"You are my superior officer. You are also my friend. I have been, and always shall be, yours."
The ‘failure’ of the first Star Trek film put Paramount in the frame of mind where they needed to do a few things if they were to keep the franchise moving forward. 1) Drop the budget to something much more meager. 2) Add some action to the story. 3) Get rid of the needy creator and producer Gene Roddenberry. They did all three and luckily, the pieces fell into place in a way where they truly ended up with one of the great sci-fi films of all time and arguably the best in the franchise. It’s possible it could’ve been a disaster, but director Nicholas Meyer paired with new producer Harve Bennett – both new to the world of Trek – seemed to approach it the right way. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Star Trek marathon with Nicholas Meyer’s 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
We talk about the risk of telling a story that is essentially a sequel to a TV episode that ran 15 years earlier, yet how well it works (and the fact that it still can work for you if you never saw that episode). We chat about the ousting of Roddenberry and how Bennett’s and Meyer’s approach seemed to work well for the franchise, especially certain nautical and militaristic elements Meyer wanted to add. We look at what Industrial Light & Magic brought to the table, notably the Genesis effect video but also all the incredible model work (all done at the same time as Poltergeist and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial). We look at the story of Khan and discuss why it works so well here, paired with themes of friendship and aging, etc. And we dig deep into a scene where Khan steals the Genesis device and he and Kirk have an incredible com-to-com monologue-off.
It’s a brilliant film and has stood the test of time with its action-packed, tense, funny, dramatic, operatic, heartbreaking story and one we have a great time discussing. So check out the movie — watch it again if you’ve seen it already because it’s really that good — then tune in! The Next Reel — when the movie ends, our conversation begins.