Damon Lindelof: Why Cumberbatch's Trek identity MUST be kept secret

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Mar 12, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

The Trek sequel writer has some very strong feelings about spoilers. 

It's no secret that we (and every other Trek fan) have spent a fair amount of time speculating on the potential true identity of Bendict Cumberbatch's character from Star Trek Into Darkness, John Harrison. But both cast and crew have remained tight-lipped despite the overwhelming evidence that Cumberbatch will be playing Kirk's most famous archnemesis, Khan.

Lindelof, in particular, has some very strong feelings about why, in particular, fans should try to remain unspoiled.

The audience needs to have the same experience that the crew is having. Kirk, you’re Spock, you’re McCoy, so if they don’t know who the bad guy is going to be in the movie, then you shouldn’t know. It’s not just keeping the secret for secrecy’s sake. It’s not giving the audience information that the characters don’t have.

And, as you might have guessed, Lindelof's feelings translate much further than simply Star Trek. Using Cumberbatch's identity as an example, he states that if fans knew who Harrison is now, they "would have a five-second rush of exhilaration followed by four months of being completely and totally bummed out that they can’t tell anybody else and that, when it gets revealed in the movie, it will have been spoiled for them. That’s why they’re called ‘spoilers,’ they’re not called ‘awesomes.’"

Unsurprisingly, we're a bit at odds with that notion. After all, as someone who is, to a degree, in the business of spoilers, it's hard to see them as all bad. The counterargument is that, if your story hinges so entirely upon one big secret, can it truly be considered great storytelling or is it, to borrow a phrase, merely a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?

What do you think?

(via Collider)