Star Trek Beyond: Idris Elba and an Examination of Previous Villains


What type of an antagonist will Idris Elba portray in Star Trek Beyond?  All that is currently known about his character is that it will be an original character not based on previous material, and he will not be a Klingon, the character will have a complex journey, and that he will not be like previous Star Trek villains.

This information provides little insight into what Idris Elba’s character but an examination of villains from the first 12 movies will show what his character will not like if he is indeed to be different.  The obvious out of the way first: it’s safe to say this upcoming villain will not be massive cloud in search of its creator (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) or an alien probe looking for whales (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home).  But what about the rest?

Khan (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) – A genetically engineered superman who wants revenge for being stranded a world where the entire ecosystem was destroyed and his wife died.

Kruge (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) – A no-nonsense Klingon commander who’ll kill anyone and stop at nothing to gain the secrets of ultimate power.

Sybok (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) – A fanatic who amassed an army to search for God.

Chang (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) – A cold warrior determined to stop the Klingons from making peace with the Federation, so they can stay forever enemies.

Soren (Star Trek: Generations) – A selfish man who’ll look for any way or kill anyone just to get back to a place where time has no meaning and he can’t be killed.

The Borg Queen (Star Trek: First Contact) – Representing the Borg Collective, she goes back in time to prevent Earth from making first contact with the Vulcans and stop the Federation from coming into existence.

Admiral Dougherty (Star Trek: Insurrection) – Wants to forcefully evacuate a race of people from their planet to reap the benefits of their world for the Federation.  Then there’s Ru’afo who’s just a cartoon villain who wants Picard and the Enterprise to be eliminated.  His words, not mine.

Shinzon (Star Trek: Nemesis) – A human raised as a Reman, and someone cloned from Picard, who takes over the Romulan government after killing everyone in the Senate, and then decides he wants to destroy Earth.  Because, why not?

Nero (Star Trek, 2009) – A Romulan from the 24th Century who saw Romulus destroyed because Spock couldn’t save it and, when he ends up in the 23rd Century, decides to destroy Vulcan in kind.  Thinking he’s on a roll, he wants to destroy Earth too.

Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness) – Khan again.  He’s revived by Section 31 so he can tell them how to fight the Klingons.  Khan wants nothing to do with this and goes back to his killing ways.

In summation: Idris Elba’s character will not be bent on destroying Earth, will not be from another time, won’t be looking for ultimate power, or God, or to benefit from something at the expense of others, won’t want to stop the Federation from coming into existence, or find ways to stay enemies with them.  Or to put it even simpler: he doesn’t want to search for anything or destroy Earth and the Federation.  And he’s not a Klingon.

So what will he be like?  Could he be someone who the Enterprise happens to encounter?  Has he ever dealt with the Federation before?  It is possible that he might have since at the end of Star Trek Into Darkness the Enterprise crew finally embarked on its five-year mission, “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Earlier this year, the Internet was ablaze with rumors that a Bryan Cranston – who played Walter White: a Chemistry teacher, turned meth manufacturing drug dealer on The Breaking Bad – or a Bryan Cranston type was being sought for Star Trek Beyond.  Assuming Idris Elba plays a character like Walter White, a drug dealer would definitely be a different type of Star Trek villain.  As would any character who takes such a dramatic turn in life.