Classic Star Trek movie still great today


A genetically-engineered genocidal maniac is awakened from his frozen space slumber in the 2200’s, centuries after being defeated in a conflict that is basically World War III. After being stopped from taking over a primarily-human starship, he is marooned on a deserted planet with his loyal band of followers. The starship captain who maroons him eventually becomes a celebrated hero and is promoted to admiral.

This is where “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” begins. As the movie begins, we see that admiral, James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner), training up-and-coming Starfleet officers. Thoughts of the maniac, Khan Noonien Singh, are far from his mind, as he’s experiencing a midlife crisis. His five-year journey of space exploration aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise is over, and even the comforts of his friends Spock (the late Leonard Nimoy) and Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) can’t bring peace to his spirits. It’s been years since he marooned Khan and had all of his other grand adventures in space (as chronicled in “Star Trek: The Original Series”). Meanwhile, Khan is plotting revenge in his exile.

Wrath of Khan is probably the best Trek movie ever made. The film is among the giants of sci-fi cinematography and is so significant within the “Star Trek” franchise that the two newest Trek films, 2009’s “Star Trek” and 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” make heavy use of references to the movie. Indeed, the latter is essentially a parallel film to Wrath of Khan.

The plot, unlike in some Trek movies and episodes, is well thought-out, and the characters are great, per the Trek norm. This is one of my personal favorite movies, and I recommend it to sci-fi buffs and more grounded minds alike.