memories of the ’80s – Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

The second film in the Star Trek movie franchise brought back one of its major enemies – Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Due to the lacklustre reviews for the first Star Trek film, Paramount Pictures removed Gene Roddenberry from the process, working with executive producer Harve Bennett, director Nicholas Meyer and screenplay writer Jack B. Sowards.

The process was very different, with many budget limitations, more use of miniatures and using excerpts from the previous film to cut down on costs since the previous film had many cost overruns.

Leonard Nimoy agreed to appear as Spock, with the knowledge that his character would die in the storyline. All the other major characters reprised their roles: William Shatner as Admiral Kirk, DeForest Kelley as Bones, Nichelle Nichols as Uhuru, James Doohan as Scott and George Takei as Sulu.

Walter Koenig reprised his role as Chekhov, but his role has always been a conflict for true Trekkies as he didn’t appear in the tv episode that Khan appeared, and therefore shouldn’t have know who he is.

Kirk is despondent about growing old behind a desk as an Admiral when he hears Chekhov is captured by Khan, as he pursues access toGenesis.

The gang reunites to save Chekhov, and rescue Kirk’s girlfriend, Dr. Carol Marcus, as Khan seeks revenge against Kirk for the death of his family, and to learn more about Genesis, a planet that is a source of life.

As the gang pursues Khan, the storyline’s theme focuses on aging, friendship, death and rebirth – and ultimately appealed to viewers. Made with a budget of $11.2 million (a quarter of the previous film’s budget) the early buzz was that fans were keen to see this second film, which opened in June 1982.

Gaining ticket sales of over $90 million, the film’s success renewed interest in Star Trek, despite some critics complaints over the lack of action and some lacklustre sets and costumes.  The fan love of Star Trek and the death of Spock guaranteed a sequel of films.

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About Waheeda Harris

A freelance journalist with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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