Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I got a little behind in my Star Trek movie preparation.  Here’s the deal; every time a new Star Trek movie comes out I watch all the previous movies, one per week, until the new one comes out.  If I was on schedule, I would have finished Star Trek III yesterday … I’ll have it done later tonight, so I’m not too far behind.  But I digress …

A couple days ago I finished the greatest of all Star Trek movies, the Wrath of Khan.  It’s reputation is so great in the land of trek that all villians since Khan have been compared to him … and found wanting.  The movie is just plain awesome.  The match up between Kirk and Khan is legendary, the story riveting, and the writing great.  A couple interesting tidbits and my favorite parts …

  • Khan and Kirk never come face to face in the whole movie.  They battle with star ships, communicators, etc., but never mano a mano.  Not many actors could pull this off.
  • Leonard Nimoy wanted nothing to do with Star Trek movies after how bad the first one was.  He agreed to come back if they killed him off in the beginning of the film.  The producers agreed, and then kept pushing the death back until finally it ended up at the end of the movie.  Then, word leaked out that they were killing him off, so they wrote the opening sequence with Savik training and the whole crew getting killed off in a simulation.  Their goal was to dupe viewers into thinking that was the death they heard about and then shock them with the actual death at the end.
  • When Kirk sees Spock’s empty chair and realizing there’s something wrong – that’s a powerful moment.  When Spock dies and Kirk is on the other side of the glass … that’s one of the most powerful moments in Star Trek.
  • Originally the movie had been filmed with no hints at Spock coming back – in part because Nimoy hadn’t planned on coming back.  This left test audiences bummed as they left the theatre.  They quickly reshot those few seconds where Spock mind melds with Bones … and it changed the entire tone of the ending.  By giving a hint of hope, people left the theatre excited.  Interesting the difference a few seconds can make.

So, who’s with me?  Who else thinks the Wrath of Khan is the greatest of the Star Trek movies?

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