John Harrison. John Harrison. John Harrison.
Nope. No matter what emphasis I put on it, the name given to Benedict Cumberbatch's character in Star Trek Into Darkness still means nothing in particular to me, and you know what? That's perfectly okay with me, because the movie isn't out for another half-year. But there are others who need to know just who John Harrison is right now… So here are some of the possibilities.
John Harrison Is A Fake Name That Will Be Revealed In The MovieOne of the two most popular theories I've seen floating around online, the notion that the character who first appears as Harrison will be revealed to be someone else entirely fits right in with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises' villain reveals, plot twists that didn't seem to do those movies any harm. However, such reveals made more sense in a narrative far more concerned with secret double identities than in the more straightforward Star Trek, so perhaps it wouldn't work so well this time around…? Especially if there wasn't a good reason behind it other than "Ha ha, fooled you, viewers!"
There Is No John HarrisonThe other most popular theory is, of course, that the name "John Harrison" is a big old lie created for promotional purposes to misdirect everyone, and that no character of that name will actually appear in the finished movie. To say I'm slightly disbelieving of this one is putting it mildly; as much as Abrams et al enjoy playing with viewer and Internet speculation, this seems to be taking things a little too far, just in terms of the workload required to ensure that everyone is on the same page of the joke. That said, it would be funny to imagine the fan outrage if it turned out to be the case.
John Harrison Is Taking The Place of A Very Familiar CharacterConsider this: The last Star Trek movie was centered around the very basic idea that history has been changed and things are different now. So why do we have to have the return of any familiar villains? Instead of Khan being awoken on the Botany Bay, why can't it be someone else called John Harrison? Instead of Gary Mitchell receiving godlike powers in a freak accident, why can't it be someone else called John Harrison? History doesn't have to repeat exactly, after all - It would be dull if it did, let's be honest - so why should we assume that Harrison can't be an all-new character placed in a very familiar situation…?
John Harrison is Related To A Very Familiar Character In Some WayCourtesy of the Huffington Post: What is Harrison is the twin of a character whose name we are more familiar with? Maybe Khan Noonan Singh's name in this timeline is Khan Harrison…? Well, maybe not. But more likely, perhaps, is that Harrison is working for a bigger bad guy who'll be revealed later in the movie that will be someone the fans are familiar with (Peter Weller's character, after all, remains unnamed). After all, we're all just assuming that Cumberbatch is the movie's main villain for no real reason...
There Is Only John HarrisonThis is the one that hardcore fans seem more upset by: The possibility that there is no swerve, that the character really is called John Harrison, and that he's a new character with a new agenda and all of the silence before releasing the name was just down to not wanting the fan base to go "John Harrison? Who's that?" in a disturbed and disdainful tone. I have to admit, I think this is the option I'd prefer, even if I find myself believing the previous option is far more likely. But what about you…? Which of these possibilities seems most exciting for you when it comes to the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness - or do you have your own alternate theory? Use the comments to share your thoughts (and make your guesses as to who Peter Weller will turn out to be).