My editor and I were batting some ideas around for Toddster Teamups and he had the idea a while back for doing sequels. I decided to take it a step further and I decided to call this one “Sequels We Love.” Making movies is always a tricky process. Often, movies are made and they always make an impact on us that make them very successful. Then, the same folks who made the movie or others want to take the same characters that we loved before and make the story even better. As I’ve often said, sequels are a hit or miss proposition. In this case, we’ve picked some hits. My team and I have picked some real great movies that continued the adventures of some of our all time favorite movie franchises. See if you like some of our picks.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
No discussion of “sequels we love” could possibly be complete with what is indisputably (at least in The Evening Sun newsroom, and because I run it) the best sequel of all time ... “The Wrath of Khan.”
Picking up from the dismal big screen debut of Star Trek in 1979, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (or more aptly, “The Motionless Picture”), the producers of the second installment admittedly didn’t have far to go in improving upon the original. What they did have to do, however, was re-start a movie franchise (albeit one with a rabid TV fanbase) after a rather inauspicious start.
Other than returning the same characters we already knew and loved – Kirk, Spock, McCoy, et al – “The Wrath of Khan” bears little resemblance to its predecessor. Everything from the music to the lighting to the costumes changed from one film to the next, instantly giving it a more relevant, exciting and military feel. Instead of wandering around the cosmos in their pajamas, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise suddenly feel like a real space-navy operation, and finally bring their guns to bear on a worthy adversary.
Plucked from one of the TV series best episodes, “Space Seed,” some 20 years before, Ricardo Montalban’s Khan Noonien Singh is a master class in what movie villains should be – formidable, literate, menacing and entertaining – and with clear, decisive motivation. A genetically-enhanced superhuman from Earth’s 1990s (guess we missed that one), revolutionary Khan and his minions were exiled to a promising planet at the end of the TV episode, never to be heard from again. Until, that is, “The Wrath of Khan.”
Turns out Ceti Alpha V wasn’t quite the paradise found Kirk thought it to be. Months after their banishment, an environmental disaster laid waste to the planet, and Khan and company struggled to survive. Survive they did, but now they’re really, really mad. Another Federation starship stumbles upon the castaways, and it isn’t long before Khan commandeers a 23rd century warship – and goes gunning for his old friend, Kirk.