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AlthoughStar Trek: The Motion Picturehad been a box-office hit, it was by no means a unanimous success withStar Trekfans, who responded much more favorably to the "classicTrek" scenario ofStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Inspired by the "Space Seed" episode of the original TV series, the film reunites newly promoted Admiral Kirk with his nemesis from the earlier episode--the genetically superior Khan (Ricardo Montalban)--who is now seeking revenge upon Kirk for having been imprisoned on a desolated planet. Their battle ensues over control of the Genesis device, a top-secret Starfleet project enabling entire planets to be transformed into life-supporting worlds, pioneered by the mother (Bibi Besch) of Kirk's estranged and now-adult son. While Mr. Spock mentors the young Vulcan Lt. Saavik (then-newcomer Kirstie Alley), Kirk must battle Khan to the bitter end, through a climactic starship chase and an unexpected crisis that will cost the life of Kirk's closest friend. This was the kind of character-basedTrekthat fans were waiting for, boosted by spectacular special effects, a great villain (thanks to Montalban's splendidly melodramatic performance), and a deft combination of humor, excitement, and wondrous imagination. Director Nicholas Meyer (who would play a substantial role in the success of futureTrekfeatures) handles the film as a combination ofMoby Dick, Shakespearean tragedy, World War II submarine thriller, and dazzling science fiction, setting the successful tone for theTrekfilms that followed.--Jeff Shannon
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CastLeonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Bibi Besch, Merritt Butrick, William Shatner, Jeff McBride
DirectorNicholas Meyer
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date:  4 June 1982 (USA)
MPAA Rating:  PG
Screen WriterHarve Bennett, Gene Roddenberry
Runtime:  113 min
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Quick Tip by . May 01, 2011
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. I remember it well. Despite the predominantly youthful audience, you could still hear a pin drop during Spock's death scene. The film works so well on so many levels but the single greatest reason STII is revered by so many Trek enthusiasts worldwide is b/c it is, perhaps, the only Trek film to celebrate the passion of life and death so poignantly. If you haven't seen it, do so ... even if you're not of the Trek variety.
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