Mario de Monti wrote:
TWOK . . . was a Trek action movie that seemed to try to get a piece of the "Star Wars pie".
Curious then that it should be a Trek action movie so obviously based on the submarine movie genre and not Star Wars? I'd say rather that TWOK was the apotheosis in cinematic form of what made Trek a distinctive franchise -- the translation of popular non-SF dramatic / action formats into an SF setting.
Yet in '82 and '83, fans were complaining in Interstat and Trek magazine that Wrath of Khan had turned Star Trek into a Star Wars-style shoot-em-up while making several unwanted changes to the characters and core of the series - you know, just like fans say now about ST'09 and ID.
It's only considered "what made Trek distinctive" because in it established the look which all pre-TNG Trek used for the next 30 years.