J.J. Abrams Regrets That Whole Khan Thing; Still Remembers That Star Trek Into Darkness Was a Film He Once Made


It feels I can’t go a single day without seeing a freaking news story about J.J freaking Abrams.  Don’t get me wrong; I really like Abrams as a creative force and love how he’s getting his time in the spotlight, but there’s only so many stories I can read about him; specifically, news stories centered around him and his new baby Star Wars: Episode VII.  So in that respect, I guess this new Abrams story can be considered a breath of fresh air—he’s talking about Star Trek again!  I know right?  After he was announced as the new man behind Star Wars, I think the internet forgot how much they were looking forward to Star Trek Into Darkness (much to the film’s detriment, actually).  And when the film turned out to be a big disappointment, talks about it became even more rare, especially from the busy as hell Abrams.  But we’ve finally got him to speak about his previous franchise again and, in a new interview, the filmmaker himself confirmed what fans have been saying for months now: the whole Khan situation was a huge mistake.

The Khan situation of course being the purposeful secret behind the character’s true identity in the marketing, not the popular villain’s inclusion in the film in and of itself.  Oh, you thought it was going to be the other thing?  I”m sorry that I had to be the first one to subtly trick you with a headline on the internet.  Anyways, here’s Abrams speaking with MTV about his big regret in creating Star Trek Into Darkness:


And here’s the text of the Khan part on its own:

The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront ‘This is who it is.’ It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was. The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what ‘Star Trek’ is about to see this movie,” he said. “That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it.

And yes—after getting the finished product, it’s pretty easy to see that Abrams’ is right about keeping Khan’s identity a secret being a mistake.  If no one thought about it sure, it would have worked in the film, but the villain of the film actually being Khan is one of the worst kept secrets involving a film in recent memory.  EVERYONE knew it was going to be Khan going in, which made the moment in which he reveals his true identity an anti-climatic, slightly irritating thud.  That said, there are MANY worse problems with Star Trek Into Darkness than keeping Khan’s identity a secret and, even if the film was advertised with Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan from the very beginning, it would have done little to improve the film overall.


Still, what do you think?  Should Abrams have kept Khan a secret like he originally planned, or just fess up early once the jig became up?  Be sure to let us know in the comments.


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Matthew Legarreta

Matthew Legarreta is the Editor-in-Chief of Geek Binge. A big ol' ball of movie, TV, and video game loving flesh, Matthew started up Geek Binge in the Fall of 2012 to convince himself that he's doing something with his life. He isn't. Matthew also loves writing about himself in the third person, because it makes him feel important or something.