Elizabeth Bonesteel tweeted about Star Trek: Into Darkness, to which I will not link, nor which will I discuss right now:
Y’all got me thinking again about ST: INTO DARKNESS, & I realize I went into that one already annoyed.— Elizabeth Bonesteel (@liz_monster) November 7, 2016
But it got me thinking about why Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was so epically fantastic for me. I’m having Real Feels right now just thinking about it.
I was 11 when Khan came out, so I didn’t see it in theaters. I had watched much of the original series in syndication with my family, and I was in my late teens when I finally saw Wrath of Khan.
I don’t have the time or skill for a proper exposition right now, but some bullet points on why WoK still inspires some deep emotion for me:
- Khan is charismatic, cut like a boss, and leads a Mad-Max-style horde of 80s bad-asses. What’s not to love?
- For the love of God, Ceti eels. I’m cringing in terror right now.
- THIS IS Ceti Alpha V!!
- The movie exposes many of Kirk’s character flaws, the real pain he causes, and does not excuse them by the end. That’s bold film-making right there, especially in the 80s when everything had a happy ending.
- Kirk’s consummate self-assurance that he’s done the Right Thing, without ever looking in life’s Rear View Mirror, is cuttingly White Male thinking.
- And he more or less doesn’t get away with it. His thoughtless hubris costs him friends and subordinates, and by the end, costs him his deepest relationship.
- Spock’s real death. I know that the ending was tweaked to show the torpedo tube intact, but as a teen in the 80s who did not yet know the Ways of Hollywood, that was pretty f’ing permanent.
Sorry I need to go have a cry.