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June 15th, 2012

Earlier this month, the Alamo Drafthouse held an event I wish desperately I could’ve been at: as part of their Summer of 1982 series of events, they screened a 35 mm print of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  (This past June 4th was the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Khan — can you believe that??)  One of the writers for, Meredith Borders, had never seen Wrath of Khan before attending that screening.  She’s written a marvelous love-letter to the film that encapsulates all of the reason why Khan is not only my favorite Star Trek film, but one of my all-time favorite films.  (It’s definitely in my top five.)  Here’s an excerpt:

I saw Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for the first time last weekend…. It was a tremendous way to experience this movie for the first time, and I feel incredibly lucky. And holy shit, you guys. That movie destroyed me.

Here’s the thing: the only Star Trek material I’d ever seen before Khan was the J.J. Abrams movie which I quite liked. I knew these characters by their names and actors, but certainly not by who they are or what they represent. And I thought I didn’t care. So many people had recommended this film to me in the past, but none of them said the one thing I needed to hear to be convinced:

It doesn’t matter if you know anything about the Star Trek universe. The Wrath of Khan is an extraordinary movie on its own.

Well, now I know.

Here’s more from Meredith:

The action is stunning, and the effects are imaginative and aesthetically pleasing despite a limited budget. The plot is so brilliantly structured; each of the several acts builds and climaxes and resolves before seamlessly transitioning into the next act, and I was riveted until the very end. There is no fat on this movie. Every scene, every line feels crucial. But not only crucial for character development or plot advancement – every moment is entertaining. That balance of enthralling yet necessary is almost impossible to manage, and I cannot believe how well the writers and director accomplished it.

She has so much more to say, you should really click here to read her whole piece.

I have written about Star Trek II quite a lot on this site.  Click here and here for my thoughts on the film’s blu-ray release.  Click here for my series of cartoons having fun with Wrath of Khan.

Or, better yet, just go watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and experience one of the great action-adventure movies ever made, never mind the Star Trek label.  That’s what I’m in the mood to do…

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