary physical powers, but also mental powers. He can sow an idea, which is as powerful as gunshots or close-hand combat, which he's masterful in. He tears into the fabric of both the world and the Enterprise family, and he leaves behind him a trail of devastation. It's quite exciting to watch."

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Though Cumberbatch says that "Harrison" (if that is indeed his real name) isn't "a cookie-cutter villain," the character holds true to at least one age-old action movie idiom: this time, it's personal.

"Giving away the full motivation would ruin it," he said, "but it's personal. It's also political, I think. He's somebody who, at some point in the film, you should feel a certain amount of empathy towards his cause, if not his means. ... There's no two-dimensional obstacle he presents purely and simply by the fact that he's opposing our hero."

Unlikely to feel empathy toward the Cumberbaddie is the twosome of Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto). Just as they finally start developing an understanding with one another, in comes "Harrison" to rock the worlds of the Enterprise crew's two leading men.

"He has an interesting relationship with Kirk, and with Spock in a way," teased Cumberbatch. "He very much plays them off against each other. There's an element of shadow to him and Kirk."

What do you make of Cumberbatch's "Star Trek" villain? Lay out your theories in the comments section below!

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