‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: How J.J. Abrams Pulled ‘The Switch’ [Spoilers]

J.J. Abrams pulled a switch in Star Trek Into Darkness‘ trailers. And if you haven’t seen it yet, this article contains major spoilers.

Star Trek Into Darkness was the second outing of the film that successfully used previous Star Trek canon to reset everything. An upset Romulan traveled through a wormhole to destroy the planet Vulcan after Spock promised to save the Romulan planet from the same destruction. In an interesting twist, Spock meets his older self after losing command of the Enterprise to Captain Kirk.

Some of us speculated what ultimately ended up being the truth after seeing certain elements of the trailers for Star Trek Into Darkness. Numerous visual references to Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan were actually clueing us in to a big switch that J.J. Abrams pulled off to keep a secret from leaking about the villain’s identity.

The villain of Star Trek Into Darkness was actually Khan the whole time, and J.J. Abrams had certain actors film the same scenes twice to reflect the fake name, John Harrison, in the trailers. If you didn’t want to know that, we warned you at the beginning.

Other spoilers include the use of the scene between Spock and Captain Kirk in which the roles were reversed. Captain Kirk died, and it was Spock who uttered the yell of “Khaaaaaaaan!” Now before you start thinking that Star Trek just isn’t Star Trek without Captain Kirk, there is an solution involving a Tribble that came back to life. Apparently, the same treatment also brought Captain Kirk back to life, because humans and Tribbles have the same genetic code.

Co-writer Damon Lindelof explained the space-jump switch of Khan’s name to John Harrison in the trailers and the private press screening:

“Bryan Burk was the one who first proposed that we use the space jump sequence as a way of getting folks excited for the movie. The challenge was obvious [because] this is after the reveal. Therefore, J.J. [Abrams] and post production supervisor Ben Rosenblatt executed a “Harrison Cut” to preserve the secret. I’d rather not get into the details of how this was accomplished; suffice to say it wasn’t easy. It was, however, worth it.”

What do you think of J.J. Abrams pulling the switch to avoid leaking Khan’s true identity in Star Trek Into Darkness?