Hey... remember Klingons? They were kind of a big deal once. Sort of the "Go To" villains of the Star Trek franchise, like Nazis were to Indiana Jones or SPECTRE was to James Bond, their role in Gene Roddenberry's iconic vision of the future changed after the end of the Cold War (did you get it? they were totally Russians!), forming an uneasy alliance with the Federation and apparently becoming so disposable to J.J. Abrams' reboot that he cut them out of 2009's Star Trek altogether.
With Benedict Cumberbatch playing the bad guy this time around, and the story centering on the Federation once again, we were starting to wonder if Klingons were going to get the short shrift again in Star Trek Into Darkness, but no, J.J. Abrams is being uncharacteristically forthright when he says that the Klingons are back... and they're bad guys again.
"They are back in this one, yeah," says Abrams in a new interview with MTV News. When pressed for more, he added, "They're role in this is definitely that of adversary, and you'll see how they play out, but again you don't have to know that prior [to seeing the film]. You don't have to know any pre-existing stories to watch this film."
But with Benedict Cumberbatch taking the lead, what sort of "adversary" will the Klingons be? Throwaway villains? Subordinates to The Batch? A big cliffhanger for a Klingon-centric third film? The third part of a love triangle between Chris Pine's Captain and Alice Eve's Dr. Carol Marcus?
Eh... probably not that last one. Abrams also tells MTV News that the film's not going to slow down too much so they can get all lovey-dovey together.
"He meets her fairly early on, and again, she plays a science officer. She's someone who's a part of the adventure. [...] It's very much an action/adventure movie, and once that gets going it's a difficult thing to sort of park the story and say, you know, 'Let's do a romantic interlude.' But her role is important. She wouldn't be in the movie otherwise."
Damn right she's important. Come to think of it, the romance is pretty important too, since in the original franchise, Dr. Carol Marcus gave birth to Kirk's only son, David.
We'll find out for ourselves what Abrams is talking about when Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters on May 17 (USA), May 16 (Aus) and May 17 (UK).