Monday, June 4, 2012

30 years ago today the crew of the Enterprise took on the vengeance of Khan!

Continuing on in acknowledgement of the 30th anniversary of the most iconic summer in movie history...

On June 4, 1982, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and Steven Spielberg's landmark supernatural film "Poltergeist" were released in theaters and soon became major blockbusters. Even though I was a little too scared to go see "Poltergeist" (I'd later take it in on home video), attending "Wrath of Khan" on opening night was mandatory!!

There's a lot to remember and talk about so I'm going to split these two films up into separate posts. First up, "Star Trek II".

After "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was released and gained moderate to good box office returns, Paramount decided to not 'invite' creator Gene Roddenberry back feeling that his humanitarian approach to the material was in need of a little adrenaline. That ended up being the best direction, along with bringing an old nemesis from the original series onboard; KHAN!!!!!!

This would also be the movie that gave fans of the series a major jolt; the death of Spock. Kept under wraps for months and finally leaking out as the final weeks clicked down to the premiere, the passing of one of the most beloved characters in science fiction would add one of the major emotional elements to the story and elevate a dramatic aspect that punctuated the original TV series.

Nicholas Meyer, who had previously directed only one movie ("Time After Time"), gave Kirk and crew that much needed shot in the arm which would steer the movie series through the next decade. He not only brought a darker life and death struggle as had been previously experienced in the "Star Trek" universe, but also sprinkled just the right amount of humor throughout.

James Horner's iconic score also gave the film it's grand scope. Not a lot of people know that the reason he was hired for "Star Trek II" was because he'd done such a good job doing a knock-off version of Jerry Goldsmith's music for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in the low budget Roger Corman movie "Battle Beyond the Stars".

Another little tidbit of trivia: the original title for this movie was suppose to be "The Vengeance of Khan". Rumor has it that George Lucas felt some pressure to his already titled "Revenge of the Jedi" being released one year later and decided to change it to "Return" so there wouldn't be any confusion or

A major makeover change to the crew of the Enterprise from "The Motion Picture" was the use of naval-type maroon uniforms, a major lasting contribution by Nicholas Meyer. After all, when you get right down to it "Wrath of Khan" is really a sea epic that takes place in space instead of on or under the ocean and that aspect was also one Meyer imprinted on the overall design.

And I don't care what anyone says about how Kirstie Alley will always connect to "Cheers" or her weight issues and reality show. She'll always be Vulcan Lt. Saavik to me, thank you very much!! Alley gave the story a fresh, younger perspective outside of the main characters from the original series who were certainly a bit older.

Beyond the first movie, beyond the four that followed with the original cast, beyond the "Next Generation" cast films and even beyond JJ Abrams reboot, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" continues to be the most beloved of all the "Star Trek" movies....and I think that distinction will continue for a long, long time.


At June 4, 2012 at 12:44 PM, Anonymous allen said...


This is my favorite of all the Trek films as well.

At June 4, 2012 at 2:34 PM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...



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