Movie of the Year – Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan 1982

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy,, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Ricardo Montalban

Writers: Harve Bennett, Jakc B. Sowards

Budget: $11 000 000

Worldwide Gross: $95 500 000

Studio: Paramount

Welcome to episode two of our “Best Movie of the Year” article.  Today I will be talking about Star Trek’s second theatrical mission The Wrath of Khan and where it stands in the pantheon of Star Trek movies.

Admittedly my introduction to Star Trek didn’t start with The Original Series or the original movies but with The Next Generation which became my favourite television series ever and still is to this day, but considering that I was six when Captain Jean-Luc Picard first started his continuing mission to boldly go…well it makes sense.  Living in the country and having only five and if we were lucky six channels there wasn’t nearly enough replays of Star Trek: The Next Generation and while browsing through my grandmothers movie collection, wide eyed I spotted four Star Trek movies!  As I watched the first movie I wasn’t really sure what to think, this wasn’t my crew or my ship, the plot was way over my head and the movie way too slow.  Hesitantly I pushed the second tape in the VHS and very quickly I noticed more action and scenes that would keep a young dude entertained.

Star Trek has always excelled when centering on the characters and The Wrath of Khan is no exception.  Earning ninety-five million on a modest budget goes to show just how much fans love Kirk, Spock and crew, proving that twenty minute shots of the Enterprise although cool isn’t what people necessarily were hoping for when Star Trek moved to the big screen.  

Since we have last seen the crew, Kirk (Shatner) has been promoted to an Admiral, Spock (Nimoy) now Captains a young crew on the Enterprise and Chekov (Koenig) has been assigned to the starship Reliant as her First Officer.  After a brief exchange allowing the crew to be reacquainted with each other we meet Khan (Montalban), a two-hundred year old genetically modified veteran of the Eugenics War.  Montalban shows us just how far a movie can go with an excellent antagonist.  With his quiet and steady tones he forces you to pay attention and listen closely when suddenly he bursts into a near uncontrollable fits of rage proving just how tenuous his grasp on sanity is.

Throughout the entire movie neither Kirk nor Khan are ever actually in the same scene together, without the classic Kirk fist fight he instead goes head to head with Khan in a battle of the brains.  My favourite scene is when Spock sacrifices himself, as he is dying he stands up and straightens his uniform…that part gets me choked up almost every time I watch it, dignified like a sir.

It is a great movie from beginning to end, a little less starship battles then I would like but it’s filled with many memorable moments and scenes that are able to stir emotions so many years later.  Quite possibly the film that saved the franchise, it’s always nice to go back and revisit it every once and a while.

Thanks for reading, join us next week for episode 3 of our movie of the year where we review Star Wars: Return of the Jedi…Brandon “I have been, and always shall be, your friend” Taylor.