By Erik Derr ( | First Posted: Mar 01, 2013 09:36 AM EST

(Photo : Creative Commons/Erik Derr)

(Photo : Creative Commons/Erik Derr)

(Photo : Creative Commons/Erik Derr)

Khan is returning.

Well, nobody knows that for sure, except for the acting cast of "Star Trek Into Darkness," director J.J. Abrams and his production crew. But a whole lot of fans think the outcast super soldier will find his way back to torment the Enterprise and her crew when the film finally opens in theaters May 17.

Of course, there was that past online issue of Entertainment Weekly in which the film was promoted. The magazine's cover photo is one of Captain James Kirk, played by Chris Pine, in a face-off pose with the film's arch-villain, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, through a transparent jail cell door. The headline for that particular issue read, "Voyage Into the New Star Trek Kirk & Khan."

The follow-up headline to that on read: "Ooops! Entertainment Weekly Accidentally SPOILS the identity of new Star Trek character."

Not enough proof yet of Khan's return?

Then how about the fact it was reported a few months ago that the name of Cumberbatch's character will be John Harrison, which is all well and good --- except that Mr. Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in the highly-acclaimed BBC television series of the same name, seemed to let a juicy clue slip when he told an interviewer he was tired of answering Khan questions, that his character was an iconic one.

Problem is, nobody on this side of the Trek universe seems to have a clue who one John Harrison is.

Or do they? As Rob Keys at ScreenRant points out, "There was a character named Harrison on the Enterprise in the original series however, and that same character was on the bridge of the Enterprise in the infamous 'Space Seed' episode where Khan was introduced. Throughout his career on the ship's five-year mission, he took on quite a few roles and at different points in time wore all three uniform colors."

On the other hand, if there isn't any connection between the Harrison incarnations in the original series and Cumberbatch's Harrison, the editors at Daily Emerald are willing to speculate that, like Christopher Nolan did with Bane in his film, "The Dark Knight Rises," Abrams may be using the Harrison name as an alias for the villain's actual identity until the film's premiere.

Then also, as previously noted by an array of film sites, Dr. Carol Marcus, the Starfleet scientist played by British actress Alice Eve in "Into Darkness," is the same character who first appeared in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." It was discovered Marcus was Kirk's previous love interest and that they had a secret son together.

That son, David, was killed off in the following movie, "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." But, in "Wrath of Khan" it was evident that Kirk still felt affection for Marcus and that their emotional bonds were significant, even after all that time. It's feasible that in the alternate Trek time line, where "Into Darkness" takes place, the younger Kirk is meeting, and presumably falling in love (and starting a family?) with the younger Dr. Marcus.

Exacting vengeance in the name of his family was one of the motivators that drove Khan in "Star Trek II," and at the end of the official two-minute "Darkness" trailer, a voice asks rhetorically if there were anything one, presumably Kirk, wouldn't do "for your family?"

So, perhaps Dr. Marcus represents Kirk's family in this version of the story and provides one plausible reason for Khan to strike. Or, as many others have suggested, maybe the only "family" the "Into Darkness" Kirk will ever really know, like the Kirk before him, is his ship's crew; and, like before, that family will lose one of its own when Spock sacrifices his own life to save the Enterprise from nuclear meltdown --- as it happened in "Star Trek II." Yes, there's a reference to the famous death scene between Kirk and Spock in the new movie's trailer as well.

However, despite what appears a body of mounting evidence suggesting a Khan connection in "Into Darkness," everything's still under wraps --- or locked behind a bulkhead, as it were.

There are nonetheless many secrets about Khan's appearance in the original Star Trek series and on film that might have escaped you.

Thanks to the folks at, who scoured the world of Star Trek for tidbits of Khan trivia, here are a few things you may not have known about Khan:

Ricardo Montalban, widely known for his role as Mr. Roark on the TV series "Fantasy Island," worked on a variety of film and TV projects, but was particularly beloved for his portrayal of the charismatic villain Khan Noonien Singh, who first appeared in the TV episode "Space Seed" and later was the maniacal antagonist in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."

In the first treatment for "Space Seed," there was no Khan. The villain was originally written as a Nordic superman named Harold Erricsen.

In "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," Khan and Kirk never see each other face to face --- and neither did the actors. "I had to do my lines with the script girl, who, as you might imagine, sounded nothing like Bill [Shatner]," Montalban once told the Toronto Sun.

Khan's bridge scenes on the Reliant in "Star Trek II" were filmed on the same set used for Kirk's Enterprise bridge scenes. Producers just rearranged the set, which was one of the reasons the actors filmed their roles months apart and never met face-to-face.

Although Khan recognizes Chekov at the beginning of the movie, Chekov actually didn't appear in "Space Seed." His character wasn't worked into the show until later.

An early draft of the "Star Trek II" film script had Khan and Kirk confront one another during a scene that took 12 pages to describe.

Director Nicholas Meyer told Montalban to keep Khan's right glove on all the time to make the character seem more mysterious. That's what the actor did, though the glove was never explained in the story.

There were rumors Montalban's bulging chest had been artificially enhanced for Khan. The production designer, in fact, created Khan's open-chest outfit to expressly highlight the then-61-year-old Montalban's physique.

All of Khan's men in the film were real-life Chippendale dancers.

Khan was voted the 10th greatest screen villain of all time by the Online Film Critics Society.

Montalban's TV performance as Khan earned him the Emmy Magazine's title of "TV's Most Out-Of-This-World Character."

"Star Trek II" Executive Producer Harve Bennett had never seen an episode of the original TV series when he was hired. After watching all the small-screen episodes, he decided Khan was the best villain for the upcoming film.

That said, Khan wasn't even in an early draft of "Star Trek II." The script instead featured two other villains named Sojin and Moray.

The original title of the film was "Star Trek II: The Vengeance of Khan." But that was changed in deference to another certain science fiction movie preparing for launch, "Revenge of the Jedi," which itself was also changed later to "Return of the Jedi."

Khan's full name --- Khan Noonien Singh --- was a tribute by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to one of his friends, Kim Noonien Singh.

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