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ST: II - The Wrath of Khan.

Dave

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Dave

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I'll start off with some observations and nitpicking

Still a fan favourite and consistently voted the top ST film. Easily the most shown on TV.

When Harve Bennett (producer of "Mod Squad", "Six Million Dollar Man" and "Bionic Woman") was called in by Paramount he says: It was a total surprise to me (They) said, "Can you make a Star Trek II for a television-type budget? For less than $45 Million?" I said, "Where I come from, I could make four or five movies for that."

The entire original cast appeared with the exception of Majel Barrett and Grace Lee Whitney. Kirstie Alley made her screen debut as Saavik. But Bennett did not dodge the fact that everyone had aged: "I wanted to bring our heroes up to date. What had happened to these people, how had the relationships changed?" He gives Kirk a mid-life crisis.

Great Moments

The Kobayashi Maru test is excellent as an opening sequence, but also its use as a recurring theme throughout the film as a no-win situation. This test has inspired many ST fiction writers.

The Genesis project and the Project Genesis Tape (It took a crew of ten artists almost six months to make it!)

Spock's funeral: "there was never an attempt to create a situation to make future treks with Spock impossible, just an intent to do something different."

The Ceti Eel, ear slug parasites that are given to Chekov and Terrell.

The epic conflict between Khan and Kirk (Khan is a very good villain.)

Plot Oversights

Everyone quotes the "How do Chekov and Khan know each other?" as a major plot oversight. But although I do think the writers made a mistake here, it is not so implausible: the Enterprise is a big ship and it is not stated anywhere that Chekov joined the Enterprise in the Second Season. We know that he joined the Bridge crew in the Second Season, but he could have been working on the lower decks in Season One. Only Chekov fails to remember Harry Mudd from Season One when they meet him again in "I, Mudd" (everyone on the ship at the time would be was aware of Harry Mudd and his three beautiful women.) But Chekov could have joined after Mudd, and before Khan.

What I find more unlikely is Khan's great knowledge of the Twenty-third Century. He waxes eloquently about the far-flung places in deep space that he will chase Kirk to, and then he starts quoting Klingon Proverbs (Revenge is a dish best served cold.) This is a man who spent 200 years in cold storage, then a short time on the Enterprise, then was marooned on a desolate planet. He has never even seen a Klingon and never been anywhere other than Earth and Ceti Alpha V. The only time he had access to a library computer would be on the Enterprise.

After Spock's coffin is shot from the Enterprise toward the Genesis planet, the scene moves down to the planet. The camera meanders through the jungles until it eventually reaches Spock's coffin. In one of the jungle shots, a highway (cars and all) is visible in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

The bloodstain on Kirk's jacket left by midshipman Preston in sickbay keeps moving around and changing shape.

When he first meets Chekov, Khan grabs hold of his spacesuit and lifts him up in the air. When he lets go, he has to pull him back down again! Are there some strange anti-grav fields inside the cargo container?
 

Highlander II

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i just watched this the other day, but was a bit under the weather, so didn't catch some of the plot holes (and i usually catch stuff like that) --

I like ST:II -- it's one of my favorites -- and i do agree - Khan is a great villain, and Ricardo Montalban does an excellent job!

those ear slugs are really gross, but an interesting idea ---

my only thing is - -why didn't they alter Kirstie Alley's eyebrows? she's a Vulcan, don't they all have those pointy eyebrows? that's the only thing that really bothered me about her --

oh - and Kirk's kid is a wimp -- sorry -he had like no personality and he looked dorky - that big bushy 'greatest american hero' haircut - what was up w/ that?

i was impressed w/ Spock's funeral - i like Amazing Grace on bagpipes - and once you see ST:III it makes you wonder - did Kirk send Spock's body to the Genesis planet on purpose -- to save his life -- or what? b/c i never really understood why he did that - (ie: didn't take Spock back to Vulcan) --

i'll have to go over it again and see what else i can pick up --

have to say i missed the highway in the jungle thing tho!
 

Dave

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What about the Kirk award for greatest stability under inertial damper pressure?

When they enter the Mutara Nebula, everyone lurches forward. Except for Kirk who is unaffected by the ships sudden movement.
 

Highlander II

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oops - Kirk forgot to act! (sorry - snarky - it's just too fun to pick!)

man - i'm gonna have to go back and watch these again --

i'm almost done w/ TMP (it's taking forever - it's such a slow movie) --
 

Dave

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The sluglike things, the Ceti Eels, that Khan sticks in Chekov's ear:

Presumably, these things burrow inward and find a home in your brain, where they can manipulate your mind.

When Khan first puts it in Chekov's ear, a few scenes later it is seen back out again. Didn't it find anything it liked in there?
 

Dave

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Ricardo Montalban explained recently what it was that attracted him to the role of Khan Noonien Singh in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.'

"Even when I was not on screen, they were talking about me!" Montalban told the Star Trek Communicator (via TrekWeb).

But it wasn't plain sailing for the star of cult series Fantasy Island. "I started articulating the dialogue," he recalled, "I thought, 'My God, I sound like Mr. Roarke! Nobody's going to believe me after six years on Fantasy Island! I'm going to make a fool of myself here.'"

Writer and producer Harve Bennett recalled his first meeting with Paramount executives. He was asked what he thought of the first Trek feature film - 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture.' "I say, 'Well' - gulp! 'I thought it was boring,'" Bennett said.

But 'The Motion Picture' provided the idea that germinated into 'Star Trek II.' "Near the end of the episode there's a musing by Spock; he says 'I wonder if a hundred years from now, will we ever see his like again?'" said Bennett. "I remember getting up, and I said, 'Alright guys, lights - that's it, that's what we're going to do'."

'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' will be re-released on DVD as a special director's edition on August 6th. The movie is available to pre-order at a special price here at Amazon.com.

The full interview with Harve Bennett and Ricardo Montalban will feature in the next edition of the Star Trek Communicator, which will be available to buy on July 16th. Alternatively, extracts are online at TrekWeb.
 

Dave

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trek trivia

It was Writer/Producer Harve Bennett who created the "Kobayashi Maru" test for cadets at the Academy. The Kobayashis were his next-door neighbours at the time.
 

lordoftime

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By far the standard to which all others will forever be compared-and rightly so! Perfect as a Trek film has ever been! Khan, a middle-aged Kirk tired of life, Spock teaching trainees, the beautiful-and original-Saavik, Kirk meting the son he never knew, more for Chekov to do...the list goes on and on and on.
 

Yugi

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Yeah, new things keep a worldwide series like Star Trek moving on. It gave this movie an interesting twist, as well as provide an interesting starter for ST III. Anyway, the Slugs looked like they were excellently created. One thing is, If the slug is what controls your mind, how could Khan control it? I still don't get it.
 

kythe

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I always thought of the slugs as more of a hypnotic agent. They don't "control the mind", but affect it in a way that makes it easier for someone to take advantage. Now, I'm not sure how the slugs could get from the ear to the cerebral cortex, but oh well.

Although I like this movie, I have never liked the character Saavik. I didn't find Kirstie Alley to be a convincing Vulcan, and the woman who played her in the next movie (I don't remember her name) was pretty boring.
 

Frontierzone

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Although I like this movie, I have never liked the character Saavik. I didn't find Kirstie Alley to be a convincing Vulcan, and the woman who played her in the next movie (I don't remember her name) was pretty boring.
The other was Robin Curtis. Also, remember, Saavik was originally supposed to be half Vulcan/half Romulan. Thus, the more emotional Saavik as portrayed by Kirstie Alley. By the time Robin got the part, Leonard Nimoy was directing, and he told her to play Saavik more dryly.
 

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Always thought the fact that the Reliant mistook Ceti Alpha V for Ceti Alpha VI pretty unconvincing. Didn't they notice a planet was missing?

Also, wasnt there some record of Khan being in that system anyways? Wouldn't the Reliant have wanted to check up on them?

That said, I think its the best of the Treks, and a great film in its own right. They got around Kirks age by making it part of the plot, and it made for many of the films best scenes. Paticularly Kirk and McCoy in Kirks apartment, and later Kirk and Carol discussing their son, and how Kirks life could have been different.

The space battles were also great, with Kirk smugly over coming a tactical disadvantage, not once but twice through sheer craftiness - typical of his character (a fact he later sadly acknowledges). On a sidenote, and this has probably been raised before, but Kirk really should have raised the shields earlier. I'd have expected Scotty to hold the Captain at least partially for his nephews death.
 

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Always thought the fact that the Reliant mistook Ceti Alpha V for Ceti Alpha VI pretty unconvincing. Didn't they notice a planet was missing?

Also, wasnt there some record of Khan being in that system anyways? Wouldn't the Reliant have wanted to check up on them?
On the first point, the orbit of Ceti alpha V was shifted. I know that doesn't explain why they didn't notice the debris field that would be left from Ceti Alpha VI, but that's as good as it gets. Chalk the rest up to either faulty data or human error on the crew's part.

On the second point, unless I'm mistaken, I think the subject of Khan's exile on Ceti Alpha V was classified information. This was done by Kirk at the end of "Space Seed." Star Fleet command would have a record, but not the Reliant's library computer. At least, not easily accessible.
 

Kostmayer

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Just watched the Directors version. Not sure I like the extra bits they put in. No additional scenes, just a few extra seconds in some of the existing ones.

Might be cause I've seen the original so many times, I find the changes a bit jarring.

In anycase, I was going to post about this in the "Films that you rewatch" thread. Theres just so much to it.
 

Brian G Turner

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Just rewatched it and still love the film - and the soundtrack. I think there's some wonderful acting from the main cast, in both their movements and voice control. IMO this remains the only great Star Trek film, and a true classic SF film.

However, the kids struggled with it, complaining of long pauses - which for me added tension with the pace and beats and yet remained punchy, but they are too used to camera angles chopping and changing and dialogue being faster.

Yet the way it's plotted it great - all the themes introduced early on recur by the end. It's one of those films that feels spooky to watch more than once precisely because of it.
 

Brian G Turner

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What I find more unlikely is Khan's great knowledge of the Twenty-third Century.
To be fair, Khan had 6 months of Ceti Alpha 6 available to him before it exploded. So it's plausible he could have soaked up knowledge there. However, there's a danger of me sounding like an apologist here, when continuity has never been a strong part of Trek. :)

Something else I really liked about Wrath of Khan was that the inside of the Enterprise looked more like a ship: corridors were narrow and angled, and there was curvature on the walls of Kirk's cabin. Subtle details that Trek is not famous for, especially when the Enterprise normally looks like a spacious luxury hotel rather than a naval vessel or analogue of one.

ADDED: Oh! And something interesting - when the Enterprise entered the Mutara Nebula and the screens became disrupted, my youngest couldn't understand why that was happening. Being a child of the digital age she had no idea what static interference was!
 
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