Star Trek II: The Wrath
T. Kirk' old foe Khan escapes exile and steals the Genesis Device,
a planet-terraforming tool that handily doubles as a superweapon. The
Enterprise eventually blows up Khan' ship, but unluckily loses
warp power just as Khan, with his dying breath, triggers a thermonuclear
bomb. Spock fixes the warp drive just in time, but having stupidly not
bothered to don any protective gear beyond a pair of gloves, dies of radiation
poisoning. Kirk and a radiation-suit-wearing Scotty (ah, so that's
what happened to it) watch safely from behind a plexiglass wall. Kirk's
pretty broken up about it-not broken up enough to go in and help
him, of course, but still.
Why You Should See It
The producers learn from the mistakes of the dull first Trek
film, packing in enough action-packed fun and excitement here for three
movies. Plus, Spock' tragic death scene alone is worth the price
of admission. That said, Kirk' eulogy-"Of all the souls
I've encountered in my travels, his was the most ... human"-is
a lot less touching when you remember that Spock' usual reaction
to being called human was to arch an eyebrow and get all pissy about it.
Kirk's a bit of an ass.
Why You Shouldn't
Hardcore Trek continuity freaks may have difficulty accepting
that Khan and Chekov recognize each other, as the original episode with
Khan aired the season before Chekov joined the show. But really, if that's
the most you can quibble about, you need to get out of the house more.
Impact on the Franchise
dies! For an entire movie, even! Plus, the consequences of Kirk'
legendary cocksmanship among the many fine green-skinned ladies of the
galaxy finally rear their ugly head here, with the appearance of a heretofore-unknown
son (the ensuing paternity suit should have been the plot of the sequel).
A bare-chested, mulleted Ricardo Montalban
chomps his way through the scenery in just about every scene he's in,
either quoting Moby Dick and Shakespeare or just staring longingly
into a viewscreen while saying "Kirrrrrk..." Also look for a
young, hot, pre-Fat Actress Kirstie Alley as
Spock' protégé Saavik.
Star Trek: First Contact
The Borg go back in time to prevent the founding of the Federation by
destroying the Phoenix, Earth' first warp-capable vessel, and the
Enterprise follows. Picard and Data kill the Borg Queen just in time to
ensure the successful flight of the Phoenix. Vulcans stop in for a visit,
and everybody gets loaded and parties down to rockabilly music.
Why You Should See It
Picard, known mostly for enjoying hot cups of tea, Brahms concertos, and
avoiding fights by talking things over sensibly, turns into Bruce Willis
in First Contact. He sprays Borg drones with hot lead from a
tommy gun, courts death by calling Worf a coward and delivers a mouth-foaming
monologue about killing every Borg he can lay his hands on that culminates
in an awesome rockstar tantrum where he trashes his ready room. Later,
he snaps the Borg Queen' spine like a breadstick. Apparently, there
are any number of things you can do to Picard without making him lose
his cool. But turn him an albino cyborg and he will fuck your shit