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Finally, I'd like to advance a theory.
I may be taking one of the most obvious bits of bait of all time. Because I'll explain exactly how I ended up forming this "completely silly out of left field but what if" theory. If you don't want anything spoiled about the film, you can most probably read the following because I think it's unlikely I am right. In fact, today's press event was probably carefully calibrated to help generate some misinformation.
There is a character who exists on the fringes of "Star Trek" canon, and that's why I think it's a crazy theory. Would Abrams and Orci and Kurtzman and Lindelof really take advantage of their big cosmic reset button and tell the story of the character originally named Captain Robert April in the first pilot script for the original series? When "Star Trek" finally did go to pilot, they changed April's name to… Christopher Pike.
In his episode of the animated show, which you can see on NetFlix Instant right now, he's a Commodore, a former captain of the Enterprise, taking a trip with his wife on the ship, and when a mysterious illness hits the crew and starts aging them in reverse, Commodore April and his wife, who are much older than anyone else, and as a result, they were the ones to save the day because they had more time than anyone else to solve the problem. His wife was a Starfleet medical officer when he was the captain, too, so they were both tied to the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, in the books, April is revealed to be someone who came from Coventry in England. You know England, right? That's where London is. You remember why that matters right? Because of the one-sheet looking out on the London skyline.
And the opening of the film, which you'll see at the IMAX presentation, features a moment where Cumberbatch offers to help a family whose daughter is hospitalized in the London Children's Hospital. So it seems like England is important to this April character. Hmmmm. And why does the daughter need help? Because she appears to be prematurely aging. The guy who figured out how to reset the body clock to move in a different direction might be a perfect person to help that little girl… wouldn't you think?
What if you learned that in the books that April's executive officer was a dude named Commander George Kirk? You know… the one that Chris Hemsworth so memorably played at the start of 2009's "Star Trek"? On the other hand, in other books, Pike is April's second-in-command.
So what if something happened to April on a mission somewhere with Pike. It didn't have to be on the Enterprise as long as the two of them were serving together. And what if something terrible happened to April because of Pike and Pike came home and went on with his life? What if April is the one who comes to Earth, not for revenge on Kirk, but for revenge on Pike?
After all, that shot at the end of the trailer that hits online and in theaters on December 17th has Cumberbatch asking, "Is there anything you would not do for your family?" while we see that oh-so-tricky shot of the two hands on opposite sides of the glass. That's totally designed and cut to make you think they're going to try to reproduce the ending of "Wrath of Khan."
But what if it's not Kirk on the other side of the glass from Spock?
What if it's Pike? What if he's playing for his "sins" and saving everyone else on the Enterprise at the same time?
Like I said… that's one crazy theory. I'll bet I'm connecting dots that just don't connect.
But… one last thing. In the trailer, you've seen the shot where Cumberbatch jumps, lands, and then swats a dude using a huge long hunk of metal. Well, that hunk of metal is what the crew on the film called "The Big Gun." That's what we were told during our tour, and as everyone was discussing it, we were standing in a room that had been specially set up for today's event.
And on the counter at the back of the room, there was a big book of production art that was open. Laying right there were anyone could see it. And on one of the two pages, there was a concept design sketch for that gun.
But instead of "The Big Gun," it was called "April's Gatling Gun."
As in the gun that April uses. The gun that seems to belong to Cumberbatch in the trailer, which would suggest that Cumberbatch is April.
You see what I mean about misdirection? What if they intentionally left that there, open to that page, in the exact area where everyone was standing, just to help obfuscate everything even more?
Or… even crazier… what if they really didn't think anyone would pay attention to that, and that's really what they're doing for this film?
Whatever the case, it's fun to play along as we count down to the release of both the trailer and the prologue in a few weeks, and I hope this sneak peek behind the scenes got you as interested as I am at this point.
"Star Trek Into Darkness" opens May 17, 2012.
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