I remember being a kid in the 80’s and seeing The Wrath of Khan on cable almost every other day. Like most movies from that era, it both fascinated and terrified me at times with its amazing story and special effects (those ear worms still freak me out to this day). Now over three decades later, this sci-fi masterpiece has not only made the transition to high definition, but with a new cut to boot with the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Director’s Cut Blu-ray. Anyone who loves Star Trek and great films will want to set a course at warp speed to see this release.
The story has the Federation looking for an uninhabitable planet to test their new terraforming device called Project Genesis. A ship commanded by Captain Terrell (Paul Winfield) and First Officer Chekov (Walter Koenig) has come across such a planet, but it turns out a superhuman named Khan (played perfectly by Ricardo Montalban) and his gang is there, who in turn hijack the ship and seek to get revenge on the man who abandoned them there, Admiral James Kirk (William Shatner). It doesn’t take long for Kirk and the Enterprise crew to engage Khan in a series of meetings and battles that will push both sides to their limits.
I haven’t seen this film in quite some time, so seeing it again in high definition was literally like watching it again for the first time. The picture and sound quality is so great, you’ll have a very hard time believing this movie was made in 1982. While it doesn’t add too much to the overall experience, this director’s cut runs three minutes longer than the theatrical version, which is also included on this disc. Most of the changes include some of the same scenes being shown from different angles and takes, but the biggest change is learning the young crew member named Preston is Scotty’s nephew which explains why he was so emotional (-Spoiler Alert-) when he dies later on in the film.
There’s also a nice collection of extras to go along with this amazing release. There’s two sets of audio commentary for both the director’s cut and theatrical version of the film. “Captain’s Log” is a cool making-of featurette about how the movie came together from choosing the classic Star Trek episode “Space Seed”’ as the base of the plot, Nimoy’s desire to have Spock die, and other interesting things that went into making it. That’s just the start of them, as there are a few other great extras are included that will keep viewers busy long after the universe has been saved.
Trekkies are sure to have this one already, but those looking for a great film, sci-fi or otherwise, will want to check out the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Director’s Cut Blu-ray. It’s a classic made even better with a beautiful high definition transfer and a nice set of extras that’ll make you want to beam this disc into your collection.