The Star Trek Into Darkness Villain Mystery Is About To Be Solved – But Do You Want To Know?

benedict cumberbatch khan star trek into darknessThe world premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness is happening in Australia on April 23rd. Just so you know, it is already April 23rd in Australia and it has been for a few hours.

Press covering the event will be seeing the film before the premiere. This will be the first time anybody who could spoil the villain mystery will be in a position to do so.

And I expect that they will. I’ve seen spoilers for Iron Man 3‘s big twists littering the internet, and they were there within hours of that film first playing. It happens over and over and over.

So if you do want to know if John Harrison is really an alias for Khan, or Robert April, or a time travelling Jean-Luc Picard, then I’m sure you’ll be able to Google it up very soon. Probably before your bedtime tonight.

But do you want to?

It’s become clear in recent weeks that the mystery surrounding the true identity of John Harrison isn’t just a marketing game, its an integral part of what makes Star Trek Into Darkness tick. Kirk and co. start the story not knowing who this man is either, and their attempts to ID him will make up some of the film’s narrative, and most likely provide the basis for a good deal of suspense.

Personally, I’m never too worried about spoilers you have to go looking for. Spoilers that come with warnings, and clear signage. If somebody wants to be “spoiled,” I think that’s their choice.

And I’m also not worried about being “spoiled” myself. If you were to offer me the script of Into Darkness now I’d sit and read it. There isn’t a “first viewing experience” that I’m looking for, personally. I’m happy for the film to play for me without dependence on those plot surprises. If it’s a good piece of filmmaking, I’ll be happy in any case. I guess I have particular things I want from a screening.

And other people have their particular things. There are lots of people who want to see the film “pure.” It’s the majority position, I’d imagine, at least if discount the truly apathetic.

At the same time, JJ Abrams and his cast, most notably Simon Pegg, have made it very clear that they don’t like spoilers getting out into the public domain. I understand their position too.

When I visit friends with Blu-rays for a movie night, I don’t let them look at the back of the box or sometimes even the menu screen before the movie starts. I like to preserve the surprise… for other people. Again, I’m really not bothered about myself. Indeed, if I don’t know where a film is headed – which is most of the time, in matter of fact – I do spend a good deal of energy on trying to second guess it. That’s my personal experience of being “unspoiled” and it’s not something I’m desperately keen to preserve.

I guess it’s part of why I’m happy doing what I do here at Bleeding Cool, sifting through hundreds of reports a day, some of them spoilery.

So, I wonder if we could ever all agree on a “best practice of spoiling”? I guess it would depend on a fail-safe means of ring-fencing the spoilers.

Maybe whiting out text is the best idea? Or maybe click-to-reveal controls?

I don’t know. But I have made my mind up. For now, I won’t be publishing Star Trek Into Darkness spoilers – much like our reviews of Iron Man 3, which will be along tomorrow, won’t reveal that film’s sharpest twists and turns, either.

But somewhere down the line? Yeah, I’m sure that both the Iron Man and Star Trek the spoilers will turn up here at Bleeding Cool, as part of some discussion or another. They’ll be clearly marked, I expect, and I will treat the reader’s right to avoid the spoilers with respect, but ultimately, there’s every chance the lid will have to come off.

Because you just can’t have a top-to-bottom discussion about The Sixth Sense or Psycho or Planet of the Apes or whatever example it is you want to choose without at least opening the bag a little and showing the cat around.

A film’s meaning is tied into its plot, and to really get down to it and discuss that film in a way that leaves your elbows mucky, one will have to discuss that meaning, and therefore that plot, and more often than not, some things that some folk would consider spoilers.

So, until we have a reason to get into the whys and wherefores of Robert Harrison’s secret, Bleeding Cool will be an Into Darkness spoiler free zone and then, when we do want start biting big chunks out of that meaty stuff, we’ll at least let you know exactly what we’re doing.

Fair enough?