kahn star trek

Some of the best villains in literature and film are INTJ’s, from Magneto to Hannibal Lecter. What makes them villains is probably their higher percentages than your average, ordinary INTJ off the street — higher percentages that result in a diminished lack of concern for the well-being of others, an increased curiosity for “watching the world burn,” a higher code of internal moral ethics not based on any outside convictions, and utter lack of guilt in acting on their conclusions.

Every type has villains but their actions are based on their type itself — emotion, passion, narrow-mindedness… the INTJ is different, scarier, more calculating.

As different as INTJs can be based on percentages, environment, upbringing, levels of intensity, and many other factors, they have one thing in common: admiration for sheer intelligence, even if they can’t agree with where it leads. Watching a movie, they might not admire the result of an evil character’s intelligence, but they are drawn to the intelligence itself and in awe of watching a master plan unfold. Sheer intellect is like their own personal brand of catnip; it’s sexy and it makes the person using it sexy, even if they have nothing else (such as common morality) going for them.

(Stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled for Star Trek into Darkness.)

kahn star trek

Let’s talk about the latest big-screen epic evil INTJ: Khan, in Star Trek into Darkness. He’s awesome as a villain; he provides an immense challenge for the heroes, an almost unstoppable force combined of sheer strength and insane genius, but his motivations also have “logic” in his own mind — in Khan’s case, the extermination of a lesser species in favor of his own superiority. His arguments to Kirk are rational and logical (his abuse at the hands of Star Fleet), but also designed purely to elicit an “emotional response” from those who have the compassion he lacks; he releases evidence when it benefits him most and serves his own purpose. Like many INTJ’s, he shares only what he wants others to know, to get the response he wants from them.

His careful planning reveals his INTJ ability to foresee all potential outcomes to problems and plan accordingly how to shift them to his advantage; his entire purpose from the beginning is to get his hands on Star Fleet’s only fully-armed, military-grade ship, and the build-up to this conclusion reveals careful planning and research: he knows Kirk’s reputation and behavior patterns, such as his violation of direct orders in rescuing Spock from danger, and uses that to reinforce his belief that Kirk won’t kill him as ordered (his history of disobedience) on sight, but instead take him aboard the Enterprise.

From there, he shares his back history (along with some manufactured tears) to make Kirk empathetic toward him, knowing when the admiral’s ship drops out of orbit, there will be a confrontation. He’s already figured out the admiral’s intentions for a Klingon war, and anticipated the admiral will use his bombs to do it. He went to the Klingon world to force that conflict into the forefront, by using the ambition of his superior officer against him. (He collected information and used it, to manipulate everyone to do what benefited him most… a classic trait of this type.)

kahn star trek

Thus, by the time of the conflict, Khan has everyone where he wants them. The only thing he can’t foresee is Spock consulting Spock Prime for information on Khan; without this knowledge, Spock wouldn’t have been able to foresee his intentions (his desire to awaken his crew and take command of a ship) and stop him. That’s the one factor Khan didn’t know about, the chink in his armor that takes him down. The good guys win with a combination of their morality (which isn’t always good, see final paragraph) and their awareness of his deceit. Even so, he still nearly escapes them and is only brought to “justice” through physical force.

My love of this film has to do with many elements; the story arc revolving around Kirk and Spock and their friendship, the humor and charm of the secondary characters, the subtle symbolism throughout, and naturally, the sexy and super smart villain, but at the end, the logic of an INTJ screams over the foolishness of Star Fleet.

They let him live.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Khan is dangerous. He’s brilliant. He’s psychotic. He left a path of destruction behind him and nearly eluded them several times. He was only caught the first time because he wanted to be caught. Much as this INTJ enjoyed watching him outsmart everyone, an INTJ this brilliant, psychotic, and evil needs to die.