Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Article 2793 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-30-2008
Posting Date: 4-6-2009
Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
Country: USA

When a Starfleet vessel stumbles upon the remnants of Khan’s marooned spaceship, Khan takes it over and plots revenge on his old friend, Admiral James T. Kirk.

Whatever faults there were with STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, it must be credited for one thing; it got the ball rolling for the transplantation of the TV series to the big screen. Still, I suspect that if this movie had been no better than that one, the franchise would have quickly burned itself out. Instead, we get a solid script that manages a fine balancing act between giving us a story that was strongly reminiscent of the original series (helped no doubt by making it a direct sequel to the “Space Seed” episode) while making it special enough to warrant a full movie treatment. It also avoids being in awe of its own technology and concentrates on the human elements of the story; though the special effects are state of the art, they are there to augment and support the story. A good script helps, as well as strong performances from all of the returning cast members of the series and from Ricardo Montalban in his return to the role of Khan. It also gives us an emotionally charged ending that sets up a situation for the sequel, a case of having one’s cake and eating it, too. I remember seeing this one in the theater back when it was released, and really having the feeling that the series had truly been revived. The only problem I have is one that some people have excuses for; Chekov was not a character during the first season of the series when “Space Seed” aired, but its clearly established that Khan and Chekov know each other in the movie. Excuses notwithstanding, this always bothered me a bit. Nevertheless, it was great to have the series back.


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