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Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof discusses Khan twist

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Zade Rosenthal

Damon Lindelof has frequently addressed criticisms of his work dating back to ABC’s Lost. Now, The Leftovers showrunner is getting honest on the beef with 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, a film he co-wrote.

In the midst of a postmortem for Sunday’s episode of The Leftovers, Lindelof was discussing the audience’s preference for a particular amount of uncertainty, saying there’s no formula for what to keep secret and for how long. “There’s no reason to be mysterious just for mysterious’ sake,” he told Variety.

“When we did Star Trek Into Darkness, for example, we decided that we weren’t going to tell people that Benedict Cumberbatch was playing Khan. And that was a mistake, because the audience was like, ‘We know he’s playing Khan,’ ” he said. “That was why it was a mistake.”

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What bothered fans wasn’t solely the fact Cumberbatch’s character was billed as John Harrison: It was the juking of the truth, ultimately for a new character with an old name

Lindelof then presented the alternative reaction, currently received by his former Star Trek partner in crime. “But J.J. [Abrams] is telling us nothing about the new Star Wars movie and we love it,” he continues. “I’ve not come across a single person who’s like, ‘I wish I knew a little bit more.’ We are like, ‘Thank God he’s protecting us from all the things that will be revealed in the movie theater.”