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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn

Year: 1982
Studio: Paramount
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Writer: Harve Bennet/Jack B Sowards
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Kirstie Alley

Fans of both the franchise and sci-fi movies in general seem to agree this was the best Trek film, at least that's the impression I got from all the press leading up to JJ Abrams 2009 reboot.

When it came out I'd never watched any of the original series and it was long before the time The Next Generation piqued my interest, so I didn't know Kahn (Montalban) was an existing character or what he sought revenge on the Enterprise crew for.

All I remember is that during the sequence when Kahn and his minions capture Chekov and the black guy and put the babies of that horrid sand creature on their faces to burrow their way around into their brains I'd seldom been so terrified in a movie theatre.

When they just turned out to be nefarious mind control bugs, the movie never returning to the primal fear of that first sequence, I was as disappointed as I was relieved.

I don't remember too much about the plot, but from what I know now, the relative box office failure of the first film sent Paramount scrambling for a villain from the back catalogue to bring in the hardcore fans they knew were out there.

They stranded Kahn on a deserted planet seething for revenge against Kirk and ready to strike with some doomsday device Macguffin (the Genesis that would show up in the third film) like so many Trek villains do.

Perhaps as desperate to bring in curiosity seekers as Trekkies, the script also kills off one of the most famous characters. It was the early years of the franchise system in Hollywood, and who knew how indestructible characters could be if box office was at stake?

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