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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Updated on April 23, 2013
Khan and Kirk meet in "Space seed" episode
Khan and Kirk meet in "Space seed" episode

The Wrath of Khan Opera by Robot Chicken (Warning: Contains spoilers for those that haven't seen the real film)

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett, Jack B. Sowards, Samuel A. Peeples, Nicholas Meyer, Ramon Sanchez

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, Paul Winfield, Kirstie Alley, Ricardo Montalban, John Vargas, Ike Eisenmann, John Winston

Synopsis: With the aide of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using his son's life-generating device, the Genesis Device, as the ultimate weapon.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for violence and language

Note: In honor of my upcoming review on the new movie, "Star Trek Into Darkness", I've taken it upon myself to review every past film adaptation of the franchise; with the notable exception of the 2009 reboot, since I've already reviewed it.

2 Kirks, a Khan, and a Pizza Place parody

Khan vs. Kirk in the original series


In "Star Trek" there's an ancient Klingon proverb that states, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." In the case of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", space is definitely one cold place to be, as Khan pushes Kirk to his limits. Loyalties are compromised, and sacrifices are made throughout the film. But in the end, Khan is determined to make Kirk suffer by any means necessary. Will Captain Kirk's brave heroics save the day once again? Or will he soon find out how inferior he is the genetically altered superman known as Khan? I can't really say without giving away too much, but the end is nothing short of tragic, and memorable.

It's been said by many Trekkies that this is arguably the best film to ever feature the original enterprise crew and with good reason. As I pointed out earlier, audiences see Kirk pushed to his very limits. Not just emotionally, but intellectually as well. As I mentioned in my review of the first movie, Kirk is the sort of man who doesn't believe in a "no win" scenario, so he constantly tries to cheat death at any cost. However, Kirk soon realizes that man's mortality, and death, is something that every Starfleet officer must face, in order to survive; even if it results in the ultimate cost.

Unlike the prequel, this movie deals more with the essence of humanity that the original series goes over, and plays upon it to perfection. Not only creating some of the most dramatic scenes in "Star Trek" history, but arguably some of the best as well. Like all great movies, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is chalked full of memorable moments that'll leave a lasting imprint with anyone who watches it.

If you haven't seen "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", then you should be fine watching this anyway, as the story never even mentions the events that happened in the previous movie. Although audiences may want to look up the original "Star Trek" episode entitled "Space Seed", in order to gain a clearer understanding into Kirk and Khan's rivalry. However, if you haven't seen it, then it shouldn't ruin the film then, as the story is set up rather well to where audiences can still follow it. However, if you have seen that episode, then it only makes the entire movie that much more dramatic to watch.

The film essentially takes place aboard the starship enterprise, as Admiral James T. Kirk is on what's presumed to be his last mission which is to train some of the new starfleet cadets. Unfortunately, due to a series of unlikely events, Khan resurfaces to exact his revenge against James Kirk, and to attain the life generating genesis device for himself. A device so powerful that it's said to have the power to create a living environment on almost any dead planet within the universe. Needless to say, Khan pursues this legendary device, while exacting his revenge against Kirk. As I mentioned earlier, sacrifices are made, and the ultimate battle of wits between bitter enemies has begun.

As most Trekkies will tell you, William Shatner has always been known for his over the top performance as Captain Kirk. Heck, various TV shows like "Animaniacs", "In Living Color", "Family Guy" and etc. have even made fun of Shatner's often over the top performance in "Star Trek", so it's easy to understand why a lot of people underestimate his acting ability at times. However, when audiences watch "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", it reminds viewers that Shatner is capable of pulling off a lot of good drama, when given the opportunity.

Heck, I would dare even say this is arguably his best performance, as viewers can still feel the pain that his character goes through. Granted, you won't see Kirk crying like a baby or anything like that, but you can tell from his subtle performance on how much internal conflict he suffers in the film. It's very powerful, and quite moving to watch, as the subtleties in his performance are simply amazing to say the least. Not only making us see the internal struggle that he goes through, but it also shows how good of an actor William Shatner can be when given the right material work with.

As for the rest of the cast, I thought they played their parts rather well. Ricardo Montalban in particular played a great adversary for Captain Kirk. Not only raising the stakes every time we saw him on screen, but he also managed to create a sinister presence that helped create a lot of strong drama for the protagonists in this film.

As for the visual effects, I have to say they were still rather impressive to say the least, as the special effects for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" still hold up to this day. Plus, the costume upgrades in the uniforms were certainly nice touch as well.

Overall, if you're a huge Trekkie, then "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is definitely worth checking out. Although, I would still recommend watching the original episode, "Space Seed", before seeing this one, but it's not required. Having said all that, I would have to give this film a four out of four. It's a great film for the "Star Trek" series, as it raises the stakes; while still furthering the story along. And in the end, isn't that what a great sequel should be like?


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    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 4 years ago

      To be honest, I kind of noticed that too, as it does seem like this film ignores the events of the first movie to some degree. I think a lot of that might've had to do with the fact that they wanted to distance this film from the other one as much as possible, but I could be wrong.

      As for there being an opera of this film, that actually wouldn't be such a bad idea to be honest, as i can see this film translating well into opera or possibly on broadway if anyone ever wanted to adapt it for that medium.

      Anyways, thanks for stopping by to share some of your thoughts with us, as im glad you liked the review. :)

    • Vlorsutes profile image

      Vlorsutes 4 years ago from Ohio

      This was always my favorite of the Star Trek movies, and the points you bring up in this really emphasize why it works so well. I always wondered if it was a conscious decision by the production team to seemingly ignore the first movie and have the continuity start with Wrath of Khan. If you think about it, 2-5 basically roll right into one another and 6, while not tied as directly into the ongoing story as the previous 4, still fit really well with that overall feel.

      I'd also like to say I would certainly watch a Wrath of Khan opera if one like that Robot Chicken skit actually existed.