Ranking The Wrath of Khan Clones

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by M.A.C.O., Oct 21, 2021.

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing like guys wanting revenge in a Star Trek movie. Excluding the original Trek revenge story, Wrath of Khan. We have 6 Trek movies in row where revenge is the primary motivator for the antagonists and or the heroes.

    First Contact - Picard wants revenge against the Borg. While the Borg take a more aggressive approach of conquering Earth after their loss in Best of Both Worlds.

    Insurrection - The Son’a and Ru’afo want revenge against the Ba’ku. Along the way they decide to take their frustrations out on the crew of the Enterprise.

    Nemesis - Shinzon wants revenge against Picard for existing and for his life being a living hell.

    ST09 - Nero wants revenge on Spock and the Federation for Romulus being destroyed in the future.

    Into Darkness - Khan wants revenge against Starfleet. Kirk wants revenge against Khan for killing Pike and dozens of other people.

    Beyond - Krull wants revenge against the Earth and the Federation for going soft after the Xindi and Romulan wars.

    All lift elements from TWOK in some way, shape or form.

    Battle in Nebulas:
    Mutara: the original from TWOK
    Briar Patch - INS
    Bassen Rift - NEM
    Death Cloud - BEY

    Quoting TWOK and or Moby Duck:
    FC
    STID

    Planet Annihilating Super Weapons:
    Genesis Torpedo - TWOK
    Son’a Collector - INS
    Thalaron Weapon - NEM
    Red Matter - ST09
    Abronath - BEY

    A character yelling a single line with rage and frustration:
    KHAN!!! - TWOK
    NOOOOO!!! - FC
    AAAAAaaa!… - INS
    SPOCK!!! - ST09
    ¡¡¡KHAN!!! - STID

    Heroes dying to save their ship:
    Spock - “The most human”. TWOK
    Data - NEM
    Kirk - STID


    13 Trek movies and 7 are about revenge. TWOK did it first and did it best. The subsequent stewards of the franchise have tried repeatedly to recapture that lighting in a bottle of the original.

    Which movie or movies would you say came closest to achieving that goal?

    Alternatively, which movies do you enjoy most that try to occupy TWOK’s shadow?
     
  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    First Contact, because it's the flip side. It's the protagonist who wants revenge instead of the antagonist.
     
  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    First Contact then ST 09.
     
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  4. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FC – the best one. Shows that Picard still had lingering trauma from his Borg experience (and indirectly that Admiral Satie was right) and that it took interacting with someone from the 21 century- which was never looked upon favourably during TNG - to realize that he had lost his humanity and was consumed with revenge.

    ST’09 – The motive for revenge make sense for Nero

    BEY – at least it was more original compared to Into Darkness

    NEM – if Patrick Stewart played a double role with Shinzon, or Sela was the antagonist, it would be a different story. Nothing against Tom Hardy (he’s great!), but the Khan revenge theme would have hit harder if either if the above were explored instead.

    INS – a forgettable movie only memorable for the opening scene, the Riker maneuver, and that Troi forgot that she kissed Riker with a beard twice before on TNG. Fails as a Khan clone. Maybe if Gul Macet was the villain, I’d think differently about it as a Khan clone. Even then, INS should not even be a Khan clone; it should have been focused on the Dominion War.

    ID – was a good movie until the Khan reveal; afterwards it’s a poor man’s TWOK. Should have revealed that Montalban’s Khan was still in stasis and that Cumberbatch’s Khan lied about his identity. Even then, the reboot series already had its own Khan in Nero and did not need to revisit this again.
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm going to go with:

    1. ST09- This beats FC by just a hair...mainly on the fun factor and the fact that I am a bigger fan of the TOS characters than the TNG characters.
    2. FC- Like others have said, this one was good because it was an "inverse" of the standard "revenge" story...but it wasn't just a hollow story. It did a nice job of taking an otherwise gathered, measured and dignified character like Picard and showing how PTST can affect him so significantly.
    3. NEM- I like this film more than most. Yes it's flawed and there is some goofy stuff that makes no sense (but hey, Star Trek)...but the action scenes are awesome and Hardy's performance of a choppily-written character is admittedly electric.
    4. BEY- This was a really fun movie, but it didn't have much epic scope or feel to it. I think it was just "missing" something that I can't define. I didn't like Krall very much as a villain, and I think my expectations for the character may have been too high.
    5. ID- This is a fun watch, if you don't think about too much of what is going on. I love ID and watch it regularly, but it is admittedly the messiest, most non-sensical film in the entire franchise. The first 3/4 are fairly good (the first 1/4 of the film is the best), and the last 1/4 is almost unwatchable.
    6. INS- So unbelievably mediocre and lukewarm. A massively forgettable villain. A massively forgettable plot. Ugh.
     
  6. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually find it a bit inaccurate to call these other movies "TWOK Clones."

    The only movie that has a story line that somewhat looks like TWOK is NEM, and I'd say NEM is a combination of TWOK and TUC thrown into the blender and re-mixed...and not an outright copy of TWOK.
     
  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. But, it is trendy to throw other films under the TWOK train in a "Two films enter, one film leaves" blood sport.
     
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  8. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, not exactly clones. But they do tend to keep returning to the "operatic villain bent on revenge" schtick.

    Kor
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They do, and the fan base keeps reiterating that two of these films are "the best!" What do we expect? "Oh, your favorite food is steak and mashed potatoes. Well, we decided to give you cob salad and a fruit tray." It doesn't make sense from a business side. :shrug::shrug:
     
  10. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps a better name for the thread would have been Wrath of the Revengers! I also considered going with Attack of the Clones.


    My own ranking of these films, based on my own enjoyment and how often I rewatch them would be as follows.

    1. First Contact - The best TNG movie. It combines terrific action and drama with a pivotal history point for Trek lore. The main character being the one out for revenge is a nice inversion of the trope.

    2. Star Trek - A great reboot and a terrific shot in the arm for the IP. Fast, fun, slick and stylish. Shame it all lead into Into Darkness.

    3. Nemesis - I admit to liking Nemesis a lot more than most. Young Tom Hardy and Patrick Stewart are great on screen together. The battle is still phenomenal to watch. I can't recall if we've seen tit topped on the big screen since.

    4. Beyond - Star Trek's big 50th! I don't rewatch this film much, but I do like it a lot. Love the call backs to ENT and TOS. As well as the ending with the crew vowing the stick together. I wish we could get that 4th Kelvin Trek film.

    5. Into Darkness - An abridged retelling of Space Seed and TWOK. With a mix of current day drone warfare commentary, wars of choice and 9/11 elements. It does a bunch of things and somehow comes away not saying anything. Its Michael Bay directed Star Trek. All style, balls to the wall in your face action and explosions, but no substance.

    6. Insurrection - I almost never rewatch this film. We all know why. Such a disappointing mixed bag.
     
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  11. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    Or better with Tomalak
     
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  12. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Most things are better with Tomalak.
     
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  13. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picard:
    You look different, Tomalak.

    G’Kar:
    Who the hell are you? Garibaldi’s father?
     
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  14. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All going to prove that the post TOS-movies hardly had an original idea to be found among its creators. Not surprised by that, as most non-TOS movies were garbage, but still--to rip TWOK elements so often is an exercise in shameless hack-work.
     
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  15. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This thread really makes me grateful that Kruge was characterized as a Klingon nationalist who barely seems to know who Kirk is, and is more obsessed with the power of Genesis than getting revenge on anybody.
     
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  16. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    The TOS movies may have overused the Klingons. No denying though, that Kruge and Chang and their sinister schemes for power and war, are unique. One for the books. We don’t see their like much these days.
     
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  17. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for this thread M.A.C.O. I hadn't thought of how Picard's need for revenge in First Contact or Kirk's in Into Darkness actually fit with the vengeance seeking villains in the other Trek films. I knew the magic of The Wrath of Khan was the film Trek has been trying to recreate over and over again, but hadn't considered how protagonists also fit into that.

    As for my rankings:
    1. First Contact: The best TNG movie and also one of the best Trek movies period. I did love its willingness to take Picard to the edge and almost over. I often thought this film/story would've worked with Sisko as well.
    2. Insurrection: While Insurrection was a step down from First Contact, I liked Ru'afo and I thought the film did a good job laying out why and the other Son'a wanted revenge. Some of the things that hurt it IMO was that the stakes were too low, especially when the Dominion War was raging on DS9. The Son'a were good antagonists, but it hurt their cred when they never showed up again. It would've been nice to see them on DS9; I wish they had been officially part of the Dominion and we had seen their cool starships in some of the battle scenes.
    3. Into Darkness: I had issues with this film being too much of a retread of TWOK, among other things, but it also made Khan's rationale pretty clear. And it's one of the few, if only Trek film, where the villain gets what they want.
    4. Star Trek: Though I think Nero was a bit drab (outside of a dynamite introduction), his vengeance was also easy to grasp and he was very effective in getting it.
    5. Beyond: I liked Beyond well enough, but Krall being the third revenge seeking villain in a row, and with relatively smaller stakes, I don't think he compares well against Nero and Khan. I did like the concept of the character, though the execution could've been better.
    6. Nemesis: Nothing against Tom Hardy here, but I've always felt they made Shinzon's motivations too complicated. Instead of destroying Earth and getting more shine than Jean-Luc, it seemed like he should rather want revenge on the Romulans. I thought the film would've been better if the Enterprise-E had helped the Romulans prevent Shinzon from destroying Romulus. The Earth in danger thing had also been done a lot by Nemesis. That said, had no problem when they did it just few years later in Star Trek '09. Then it made more sense to than it did in Nemesis.
    Like some of the ideas I'm seeing here. When it comes to Nemesis I too wish that Stewart had played Shinzon, though I think Hardy did well with the role. I also wish Sela had been in the movie. I liked Donatra but that scene where the Romulans offer assistance to the beleaguered Enterprise would've resonated more if it had been Sela instead.

    With Into Darkness I also agree the film went left when Harrison revealed his true identity. I wish that the Montalban Khan had been seen, and simply died, just like he was about to do in "Space Seed". There would've been no Kirk there to save him this time. And that Cumberbatch was Joaquin or another Augment. I think that would've made him even more obsessed with protecting his 'family' especially now that the he had to carry on in Khan's stead.

    I wouldn't have minded if Insurrection hadn't been tied more to the Dominion War. F. Murray Abraham could've been a great Cardassian or Vorta. Or if they had kept the original idea and made the antagonists Romulans, he would've made for a memorable Romulan as well. The unfortunate disposability of the Son'a didn't help in a movie that was conceived to be lighter weight by design.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021