In September Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is returning to theaters for two special 35th anniversary screenings which will also feature a new interview with star William Shatner. In a new interview with IGN promoting the event, Shatner talked about making what most consider the best film of the franchise.
Of course Star Trek II brought back the character of Khan Noonien Singh from the original Star Trek episode “Space Seed” but when asked about the development of the film, Shatner admitted that he was originally against the idea of tying the movie to an element from TOS, saying:
I recall that they began to talk about the second movie, and the talk began to be about what segment of the 79 [TV episodes] that we shot would be useful. And I kept saying, why do we want to go to a segment? Why don’t we invent something absolutely new? And the people in charge were much more aware than I was that the fans would be more sympathetic to… [it] would be a better vibration if it echoed a popular hour from the series, and make that, and then further the story as a film. And they were absolutely right that there was a ramification doing it that way, and the fact that the actor [Ricardo Montalban] was able to repeat his role was another singular advantage.
Shatner also acknowledged that Montalban’s Khan was a critical element in making Star Trek II work, including elevating his own character of Kirk:
…it’s a truism, that the more powerful the villain is the more powerful the hero. If the hero can overcome a powerful villain, look how much stronger that makes the hero. So the better the villain, the better the hero.
There is much more good stuff in the full IGN interview including Shatner talking about his acting process for key scenes like the death of Spock in Star Trek II and the death of his son in Star Trek III.
Wrath of Khan back on the big screen
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 35th anniversary screenings (including a new interview with William Shatner) will be showing Sunday, September 10, and Wednesday, September 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time each day at 600 select movie theaters in the USA. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices.