Five Reasons Wrath of Khan Should Not Be Remade

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We’re only a couple of weeks away from a new Star Trek movie coming out, and ever since Star Trek: Nemesis killed off the Next Generation film franchise; it seems like every hotshot Hollywood writer seems to think that in order to be cool and edgy they need to rip off or remake The Wrath of Khan. Nicholas Meyer’s Trek not only revitalized the Star Trek film franchise after a slight disappointment with The Motion Picture, it also established the look, feel, and tone of Star Trek for decades that followed. But that’s no reason to remake it or try to redo it with stupid twists.

Here are five reasons why The Wrath of Khan shouldn’t be remade, and why a remake of it would not work in the new Abramsverse Trek movies…

“I Have Been, and Always Shall Be, Your Friend.”

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The Wrath of Khan came out in 1982, which was only thirteen years after the Original Series was cancelled. But in those years they had the animated series and many novels that established that there was a history with the characters. Kirk and Spock had more than just a couple years on a ship behind them, and the crew (well, mainly the big three) were a family with history. Wrath of Khan built on that and without it, the entire impact of everything that follows doesn’t hit as hard. The death scene at the end just doesn’t mean anything if the crew has only been together for a couple of years…

It Can’t Be Done With a Young Kirk

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People like to mock William Shatner’s acting, but when Kirk is choking up at Spock’s funeral, you understand his loss. That’s because these characters were around for nearly two decades at this point and fans had the same connection to them as they did to each other. The movie built on what people knew about Kirk, but threw him a loop by giving the aging Captain who won’t settle down a son while he’s facing the greatest enemy he ever would. You simply cannot make this story work before or even during the original five year mission…

Kirk and Khan Never Actually Meet

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In dark and edgy 2013 film writing, some idiots would think it’d be cool for Kirk and Khan to have a big fight where they brutally beat each other to a pulp. But what made the original Wrath of Khan so brilliant is that Kirk and Khan never physically meet. All of their scenes are done via ship communications either by voice or the view screen. They never fight each other. It’s a contest of wits, and that is very Star Trek. Kirk punching Khan in the face over and over isn’t Star Trek…

Khan’s Motivation

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In modern dark and edgy screenwriting, someone might try to make some kind of allusion to home grown terrorism by maybe having Khan working for Starfleet under an assumed name and then snap and start blowing shit up. But that’s stupid, because Khan’s motivation in Wrath of Khan was so razor sharp and focused; it made him the biggest threat the crew of the Enterprise ever faced. Khan wanted to kill Kirk. He didn’t care about anyone else. He just wanted to make Kirk suffer as much as he believed Kirk had made him suffer. He wanted revenge for the death of his wife and being stranded on a world that became inhospitable shortly after Kirk dropped him off. Without that force of evil bearing down on Kirk with everything he could muster, your remake of Wrath of Khan fails…

Space Seed

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The biggest reason Wrath of Khan works as a revenge tale is that it builds off an Original Series episode from the first season of the show, sixteen years before the movie. Khan is established as a huge threat then and given sixteen years to simmer to perfection. Introducing the villain in the same movie that tries to redo Wrath of Khan in any way does not work. Period. If you think it could, you fail as a writer and do not understand what made Wrath of Khan such an amazing movie.