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Khan Strikes Back


By Louis Trapani - Posted on 08 August 2010

Kirk and Spock

Rarely do I have time to devote to watch movies these days. It is because of that I had this blu-ray disc still in the box set since I got it in the first half of 2009. After popping some long-expired stale popcorn, I decided to sit myself down and watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Amazon link).

Although I have seen this movie countless times over the years since its original release, I am reminded of that very first showing I saw on opening day. At the time, being in my mid-teens, I hadn't really experienced death. The themes in this film touched upon the issues of life and death as well as youth and experience perhaps more so than any other film I was passionate about at that time.

Watching it now, through a set of eyes that has experienced real loss of family and friends and today at an age where I am closer to the Kirk character in the film than the young cadets in it, it is really interesting. While some of the dialogue may not hold up as well today as I recall it did when I was in my teens, the message and themes presented here remain still relevant.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…"  ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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What I find interesting is how in that year, a lot of movies and even a show or two had death as a major component in their story: Blade Runner have the replicants dealing with their own mortality, E.T. dying (and coming back to life), in Poltergeist you had the ghosts and what brought them about. and even Doctor Who dealt with death when Adric was killed of at the end of Earthshock

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I would venture to say that perhaps I haven't seen the movie since the DVD release in 2002. Wow. Has really been eight years already? 

The blu-ray disc has two commentary tracks, one of only with director, Nicholas Meyer which to my understanding was probably from the DVD release. Now I usually always listen to the commentaries on DVDs, could it be that I was pressed for time and didn't listen to it on the DVD? That or I really don't recall it because the Nick Meyer commentary felt new to me (even though I know it's not). Despite it only being a sole commenter commentary, Meyer does a wonderful job with it. Meyer describes himself as a storyteller, not a filmmaker, and the commentary itself proves it. 

There is a newer commentary with Meyer along with Manny Coto (a producer on Star Trek: Enterprise television series). Which is fine, but they couldn't find anyone else that worked directly on the film. Perhaps someone from ILM would had been nice since Meyer didn't have too much to add about the technical process of the new effects.

Meyer as someone that had no connection to Star Trek before this project did a wonderful job and offers an interesting and captivating commentary on this disc as well.

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