Hi, there. Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon here in Lithia, Florida on Saturday, January 8, 2022. It is a warm winter day. Currently, the temperature is 78˚F (26˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east at 11 MPH (18 KM/H) and humidity at 59%, the feels-like temperature is 78˚F (26˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 82˚F (28˚C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies. The low will be 65˚F (18˚C).
Today I received an email from Stamps.com about my recent order of La-La Land’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Limited Edition (2-CD Set) to let me know it had shipped.
Here’s what it says:
| This message was sent to you at the request of La La Land Records, to notify you that they have shipped a package to you. For details about your shipment or to track your package, please refer to the information below.|
Shipped To: Alex D. Granados
First Class (R)
It’s Saturday, and La-La Land is in Burbank, California, so depending on how quickly the U.S. Postal Service processes my shipment and puts it on a plane bound for the Tampa Bay area, I think I’ll be getting my double album sometime between Tuesday, January 11, and Wednesday, January 12.
Speaking of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, this year – on June 4, to be exact – marks the 40th Anniversary of Nicholas Meyer’s film’s theatrical release. I saw it at the old Concord Plaza theater – my half-sister dropped me off there; I didn’t have many friends with cars then – a week after it opened, and despite my skepticism (I’d fallen asleep during Star Trek: The Motion Picture a few years before), I was won over by its story of a revenge-seeking villain (played by Ricardo Montalban) who had crossed paths with James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the USS Enterprise in an episode (“Space Seed”) of Star Trek: The Original Series.
Khan: [paraphrase from Melville’s Moby Dick] He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames before I give him up!
Though the screenplay is solely credited to Jack B. Sowards, the finished script was written mostly by Meyer, one of Hollywood’s most literary-minded filmmakers and a guy who loves to make allusions to the works of William Shakespeare and Herman Melville. In Star Trek II, Montalban is an Ahab-like genetically-engineered “superman” from the 20th Century who – per “Space Seed” – was exiled with 79 or so other “Augments” aboard the sleeper ship Botany Bay and sent into exile in suspended animation. Sometime in 2267, then-Captain Kirk and the Enterprise found the Botany Bay (adrift in space since 1996!) and revived Khan and the surviving Augments, who in turn attempted to take over Kirk’s ship, helped by a lovestruck Enterprise officer, Lt. Marla McGivers.
Of course, Kirk, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) defeat Khan and his crew, but instead of sending the genetically engineered warriors to the Federation’s version of Guantanamo Bay, they deposit them on a remote and unsettled planet in the Ceti Alpha system.
Since Star Trek was made back in the days when episodic TV did not have continuing story arcs and there wasn’t yet anything like a discernible chronology, the show never revisited the events of “Space Seed.” We were never shown what Ceti Alpha V looked like on the ground, but we were left to assume it was Earth-like but wild and unpopulated. And from the somewhat cordial parting of ways between Kirk and Khan (with his ex-Starfleet girlfriend by his side), it was inferred that the exiles now had a new world to conquer, and all was well between the Enterprise captain and the former ruler of one-quarter of old Earth in the 1990s.
If you’ve seen Star Trek II, which is my favorite of the 13 existing Star Trek films, you know the rest of the story. Things went south for Khan and his people, and Kirk (and Starfleet in general) never checked on the marooned Augments. At least 20 of Khan’s exiled crew, including Marla McGivers, died, and Khan himself became obsessed with avenging himself on the man he believed responsible for this injustice – James T. Kirk.
[On whether Kirk should assume command from Spock]
Spock: If I may be so bold, it was a mistake for you to accept promotion. Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny; anything else is a waste of material.
Kirk: I would not presume to debate you.
Spock: That is wise. Were I to invoke logic, however, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Kirk: Or the one.
Spock: You are my superior officer. You are also my friend. I have been and always shall be yours.
The film explores various themes beyond the “wrath of Khan” riff on Moby-Dick. It also delves into such concepts as aging and death, the bonds of friendship, and sacrifice. (One axiom from Star Trek II that looms large in the movie is the Vulcan motto “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”)
And, of course, the score by James Horner – one of his early works as a film composer – is fittingly naval in tone, reflecting director Meyer’s adherence to the idea that Star Trek was – in the Kirk-and-Spock era, at least – “Horatio Hornblower in Space.” It’s one of my favorite scores of all time, and even if it wasn’t a 40th Anniversary release, I’d still buy La-La Land’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Limited Edition (2-CD Set).
So, if all goes well and there aren’t any issues with my mail deliveries, I will add this Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Limited Edition (2-CD Set) album by midweek.
Live long and prosper!
Hailing frequencies closed.
 Nicholas Meyer wanted to use the title Star Trek II: The Undiscovered Country – a reference to death from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Paramount rejected that idea, but Meyer – who by 1991 had more clout with the studio – used “the undiscovered country” for the title of Star Trek VI (1991).